In the last 24 hours Just Backdated had its 750,000th hit since I launched this blog of mine at the end of 2013. That works out at just over 400 hits a day but that statistic is deeply flawed as posts about The Who, especially those linked on their own site or FB page, usually outnumber almost everything else by a tenfold margin.
The last time I conducted one of these surveys was in May 2017 when the number of hits reached 500,000. At that time there were 638 posts. Now there are 710, which indicates I’m slowing down and quite dramatically too. In the first year of its existence I managed 374 posts, in 2018 a mere 29. This is because at the beginning I had a lot of catching up to do, ie a lot of archive stuff on my computer that I wanted to upload. That process continued for the next year or so, gradually slowing down as the well emptied. It’s not quite empty yet and other old writings of mine will almost certainly come to light as I plod onwards.
Old material of mine regularly turns up on Rock’s Back Pages where, to date, there are 293 articles of mine, almost all of them from Melody Maker between 1970 and 1977. This was the case last week when, to my surprise, there was a review I wrote for MM of Liza Minelli, of all people, at the New York Winter Gardens in January 1974. Now I cannot for the life of me remember seeing her show, nor writing about it. I seem to have enjoyed it but felt it was bad value for money, concluding my review: “The show commenced shortly after eight and finished before ten. With almost half an hour's interval, that made it rather short by my standards. My seats cost 12.50 dollars and whether it was value for money is certainly debatable. But it was short, sweet and simple nevertheless, and what there was I enjoyed.”
But I digress. The biggest ‘event’ in Just Backdated’s 2018 was a dramatic change in the leadership, by which I mean the most visited post. For years it was the post about the photograph of Keith Moon with John and Paul Beatle, taken by my friend Peter ‘Dougal’ Butler in Santa Monica in April 1974 which I contend was the last ever photo to have been taken of the two senior Beatles together. This had what I considered an unassailable 4,000+ lead over whatever post was at number two. Well, to my surprise that lead was smashed big time by my review of The Who’s Live At Fillmore East album in May of last year which has clocked up an astonishing 49,699 hits to date, so far ahead of the field as to have lapped everything else three or four times.
The post about John, Paul & Keith (13,904 hits) is now at number two, followed by two about Jimmy Page, one on his houses (8,432) and another on hosting Robert Plant at his Thames-side place in Pangbourne (6,597) in 1968 when he was drawing up the blueprint for Led Zeppelin. In the past Who posts have occupied all ten top places but Zep seem to be encroaching a bit. However, they’ve a long way to go to topple The Who, who occupy five of the next six places, with the one about Kit Lambert’s palace in Venice at number five. The non-Who post amongst them is the extract from my Deep Purple book that tells the tale of their horrific experience on Jakarta in 1975 which, surprisingly, has had 4,286 hits.
I say surprisingly because as far as I am aware this hasn’t been shared on any Deep Purple fan sites, while the reason The Who and Led Zep have so many hits is because they are shared, most especially with Zep on Dave Lewis’ Tight But Loose site which has become an extension of his long-running TBL running fanzine. Conversely, my posts about The Beatles, either collectively or individually, and also David Bowie, get a relatively small number of hits, doubtless because they haven’t been shared on fan sites. This explains why posts on Abba, shared by Swedish Abba expert Carl Magnus Palm and on their FB fan sites, outdo them, with a surprisingly high 2,998 hits for my review of their Live At Wembley album back in 2014.
As for geographical data, the US still tops the league with 305,882 followed by the UK (66,969), Russia (54,166), Canada (23,933) and Germany (18,172). Weirdly, I have had 14 hits from an ‘unknown region’, so someone is reading Just Backdated from somewhere that hasn’t been discovered yet, hopefully a space station circling the globe.