Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside

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Atypical Features & Androgyny

I have atypical eyelids, shaped eyebrows, a crooked mouth and nasal bridge however people have told me either I look like a woman and/or have features of a woman for which I am flattered by their optical observations of my variants of my somewhat fruitful and irregular visage.

Androgny can be a look as much as an attitude a timely peek into someone who is a mixture of masculine and feminine.

I am not perfect and that is what should be cherished a feeling of unshackled non-perfection I find solace and tempered grounding beneath my limbs in these thoughts and I can smile freely. 😊

Paul Isaacs 2018.

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Top 15 Tracks – A Tribute To Pete Burns & Dead or Alive

RIP Pete Burns when I started collecting vinyl in the early 2000s Dead or Alive I pleased to say I have collected the most all the singles most of the LPs and import CDs (he had a massive following in Japan).

I am pleased that the ultimate DOA compilation is coming out at the end of this month Sophisticated Boom Box and 19 disc compilation of all their albums, one live album, 1987 live show, promo videos and more. If you going to make a song that is remember over 30 years later that is achievement.

To celebrate Pete Burns and DOA with their floor stomping disco music to their proto-goth early years I am going go through a Top 15 DOA List with notable additional mentions (and probably a blog too) so here goes. .


1. Dead or Alive – Flowers – 1980

If people like Punk with a little mix of Goth this is a good place to start is 1980 and Pete and his band “Nightmares in Wax” were big on the underground Liverpool with many singles already under their belt this raw live performance from Pete shows something that is more akin to the “The Doors” and “The Cure”

2. Dead or Alive – I’d Do Anything  1983

DOA released their first album under the new wave producer Zeus B.Held and this single “I’d Do Anything” is still “dark” DOA with progressive lyrics and interesting vocal range from Burns and the dash of electronic synth this a well packaged single.

3. Dead or Alive – That’s The Way (I Like It) – 1983

I nice cover from DOA and a minor hit on their first album with the androgyny being both in the Punk and New Romantic scene coming into the forefront of music then Burns came lapping up the lyrics with a fun video to boot.

4. Dead or Alive – Something In My House – 1987

DOA by their third album “Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know” knew how to create dance music, with fast beats, repetitive synths and lick of a guitar here and there this little gem was created. I like the video to it really tells the story of the song with striking black and photography.

5. Dead or Alive – Rebel Rebel – 1994

DOA and of other bands had been “children” of the creationist era of music the children who heard Bowie and other strange characters they grew up and created their own images, sounds and shapes. I find it fitting that Burns done a cover of Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” they lyrics seem very fitting to the man himself who was always pushing the boundaries.

6. Dead or Alive – Your Sweetness Is Your Weakness – 1991

DOA went in a different direction in the early 90s releasing “Fan The Flame Part 1” a lighter direction in turns of Hi-NRG and tone from the previous albums which was more ballad driven in many ways and many songs about love, loss and melancholy. This song is very different in all those areas focusing on Burn’s range with shot in amazing black and white (an interesting medium in its own right).

7. Dead or Alive – My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me to the Doctor) 1985

This single is from the “Youthquake” album which had that well know hit Another single was this one with fast synths, memorable lyrics and Burn’s powerful vocals make this an interesting single and the start of DOA’s journey into dance music.

8. Dead or Alive – Whirlpool – 1982

With its raw vocals from Burns, echoing instrumentals and immersive lyrics that capture the feeling of going “down” into the “whirlpool” this was the more experimental period of the DOA tenure still with punk roots well embedded in this moody single.

9. Dead or Alive – Misty Circles – 1983

With a firm mixture of dance tracks on their first album there was also some “darker” singles embedded this being one of them with moody lyrics, sound instrumentals and a flamboyant Pete sporting dreads, a large hat and colourful clothes this a nice a slice of New Wave.

10. Dead or Alive – Number Eleven – 1981

With its chanting choruses, organ piano and rambling echoing lyrics this was again the early days of DOA with their proto-Goth and Punk side that maybe not a lot of people do not know about this one I like with its group vocals weaving in and out of instrumentals creating a very dream-like atmosphere.

11. Dead or Alive – Nukleopatra – 1995

This song is a nice blend of humourous lyrics with a bit of trance tempo through into the mix something that is quite refreshing when listening to this song of how differing DOA’s back catalogue is.

12. Dead or Alive – Son of a Gun – 1987

This song is a mix of melody, beats and of course repetition. The lyrics are tongue and cheek something that Burn’s would do more frequently in the stock of his songs towards the end of the eighties. A real gem of a dance track.

13. Dead or Alive – The Stranger – 1981

We are going back to the early years again with this soulful haunting piece with an abpt title. The arrangements in this song a much akin to early DOA something which I realise listening the tone in the early years is darker, brooding, echoey and dream-like while the latter years are lighter, camper and brighter. So maybe unique thing about DOA is the slow shift from 1983 onwards to more techno dance tracks.

14. Dead or Alive – Nowhere To Nowhere – 1980

Rambling lyrics, setting a story with power and again powerful vocals from Burns. The organic arrangement of the instrumentals as stated below gives a tone which is differing DOA and lyrics go together well in this arrangement.

15. Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

I have decided to do a compact Top 15 with notable mentions as additions this goes without saying as firstly DOA’s well know song and secondly a dam good dance track with a quirky video, fantastic chorus, punchy lyrics and memorable instrumentals that goud you onto the dance floor 30 years on and it still a powerful fun track so here goes.



Pete Burns was a one off and his image and music will continue his legacy will be an well versed and diverse catalogue of music differing in tone, genre, melody and contrast depending on what era you choose and that is how  to remember him through the legacy of music that is being shared.

Paul Isaacs 2016


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Happiness & Honesty

Trying  to move on is needed because sometimes you have to, need to and of course even in times of my own darkened lament I am willing and can give people the benefit of the doubt despite the lowly cost things have had to my own mental health and the continued melancholic self perception – I can’t say this makes me stronger, nor better but I will have a go at being mature. I want to move on out of the dark pit. And I have posted strategies that have helped me below to take control of this. 🙂

I have put strategies up that have helped me as well as some honesty about my circumstances – however I try to acknowledge that there folks in the world that are going through more difficult times than myself and that if they have strength so shall I. 🙂




Paul Isaacs 2014


Donna Williams – Author, Singer, Songwriter, Artist & Consultant on The Autism Spectrum

Donna Williams Copyright D.Williams and C. Samuel


Donna Williams is a multi-talented person on the spectrum who has a long career in consultancy, public speaking, writing and also singing and songwriting. She has in many ways uncovered the  different aspects of Autism – “Fruit Salads” and she has re-evaluated  what is “Autism”? How does it present itself from person to person? What are the “mechanics”, “meta-syndromes”, autoimmune issues, co-conditions, personality profiles and environmental issues. What are differences between an Autie “Fruit Salad” and an Aspie “Fruit Salad”. How does this person communicate? How do they “see” and “hear” and “perceive” the world?

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams

Fruit Salad Analogy Copyright D.Williams


Donna’s person centred and holistic lateral approach has is her “Fruit Salad Analogy” created in 1995 and revised in 2005 this gives a multi-layered view of the different Autism presentations.


Donna’s Book have been published in multiple languages all over the world and many of them are award winners in particular her first two autobiographies Nobody Nowhere and Somebody Somewhere.

  • Nobody Nowhere 
  • Somebody Somewhere
  • Like Colour/Color To The Blind
  • Everyday Heaven
  • Not Just Anything
  • Weirdos Like Me
  • Tree Of Life
  • Echoes 
  • Baloombawop 
  • The Gadoodleborger
  • Autism: An Inside Out Approach
  • Autism & Sensing
  • Exposure Anxiety: The Invisible Cage
  • Exposure Anxiety: The Handbook
  • The Jumbled Jigsaw



Donna does tremendously thought-provoking artwork which has been held at various exhibitions and used for the cover of her books as well as “communicating” through her work what Autism can “feel” like.



Donna has currently released three albums her voice is melodic with a mix of beats, spoken word and atmosphere it takes you on a trip. 🙂


I can honesty that my books, my speeches and Autism work would be a different animal if I hadn’t listened to Donna, read her books researched and talked her about he diversity of Autism “Fruit Salads” – recently we conversed over email with regards to our different/but similar “Fruit Salads” I like that she is out to break stereotypes, empower people on the spectrum so that they can be happy because that I believe (happiness) is what is needed. I like that she  has a Personhood first approach and not seeing people on the spectrum as a set of traits of symptoms. 🙂

Well I say Thank You Donna! 🙂 From a personal and professional level. 🙂

The Beacon of Hope

For Donna Williams

The empathy that comes from Within

Has allowed people to smile and Grin

To follow their dreams with strength and Gusto

To give purpose a reason to say “yes” or “no”

For all the worries of being “Slow”

You have said “let’s try something different” and up off we Go!

So my Autism is APART of Me

and if you look a little Closer

You will see ALL of me, hey! you’re a good Noticer

Thank you Helping

Thank you for Enabling

and giving abilities to Cope

Thank you for being a Beacon of Hope

Paul Isaacs 2014