With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“From feudal serf to spender, this wonderful world of purchase power” September 15, 2009


Me and my helmet :-)

Me and my helmet :-)

Here we go again folks and I have some brilliant news, well it was brilliant for me anyway. On Saturday I spent the day at the Riders Edge Harley Davidson centre in Wales. This was a gift experience which was given to me as a birthday present by the wonderful and beautiful Catwoman for my 50th birthday back in January. You have to bear in mind that I have never been on a motorbike in my life. So to say I was a little apprehensive at first would be a major understatement. Let’s just say that I made sure I packed a clean pair of under crackers…….just in case!

Anyway being a complete novice I spent the morning, around three hours riding a 500cc machine around the private roads within the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Whilst I never fell off once I came close a couple of times! I guess I pictured in my head having to lean right over when taking corners, but that’s for the speed freaks, at the speeds I was doing taking a corner upright was easy. Incidentally while it felt much, much faster I don’t think I got above 40 mph. For me the coordination required to change gear with your left foot while not looking down at all was very difficult. But when you think about it it really shouldn’t be. I mean I don’t look down when I change gear in the car so why should I need to when riding a motorbike? Well perhaps because I’m not using a gear stick with my hand but trying to change it with my foot. But by the end of the morning session I had reached the dizzy heights of 5th gear twice and stalled less than ten times in total and as I said earlier, I never fell off or crashed once! The last part was a great result for me as I fully expected to take a few spills.

Me on a Harley

Me on a Harley

So after just three hours on the saddle they sadly weren’t going to let me loose on a fabulous Harley on my own. However I did get a pillion ride on a gorgeous Harley Davidson machine under the control of one of the Rider’s Edge expert instructors, Ian. Having never even ridden pillion before that too was also a great experience for me. Cruising around some wonderful Welsh countryside. Great weather, great views and remarkably attractive sheep, well at least I would imagine they are attractive if you’re perhaps Welsh or a Kiwi.

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all the folks at Riders Edge. Especially Clive, who was my instructor in the morning and also Ian with whom I rode pillion in the afternoon.

In the meantime and as this is really a music related blog let’s steer it back in that direction! Can you guess what today’s theme might be? Well it’s a bit obvious really isn’t it? Today’s theme is Motorbikes! Here are a few motorbike or motorbike related songs with a morsel of trivia about each of the artists or songs

“Motorcycle Emptiness” – Manic Street Preachers. This was the fifth single to be taken from the band’s Generation Terrorists album in 1992. The lyrics are inspired by a book about biker gang culture called Rumble Fish which was written by S E Hinton

“Motorbikin’”– Chris Spedding. This 1975 Top 20 hit was Spedding’s biggest and he is perhaps best known as a sought after session guitarist. He has played with many artists including; Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, John Cale, Katie Melua, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Jeff Wayne and even the Wombles! He also famously played on and produced three demos for the Sex Pistols in 1976. The three songs were “No Feelings”, “Problems” and “Pretty Vacant”

“Funky Moped” – Jasper Carrot. This was a surprise hit for Mr Carrot in 1975. The single was backed with a risque monologue based around the 60s TV series the “Magic Roundabout“, which at the time I thought was bloody hilarious! he also has a thespian daughter; Lucy Davis who played Dawn in the Office. She was excellent in that series don’t you think?

“Silver Dream Machine”– David Essex. At the age of 23 in 1971 David took the lead role in the musical Godspell on the London Stage. I actually went to see that show as part of a school trip in 1972 when he was still in it. Our coach was delayed because all the girls on the trip had gathered outside the stage door to scream and get his autograph. It was around the time he released his first major single “Rock On”. My first serious girlfriend; Gay Topsom, was a big David Essex fan and I remember buying her each of his singles as soon as they were released. I never had enough money to stretch to an album. But we were together for two years from 1975 to 1977 so I guess that’s a fair amount of singles. She left me for a guy who was slightly older and more importantly had a car! But you know what I’m over that now and if you’re reading this Gay, I forgive you :-)

“Bat Out Of Hell”– Meatloaf. Meat was born Marvin Lee Aday on 27th September 1947 so he will turn 62 in a couple of weeks. get your cards written and sent now folks. Jim Steinman the producer and I suppose you could say creator of Meat’s landmark Bat Out Of Hell album was apparently trying to get something that sounded like a cross between Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen. Well I for one reckon he succeeded. What do you think?

“Born To Be Wild”- Steppenwolf. This band hailed from Toronto and many credit their recording of the iconic “Born To Be Wild” as the first Heavy Metal record, although just as many disagree. It has had a long association with motorbikes, very likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Easy Rider which starred Peter Fonda

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager :-)

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager :-)

I am sure that you can think of plenty more so fire away folks!

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager ;-)

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager ;-)

 

“just like Pagliacci did, I try to keep my sadness hid” February 19, 2009


Well I guess yesterday says and awful lot about those regular readers and many of the new ones. I include one fart clip and the views reach their highest in the history of this blog, well I know that history only stretches 9 days, but even so. Some of you who know me may have heard this before, but I have a theory that one day we just wake up and we’ve become mature. How do we know? What are the signs? Well for me I reckon my wardrobe will be full of nylon shirts, polyester trousers, sensible slip on shoes, a flat cap and a proper anorak. But that won’t be the real sign, the real indication will be that fart jokes are no longer funny. I can happily point out though that even though I’m now 50 years young fart jokes are still bloody hilarious. oh and my wardrobe still has plenty of jeans, t-shirts and my Converse All Stars

So what did you all think of the Brits then? I’ve posted my thoughts separately so I won’t bore you with them here. You’ll find them just below this post.

So onto the usual mundane mishmash of Birthdays and Onthisdays and maybe some other stuff too. Firstly 19th February 2009 is the 69th birthday of the supremely talented Mr William ‘Smokey’ Robinson. Smokey is not only a gifted singer, songwriter and producer but he was also appointed Vice President of Motown Records by Berry Gordy in 1972, which was the year the company moved from Detroit to LA. Robert Zimmerman (that’s Bob Dylan to the uninitiated) once called Smokey “the world’s greatest living poet” just listen to some of Smokey’s excellent lyrics and you’ll see why. “Tears Of A Clown” is a lyrical masterpiece in my opinion especially the way he manages to mention Pagliacci, give it a listen. You know the drill, click on the songs title. But my favourite Smokey composition is “The Love I Saw In You (Was Just A Mirage)” , here it is by the Jackson 5.

Smokey and the boys at their Butlins, Bognor residency!

Smokey and the boys at their Butlins, Bognor residency!

Today is also the 63rd birthday of Pierre Van Den Linden off of Focus a very successful Dutch rock band who were very big in the early 70s. They had two top 20 singles in the UK in 1973, “Sylvia” and “Hocus Pocus” He left the band in 1974 but joined up with Thijs Van Leer from the original band in 2004 and they continue to tour. Here are the band performing both songs on the UKs classic show the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ in 1972. Oh I should point out that Focus were largely an instrumental group apart from the odd bits of wordless vocalising and yodelling!

There is definitely some cymbalism in this picture!

There is definitely some cymbalism in this picture!

The final birthday for today is that of Seal perhaps most famous for “Kiss From A Rose” He had his first his as ‘featuring seal’ when he did the vocals for Adamski’s UK number 1, “Killer” in April 1990. Seal rerecorded his own version and took it to number 8 in the UK in November 1991. Seal was given up at birth by his mother Adebisi to a white foster family in Essex although she took him back when he was four. His full name is Sealhenry Samuel. The scars on his face are from contracting the disease Lupus in his early 20s. Here is the video for the Adamski and Seal version of “Killer“. Don’t you just love the jaunty angle at which Adamski wears his baseball cap and doesn’t Seal look young? Mind you that is nearly 20 years ago now!

No one ever seemed to want go clubbing with Seal!

No one ever seemed to want go clubbing with Seal!

On this day in 1977 Manfred Mann’s Earthband were number one in the USA with a Bruce Springsteen composition “Blinded By The Light“. Click the song title to see and hear the band play it live on a 70s TV show. It was also, I believe, the first UK hit with a Bruce Springsteen song. The Earthband had a unique selling point for one of their early albums. They gave away a small piece of Wales with each copy of “The Good Earth” sold.

Manfred Manns Earth Band

Manfred Manns Earth Band

Now this next one is a strange ‘On This Day’ for the story covers this day in 1972 AND 1994 and relates to the same song. That song is the classic “Without You”. On this day in 1972 it was a UK number one for Harry Nilsson and on this day in 1994 it was a UK number one again, this time for Mariah Carey. The original version of the song was recorded as an album track by Badfinger and was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the band. Things ended very tragically for Pete and Tim, both committed suicide by hanging themselves in 1975 and 1983 respectively. On a brighter note it’s strange that whilst Harry Nilsson wrote some excellent songs his two biggest hits, “Without You” and “Everybody’s Talking” were both written by others. “Without You” has become something of a standard for balladeers on talent shows such as X Factor and American Idol to the extent that in 2008, Valentina Hasan, a contestant of Music Idol Bulgaria, sang her own version of “Without You” in extremely broken English. It came to be known as “Ken Lee,” the video of Hasan’s performance was a big hit on You Tube. So that you can make up your own mind here are four versions;

Harry Nilsson

Mariah Carey

Badfinger

Valentina Hasan

And almost finally for today, not quite a fart clip, but in the same region so to speak. On this day in 2004 Johnny Cash’s family blocked an attempt to use his classic song “Ring Of Fire” to promote haemorrhoid products. I can understand how they must have felt and I suppose they didn’t really need ‘piles’ of money either :-)

Johnny shows the best way to treat haemorrhoids, don't forget to wash afterwards though!

Johnny shows the best way to treat haemorrhoids, don't forget to wash afterwards though!

And finally today here is another fart clip, a music related one in fact. But don’t worry this will not be a regular feature, maybe an occasional one though, especially if you have any music related flatulence clips. Anyway this is a track that came out in the late 70′s it was by Ivor Biggun and the Red Nosed Burglars and the song was “I’ve Parted (Misprint)” can you guess what the misprint was? The song never charted although it’s predecessor did, that was called “The Winkers Song (Misprint)” obviously back in those days we didn’t have spell check! Incidentally fact fans Ivor Biggun was in fact a made up name, his real name was Robert ‘Doc’ Cox and he is a British musician and former television journalist. He is perhaps best remembered for his appearances on the BBC programme “That’s Life” during the 80s.

Bye for now good people and the bad ones too, obviously!

 

 
Mr. Hatersky

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