With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Fleet Street looked everywhere and the Police did too” a.k.a 10 Lords a leaping December 22, 2012


10_lords_leaping

As if I wasn’t struggling for space already my true love has now given me 10 lords a leaping. It was bad enough trying to keep the 9 ladies dancing still while I put them in storage yesterday, but these 10 Lords are even more feisty. Anyway you have probably worked out that it is now day 10 in my 12 days of Christmas series of posts; hence the 10 Lords a leaping. Unlike some of the earlier bird related gifts the Lords are not yet an endangered species, but given the movement for House Of Lords reform I’d like to think that they will be endangered in the future!

George-Harrison

I have selected two Lord related songs for you today. Starting with the first ever solo number one by a member of the Beatles. It’s none other than the Quiet One, George Harrison with “My Sweet Lord” which made it to the top of the charts in 1971 in the UK, US, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Norway to name but a few. It returned to the number one spot in the UK in 2002 following the George’s death two months earlier. The song comes from what in my opinion is one of the best albums released in the 70s, ‘All Things Must Pass’. Too much has been written about the ridiculous plagiarism that was brought against Harrison over his songs apparent similarity to the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” so I’ll say no more on that.

georgeharrison__span

But what I find interesting is the stories and rumours about who may have played on the recording of the song. some of those stories include; Ringo Starr on tambourine, John Lennon on rhythm guitar, all four members of Badfinger taking part along with Gary Wright and some rhythm guitar parts overdubbed by Peter Frampton later. Harrison originally worked up the song with Billy Preston as part of a wish to write a gospel song. At one stage Harrison allegedly wanted to give the song to the famous gospel group the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

BEATLES FIRST US VISIT 1964

The song has been covered in the studio or in live performance by quite a diverse group of artists including; Richie Havens, Andy Williams, John Holt, Edwin Starr, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Julio Iglesias, Boy George, Osibisa, Nina Hagen and Jose Feliciano. There was also a somewhat cheeky “My Sweet Lord” cover released in 1975 by the Chiffons. Perhaps George should have sued them for that!

black_box_recorder_1271353026_crop_550x540

The second song choice today is “Lord Lucan Is Missing” from one of my favourite acts of the 90s/ 00s, Black Box Recorder. The band never really set the charts alight, but they have always been a great live attraction, Sadly I have so far never seen them live. The studio nucleus of the band is Sarah Nixey, Luke Haines formerly of the Auteurs and John Moores once a member of the Jesus and Mary Chain. The song featured on the bands first album, ‘England Made Me’ from 1998. That album also contained a couple of great cover versions too; “Up Town Top Ranking” (Althea and Donna) and “Seasons In The Sun” (Terry Jacks).

black_box_recorder_2_1_

Since his disappearance in 1974 Lord Lucan has allegedly been sighted in every corner of the globe, none of these have so far proved to be real but included; France, Goa, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Colombia. Lord Lucan, or to give him his full name and title, Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, would have just turned 78 if he is still alive. Personally I think he is probably long dead. What do you think?

Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn't he?

Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn’t he?

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“We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead” November 30, 2011


Katy does the garden........ shearly not?

I’m sure that you’ve heard Katy Perry’s new single “The One That Got Away” which is clearly yet another slice of perfect perry pop and a great radio song. But what intrigues me about it is the line about making out in the lyrics. It reads ‘We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead’. Firstly we get Katy Perry mentioning Radiohead, which I feel makes for quite strange bedfellows. Secondly, does anyone actually make out to Radiohead? I love the band but they wouldn’t be my choice for a sultry, seductive night in with Catwoman! I would prefer a bit of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ album.

Having listened to the song again though it got me thinking about some of my favourite songs that mention bands or singers. You can enjoy five of them below. Let me know what your favourite songs that mention other artists are;

“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – Vampire Weekend – mentions Peter Gabriel

“Destroy Rock n Roll” – Mylo – mentions a cast of thousands including Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Van Halen, Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Cars, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Men at Work, ZZ Top, Paul McCartney, Weird Al Yankovic, Cyndi Lauper, Pink Floyd, Pretenders, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Elton John, Neil Young, Sheena Easton, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Fashion, Big Country, Morris Day and The Time, John Lennon, Apollonia 6, REO Speedwagon, David Gilmour, Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Wham!, Rebbie Jackson, Adam Ant, Bananarama, Christine McVie, Queen, John Cougar Mellencamp, U2, Fleetwood Mac, The Alan Parsons Project, Rick Springfield, Thompson Twins, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, Police, Eurythmics, Culture Club, Boy George, Band Aid, Stevie Wonder and Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

“White Man In The Hammersmith Palais” – The Clash – mentions Dillinger, Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe and the Four Tops.

“God” – John Lennon – mentions Elvis and the Beatles

“Punky Reggae Party” – Bob Marley and the Wailers – mentions the Wailers, Maytals, Damned, Jam, Dr Feelgood and the Clash

“All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – mentions T Rex and is easily my favourite song that mentions other bands or artists.

 

“They think they’ll get to heaven through the universe” – Brit Awards 2011 February 15, 2011


So this years Brits have undergone yet another revamp and moved to the O2 Arena as well. It is now designed to build up to a finale of the announcement of the Best British Album, with each nominee introducing their album in little vignettes throughout the show. I guess it’s based around the Oscars where the whole spectacle concludes with the Best Film Awards. Even the actual award has had a makeover too, thanks to Vivienne Westwood. With Viv involved it seems weird that the Brits effectively started at the height of punk and it was all black ties and very formal and Cliff Richard was the winner of Best British Male Vocalist, oh how times have changed, well mostly anyway.

The show was kicked off by Take That with “Kidz”. I hate to say it but even with Robbie back in the ranks I quite like them. The performance was good and the boys were surrounded by riot police dancers who stripped at the end. Maybe there’s a lesson for the police the next time they are called out to student protests. But did anyone else think that a couple of the ‘That were wearing incontinence pants?

Hosted by James Corden, personally I’m not sure about that choice I have never really found him either funny or exciting. First award was for Best British Male presented by Dizzee Rascal, last years winner, to Plan B. Now that was a good choice, the ‘Defamation Of Strickland Banks’ is a killer album.

Another live performance came next, it was the abundantly talented Adele, boy that girl has got a superb voice. She sang “Someone Like You” accompanied just by a pianist. It’s hard to believe that she is so young. Now that’s what you call real singing, are you listening Cheryl Cole? It was a brilliant example of how talented a lone singer can be, but did they have to shower her with all that silver snow/ confetti?

Now that interlude of James Corden speaking to Justin Bieber was weird. James telling Justin how wonderful he smelled. Is that grooming? (Yes I know you could read that two ways!) It was left to Fearne Cotton presenting the Best British Breakthrough Artist award to take that awful scene out of my mind. The winner was Tinie Tempah, apparently Prince Harry and Prince William are fans!

International Album was presented by none other than German Musical Superstar………..errrr Boris Becker. Anyone for Tennis? It was justly won by Arcade Fire with ‘The Suburbs’. They gave a fantastic name check to British acts; Clash, Bowie, Culture Club, New Order, Depeche Mode.

And now we have Rihanna who started her medley set from behind what could have been a giant shower curtain or giant grass skirt. The hair matched the dress, but did the collar match the cuffs? ;-) We came close to finding out as she removed the dress pretty damned quickly! Maybe not everything but the kitchen sink, but Burundi style drummers and wait……. was that the Olympic flame? Oh and another thing, now that’s what you call real dancing, are you watching Cheryl Cole?

Mark Ronson was there to present the Critics Choice Award, was he dressed like an Accountant or was it just me? I don’t mean that I was dressed like an Accountant, obviously! Don’t you think his hair was like a ski slope? Well even more obviously no surprise that the winner was Jessie J, as this was one of the awards that was announced some while in advance of the ceremony itself. The fourth woman to win that award and she didn’t blub….. but only just!

One of the nominees for best album were the next band on stage, it was Mumford And Sons. It’s no wonder they’re so big in America is it? They look like hicks and hillbillies; mind you they were bloody good at the Reading Festival last year. Who wears cowboy hats or truckers caps in this country, which just puts my flat cap to shame really!

To present the International Male Award we had yet another musical superstar; Lewis Hamilton…..errrr how many albums has he had then? The award gave Cee Lo Green his first ever Brit. Now that’s a big “Fuck You” to all the previous voters, they won’t “Forget You” next time Cee Lo. A brilliant choice in my opinion. He gave a great shout to Boy George too. Nice to see all the Johnny Foreigners thanking the Brits this time around. I’m not xenophobic ok, I’m just an archetypal arrogant Brit! Well actually I’m not really, I am a Brit but I don’t think I’m arrogant or even archetypal, although I’m sure some might disagree!

What was the Best British Single then, it was presented by Alan Carr, is it me or does his voice really grate on you? It was also voted for by fans, so that should mean a good choice right? Well it was a good choice, it was Tinie Tempah with “Pass Out” It could have been so much worse with all those X Factor related nominees.

What the F*ck am I doing here?

Two blokes off of Duran Duran presented the Best International Group award to the magnificent Arcade Fire. What can one say? Flipping heck another good choice, this revamp has done wonders for giving the right people the awards too.

Plan B was the next live performer. Show stopping set and dancing, a tight band. It was like a modern version of the old Motown or Stax Revues. Were those Police left over from the Take That performance? Of course they were, the Riot Squad were there again. It’s one thing infiltrating eco-activists, but this level of police intrusion is so far beyond subtle it’s off the bloody scale! What about the dude that was set aflame? Was that a tribute to the recently deceased Johnny Storm aka the Human Torch off of the Fantastic Four? Check out issue number 587 of the World’s Greatest Comic magazine for more info on that one people!

Avril Lavigne and Will Young combined to present the next award, now that is a novel but strange pairing. It was International Breakthrough Act and was won by Justin Bieber, well I suppose it couldn’t all go my way could it. Still at least it wasn’t the Glee Cast was it? Still the boy done good bearing in mind he is not quite seventeen yet.

Best British Female Solo award was present by Georg O’Dowd aka Boy George, isn’t it about time he upgraded to Man George? Deservedly won by the beautiful talent that is Laura Marling. She was followed by a brilliant performance from Arcade Fire with “Ready To Start”. Are these guys one of the best bands on the planet right now? I think so and it always looks like they’re really enjoying themselves too.

Now that’s what I call presenting an award, are you watching Cheryl Cole? Ooops no you’re not, you’re actually presenting the damned thing for Best International Female. It went to Cheryl’s ‘Girl Crush’ (hmmmm interesting in a pervy kind of way); Rihanna in a big white dress with roses….. they grow on you!

Tinie Tempah took to the stage next and frankly he did it like he owned the thing. Great performance and bloody good laser show to boot. The stage was full of Tinie lookalikes, how about a spoofed version of Eminem, anyone for ‘The Real Tinie Tempah’? This dude is a really top bloke in my humble opinion. Move over Mr Rascal and make way for Mr Tempah. Are the organisers of the Reading Festival watching? How about Tinie Tempah on the afternoon bill on the Main Stage Saturday or Sunday, it’s worked well for Dizzee before hasn’t it?

Dermot O’Leary off of the X Factor (amongst Others) no less was on hand to present the Award for Best British Group. It went to Take That. It pains me to say that with their current album I actually like some music that Robbie is involved in. I must be ill in the head. Robbie was his usual nonsensical arse with just a couple of shouts of ‘Shabba’ thankfully leaving the other boys to do most of the talking and thanking.

So then came the grand finale the Best British Album Award, presented by Rock God Roger Daltrey off of the Who. He said that he thought that Plan B’s set had made him reminisce of the early days of the Who,(was he serious?) but sadly the award didn’t go to him, it went to Mumford And Sons, still not a bad choice.

The show was closed by the mighty, magnificent Cee Lo Green with “Forget You”. A great tune but I kind of wish he had done the original ‘naughty’ version! A great singer none the less. So that is as they say it for this years Brits. I will be back with other posts before the 2012 Brits so feel free to keep reading my blog now that you’ve found you’re way here. I bet you’re relieved that I have got to the end of a whole post with no mention of Lady Gaga……….DOH!

The good, the bad and the untalented!

 

“And there won’t be snow in Africa, this Christmas time” December 23, 2010


Getting closer to the big day by the hour now and behind one of the few remaining perforated cardboard door flaps on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar today, December 23rd, is a song that has been the Christmas number one on three separate occasions and technically by different acts each time. It was number one firstly in the Christmas of 1984, then in 1989 and most recently in 2004. It was the last UK Christmas number one before the X Factor winners had four years in a row, finally broken last year by Rage Against The Machine. You have probably guessed that the song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas” originally by Band Aid in 1984, then Band Aid II (1989) followed by Band Aid 20 (2004). Maybe it’ll be top again for the 30th anniversary in 2014.

It was number one fora total of 12 weeks; 5 weeks in 1984, 3 weeks in 1989 and 4 weeks in 2004. The song was written by Bob Geldof off of the Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure off of Ultravox after they had seen the news coverage of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia. They had aimed to raise money for famine relief and the single and subsequent Live Aid concert probably went way beyond their initial expectations. It sold more than a million copies in its first week alone and went on to sell 3.5 million copies. It remained the fastest and highest selling UK single until Elton John’s rerecording of “Candle In The Wind” following the death of Princess Diana in August 1997. The song was recorded on November 29th 1984 at SARM Studios in London after Geldof gathered the great and good of pop music at the time. The opening line was originally written for David Bowie, who was unfortunately unable to make it, so it was done by Paul Young. The single was released just 4 days after the recording on December 3rd 1984 and remember this was way before the days of downloads.

Midge Ure produced the original version, it was offered to Trevor Horn but he was not in the UK at the time. Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced the 1989 version. Some artists such as David Bowie and Paul McCartney were unable to be at the recording of the original so provided messages that appeared on the B-Side. Members of Bananarama appeared on the 1984 and 1989 version whilst Bono sang the same line in 1984 as he did in 2004; ‘Well, tonight, thank God it’s them, instead of you’. On the 2004 version Dizzee Rascal also added some new lyrics.

The artists that appeared on each version are listed below;

BAND AID (1984)


Bono, U2,   Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Boomtown Rats,  Tony Hadley, Spandau Ballet, Midge Ure, Ultravox, Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran,  Paul Young,  Heaven 17,  Marilyn,  Bananarama,  Jody Watley,   Paul Weller, Kool & The Gang,  George Michael , Status Quo, Boy George, Culture Club,  Sting, Holly Johnson, Big Country

BAND AID II (1989)


Bananarama,  Big Fun, Bros, Cathy Dennis,  D Mob,  Jason Donovan,  Kevin Godley,  Glen Goldsmith,  Kylie Minogue,  Pasadenas,  Chris Rea,  Cliff Richard,  Jimmy Somerville,  Sonia, Lisa Stansfield,  Technotronic,  Wet Wet Wet

BAND AID 20 (2004)

Bono,  Daniel Bedingfield,  Natasha Bedingfield,  Vishal Das,  Busted,  Chris Martin, Dido, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Skye Edwards, Estelle,  Neil Hannon,  Justin Hawkins, Jamelia, Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Beverley Knight, Lemar,  Shaznay Lewis, Katie Melua, Róisín Murphy,  Feeder,  Snow Patrol, Rachel Stevens,  Joss Stone,  Sugababes, Thrills,  Turin Brakes,  Robbie Williams, Will Young,  Francis Healy, Danny Goffey, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Paul McCartney, Francis Healy, Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne

If you would like to donate to Oxfam then click here

 

“I guess he’s an X Box and I’m more Atari” September 19, 2010


Hello good people of the blogosphere. The regular readers amongst you may have noticed that I have been posting for a couple of weeks, that is largely because I have been on holiday in Spain. A rather lovely place nestled about halfway between Alicante and Valencia. It is called Javea and is also spelt as Xabia in Spanish, the strange thing is though that it is pronounced with an ‘H’ as in Havea. one of the reasons that I loved the place is that it is not over developed and there are hardly any English Pubs. Is there anyone out there who actually likes the idea of English pubs when abroad? Most of the UK Travel Guides give barely a mention of Javea, possibly because it is quite a popular resort with the Spanish, so maybe it is wise to keep it a secret. Catwoman and I stayed in a villa that we rented at ‘mates rates’ from friends, from there we could walk into town within 25 minutes and the drive took 5 to 10 minutes. It was great to be sitting by the pool or on the beach with the temperature in the 90s whilst the UK was very cold and wet. It was really wet when we arrived back at Leeds/ Bradford airport last night anyway.

I won’t bore you with all the details of the holiday but I will give a special mention to a couple of bars we visited;

Siesta – appropriately named as they let you hire large sun beds with canopies, you almost feel like you’re staying in one of Gaddafi’s tents. Great cocktails, great staff and some excellent chilled sounds.

Jalousie Cocktail Bar – we never sampled their proper cocktails, but the non-alcoholic ones were delicious as were their milkshakes.

Acqua Bar and Steakhouse – Good food, especially the fillet steak

Atalaya - probably one of the most chilled bars in town, you can relax in comfy sofas and look out over the sea and the beach while you drink and eat. The staff were great here too.

Obviously I need to bring this back around to music so here are a few things that happened in the music world while I was away. I haven’t done much research on these, they were in the UK newspapers that I bought or I picked them up from an occasional visit to the BBC site or just spotting other people’s newspaper headlines. I must say though that most of the news revolved around the Pope’s visit, so I’m damned glad I was out of the country.

I wonder what Morrissey thought of it?

Lady Gaga - the lady did wonders for my viewing figures while I was away, just over 30,000 in two weeks including a one day record of more than 6,000. She won 8 of her 13 nominations at the MTV awards and to celebrate she wore a meat dress. I guess she was putting her ‘steak’ in the ground or maybe she was bringing home the ‘bacon’ or giving the ‘cold shoulder’ or simply just ‘hamming it up’. Anyway it appears to have provoked a lot of debate about what meant, frankly though who gives a toss about its meaning? She is a wonderfully talented fruitloop and therefore fully qualified to grab attention in such a way and long may she continue! The BBC report includes a number of interpretations which are quite amusing in their seriousness, click here to read it.

George Michael jailed (and transferred) for driving under the influence (of dope in this case). He started off in Pentonville and was then transferred to a ‘softer’ prison. Pete Doherty and Boy George have both previously spent time in Pentonville. I have so far received many George Michael jokes as I suspect has everyone, but I won’t print those here. However the picture below is a superbly intelligent piece of graffiti. It shows the shop front of the Snappy Snaps shop that George hit with his car.

Apparently Susan Boyle and Michelle McManus were booked to sing for the Pope, although apparently he was already on his way out of the building when Susan was singing. That’s bloody rude isn’t it? Still at least he has now left the shores of our little third world country. Presumably he’s back in the Vatican now drafting a letter telling all those kiddy fiddler priests that they have been jolly naughty and not to do it again or they will be grounded for a week!

Alphonsus Cassell aka Arrow of “Hot Hot Hot” fame has died from brain cancer at his home in Montserrat. Now I reckon a Facebook campaign to get the song to number one should be kicked off, what do you think? Here he is singing the song at a benefit for Haiti in April this year.

Sacha Baron Cohen is chosen to play Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic. The film will apparently focus on the years leading up to what many see as the pinnacle of Queen’s career, their appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Personally I think that is a great choice, I reckon Mr Cohen will really do the role justice, what do you folks think? Here are Queen at Live Aid with, appropriately for this post, “Radio Ga Ga”

I want to finish with the stupendous new song from Cee Lo Green off of Gnarls Barkley, it’s called “Fuck You” and I love it. there will be a more radio friendly version available soon, called “Forget You”

 

“Bernie Rhodes knows, don’t argue” March 19, 2009


OK let’s get back to normal (bloody hell I’m not really normal am I?) service for this post. Before the birthday and ‘onthisday’ stuff let me start by saying that I’ve really been hammering the Soft Toy Emergency CD that I picked up for free at the Fibbers gig the other night. It’s bloody brilliant! You MUST check these guys out.

Whilst I’m on the MUST check out vibe, here is yet another shameless plug for my son Luke’s rather excellent band, Steal The Smile. Click on the name to head to their MySpace page.

As a follow up to celebrities some of the readers may know or indeed have met and following the piece on Justin Hawkins in a recent post, check out this picture of Simon P with Mr Hawkins. Feel free to send in your own starstruck pics and I’ll be happy to include them here.

Simon picks up some nail varnish tips from Justin

Simon picks up some nail varnish tips from Justin

Thank you to the wonderful people at Popbitch for this info but if you’re a Boy George fan and you’d like to write to him while he is banged up (oooo errrrr missus!) here is his new addresss; George O’Dowd, HMP – Edmunds Hill, Stradishall, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 9YN.

Popbitch also provided a link to this excellent clip of Ricky Gervais meeting Elmo, you have to watch it’s bloody funny

I also stole this musical related joke from Popbitch (and you’ll find the link to the Popbitch site in my favourite websites on the blog)
Q: What do you get when you cross Feargal Sharkey with Bernard Manning?
A: Racist undertones.

So onto just the one birthday for today, 19th March. It is the 50th birthday of Terry Hall off of the Specials (now reformed), Fun Boy Three, the Colourfield, Vegas and indeed solo. The Specials were originally known as the Coventry Automatics, Coventry being where the band originated from. As with so many excellent bands it was the late and very very great (very big l’s & g’s here) Mr John Peel who first played them on the radio. He played the rather excellent “Gangsters” on his show in early 1979. Hall left the Specials with Lynval Golding and Neville Staples to form the Fun Boy Three just after the massive success of “Ghost Town”. The Fun Boy Three also had two separate collaborations with Bananarama; “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)” and “(He Was) Really Saying Something” It was of course the Specials, thanks to Jerry Dammers setting up Two Tone Records, that helped drive the late 70′s early 80′s ska revival forward. This was a great launch pad for many bands; Madness, the Beat (the English Beat in the US), the Selecter and many more. The Specials were invited to open for the Clash on the ‘On Parole’ Tour after Joe Strummer saw one of their gigs in 78/79. Here’s one for you fact fans, do you know who produced the first Specials album in 1979? No? well it was none other than Declan McManus better known as Elvis Costello. One of my favourite Specials songs is “Do Nothing” click the title to hear it and see it.

The Specials during their pole dancing period. The boys hadn't realised that it was supposed to be just one person at a time on the pole!

The Specials during their pole dancing period. The boys hadn't realised that it was supposed to be just one person at a time on the pole!

Sticking with the Specials for a moment or in fact I think it was the Special AKA, after Terry Hall had left. You may recall they released a song called “Free Nelson Mandela”. The week after the song was released there was an excellent letter in the NME. It was something like “I loved the Special AKA single so much that I bought it on the day of release. However I was extremely disappointed not to receive my free Nelson Mandela like it said on the cover” I wish that I had written that! Anyway here is the wonderful Amy Winehouse and a cast of thousands with an excellent version of “Free Nelson Mandela” from the Mandela Birthday Concert in Hyde Park last year.

A Pizza To You Rudy perhaps? I wonder if they received a free Nelson Mandela with that?

A Pizza To You Rudy perhaps? I wonder if they received a free Nelson Mandela with that?

On this day in 1965 the ‘Tailor And Cutter’ magazine published an article asking the Rolling Stones to wear ties to save tie makers from financial ruin. What the bloody hell is that all about then. I’ve had to wear a tie for most of my working life and indeed at school too, which started before many of you readers were born. I’ve never enjoyed wearing a tie, I’ve never seen the point. let’s face it they don’t keep you warm or keep your shirt buttoned up. OK maybe they act as a bib or napkin for messy eaters. But seriously what is the point of tying a coloured piece of cloth around your neck. You may well wonder why I still do it, I have two words in my flimsy defence; peer pressure! Yeah it’s feeble isn’t it. OK then let’s have your tie comments please.

Clearly no one had told new boy Ronnie Wood about the no ties rule

Clearly no one had told new boy Ronnie Wood about the no ties rule

On this day in 1976 the death of late great (here are those lovable l’s & g’s again) Paul Kossoff off of (now say that fast!) Free and Back Street Crawler and also the son of the excellent actor David Kossoff. He died of heart failure whilst on a flight from LA to New York aged just 25. He had a long history of drug abuse. Kossoff was with Free from 1968 to 1973, appearing on their final album and also one of my favourite albums of all time ‘Heartbreaker’ Although the band actually broke up for a few months during 71/72. When the band formed in 1968 their ages ranged from just 15 to a rather ancient 18. Kossoff was 17 at the time. Here are Free with the title track from the “Heartbreaker” album

That was either an enormous amp or Paul was very small

That was either an enormous amp or Paul was very small

 

“You just took for granted that I want to skinny dip” March 17, 2009


Hello everybody on this glorious Tuesday 17th March, well the weather is glorious where I am anyway. Firstly did everyone see the reports about Francis Rossi of Status Quo in the press last week? He finally had his hair cut short, yes he has had his pony tail chopped off. His hair had been receding considerably at the front too, so perhaps he should have done it ages ago, but at least he’s done it now. Personally I really don’t think old grey haired men with receding hair lines and pony tails is a good look. But then maybe I suffer from hair envy as I do have a head like a billiard ball and I have also been likened before to Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppets, so what do I know! Anyway you can read the story and see the pictures in an article from the Guardian by clicking here (or should that be clicking hair?). Either way it really does have the same shocking effect as seeing Elvis getting his hair cut for the Army in 1958.

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

On with the usual stuff now starting with just a couple of birthdays. Firstly today is the 42nd birthday of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. Whilst he is younger than me we do share the same first name and hairstyle! Billy was (and presumably still is) a big baseball fan. He played for his school and whilst there he also built up a collection of baseball cards that reached 10,000. Wow that even makes my CD and comic (sorry graphic novel) collections look tame! Corgan also dated Courtney Love before she came into Kurt Cobain’s life. Corgan even shared some songwriting credits on Courtney’s band Hole’s album “Celebrity Skin”. Incidentally you should check out Courtney on MySpace, in my opinion she has a fantastic presence there and uses it really well. The Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000 but reformed in 2006. In the ensuing period Corgan formed the rather short lived Zwan and also released some solo material. In my opinion the Pumpkins 1997 album “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s. Check out “1979” from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by clicking on the song title.

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Today is also the 34th birthday of Justin Hawkins off of the Darkness and Hot Leg. Since the Darkness split up and before Hot Leg came to be Mr Hawkins was quite a busy boy. He issued a solo single, a cover of the Sparks song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. He took part in the competition to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m glad he didn’t win that, the voting is so political and territorial that the UK is unlikely ever to win it again. In the Film ‘Telstar’ which is based on the life of the late great (finally those l’s & g’s make a return!) Joe Meek, Justin will be taking on the role of the wonderful English eccentric, the late great (with a vengeance, l & g’s ra ra ra) Screaming Lord Sutch. I saw the Darkness live at the Reading Festival twice. Firstly in 2003 when they were about 4th on the bill and still relatively new, they were absolutely fantastic one of the best bands of the whole festival that year. However they went on to headline the following year and personally I don’t think that they were ready. Their second album still hadn’t been released and they tried out some of the new songs which seemed under rehearsed. In my opinion they were one of the worst Reading headliners that I have ever seen and I have been going for a long while, the fireworks at the end were the most exciting thing about their set that year. I reckon they peaked way to early. However I do feel that Justin Hawkins is immensely talented. I loved both the Darkness albums and the current Hot Leg album is pretty damned good too. Here is the Darkness classic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and a future Hot Leg classic “I’ve Met Jesus

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

On this day in 1976 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers appeared at New York’s CBGB’s club. The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975 when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the ‘New York Dolls’ and Richard Hell left ‘Television’. Hell left in 1976 and went on to form the Voidoids. The Heartbreakers were invited to appear on the bill of the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976, although most of the dates were cancel thanks to the massive overreaction by much of the British press and many local councils. The invite may have come about because Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had previously been the manager of the New York Dolls and he knew Nolan and Thunders quite well. The Heartbreakers are certainly unlikely to reform since Thunders died in 1991 and Nolan in 1992. My favourite Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers song is “Chinese Rocks” check it out and tell me what you think, to me it’s a punk classic.

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

The CBGBs club opened in 1973 in Manhattan and sadly closed down in 2006. The initials stood for Country, Blue Grass and Blues although strangely enough it is most associated with punk. However it’s full name was CBGBs & OMFUG the second set of initials stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. I must confess that I haven’t got the foggiest as to what Gormandizers means, do you? The final show at CBGBs was by the fabulous Patti Smith. “Elegie” was the last song ever played at CBGBs, a very sad moment indeed

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

And finally on this day in 1997 US singer Jermaine Stewart died of liver cancer which was believed to have been complicated by HIV/ AIDS. He had a UK number two hit in 1986 with “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off“. He also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George amongst others, largely providing backing vocals. He provided many of the backing vocals on Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers” album. His first big break was becoming a dancer on the iconic US TV show ‘Soul Train’

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

 

“Billy liked to peel the labels from his bottle of Bud” February 11, 2009


Keeping with the “On This Day” format for another day (that day being February 11th) let’s start with some birthdays shall we? Alrighty then! Somewhere in todays post there is a kind of musical “Where’s Wally/ Waldo?” competition, in this case it’s “Where’s Ian (Dury)?” can you find him or are you a Blockhead?

Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett would have been 69 (or 71 according to some sources) today had he not died aged 67 (or indeed 69 according to some sources too!) in 2007. He bought us the wonderful “Monster Mash” which is still the staple of many Halloween parties. He gave some great vocal impressions of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi in that song. He also rerecorded it as “Climate Mash” in October 2005 in protest at the lack of action against Global warming. That alone makes him a great guy in my books! Anyway here are Pans People dancing to the song in 1973. Are those costumes rubbish or what? Oh and I almost forgot, there is indeed an official Monster Mash site too, check it out!

Now that's just how I normally dance!

Now that's just how I normally dance!

Today is also the 46th birthday (although Wikipedia suggests 47) of Sheryl Crow, my fave song of hers is “All I Wanna Do” what’s yours? Sheryl used to be one of Michael Jacksons backing singers on the “Bad” tour and covered the Siedah Garret parts on “I Just Cant’ Stop Loving You” every gig. You can see the duet from a 1987 show in Munich if you click the song title. Sheryl has some serious big 80s hair, but of that I guess I’m just jealous! Check the pic below is this what Springsteen is singing about on his new album in “Queen Of The Supermarket”?

Try this tonguetwister "Sheryl shops for cheap Cheerios"

Try this tonguetwister "Sheryl shops for cheap Cheerios"

Finally on the birthdays front today is also the 32nd birthday of Mike Shinoda rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, rapper with Linkin Park. He does Graphic Design too, he’s a right clever bastard ain’t he? Here are the band in their collaboration with Jay Z (or as my friend Karen McP refers to him, Jay Zed) on “Numb” Here is Mike as a Plushie. Isn’t there some kind of weird sexual fetish relating to Plushies?

Mike Shinoda Plushie toy

Mike Shinoda Plushie toy

On February 11th 1973 a local charity in Auckland New Zealand raised £500 by auctioning the bedding used by the Rolling Stones when they stayed in the city for a gig. I can’t imagine it was particularly clean, there must have been enough bodily fluids to clone the whole band. Hmmmmmm……… maybe that’s why Keef is still rockin’! Here are the Stones with the excellent (in my opinion) country pastiche “Far Away Eyes” from the “Some Girls” album. Strangely this is one of my fave Stones song. Check out this great painting of the Stones by the sdaly departed Dutch Artist Guy Paellart.

guypaellartstones1

On this day in 1987 the Smiths were sitting pretty at the top of the UK Indie charts with the classic (but then most Smiths songs are) “Shoplifters Of The World Unite” Click on the song title to see them doing the song live on the UK music programme “The Tube” in 1986. I’ve heard Morrissey’s new album and it sounds pretty damned good, I think it’s out next month. Johnny Marr is currently recording with the Cribs too I believe. Here is the classic picture of the band outside the Salford Lads Club in Salford (Obviously!) near Manchester in the UK.

The Smiths outside the Salford Lads Club

The Smiths outside the Salford Lads Club

On February the 11th 1986 Boy George made his cringeworthy appearance in an episode of the “A Team“. Click on the show’s name to watch a clip from an embarrassing TV moments show where you can also get a feel for just how bad it actually was. Here is a strange picture of the Boy! I hope he doesn’t make up like that in prison, hell have to spend hours in the showers…….. hmmmmmm ;-)

He really should change his stylist!

He really should change his stylist!

And finally on this day in 2003 the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) announced the biggest single year drop in sales since the advent of CDs. They blamed it on piracy, illegal duplication, and the distribution of CDs by international criminals. So obviously nothing to do with them selling overpriced crap (like Robbie Williams) then!

Captain Pugwash looking for some overpriced CDs to steal

Captain Pugwash looking for some overpriced CDs to steal

Obviously it would be rude to raise the urban myths about Captain Pugwash and mention Seaman Stains and Roger The Cabin Boy. Although let’s face it the would fit nicely into the pieces about the Rolling Stones and Boy George respectively. Oh well never mind, I won’t raise it and bring todays post to a close. Bye for now dear reader :-)

 

 
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