With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“The rabbits rush, around the brush” January 7, 2014


LandscapIn 1942 during World War 2 the BBC banned a rather innocuous little song. The tune was deemed to be ‘too catchy’ (an early earworm perhaps?) and the ‘powers that be’ thought that it would distract factory workers when it was played on the wireless. This of course would significantly damage the war effort. So what was that demonic song that might have caused Britain to lose the war? It was Bing Crosby’s version of “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”.

bing crosbyWhere are these people when you need them to ban such drivel as anything by One Direction, Matt Curdle, Olly Murs, Westlife and Boyzone to name but a few. However it is quite amusing that the Bing Crosby song is joined on the list of songs banned by the BBC by “Relax” – Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Je T’Aime (Mois Non Plus)” – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, “Fuck You” – Eamon, “God Save The Queen” – Sex Pistols and “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” and “Hi Hi Hi” both by Wings. These songs were variously banned for being about sex or drugs, containing profanities or being too political. All Bing’s little ditty did was simply be ‘too catchy’!

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“Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there” January 6, 2014


beatlesDid you know that the Beatles released one single that none of the band played on? It’s kind of obvious when you think about it. The song is “Eleanor Rigby” which was released on the same single as “Yellow Submarine” in 1966. It reached number one in many countries including the UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Australia and Austria. The musicians who played on the track were;

On Violin – Tony Gilbert, Sidney Sax, John Sharpe and Juergen Hess.

On Viola – Stephen Shingles and John Underwood

On Cello – Derek Simpson and Norman Jones.

beatles pantoIt makes you wonder how many other bands didn’t play on their big hits. It would be fair to assume that the likes of the Bay City Rollers, Westlife, Boyzone, the majority of X Factor muppets and many others didn’t play on any of their hits wouldn’t it? But then again even Ringo didn’t feature on the Beatles initially released version of “Love Me Do” in 1962. Sid Vicious‘ bass playing featured on hardly any Sex Pistols recordings, most of those were completed by Glen Matlock or Steve Jones. Listening to some bootlegs of the band from late 1977 to the ill-fated US tour of January 1978 suggests that there was a good reason Sid didn’t contribute bass to many songs, he just wasn’t very good at it!

eleanor rigby headstone

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“Feels like you’re dying, you’re dying” June 2, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 6:21 am
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Westlife serve up another steaming pile of shi………. errrr chips!

When I think of bad cover versions I usually think of weak insipid boy band covers from the likes of Boyzone and Westlife. That view was recently confirmed to me when I came across the video of none other than Westlife covering the Kings Of Leon‘s “Sex On Fire“. It’s bloody awful, the usual bland and occasionally out of tune vocal performance and some ridiculous synchronised dancing. Since when was the pogo supposed to be synchronised? the only good news is that Westlife are on their farewell tour, let’s just hope they never reform shall we.

Westlife are arrested for murdering a classic rock song

Laugh at the cover and enjoy the original below.

The man to blame for Westlife. How can he sleep at night for making us endure such shite?

 

“Where the thunder turns around they’ll run so hard we’ll tear the ground away” November 15, 2010


Dear readers I have recently encountered a real problem. As many of you know I am not the world’s biggest Robbie Williams fan, in fact I take many opportunities to disparage the Robster. However my problematical dilemma is that I like the new Take That album (Robbie is a member again for now) and I also like the song he recorded with Gary Barlow for his current greatest hits package. I can just about live with all that I suppose. But if I ever tell you that I really love Robbie’s awful dirge “Angels” or that I have become a fan of JLS or Boylife or Westzone (I believe that Boyzone and Westlife are truly interchangeable) then take me to the vet and have me put down humanely!

Take That prepare to become David Haye's next victims!

Whilst talking of Take That, JLS and Westlife they all appeared on this weekend’s light entertainment show (it really, really isn’t a talent show is it?) the X Factor. Take That performed “The Flood” which was a million times better than the dreadful shite that JLS and Westlife performed. The JLS song, “Love You More” is at least raising money for the BBC’s Children In Need appeal, whereas Westlife’s “Safe” is just awful and not for charity. As usual there was a controversial vote, Aidan Grimshaw was booted out, very deservedly so in my opinion, at the expense of Katie Waissel. One has to ask what has she ever done to the people who vote on the show that she regularly receives fewer votes than Wagner (pronounced Vagner except for the old Irish windbag Louis Walsh!) But seriously, how can it be classed as a talent show whilst people like Wagner progress so far?

The real reason Robbie rejoined Take That is that he saw the on stage perks they now recieved! ............ While you're down there indeed!

But by far the biggest controversy about the show this weekend was whether or not Cheryl Cole farted whilst giving her verdict on Cher Lloyd on Saturday’s show. It’s a story carried by many of the UK tabloids, personally I reckon she did, what do you think? Did Cheryl really fart on live TV or is it just another whiff of hype from the X Factor machine. Cast your vote below and remember you will still have to pay me if you try to vote after the poll has closed.  ;-)

I wonder if that incident will give her new single “Promise This”  a little extra wind to take it into the charts? Is it me or do the tights/ stockings she is wearing in the video look like artistic skid marks?

Holy Moly said she was going for a Bram Stoker's Dracula look, personally I think it was a cross between Princess Leia off of Star Wars and Minnie Mouse!

Let me finish with a question for you. How should one describe a Boyband that are no longer boys? I don’t know the answer but I would love to hear your suggestions. I have heard Manband used, but frankly that sounds like something a gentleman of a ‘certain’ age might use in conjunction with Viagra.

 

“You know I got black eyes, but they burn so brightly for her” April 26, 2010


A Lego tribute to Nirvana

There really are too many tribute bands around don’t you think? Just click here for the Wiki view and you will find plenty tribute bands named, including Dread Zeppelin and the Iron Maidens. However the one that caught my eye was Beatallica a tribute band that plays Beatles and Metallica songs. It got me thinking of other potential fantasy or nightmare tribute bands you could have if you combined some bands.

Here are some that I thought of and if you click carefully you should find a song from each of the constituent parts (including a guest appearance by Joan Collins in one of them and Chris Martin off of Coldplay in another) and don’t forget this will probably be the only post I’ll ever do where I won’t diss Boyzone or Westlife (or could that be Westzone or Boylife?);

Kings Of Leona

Stevie Wonderstuff

Badly Drawn Boyzone

Kanye Westlife

Oasister Sledge

I would love to hear your own ideas and maybe I could even muster up the usual cheap and tacky prize for the best one! While you contemplate what riches you could win take a look at the appropriately titled “Tribute” from Tenacious D

By the way, somewhere above there is a ‘hidden’ song which features one of the above acts doing some backing vocals on a U2 song, did you find it?

 

“And we know we shall win as we are confident in the victory” April 13, 2010


I was saddened and angered by the news I read today that Somali militants have banned the playing of music from the country’s airwaves. Well technically the transition government only control a small part of the capital Mogadishu so it is actually the work of the militants that run the rest of the country. There has not been a functioning government in the state since 1991. The militants have closed down five BBC radio relay stations in the south of the country, so now there are just two FM transmitters left in the transition government and UN controlled part of Mogadishu. Is there anything we can do about it? I don’t know, but I doubt it. The waters off Somalia are already full of proper pirates so the chances of setting up a pirate radio station off shore seems unlikely. Can we write to our politicians? Well sure you can, but certainly in the UK at the moment the self-regarding parasites are so far up their own sphincters with the General Election and new ways to fiddle their expenses that they won’t be bothered by something so trifling as this. But if you do believe there is something we could do then please get in touch. If anyone from Somalia is actually reading this I would love to hear from you. You can read the BBC report on this story by clicking here 

The ban on music radio in Somalia has led to the discovery and use of many innovative living instruments. I'm not quite sure where you blow on this one though!

This whole sorry episode got me thinking about songs that have been banned from airplay in the UK, so that, my dear readers is what this post is all about! 

One of the biggest en masse bans occurred just after 9/11 back in 2001. A Programme Director at one of the Clear Channel Radio Stations produced a list of songs that he felt might be in bad taste after the events of 2001. It was allegedly meant as a guideline and supposedly received no corporate backing. I kind of see where this person was coming from with some of the choices (although I do not agree at all) but how the hell did the following make it on to the list? 

Ob La Di Ob La Da” – Beatles 

What A Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong 

99 red Balloons” – Nena 

Alice In Chains, the Beatles and Metallica have four entries each while AC/ DC are way out in front with six. It seems that almost any song mentioning planes, fire, death, bombs, New York or the middle east was included. Click here to see the whole list. The BBC actually preceded this during the Gulf War of 1991. This list included Abba’s “Waterloo” and also the instruction that Massive Attack would be referred to as Massive during the conflict. Click here to see the BBC’s Gulf War banned list and many other lists referenced in this post 

The BBC has quite a long history of banning songs for various reasons and here is just a small selection along with the reasons they received a beeb ban! 

Je T’Aime” – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Obviously the powers that be at the BBC back in 1969 understood french far better than I did then or even do today. personally I think there would have only been a tiny minority of people in the UK in 1969 who would have understood the lyrics anyway. It allegedly wasn’t helped though by the inclusion in the lyric of Serge’s desire to “entre te reins” which I’m told means between the kidneys, or in English probably ‘up the bum’ 

The Day After You” – Blow Monkeys (supported by Curtis Mayfield). This was banned for being anti Margaret Thatcher. Since when was that a crime? I always have been and always will be. If you feel the same maybe you should also check out Elvis Costello’s “Tramp The Dirt Down” 

Tribute To Buddy Holly” – Mike Berry and the Outlaws. This was a Joe Meek production from 1961 and was banned for being a morbid celebration of a dead teen idol 

Cover Of The Rolling Stone” – Dr Hook and the Medicine Show. Obviously the BBC were not going to advertise an American publication, which in those days was almost impossible to get in this country anyway. The band tried to help by recording a new version of the song which replaced Rolling Stone with Radio Times, which was and still is a BBC published TV and Radio listings magazine (other listing magazines are available!) 

Many other songs, especially more recently have been banned for including swearing. The earliest of these that I am aware of is John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” in 1970. John Lydon (formerly known as Johnny Rotten remains the only person to have sneaked the ‘C’ word into a song and had it played though. Listen to the Sex Pistols “Pretty Vacant” again and hear how he pronounces ‘vacant’ in the chorus. I understand that this was deliberate. Nice one Mr Lydon ;-) 

I could go on and on with this post but I will draw it to a close, but I would like to hear your stories of banned songs wherever you are. Personally I think the world would be a nicer place if the likes of Boyzone, Westlife, Robbie Williams and anyone who wins X Factor were to be banned from getting any airplay ever! 

I will finish with a story about Michael Logan who recently received an ASBO for singing Bob Marley songs outside his home in the UK from 8 a.m until midnight. (Click here for the link to the story from the Manchester Evening News) Now I don’t condone that sort of thing but it does give me a great excuse to end with a Bob Marley song! This is Bob with a great live segue of “War/ No More Trouble”

Did you know that the lyrics to Marley’s “War” were the words of a speech made by Haile Selassie?

 

“Are you ready, are you ready for this, are you hanging on the edge of your seat?” July 18, 2009


Hello once again dear readers today is the 19th July and it is the 62nd birthday of one Brian Harold May off of Queen. Brian still uses his ‘Red Special’ guitar which he began building in the early sixties with his Dad Harold. It is principally made from an old 18th Century fireplace mantel. Also there are actually two wormholes in the neck of the guitar, at least according to Wikipedia. Presumably not the type of wormholes that Brian would know more about, being an astrophysicist! To learn more about those type of wormholes click here. If your interests are a little more down to earth and you’d like a guitar just like (well ok similar) to Brian’s, then click here.

Brian poses with the famouse fireplace :-)

Brian poses with the famouse fireplace :-)

Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes

Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes

On this day in 1980 the very band that Brian found fame in, Queen racked up their third UK number one album with ‘The Game’. This album featured the single “Another One Bites The Dust” A great song in my opinion and this was apparently also the opinion of Michael Jackson who was a friend of Freddie Mercury. When Fred played the song to him Jacko insisted that the band release it as a single and the rest as they say is history! And just for fun here is the Weird Al Yankovic parody of the song “Another One Rides The Bus

Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP

Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP

Also on this day in 1958, whilst I was still in the womb, George Treadwell the then manager of the Drifters sacked the entire group. However he simply replaced them with another group, unkown at the time, Ben E King and the Five Crowns! If only someone would do that with the likes of Boyzone and Westlife. Oh I expect they probably have and no one has noticed! Here are Ben and the boys with “This Magic Moment” Incidentally fact fans did you know that the Shadows off of Cliff Richard and the Shadows were once called the Drifters? Well if you didn’t you do now!

By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?

By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?

And the final ‘onthisday’ for 19th July is from 1989. Apparently when large amounts of money were found in the late great (those l & g’s are back!) James Brown’s prison cell he was moved from a minimum security prison to a medium security prison. What the hell is the difference between minimum and medium and then presumably maximum security prisons. “Get Up Offa That Thing” indeed! If that had happened these days it would have been the hidden stash of some jailed banker, but wait a minute none of them went to jail did they? They all recieved performance bonuses, how the hell does that work then? Here is James with the late great (back with a vengeance those ‘l & g’s’) Robert Palmer singing “I Feel Good

James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!

James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!

 

“Eat your words but don’t go hungry, words have always nearly hung me” June 12, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. Did you read the news that according to an American company the one millionth English word is about to be born, well actually it is probably already filling nappies (or diapers if you wish) as we speak. Apparently a company called GLM based in Texas whose raison-daitre is to tell companies how many times they are mentioned on the Internet can also search for the appearance of any word. Their self created methodology in determining a new word says that it must have appeared 25,000 times on the Internet, there is no time period applied. This all seems somewhat like bollocks to me (I’m not swearing bollocks is an Anglo Saxon word, just ask the Sex Pistols and Virgin Records!). Many Lexicographers (now that’s a fantastic job title!) are unhappy with these colonial usurpers telling them how it’s done! I tend to agree, but only because most Americans don’t speak English ‘like what it is supposed to be spoken’ I mean come on, no ‘U’ in colour, pronouncing route incorrectly, then there’s schedule and tomato. Don’t even get me started on fanny OK! ;-) Seriously though please don’t take offence at this if you are American, feel free to take offense though :-) But if you’d like a slightly more serious view click here for the link to the BBC that carries the story. Then click here for the follow up, for indeed while I have been typing (admittedly it has taken nearly three days to complete this post!) the new word has been dumped kicking and screaming into a world that, frankly, neither wants it or needs it. Only a nerdy geek could have given birth to it. For I know the word and the word is……………… Web 2.0, I kid you not. The nearest rivals were Jai-Ho (from the Slumdog Millionaire movie) and nOOB (something to do with nerdy, geeky gamers I believe) All that hype and all we get is a couple of small turds plopping into the lexicon of life.

 Anyway I was thinking that a word related post might be interesting so here goes. Let’s kick off with the rather stupendous Tom Tom Club with the rather jolly “Wordy Rappinghood” Now I think Rappinghood would have made an excellent millionth word contender, how about you? Tom Tom Club I suppose really began as on offshoot of Talking Heads, I think nowadays the correct term might be side project! The band consisted of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz off of Talking Heads and a cast of many other noted musicians; Adrian Belew, Wally Badarou and the Compass Point All Stars to name just a few. Their earliest success came with the divine “Genius Of Love”. But they really broke big when the 12 inch versions of Genius and Rappinghood were issued and got a lot of club play in 1982. Their songs have been sampled by many people including Grandmaster Flash and Mariah Carey. The band also appeared on the Talking Heads live concert movie ‘Stop Making Sense’

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

Next up it’s the Gibb Brothers (OK the Bee Gees then) with “Words” Which was once given a depressingly dull makeover by the band that put bland into everything the rather shite (in my opinion of course) Boyzone. Sadly it gave Ronan and the boys their first UK number one. But if you’d like to hear some better covers of the song there are plenty out there. Check out some good covers from Rita Coolidge and Georgie Fame. You can find a great Bee Gees reference in the strangest place, there is an excellent parody of them in Blink 182′s video for “First Date” Speaking of the Bee Gees , I was walking to the train station earlier this week lost in my iPod and on came “Stayin’ Alive”, how I longed to be carrying a pot of paint so that I could make like Travolta’s Tony Manero in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Sadly a laptop bag just doesn’t cut it, does it?

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

Then we have the boys that put Cod Piece back in the dictionary, Cameo with “Word Up” Which bizarrely in my humble opinion was covered by Korn! Click here to here the Korn version. The song was a massive hit for Cameo in 1986, the promo rounds were probably made much more memorable by Larry Blackmon’s polished red cod piece. For me Larry was one of only two people who have ever been able to pull off a cod piece (ooooooooh Matron!) The other one being Edmund Blackadder. The song also gets played in an Episode of the Simpsons entitled, appropriately for this post, ‘Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words’ where Lisa performs in a crossword competition. 

Mr Cod Piece 1986

Mr Cod Piece 1986

I haven’t mentioned the Beatles and Bowie for a while so how about the Beatles with “The Word” and Mr Bowie with the hardly ever played “Word On A Wing”. The Beatles song appeared on ‘Rubber Soul’ and in addition to the Fab Four also had George Martin playing the Harmonium. Bowie’s song appeared on the excellent ‘Station To Station’ album from 1976 and emanating from the Dame’s ‘Thin White Duke’ period. It was also a B side to the single version of “Stay” from the same album. It is a relatively religious song and written while Bowie was very much coke addled. It also coincided with the time Mr Jones began to wear a crucifix

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

I shall finish this post with the wonderful “ABC” by the Jackson Five. OK I know it’s not strictly a word but if you didn’t know your ABC you wouldn’t be able to make words would you? The song was a US number one and like the earlier “I Want You Back” was written by the mysterious Corporation. Not that mysterious though it was a Motown writing team that consisted of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonso Mizell and Deke Richards. The song was backed with a cover of a lesser known Diana Ross And The Supremes song; “The Young Folks”

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

OK that’s all for now, but tell me your word songs, I can think of a couple more but I’d like to hear from you my dear readers!

 

“I spent the evening thinking about all the blood that flowed away” March 5, 2009


OK peeps it’s Thursday, it’s the 5th of March and it’s ……….. well it’s a big build up, but just another blog. Before I forget I should warn those of you that read this thing regularly that there may not be a post at all this weekend.

Are any of you a member in any Yahoo Groups? I’m a member of quite a few and I’d like to recommend a couple of those to you (click on the group name to go to the group home page). Both are very well run and full of news updates on a fantastically eclectic mix of artists. So give them a try and tell Tracy I sent you :-) So the groups in question are FAMOUS_WOMEN_OF_ROCK and ROCK-AROUND-THE-CLOCK I hope you enjoy them.

Before we get into the usual stuff thanks to Nick H for this link from the BBC. How many of you have degrees? If you answered yes is it a good one like maybe Engineering or Languages say, or is it a cop out subject like Media Studies or Travel & Tourism? Well fear not because help is at hand from Hope University in Liverpool. They are now offering a Beatles Degree!
Click here to get to the story. It doesn’t say but I wonder if there is an easier option like a Westlife NVQ or Boyzone BTEC. Im getting soft in my old age, a golden opportunity to dig at Robbie and I chose not to!

And now let’s get into the birthdays. First up today are twins Craig and Charlie Reid, who you probably know much better as the Proclaimers. Born in 1962 in Auchtermucty, Fife, Scotland the guys are 47 today. At school they were in a number of punk bands one of which was called ‘Eight Eyes’ which railed against the constant taunts of ”four eyes’ made to kids who wear glasses. Does that still happen? is it just a UK thing? Many of you will have heard of them from the reissue of their excellent “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” in 2007. This version was in aid of Comic Relief and featured Little Britain characters Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin and an excellent video led by Peter Kay, but that one has been seen so often I’m not going to include it here. Incidentally click on Comic Relief and you can see what great work they do and make a donation, go on, you know that you want to! I am going to give you the link to my favourite Proclaimers song though, that is “Letter From America” Sing along and enjoy! Don’t forget Red Nose Day is on Friday 13th March wear yours with pride!

They certainly looked like identical twins but they were very different in size!

They certainly looked like identical twins but they were very different in size!

The second and last of todays birthdays is that of John Frusciante of that excellent band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he is 39 today. The band was originally formed in 1983 but Frusciante didn’t join until 1988 he then left during a Japanese tour in 1992. In a real case of revolving doors he rejoined the band in 1998! Outside of the Chili’s John has had a successful solo career and has also often collaborated with the Mars Volta. So to celebrate Mr F’s birthday here is “Californication

Springfieldfornication doesn't really work does it? RHCP on the Simpsons

Springfieldfornication doesn't really work does it? RHCP on the Simpsons

On 5th March 1963 the late great (hey those l’s and g’s are still with us!) country singer Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash in Dyersburg, Virginia along with the lesser known performers Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins (sorry but they sound like western action figures or porn star names to me, what do you think?)They were travelling to Nashville for a benefit concert for DJ “Cactus” Jack who had died in a car crash. Two days later in a most unfortunate twist of fate country singer Jack Anglin was killed in a car crash while on his way to Patsy’s funeral. Here is Patsy with “Crazy” which is one of my Mum’s favourite songs

Patsy had tried to live a 'no frills' life but found that she just didn't enjoy it, so the frills were back out front again!

Patsy had tried to live a 'no frills' life but found that she just didn't enjoy it, so the frills were back out front again!

On this day in 1965 “I Pity The Fool” the first single from a promising UK band, the Mannish Boys was released. It wasn’t a hit but the band did feature an 18 year old by the name of David Robert Jones. You may know him better as David Bowie. Oh man I got another Bowie reference in! I won’t say much about him, because there has been so much already since this blog started, so here is Muddy Waters with the song “Mannish Boy” which is where the band took their name from

David's hair always afforded him special treatment when the nit inspector (in this case 'Nitty Norman') visited his school!

David's hair always afforded him special treatment when the nit inspector (in this case 'Nitty Norman') visited his school!

And finally on this day in 1975 Rod Stewart met Britt Ekland ,in my opinion that is the moment that Rod started to go downhill. Especially with crud like “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Baby Jane”. I’ll forgive him “Ole Ola” as that was to support Scotland in the 1978 World Cup, but it was a crap song nonetheless. So I guess the relationship advanced Britt’s career more than it did Rod’s. She had previously been married to Peter Sellers, they seem very different don’t they Pete n Rod. Incidentally Rod is NOT Scottish although my Dad who was always insisted that Rod was, that was the only lifelong disagreement I ever had with my Dad. In case it helps I’m half Scots! By the way, Rod’s Dad was also Scottish! I’ll end with a reminder of just how good Rod once was, here he is with the Faces in 1974 with “You Wear It Well” and “Maggie May

Rod and Britt really hoped that the old saying of 'two heads are better than one' was true as they had used so much hair spray that their heads were indeed stuck together!

Rod and Britt really hoped that the old saying of 'two heads are better than one' was true as they had used so much hair spray that their heads were indeed stuck together!

 

“Hey sugar, you almost got us punched in a fight” March 3, 2009


Hello once again on this 3rd day of March. I would like to point out that todays post is a little shorter than other recent posts as I have been suffering from a bad case of man flu. Ladies you just don’t understand this, but it’s terrible! Anyway I do have a great way to kick off todays post. There has been a considerable furore over cuts to arts budgets in British Columbia in Canada and in a novel way of raising the profile of the issue a theatre director and an arts group treasurer have organised an excellent spoof recording of a Bonnie Tyler song. The link to the song is on the news page which you will find if you click on the song title, which is “Total Eclipse Of The Arts” I would like to thank Tracy, who runs a number of great Yahoo Groups, notably FAMOUS_WOMEN_IN ROCK, for this story.

So onto the birthdays first starting with Mike Pender of the Searchers who is 67 today. The Searchers took their name from John Ford’s classic western movie. They were a Liverpool band who like their contemporaries the Beatles also played at the famous Cavern Club and indeed the Star Club in Hamburg. They have another link with the Fab Four too, their original drummer Norman McGarry took over the drum stool with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes after Ringo Starr left to join the Beatles. The band had three UK number ones; “Sweets For My Sweet” in 1963, “Needles And Pins” and “Don’t Throw Your Love Away” both in 1964. All of these songs were covers, the originals were by the Drifters, Jackie DeShannon and the Shirelles respectively. In December 1966 the group changed drummers again, the new guy was in fact my namesake Billy Adamson, as far as I know we’re not related! Do any other readers have any namesakes like this? Major or minor any will do, just let me know. Anyway to close this piece on the Searchers here they are with “Needles And Pins” which incidentally fact fans was co written by Sonny Bono.

Before their initial success the boys had to share one guitar

Before their initial success the boys had to share one guitar

Today is also Ronan Keating’s 32nd birthday. Ronan is so far the only member of Boyzone to have carved out a solo career for himself. In my opinion he has slightly more talent than Robbie W, which those regular readers among you know is not a lot. If any Robbie or Ronan fans have stumbled upon this blog by chance, then please note this is my opinion! It is with great sadness that I have to add that Ronan entered the Guinness Book Of Records last year by becoming the only performer ever to achieve a run of 30 consecutive top 10 singles in the UK Charts. He also briefly managed Westlife. So are there any redeeming features? well actually for me there are two.Firstly Ronan is currently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with a group of celebrities to raise money for Comic Relief. Secondly it is for one of my guilty pleasures, Ronan’s single “Life Is A Rollercoaster” It was a UK number one in 2000 and was co written and produced by the supremely talented Gregg Alexander the man behind the wonderful but short lived New Radicals.

Ronan had done everything he could to make himself lighter for his RyanAir flight, but now he didn't have a coin for the toilet!

Ronan had done everything he could to make himself lighter for his RyanAir flight, but now he didn't have a coin for the toilet!

On this day in 1973 Slade went straight in at number one in the UK singles chart with “Cum On Feel The Noize”. This was the first time this had been done since the days of the Beatles. The bands manager was Chas Chandler who was also Jimi Hendrix’ manager and was also credited with discovering him. When Chas first saw them in 1969 they were called Ambrose Slade. At Chas’ suggestion the band capitalised on the current skinhead craze and wore boots, braces and cropped their hair. Later that year they shortened their name to Slade. They signed to Polydor in 1970 and went on to have the first of their six UK number one the following year with “Coz I Luv You” Their trademark spelling appears to have predated text speak by many years! Allegedly the band turned down the opportunity to represent the UK in the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest, now that would have been interesting! So without further ado here are Slade with the excellent “Cum On Feel The Noize” Clearly by this time the skinhead look was long gone and just check out Dave Hill’s headgear, what’s that all about then? Please feel free to enter the Slade caption competition below :-)

OK here's the deal, you provide a caption for what Dave and Jim are saying behind Noddy'd back and I'll include it in a future post!

OK here's the deal, you provide a caption for what Dave and Jim are saying behind Noddy's back and I'll include it in a future post!

It was on this day in 1985 that Michael Jackson visited Madame Tussauds in London to unveil his waxwork lookalike. Here is Michael on that visit and the picture below shows a very different version of his waxwork, so clearly it has been someone’s job to keep him up to date. That must be the busiest job at Tussauds!

Even a personal appearance in the ticket office didn't improve ticket sales

Even a personal appearance in the ticket office didn't improve ticket sales

 

 
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