Here we go again a veritable trivia roller coaster for your personal delight (I feel much better after that awful bout of verbal diarrhea!) So today being the 17th February the year of our lord 2009. Actually as an atheist how should I refer to the year? Incidentally I used to consider myself an agnostic, but a former boss of mine said “an agnostic is just an atheist with no balls” so I decided I rather be an atheist than a eunuch agnostic!
There are a couple of birthdays to celebrate today, firstly the late great (here they come again those confounded l & g’s) Tommy Edwards. Tommy was born in 1922 and so would have been 87 today. Unfortunately he died aged 47 in 1968. He is probably best remembered for his rather excellent version of the classic love song “It’s All In The Game” which has also been covered by everyone from Sir Cliff Richard (he certainly didn’t have the same agnostic vs atheist dilemma that I did I’m sure!) to the Four Tops. My favourite version is definitely by the Tops followed closely by Mr Edwards. Tommy Edwards version was a UK and US number 1 in 1958, pre me even! The Four Tops reached number 5 in the UK and 23 in the US with the song in 1970.Click on their name to see them singing it live in what appears to be a hospital. The song was co-written by a US Vice President, Charles Daws who wrote a piece of music in 1911 called “Melody In A Major”, Carl Sigman added the lyrics to the piece in 1951. Mr Daws went on to become VP under Calvin Coolidge. It is so far the only number one song to have been written or co-written by a US Vice President. I can’t imagine Cheney or Biden ever doing the same somehow.
The second and final birthday today is that of Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, who is 37 today. I saw Green Day live at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 2005 they were bloody good! As his hair is often died some of you may not know that he is in fact a redhead, just like my son Luke, who coincidentally also plays guitar and sings in a band! They’re called Steal The Smile. OK this bit is yet another blatant plug, but check them out on myspace and tell me what you think of them. www.myspace.com/stealthesmile This is Steal The Smile at the Face Bar in Reading last year with a cover of Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” And lest we forget whose birthday it is, Billie Joe, remember? Here are Green Day with the superb “Basket Case“
On this day in 1970 Joni Mitchell announced her ‘retirement’ from live performance during a show at the Royal Albert Hall in London (what a great venue that is!) She was on stage again by the end of the year. She’s not the first or last to ‘retire’ either; Frank Sinatra did it a few times, Bowie retired in 1973 (well technically he retired the Ziggy character. Robbie seems to have retired, well I live in hope at least. (There we go a Bowie reference and a Robbie dig in the same sentence) Joni’s real name is Roberta Joan Anderson and in 2003 Rolling Stone magazine (my favourite US publication!) named her the 72nd greatest guitarist of all time; she was the highest-ranked woman on the list. Which women guitarists should have been higher? What do you think? One of Joni’s biggest hits was the wonderful “Big Yellow Taxi” She also wrote one of my favourite songs, “Woodstock” which was about Woodstock, I bet you never saw that coming did you? That song was a big hit for Ian Matthews with his band Matthews Southern Comfort. I should point out that Joni is not a Canadian relative of Peggy, Phil and Grant Mitchell
On this day in 1972 Pink Floyd started a 3 night run at the Rainbow Theatre in London, tickets wee just £1 each, but that was a lot of money then, but probably not to bankers! An early incarnation of the Floyd was known as the Tea Set and when they found themselves on the same bill as another band with the same name, Syd Barrett came up with the alternative name The Pink Floyd Sound, after two blues musicians, Pink Anderson (no relation to Joni Mitchell) and Floyd Council whose names he’d seen on the notes of a Blind Boy Fuller album
Ok that’s it for today apart from two things. Firstly I intend to start an occasional series soon where I’ll work alphabetically through some of my favourite artists and include at least one of their songs and some interesting (but you’ll be the judges of that of course) trivia. I’ll be starting with the letter ‘A’ soon, any guesses who it might be? And lastly following on from an earlier post about the Clash, who had a song called “Janie Jones” I have had a request for some information about Ms Jones and that will follow later this week, but I can confirm that she wasn’t just a character in a Clash song, she was indeed a real person!
Bye for now peeps :-)