With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Ronnie Biggs was doing time ’til he done a bunk” December 18, 2013


ronniebiggs_460x276OK I know he was a criminal and I know that a man died as a result of the violence used in the Great Train Robbery back in 1963. But if only the gang had not coshed the driver of the train they would surely have become folk heroes for taking so much without really hurting anyone. Anyway I thought I would mark the passing of Ronnie Biggs the most obvious way I can given that this is a music blog. Here is Ronnie from 1978 as guest vocalist for the Sex Pistols. McLaren never shied away from bad publicity did he?

Sex-Pistols-Punk-prayerRonnie died earlier this week aged 84. He recorded a track with the Pistols while he was holed up in Brazil and they were in free fall after the departure of Johnny Rotten/ John Lydon. The B Side of the “No One Is Innocent (A Punk Prayer By Ronnie Biggs)” single was the Sid Vicious version of “My Way”. The single made it to number 7 in the UK charts.

RIP Ronnie Biggs

 

“I have held the hand of a devil” July 18, 2013


celebrity-pictures-bono-buy-africa

Paul Hewson a.k.a. Bono Vox off of U2 has recently been awarded one of the highest cultural honours available in France. This was in recognition of his services to music and committment to humanitarian aid. he was given the honour; Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti in Paris. He dedicated the award to his band, saying, ‘I’ve got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other’. The award was first presented in 1957 and has been awarded to other musicians including; Bob Dylan (1990), David Bowie (1999) and Patti Smith (2005). Two James Bond actors Sean Connery (1987) and Roger Moore (2008). Donald Sutherland, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Audrey Hepburn are also in that exclusive club along with writers T.S. Eliot and Julian Barnes.

Pope steals Bono's glasses in effort to look cool........ FAILS!

Pope steals Bono’s glasses in effort to look cool…….. FAILS!

While we are talking about awards it has been announced that the BMI, the music rights organisation, will present a special icon award for his contribution to music to one-time enfant terrible of the UK tabloids John Lydon formerly Johnny Rotten. Lydon will receive the award in October this year. Since those ‘The Filth And The Fury’ headlines from 1976 when Lydon was known as Rotten and fronted the Sex Pistols he has achieved bigger musical success albeit with a little less notoriety with Public Image Limited (PiL). perhaps in a step away from the rather typecast image that the British press have of him he has also appeared on the UK reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’  on ITV in January 2004 and later fronted a few wildlife programmes. He is currently touring with PiL and recently took to the stage at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury with the band. So it now remains for me to congratulate Hewson and Lydon on their awards. For me the Lydon award is more appropriate and at least neither is some poxy award from our blood sucking UK royal family!

aging-rock-stars-old-young-40

images

 

“I worked there for a week once, I luckily got the boot” June 30, 2011


Firstly let me warn you that this is a shameless piece of self promotion of one of my other blogs too!

Did you think that the word ‘punk’ was a modern word? I certainly did. However it is in fact a very old word, indeed it is over 400 years old. It was supposedly first recorded in the 1590′s. But the Bard himself, William Shakespeare to his folks and Ms Hathaway the term “taffety punk” in his “All’s Well That Ends Well” to describe a ‘well dressed whore’. He wrote it during 1604 and 1605, unless of course you believe the conspiracy theories in which case it was written by Philip Marlowe.

In the 1890′s the word was often used to describe a young male criminal as well as something worthless and rotten. I wonder if Mr Lydon knew that when he chose his moniker for the Sex Pistols. The first time the phrase punk rock was used was surprisingly (to me at least) in a piece written by Dave Marsh for Creem Magazine in 1971. This main body of this post also appears in my learning blog ‘With Just A Hint Of Learning’ as it is a bit ‘what have you learned today’ related.

 

“The five years we have had have been such good times, I still love you” December 6, 2010


Well aren’t those December days just rushing past, this is the sixth day of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar and therefore it must be (a bit of an easy one this) December 6th. So go ahead put your fingernail in the frame of the little cardboard door and pull it open carefully. Todays song takes us back to Christmas 1981. It’s those good Sheffield folk, the Human League with a little ditty called “Don’t You Want Me”. It was number one for five weeks in total and became the 30th different UK Christmas number one.

The hair and make-up artist left the country after this job

It was the band’s only UK number one and also reached the top in the US charts as well. They went on to have a further number one in the US with the excellent “Human” in 1986. “Don’t You Want Me” has become a bit af a party staple, I certainly play it at pretty much every mobile DJ gig I ever do. Yet another 80s song that I like, what’s up with me? The 80s was generally crap, wasn’t it?

In the early days Phil could only afford half a haircut

The band released their first single, “Being Boiled” in June 1978. The NME review was quite positive, although guest reviewer John Lydon dismissed the band as trendy hippies. Apparently David Bowie saw them play live at the end of 1978 and allegedly claimed that he had ‘seen the future of Pop Music’. They were even name checked in the Undertones song “My Perfect Cousin” with the line; ‘His mother bought him a synthesiser/Got the Human League in to advise her/Now he’s making lots of noise/Playing along with the art school boys’ An obvious dig at arty music too.

Nowadays Phil (like me) doesn't have any hair to cut

The band originally included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh who both left in 1980 following a big bust up with Phil Oakey. They went on to form Heaven 17 and thanks to the Human League’s Virgin contract Marsh and Ware also received 1% of royalties from the next League album, which was ‘Dare’ home of “Don’t You Want Me”

The song has been covered a few times, including versions by Alcazar, Mandy Smith and the Farm. Click on the artist names to see and hear those versions.

Enjoy the original Human league video for the song below.

And finally here they are performing the song on Top Of The Pops

 

“It’s just an instant gut reaction, that I got I know I never ever felt like this before” November 27, 2010


On a recent flight business class flight to Australia it appears that Jay Kay off of Jamiroquai sat next to John Lydon off of Public Image Limited aka Johnny Rotten off of the Sex Pistols. Jay Kay says that Lydon spent the whole flight farting really smelly ones. He even said that after that experience he would prefer to travel cattle class in future. He went on to say that smoking has been banned so why not farting. But frankly and let’s be honest here, how many of us could complete a long haul flight without having to pop at least one little one out? Perhaps Jay Kay was jealous because he couldn’t muster up a decent response, maybe he could have caught up and got a second wind!

Jay Kay tries out his anti fart hat

But Johnny is still able to squeeze another one out

Just to show a degree of impartiality you can read the story on the Guardian website and also on the Perez Hilton Blog. Amusingly the Guardian chose to use Viz favourite Johnny Fartpants in their headline. Personally I think the whole thing is rather amusing, but then farts always are? Aren’t they?

But when Jay Kay farts he farts cars!

As far as appropriate videos I could only really go with the Sex Pistols “Belsen Was A Gas

And for Jay Kay it has to be “Canned Heat”, doesn’t it?

Gaga cooks up a storm

In other news, this time from the Sun, yes you heard it right, the ghastly Sun gets a mention on my blog! They report the culinary talents of Lady Gaga and Cheryl Cole and show Katy Perry and Russell Brand‘s cat finishing off their turkey. It was their real turkey and not Russell in ‘Get Him To The Greek’ Read all about it here. Maybe John Lydon had been eating the Cheryl’s scones or Gaga’s casserole and that is why he had such high-octane flatulence. Incidentally I wonder if Gaga used the meat from her meat dress to make her meal?

Hansel and Gretel never had it so good.......... Lady Gaga gingerbread people!

 

“I’m only payin’ the price for a trip I took to paradise” May 8, 2010


Dave. Can he fix it? Probably not

So now all the hype and spin of the UK General Election is over for the time being. Maybe for just a short period too, given that we have a hung parliament there might be another election as soon as later this year, just like 1974. I was thinking earlier that all three main parties must be thinking about how badly they have done this time around and maybe about the recriminations associated with that performance. The Tories must have hoped to have won an overall majority, Labour might have expected to fare a little better (I wonder what influence bigotgate had on their result) and the Lib Dems surely would have wished for a massive improvement rather than going backwards in terms of number of seats. I also feel that this country is crying out for electoral reform. How is it fair that a party like the Lib Dems can win 23% of the votes but les than 10% of the parliamentary seats? That can’t be right, can it? To quote Mr Rotten from San Francisco in 1978 ‘ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ I feel very cheated in this election. How does everyone else feel? Still there was a modicum of good news; the Green Party won their first seat in Brighton and the BNP still have no MPs. The BNP also lost 12 council seats in Barking, now that is very, very good news. 

Gordon makes it clear what he thinks of his opponents. It certainly doesn't look like an 'I agree with Nick' hand gesture does it?

So back to thoughts of failure, recrimination and blame, with heavy emphasis on the blame element. As I have said plenty of times before this is a music blog so here come some blame songs, please feel free to add your own through the comments option. 

I Don’t Blame You At All” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. In this clip the song soundtracks the UK chart rundown on the BBCs Top Of The Pops hosted by Jimmy Saville. Just dig that crazy fashion sense and dancing skills among the audience daddyo! Was that really my generation? Surely not. Back in my younger days I first heard this song on a Motown Chartbusters album, Volume 6 in fact. It was the one with the excellent Roger Dean cover of a Fly/ Spaceship hybrid. What do you think of it? 

Motown Chartbusters Volume 6 cover - I reckon they should have called this superfly, although Curtis Mayfield may have been upset!

“Blame It On The Boogie” – Jacksons. The Jackson as they became after leaving Motown, they weren’t allowed to be called the Jackson 5 as Motown owned the name rights. They also left Jermaine at Motown and replaced him with brother Randy. Does anyone know what the ectoplasm going on in the video is? Confusingly this song was written by a British chap who rather confusingly was called Mick Jackson (not Jacko), click his name to hear his version. Either way it’s a brilliant disco song even after all these years 

 

Blame It On The Sun” – Stevie Wonder. Taken from Stevie’s excellent ‘Talking Book’ album from 1972. I really had to include this for other reasons as well. In particular the UK tabloid the Sun, a part of Mr Murdoch’s empire back Cameron and the Tories to win. So maybe Dave will blame it on the Sun. At least there wasn’t the old headline of ‘It was the Sun wot won it!’ 

Blame Canada” – South Park. Before I am inundated with comments from angry Canadians, let me just state categorically that I love Canada and certainly don’t blame them for the election result in the UK. Although I am sure that a conspiracy could be woven around that if required. This song is taken from the excellent South Park Movie from 1999, was it really that long ago? Oh Boy! Have you seen it before? If not then click here to buy it. 

Blame It On The Pop” (Top 25 songs of 2009) – Various Artists. Nothing much to say about this mixtastic, medleytastic bunch. It features 25 artists (and in  some cases I use the term lightly) including Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Keri Hilson, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jay Sean, Lil Wayne, All American Rejects, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and Jason Mraz 

OK very funny, which one of you b*stards put super glue on the table?

 

“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?

 

“The world won’t get no better if we just let it be” January 14, 2010


Hello dear readers and those of you who just like to look at the pictures. This post is a little random and maybe in the spirit of all of my earliest posts. Today is the 14th January 2010 and it marks 32 years since the last proper Sex Pistols gig. Certainly the last one to feature Sid Vicious and not one of those reunion shows. That show was at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and Johnny Rotten’s last words from the stage were “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good Night” I actually have the bootleg of that gig and judging from the bass playing it was clear that, as Rotten later observed, Sid was out of his brains. Here are the Pistols with “Bodies” from that very gig

As for Mr Rotten, or Lydon as he is known nowadays I was disappointed when I saw him advertising British butter (click here to see it). However he was recently quoted as saying that it paid him enough to put up the initial funding for the PiL tour he is currently undertaking, so now I feel very relieved.

Sid dry humps a lamppost and johnny dresses as a Hasidic Jew, just another boring day for the Pistols then!

Today we also received the sad news that Teddy Pendergrass had died. Teddy (or Theodore to his parents) was the voice of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Ha! I bet plenty of you thought Harold was the singer didn’t you? They had some massive hits in the early 70s with wonderful songs like “Wake Up Everybody” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now“. The latter was covered in a somewhat mediocre way by Mick Hucknall with Simply Red. Teddy went solo later in the 70s and had another string of hits including “Close The Door” and “Turn Off The Lights” Hey those titles fit together nicely don’t they? Teddy was involved in a road traffic accident in 1983 which left him a paraplegic, but he continued to perform in spite of that. His rich and distinctive voice will be sadly missed by those of us who love such sublime soul music.

In his youth Teddy always like pussy............cats!

Finally and perhaps most importantly I experienced a really bizarre coincidence yesterday. Just as I opened my newspaper to read about the awful earthquake in Haiti, Steely Dan’s “Haitian Divorce” popped up on my iPod. So I thought that I would give you the link to the BBC report of the disaster and also a link where you can donate to the relief effort. Pay whatever you can, because even if your day has been pretty shit it cannot be anywhere near as bad as those affected by the quake. Do it, you know it makes sense :-)

 

 
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