With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Pretty lights on the tree I’m watching them shine” December 25, 2010


As a special Billy Christmas bonus for those of you who have stuck with me through each and every one of the 25 posts on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar. Here are the 21 UK Christmas number ones that did not get seen or heard on any of the original posts. Enjoy them as you digest your turkey and enjoy a nice glass of wine :-)

And finally at the end of the post I couldn’t resist adding another bonus, the final song is my favourite Christmas song ever, it’s Darlene Love with “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

1953       Frankie Laine     “Answer Me

1954       Winifred Atwell  “Let’s Have Another Party

1956       Johnnie Ray        “Just Walkin’ in the Rain

1959       Emile Ford & The Checkmates    “What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?

1969       Rolf Harris           “Two Little Boys

1976       Johnny MathisWhen A Child Is Born (Soleado)

1977       Wings    “Mull of Kintyre

1980       St Winifred’s School ChoirThere’s No-one Quite Like Grandma

1982       Renée and Renato          “Save Your Love

1985       Shakin’ Stevens                “Merry Christmas Everyone

1992       Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You

1993       Mr BlobbyMr Blobby

1994       East 17 “Stay Another Day

1995       Michael JacksonEarth Song

1997       Spice Girls           “Too Much

2000       Bob The Builder                “Can We Fix It?

2001       Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman              “Somethin’ Stupid

2005       Shayne Ward     “That’s My Goal

2006       Leona Lewis       “A Moment Like This

2007       Leon Jackson     “When You Believe

2008       Alexandra Burke              “Hallelujah

 

“Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?” July 11, 2010


What a bummer, I missed the train again!

I was reading the news earlier today and I discovered a fantastic longstanding tradition that I had never previously heard of and yet it appears to have started more than 30 years ago. It is the annual Amtrak Mooning in Laguna Niguel in Orange County California. It took place this weekend and started as some kind of bet in a bar. A drinker in the Mugs Away Bar which is opposite the Amtrak rail line offered to buy a drink for anyone who would go out and moon at the next train. One drinker took the challenge and it has grown since then to a point where thousands of people take part every year. Many people even travel on the Amtrak on that day especially to see it.

Don't look now but there's a crack on the track!

Here is a video of the Amtrak Moon event from 2005

I think this whole idea is bloody hilarious and maybe we should kick something off like it in the UK, maybe on the platform at Baker Street Station or a bridge over the main east coast rail line in York. Who would be up for that?We already have the Annual Naked Bike Ride in York in June, maybe we can combine it with a rail mooning event.

What I don't get is why there are so many clothes on a naked bike ride

Strangely I was considering a train related post having visited the National Railway Museum in York yesterday with some friends and their two children. So when I saw the Amtrak mooning story on the Beeb I thought I’d combine the two. So here are a few songs relating to trains or mooning. If anyone knows of a song that actually combines trains and mooning then please let me know.

The Train Songshttps://justwilliam1959.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1701&action=edit&message=10

Runaway Train” – Roseanne Cash. She is the eldest daughter of the late, great Johnny Cash. Her first, self titled album, was recorded largely in Germany. It was released in 1978 although not in the USA

Downtown Train” – Rod Stewart. Rod has recently turned down the opportunity to tour again with the remaining members of the Faces and his place is taken by Mick Hucknall of Simply Red. Now I just don’t get that, do you? Glen Matlock off of the Sex Pistols replaces the late, great Ronnie Lane.When speaking of his divorces Rod was allegedly quoted as saying “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”

Long Train Runnin‘” – Doobie Brothers. The fledgling Doobie Brothers were called Pud until a friend noted their fondness for smoking doobies (marijuana cigarettes to those of you who were bypassed by drug culture). So not real brothers at all!

Chattanooga Choo Choo” – Glenn Miller Orchestra. Mr Miller was born just two months before my wonderful Nan, Rosie Lavinia Schofield in March 1904. She died aged 93 back in 1998. Glen Miller was recorded as missing presumed dead on 15th December 1944 after his plane ditched into the English Channel

The Moon Songs

Blue Moon” – Marcels. The group who formed in 1959, were named by Fred Johnson’s (who sang bass)Priscilla, after a popular hair style of the day (the Marcell wave)

Under The Moon Of Love” – Curtis Lee. Curtis had a US hit with this song and “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” in 1961, both were produced by Phil Spector and both were covered in the 70s by UK band Showaddywaddy who had a UK number one with “Under The Moon Of Love” in 1976

The Whole Of The Moon” – Waterboys. This song was a minor UK hit in 1985, its progress was hampered by singer Mike Scott’s refusal to appear on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops where he would have had to lip sync the song.

Man On The Moon” – REM, The song is about US comic performer Andy Kaufman. This video is a live performance at a Rock The Vote show and has Michael Stipe duetting with Bruce Springsteen

 

“They’re singing Deck The Halls, but it’s not like Christmas at all” December 24, 2009


I thought I would share with you a little project I undertook on Facebook during December. I called it my Advent Calendar of Uncovered Cover Versions. It is repeated here exactly as it appeared daily on my Facebook pages. I hope that my regular Blog readers enjoy it and that you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant 2010

December 1st

OK so the advent calendar is all about uncovering something good each day leading to Christmas right? So Ithought I would try to do something slightly related and try and post a cover version each day until Christmas. Starting today 1st December with Patti Smith’s version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit

December 2nd

December 2nd of my advent uncovered cover versions project (did you like yesterdays?) Todays is Florence and the Machine with an excellent cover of the Source featuring Candi Staton’s “You Got The Love“…….. enjoy!

December 3rd

and so on to Day 3 of my under the cover versions advent project. The top tune for today is a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’ by the rather talented Richard Thompson. What do you think of it?

December 4th

Day 4 (December 4th) of the Advent Calender uncovered cover versions project (or obsession) of mine :-) Under the little cardboard flap today you won’t find some cheap and bland chocolate. Instead you will find Jimi Hendrix playing what in my opinion is the greatest cover version of all time. It’s Jimi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” recorded at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 … enjoy!

 December 5th

 It’s December 5th and here is Day 5 in my advent uncovered cover versions project. This one is a real doozy! It’s Richard Cheese covering the rather spiffing Blink182 song “What’s My Age Again?” I love this one, what do you think?

 December 6th

 December 6th and day 6 of my Advent oncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Suzi Quatro with an Elvis classic “All Shook Up” . I chose this one because it is even in the news today. Check the story here

 December 7th

 It’s December 7th and therefore Day 7 of my Advent uncovered cover versions. Today’s is a bit obvious, but nonetheless a great cover. It’s Jacko’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ as done by the fantastically named Alien Ant Farm

 December 8th

 It’s December 8th and therfore Day 8 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Covers project. Today’s was an easy choice really. On the 29th anniversary of his death this is John Lennon with a great cover of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” I love this song

 December 9th

 Hello again peeps, it’s the 9th December which brings us to song number 9 in my Advent Calendar uncovered cover versions. Todays is a bit of an indulgent one in that it is a cover of the excellent Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” by my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. Enjoy!

 December 10th

 Hello folks. December 10th and obviously day 10 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Todays is one of my favourite songs as covered by my favourite band ever! It’s the Clash with Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves

 December 11th

 It’s Friday December 11th and therefore it’s Day 11 in the Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Me First And The Gimmee Gimmees (and let’s face it no covers project would be complete without them). This is their version of the Olivia Newton John hit written by John Denver “Take Me Home Country Roads” By the way this is NOT a country version!

 December 12th

 December 12th and halfway through Advent calendar time, so onto Day 12 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is a must have as far as cover versions go. It’s Nouvelle Vague with an excellent cover of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart“. Enjoy

 December 13th

 December 13th and the thirteenth cover version of my Advent Uncovered Covers Project. Today’s is one of my most favourite cover versions ever. It’s the late, great Jeff Buckley with a live version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (You may know it as the one that was somewhat massacred by Alexandra Burke last Christmas courtesy of Mr Cowell! This version really is the dog’s testicles though, what do you think?

 December 14th

 December 14th and strangely enough Day 14 of my uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is sung by someone who in my opinion the greatest female singer ever (very sexy too). Yes it’s Kate Bush with her version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing

 December 15th

 Day 15 in my Advent Calendar of uncovered cover versions. Todays is perhaps one of the strangest. It is the Deep Purple Classic “Smoke On Water” a true guitar shop classic as played by Senor Coconut and his Orchestra. Go on give it a listen, you know you want to :-)

 December 16th

 Day 16 of the Advent uncovered cover versions project and today is a song that many people often don’t realise is a cover. It’s the Beatles with their excellent version of the Isley Brothers song “Twist And Shout“. Listen to this and you’ll see just how weak Olly Murs version from the X Factor was!

 December 17th

 It’s already Day 17 in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions project. Today’s song is performed by the Section Quartet and it’s a great instrumental orchestral cover of the brilliant Muse song “Time Is Running Out

 December 18th

 Day 18 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project and I thought it was about time for a Christmas song. This is a cover of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” for a whole myriad of charities and it features some brilliant bands and artists (well in my opinion) Fucked Up, Tegan & Sarah, Bob Mould, the wonderful Yo La Tengo and many, many more :-)

 December 19th

 Day 19 of my Advent uncovered cover versions and thanks to the inclement weather I nearly missed this one (but more of that story another day!). Todays song may surprise some of you. It’s Marvin Gaye with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was in fact a cover of the original hit by Gladys Knight. Personally I prefer Marvin’s version!

 December 20th

 It’s now Day 20 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions project. This one is especially for the boys at Chris’ 50th last night (so that’ll be me, Glen, Neil, Phil and obviously Chris! Apologies from Bryan and Keith sadly!) The song goes back to the mid 70′s and was originally done by the Glitter Band. It’s “Let’s Get Together Again as recorded and mixed by the Human League. If you’d like to hear the original here it is

 December 21st

 And on to Day 21 (that’ll be 21st December then!) in my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s song is the Oasis classic “Wonderwall” as sung by the brilliant Ryan Adams (not Bryan ok!!) Apparently Noel Gallagher thinks that Ryan’s arrangement is even better than his own. For the hell of it here is the link to the Mike Flowers Pops version too!

December 22nd

Day 22 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions Project and there will be more Christmas songs included but not today. The selection for December 22nd is the Foo Fighters with a cover of the rather good Wings song “Band On The Run

December 23rd

Day 23 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project, that means just one more day after this! So I decided to make today and tomorrow Christmas songs as the big Chrimbo thingy is upon us. Obviously I was always going to use this one. It’s “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” from Bing Crosby and David Bowie

December 24th

It’s Christmas Eve and here it is, the final song in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project (until next year anyway!) It is a song that originally featured on the Phil Spector Christmas Album from 1963 (Incidentally that album was released the day JFK was killed!) It is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” originally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope that Santa brings you what you wish for Joriginally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope Santa brings you what you wish for :-)

 

“Leaving just your picture behind and I’ve kissed it a thousand times” October 8, 2009


Hello people and welcome to another post from me, in fact this is the 98th post which means that my mega 100th post which will list my top 100 songs is not too far away now, how exciting is that eh?

I have some news for the regular readers amongst you; back in May I asked if you could guess where I was going to be starting work that month. The link to that post is here if you wish to try and guess again! So don’t read on at this point if you are a second guesser! Why? Well that’s easy because I have now left that job and will be starting another soon. OK if you’re not a second guesser I’ll put you out of your misery, I have been working at BP! Where am I working next? OK let me give you a few clues; Prince Charles off of the Royal Family, Prince off of Purple Rain, Henry VIII off of Herman’s Hermits 60s hit “I’m Henry the VIII I am” What do they all have in common? What are they? Answer that and you will have guessed where I’ll be working next! As usual there may well be a prize if anyone can be bothered to enter and if I can be bothered to sort through my crap at home for a prize!

OK onto the news. David Bowie along with James Osterberg (that’ll be Iggy Pop to the non anoraks) is to be immortalised in Lego for a new Lego version of the Rock Band game. Click here to see Lego Bowie performing “Let’s Dance”I wonder if they’ll do the same to Robbie Williams. I’ve always thought he was a bit of a brick (errrrrrr did I spell that right?)

Taken from the 1983 Serious Moonlight image, I'm not sure it looks much like him. What do you think?

Taken from the 1983 Serious Moonlight image, I'm not sure it looks much like him. What do you think?

Now this one looks much more like the real thing

Now this one looks much more like the real thing

OK this next piece is not strictly music, but I just wanted to say something about it. I personally have a big issue with the piles of ‘self help’ books that clutter our book stores these days. For me the term ‘self help book’ is a complete oxymoron. You either help yourself or perhaps read a book where effectively someone else is trying to help you. (or they’re trying to make a fortune from gullible people by publishing stream of consciousness psychobabble bollocks. Apparently self help books are the only literary genre to have increased sales (by 25%) during the recession. Or to use the more snappy name of ‘The Credit Crunch’ bestowed by one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Which one was it; Pestilence, Plague, Flood or Marketing? I’ll bet that you can’t guess. As a follow on I read on Tuesday that sales of Sarah Ferguson’s self help books have plummeted, they must be worse than awful then! Anyway the article can be found by clicking here. There is one quote which I believe sums up my opinions of this awful genre and it was from the Guardian’s medical correspondent. When asked if he would read another book of this type he said “I would rather slam my cock in the door” So as I have said before this is a music post, so let’s get back to that with a combination of songs about books and help!

Paperback Writer – Beatles. This may have been the most obvious choice for the book part of the list. It was the first of the Beatles UK singles that wasn’t a love song

Story Of The Blues– Wah! I have always loved this song, it has a great, almost Phil Spectorish, production and certainly on record Pete Wylie’s voice is superb. I’m not sure about the sailors hat in the video though, but don’t worry, things become even more camp later in this post! Wylie started his career in Liverpool in 1977 in a short-lived band called the Crucial Three along with none other than Ian McCulloch (off of Echo And The Bunnymen) and Julian Cope (off of the Teardrop Explodes)

Book Of Love - Monotones A classic one hit wonder group. Charles Patrick one of the singers wrote the words after hearing a Pepsodent jingle which carried the refrain “You’ll wonder where the yellow went”

Help– Beatles. This, as the astute readers will have spotted is the second song from the MopTops in this list, an obvious choice I suppose but a great song nonetheless. Lead vocals come from John Lennon on this song which he wrote about his feelings of insecurity following the bands rapid rise to global fame. Incidentally on the album cover the Beatles semaphore stance was originally intended to spell HELP, but apparently it didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, so it actually spells NUVJ. Which on reflection wouldn’t have been a great album title would it?

Help Yourself – Tom Jones This video is taken from the first edition of Tom’s UK TV show ‘This Is Tom Jones’ in February 1969. Is it me or are those dancers the campest in the entire history of the universe?

I Can’t Help Myself  (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)– Four Tops. Some excellent Motown formation dancing from the guys in this one, which if you haven’t viewed the previous Tom Jones clip you might have considered somewhat camp, after that it is downright butch! The Tops were originally known as the Four Aims back in the 50s, but there was another vocal group known as the Four Ames (Ames being a family name) so to avoid confusion they became the Four Tops. They were one of my favourite groups when I began to get into music and in my opinion Levi Stubbs voice may never be surpassed. However there does exist another rather good version of this song from the talented but hardly mentioned these days, Mr Donnie Elbert, click here to hear it. Still on the subject of camp who is Music Mike and what is Flashback Favourites? (you’ll have to check out the Donnie video to understand

 

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


Me and my helmet :-)

Me and my helmet :-)

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

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

Me on a Harley

Me on a Harley

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

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

“I’ll be buzzin’ round your hive everyday at five” May 2, 2009


It’s me again people, I’m back with another one of those annoyingly intermittent blog posts. Actually they may well become more intermittent these days as I move back to being much more fully immersed in the corporate world, I start a new job next week. What will I be doing and who will I be working for? Well (and to those of you who truly believe that gullible really has been removed from the dictionary this next bit should be read with tongue in cheek!) I have searched far and wide to discover and produce an alternative cheap and environmentally friendly fuel to power our motor vehicles. I have left no stone unturned and no sting unstung. Indeed it is the sting thing that finally led me to my discovery. For some time I have been extracting the urine from Bumble Bees, well frankly anyone who wears a black and yellow hooped jumper deserves to have the piss taken out of them don’t you think? The extraction process is quite painful, well it is for the bees! Anyway I now have so much of the stuff in the fridge that it’s beginning to curdle the milk, so it’s time to put some in the car and guess what…….. it works! It powered the mighty Volvo for around ten yards, yes I am now being fuelled by Bee Pee. So can you guess who I’ll be working for? ;-)

You may be smiling now but just wait until the extraction starts!

You may be smiling now but just wait until the extraction starts!

I know that this is really supposed to be a music blog and this one isn’t even about bees either but this story was too good not to share. It’s about a cat called Henry who steals socks. Click here to read it on the Beeb.

In keeping with the first part of this post todays trivia will be Bee related :-)

So let’s start with the late great (those ever present l’s & g’s are here again) Elvis Aaron Presley, who had a hit with “I Got Stung” in 1958. A song so old it even has more wrinkles than me. The song was one of many that Elvis recorded during his National Service and was in fact on the flipside of “One Night”. some of you dedicated trivia fans probably know that the song also topped the UK charts during the 2005 reissues programme, indeed I have all those reissued singles, how sad am I? “I Got Stung” was written by Aaron Schroeder and David Hill but is was produced by Mike Stoller off of Leiber and Stoller. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote a number of hits for Elvis, including “Jailhouse Rock” A young Phil Spector also worked with the pair in his early career in the music industry.

Elvis really swelled up after he got stung

Elvis really swelled up after he got stung

Those of you that are older than me will remember that Arthur Askey recorded “The Bee Song” but did you know that he also starred in a 1944 movie called ‘Bees In Paradise’? Whilst it was set on a mysterious island in the South Atlantic (so not the Falklands then?) where men are regarded as disposable beings useful only for breeding purposes. The island is ruled by scantily clad warrior women. The story involves four airmen, including Arthur Askey, parachuting onto the island with Askey’s character becoming the object of desire for one of the native women played by Ann Shelton. Whilst the film may have been set on a tropical island it was actually filmed in Torquay.

That's not glasses that Arthur is wearing they're protective goggles

That's not glasses that Arthur is wearing they're protective goggles

How could I do a post relating to Bees without mentioning Sting, well quite easily actually, but I won’t. Sting or Gordon Sumner to his nearest and dearest got his nickname after wearing a black and yellow hooped jumper when playing a gig with a jazz band, the Phoenix Jazzmen. As I said earlier anyone who wears a black and yellow hooped jumper deserves to have the piss taken out of them, I rest my case! Anyway here is Mr Sting with the fabulous “Englishman In New York

Actually I think I'd prefer him in the yellow and black hooped jumper

Actually I think I'd prefer him in the yellow and black hooped jumper

And without further ado let me end with a classic philosophical Monty Python song “Eric The Half A Bee” Enjoy!

The end............. for now!

The end............. for now!

 

“She’s really got a magical spell and it’s working so well I just can’t get away” April 14, 2009


Hello again good people and also to anyone not in that category! I’ll kick off with some news. Yesterday on BBC Radio 2 Rob Dryden hosted a countdown of the Top 75 songs that have been heard in public places in the UK. So that would include cafes’ restaurants, pubs and the like. The chart was compiled by PPL a music licensing company. The top 10 was as follows;

1. Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade Of Pale

2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

3. Everly Brothers – All I Have To Do Is Dream
4. Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around
5. Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
6. Robbie Williams – Angels
7. Elvis Presley – All Shook Up
8. Abba – Dancing Queen
9. Perry Como – Magic Moments
10. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Some good songs in there, but Robbie…… give me a break! Robbie even tied with the Beatles for most entries in the top 75 with three. I really don’t like that Bryan Adams song either. But fair play to Procul Harum though, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” is a great song. Anyway if you’d like to see the whole of the Top 75 just click here
They had wanted to record Stairway To Heaven but made do with a Whiter Shade Of Pale

They had wanted to record Stairway To Heaven but made do with a Whiter Shade Of Pale

Next some bad news and some good news. First the bad news Phil Spector has been found guilty of murder and will no doubt be held behind something a little stronger than a wall of sound. I suspect that’s the end of Spector’s career now. But then he deserves the punishment if he committed the crime! The good news is that Robbie will not be rejoining Take That according to Gary Barlow. Click on their names for more information
Phil Spector's attempt to escape custody while disguised as a toilet brushed failed abysmally

Phil Spector's attempt to escape custody while disguised as a toilet brushed failed abysmally

Some even more sad news is that Sandi Thom’s cat Toots has been shot dead near her parents home in Scotland. Click here to read the story. Toots looks a little like my youngest cat Benny. What sort of person would shoot a cat?
Toots RIP

Toots RIP

On a brighter note and yes I know it’s yet more shameless promotion of my son Luke’s band, but they are looking for gigs. They will be playing in Abingdon on 24th April. Check them out on MySpace, give them a gig or go and see them and tell them I sent you! They are called Steal The Smile and they are bloody good!
Give these boys a gig............NOW! You won't be disappointed

Give these boys a gig............NOW! You won't be disappointed

On to the usual stuff for today and let’s try and cheer up after all the glum news shall we? Let’s start by wishing a very happy 67th birthday to Tony Burrows today, April 14th. Many of you probably don’t think that you know who Tony is, but if you read on I think you’ll find that you may be somewhat familiar with him. He was lead vocalist for Edison Lighthouse who topped the UK charts with “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” in 1970. He also holds the record for having the most records in the UK top ten at the same time, all under different names. In 1970 in addition to Edison Lighthouse he was also in the Top 10 with “My Baby Loves Lovin’” – White Plains, “Gimme Dat Ding” – The Pipkins and “United We Stand” – Brotherhood Of Man. On one edition of Top Of The Pops in that year he appeared three times, the only act missing that week was the Pipkins, but he did appear with them a week or two later. He was the lead vocalist for First Class in 1974 for their hit “Beach Baby” and he was also a vocalist for the Flowerpot Men on their hit “Let’s Go To San Francisco” in 1967. Here’s one for you fact fans, that group also contained Jon Lord and Nick Simper who went on to become founding members of Deep Purple. Click on the song title to see Tony singing “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” on Top Of The Pops in 1970 and introduced by Jimmy Saville
The Pipkins play human scrabble aor go to a fancy dress party as two "P"s in a pod!

The Pipkins play human scrabble aor go to a fancy dress party as two "P"s in a pod!

On this day in 1971 the Illinois Crime Commission issued a list of ‘drug-oriented’ records which included Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, the Beatles “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and would you believe it for the second time today, Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. I’m not sure why they issued this list, maybe they were making recommendations as to what to listen to when smoking a joint. Well whatever it was it’s good to know that the ‘powers that be’ are getting their priorities right……………..NOT! How about getting out and catching some real criminals?
Jefferson Airplane's secret giant cannabis tree would not be secret any longer, the Illinois Police had smoked them out!

Jefferson Airplane's secret giant cannabis tree would not be secret any longer, the Illinois Police had smoked them out!

On this day in 2003 a man was arrested and accused of making up a Bjork concert and then selling tickets. Alex Conate managed to persuade a San diego night club owner that Bjork had a greed to play a show there. He allegedly sold $14,000′s worth of tickets before he was rumbled. He was accused of taking the money and moving to Hawaii which is where he was arrested.
Bjork just wished that everyone would leaf her alone!

Bjork just wished that everyone would leaf her alone!

And finally for todays ‘onthisday’s in 1975 all the rumour and conjecture about who would replace Mick Taylor as the new guitarist with the Rolling Stones was put to bed. These rumours suggested that Steve Marriott, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Chris Spedding may have been considered. But we know that it was all round good bloke Ronnie Wood. Ronnie’s autobiography is one of the best rock biographies I have ever read, if you’d like to try it for yourself just click here
Ronnie was surprised at how well Keef was dressing these days

Ronnie was surprised at how well Keef was dressing these days

And now a proper and finally have you seen the new T-Mobile advert where the babies and toddlers are dancing to “Blame It On The Boogie”? It’s a real fun advert, click here to check it out! Check out the original Dancing Baby by clicking here, this is like the one that used to appear on Ally McBeal.

 

“We were barely 17 and we were barely dressed” March 11, 2009


Hello dear readers and welcome to the 11th March, coming up there’ll be one birthday and four ‘onthisdays’. But just before those here is yet another blatant plug for my son’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ check them out and tell me what you think of them, add them as a friend on MySpace too if you haven’t done so already, click their name for the link.

So in yet another attempt to post a short one (oooooerr missus!) here comes that birthday.

Today is the 59th birthday of Bobby McFerrin who had a massive hit in 1988 with the rather excellent “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (UK 2, US 1 that is it’s respective chart positions and not an international soccer score in case you were wondering). It was the first a capella song to reach the top of the Billboard charts in the US. The phrase “Don’t Worry Be Happy” comes originally from the teachings of Meher Baba. His teachings were followed at times by Pete Townshend of the Who

Bobby was having the worst bad hair day of his life!

Bobby was having the worst bad hair day of his life!

On this day in 1967 the music publisher Dick James announced that the Beatles song (well it’s Macca’s really) “Yesterday” had been recorded by 446 acts at that point. Considering the song was only released in 1965 that’s pretty good going It is now believed that there are more than 3,000 recorded versions. The song is believed to have been performed more than 3 million times in the last century according to the BMI. Paul McCartney gave the tune the working title of “Scrambled Eggs” before he wrote the lyrics. Here are two cover versions of the song, firstly from Dogpatch Debbie, it’s certainly different and then a great version from the late great (oh yes they’re back!) Ray Charles

Paul's audience were somewhat surprised when he decided to cover "I'm A Little Teapot Short And Stout"

Paul's audience were somewhat surprised when he decided to cover "I'm A Little Teapot Short And Stout"

On this day in 1978 there was some shocking news (geddit?). French singer Claude Francois was electrocuted while changing a light bulb when he was standing in his bathtub, presumably with water in. he had a UK hit in 1976 with “Tears On The Telephone” Claude is perhaps most famous for writing the song “Comme D’Habitude” which became a standard after English lyrics were written by Paul Anka and the song with those new lyrics was recorded by ole’ blue eyes himself Mr Frank Sinatra (or as I like to call him Frank Sinister). That song ladies and gentlemen is “My Way” Incidentally David Bowie (yet another DB reference) was the first person to write an English lyric for the tune but nobody took his words up! Here is Claude with “Comme D’Habitude” and here Mr Bowie explains his encounter with the song, it’s impact on “Life On Mars” and how he met Marc Bolan.

Claude always wore Lynx anti-perspirant and it certainly seemed to work for him!

Claude always wore Lynx anti-perspirant and it certainly seemed to work for him!

Also on this day in 1978 Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” album began a 416 week run in the UK album charts and selling 2 million copies in the process. Mr Loaf is actually called Marvin Lee Aday, his Meat Loaf name allegedy came from an incident when he stood on the foot of his high school football coach. Jim Steinman wrote the ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album and many claim that it shows his love of Bruce Springsteen, Phil Spector and Wagner. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album supposedly still sells around 200,000 copies per year even now. Is there anyone reading this that doesn’t own the album? Here is Mr Loaf himself with the classic “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” ably assisted by Ellen Foley.

From the look of it Meat Loaf should have taken Claude's anti perspirant advice

From the look of it Meat Loaf should have taken Claude's anti perspirant advice

And yet again in 1978 the debut single from the wonderful Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” Kate was only 15 when EMI’s interest was sparked by a demo tape of hers was passed to their A & R man Bob Mercer by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Gilmour actually plays guitar on the song too in particular that wonderful solo on the fade out. The company spent nearly 3 years on developing Kate as an artist. Sadly with the awful rise of X Factor and Idol shows that kind of thing is almost unheard of these days. She undertook, dance, vocal and mime classes. Her mime teacher was none other than Lindsay Kemp, who also taught David Bowie his mime skills (there you go, yet another Bowie reference). “Wuthering Heights” was originally scheduled for release in November 1977 but the company deemed it to be not radio friendly, it was eventually issued in January 1978. The song was inspired by Emily Bronte’s book of the same name, Kate is a big Bronte fan and even shares her birthday, July 30th. (Kate in 1958 and Emily 140 years earlier in 1818) Here is Ms Bush with that wonderful song and yes “Wuthering Heights” is certainly one of the 50 songs in my top 10

Kate's Atage Musical version of Lady Godiva never really took off

Kate's Stage Musical version of Lady Godiva never really took off

And finally here’s another picture of Kate, simply because I’ve always had a thing for the delectable Ms Bush :-)

More Kate Bush........ because I can!

More Kate Bush........ because I can or perhaps more likely because I'd like to ;-)

 

 
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