With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Is it really necessary 4 me 2 go out of the room, just because u wanna undress?” March 31, 2009


Well here we are again and it’s the end of March, that’s a quarter of the year gone already, where did it go exactly? I mean you often hear people say where did the time go, but does it actually go anywhere? Answers on a postcard please or just in the blog comments, or maybe you don’t have the time, if that’s the case where did it go? I mean you often hear…….. oh bloody hell it’s not Groundhog Day is it? 😉

I was going to call this post Big Balls and Sugar Walls, read on and I’m sure you’ll guess why!

If you read yesterdays post you may recall that I spoke about some of the search stats for the blog, well don’t worry I’m not going into that much detail today! But I just had to tell you that there have been 4 searches using the phrase ‘invisible man and invisible women naked’ that have arrived at this blog. The reason they arrived here is that in a previous post I made a joke comment about the invisible man in a picture. however what interests me is why anyone would search for something like that, I mean how would you know from a picture that the invisible man or woman was naked? So if you are prepared to admit it was you who searched then let me know. Also let us know whether you actually found the picture too.

I spent the usual ridiculous amount of time trying to buy Reading Festival tickets last night. The Seetickets site was down almost from the start and the Ticketmaster site seemed to have run out of tickets in a matter of minutes. As for the telephone lines, what a waste of space! So rather than give up I tried Viagogo, official ticket exchange partner of the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Viagogo are aimed at preventing touts from scamming money off real music fans, that is a principle I totally support. However when I pay more than double the face value and also get hit with a £50 plus admin fee my support diminishes somewhat. This seems no better than touting to me. What is the answer in the longer term, probably a Glastonbury style registration system and also stop putting the tickets on sale at 19.00 on a Monday evening, what happened to 9.00? when tickets used to go on sale in the morning they were usually available throughout the day. I have been going to the Reading leg of the festival for around 20 years and have missed only one in that time, but the shambolic way the tickets are sold tells me that I could be in line for missing more in future. Well at least the line up is pretty strong. Headliners are Kings Of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead. I was totally gobsmacked that Radiohead are appearing, I mean I love them, but they always seemed like more of a Glasto or V Festival band. As for the rumours of AC/ DC or Blink 182 headlining, well that came to nothing. But already the rumour mill for Reading 2010 is turning and suggests that two of the headliners will be Blink 182 and Green Day. If that’s correct remember where you read it first ok? 😉

Reading Festival 2009 Line Up

Reading Festival 2009 Line Up

Now on to the usual stuff, starting with a birthday. It is Angus Young off of AC/DC’s 54th birthday today. Although some sources have him as 52 or 50, this is thought to have come about following comments made to the press when he first adopted the school uniform look for gigs. Although a part of one of the biggest and best Aussie bands ever, Angus McKinnon Young was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He was just 18 when he formed AC/DC in 1973 with his brother Malcolm. They took the name from seeing those letters on the back of a sewing machine owned by their mother. Here is Angus with the rest of the AC/ DC gang with “Big Balls

probably the only 50 something man who might seem attractive to Michael Jackson, but only if he is fooled by the school uniform!

probably the only 50 something man who might seem attractive to Michael Jackson, but only if he is fooled by the school uniform!

On this day in 1967 Jimi Hendrix began his first British tour with Cat Stevens. It was on this tour that Hendrix set fire to his guitar for the first time

No one could light farts the way Jimi could. The wind didn't cry Mary it cried fan me and flame me!

No one could light farts the way Jimi could. The wind didn't cry Mary it cried fan me and flame me!

And on this day in 1987 Prince’s – ‘Sign O’ The Times’ double album was released. The Purple One actually intended it to be a triple album but Warner Bros talked him down to a 22 track double album. I still rate this as my favourite Prince album. he even duets with Sheena Easton on “U Got The Look”. Although my favourite songs are “Starfish And Coffee” and “If I Was Your Girlfriend“. He also wrote a rather risque song for Ms Easton called “Sugar Walls”

Say what you like about Prince but he sure had big balls, well at least one anyway!

Say what you like about Prince but he sure had big balls, well at least one anyway!

And finally on this day in 1992 White Zombie’s ‘La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. One’ was released. It was their first release on a major label. The band named themselves after a Bela Lugosi film and lasted until the fabulous Rob Zombie left in 1998. In 1993 their single “Thunder Kiss ’65” was played hundreds of times on MTV. Here are White Zombie with a fantastic video and cover of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “I’m Your Boogie Man

So they made ugly music for ugly people did they?..........

So they made ugly music for ugly people did they?..........

....... yeah she is butt ugly right? ;-)

....... yeah she is butt ugly right? 😉

 

“I told you ’bout the swans, that they live in the park” March 30, 2009


Hello once again dear blog readers. My blog has been going for around 7 weeks now so I thought I’d check some of the stats available on WordPress. Firstly here is the top 10 search items (and number of searches) that people have used and found their way here;

1 pink floyd 431
2 kate bush 157
3 johnny cash 123
4 johnny winter 88
5 george harrison 73
6 smokey robinson 69
7 the smiths 62
8 dire straits 43
9 the byrds 39
10 tim buckley 23

I’m really pleased to see that Kate Bush is doing so well, I’m also quite amazed by the sheer volume of Pink Floyd searches. If you found your way here from searching I’d love to hear from you! As she did so well here is a picture of the delectable Ms Bush

"Oh England My Leotard" perhaps?

"Oh England My Leotard" perhaps?

Some of you may recall that we also ran an experiment some weeks ago to see if it was possible to drive people to the blog by including a particular phrase, that phrase being ‘Lily Allen Naked’. Well I can report some success, ‘Lily Allen Naked’ is in fact the 18th most popular search item ,with 13 searches , to arrive here. Although clearly all those 13 people (although it could be one person 13 times) will have been disappointed as there are no naked pics of Lily here. So apologies to you folks. I’d love to hear from you too, although obviously I’ll understand if you wish to remain anonymous 😉

Of all the many links I include in my posts I can also confirm that the two most clicked items have been the Myspace pages for ‘Soft Toy Emergency‘ (7 clicks) and my son Luke’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ (9 clicks). click on their names to increase their total clicks.

OK enough of the stats, numbers excite me but perhaps not everyone! On to the tried and tested format and kicking off with a birthday. Mr Eric Clapton is 64 today. Did he ever cover the Beatles “When I’m 64”? Perhaps he should now! He has been a part of many bands in his time; the Roosters, Casey Jones and the Engineers, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes. Indeed he was also one of the few non Beatles to play on a Beatles song. He played guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. George Harrison returned the favour by guesting on the fantastic “Badge” by Cream. Click on the song title to see Eric with a live version of the song from the 80’s, watch out for Phil Collins on drums!

Eric discusses matrimonial time share plans with George

Eric discusses matrimonial time share plans with George

There are quite a few ‘onthisdays’ for March 30th starting with on this day in 1967 the photo session for the cover of the Beatles ‘Sergeant Pepper’ album took place at Chelsea Manor Studios

Just in case there is anyone on the planet that hasn't seen this album cover here it is again :-)

Just in case there is anyone on the planet that hasn't seen this album cover here it is again 🙂

Also on this day in 1976 the Sex Pistols played at the 100 Club in London for the first time. They began a weekly residency there in June 1976. One of my biggest musical regrets is that I turned down the opportunity to see the Pistols live in late 1976. They were playing at Brunel University near where I grew up. I’m sorry to say that I chose to stay in the pub!

The other guys always thought it was hilarious to set Glen's microphone stand too high for him

The other guys always thought it was hilarious to set Glen's microphone stand too high for him

On this day in 1978 Paul Simonon and Nicky ‘Topper’ Headon off of the Clash were arrested in Camden Town, London after shooting pigeons with air guns from the roof of Chalk Farm Studios. It was later discovered that these were prize winning and very expensive racing pigeons. It required four police cars and a helicopter to make the arrest. The pairs fines totaled £800

Once they had established exactly where the Clash were they would avenge the death of their brothers by dropping pigeon shit bombs

Once they had established exactly where the Clash were they would avenge the death of their brothers by dropping pigeon shit bombs

Also in 1978 on this day U2 won £500 and a chance to audition for CBS Ireland in a talent contest which was held in Dublin and sponsored by Guinness. Strange fact of the day, Guinness, which I really enjoy, began life 200 years before I did!

Bono puts his hand up to attract the teachers attention as he desperately needs to pee

Bono puts his hand up to attract the teachers attention as he desperately needs to pee

And finally on this day in 2000 Sir Michael Jagger off of the Rolling Stones paid a visit to his old school, Dartford Grammar. He was there to open a new arts centre bearing his name. He was quoted as saying that he spent the worst years of his life at school!

Mick's old school uniform clearly didn't fit him anymore

Mick's old school uniform clearly didn't fit him anymore

 

“Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be” March 28, 2009


Hello there dear readers how the devil are you on this fine Saturday (March 28th)? probably better than Britney I should wager. I have had the feeling for some time that she is being pushed back into centre stage way too early. I really don’t believe she is well yet and this clip suggest that I may be right. She was filmed at a gig on March 24th while singing “Do Something” she skips across the stage and shouts ‘Merry Christmas’ to the audience. Who is actually looking after her welfare is what I’d like to know? It seems to me that too many people will keep milking their Britney cash cow until she can’t be milked anymore. Click here to get to the clip from the NME site. But I would also be interested to know what you think so feel free to comment.

Just one birthday to cover today, it’s the big 40 for Cheryl James. Who is she? Well she is Salt off of Salt-N-Pepa. Pepa was Sandy Denton and the pair were joined in the band by Deidra ‘Dee Dee’ Roper also known as DJ Spinderella. Their first big chart hit was with “Push It” in 1987 which reached number 19 in the US and number 2 in the UK. The song was originally a b-side and started to gain a lot of radio airplay after it was remixed by San Francisco DJ Cameron Paul. The song has been covered and sampled by many other acts, indeed Girls Aloud played the song live on their 2008 tour. “Let’s Talk About Sex” also reached number 2 in the UK, sadly they never made number 1 in either the UK or the US but did reach the summit in other countries including the Netherlands and Germany. They also had a UK number 3 hit when they joined EnVogue for “Whatta Man”. But here they are with my fave “Let’s Talk About Sex

The girls did indeed "Push It" so much so that they ripped their jeans

The girls did indeed "Push It" so much so that they ripped their jeans

On this day in 1992 more than $100,000 worth of damage was caused at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, California after Ozzy Osbourne invited the first two rows of the audience up on stage with him. Several others feeling somewhat left out also took up the offer and as the numbers grew the band were forced to leave the stage. Here is Ozzy with a classic solo single “Perry Mason

After a starter of bat Ozzy enjoyed a main course of '4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie'

After a starter of bat Ozzy enjoyed a main course of '4 and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie'

On this day in 2001 The artist formerly known as Sean Combs, Sean Puffy Combs, Sean John, Puffy, Puff and Puff Daddy amongst others told MTV that he now wanted to be known as P.Diddy. Then in 2005 he changed his stage name agin, this time to Diddy. Did he? Yes he Diddy! How soon before he joins Ken Dodd’s Diddy Men? Here is Mr Diddy whatever with “I’ll Be Missing You” which bizarrely became the theme for the period of Princess Diana’s mourning. I thought that was a remarkably strange outpouring of grief for the UK, what happened?

Diddy Daddy or whatever he calls himself had sat in the chair for so long it had begun to take him over

Diddy Daddy or whatever he calls himself had sat in the chair for so long it had begun to take him over

 

“I could be the ticket man at Fulham Broadway Station” March 27, 2009


You folks may be surprised to find that the usual format has returned for this post, it’s had a few days rest and is now ready to appear again, but dam you should see the rider it requested! I didn’t know it was possible to buy baby oil and lard in those kind of quantities! Talking of riders, is everyone aware of what a rider is? Yes I know it’s someone who sits on a horse Jes! But thanks for the input anyway. But that’s not what it is in this context. According to Wiki, which to be fair isn’t always 100% correct the ‘hospitality rider’ is a list of requests for the comfort of the artist on the day of the show. Sometimes this document is provided along with the technical rider; other times, it is provided much closer to the performance date. Thanks to those wonderful people at the ‘Smoking Gun’ website you can now view the recent riders of more than 270 acts, there is some interesting reading there, trust me! Click here to see it. Apparently one of David Bowie’s requirements is that each room must have at least two fans, I presume he means air coolers and not groupies! Hey did you see how I just sneaked in another DB reference?

I also feel bad that I didn’t post this earlier, but many of you will be aware of the death of British TV icon Wendy Richard. Wendy is perhaps best known for her roles as Miss Brahms in 70s sitcom ‘Are You Being Served’ and as Pauline Fowler in Eastenders. But wait I thought this was a music blog I hear you cry………. louder please! well yes you’re right it is a music blog and it is absolutely right to feature Wendy Richard in it too. She was the uncredited voice on Mike Sarne’s 1962 UK number one “Come Outside“. Wendy was paid just £15 for that session and the song went on to sell around a half a million copies. In 1964 she also made a cameo appearance in the Beatles movie film ‘Help!’ but her contribution sadly ended up on the cutting room floor.

presumably Wendy and Molly were discussing Mrs Slocombe's pussy ;-)

presumably Wendy and Molly were discussing Mrs Slocombe's pussy 😉

There are two birthdays today, Friday 27th March, well ok there are loads more, but just two on this post! Starting with Mr Tony Banks off of Genesis who is 59 today. He was a founding member of Genesis and along with Mike Rutherford one of the only two original members to have remained with the band for the whole of it’s existence, since 1967 in fact. In the early sixties Banks attended Charterhouse School in Sussex in the UK where he met Rutherford and also Peter Gabriel. Although Tony Banks has provided occasional vocals for Genesis and some on his solo work he has also employed an eclectic group of vocalists for his solo projects. These include Nik Kershaw, Toyah Willcox, Fish and Jim Diamond. Here is Tony with Genesis playing “Mama

Tony was very proud of his keyboard style kitchen work tops, but where the hell was the bloody sink?

Tony was very proud of his keyboard style kitchen work tops, but where the hell was the bloody sink?

Second and final birthday for today is that of Mariah Carey, she reaches the ripe old age of 39 today. Did you know that Mariah’s folks named her after the song “They Call The Wind Mariah” from the musical “Paint Your Wagon”. They called the wind Mariah eh? I can feel a fart joke coming on but I’ll resist! Wow that’s a first maybe I’m reaching maturity, bloody hell I hope not! Mariah is often referred to as the ‘Queen Of Pop’ (oops there’s another fart gag there surely?). Although it’s hardly an exclusive title as at various times the following divas have also been given that accolade; Celine Dion, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Madonna. Here comes Mariah with “Hero

That's Mariah on the left............. I think!

That's Mariah on the left............. I think!

On this day in1973 the late great (well the l’s & g’s have been resting too) Jerry Garcia off of the Grateful Dead was arrested for speeding in New Jersey. The Police discovered cocaine and LSD in his car. But strangely they discovered no speed, hmmmmm…… is that grounds for wrongful arrest? Jerry’s full name was Jerome John Garcia and he was named after the composer Jerome Kern. In 1987 Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream produced the Cherry Garcia flavour, the first ice cream ever named after a rock musician. For a month after Jerry’s death in 1995 the ice cream was produced using black cherries rather than the usual red as a form of mourning for Garcia. For all you Deadheads out there here is Jerry with the Dead and “Ripples

Could this be a deady bears picnic?

Could this be a deady bears picnic?

And finally on this day in 2000 the late great (well they did have a very, very good rest those ‘ole l’s & g’s) Ian Dury died after a long battle with cancer. When Ian first confirmed that he had cancer he was said to have told family and friends, “I haven’t got cancer, but cancer’s got me and it’s going to have to bloody deal with me!” That has to be th epitome of positive thinking, what a great man. Also the UK tabloids had been sniffing around and offering silly money for their ‘IAN DURY IN CANCER SHOCK’ headlines, but he beat them on that too. Ian went to the Guardian newspaper and gave them a UK press exclusive on his condition in exchange for a donation to a cancer charity. I’ll say it again, what a great man! Apparently the Blockheads are writing and recording again, this time with Dave The Draw, Dury’s friend and minder on vocals. It would have been all to easy to show a clip of “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, so I won’t, here’s “What A Waste” instead, with a great intro from Mr Peter Cook too, from the TV show Revolver!

Ian was never happy when he was in the papers, unless of course he was sleeping

Ian was never happy when he was in the papers, unless of course he was sleeping

 

“I am beautiful and clean and so very very young” March 26, 2009


Hello peeps!

Todays very brief post (well by my usual standards anyway) is a small collection of recent music news, just in case you missed it.

A number of Liverpool musicians and former players have recorded a charity single in memory of the 96 people who lost their lives at the Hillsborough disaster in 1989. The 20th anniversary of that tragic event is next month, it remains the UKs biggest sporting disaster. The song is a terrace anthem of the Kop at Liverpool FC, called “The Fields Of Anfield Road”. Peter Hooton of the Farm has written a new verse for the song. he is joined by John Power, formerly of the La’s and Cast on the song which was produced by Ken Nelson who has also produced Coldplay. A number of former Liverpool players, including Bruce Grobbelar and John Aldridge also provide a vocal contribution. Click here to see the BBC news piece on the song.

Puerto Rican Merengue singer Elvis Crespo (now that is one superb name if you ask me!) has been accused of exposing himself during a flight in the US. Maybe it was a Ryanair flight and he didn’t have enough change for the toilet! As it was in US airspace the incident was reported to the FBI. He was questioned by airport authorities in Miami but has not been arrested. Check out his Myspace page here

Elvis tries to cover up his in flight...........errrr.......'wardrobe malfunction' (thank you Janet J) with some colourful letters.......which are not from France!

Elvis tries to cover up his in flight...........errrr.......'wardrobe malfunction' (thank you Janet J) with some colourful letters.......which are not from France!

And a final piece of news for today, Spandau Ballet are reforming. I can’t imagine there is any other reason than money. The Sex Pistols were quite honest about reforming for money in 1996 even going so far as naming the tour “The Filthy Lucre Tour”. Where do you stand on bands reforming? Overall I am really not keen on it, it leads to all kinds of crap bands getting back together. I mean even Shed Seven reformed a year or two back……..wtf? There was a fabulous quote from Morrissey once when questioned yet again about a Smiths reunion. His response was something like “I would rather eat my own testicles than see the Smiths reform” Now I can honestly say he was talking bollocks! Anyway take the Spandau Ballet reformation poll below!

The Spandau boys had once again raided their Mum's wardrobes for stage clothes

The Spandau boys had once again raided their Mum's wardrobes for stage clothes

To end this particular post here is yet another in a series of shameless plugs for my son Luke’s band, ‘Steal The Smile‘. If you haven’t checked them out before do it now, they’re bloody good. If you like good pop punk type stuff a la Blink 182 you’re gonna love ’em! Click the band name to be safely delivered to their MySpace page!

Steal The Smile an excellent band from the Reading area - pay to go and see them or buy them a shirt

Steal The Smile an excellent band from the Reading area - pay to go and see them or buy them a shirt

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“Yeah, I’m the one infected, twisted animator” March 24, 2009


Hello again readers (well I am assuming that you’re not just looking at the pictures here obviously!). I’ve moved away from the usual birthday and ‘onthisday’ post once again today. This post could I suppose be called a fire sale! It was inspired by my second fire walk which I completed last night! Yes I walked barefoot over hot coals and I urge you to try it yourself if you ever get the chance. It’s not just a turn up and walk kind of thing there is a build up over a few hours including breaking an arrow on your throat. That too is an incredible experience. The lady who ran last nights session and indeed the first firewalk I did a few months back is ‘Lovely Lisa‘ click her name to get to her website. Lisa is truly an inspirational coach and those of you who know me well will be aware that this is strong praise indeed coming from such a cynical skeptic. Check out Lisa’s site and do everything you can, short of perhaps selling your mother, to do a firewalk.

This is me exposing my soles to hot coals!

This is me exposing my soles to hot coals!

Anyway to get back to the music I thought I would run through my top 5 fire related songs and maybe it could ‘spark’ you into shedding some ‘light’ one your own ‘burning hot’ songs. Here are mine;

1 “Firestarter” – The Prodigy

2 “Fire” – Ohio Players

3 “Burning Down The House” – Talking Heads

4 “Burnin’ And Lootin‘” – Bob Marley and the Wailers

5 “Light My Fire” – Jose Feliciano

OK now do your worst and tell me your favourite fire related songs, if I receive enough I’ll put my five and yours in a poll in a future post!

A post of mine wouldn’t be the same without a large degree of trivia so here it comes.

The Prodigy took their name from a Moog synthesiser which unsurprisingly was called the Moog Prodigy! The band rose to fame during the rave era of the early 90’s in the UK. They released their first single “Charly” in August 1991. It took a sample from a British public information film called ‘Charley Says’ and reached number 3 in the UK. Eventually things went mega for the band in 1997 with the release of the excellent ‘Fat Of The Land’ album which spawned two UK number ones in “Firestarter” and “Breathe”. My own favourite Prodigy song is their fourth single, released in 1992, “Out Of Space”. It sampled heavily from a Max Romeo song “I Chase The Devil” which had originally been produced by the stupendously talented Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. The “I’ll take your brain to another dimension” line is taken from the excellent “Critical Breakdown” by the Ultramagnetic MCs. What is your favourite Prodigy song?

keith knew he would have to grow his hair much more before he could acquire the perfect combover

Keith Prodigy knew he would have to grow his hair much more before he could acquire the perfect comb-over

I was a big fan of funk music in the 70s which is how I first got into the rather wonderful Ohio Players. There was a bonus for teenage boys who were fans of this band and in 1975 I was just 16. That bonus was that all their album covers had pictures of semi naked women doing things like pouring honey over themselves! Excuse me while I go and take a quick cold shower……………… ok that’s better, now where were we? Oh yes the Ohio Players. In their early days Walter ‘Junie’ Morrison was the lead vocalist, he later went on to sing lead for Funkadelic (probably my favourite funk band ever!). Those Red Hot Chili Pepper fans amongst you may already be familiar with the Ohio Players via the Chili’s rather good cover of “Love Rollercoaster”. The RHCP version featured in the movie ‘Beavis And Butthead Do America’ and when released as a single from the soundtrack the additional track was “Lesbian Seagull” by Englebert Humperdinck, I kid you not! Click the title to hear it! The original Ohio Players version of “Love Rollercoaster” features a couple of high pitched screams which have developed an urban myth about them over the years. One myth says they are the screams of a dying woman being murdered outside the studio, another says that it is the painful scream of a dying rabbit which was run down outside the studio. The truth would appear to be much more likely and indeed mundane. It is the sampled scream of a woman riding a roller coaster. Well come on it fits the song doesn’t it? Anyway click here to watch a brief video that explains the urban myth and then tell me what you think. Personally I think it is complete and utter crap!

For research only here are two pictures of Ohio Players album covers. I love the strategically placed picture of the band on the second one

The Fire Service budget cuts had resulted in almost a complete lack of protective clothing for firefighters

The Fire Service budget cuts had resulted in almost a complete lack of protective clothing for firefighters

Well they do say that honey is good for you;-)

Well they do say that honey is good for you;-)

Talking Heads originally formed in 1974 as the Artistics featuring David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz who were all attending the Rhode Island School Of Design. The name Talking Heads came after they read a TV Guide which explained that just a headshot of a presenter was known as a talking head and was basically ‘all content and no action’ They felt that the phrase was a perfect fit for the band. The first time they played under the new name was when they opened for the Ramones at CBGBs in 1975. Jerry Harrison joined the band from Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers in 1976. It was a cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” that really helped them take off

After a power failure backstage the band had dressed in the dark again

After a power failure backstage the band had dressed in the dark again

Bob Marley is one of my all time favourite singers and has been for many years. I hadn’t heard of him when he released his first singles though. Largely because I was only three years old and the singles only came out in Jamaica! The songs were “Judge Not” and “One More Cup Of Coffee” production was handled by legendary Jamaican Producer Leslie Kong. Marley didn’t even use his own name on the singles, for both he was known as Bobby Martell. Earlier this year Marley’s family struck a deal with a Finance Company to licence Marley’s image under the ‘House Of Marley’ brand. So expect to see House Of Marley image and branding on everything from Snowboards (that sounds really authentic Jamaican), Luggage, Headphones and a Jamaican Beer!

This little fella auditioned for the 'Marley And Me' movie but clearly didn't know the story very well

This little fella auditioned for the 'Marley And Me' movie but clearly didn't know the story very well

OK I guess I should expect some kickback for this but I feel that the Doors are overrated! Although I love “Light My Fire” I much prefer Jose Feliciano’s version. Jose is Puerto Rican and was blind from birth. His full name is José Montserrate Feliciano García. Perhaps if he had called himself Jose Garcia he could have formed a Latin American version of the Grateful Dead! In 1967 Jose was denied entry into the UK. Why was that? Drugs? Murder? Something worse? No, the animal quarantine laws in the UK prevented Jose from bringing his Guide Dog. he was a massive star in Latin America when he moved to LA in the late 60’s (I presume that the US Government let him bring his Guide Dog). Shortly after this he recorded his version of “Light My Fire” which went to number three in the US charts in 1968. Most covers of the song nowadays tend to favour Feliciano’s arrangement, including the relatively recent version from Will Young.

Jose used his three heads and six hands to play guitar faster than anyone had ever done before

Jose used his three heads and six hands to play guitar faster than anyone had ever done before

 

Has celebrity finally eaten itself? March 23, 2009


OK firstly let me apologise to those of you who were expecting the usual music related post. This one isn’t and is also a little more serious than usual so feel free to stop reading now if you wish. This is a kind of rant from me I suppose. The following words are simply my own opinion so feel free to disagree if you do proceed with reading it!

In my opinion the whole cult of celebrity which has grown bigger over recent years than it ever was in my youth has perhaps finally begun to devour it’s own corpse. For quite a number of years the rise of reality TV has provided an opportunity for many people to aspire to be famous for ‘Being famous’ sake. Now forgive me here but surely fame should be something earned through a talent of some kind. That is what it always used to be. But no, now we have TV shows where individuals of limited talent and in many cases limited intellect compete for their ultimate desire, which would appear to be ‘to be famous’. Please note that many of these individuals never seem to add a coda to that statement that says why they want to be famous (i.e. for their writing talent, their sporting prowess, their comedic talent, their debating skill or indeed any kind of talent).

What this gives our fame obsessed society is a bunch of people whose only claim to fame is that they have won or indeed appeared on a reality TV show and as a result have become a celebrity of sorts. Shows like Big Brother, The Apprentice, X Factor, American Idol and such. But wait I suspect that some of you are thinking that X Factor and the like are talent shows, aren’t they? Well maybe they are but in my opinion (so like I said before it is your right to have your opinion too) they are a combination of the Victorians watching the patients in the Asylum for entertainment and a bunch of people seeking fame for fame’s sake. For example Leon Jackson (2007 X Factor) winner has been dropped by his label after just one album, where are Steve Brookstein and countless others now? Where is Gareth Gates? Yes I know there have been some successes from reality TV (Will Young, Girls Aloud, Leona Lewis) but in my opinion these will always be the exception.

Maybe Andy Warhol was right and everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame and this is the culmination of that. The rise of tabloid newspapers and tabloid celebrity magazines like Hello and OK have all led the way and multiplied the number of people who now seek that holy grail of fame. But with so many people becoming ‘famous’ is it such a holy grail anymore?

In the 60’s and 70’s recording artists were developed, record companies invested time and money in them. In these days of ‘instant success’ people like Kate Bush, David Bowie and many others would have been either not signed or dropped by their label long before they achieved any success.

You may be wondering what caused me to rant about this instant fame issue, some of you have already guessed I’m sure. This weekend saw the sad death of Reality TV Star Jade Goody. What was Jade famous for? Effectively appearing as a contestant on Big Brother, she didn’t even win it. Please don’t get me wrong here, I think it is terribly sad that a 27 year old woman has died and left a husband and two young children. But why is this headline news? Millions of people die every day and there are no voices for them.

The news media, especially the tabloids, would appear to be on the verge of canonising Jade Goody. According to the BBC the Prime Minister led the stream of major celebrities that have expressed their condolences and she is on the front of every UK newspaper this morning. The very same newspapers that were baying for her blood during the racism row in Celebrity Big Brother just a short while ago. Just how morally redundant are the press? It seems it doesn’t matter as long as it sells copy and as for OK magazine, well they even published a Jade Goody tribute magazine before the poor woman was dead. In my opinion people like Max Clifford, Jade’s Publicist, are trying to build this whole thing up into a Princess Diana level event. Frankly that was a staggering outpouring of grief for another woman that most people only hew through her portrayal in the news media. I know that the money made will help provide excellent education and such for Jade’s children but clearly Mr Clifford isn’t doing this out of the kindness of his heart either. Many people unconnected with Jade will profit from this.

I have also read that many more women are seeking cancer screening tests as a result of the publicity generated by Jade’s illness. This is obviously a good thing but I certainly doubt that this was one of the aims of the whole publicity circus.

Maybe Celebrity has finally killed itself off and is feasting on it’s remains. Let’s hope this also kills off the tacky, unscrupulous and morally bankrupt tabloid press too. Jade who?

 

 
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