With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Wanna see me stick Nine Inch Nails through each one of my eyelids” March 27, 2012

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 4:34 pm
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Eminem can't seem to control his explosive temperament

I have a question for you; has white rap phenomenon Eminem ever worked with cockney good time boys Chas ‘n’ Dave? The answer is surprisingly yes, well technically anyway. His breakthrough single from 1999, “My Name Is” features a sample from Labi Siffre‘s 1975 song “I Got The…”. So what I can hear you say, well two of the session musicians on Labi’s song were none other than the yet to be famous Charles Nicholas Hodges and David Victor Peacock,. The pair are better known now as Chas ‘n’ Dave. So there you have it, in a roundabout way Mr Mathers has worked with Chas ‘n’ Dave. It’s not exactly Eminem rapping in cockney rhyming slang though is it? But there’s a thought!

Is this man the Real Slim Light Shady?

Eminem did have to change the lyrics before Labi Siffre gave him permission to use the sample, he also gets a co-writing credit on the track. Siffre is openly gay and was concerned that Eminem was being violent and homophobic in his lyrics. Incidentally fact fans did you know that Labi Siffre wrote and had his own hit with “It Must Be Love” a song later covered and made even more famous by Madness? Well he did, that was way back in 1972. I also used the lyrics from that song in my rather long wedding speech at my marriage to the delightful and beautiful Catwoman last September. Anyway enough of that it’s time for you to enjoy some Labi Siffre and Eminem.

 

“All the ants in God’s garden they can’t get along” March 21, 2012


Earlier today we visited the magnificent Eden Project in Cornwall. If you’ve never been you really should give it a shot. In among the glorious Biomes there are a few fabulous sculptures and works of art. One of these is a giant bee and it was near this that we couldn’t resist a photo opportunity.

I suspect you may be thinking ‘this is a music blog, what the bloody hell is this idiot going on about?’ So bear with me, there is a point, a sting in the tail if you will! I see the picture above as a still from a long-lost unbroadcast episode of the 60s classic TV seriesLand Of The Giants‘ which clearly featured my beautiful wife Catherine (a.k.a Catwoman) trying her best to protect herself from a bee fart.

So how can I relate that back to music? Arguably some of you may say that this isn’t music anyway. So here goes, for your delectation here is a great track from none other than Don Van Vliet a.k.a Captain Beefheart! (Geddit? It is kind of bee related too)

 

The Woman In Black March 11, 2012


Earlier this evening we went to the local Vue multiplex, which frankly isn’t as nice as the Picturehouse City Screen cinema in York. However putting that aside the film we saw was ‘The Woman In Black‘, it is an adaptation of Scarborough born Susan Hill‘s 1983 novel of the same name. Incidentally the book is bloody good too. It is the first production from a newly reincarnated Hammer Studios.

Daniel Radcliffe plays the main character, Arthur Kipps. He is a lawyer sent to a desolate coastal town in the north-east of England to close the estate of a recently deceased woman. I won’t add any spoilers in this post but if you like classic horror in a gothic style take a trip to the cinema as soon as you can. In the UK it is a 12A certificate, but I’m not sure I can think of any 12 year olds that wouldn’t be scared shitless!

Was it scary? Well there were a few ‘make you jump’ moments but personally a film has never scared me and this one was no exception. It did scare the living daylights out of my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman. It is a great film though; excellent acting, brilliant script, perfect casting and wonderful locations and cinematography. On this showing there is clearly a long life after Harry Potter for Mr Radcliffe, he has the makings of an award-winning actor.

Hammer is back with a vengeance with this slice of classic British Horror. (My late uncle, Ron Jackson, would have been proud. He was Production Manager of many of the great Hammer Horror films).  Hollywood couldn’t have made this and let’s hope they don’t try. This is not a musical nor is it a music related film, but I felt the need to talk about it. So in keeping with this being a music blog please enjoy a few appropriate songs. Also click here to see a great spoof based on the film.

 

“You’re not down with who I am, look at you now, you’re all in my hands tonight” March 10, 2012


A white parka? Seriously?

XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;

1. Liam Gallagher
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Dave Gahan
4. Dave Grohl
5. Matt Bellamy
6. Brandon Flowers
7. Morrissey
8. Jim Morrison
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Alex Turner
11. Paul Weller
12. Mick Jagger
13. Tom Meighan
14. Eddie Vedder
15. Joe Strummer
16. Ian Curtis
17. Caleb Followill
18. Ian Brown
19. Thom Yorke
20. Chris Martin

A white double-breasted jacket? Seriously?

I agree with many of these, but I am surprised Robert Plant and John Lydon didn’t make the cut. Who do you think should have been included? Click here to read the report on nme.com.

Liam wasn't very happy with his dental work

 

“And they’re just dancing along to a perfect song at the disco” March 9, 2012


I have yet more sad news to report, Jimmy Ellis the iconic voice of Disco and Soul outfit the Trammps has died at a nursing home in South Carolina aged 74. His family has said that he had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. He still sang live with the band as recently as 2010.

Ellis was the band’s stalwart against a backdrop of quite a few personnel changes. The last time the original members sang together was when they performed the classic “Disco Inferno” during their induction into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005. Many of you probably know them for that song alone, which benefited from its appearance on the soundtrack of the ‘Saturday Night Fever‘ movie. But they had many more great hits; including some classics that you can enjoy at the end of this post.

Incidentally their Dance Music Hall of fame took place on September 19th 2005 which would have been my Dad’s 74th birthday, but sadly he died in 2001.I often used to joke with my Dad before he died that we would play “Disco Inferno” at his cremation. In the end that didn’t happen, but we did laugh about it a lot. “Disco Inferno” was the band’s biggest US hit reaching number 11 on the Billboard chart and number 9 on the US R & B charts. Their biggest UK hit was “Hold Back The Night” which reached number 5 in 1976.

The extra ‘m’ in the band’s name allegedly came from the days when they used to sing on street corners. The police called them tramps and Jimmy Ellis said that he would prefer that they were high-class tramps and so added that extra ‘m’. Jimmy whose real name was James Thomas Ellis II began his singing career in a church gospel choir like many of his contemporaries. He went on to sing in a few bands including the Volcanoes and the Exceptions.

This is yet another sad loss for music and my thoughts go to Jimmy’s family, friends and fans. RIP Jimmy Ellis.

 

“I use the best I use the rest I use the NME” March 7, 2012


All of you loyal UK subjects who pledge allegiance to Queen Elizabeth are obviously now very busy preparing your street parties and other events aren’t you? Well did you know that she shares her Diamond Jubilee with another British institution that is celebrating a 60 year anniversary? Today, 7th March 2012, is the 60th birthday of the New Musical Express, better known these days as the NME.

Now the last remaining weekly news magazine in the UK the NME has moved on considerably since 1952 when it replaced the ‘Accordion Times and Musical Express’. The nme.com website was launched way back in 1996 and is now the biggest stand-alone music site in the world with more than seven million users every month.

So whilst the old mag might not be as influential as she was, she is still very popular. I am now a subscriber who has bought it from when it was a newspaper style ‘inkie’ back in 1971. I have seen some great writers come and go; Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray, Danny Baker, Tony Parsons, Julie Burchill and Barbara Ellen to name but a few.

So happy 60th birthday to the NME and all of those who write for it and read it. Many years ago I had a name check in the NME when I sent a copy of an advert for the Sylvanian Family toys. One of the characters was called Roger Waters, which made me think it was both appropriate and amusing. Now celebrate with a couple of NME related songs. One that mentions the NME and two from the excellent C81 cassette issued by the NME in 1981.

 

“I don’t wanna know your name, cause you don’t look the same” March 5, 2012


This is a record-breaking but sad kind of story. One of the largest foxes ever found in the UK was shot on a farm in Aberdeen. It wasn’t killed because it was large, but simply because it was allegedly attacking lambs on a farm. At least it was killed by a working farmer and not some bunch of red jacketed toff twats supported by a cast of hundreds and packs of vicious dogs. Click here to read the story on the BBC site.

Anyway what is this story doing on my music blog? Well it gives me a chance to share some of my favourite fox related songs 🙂 Feel free to submit your own fox songs.

Sorry bunnies, my aim is better now, next time the farmer gets it

Fox On The Run – Manfred Mann – A UK number 5 hit from 1968. The lyrics were from English writer Tony Hazzard who wrote quite a few hits, including another smash from the Manfreds in “Ha Ha Said The Clown”

Fox On The Run – The Sweet – The same title as the Manfred Mann song, but definitely not the same song. This reached number 2 in the UK chart in 1974. It also hit number 5 in the US and was an Australian number one. The song is about groupies as in the women were foxy ladies.

Foxy Lady – Jimi Hendrix – Talking of foxy ladies, this is taken from the Jimi Hendrix Experience album ‘Are You Experienced’ which was released in 1967. The US and Canadian version of the album had the titled incorrectly spelled as “Foxey Lady”

Foxy Foxy – Mott The Hoople – This is one of my favourite songs from this fabulous British band. It reached number 33 in the UK charts in 1974 and never featured on a Mott The Hoople album, other than compilations. It ended a run of 5 top 20 hits in the UK for the band. The group took their name from a Willard Manus novel about someone who worked in a circus freak show.

Reynard The Fox – Julian Cope – This was the opening track from Julian’s 1984 album ‘Fried’. It is apparently a mix of an English folk tale and an incident where Cope had slashed his stomach on stage back in 1983.

 

“So I got my cappuccino to go and I’m heading for the hills again” March 4, 2012


Girls Aloud will be reforming for a tour in 2013, to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Reforming? I wasn’t aware that they had broken up. I can’t say I am particularly excited by the prospect of the girls treading the boards again, are you? Well at least it is moderately better than those talentless morons Westlife. Clearly none of the girls off of Girls Aloud have set the world alight with their solo careers, so I think we can assume the ‘reunion’ is for money.

Nadine Coyle broke the news a couple of days ago. I suppose it will enable the nation’s sweetheart Cheryl to restart her career after the atrocious output from her solo albums and the X Factor US judging debacle. Hopefully Sarah Harding will be out of rehab too. Personally I reckon Nicola Roberts should stay away. Her first solo album was excellent, surely she doesn’t need the rest of them. So what do you think of the Girls Aloud reunion?

The girls as they might appear on their 40th anniversary tour.

 

“I wondered should I go or should I stay the band had only one more song to play” March 3, 2012


Is it me or does Mr Humperdinck look a little 'plastic'?

The UK is taking a rather novel approach to this years Eurovision Song Contest. They have selected septuagenarian crooner  Arnold George Dorsey aka Gerry Dorsey but better known as Engelbert Humperdinck. After years of poor results in the contest with the nadir arriving in 2003 with a first UK nul points score from the hapless Jemini. Last year boy band Blue were our entry with the song “I Can”. They could only muster and 11th place finish which suggests that the song would have been more appropriate if it were called ‘I Can’t’

Engelbert will be 76 when the contest takes place in Azerbaijan on 26th May this year. he was born in Madras, India in 1936 to a British father and an Indian mother. The song is apparently not written yet but will be composed, at least in part, by Sacha Skarbek, a Novello award winner who cowrote James Blunt‘s bloody awful dirge “You’re Beautiful”. Not a great omen then! Hump had his first major success in 1967 when his UK number one managed to prevent the Beatles from achieving another chart topper with the double ‘A’ side “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane“. His song “Release me” was also the best-selling UK single in 1967. All that at the height of the hippy movement and in the summer of love.

Vote for me and I'll make your economy this big (The Hump addresses the Greeks)

Some Eurovision experts (yes there are plenty) have suggested that with so many countries in the competition the ‘youth vote’ is split. However experts believe that the choice of the Hump to warble for Britain will pick up the pan European pensioners votes. He also took his name from the German composer who wrote an opera called ‘Hansel and Gretel’, so that’s the German vote in the bag as well. He has had four number one songs in Ireland and release me was number one in the Netherlands so that’s two countries that’ll vote for him as well, so it’s certainly shaping up not to be another nul points year.

Personally I think he may pick up a few votes from the hip community, as opposed to the hip replacement community, this would result from his appearance on the ‘Beavis And Butthead Do America‘ movie soundtrack. The song was not a big hit, but it was for many, including me, a classic. That song was “Lesbian Seagull”. On the subject of Beavis and Butthead, Jedward have been selected to represent Ireland in the contest for the second year in a row. I have a degree of admiration for their management for extend their 15 minutes of fame so far beyond their sell-by date. They did do better than Blue last year though! Anyway let me finish by showcasing a few Humperdinck classics.

The Hump meets the King

 

 
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