With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’ll find some crowded avenue, though it will be empty without you” September 27, 2012


I guess most of you have already heard of the sad passing of the great Andy Williams. I can remember watching his show when I was a kid; he introduced the Osmonds to the world and who from my generation can forget the Cookie Monster? I went through a period in my teens where I told myself I didn’t like Andy Williams’ music because it was classed as Easy Listening and my Mum and Dad liked it. As a teenager, certainly in those days, it was just really uncool to like the music your parents liked, although I did let Elvis through that cool versus uncool sieve.

But as I got older I began to realise just how talented a singer Mr Williams was. He could take a song that was completely identifiable with another artist and make it his own. Notably “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons classic. (I do still love Frankie’s version as well). He could take a song and sing it so well that any cover would pale into insignificance, I’m mostly talking of “Can’t Get Used To Losing You” here. Then of course there is his truly sublime version of the beautiful “Moon River“.

People will say that to leave this mortal coil at 84 is a good innings and maybe it is, compared to many, but Andy Williams will be sadly missed. So my feelings go out to his family, friends and his legions of fans across the world. RIP Andy Williams, you were a true icon.

 

“Got no self-esteem and vertigo” September 21, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 11:15 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Robbie is in the news a lot lately isn’t he? Many of you know that I really don’t have much time for Mr Williams from Stoke. That will probably always stay true. However I would like to congratulate him on becoming a Dad and to wish him, his wife and little Theodora all the best. I am also really concerned that I really like his new song “Candy” which he co-wrote with Gary Barlow. I think I must be getting ill, there is no other explanation about why I would like this Robbie song surely. It is a bit of an earworm though.

But to counter all that Robbie has been doing the promo rounds for the new single and forthcoming album. On one breakfast TV appearance in the UK he apparently suggested that he would like a knighthood. I can only assume that this desire follows Gary Barlow’s recent royal award and promotion to national treasure. Will Robbie ever get that knighthood? probably! Will he ever be a proper national treasure? With Gary Barlow and Cheryl Cole are already in the role I seriously doubt it! What do you think?

And finally for the record I haven’t mellowed too much because I still believe that “Angels” ranks among one of the worst songs ever released!

 

“‘Cause I forgot that you left me behind to remind me of you” September 19, 2012


Today, September 19th, would have been my Dad’s 81st birthday. But sadly he died in 2001 shortly after his 70th birthday just 5 days out of his 60s. I still miss him a lot and I often wonder what he would think about where my life has gone since he died. For my whole life there were always two Bill Adamsons in my family; me and my Dad, yes we shared exactly the same name. But since 24th September 2001 I have been the only one. But then I do see my Dad every morning when I shave and I hear him in the way I laugh. I sometimes wonder if I am in fact turning into him and frankly that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I was and always will be proud of my dad as both a father and a man. Time may heal, but that gap in your life after you lose a parent always remains. I’m sure that many of you who have lost a parent will have similar memories too and if it would help you to share them feel free to add a comment with your own feelings about sadly departed parents.

Obviously I have to include some music in this post, this is a music blog after all. So I have chosen four songs; Rod Stewart‘s version of “Sailing” as that was his favourite song ever. “The Living Years” from Mike and the Mechanics as that song made me reflect a lot after dad died and yes I cried a few times at that one. Next is the song that my Mum chose to have played at his funeral, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles. Finally I felt that I had to include Mike Skinner‘s fabulous Streets track “Never Went To Church” as that is all about coming to terms with the loss of his own father and provides the title for this post. In the words of Roland in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series ‘do you remember the face of your father?’ Well i do and I always will. Enjoy the music Dad, these are for you.

 

“In case you get to thinking that you’ve been took”


There was a news article on the BBC website this week about the Drifters. Apparently they are touring the UK at the moment and they have sadly had a lot of their possesions and kit stolen during a meal stop in Nottingham. Obviously that is not good news and I certainly hope that they get their stuff back. However what really interested me was what almost appeared like a throwawy line in the report. It said that the group have had 65 different members since they formed in 1953. That must be some kind of record surely. if you know of a group who have had more members then I’d love to know. Acts like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or the London Symphony Orchestra and probably the So Solid Crew clearly do not qualify!

 

“Feet fail me not, this may be the only opportunity that I got”


The team at the finish, just how fresh do we look? 😉

Regular readers will know that I took part in the world-famous Great North Run last Sunday. It is a half marathon (13.1 miles) which starts in Newcastle and finishes in South Shields. It was my first half marathon for 17 years so I wasn’t expecting a great time. I was part of a team of five and I am pleased to say that I came third in that little group with an official time of 2.44. But also big congratulations go to the rest of the team as well; Stuart O’Hara, Nick Cooper, Simon Downs and David Carline. In the overall race I was 35,301st, but I did still have a pulse at the end of the race and I have suffered no major aches or injuries. To my knowledge I was beaten by a the fridge man, a gingerbread man, a Scooby Doo (although I did beat another Scooby home) and Jesus. JC carried a heavy wooden cross for the whole run and gave me a rather disdainful look when I asked whether he was in fact Jesus or Brian.

The atmosphere and support were tremendous and perhaps the only negative was the heavy rain at the start. especially as it took me 50 minutes to actually reach the start line from when the gun went off. But there were somewhere in the region of 55, 000 entrants. A lot of our excellent Olympians and Paralympians were also there to offer support. In fact I was even able to high-five with the swimming superstar Ellie Simmonds and the magnificent Mobot himself, Mo Farah.

Up to now we have raised 83% of our target sponsorship for the Save The Children charity. So thank you to all of you who have contributed so far, but it’s not too late. Click here if you would like to donate. I also promise that this will be my last begging post for some time. So now for a special treat how about some appropriate songs?

 

“You see I spy for a living and I specialise in revenge” September 14, 2012


Many of my regular readers will know that I am not a big fan of the institution of the British Royal family. However I am a big supporter of an individuals right to privacy. I felt that it was fundamentally wrong for one of our most scummy tabloid newspapers, the Sun, to print the naked pictures of Prince Harry recently. Especially as their sleaze-bag owner Rupert Murdoch agreed with his equally sleazy editor, Kelvin McKenzie that it was ‘in the public interest’. Now that a French magazine has published some topless shots of Kate Windsor I wonder if the Sun will do the same? Their definition of ‘public interest’ must surely relate to topless shots of the future Queen? Or have the scum at the Sun finally found some morals? I doubt it, they’re probably just scared of a backlash and a drop in sales.

This is a newspaper which has been proven to have lied on many occasions before, including Hillsborough and phone hacking so clearly they are not the best moral barometer are they? Anyway back to these paparazzi pictures of Kate. They were supposedly taken by a long-range telephoto lens while the Royal couple were on a private holiday in France. In my opinion this is a perverted Peeping Tom approach, pure and simple. If that photographer had done the same thing at my house or yours he would and should be arrested in my opinion. The editor of the French magazine Closer (nothing to do with the UK magazine of the same name incidentally) claims that is no different to what you might see on many beaches across Europe. That much may be true, however how would women relaxing topless on a beach feel if some scummy bloke took pictures of them and published those pictures without their permission? Indeed what if someone did it to the French editor. Incidentally I have not seen the pictures and I will not be wasting time searching for them. What do you people think of this issue?

 

“For here am I sitting in a tin can” September 13, 2012


I still have heroes, do you? You might have guessed that David Bowie is one of mine and so is Neil Armstrong. Both men were in the news for very different reasons recently. Firstly there was the sad death of Neil Armstrong a true pioneer. Secondly the supposedly retired Mr Bowie has opened his archives to the Victoria & Albert museum in London for a massive exhibition of costumes, set designs, lyrics and many other delights next year. Click here to read the Bowie story.

I know I am a bit late posting about Neil Armstrong but a public memorial service has just been held to honour him in Washington. Click here to read about it on the BBC website. He is a man who I am sure will be remembered in thousands of years as the first human ever to walk on a body that wasn’t earth. Coincidentally he served as a pilot in the US Air Force in Korea in the early 1950s. Which was exactly the same time another of my heroes, my Dad saw active service there in the Royal Navy on board the HMS Belfast. Neil Armstrong RIP.

For this post I thought I’d choose a few space related Bowie songs and one that was produced by him for Lou Reed.

 

Lady Gaga – MEN Arena Manchester – Tuesday 11th September 2012 September 12, 2012


Some months ago I bought tickets for Catwoman and I to go and see Lady Gaga on her Born This Way Ball show. Well the time finally came around and we were there at the MEN last night. I should say up front that as far as the music goes I have been a fan of Gaga for a while so I was certainly looking forward to seeing her. But first there was the little matter of the Darkness who were on stage when we arrived at the MEN. I have unfinished business with these guys. I saw them at the Reading Festival back in 2003 when they were easily the highlight of Saturday afternoon. In fact highlight would be an understatement, they blew the opposition away. However the following year they were elevated to headliners and they truly sucked the big one, they were awful. So whilst I was pleased that they have got back together I was a little apprehensive. In my opinion they are easily back to their best and their new album is pretty good too. Catwoman wasn’t so keen and claimed that the volume almost had her ears bleeding! possibly a little exaggeration there!

After Justin and the boys left the stage we were promised a 30 minute wait for HRH Gaga, this stretched to about an hour which is never a good thing is it? Gaga’s entrance though did tick all the right dramatic and spectacular boxes. The curtains dropped to reveal a stage set that was part Disney princess castle and part Hammer Horror film left over. She then made her way onto the stage on the back of what can only be described as a very posh pantomime horse. For most of the gig the band were hidden away in the castle; shades of Bowie’s theatrical excursion across the USA in 1974 for the Diamond Dogs tour.

I felt that all of Ms Germanotta’s influences were on show during the evening. Bowie in the theatrical element, Freddie Mercury in how she tried to manage the crowd and I suspect her loyal little monsters won’t like this; Madonna for all the costume changes and a bra with two guns pointing from it. I can’t believe that didn’t have it’s roots in Madge’s now iconic cone bra from a few years back. How did all this rate? 9 out of 10 for the theatrical set, 4 out of 10 for crowd control and 8 out of 10 for costumes. Including one dress that allowed her to move like a Dalek, now that was cool!

Her songs are very strong and the dancers and the band are also very good. All the hits were rolled out “Born This Way”, “Just Dance”, “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro” to name but a few. It wasn’t her fault but I do believe the sound from her head mic could have been better. It certainly improved when she used a hand-held or one in a stand. Keeping up the scoring theme I will award her 10 out of 10 for the songs and 8 for the singing and the dancing, including the Lady herself, gets an 8 from me. So if I add all those scores together that would be 47 out of 60. Which is not a bad score is it? However I need to adjust it with at least a minus 30 for all the pretentious crap she spouted not so much between songs but in the prolonged talking part of the show. It’s right that a good artist should change the tempo of a performance but what she did was effectively grind it to a halt just to talk bollocks for what seemed like ages. I know that one of the dancers had suffered a family bereavement, but even so this was way, way over the top.

Constant questions about whether we ‘give a fuck’ or not tend to grate after a while. For the record I purchased tickets and I own her albums so I do give a fuck. My question to Gaga is do you? The little monsters worshipping mother monster is all well and good but her pontifications were almost cult like and a little bit Dubya in the sense that you’re either with us or you’re not, no in-between. I was with her, but now I’m not. So I assume that this make’s me the Gaga equivalent of a ‘cheese eating surrender monkey’

Also how many times did she have to tell us that “Born This Way” was written at the MEN during her last major UK tour. Once would have been enough. Then there was the new song about Princess Diana. It sounds like a reasonable song, but the spoken introduction which went on and on and on added nothing to it and would have struggled to raise a laugh or excitement from someone afflicted with a disease that means they laugh all the time.

She has a fixation for Disney Princesses and a clear dislike for Barbie which surprises me given how bland, insipid and devoid of controversy most Disney princesses actually are. It was quite amusing to see Ms Germanotta struggling to rip Barbie’s limbs off though. Overall I was disappointed I expected more from someone who I still believe has much potential and talent. But she really does need to take her head out of her, albeit rather nice, arse and get real before I would ever consider seeing her again.

Gaga has left the building and seems to have at least temporarily removed her head from her arse

 

“You won’t call and you won’t admit the lies you spin for your power trip” September 7, 2012

Filed under: News,Rants — justwilliam1959 @ 8:36 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

If I had lost my job would I be in line for a royal honour? Probably not, unless of course I had been a member of Call Me Dave and Bad Egg Clegg’s cabinet. Apparently a number of people who were shuffled towards the exit during Cameron‘s recent reshuffle are likely to be recommended to receive an honour in the Queen’s New Years Honours list.

Personally I really dislike this whole honours system anyway and in the remote likelihood I was ever offered one I would turn it down. But to effectively get one for being made redundant because presumably your performance could have been better, that really sucks the big one doesn’t it? Click here to read the BBC report on this blatant act of nepotism. Am I the only person who is a bit perplexed and annoyed by this? I’d love to know what you think.

But of course this is a music blog, so I thought I’d let you hear a song that has a cryptic message about what I think of the majority of politicians. At the risk of sounding like Rolf Harris; ‘can you guess what it is yet?’

 

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You’re wearing out your shoes” September 6, 2012


Is this the first time I have sent any kind of begging letter on my blog? Probably not. But here it is anyway. I will be running the great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields on Sunday September 16th this year, barely a week and a half away! Why am I doing this? Firstly because my boss and good friend, Mr Nick Cooper ‘press ganged’ me and three others (Stuart O’Hara, Simon Downs and David Carline) into taking part. So the St John’s Ambulance volunteers along the route could have a busy day! Secondly we will be raising money for the Save The Children charity which I’m sure you will agree is an excellent cause!

So onto the begging part now. we have a target of £1,500 to raise and so far we are at £969 or 64% of target. So any donation that you can make, whatever size, would be very much appreciated. As is usual for these things we do have a ‘Just Giving’ page to make it easier to support us. Click here to get access to it.

Of course this is a music blog so I can’t end with no music can I? So here are thirteen (one for each mile of the run) running related songs for you to listen to while you donate!

1 “Running Away” – Sly and the Family Stone

2 “Run Runaway” – Slade

3 “Keep On Runnin'” – Spencer Davis Group

4 “Run For Home” – Lindisfarne

5 “Runaway” – Del Shannon

6 “Run Run Run” – Jo Jo Gunne

7 “I’m Gonna Run Away From You” – Tami Lynn

8 “Running Away” – Roy Ayers

9 “Running Up That Hill” – Kate Bush

10 “Run To The Hills” – Iron Maiden

11 “If You See My Rooster (Please Run Him Home)” – Memphis Minnie and Black Bob

12 “Run To Him” – Bobby Vee

13 “Band On The Run” – Paul McCartney and Wings

 

 
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