With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“We hear you’re leaving, that’s OK I thought our little wild time had just begun” September 3, 2017


I was so sad on hearing about the death of Walter Becker, one half of Steely Dan, at just 67. ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ from 1972 remains one of my favourite albums of all time. They had a unique way of fusing many musical styles into a coherent and beautiful sound; jazz, rock, reggae, pop. Becker met his Steely Dan cohort Donald Fagen at college in New York and they played in a number of bands often playing covers of the likes of the Rolling Stones and Moby Grape. One of those bands had none other than Chevy Chase on drums.

Their début album, the aforementioned ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ was released in 1972 and spawned two Steely Dan classic singles; “Do It Again” and “Reeling In The Years”. For me though every track on that album oozes class. Their highest charting album was ‘Aja’ which reached number 3 in the US and number 5 in the UK. It also made the top 10 in Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway. They were never really a singles band although “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” from 1974”s ‘Pretzel Logic’ album made it to number 5 in the US charts.

Click here to read a very touching tribute, on the Rolling Stone website, to Walter Becker from his friend and partner in Steely Dan, Donald Fagen. The loss of such a talented man as Walter Becker will be felt throughout the music world. My thoughts are with his friends, family and fans all around the world. RIP Walter Becker.

 

“And I Need You More Than Want You And I Want You For All Time” August 10, 2017

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 11:06 pm
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I know I am a little late with this as I am sure that you are all aware of the sad passing of music legend Glen Campbell earlier this week. But I couldn’t miss a chance to say something of the great man. For me growing up meant that it wasn’t cool to like anything that was in my Mum and Dad’s record collection. But they had two Glen Campbell albums, one of which was a best of compilation. I snuck that into my room a few times while my parents were away. Those songs and that voice were simply magical. On top of that Glen Campbell was a talented guitar player and session man. The world will be a lesser place without him but we will always have his music. So enjoy some of that now as the Rhinestone Cowboy rides out on his horse one last time. RIP Glen Campbell.

 

 

“Well, early in the mornin’ I’m a givin’ you a warnin’ don’t you step on my blue suede shoes” March 19, 2017

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 12:15 am
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It is with great sadness that I report the death of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry, he was 90 years old so that certainly is a life lived. Sure Chuck had issues and he paid his debt for those. But he was truly a pioneer, would rock ‘n’ roll have been the same without Chuck Berry? Somehow I doubt it. Given his legacy it’s a shame that his biggest hit was “My Ding-A -Ling” in 1972 which went to number one in the US, the UK and Canada. he did have a few US R & B number ones though. But you know what we need to consider whether the Beatles and the Stones would have existed without Charles Edward Anderson Berry, as his parents knew him. My thoughts are with his friends, family and all his fans across the world.

 

“If there’s a cloud above, if it should rain we’ll let it” July 6, 2016


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It doesn’t seem to have been widely reported, well I certainly missed it anyway. But Jamaican ska singer Lord Tanamo died in Canada in April this year. He had suffered a debilitating stroke in 2008 which left him unable to speak. The former Joseph Abraham Gordon was 81 when he passed away.

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His classic “I’m In The Mood For Ska” finally became a UK hit in 1990 when it reached number 58 following its use as the soundtrack to a Paxo stuffing advert. The song was a ska update of a song that became a standard, “I’m In The Mood For Love”. ng had a hit with it in 1935. Another top Tanamo cut was his reggae cover of Tony Joe White‘s “Rainy Night In Georgia” which went to number one in the Jamaican charts in 1970.

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RIP Lord Tanamo

 

“Electric word life, it means forever and that’s a mighty long time” April 21, 2016

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 11:01 pm
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We are not even out of April and the music world has already lost a slew of legends and now Prince Rogers Nelson a.k.a. Prince has sadly joined that list. He was found dead in his home aged just 57. What brings it home so hard for me is that he was just a few months older than I am.

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I never managed to see Prince play live, although I had wanted to for some time. He was a prolific artist and his canon of work is phenomenal. He may have been at his creative and earnings peak in the 80s, but he continued to record and tour. As well as being a talented singer and songwriter he was also an incredibly gifted guitar player. Possibly one of the finest axe wielders of his generation. His passing takes away one more true music superstar and a true genius. My thoughts go to his friends and family and his thousands of fans across the globe. I have selected some of my favourite Prince tracks below to help you mourn the demise of another superstar.

RIP Prince. That’s what it sounds like when doves cry!

 

“Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do……” – David Bowie RIP January 11, 2016

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 5:23 pm
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By now you will all know that David Bowie died yesterday aged just 69. The outpouring of grief from across the world is immense. But whilst everyone from Kanye West to David Cameron have expressed their condolences it is really about the thousands of fans who will each miss Bowie in their own way. I was pretty much lost for words this morning, in fact I still am. I feel numb and I have shed a few tears too. I never knew David Bowie, in fact I never met him, but I was lucky enough to see him play ten times from 1976 to 2004. I wanted to see him in 1972, when I was just 13, but my Dad wouldn’t allow me to see that “bloody weirdo”. However he did let me go and see the Jackson 5, which given the way Jacko and Bowie’s lives panned out is somewhat ironic.

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I first became interested in pop music in the late 60s aged 8 or 9. I do remember hearing “Space Oddity” when the BBC used it as part of the soundtrack to the Apollo 11 mission. But I can’t say that I was a Bowie fan from then. My first real taste of Bowie was, like many of my contemporaries and peers, with the Top of the Pops appearance in July 1972 when he sang “Starman” backed by the Spiders From Mars. Clearly I would only have seen it in black and white but my memory is in colour. There was the classic moment where Bowie put his arm around Mick Ronson. That weekend I raided my pocket money savings and bought four Bowie albums on cassette; ‘Space Oddity’, ‘ The Man Who Sold The World‘, ‘Hunky Dory’ and, to give it its full title ‘ The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars‘. I played those albums until they wore out and I have replaced them many times since in both vinyl and CD form.

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I first saw David Bowie play live in 1976 as part of the tour in support of ‘Station To Station’ . I think that show was at Earls Court in London. I have never seen a bad show from the man, including the Glass Spider tour in 1987. The show at Wembley that year was bloody good. My favourite Bowie gig was at the Phoenix Festival in 1996. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as he came on to a darkened stage and played the acoustic intro to “Quicksand” and then the lights blasted on as he began to sing. A truly awesome moment.

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I have said on many occasions that I wasn’t too keen on his 1980s output, in particular the ‘Tonight’ album from 1984. But as a dedicated fan I have the CD version of that album which includes “Too Dizzy” a track Bowie disliked so much that he had it removed from later CD issues. As for Tin Machine, well that was perhaps a bit Marmite, but I love those two Tin Machine albums. His recording career really got properly back on track for me with ‘1: Outside’ from 1995. I still wonder what might have happened had he completed the other two albums in the Nathan Adler trilogy. My favourite Bowie album changes over time, but I always go back to ‘Diamond Dogs’ and ‘Young Americans’. I am so very happy that his last album ‘Blackstar’ released just a few days ago on his 69th birthday has received such good reviews, because no doubt it will sell even more now he has passed away. That’s just the way things go isn’t it?

Personally I wasn’t a big fan of Bowie the actor, but “The Man Who Fell To Earth” is a brilliant film. I also wished that I could have seen his performance as the Elephant Man on the New York stage too. ‘Labyrinth’ was in my opinion not a great film, however it really turned a completely new generation on to the genius of Bowie so it can’t have been all bad. Other acting gems for me were maybe ‘The Hunger’ and the cameo in Ricky Gervais‘ Extras comedy series.

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Bowie made it ok to be different, to be an outsider, he made it cool to not have to be part of a gang. He will probably remain the most influential and innovative artist that there has ever been. I can see no one who could even come close to touching him on that. He will live on with the legacy he has left. My thoughts are with Iman, Lexi and Duncan along with all those that knew him well and all the thousands of fans across the world. Clearly his death is not on the same scale as say my father’s death was for me in 2001, however it has still hit me hard. Cancer is a proper fucking bastard isn’t it?

1976: David Bowie poses for an RCA publicity shot in 1976. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

I would like to close with the message that Tony Visconti published today; “He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art, he made Blackstar for us, his parting gift. I knew for a year this was the way it would be. I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”

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David Bowie RIP – “I don’t know where I’m going from here but I promise it won’t be boring”

Maybe there really is a Starman waiting in the sky now!

I have chosen one song from every one of his studio albums (sometimes live versions of them) to reflect on the life of my biggest hero. The intro for “Everyone Says Hi” is particularly pertinent

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“Knowledge comes in death’s release” – Quicksand

 

 

“I just don’t know where my home is anymore” May 6, 2015


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Hot Chocolate‘s lead singer Errol Brown has died from liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas, aged just 71. That is really sad news, Errol was an iconic figure from my youth. For me Hot Chocolate were a superb singles band, particularly back in the days when singles were all I could afford. I would always do what I could to buy any Hot Chocolate single as it came out. I once even bought a single that they released on the Beatles Apple label. I can even tell you were I bought that one, in the Harrods sale in 1976.

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Their hits are pretty much all classics and the majority really haven’t dated at all. Even the non-hits are pretty darned good. In the mid 70s I bought a Hot Chocolate single called “Blue Night”, it wasn’t a hit. But the B-Side (ask your grandparents if you don’t know what a b-side is) is a song you might know; it was “You Sexy Thing”. It looks like the record company may have got it wrong when making that a B-side initially.

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Errol Brown and Hot Chocolate were a great band that were loved by many people. My thoughts go out to Errol’s family, friends and fans. Errol Brown RIP.

 

 

 
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