With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You sigh, the song begins, you speak and I hear violins” November 21, 2017


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Today I heard of the death of American jazz, pop, gospel (and many other genres) singer  and actress Della Reese. She was 86 years old and I have been a fan for many years. The reason I became a Della Reese fan is down to my sadly departed father who as it turns out was born just three months after Della. Anyway during his years in the Royal Navy, a submariner no less, my Dad collected quite a few records mostly Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee and Della Reese. I no longer have any of the original vinyl that he had but in recent years I have managed to get hold of a few rather excellent Della Reese vinyl albums.

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At 13 she became a backing singer for legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and her first tour was with Nat King Cole. She worked with many jazz legends including Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Duke Ellington. She made a staggering 17 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, her first was in 1957. She had her own American TV show ‘Della’ which aired from 1969 to 1970. As an actress she starred in US TV series ‘Touched By An Angel’, she also made an appearance in the Eddie Murphy film ‘Harlem Nights’. In the 1980s she became an ordained minister. She will, I am sure be very sadly missed. My thoughts are with Della’s family, friends and fans. Della Reese RIP.

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“And the guitar man got famous” November 20, 2017

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 11:40 pm
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I am sure that by now you are all aware of the death of one of the founding members of AC DC, Malcolm Young. After he retired from the band in 2014 at the onset of dementia I guess it was inevitable that he may not stayed with us for too much longer. But at 64, well that is a young death in the first world these days.

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There have been many, many tributes on-line and in print to Malcolm over the past 48 hours. He was the heart of the band to many and I tend to agree with that. His younger brother Angus clearly took a more prominent position but without Malcolm I doubt that AC DC would have scaled the heights that they did. Were AC DC a punk band? No not in the sense of them being a part of the punk ‘movement’ but they sure as hell had punk swagger and attitude.

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My thoughts are with Malcolm’s family, friends and legions of fans across the globe. Malcolm Young RIP you rocked our world and we salute you!

 

“Well I know what’s right, I got just one life” October 3, 2017


Most of you probably know that we lost one of the greats yesterday with the passing of Tom Petty. I only saw him play live once and that was at the Rainbow in London back in 1977. I can’t remember much about that gig (probably due to the chemical intake, most likely speed given the year) but I will never forget the power and brilliance of “American Girl” that night. I had the offer of a ticket from three sources for his Hyde Park gig this summer and I didn’t take any of them. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Speaking of wonderful Tom Petty left and amazing collection of classic rock songs to be remembered by including all the stuff with the Heartbreakers, solo and then of course the Travelling Wilburys. I love that Petty’s interest in rock ‘n’ roll was sparked when he met Elvis Presley in 1961. Tom was aged 10 and his uncle was working on an Elvis film set; “Follow That Dream”. He will be sadly missed and my thoughts are with his family, friends and his many fans across the globe. RIP Thomas Earl Petty.

 

“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

 

 
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