With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“But what the heck, they’re not too bad, they talk to God” January 24, 2018


I am truly saddened by the death of Mark E Smith of the Fall. He was one of the alternative music scenes greatest talents. He passed away at home and according to his manager more details will follow in the next few days. He was hospitalised with significant respiratory issues on the Fall’s US tour last year and back in the UK he completed some dates in a wheelchair. At this stage there is no way of knowing whether any of this was connected with his demise. Mark formed the Fall after seeing the now infamous Sex Pistols gig at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1976, they became a fixture in British music following the release of their debut EP ‘The Bingo-Masters Break Out’ in 1978. The band released 32 studio albums from ‘Live At The Witch Trials’ in 1979 to last year’s ‘New Facts Emerge’. They issued a similar number of live albums and more than 40 compilations. Smith was the only constant member of the Fall, around 60 different people played in the band over the years. He was an influence on many, many artists including Brett Anderson of Suede, Tim Burgess of the Charlatans and Billy Bragg. John Peel was a great champion and fan of the Fall, he once said “They are always different, they are always the same”, that strikes me as a very fitting epitaph. RIP Mark E Smith, you will be sadly missed. My thoughts go to Mark’s family, friends and fans.

 

“But you always really knew, I just wanna be with you” January 15, 2018

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 11:57 pm
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I am sure by now that you have learned the sad news of Dolores O’Riordan’s death at just 46 years old. She was born in Ballybricken, County Limerick in Ireland and in 1990 she auditioned as a singer for a band call the Cranberry Saw Us who as you probably guessed went on to change their name to the Cranberries. From 1993 to 2002 the band released six albums including a greatest hits package in 2002. The band took a break in 2003 and then got back together with a tour in 2009. The band’s second and third albums ‘No Need To Argue’ (1994) and ‘To The Faithful Departed’ (1996) went top 5 in almost every country they were released in. My favourite Cranberries song is “Linger” and that broke the band in the USA hitting number 8 in 1993. Meanwhille in 1994 another magnificent single, “Zombie” went to number one in Australia, France and Germany.

I was lucky enough to see the Cranberries play live on at least four occasions. In London in 1993 and again in 1994 and then a couple of times at festivals after that. They were an incredible band and Dolores was an amazing singer and front woman. She will be missed by many. My thoughts go to her family, friends and fans across the world. RIP Dolores O’Riordan.

 

“Life is much too beautiful to live it all alone” November 23, 2017

Filed under: Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 12:12 am
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I was saddened to hear of the death of David Cassidy aged just 67. He was perhaps the true definition of a teen idol in his heyday during the early 70s. Obviously back then us boys would never be a fan. But all the girls at my school were either fans of David Cassidy or Donny Osmond, with a few more rebellious girls opting for David Essex. Back in the days when the pop charts really meant something these three were top 20 regulars in the UK.

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Cassidy found fame in the American TV series the Partridge Family where he played Keith Partridge. It was a musical show and his first success came with the recordings he did under the Partridge Family name. His mother in the show whose character was called Shirley Partridge was in fact his stepmother Shirley Jones. Before the Partridge Family David had made the odd appearance in shows that included; Bonanza, Marcus Welby MD and Ironside.

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David Cassidy had two number one singles in the UK, “How Can I Be Sure” in 1972 and “Daydreaming/ The Puppy Song” in 1973. On top of that he had a further thirteen UK top 20 hits if you ad in the Partridge family singles. His album ‘Dreams Are Nothin’ More Than Wishes’ made it to the top of the UK album charts in 1973. Whether or not you were a big Cassidy fan there is no denying that he left a significant mark on pop history. David Cassidy RIP.

 

“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.

 

 
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