With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition” May 11, 2021


Other than the Beatles I really hadn’t thought about how many bands have played exclusive gigs on rooftops. But there are quite a few, here is a top ten, but I am not brave enough to rank them, so they are in chronological order. The list includes 4 British acts, 4 US artists, 1 Brazilian and an Irish band. Five of the rooftops, were in the US, four in the UK and one in Brazil. Sadly I never witnessed any of these rooftop shows firsthand, but I have been lucky enough to see six of these acts play live 🙂

1955 Elvis Presley – Porky’s Rooftop, Newport, Arkansas, USA – did the King kick it all off?

1967 Roberto Carlos – Copam Building, São Paulo, Brazil – not the footballer with the same name, this fella was known as the King of Latin Music

1968 Jefferson Airplane – The Schuyler Hotel, Manhattan, NYC, USA – way before they converted to a Starship, they laid the foundations for the city they built on rock ‘n’ roll

1969 – Beatles – Apple Building, Saville Row, London, UK – the last live show the Fab Four ever played. The title of this post is a John Lennon quote from that gig.

1987 U2 – Apple Studios, Los Angeles, USA – part of the ‘Rattle And Hum’ shenanigans I think

2010 Bon Jovi – O2 Arena, London, UK – Jon, Richie and the boys stepped onto the roof of the venue they were playing a residency at

2011 Kasabian – Skylight West, NYC, USA – the Leicester lads play a set to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, or maybe the 40th anniversary of Mulberry, or maybe both!

2012 Madness – Buckingham Palace, London, UK – the Nutty Boys played for Her Maj on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee – Brian May also played the rooftop. Hardly the Pistols riverboat trip back in ’77, but I suppose it’ll do.

2013 Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Dick’s Drive In, Seattle, USA – I so wish they had played on the roof of a “Thrift Shop”. This wasn’t their only rooftop gig that year, check out the video below.

2021 Bull – EMI Head Office, Kings Cross, London, UK – one of York’s finest showcased their debut album ‘Discover Effortless Living’ with a fab show which was streamed earlier tonight. A small roof for a band, a giant leap for bandkind! Terrible pun I know, but trust me, Bull really are destined for great things!

Given that it was 1955 and there was no social media there appears to be no footage of Elvis’ roof top gig. Bull’s marvellous set is not on YouTube yet, but click here and it might still be available on their Facebook page 🙂

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Before They Were Famous – 1. Noddy Holder January 25, 2021

Filed under: Before They Were Famous,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:36 pm
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This is the first in a series of snippets of what rock and pop stars did before they were famous. If you know what your favourite rock star did before they made the big time feel free to give me a shout. You will definitely get a name check. First up is the voice of Slade, Noddy Holder. Apparently one of Neville’s first jobs was as a milkman. Among the customers on his route was Ozzy Osbourne’s dad. Although my research suggests that this tale might not be true. Can you enlighten us Mr. Holder? One story about Noddy’s early career which I found in a few places was that he was a roadie for Robert Plant’s band, the Tennessee Teens, in the 60s. He also used his father’s window-cleaning van to drive Percy Plant and the band to gigs.

The photos and videos were all found online. If they are yours and you would like a credit or for me to take them down please let me know.

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My 2020 On Spotify And Some Deeper Listening Stats! January 17, 2021


I thought I would share some of my Spotify listening habits. Apparently I listened to Spotify for more than 12 days last year, I wish I knew how much time I listened to vinyl, CDs, MP3s, radio and other on line sources too. I discovered 577 new artists, wow! My most listened to song was David Bowie’s version of “Wild Is The Wind” and unsurprisingly Bowie was my most listened to artist once again (996 minutes, nearly 6% of my total Spotify listening time) I was also in the top 0.5% of Bowie listeners. The other artists in my top 5 were Biffy Clyro, the Streets, Ella Fitzgerald and Woke Up Dead. I listened to 1,286 artists. My top decade was the 1970s, again no surprise there. Top genres were Rock, Soul and Dance Rock. Rather fascinatingly my music is more obscure than 80% of UK users, what on earth does that mean? I also found a few rather amusing, to me anyway, graphs and charts to accompany this post!

Since starting on this post I have also discovered a few sites on which you can regularly update your Spotify statistics split between artists and tracks and then last 4 weeks/ current, Last six months and all time within that. My favourites among these sites so far are Favourite Music Guru, Obscurify Music and Stats For Spotify. Have you used any of these or can you recommend others?

In case you’re interested in my warped eclectic taste these are my top artists on Spotify (Current, Medium Term and all time) The top songs follow those lists. Incidentally the Kunts and Jarvis Cocker feaure strongly on the tracks lists simply because I did my bit to get them to be the Christmas number one in the UK these last two years!

Top Artists — Short Term (4 weeks)

  1. The Beatles
  2. Yusuf / Cat Stevens
  3. Eagles
  4. London Symphony Orchestra
  5. Evie Sands
  6. Rumer
  7. Jackson Browne
  8. David Bowie
  9. Bobbie Gentry
  10. Harry Styles

Top Artists — Medium Term (6 months)

  1. David Bowie
  2. Biffy Clyro
  3. Gregory Porter
  4. The Avalanches
  5. John Lennon
  6. Eminem
  7. Stevie Wonder
  8. Stephen EvEns
  9. Ella Fitzgerald
  10. The Beatles

Top Artists — Long Term (years)

  1. David Bowie
  2. Bob Marley & The Wailers
  3. Biffy Clyro
  4. Frank Turner
  5. Bruce Springsteen
  6. Four Tops
  7. Eminem
  8. Johnny Nash
  9. Elton John
  10. The Streets

Top Tracks — Short Term (4 weeks)

  1. Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit — The Kunts
  2. Billy the Kid, Ballet Suite: I. The Open Prairie — Aaron Copland, London Symphony Orchestra
  3. True Faith ’94 — New Order
  4. Jamaica Say You Will — Jackson Browne
  5. Everybody Used to Love You — Silverjet
  6. Raison D’Être — Stolen Dead Music
  7. Wear A Mask — Sing Sing Rabbit
  8. Three Points on a Compass — Martin Rossiter
  9. Drag Me to the Light — Miles and the Chain Gang
  10. Alfred – Intro — Eminem

Top Tracks — Medium Term (6 months)

  1. Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit — The Kunts
  2. Taking It Slow — Heartsink
  3. Concorde — Gregory Porter
  4. Freakin’ At the Freaker’s Ball — Dr. Hook
  5. Pepper — Butthole Surfers
  6. Career Criminal — Stephen EvEns
  7. Close — The Islas
  8. Belladonna — Spunsugar
  9. Make Us Eat — The Shining Tongues
  10. Smiling — Alanis Morissette

Top Tracks — Long Term (years)

  1. Boris Johnson is a Fucking Cunt – Single Edit — The Kunts
  2. Running the World — Jarvis Cocker
  3. Star Treatment — Arctic Monkeys
  4. (red, white, and blue) Cheerfulness — Perry Farrell
  5. Balance, Not Symmetry — Biffy Clyro
  6. Future Legend – 2016 Remaster — David Bowie
  7. Deep Sea Dreaming — Ocean Flaws
  8. Loser of the Year — Woke Up Dead
  9. Three Points on a Compass — Martin Rossiter
  10. Wild Is the Wind – 2016 Remaster — David Bowie

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With Just A Hint Of Mayhem 2020 Round Up January 4, 2021

Filed under: News,Observation,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:23 pm
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Personally I find lists of top ten albums, singles etc. for a given year quite subjective so I have decided not to do that for 2020. But I thought that you might be interested in what has been happening on the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem blog page in 2020. The site had more than 30,000 views for the year for the first time since 2016. December hits were 6,449 which is the highest monthly total since May 2015. There were views from 148 different countries. More than 300 people follow us directly from WordPress, the Facebook Page now has 818 followers and we are close to 1,400 followers on Twitter. A total of 2,523. Thank you to each and every one of you. Stick with us in 2021 and beyond, share all our links (you will find them below) and tell all your friends to come and say hi!

We made a total of 164 posts, and wrote 66,693 words that is more than 400 words per post. The most popular post published in 2020 was written by one of our newer contributors Tom Ray and related to Jeffrey Lewis, click here to read it. The most popular post from previous years was viewed a lot this year and it was “We Make Out In Your Mustang To Radiohead” from 2011, click here to read that one.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Haitian Divorce” – Steely Dan December 31, 2020


This is the sixth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music)  here (The O’Jays) and here (John Miles). This one is another from the 70s, and it is from Steely Dan. This was the third single released from the band’s 1976 album ‘The Royal Scam’. It never appeared on the US charts but reached number 17 in the UK. The song is “Haitian Divorce” which takes it’s title and much of the story told in the lyrics from the easy divorces available in Haiti to foreigners, particularly Americans. It was so simple that it only needed one partner to be there and the divorce could be finalised in a matter of hours.

The song tells the story of a woman who goes to Haiti to get a divorce, she has a brief fling with a Haitian man, fails to get the divorce and nine months later gives birth to a half Haitian baby. The mention of Papa in the lyrics is interpreted in two ways. Firstly as her father telling her to go back and get the divorce, and secondly as the voice of Haitian ruler at the time, Papa Doc Duvalier, who encouraged divorce tourism. The song was written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. It was Becker who used a Talk Box on the song over Dean Park’s guitar. Perhaps the most famous proponent of the Talk Box was Peter Frampton on ‘Frampton Comes Alive’. Enjoy the song, I love the jazzy, laid back reggae feel of the track, Why not sing along too? The lyrics are copied below. Please not that the second video is by a rather good Steely Dan tribute band, Steely Damned II

Lyrics
Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said
So in love the preacher’s face turned red
Soon everybody knew the thing was dead
He shouts, she bites, they wrangle through the night
She go crazy
Got to make a getaway
Papa say
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce
She takes the taxi to the good hotel
Bon marche as far as she can tell
She drinks the zombie from the cocoa shell
She feels alright, she get it on tonight
Mister driver
Take me where the music play
Papa say
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce
At the Grotto
In the greasy chair
Sits the Charlie with the lotion and the kinky hair
When she smiled, she said it all
The band was hot so
They danced the famous Merengue
Now we dolly back
Now we fade to black
Tearful reunion in the USA
Day by day those memories fade away
Some babies grow in a peculiar way
It changed, it grew, and everybody knew
Semi-mojo
Who’s this kinky so-and-so?
Papa go
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce

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Pink Floyd in New Earswick? May 13, 2020


One of our ace writers Tom also has his own blog, Scruffy Theory, and recently he has posted some great investigative stuff about a gig that Pink Floyd allegedly played at the Folk Hall in New Earswick in York back in 1967. It has been difficult to find much evidence about the gig online, but Tom has found his inner bloodhound and donned his deerstalker hat to discover more. Is it true or not? Read Tom’s rather interesting posts (in sequence) to find out! If you know anything about this gig feel free to get in touch.

Legendary Gig or “Suburban myth” – Pink Floyd @ New Earswick Folk Hall, 1967

Pink Floyd in New Earswick Update

Pink Floyd in New Earswick: second update

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“God Is An American” January 12, 2020


There was I just randomly searching for stuff as part of researching a different blog post and up pops this. A great cover of David Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans” by Dweezil Zappa. While Dweezil doesn’t take it too far from Bowie’s original it is still a pretty good cover of one of the Dame’s best later-period songs. Bowie released it as a single with plenty of remixes (from Photek and Nine Inch Nails) and it was included on the 1997 album ‘Earthling’. Although it did make an appearance on the ‘Showgirls’ soundtrack a little earlier than that. What do you think of Dweezil’s take on the song?

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Dame David’s 73rd Birthday January 8, 2020

Filed under: Observation,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:31 pm
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Today, had he been alive the Dame a.k.a David Bowie would have been 73. Incidentally he had the same birthday as Elvis Presley. The King would have been 85 today. So as a little celebration of Bowie’s birthday how about we kick off with a song that he allegedly wanted Elvis to record; “Golden Years”.

Enjoy the videos and if you’re attending Absolute Bowie at the Crescent in York on 17th January, I’ll see you there! Let me also tantalise and tease you with another Bowie event that I am planning, it will be in York in the next few months. All will be revealed soon! Love on ya xxx

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“Stop your messing with me” April 17, 2019

Filed under: Book,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 5:45 pm
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Francis Rossi off of Status Quo has a new memoir out called ‘I Talk Too Much’. I haven’t read it yet but I am definitely tempted after a ’10 Things We’ve Learned About Status Quo’ in a recent article in Planet Rock magazine. I won’t list all ten, I will leave you to discover most of them yourselves. But one particular point really appealed to me and my warped sense of humour. Before they chose Status Quo as the name of their band the boys considered calling themselves The Muhammad Ali’s, simply so that they could use the slogan; “They’re The Greatest!”

I hate to say it, but I do think Status Quo was a better choice. What do you think?

 

“The lights go out and I can’t be saved” March 14, 2019

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 2:34 am
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William Willett

My beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman is far more active than I am, so much so that she subscribes to Country Walking magazine and I subscribe to the sedentary Q and Mojo! Anyway which of those threw up the best and perhaps most musically related fact recently? You guessed it, none other than the December 2018 issue of Country Walking.  So last weekend our American friends across the pond slipped their clocks back an hour, well most states did, Then in a couple of weeks the UK clocks go back an hour to hit British summertime. Why did we do that? Was it Farmers? Was it the postal service? Was it World War 1? Was it School Children? Actually it was none of those. In reality it was the brainchild of William Willett. His steadfast belief was that money was wasted by not changing; less  productivity in the darker mornings and power for lighting in the evening. He also enjoyed playing golf in the evening so his campaign which hit pay-dirt in 1916, the year after his death was somewhat selfish.

Chris Martin

I can almost hear you asking what the hell has this got to do with music? Well that William Willett bloke is none other than the great-great- grandfather of Chris Martin off of Coldplay. Of course and so appropriately Coldplay had a hit with a song called “Clocks”, which made the UK top 10 for the band in 2003.

 

 
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