One of my favourite Alice Cooper tracks is one of his lesser known singles which barely scraped into the US top 50 and peaked at number 12 in the UK. It is taken from the 1973 album ‘Muscle Of Love‘ and considering that it was released in 1973 it is to some folk confusingly titled “Teenage Lament ’74”. I used to have the album and the single on vinyl. So why am I telling you this? Well I learnt something about the song this week that I never knew before, or maybe I knew but had forgotten it. Anyway that little trivia nugget is that backing vocals on “Teenage Lament ’74” were provided by Liza Minelli.
As many of you are aware there will be a General Election in the UK in May. Well for the first time that I was granted the legal right to vote in 1977 I really cannot find any politician or party that inspires me enough to put my ‘X’ next to their name on May 7th. What are the main options?
Tories a.k.a Conservatives – I despise this party and I think hell might freeze over before I voted for them and Cameron is an incredibly weak leader in my opinion
Liberal Democrats – like many former Labour supporters who switched to them in 2010 I feel betrayed after they joined forces with the Tories. I hope Nick Clegg loses his seat, his party is as good as over.
Labour – lacking in direction when they should be crushing the other main parties. Sorry but they chose the wrong Milliband brother to lead them.
UKIP – Farage and his cronies? Why would anyone vote for this bunch of racist, Daily Mail supporters with no more than one policy
Greens – My heart says possibly but my brain says no. From what I’ve seen I don’t believe that they have the ability to lead or to influence a minority government
BNP – Fuck off you racist scumbags!
Obviously I can’t vote for the nationalist parties of Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales as I am in England. I would have gone for the ‘None Of The Above’ movement but then I saw that they propose to actually stand candidates, that goes a lot against the grain for me. So all I hope is that the Monster Raving Looney Party are standing in my constituency or I may simply go along and spoil my ballot paper. The government do record and publish the number of spoiled ballots so perhaps that is the most effective protest that we have in this “democracy” of ours. What do you think and feel free to cast your vote in the poll.
An open ambition of mine is to undertake jury service, but I suspect that like my father who also wanted to serve as a juror it will remain an unfulfilled ambition. However I truly believe that I could do a better job than the majority of the jury in the Vicky Pryce (wife of Chris Huhne) speeding points trial. The judge has dismissed them for failing to understand their role. well that is how the press seem to have translated it. For me it just seems that some jurors in this trial are just incredibly stupid.
After 14 hours of deliberation they apparently asked questions such as;
Can a juror come to a verdict based on reasons that were not presented in court or supported by the evidence.
What were Mrs Pryce’s religious convictions? Even though this was not a matter in the trial.
How do you plead for these jurors? Are they stupid, diligent or something else completely? Let’s be fair, Huhne and Pryce have hardly been beacons of intelligence over this speeding debacle either have they?
A retrial begins on Monday. Anyway as I have said many times before this is a music blog so I have chosen some appropriate songs, well they are in my opinion!
This is a special message to all my American readers. On November 6th you will have the chance to vote once again in a Presidential election. I would like to offer some advice and some opinions. I recognise that some of you may not agree with me, but I can live with that!
Firstly whatever happens please use your vote. Do not assume that your guy will win whether you vote for them or not. This election could be as close to call as the Dubya versus Gore election in 2000. Secondly and here is where I’m sure I’ll lose some of you. Vote Obama! He has been a great president in some very hard times trying to manage an economy which was almost dead and buried when he inherited it. All of this in the midst of a global recession. He has also introduced an incredibly forward thinking health care plan.
He may not have achieved everything he set out to do, but then look back at the record of any previous US President or indeed British Prime Minister and see what their delivery to promise ratio was. I suspect most of them would have been low. As a Brit I believe Obama has done a great job but even I am disappointed with some aspects of his first term, notably a failure to close down th prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. But compared to his opponent Mitt Romney he is by far the better candidate. OK so let’s consider the crazies for a moment; Donald Trump and the so-called ‘birthers’ who think Barack doesn’t have the right to be President. Well he has made his birth certificate available to you and you still don’t believe him. You were never going to were you? In the same vein why is no one making a big fuss about a lack of tax records from Romney, especially as he had promised to publish them?
I am not religious in the slightest and I believe that it is wrong for a political leader to be overtly religious. Mitt is a Mormon a faith that is based on, let’s face it some rather strange concepts based on the visions of Joseph Smith in the 1800s. It wasn’t so long ago that the Mormon faith allowed and promoted polygamy. In addition to that some would say that it is at its roots a very sexist and racist religion. Although to be fair, Mitt’s father took a stand against some of those principles when he supported the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
Mitt is definitely what some US hacks call a ‘flip flopper’. His views on abortion and gay marriage seem to have moved like a yoyo to suit his mood and his position. He said himself in an unguarded moment that he really doesn’t care about 47% of the population. So finally I believe that you should vote for Obama, I think you need to give him another four years. If you vote for Romney the only ones who will benefit in the long-term will be the rich. But like I said at the start, whatever you do use your vote!
Incidentally these are my opinions and I have and will offer advice to UK voters when the time arises. I believe that we voted the wrong way last time and now we’re stuck with a pathetic, corrupt and inept coalition government for the next couple of years at least. So let me step off my soapbox and give you some music. This is a music blog after all.
Thanks to my good friend Nick Horslen for directing me to this rather amusing story on the BBC recently. Apparently the latest movie in the Resident Evil franchise is being filmed in Toronto and when a number of actors in Zombie guise were moving from one stage to another there was an accident. There were no major injuries, just cuts and bruises. However the best part of the story is the surprise of the emergency services when they arrived. Can you imagine turning up to an emergency only to find that the victims were covered in blood; mostly fake blood as it turns out!
You can click here to read the story on the BBC. Obviously given the music nature of this blog I simply had to include some Zombie related
songs. Maybe you should consider including some of these on your Halloween party soundtrack later this month! Keeping up that Zombie theme, how many of you are fans of “The Walking Dead”? I think it’s a superb horror series, enjoy the trailer for series two by clicking here.
“Zombie” – Cranberries – Not really a Zombie song as it relates to the troubles in Ireland.
“Pet Sematary” – Ramones – This is also not strictly a Zombie song but the classic Stephen King story centres around how things that are buried in an ancient native American burial ground come back to life. This song is the theme to the movie version. As I believe the strapline on the film poster and trailer said…….. ‘Sometimes dead is better’
“Call of the Zombie” – Rob Zombie – No Zombie song list would be complete without Mr Zombie himself would it. He recently made an appearance on the new Alice Cooper album “Welcome 2 My Nightmare” which is a sequel to, can you guess the title………… “Welcome To My Nightmare”. It’s rather a good album in my opinion.
“Zombie” – Fela Kuti & Africa ’70 – More of a tub thumping funky criticism of the Nigerian army than about zombies themselves. But an excellent song nonetheless.
“Thriller” – Michael Jackson – I guess this must be the Zombie song that everyone knows, especially the Zombie dance section. Did you
know that Vincent Price and Paul and Linda McCartney all appear as Zombies in the Zombie formation dancing section of the video.
I bet you can't guess who this fine looking Zombie is can you?
I bring you some momentous news in this post dear readers, oh and some other rubbish too. So firstly the momentous news. According to the US Social Security Administration Elvis has dropped out of the top 1,000 boys names for the first time since 1954. Fans can console themselves by the fact that Presley is still hanging in there at number 274. The top five boys names are Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Jayden and William. For the girls it’s Isabella, Sophia, Emma, Olivia and Ava. There is a rather strange girls name at number 25 though; it’s Nevaeh. It’s heaven spelt backwards if you were wondering. I think I may just start calling myself Lleh, what do you think?
After all this time Elvis really should have known that farting in a jump suit wasn’t a good option
There was some rather sad news at the weekend. David Mason died late last month aged 85. He was a classical trumpet player and was a regular in many orchestras. But from a rock music perspective it was Mr Mason who played the Piccolo Trumpet solo on the Beatles song “Penny Lane“. RIP
This will be another short post, I promise. Largely because I have imbibed a few units of alcohol while watching a rather dull Champions League game (Glasgow Rangers versus Manchester United) with some new work colleagues in London. Anyway after travelling back to my hotel in the Old Kent Road (yes that’s one of the cheap brown ones on the Monopoly board) I switched on the TV to catch the BBC news. As expected the main coverage was the student protests in London. Click here to read the story
Now as I have said before I very much support the actions of the UK students although I do not condone the violence and damage to property that a rogue element seem to perpetrate. Anyway there was a rather funny clip shown where at the height of the protests, while some idiots were trashing a police van. Why was it funny? Well largely because the young lady interviewed on camera shouted her protest at the government, it was something along the lines of “they will be charging us £9,000 a year, for three years, that’s £21,000” Forgive me for being cynical but that young person really does need an education in basic arithmetic, doesn’t she?
OK amusement over, let’s get back to some music and for today I thought I’d go for a couple of slightly appropriate songs from the late and very definitely great Mister Ian Dury! Ladies, gentlemen and those of you with both bits, please enjoy “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards” and “Clever Trevor” Also as many of todays protesters were in fact school kids I thought that you might also like Alice Cooper‘s classic “School’s Out” from 1972 and performed here on the Beebs sadly missed Top Of The Pops show.
Many hundreds of people have found their way to this blog by searching for Lily Allen, so on behalf of those people and myself I would like to say to Lily that we are all thinking of her at this sad time. Lily suffered her second miscarriage, this was at quite a late stage in the pregnancy. Hopefully the paparazzi won’t be hounding her for a while. You can read the report on the BBC Newsbeat site.
A few trinkets of music news for you today. Firstly Wyclef Jean off of the Fugees seems likely to run for the presidency of Haiti in November. He has until 7th August to register. Although he now lives in Brooklyn he has always been fiercely proud of his Haitian roots. He was very prominent in supporting his fellow countrymen following the devastating earthquake in January. Personally I hope that he runs and wins the election, I suspect that he will be a breath of fresh air to politics. Read the story on the BBC by clicking here
The dress code in the Haitian Parliament was clearly far more relaxed than in Britain
It got me thinking about who we’d like to see enter politics from the music world. Clearly Bono would like to be considered, but whilst I am a U2 fan, Bono can be bloody annoying at times. I can think of a number of dead stars who might have made an interesting career in politics; John Lennon, Bob Marley and obviously Screaming Lord Sutch, who did partake very regularly in UK elections. He was also the longest-serving party leader in British politics I believe. He created and led the Monster Raving Looney Party for many years. Alice Cooper famously stood against Nixon as an independent candidate in the 1972 US elections. I think of living stars Paul Weller, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Jackson Browne would be good. What do you think?
In other news Lady GaGa has been nominated for a record 13 MTV Video Music Awards, next in line Eminem has just 8 nominations. GaGa is never short of a good quote and she didn’t let us down here either, having said that she was pleased that her number of nominations was an unlucky 13 she went on to say “God put me on Earth for three reasons – to make loud music, gay videos and make a damn ruckus!” I love that one! Read the story here on the BBC site, the awards themselves take place on 12th September in LA.
Sometimes GaGa just couldn’t be bothered with all the fancy dresses or maybe she was covering the Cranberries song “Linger(ie)”
In a separate story Lady GaGa has admitted to Vanity Fair magazine that she is an occasional user of cocaine. She also pointed out that she did not want her fans to take the drug. Maybe I’m a bit simple here, but if you don’t want the more gullible of your fans to do the drugs you do, then maybe not telling them might help! The BBC has the lowdown on that story, click here
Lady GaGa was so rich she could now afford to employ her own commode-bearer