With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Podcast July 20, 2019


I have just uploaded another With Just A Hint Of Mayhem podcast. It outlines my views on the Apollo 11 moon landing from 50 years ago. How exciting that was to me and my thoughts on what has happened since, accompanied by a soundtrack of some of my favourite space, moon and Apollo tunes. Click here to check it out. I would love to hear your views too.

 

“I Checked You Out From The Corner Of My Eye, You And The Devil Walking Side By Side” June 23, 2011


As it’s been quite a while without a post from me, well apart from the two immediately before this one anyway, I thought I’d go back to an old favourite. So what were the first five songs that came on my iPod this morning using the shuffle option? Well here they are. Feel free to submit your first five songs on the shuffle option

 “Sunflower” – Paul Weller – This rather excellent Weller song was one of three singles to be taken from his second solo album ‘Wild Wood’ in 1993. It reached number 16 in the UK.

 I lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper” – Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip – i suppose of all the tracks here this is perhaps the most embarrassing, but do you know what? I really don’t care, I love this song. It’s also quite an amusing song given where Sarah got her big break (as a dancer with Hot Gossip) and where she went (Star of stage musicals and wife of Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber)

 “The Worst Job You’ve Ever Had” – Derek and Clive (aka Pete ‘n’ Dud) – This is obviously not a song and if you are a sensitive soul or easily offended I would strongly recommend that you do not listen to this. OK don’t say I didn’t warn you! This was what I suppose you could call a side project of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. It ran for a few albums and personally I am neither a sensitive soul nor am I easily offended so I found it bloody hilarious. I recall the first time I heard any of the tracks and exactly where I was at the time. I had started work in October 1975 aged 16, I was based in London Transport’s Bus Schedules Office which was full of bus fanatics a.ka. ‘Frothers’. In those days everyone went to the pub on Friday lunchtime and stayed for a few hours, including those like me who were underage! We regularly visited a local hostelry called the Westminster Arms where the entertainment was provided by a number of young ladies who were clearly too hot as they were always removing their clothes when on stage. The pub clearly couldn’t afford a comedian so in the intervals between the clothes removing girls they played tracks from the first Derek and Clive album over the PA system. So maybe not a particularly interesting story but entirely true.

 “Apollo 9” – Adam Ant – Released in 1984 this once the once Stuart Goddard’s last UK top 20 hit when it reached number 13 that year. I’m not sure why he chose Apollo 9 as his title/ subject. Apollo 9 was the third manned mission in the Apollo launches and it was also the first to carry the Lunar Module. It was launched on March 3rd 1969, just a few months before the first successful moon landing with Apollo 11.

 “Shoorah Shoorah” – Betty Wright. Betty was originally known as Bessie Regina Norris. She released two singles in 1966 aged just 12 and also allegedly helped discover George and Gwen McCrae in 1967. This single was a minor UK hit in 1975.

 

“And no one had the guts to leave the temple” October 13, 2010


Earlier this evening I was watching with fascination and respect the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners. I have watched many amazing live TV events in my lifetime, with the 1969 moon landing being the most amazing (and to the conspiracy theorists, it happened OK, get over it! How do I know? Obviously I know it’s true cos I saw it on the TV! Anyway to celebrate this amazing rescue and excellent good news let’s take a look and listen to some freedom songs.

As I type this 26 of the 33 trapped miners are now free, let’s hope that the rest are on the surface very soon.

The songs are “I’m Free” by the Soup Dragons. Any band named after a character in the Clangers is more than cool with me. next up is a song with the same title by the Who and taken from the truly stupendous Tommy album, purportedly the world’s first rock opera, only don’t mention that to the Pretty Things whose ‘S.F. Sorrow’ was released a little earlier. The final song is “Freedom” from Wham, that one celebrates George Michael‘s recent release from prison.

 

“She spent all my money playing her high class game” July 3, 2010


When I started this blog back in February of last year the majority of posts were based around an ‘on this day’ theme. But my more recent posts haven’t covered that at all, however with the date today being 3rd July I felt that I had to revert to that format again, at least for this post anyway. So, why is 3rd July an important date in music? It’s the date the two of the famous quartet of 60s rock stars who died at age 27 passed away. That quartet, who all died within a two-year period at the tail end of the 60s and early 70s were Brian Jones (off of the Rolling Stones), Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison (off of the Doors). Jones died on 3rd July 1969 and Morrison on 3rd July 1971. Hendrix and Joplin both died in 1970 just 16 days apart, 18th September and 4th October respectively.

OK conspiracy theorists, here are Brian and Keef near a swimming pool, so was it Keef wot dun it?

Brian Jones was found dead in the swimming pool of his home in Hartfield, Sussex. It was the former home of A. A. Milne the creator of Winnie The Pooh. Jim Morrison was found dead in his apartment in Paris. Conspiracy theories have grown up around both deaths. There have been allegations that Jones was murdered put forward on numerous occasions, although given that he had recently been sacked from the band he helped create, the Rolling Stones, and his history with drug intake, that strikes me as unlikely. Jim Morrison supposedly died of heart failure supposedly brought on by a number of years of drug abuse. But as no autopsy was performed and allegedly only his girlfriend identified his body rumours abound that he faked his death. I love conspiracy theories but I personally don’t believe many of them at all. I know that the Apollo moon landings took place, I saw them on the TV! I would love to hear your views on conspiracy theories, especially those that are music related

Jim always took a power nap during the bands extended drum, guitar and organ solos and jams

There is much mythology built up around the magic 27 club, indeed this was reignited when Kurt Cobain (off of Nirvana) blew himself away in 1994. Personally I see the first four as having some kind of death of the 60s link, perhaps along with Altamont, but apart from purely his age I don’t see Cobain as really fitting in that group. However if you’d like to read more about the 27 club there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to the five I have already mentioned and many other musicians who also died aged just 27, click here to see it.

So to round off today’s little post here are a couple of clips of Brian Jones and Jim Morrison (and a sneaky audio clip of Jimi Hendrix with Brian Jones).

 

“Giant steps are what you take” July 20, 2009


One simple footprint which for me says so very much

One simple footprint which for me says so very much

Greetings fellow astronuts and space cadets! As most of you know I come in peace, but I’m not that interested in meeting your leader ok. I’m not particularly sure that I’d like to take over the planet either! Anyway enough blathering on, I simply could not let this momentous occasion go without a mention, even in a humble music blog. It’s July 20th today and 40 years ago two men landed on the moon; Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and do not forget Michael Collins who piloted Columbia the Command Module which remained in orbit around the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin took the Eagle the Lunar Module to the surface.

The crew of Apollo 11 chose this, did you notice that the Eagle that represents America carries an olive branch representing peace?

The crew of Apollo 11 chose this, did you notice that the Eagle that represents America carries an olive branch representing peace?

In my opinion this is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of my 50 years on the planet. When I was a boy I wanted to be an astronaut, but then I guess millions of others did too. I wonder if as many people want that now? I hope so. My Mum and Dad were quite strict about my bedtime and I was only 10 years old in 1969 so it was amazing that my Dad let me stay up or woke me up in the early hours so that I didn’t miss anything. In those days I collected anything to do with the Apollo missions; newspapers, magazines, models, a massive poster of the moon and countless things that have disappeared from my memory. I did have an Airfix scale model of the Saturn V rocket and another of the Lunar Module. The latter was incredibly difficult to put together!

It looks like a Blue Peter project really doesn't it?

It looks like a Blue Peter project really doesn't it?

We sent a further six missions to the moon and in addition to Aldrin and Armstrong a further 10 men walked on it’s surface. I am still saddened that we haven’t really done much in the way of manned planetary exploration since Apollo 17 in 1973. I would love to think we could make it to Mars within my lifetime.

The Lunar Module leaves the moon and returns to the Command Module for the return to Earth

The Lunar Module leaves the moon and returns to the Command Module for the return to Earth

Let me briefly address those who say the moon landings were faked, in my opinion those people are talking complete crap. There is plenty of information around that debunks all those moon landing hoax theories. I won’t bore you with the details here, but to those who believe the conspiracy stuff please say hi to Elvis and Jacko from me when you next see them in the 7-11

Probably the most iconic picture of their time on the moon this is Aldrin snapped by Armstrong and is often known as the visor shot for what you can see reflected in Buzz's visor

Probably the most iconic picture of their time on the moon this is Aldrin snapped by Armstrong and is often known as the visor shot for what you can see reflected in Buzz's visor

In the UK the Apollo 11 mission was also important for a certain Mr Bowie. He got his first hit single out of it when the BBC used his “Space Oddity” as the theme for their coverage. It reached number 5 in the UK charts in 1969 and eventually made number one when it was reissued in 1975. That song is in fact reissued today in a format which also provides you with each separately recorded track to enable you to remix it yourself. I for one will be buying it later! Appropriately(ish) enough Thunderclap Newman’s “Something In The Air” was number one in the UK at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Neil Armstrong's Space Suit........ or perhaps it was Major Tom's?

Neil Armstrong's Space Suit........ or perhaps it was Major Tom's?

So without further ado here is a small hit parade of Moon related songs, well this is a music blog after all!

1 “Space Oddity” – David Bowie (come on I’m a fan what did you expect!)

2 “Saturn V” – Inspiral Carpets (what a glorious sight that rocket was)

3 “Sleeping Satellite”  – Tasmin Archer (this song appears to express the sadness that I feel about us never having gone back to our sleeping satellite)

4 “Walking On The Moon” – Police (Ok now we’re onto gratuitous use of moon in the song!)

5 “Fly Me To The Moon” – Frank Sinatra (How could I not include this fabulous song?)

OK that’s my five moon related songs, I’m sure that you have plenty more, so tell me what they are!

In the meantime click here to enjoy some of the BBC’s coverage of the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic mission.

 

 
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