With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I have held the hand of a devil” July 18, 2013


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Paul Hewson a.k.a. Bono Vox off of U2 has recently been awarded one of the highest cultural honours available in France. This was in recognition of his services to music and committment to humanitarian aid. he was given the honour; Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti in Paris. He dedicated the award to his band, saying, ‘I’ve got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other’. The award was first presented in 1957 and has been awarded to other musicians including; Bob Dylan (1990), David Bowie (1999) and Patti Smith (2005). Two James Bond actors Sean Connery (1987) and Roger Moore (2008). Donald Sutherland, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Audrey Hepburn are also in that exclusive club along with writers T.S. Eliot and Julian Barnes.

Pope steals Bono's glasses in effort to look cool........ FAILS!

Pope steals Bono’s glasses in effort to look cool…….. FAILS!

While we are talking about awards it has been announced that the BMI, the music rights organisation, will present a special icon award for his contribution to music to one-time enfant terrible of the UK tabloids John Lydon formerly Johnny Rotten. Lydon will receive the award in October this year. Since those ‘The Filth And The Fury’ headlines from 1976 when Lydon was known as Rotten and fronted the Sex Pistols he has achieved bigger musical success albeit with a little less notoriety with Public Image Limited (PiL). perhaps in a step away from the rather typecast image that the British press have of him he has also appeared on the UK reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’  on ITV in January 2004 and later fronted a few wildlife programmes. He is currently touring with PiL and recently took to the stage at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury with the band. So it now remains for me to congratulate Hewson and Lydon on their awards. For me the Lydon award is more appropriate and at least neither is some poxy award from our blood sucking UK royal family!

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“I’m like the B-19, loaded with Benzedrine” May 20, 2012


Hands up who thought that heavy drug references in music arrived in the 60s and the ‘straights’ just didn’t get it? Well if that’s you, you’re very, very wrong. Fred Astaire was singing about Benzedrine in a song back in 1942. The song was “On The Beam” written by Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern. Astaire sang it in the film ‘You Were Never Lovelier‘ (Thank you to the rather excellent Word magazine for bringing this to my attention)

However much he took, Fred could never get as high as Audrey Hepburn

It’s certainly not the earliest drug reference in song either. Cole Porter wrote “I Get A Kick Out Of You” for the Broadway musicalAnything Goes‘ in the early thirties and the song has the lines  ‘Some get a kick from cocaineI’m sure that if I took even one sniff That would bore me terrifically, too’ I love that I have been able to talk about lines and cocaine in the same sentence there!

Feel free to contribute with your own favourite drug reference in songs, especially if it’s earlier than these two!

 

 

“Two drifters off to see the world, there’s such a lot of world to see” December 12, 2010


Well, well, well we are so close to that annual visitation from the bearded weirdie aren’t we? It’s December 12th and time to pull open another little cardboard door on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar, unless of course you’re a ripper and simply rip that poor little cardboard flap right off its perforations. Anyway today’s delight comes from Christmas 1961 and only managed a fortnight at the top.

This is a proper record, do you young folks remember them?

It is Danny Williams‘ version of the timeless classic “Moon River”. The song was originally written for the film ‘Breakfast At Tiffanys’ released earlier that year. The song was performed by Audrey Hepburn, playing the role of Holly Golightly in the movie. Danny was South African and to many people his version remains the definitive one, although many have recorded it since. In fact it became somewhat of a theme song for Andy Williams who sang it on many of his TV shows. Which is your favourite version? Mine is the 70s reggae version from Greyhound which you will find at the end of this post.

Danny had quite an up and down career and suffered a nervous breakdown as well as bankruptcy. However he had another big top 30 hit in 1977 with “Dancin’ Easy” which was the song used in the Martini advertising campaign at the time

 

 
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