With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Fleet Street looked everywhere and the Police did too” a.k.a 10 Lords a leaping December 22, 2012


As if I wasn’t struggling for space already my true love has now given me 10 lords a leaping. It was bad enough trying to keep the 9 ladies dancing still while I put them in storage yesterday, but these 10 Lords are even more feisty. Anyway you have probably worked out that it is now day 10 in my 12 days of Christmas series of posts; hence the 10 Lords a leaping. Unlike some of the earlier bird related gifts the Lords are not yet an endangered species, but given the movement for House Of Lords reform I’d like to think that they will be endangered in the future!


I have selected two Lord related songs for you today. Starting with the first ever solo number one by a member of the Beatles. It’s none other than the Quiet One, George Harrison with “My Sweet Lord” which made it to the top of the charts in 1971 in the UK, US, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Norway to name but a few. It returned to the number one spot in the UK in 2002 following the George’s death two months earlier. The song comes from what in my opinion is one of the best albums released in the 70s, ‘All Things Must Pass’. Too much has been written about the ridiculous plagiarism that was brought against Harrison over his songs apparent similarity to the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” so I’ll say no more on that.


But what I find interesting is the stories and rumours about who may have played on the recording of the song. some of those stories include; Ringo Starr on tambourine, John Lennon on rhythm guitar, all four members of Badfinger taking part along with Gary Wright and some rhythm guitar parts overdubbed by Peter Frampton later. Harrison originally worked up the song with Billy Preston as part of a wish to write a gospel song. At one stage Harrison allegedly wanted to give the song to the famous gospel group the Edwin Hawkins Singers.


The song has been covered in the studio or in live performance by quite a diverse group of artists including; Richie Havens, Andy Williams, John Holt, Edwin Starr, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Julio Iglesias, Boy George, Osibisa, Nina Hagen and Jose Feliciano. There was also a somewhat cheeky “My Sweet Lord” cover released in 1975 by the Chiffons. Perhaps George should have sued them for that!


The second song choice today is “Lord Lucan Is Missing” from one of my favourite acts of the 90s/ 00s, Black Box Recorder. The band never really set the charts alight, but they have always been a great live attraction, Sadly I have so far never seen them live. The studio nucleus of the band is Sarah Nixey, Luke Haines formerly of the Auteurs and John Moores once a member of the Jesus and Mary Chain. The song featured on the bands first album, ‘England Made Me’ from 1998. That album also contained a couple of great cover versions too; “Up Town Top Ranking” (Althea and Donna) and “Seasons In The Sun” (Terry Jacks).


Since his disappearance in 1974 Lord Lucan has allegedly been sighted in every corner of the globe, none of these have so far proved to be real but included; France, Goa, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Colombia. Lord Lucan, or to give him his full name and title, Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, would have just turned 78 if he is still alive. Personally I think he is probably long dead. What do you think?

Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn't he?

Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn’t he?

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“If I could reach the stars I’d give them all to you” January 16, 2011

Upon reaching the ripe old age of 50 a couple of years back I made myself a short list of things I wanted to do before I pop my clogs. There were five things; Ride a motorbike, learn to play the guitar, have something I’ve written actually published, spend a couple of hours in a flotation tank and be hypnotised for some past life regression. Thanks to my delectable  fiancée, who most of you know as Catwoman, I have now achieved three of them, all birthday presents in fact. I spent a day at the Harley Davidson Centre in Wales in 2009, but I won’t be taking up riding! I took an initial few guitar lessons in early 2010, but work got in the way as I could never get home in time for my lessons. But I do have a very rudimentary skill. This weekend I underwent past life regression hypnosis. Now in many things I am quite cynical, but with things like reincarnation I do have an open mind.

The experience, given to me by Catwoman for my birthday, surpassed all my expectations. I wasn’t put into a deep trance, but some of the things I experienced were incredible. Were they actual past lives or were they part of my imagination driven by the vastness of my unconscious mind (I’m not bragging here, everyone has one!). I don’t know, but I do know it was an amazingly thought-provoking and exciting experience. I am still an atheist with no-balls, which is how an old boss of mine described agnostics! Anyway I won’t go into too much detail about it here, but feel free to get in touch if you’d like to hear more. But I am happy to say that I wasn’t Napoleon or Caesar!

But apart from the guitar lessons none of this is about music so I thought I’d add a few past life related songs. I hope you enjoy them.


“I wanna say, I wanna tell you, about the young ideas, but you turn them into fears” February 25, 2009

Hello again folks, well it looks like the ‘Lily Allen Naked’ experiment didn’t work. There were twice as many views yesterday than normal, but most of these were views of the gig review I posted in addition to yesterdays usual post. So I guess that means gig reviews and fart jokes can impact the views on this blog but the suggestion of a picture of Lily Allen naked can’t. So does that conclude the ‘Lily Allen naked’ experiment? Maybe it does except to say that we might possibly go for a ‘Lily Allen naked experiment at a future date. Although the fact that this paragraph now contains the phrase ‘Lily Allen naked’ five times might make a difference for today. Confused? I’m not surprised!

So on with the show, kicking off with a couple of birthdays. First up for February 25th is that it would have been the 66th birthday of the late great (still there aren’t they those old l’s and g’s) George Harrison the youngest of the Fab Four. Sadly though he succumbed to cancer on 29th November 2001. George wasn’t the first Beatle to release solo material, that was Paul McCartney, however George was the first to release an album on the Beatles Apple label with “Wonderwall Music” the soundtrack to the film ‘Wonderwall’. This also went on to become the title of one of the top Beatles tribute bands Oasis’ songs “Wonderwall”. If anyone has any idea what a Wonderwall is please send your answers on a postcard, or more preferably in the blog comments facility. There may even be a small prize available for the best answer! George was also the first Beatle to have a solo number one with “My Sweet Lord”. The story of the plagiarism legal battle he faced from the writers of the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” over “My Sweet Lord” is well documented so I won’t dwell on that here. However a little known fact about the song is that Harrison originally gave it to Billy Preston and in fact it was lined up as a potential single for Mr Preston. Seen as a more ‘junior’ writer within the Beatles Harrison had also originally given the wonderful “Something” to Joe Cocker before the moptops recorded it for the Abbey Road album.

George wondered how long it would be before John and Paul would let him play with a big boys guitar

George wondered how long it would be before John and Paul would let him play with a big boys guitar

Incidentally “Something” was written about George’s wife Patti who later went on to marry his friend Eric Clapton. Clapton wrote both “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” for Patti. This must make her the only person to have so many classic songs written especially for her surely? In spite of the fact that Patti left George for Eric the guys stayed great friends right up to Harrisons death.

In the 60s George really took Flower Power to extremes

In the 60s George really took Flower Power to extremes

In 1974 Harrison set up his own label ‘Dark Horse’ it’s first signings were Ravi Shankar and the band ‘Splinter’. Apart from Harrison himself the only act to have a hit on ‘Dark Horse’ were Splinter who charted with the song “Costafine Town“. Have a listen to it, I think it’s aged quite well, what do you think? George produced two Splinter albums under the not well disguised name Hari Georgeson. This became the name that the NME used for him throughout the 70s too

George soon realised that what he thought was just a frog in the throat was in fact far more serious

George soon realised that what he thought was just a frog in the throat was in fact far more serious

Here is George with the criminally underplayed “When We Was Fab

The last of todays birthdays is that of Stuart “Woody” Wood of the Bay City Rollers, it’s his 52nd birthday. The band had been around for a while before Stuart joined in January 1973, the same time as lead singer Les McKeown joined the group. The band’s rise to the heights of ‘Rollermania’ began in 1974 with “Remember (Sha La La)” and peaked in the UK in 1975 with their two number ones “Bye Bye Baby” and “Give A Little Love”. They also hit the top spot in January 1976 in the US with “Saturday Night”. Most of their sings were either covers or written for them by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, however in December 1975 they had a hit with “Money Honey” which was written by Stuart Wood and fellow Roller Eric Faulkner

Woody was sure he had requested a mirrored ceiling, but decided he'd have to put up with a mirrored floor instead

Woody was sure he had requested a mirrored ceiling, but decided he'd have to put up with a mirrored floor instead

On this day in 1963 saw the first release of a Beatles single in the USA when “Please, Please Me” was issued on the Vee Jay label. I would imagine that a copy of this single might be quite valuable, largely because the name of the band was spelled wrong as the Beattles. The boys went on to capture all the top 5 places in the US singles chart for one week in 1964

How things might have looked if the Beatles had arrived in a more modern age

How things might have looked if the Beatles had arrived in a more modern age

And (almost) finally for today the Jam signed a £6,000 contract with Polydor Records.The band (Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler) came together at school in Surrey and went on to play chart and r & b covers across pubs and working men clubs across Surrey and surrounding area. As punk began to break in 1976 they rode the wave like many others, but were never really a punk band in my opinion, a great band nonetheless. They started to get gigs at the Marquee and the 100 Club in London and in 1976 they auditioned for Terry Slater of EMI and were turned down. Perhaps not on the scale of Decca turning down the Beatles but still a big mistake. Their audition for Polydor’s Chris Parry came about after Chris was urged to see them by one Shane McGowan, then leading the ‘Nipple Erectors’ but later more well known as front man of the Pogues. They were a part of the Clash’s short lived ‘White Riot’ tour in 1976 but left following an argument with the headliners. It took them just 11 days to record their first album on which all the songs were written by Paul Weller who was just 19 at the time. Their first single was the album’s title track “In The City” Click the song title to see the band performing the song at the 100 Club in Oxford Street in 1977. Weller disbanded the group in 1982 to follow a new direction with the Style Council and then later to massive solo success. Breaking a great band up at the height of their success may have seemed like the wrong thing to do at the time, but it certainly never harmed Mr Weller’s career. Buckler and Foxton now tour as what in my opinion are little more than a tribute band ‘From The Jam’

Paul and Bruce practice for their advanced guitar Ninja exams

Paul and Bruce practice for their advanced guitar Ninja exams

Catwoman and I saw Paul Weller at the Manchester MEN Arena last year and he was fantastic, he even included a few Jam and Style Council songs in his set. If you haven’t heard his current album ‘22 Dreams‘ shame on you. Go and rectify that issue NOW! In the meantime click on the album title to hear a BBC4 sessions version of the title song

paul steadfastly refused to wear a red nose, even for Comic Relief!

paul steadfastly refused to wear a red nose, even for Comic Relief!

And finally finally, now I really mean finally this time! Here is probably the most infectious and annoying clip I have seen for ages, it’s a cat dancing to the “Peanut Butter, Jelly Song” just play it once and it will stick in your head for hours!


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