With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“When I met you you were seventeen not just another teenage queen” Blog Advent Calendar day 18 December 18, 2014


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Wow there are now only seven big sleeps until the fat, weird, beardy bastard in red jams himself in your chimney. If that sounds like a double entendre or euphemism it wasn’t supposed to ok. Any it’s December 18th and day 18 of this years ABC of British bands advent calendar blog posts. That means we are at the letter ‘R’, would you like to know what is behind the little cardboard flap today? Okay then I’ll put you out of your misery, it’s Racey!

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The bands was formed in Weston-super-Mare in the mid 70s by Phil Fursdon and Clive Wilson.  Their first single was “Baby It’s You” in 1977 it was written by Chris Norman and Pete Spencer off of Smokie. Racey were signed to Mickie Most‘s RAK Records and their first hit, like many on that label, was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. It was a big hit reaching number 3 in the UK chart, number 2 in Ireland and number 1 in Australia.

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The follow-up was “Some Girls”, a song that was originally written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman for Blondie who were being produced by Mike Chapman at the time. Both songs were produced by Mickie Most. “Some Girls” fared even better than “Lay Your Love On me” reaching number 2 in the UK, number 2 in Ireland and number 1 in both Australia and South Africa. The band had one more UK top 20 hit before they broke up in 1985. That was in 1980 and it was a cover of the classic rock ‘n’ roll tune originally by Dion and the Belmonts; “Runaround Sue”. On their 1979 album ‘Smash And Grab’ the band recorded a Chinn- Chapman composition called “Kitty”. this later went on to be recorded under the title “Mickey” which was a big hit for Toni Basil in 1982. Now take some time to relive the late 70s and early 80s when Racey were at their peak.

 

 

 

“I’m gonna make you the talk of town, no use wearing a frown” October 20, 2014


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I just heard the sad news that reggae legend John Holt has died. His manager confirmed that he passed away in a London hospital on Sunday night. He was just 67. He started out as the lead singer of the Paragons and wrote many of their songs; including “Wear You To The Ball” and “The Tide Is High“. The latter went on to become an international hit for Blondie in the 80s and later for Atomic Kitten. I always preferred the Paragons original version. He also recorded as a solo artist while he was with the Paragons cutting tracks like the original of “OK Fred” in 1979. This was later a UK hit for Errol Dunkley in 1979. He recorded tracks with legendary reggae figures such as Duke Reid, Leslie Kong, Bunny Lee, Prince Buster and Alton Ellis.

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He recorded and released many albums and singles and was a superstar in Jamaica. Sadly in the UK he was never as popular. His 1974 cover of Kris Kristofferson‘s “Help Me Make It Through The Night” reached number 6 in the UK chart. He released his last solo album, ‘Peacemaker’ in 1993. I still have a copy of the fabulous ‘1,000 Volts Of Holt’ album from 1973, only the CD version though. My vinyl copy wore out years ago.

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My thoughts go to his family, friends and fans. John Holt RIP.

 

“Your voice across the line gives me a strange sensation” May 7, 2014


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The only reason for this post is that one of my connections on LinkedIn posted the picture above. Therefore I thought let’s have a bit of Blondie shall we? Also it might help us erase any nightmares of Wand Erection singing it! These are three of my favourite Blondie tracks, what are yours?

Blondie at International center, Toronto 1978

Blondie at International center, Toronto 1978 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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“Come up off your colour chart, I know where you’re comin’ from” December 23, 2013


images“Call Me”, Blondie’s big hit from the ‘American Gigolo‘ film which starred Richard Gere in 1980 went to number one in three countries; the USA, Canada and the UK. It was also included on the band’s ‘Autoamerican‘ album. The writing credit goes to Giorgio Moroder and Debbie Harry. However the song was originally not earmarked for Blondie; Giorgio Moroder had written the instrumental track for the ‘American Gigolo’ soundtrack but had initially wanted to give it to Stevie Nicks off of Fleetwood Mac. I wonder how that would have turned out? I reckon that it would have been pretty good!

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“And I guess that I could get crazy now baby” June 5, 2013


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The late and incredibly great Jeff Buckley was once a roadie for the Commitments and this is apparently how he secured his residency at the Sin-e in New York. I know that Noel Gallagher was a roadie/ guitar tech for the Inspiral Carpets before he joined Oasis and the Meatloaf played a roadie in the 1980 film ‘Roadie‘ (which also featured appearances from Blondie, Alice Cooper and Roy Orbison). There have also beeen a few songs about roadies too. But I’d love to hear from you with any other stories of roadies who went on to find fame themselves.

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and a roadie related song to finish 🙂

 

“Now I need a place to hide away” March 23, 2013


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The working title for the Beatles classic “Yesterday”, well at least until the lyrics were completed, was ‘Scrambled Eggs‘. I’m sure that many of you know that already. But did you know that Paul McCartney also tried to collaborate with Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonics Workshop. Delia created the Doctor Who theme and McCartney wanted her to replace the string quartet of “Yesterday” with a full on electronic sound.

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If that had happened maybe Kraftwerk, Can and the like would not be seen as influential as they are. Imagine if the Beatles had also invented electronica. What kind of music world would that have given us? If you want to read this story on the NME site click here.

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If anyone has made, or can find, a mash-up of the Doctor Who theme and the Beatles “Yesterday” I would love to hear it. I certainly can’t find such a mash-up, but I have found a couple that use either “Yesterday” or the Doctor Who Theme.

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“Some specials and rat food, get lost in the crowd” February 16, 2013


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I think I am seriously ill, I must be, otherwise why would I like this years official single recorded for Comic Relief? It’s a great cover version of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” with a few lines of the Undertones‘ “Teenage Kicks” thrown in for free. Why would liking this make me think I am seriously ill I can hear you shout. “WHY DOES LIKING THIS COVER OF BLONDIE’S ONE WAY OR ANOTHER MAKE YOU THINK YOU’RE SERIOUSLY ILL?” (that was you shouting by the way).

Good advice from Debbie for when you have a Wand Erection

Good advice from Debbie for when you have a Wand Erection

Well I am sad to say that the act that has covered it is none other than those X Factor Pop Muppets One Direction or Wand Erection as I now prefer to call them. Their version doesn’t come close to surpassing the original, but it is far better than I would have expected and more importantly it is for a good cause. Click here to make your donation for Red Nose Day 2013. It is released on Sunday 17th February and they will be performing it at the Brits this Wednesday. Enjoy both versions of the song while I go and lie down for a restful nap and hopefully to recover from this abominable blight on my previously great music taste!

 

London Rocking It For Pakistan – O2 Academy Islington – Thursday 10th March 2011 March 16, 2011


Last week I had the good fortune of attending an excellent multi band charity gig at the O2 Academy in Islington. It was called ‘London Rocking It For Pakistan‘ and at the time of writing has raised in excess of £3,000 for flood relief in Pakistan. Not only that but four great bands for just £10. The event was sponsored by those very nice people at the NME.

First up were Lazy Lion. Apologies to them for missing their first couple of songs because what I did see was pretty damned good. It would be difficult to compare these guys and girl. The instrumentation was a keyboard player (synthesiser I assume) and an extremely talented guitarist. That combination of instrumentation and some well accomplished rapping and singing worked very, very well. I think this collective has a future!

Next on were a three piece rock ensemble with a name that for me doesn’t really work. However that’s only my opinion. The K Shaped Rooms as they are called were truly stupendous. A classic line up of guitar, bass and drums. Some superb original songs too. But perhaps their secret weapon was the bass player, not just for his excellent playing but also for his massive and effervescent personality. He looked the part too, very rockist fashion sense plus the long hair and beard. He sure knows how to work an audience. I would definitely pay to see these guys again. Reading Festival bookers are you listening?

Second on the bill were the band who for me have by far the best name I have heard in ages; Rockwork Orange. Now ordinarily I’m not too much into covers bands but this lot were brilliant. Everything from Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” to the Kaiser ChiefsI Predict A Riot” and some T Rex along the way. The female vocalist has a very strong and adaptable voice and the band were one of the tightest I’ve seen in ages. The music appeared to be directed by the bass player who  played his instrument with a plectrum. I can’t remember the last time I saw that. He switched to guitar later in the set too. Rockwork Orange know their stuff and certainly know how to rock.

By this time I was thinking can this get any better? Well let me tell you it did! Headliners the Velvetines are something else entirely; looks, sound, songs and energy, they have it all. The rhythm section keep things really well together. The bass player also rocks a really cool eastern look. Then there are the sisters who are the guitarist and the singer. I use the word sparingly but they are truly awesome! The 70s style body suits, wonderful stage presence, well rehearsed playing and really classy vocals. I really want this band to go on to bigger things. Once again are you listening Reading Festival bookers? I would definitely pay to see any of the bands on this bill again, but especially the Velvetines. If they are playing anywhere near you buy a ticket, even if you have to sell your grandmother to do so!

Velvetines Rocking It For Pakistan

 

“What can you do? What can you do?” February 8, 2011


Did you see the staggering piece of footage on the UK news this week? Where a woman in her 70s saw off six would be jewel thieves in Northampton. She saw a commotion and thought a young lad was being beaten up, so she waded in with her hand bag at which point she realised it was a robbery. It was a while before other members of the public stepped in and held one of the gang. the police later arrested three more of the six.

I’d love to see them explain themselves in prison, they will truly be complete laughing stocks. The three that were arrested were aged between 18 and 39 so all considerably younger than Ann Timson the magnificent lady in question. She said that she recognised that she had put herself in danger but that she would probably do the same again. This lady is my hero of 2011 so far, can anyone top Ann Timson?


Click here to read the story on the BBC site and click here to read it on ITV’s Anglia News

Obviously this is a music blog so I will now give you a few relatively appropriate songs;

“Beat On The Brat” – Ramones. Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone formed the band in New York in 1974. Despite the apparently shared surname they were not related at all. They chose Ramone after a pen name used by Paul McCartney, which was Paul Ramon. Clem Burke from Blondie once appeared with the band and named himself Elvis Ramone.

Robbery, Assault And Battery” – Genesis. The song comes from the bands 1976 album “A Trick Of The Tail” which was the first one to feature Phil Collins as vocalist after the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was written by Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.

“Touch Of Grey” – The Grateful Dead. Fans of the band are often referred to as Dead Heads. The term was used in one of my favourite songs; “The Boys Of Summer” by Don Henley. “Out on the road today I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac, a voice inside my head said don’t look back, you can never look back”

The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” – Jan and Dean. Many of their hits were written by the Beach Boys, especially Brian Wilson, although this was written by Don Altfeld, Jan Berry and Roger Christian. The Beach Boys did record a live version of the song in the 60s though.

“Get Up, Stand Up” – Bob Marley and the Wailers. This is a classic Marley song and was often his encore. In fact it was the last song he ever played live having used it to close his gig in Pittsburgh in September 1980.

 

 
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