With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ January 21, 2019


have never been a fan of biographical faction style films of musicians and bands, some have had their good points, while many have been dire in my opinion. So I really wasn’t keen to see the Queen/ Freddie Mercury biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, but I was torn as everyone I knew that has seen it said it was stunning. They all told me I might need tissues to dry my eyes at times too, more of that later, but I thought they were bluffing. Anyway these last ten days or so I have been on an extended business trip to the USA. On Sunday I found myself downtown when it started to rain, so I thought why not pop into the conveniently close cinema. As luck would have it the next film on was ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ so I thought what the hell, I’ll give it a go!

The film certainly feels like it captures what life was like for Queen in the early days and how their life changed as they became successful. The story is told largely as Farouk Bulsara a.k.a. Freddie Mercury’s life but the interaction with all the other main players; Brian May, John Deacon, Roger Taylor, John Reid, Mary Austin, Paul Prenter and Jim Beach to name just a few is well portrayed and is full of pathos, humour and love. There are far too many highlights to mention all of them, you should see the film yourself if you haven’t already. But for me the gestation and recording of “Bohemian Rhapsody” is thrillingly done. The ongoing joke about Roger Taylor’s “I’m In Love With My Car” is hilarious. The Live Aid element, not just the concert but the lead up to it is heartwarming and highly interesting to us music anoraks. Finally the way Freddie tells his band mates that he has AIDS is so emotionally moving that yes I did need the tissues.

I never spotted it at first but EMI Executive Ray Foster was played by Mile Myers and perhaps more amusingly for Queen historians the guy in the truck stop scene who seems to be giving Freddie the come on is none other than Adam Lambert! The script, the acting, the production, the casting and the soundtrack are all brilliant. However the best thing about it for me is Rami Malek who so many times during the film made me believe I was watching a documentary. He had the emotional highs and lows spot on, especially in the highs and lows of his relationship with his family and his band family. Also the confusion of his long time relationship with Mary Austin. I am so very glad that I got to see this film and just sorry that it took me so long.

 

“We skipped the light fandango” October 15, 2014


Photo of PROCOL HARUM

Five years ago in 2009 Procol Harum‘s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” was still the most played song on UK radio. Queen‘s  “Bohemian Rhapsody” was at number two in that listing. In a strange coincidence both songs use the word ‘fandango’ in their lyrics. Are their any other songs that use ‘fandango’ in their lyrics?

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“My daddy is sleepin’ and mama ain’t around” January 13, 2014


chubbychecker_1960Songs returning to the top of the UK singles charts on separate chart runs is not an uncommon occurrence. Often after a death; “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “My Sweet Lord“. However in the USA it has only happened once to my knowledge. That was a feat achieved in 1960 and 1962. The song was originally by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, although their version only made it to number 28 in the US chart in 1959 and even that was as a B-Side to “Teardrops On Your Letter”

Chubby+Checker

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“Oh, mama mia, mama mia (Mama mia, let me go)” January 7, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:30 pm
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Queen-Funny-D-queen-31231886-498-361Back in 1975 when Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was number one in the UK charts for the first time did you notice that it’s lyrics contained the name of the song which succeeded its 9-week run at the top in early 1976? I certainly didn’t notice, but obviously it has the phrase “Mama Mia” in it which is the title of the Abba song which followed it to number one. I wonder if that has ever happened since? It certainly didn’t happen when “Bohemian Rhapsody” returned to the UK number one spot after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. It was followed by Wet Wet Wet with “Goodnight Girl” then.

funny-Freddie-Mercury-dvd-cd

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“Take a sad song and make it better” October 12, 2012


I always get a bit of a good feeling when a favourite song, or even one that I recognise is mentioned in a story, do you? My favourite author Stephen King does it quite often. Now there is a regularly updated site called Small Demons that have compiled a list of the songs mentioned most often in works of fiction. Click here to read about it in the NME. Here is the top 20;

1. The Beatles – ‘Hey Jude’
2. Elvis Presley – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’
3. Led Zeppelin – ‘Stairway To Heaven’
4. USA For Africa – ‘We Are The World’
5. Abba – ‘Dancing Queen’
6. Carl Perkins – ‘Blue Suede Shoes
7. The Beatles – ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
8. The Beatles – ‘Eleanor Rigby’
9. Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’
10. Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
11. Los Del Rio – ‘The Macarena’
12. Michael Jackson – ‘Beat it’
13. Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Proud Mary’
14. OneRepublic – ‘Apologize’
15. The Beatles – ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’
16. The Beatles – ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’
17. ‘Lili Marleen’ (first recorded by Lale Andersen)
18. Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’
19. Bob Dylan – ‘Like A Rolling Stone’
20. Rolling Stones – ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

I get why some of these would appear, but USA For Africa,  “Macarena” and “Apologize”? What’s that all about? “Hey Jude” has been mentioned in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The Beatles have a probably unsurprising five titles in the top 20 with Michael Jackson the only other artist with more than one with his two entries. I suppose an entry for the Fab Four‘s “Paperback Writer” would have been quite apt wouldn’t it? Click here to see a longer and nicely pictorial list.

 

“I’ve walked for miles, my feet are hurting” May 16, 2011


Yet more Gaga news for you today, she certainly knows how to create a media stir for herself doesn’t she. I guess I’m as guilty as the rest too as she does appear here quite a bit. She has become the first celebrity to reach ten million Twitter followers. She tweeted this message to her followers; “10 Million Monsters! I’m speechless, we did it! It’s an illness how I love you. Leaving London smiling”. She was the first to reach nine million in March having overtaken Britney Spears last year. She has 24 million ‘likes’ on Facebook although in terms of celebrities Eminem is ahead of her as is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.

She also appeared at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle this weekend. She dedicated a song to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Wills and Kate) and played a couple of jazz numbers. In her continuing quest to make an entrance unlike any other star she arrived on stage in a coffin. She was dressed in black and apparently wearing a prosthetic pregnancy. Unless of course it was real! Before Gaga’s super injunction takes effect I would like to state categorically that I am not the father! I would like to thank my good friend Nick Horslen for sending me the clip of her stage entrance. Incidentally Nick also categorically denies that he is the father.  Nick also came up with a pun to describe the Gaga entrance that is up there with my worst puns. It went something like this ‘Lady Gaga had a bit of a coffin fit I hear…’ keep taking the tablets Nick!

Now for some non Gaga news. Last week Roger Waters played a few shows at the O2 Arena in London as part of The Wall tour. I would have loved to have gone but I never got around to booking early enough. But a work friend of mine was there and not only was it a great show, but also for the first time since Live 8 in 2005 the remaining members of Pink Floyd (David Gilmour and Nick Mason) joined Waters on stage. To say that I was envious of my friend Grant would be an understatement, being there for that particular performance is one to tell your grandchildren isn’t it? Click here to check it out on the BBC

And finally time for more mondegreens aka misheard lyrics. These were posted in the Rock Of Ages Yahoo Group and there are some real doozies there!

“I bless the rains down in Africa.” (Toto – Africa)
People sing: “I left my brains down in Africa.”

“Might as well face it, You’re addicted to love” (Robert Palmer – Addicted to love)
“Might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove.” (some people have suggested that they thought this was about Michael Jackson!

“Body’s aching all the time.” (Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody)
“but he’s naked all the time.”

“And as we wind on down the road.” (Led Zeppelin – Stairway to heaven)
“There’s a wino down the road.”

“And kept her apart from the things that she loved.” (The Beatles – Getting Better)
“And kicked her apartment of things that’s Sheila.”

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.” (Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze)
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”

“See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen” (Abba – Dancing Queen)
” See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen.”

“Like a virgin, touched for the very first time” (madonna – Like a Virgin)
“Like a virgin, touched for the thirty-first time”

“We built this city on rock and roll.” (Starship – We built this city)
“We built this city on log and coal.”

“I’ll never be your beast of burden.” (Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden)
“I’ll never leave your pizza burnin’.”

“Here we are now, entertain us.” (Nirvana – Smells like teen spirit)
“Here we are now, in containers.”

“The answer, my friend,
is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” (Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the wind)
“The ants are my friends,
they’re blowin’ in the wind
The ants are a-blowin’ in the wind.”

“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.” (Green day – Time of your life)
“Another turnip boy, the Ford stuck in the road.”

“Got my mind set on you.” (George Harrison – Got my mind set on you)
“Thought my mom sat on you.”

“There’s a bad moon on the rise.” (Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising)
“There’s a bathroom on the right.”

Just because I love the song and it doesn’t get played too much here is “Beast Of Burden” by the Stones.

 

“Beelzebub has the devil put aside for me, for me, for me” December 18, 2010


It seems like a long while ago that I posted my first UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar post, but it’s not even three weeks. Today is December 18th which is obviously Day 18. That means that this time next week the jolly, fat, old, bearded bloke with a penchant for bright red suits will have been and apart from a few more days of turkey related meals Christmas will be over. But fear not, that still leaves room for 8 more Advent Calendar posts from me including todays. I can also promise you that there will actually be some Christmas songs coming up in a few days.

Mr Mercury had more royalty than the royal family!

Anyway behind the little perforated door today you will find a song that has been UK Christmas number one on two occasions. It has been at the top for a total of 14 weeks! Firstly in 1975 for 9 weeks and then again in 1991 for 5 weeks. Probably an easy one to guess (especially as the pictures above give it away just a little bit), it’s the magnificent “Bohemian Rhapsody” from Queen. On paper it’s a song that would surely never work. It consists of some ballad, some opera, some heavy rock, a classic guitar solo, great harmonies, some nonsense lyrics and probably the kitchen sink as well. So if it shouldn’t work on paper it sure as hell does work on record. Listening to it again for this post caused me to horripilate (thanks to dictionary.com‘s daily post yesterday for that one, it means to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, well something like that anyway).

I don't believe that there is anyone else who could get away with some of the things Freddie wore on stage. Can you picture Westlife dressed like this? You Can? You need a cold shower and quick!

Whilst it spent a long while at the summit of the UK charts it only reached number 2 in the US and that was after a rerelease tied in with the ‘Wayne’s World’ movie in 1992. It originally went to number 9 in the US in 1976. The song was accompanied by what many consider to be the first ever pop video, some years before the birth of MTV. According to Brian May the band wrote most of their songs in the studio, but he says that this one was all in Freddie’s head beforehand. Mercury had wanted to record what he called a Mock Opera song. I presume this is some punning word play on the Rock Opera concept. When it was first a UK Christmas Number One in 1975 it was like nothing we had heard before. It’s second Christmas Number One appearance however was tinged with sadness as it came shortly after the death of Freddie Mercury in November 1991.

Not many people knew that Freddie actually quite liked pussy..................................................cats!

At just under 6 minutes it is also has one of the longest durations of UK number ones. This is probably the longest of all my Advent Calendar posts this year too, although that really wasn’t planned! The song has been covered by quite a range of acts, including; the Muppets, Pink, Rolf Harris (who also had a UK Christmas Number One himself with “Two Little Boys” in 1969), Flaming Lips and the Cast Of Glee. But the latter bunch cover anything and everything don’t they? You can see and hear all the above mentioned covers below after the original Queen version of the song and a medley of “Bohemian Rhapsody/ Radio GaGa” from their Live Aid set in 1985.

 

 
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