With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

East Village Punk ‘n’ Rock Tour (NYC) from Rock Junket Tours – Saturday 29th December 2018 January 8, 2019


As a part of my birthday jaunt to NYC my wonderful wife Catwoman (a.k.a Catherine) booked a rather intriguing East Village Punk ,n, Rock walking tour of New York’s East Village from Rock Junket. Our host and Rock Junket Head Honcho was Bobby Pinn (not his real name) and it was a pure delight to spend a couple of hours in his company. I pride myself on knowing an awful lot about rock music, but I bow to the vast encyclopaedic knowledge of Mr Pinn. I learnt so much on this tour.

We saw the apartment block where Joey Ramone (a.k.a. Jeffrey Ross Hyman and also a.k.a Jeff Starship!) lived. Not far from there is the spot where the iconic photo of the Bruddas that adorns the cover of their first album was taken. Take another look at that picture, in particular the subtle way in which Joey is bending his knee and Dee Dee is standing on tip toes just so that the vast gap between the pair of them does not appear so vast.

Whilst I didn’t try one until later in the week we learnt what an Egg Cream drink was. The drink is immortalised in song by Lou Reed and apparently one of the best spots to buy one is the Gem Spa, a one time haunt of the New York Dolls. Strangely enough the Egg Cream beverage contains neither egg nor cream! Go figure!

I already knew a lot about Bill Graham’s venue the Fillmore/ Fillmore West in San Francisco, but I knew next to nothing about the Fillmore East in New York. Many great acts took to the stage there from the Allman Brothers to Frank Zappa. The most appearances by any artist or band was by the Grateful Dead.

Apartments that were once home to a young Madonna and tortured jazz giant Charlie Parker were encountered. Charlie Parker even has a street named in his honour. Now that is not bad for a suicidal junkie who died aged just 34. But that was just a part of his story and it is impossible not to recognise the towering influential, pioneering genius of Mr Parker. Also who knew that Madonna’s early live appearances were as a drummer for her then boyfriend’s band? I certainly didn’t!

I I hadn’t been on this tour with Bobby Pinn I am certain that I would have walked right past the building that features on the front cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 double album ‘Physical Graffiti’. The building was the home of Jimmy Page’s drug supplier who lived on the fourth floor. That floor is conspicuously missing from the album cover after a real cut and paste job by artist Peter Corriston. The very same tenement block was used in the video for the Rolling Stones 1981 single “Waiting On A Friend”.

The tour ended at the site of the now defunct CBGB’s; the iconic 1970s New York punk venue. I took the obligatory pictures outside and even ventured into the ridiculously expensive and rather disappointing shop that is now on the site. That said, the Captain Fantastic pinball table was stunning!

In this post I have tried to give you a flavour of this magnificent tour of some classic rock landmarks in the East Village. I didn’t want to add much more and therefore spoilmyour enjoyment when you take it. Make sure that you go walking around New York with Bobby Pinn next time you are in the Big Apple. You will not regret it. Click here to check out the Rock Junket site and to book your tour.

Apart from the Rock Junket header all pictures were taken by yours truly, apart from those that feature me which were taken by the most wonderful person that I know, Catherine Adamson. If you were wondering which landmark birthday I was celebrating it was 18 with 42 years of experience. 😉

 

“Yeah, I’m the one infected, twisted animator” March 24, 2009


Hello again readers (well I am assuming that you’re not just looking at the pictures here obviously!). I’ve moved away from the usual birthday and ‘onthisday’ post once again today. This post could I suppose be called a fire sale! It was inspired by my second fire walk which I completed last night! Yes I walked barefoot over hot coals and I urge you to try it yourself if you ever get the chance. It’s not just a turn up and walk kind of thing there is a build up over a few hours including breaking an arrow on your throat. That too is an incredible experience. The lady who ran last nights session and indeed the first firewalk I did a few months back is ‘Lovely Lisa‘ click her name to get to her website. Lisa is truly an inspirational coach and those of you who know me well will be aware that this is strong praise indeed coming from such a cynical skeptic. Check out Lisa’s site and do everything you can, short of perhaps selling your mother, to do a firewalk.

This is me exposing my soles to hot coals!

This is me exposing my soles to hot coals!

Anyway to get back to the music I thought I would run through my top 5 fire related songs and maybe it could ‘spark’ you into shedding some ‘light’ one your own ‘burning hot’ songs. Here are mine;

1 “Firestarter” – The Prodigy

2 “Fire” – Ohio Players

3 “Burning Down The House” – Talking Heads

4 “Burnin’ And Lootin‘” – Bob Marley and the Wailers

5 “Light My Fire” – Jose Feliciano

OK now do your worst and tell me your favourite fire related songs, if I receive enough I’ll put my five and yours in a poll in a future post!

A post of mine wouldn’t be the same without a large degree of trivia so here it comes.

The Prodigy took their name from a Moog synthesiser which unsurprisingly was called the Moog Prodigy! The band rose to fame during the rave era of the early 90’s in the UK. They released their first single “Charly” in August 1991. It took a sample from a British public information film called ‘Charley Says’ and reached number 3 in the UK. Eventually things went mega for the band in 1997 with the release of the excellent ‘Fat Of The Land’ album which spawned two UK number ones in “Firestarter” and “Breathe”. My own favourite Prodigy song is their fourth single, released in 1992, “Out Of Space”. It sampled heavily from a Max Romeo song “I Chase The Devil” which had originally been produced by the stupendously talented Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. The “I’ll take your brain to another dimension” line is taken from the excellent “Critical Breakdown” by the Ultramagnetic MCs. What is your favourite Prodigy song?

keith knew he would have to grow his hair much more before he could acquire the perfect combover

Keith Prodigy knew he would have to grow his hair much more before he could acquire the perfect comb-over

I was a big fan of funk music in the 70s which is how I first got into the rather wonderful Ohio Players. There was a bonus for teenage boys who were fans of this band and in 1975 I was just 16. That bonus was that all their album covers had pictures of semi naked women doing things like pouring honey over themselves! Excuse me while I go and take a quick cold shower……………… ok that’s better, now where were we? Oh yes the Ohio Players. In their early days Walter ‘Junie’ Morrison was the lead vocalist, he later went on to sing lead for Funkadelic (probably my favourite funk band ever!). Those Red Hot Chili Pepper fans amongst you may already be familiar with the Ohio Players via the Chili’s rather good cover of “Love Rollercoaster”. The RHCP version featured in the movie ‘Beavis And Butthead Do America’ and when released as a single from the soundtrack the additional track was “Lesbian Seagull” by Englebert Humperdinck, I kid you not! Click the title to hear it! The original Ohio Players version of “Love Rollercoaster” features a couple of high pitched screams which have developed an urban myth about them over the years. One myth says they are the screams of a dying woman being murdered outside the studio, another says that it is the painful scream of a dying rabbit which was run down outside the studio. The truth would appear to be much more likely and indeed mundane. It is the sampled scream of a woman riding a roller coaster. Well come on it fits the song doesn’t it? Anyway click here to watch a brief video that explains the urban myth and then tell me what you think. Personally I think it is complete and utter crap!

For research only here are two pictures of Ohio Players album covers. I love the strategically placed picture of the band on the second one

The Fire Service budget cuts had resulted in almost a complete lack of protective clothing for firefighters

The Fire Service budget cuts had resulted in almost a complete lack of protective clothing for firefighters

Well they do say that honey is good for you;-)

Well they do say that honey is good for you;-)

Talking Heads originally formed in 1974 as the Artistics featuring David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz who were all attending the Rhode Island School Of Design. The name Talking Heads came after they read a TV Guide which explained that just a headshot of a presenter was known as a talking head and was basically ‘all content and no action’ They felt that the phrase was a perfect fit for the band. The first time they played under the new name was when they opened for the Ramones at CBGBs in 1975. Jerry Harrison joined the band from Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers in 1976. It was a cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” that really helped them take off

After a power failure backstage the band had dressed in the dark again

After a power failure backstage the band had dressed in the dark again

Bob Marley is one of my all time favourite singers and has been for many years. I hadn’t heard of him when he released his first singles though. Largely because I was only three years old and the singles only came out in Jamaica! The songs were “Judge Not” and “One More Cup Of Coffee” production was handled by legendary Jamaican Producer Leslie Kong. Marley didn’t even use his own name on the singles, for both he was known as Bobby Martell. Earlier this year Marley’s family struck a deal with a Finance Company to licence Marley’s image under the ‘House Of Marley’ brand. So expect to see House Of Marley image and branding on everything from Snowboards (that sounds really authentic Jamaican), Luggage, Headphones and a Jamaican Beer!

This little fella auditioned for the 'Marley And Me' movie but clearly didn't know the story very well

This little fella auditioned for the 'Marley And Me' movie but clearly didn't know the story very well

OK I guess I should expect some kickback for this but I feel that the Doors are overrated! Although I love “Light My Fire” I much prefer Jose Feliciano’s version. Jose is Puerto Rican and was blind from birth. His full name is José Montserrate Feliciano García. Perhaps if he had called himself Jose Garcia he could have formed a Latin American version of the Grateful Dead! In 1967 Jose was denied entry into the UK. Why was that? Drugs? Murder? Something worse? No, the animal quarantine laws in the UK prevented Jose from bringing his Guide Dog. he was a massive star in Latin America when he moved to LA in the late 60’s (I presume that the US Government let him bring his Guide Dog). Shortly after this he recorded his version of “Light My Fire” which went to number three in the US charts in 1968. Most covers of the song nowadays tend to favour Feliciano’s arrangement, including the relatively recent version from Will Young.

Jose used his three heads and six hands to play guitar faster than anyone had ever done before

Jose used his three heads and six hands to play guitar faster than anyone had ever done before

 

“You just took for granted that I want to skinny dip” March 17, 2009


Hello everybody on this glorious Tuesday 17th March, well the weather is glorious where I am anyway. Firstly did everyone see the reports about Francis Rossi of Status Quo in the press last week? He finally had his hair cut short, yes he has had his pony tail chopped off. His hair had been receding considerably at the front too, so perhaps he should have done it ages ago, but at least he’s done it now. Personally I really don’t think old grey haired men with receding hair lines and pony tails is a good look. But then maybe I suffer from hair envy as I do have a head like a billiard ball and I have also been likened before to Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppets, so what do I know! Anyway you can read the story and see the pictures in an article from the Guardian by clicking here (or should that be clicking hair?). Either way it really does have the same shocking effect as seeing Elvis getting his hair cut for the Army in 1958.

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

On with the usual stuff now starting with just a couple of birthdays. Firstly today is the 42nd birthday of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. Whilst he is younger than me we do share the same first name and hairstyle! Billy was (and presumably still is) a big baseball fan. He played for his school and whilst there he also built up a collection of baseball cards that reached 10,000. Wow that even makes my CD and comic (sorry graphic novel) collections look tame! Corgan also dated Courtney Love before she came into Kurt Cobain’s life. Corgan even shared some songwriting credits on Courtney’s band Hole’s album “Celebrity Skin”. Incidentally you should check out Courtney on MySpace, in my opinion she has a fantastic presence there and uses it really well. The Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000 but reformed in 2006. In the ensuing period Corgan formed the rather short lived Zwan and also released some solo material. In my opinion the Pumpkins 1997 album “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s. Check out “1979” from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by clicking on the song title.

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Today is also the 34th birthday of Justin Hawkins off of the Darkness and Hot Leg. Since the Darkness split up and before Hot Leg came to be Mr Hawkins was quite a busy boy. He issued a solo single, a cover of the Sparks song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. He took part in the competition to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m glad he didn’t win that, the voting is so political and territorial that the UK is unlikely ever to win it again. In the Film ‘Telstar’ which is based on the life of the late great (finally those l’s & g’s make a return!) Joe Meek, Justin will be taking on the role of the wonderful English eccentric, the late great (with a vengeance, l & g’s ra ra ra) Screaming Lord Sutch. I saw the Darkness live at the Reading Festival twice. Firstly in 2003 when they were about 4th on the bill and still relatively new, they were absolutely fantastic one of the best bands of the whole festival that year. However they went on to headline the following year and personally I don’t think that they were ready. Their second album still hadn’t been released and they tried out some of the new songs which seemed under rehearsed. In my opinion they were one of the worst Reading headliners that I have ever seen and I have been going for a long while, the fireworks at the end were the most exciting thing about their set that year. I reckon they peaked way to early. However I do feel that Justin Hawkins is immensely talented. I loved both the Darkness albums and the current Hot Leg album is pretty damned good too. Here is the Darkness classic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and a future Hot Leg classic “I’ve Met Jesus

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

On this day in 1976 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers appeared at New York’s CBGB’s club. The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975 when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the ‘New York Dolls’ and Richard Hell left ‘Television’. Hell left in 1976 and went on to form the Voidoids. The Heartbreakers were invited to appear on the bill of the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976, although most of the dates were cancel thanks to the massive overreaction by much of the British press and many local councils. The invite may have come about because Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had previously been the manager of the New York Dolls and he knew Nolan and Thunders quite well. The Heartbreakers are certainly unlikely to reform since Thunders died in 1991 and Nolan in 1992. My favourite Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers song is “Chinese Rocks” check it out and tell me what you think, to me it’s a punk classic.

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

The CBGBs club opened in 1973 in Manhattan and sadly closed down in 2006. The initials stood for Country, Blue Grass and Blues although strangely enough it is most associated with punk. However it’s full name was CBGBs & OMFUG the second set of initials stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. I must confess that I haven’t got the foggiest as to what Gormandizers means, do you? The final show at CBGBs was by the fabulous Patti Smith. “Elegie” was the last song ever played at CBGBs, a very sad moment indeed

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

And finally on this day in 1997 US singer Jermaine Stewart died of liver cancer which was believed to have been complicated by HIV/ AIDS. He had a UK number two hit in 1986 with “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off“. He also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George amongst others, largely providing backing vocals. He provided many of the backing vocals on Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers” album. His first big break was becoming a dancer on the iconic US TV show ‘Soul Train’

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

 

 
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