With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“From feudal serf to spender, this wonderful world of purchase power” September 15, 2009


Me and my helmet :-)

Me and my helmet 🙂

Here we go again folks and I have some brilliant news, well it was brilliant for me anyway. On Saturday I spent the day at the Riders Edge Harley Davidson centre in Wales. This was a gift experience which was given to me as a birthday present by the wonderful and beautiful Catwoman for my 50th birthday back in January. You have to bear in mind that I have never been on a motorbike in my life. So to say I was a little apprehensive at first would be a major understatement. Let’s just say that I made sure I packed a clean pair of under crackers…….just in case!

Anyway being a complete novice I spent the morning, around three hours riding a 500cc machine around the private roads within the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Whilst I never fell off once I came close a couple of times! I guess I pictured in my head having to lean right over when taking corners, but that’s for the speed freaks, at the speeds I was doing taking a corner upright was easy. Incidentally while it felt much, much faster I don’t think I got above 40 mph. For me the coordination required to change gear with your left foot while not looking down at all was very difficult. But when you think about it it really shouldn’t be. I mean I don’t look down when I change gear in the car so why should I need to when riding a motorbike? Well perhaps because I’m not using a gear stick with my hand but trying to change it with my foot. But by the end of the morning session I had reached the dizzy heights of 5th gear twice and stalled less than ten times in total and as I said earlier, I never fell off or crashed once! The last part was a great result for me as I fully expected to take a few spills.

Me on a Harley

Me on a Harley

So after just three hours on the saddle they sadly weren’t going to let me loose on a fabulous Harley on my own. However I did get a pillion ride on a gorgeous Harley Davidson machine under the control of one of the Rider’s Edge expert instructors, Ian. Having never even ridden pillion before that too was also a great experience for me. Cruising around some wonderful Welsh countryside. Great weather, great views and remarkably attractive sheep, well at least I would imagine they are attractive if you’re perhaps Welsh or a Kiwi.

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all the folks at Riders Edge. Especially Clive, who was my instructor in the morning and also Ian with whom I rode pillion in the afternoon.

In the meantime and as this is really a music related blog let’s steer it back in that direction! Can you guess what today’s theme might be? Well it’s a bit obvious really isn’t it? Today’s theme is Motorbikes! Here are a few motorbike or motorbike related songs with a morsel of trivia about each of the artists or songs

“Motorcycle Emptiness” – Manic Street Preachers. This was the fifth single to be taken from the band’s Generation Terrorists album in 1992. The lyrics are inspired by a book about biker gang culture called Rumble Fish which was written by S E Hinton

“Motorbikin’”– Chris Spedding. This 1975 Top 20 hit was Spedding’s biggest and he is perhaps best known as a sought after session guitarist. He has played with many artists including; Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, John Cale, Katie Melua, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Jeff Wayne and even the Wombles! He also famously played on and produced three demos for the Sex Pistols in 1976. The three songs were “No Feelings”, “Problems” and “Pretty Vacant”

“Funky Moped” – Jasper Carrot. This was a surprise hit for Mr Carrot in 1975. The single was backed with a risque monologue based around the 60s TV series the “Magic Roundabout“, which at the time I thought was bloody hilarious! he also has a thespian daughter; Lucy Davis who played Dawn in the Office. She was excellent in that series don’t you think?

“Silver Dream Machine”– David Essex. At the age of 23 in 1971 David took the lead role in the musical Godspell on the London Stage. I actually went to see that show as part of a school trip in 1972 when he was still in it. Our coach was delayed because all the girls on the trip had gathered outside the stage door to scream and get his autograph. It was around the time he released his first major single “Rock On”. My first serious girlfriend; Gay Topsom, was a big David Essex fan and I remember buying her each of his singles as soon as they were released. I never had enough money to stretch to an album. But we were together for two years from 1975 to 1977 so I guess that’s a fair amount of singles. She left me for a guy who was slightly older and more importantly had a car! But you know what I’m over that now and if you’re reading this Gay, I forgive you 🙂

“Bat Out Of Hell”– Meatloaf. Meat was born Marvin Lee Aday on 27th September 1947 so he will turn 62 in a couple of weeks. get your cards written and sent now folks. Jim Steinman the producer and I suppose you could say creator of Meat’s landmark Bat Out Of Hell album was apparently trying to get something that sounded like a cross between Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen. Well I for one reckon he succeeded. What do you think?

“Born To Be Wild”– Steppenwolf. This band hailed from Toronto and many credit their recording of the iconic “Born To Be Wild” as the first Heavy Metal record, although just as many disagree. It has had a long association with motorbikes, very likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Easy Rider which starred Peter Fonda

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager :-)

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager 🙂

I am sure that you can think of plenty more so fire away folks!

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager ;-)

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager 😉

 

“She’s really got a magical spell and it’s working so well I just can’t get away” April 14, 2009


Hello again good people and also to anyone not in that category! I’ll kick off with some news. Yesterday on BBC Radio 2 Rob Dryden hosted a countdown of the Top 75 songs that have been heard in public places in the UK. So that would include cafes’ restaurants, pubs and the like. The chart was compiled by PPL a music licensing company. The top 10 was as follows;

1. Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade Of Pale

2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

3. Everly Brothers – All I Have To Do Is Dream
4. Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around
5. Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
6. Robbie Williams – Angels
7. Elvis Presley – All Shook Up
8. Abba – Dancing Queen
9. Perry Como – Magic Moments
10. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Some good songs in there, but Robbie…… give me a break! Robbie even tied with the Beatles for most entries in the top 75 with three. I really don’t like that Bryan Adams song either. But fair play to Procul Harum though, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” is a great song. Anyway if you’d like to see the whole of the Top 75 just click here
They had wanted to record Stairway To Heaven but made do with a Whiter Shade Of Pale

They had wanted to record Stairway To Heaven but made do with a Whiter Shade Of Pale

Next some bad news and some good news. First the bad news Phil Spector has been found guilty of murder and will no doubt be held behind something a little stronger than a wall of sound. I suspect that’s the end of Spector’s career now. But then he deserves the punishment if he committed the crime! The good news is that Robbie will not be rejoining Take That according to Gary Barlow. Click on their names for more information
Phil Spector's attempt to escape custody while disguised as a toilet brushed failed abysmally

Phil Spector's attempt to escape custody while disguised as a toilet brushed failed abysmally

Some even more sad news is that Sandi Thom’s cat Toots has been shot dead near her parents home in Scotland. Click here to read the story. Toots looks a little like my youngest cat Benny. What sort of person would shoot a cat?
Toots RIP

Toots RIP

On a brighter note and yes I know it’s yet more shameless promotion of my son Luke’s band, but they are looking for gigs. They will be playing in Abingdon on 24th April. Check them out on MySpace, give them a gig or go and see them and tell them I sent you! They are called Steal The Smile and they are bloody good!
Give these boys a gig............NOW! You won't be disappointed

Give these boys a gig............NOW! You won't be disappointed

On to the usual stuff for today and let’s try and cheer up after all the glum news shall we? Let’s start by wishing a very happy 67th birthday to Tony Burrows today, April 14th. Many of you probably don’t think that you know who Tony is, but if you read on I think you’ll find that you may be somewhat familiar with him. He was lead vocalist for Edison Lighthouse who topped the UK charts with “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” in 1970. He also holds the record for having the most records in the UK top ten at the same time, all under different names. In 1970 in addition to Edison Lighthouse he was also in the Top 10 with “My Baby Loves Lovin'” – White Plains, “Gimme Dat Ding” – The Pipkins and “United We Stand” – Brotherhood Of Man. On one edition of Top Of The Pops in that year he appeared three times, the only act missing that week was the Pipkins, but he did appear with them a week or two later. He was the lead vocalist for First Class in 1974 for their hit “Beach Baby” and he was also a vocalist for the Flowerpot Men on their hit “Let’s Go To San Francisco” in 1967. Here’s one for you fact fans, that group also contained Jon Lord and Nick Simper who went on to become founding members of Deep Purple. Click on the song title to see Tony singing “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” on Top Of The Pops in 1970 and introduced by Jimmy Saville
The Pipkins play human scrabble aor go to a fancy dress party as two "P"s in a pod!

The Pipkins play human scrabble aor go to a fancy dress party as two "P"s in a pod!

On this day in 1971 the Illinois Crime Commission issued a list of ‘drug-oriented’ records which included Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, the Beatles “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and would you believe it for the second time today, Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. I’m not sure why they issued this list, maybe they were making recommendations as to what to listen to when smoking a joint. Well whatever it was it’s good to know that the ‘powers that be’ are getting their priorities right……………..NOT! How about getting out and catching some real criminals?
Jefferson Airplane's secret giant cannabis tree would not be secret any longer, the Illinois Police had smoked them out!

Jefferson Airplane's secret giant cannabis tree would not be secret any longer, the Illinois Police had smoked them out!

On this day in 2003 a man was arrested and accused of making up a Bjork concert and then selling tickets. Alex Conate managed to persuade a San diego night club owner that Bjork had a greed to play a show there. He allegedly sold $14,000’s worth of tickets before he was rumbled. He was accused of taking the money and moving to Hawaii which is where he was arrested.
Bjork just wished that everyone would leaf her alone!

Bjork just wished that everyone would leaf her alone!

And finally for todays ‘onthisday’s in 1975 all the rumour and conjecture about who would replace Mick Taylor as the new guitarist with the Rolling Stones was put to bed. These rumours suggested that Steve Marriott, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Chris Spedding may have been considered. But we know that it was all round good bloke Ronnie Wood. Ronnie’s autobiography is one of the best rock biographies I have ever read, if you’d like to try it for yourself just click here
Ronnie was surprised at how well Keef was dressing these days

Ronnie was surprised at how well Keef was dressing these days

And now a proper and finally have you seen the new T-Mobile advert where the babies and toddlers are dancing to “Blame It On The Boogie”? It’s a real fun advert, click here to check it out! Check out the original Dancing Baby by clicking here, this is like the one that used to appear on Ally McBeal.

 

 
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