With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“All my life watching America” July 3, 2013


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During my formative years I was a big fan of the USA. This view was largely developed from reading Marvel comics, the Apollo missions and watching westerns and war films on the TV. As I got older and became interested in politics my views on America flexed somewhat. Whilst there is much to love about the place there is an awful lot to dislike. I love New England, San Francisco, Marvel Comics and Stephen King to name but a few. I dislike, again to name just a few, the Republican party, the Christian right, Dubya, Gun laws and the way Hollywood changes so much in movies (The ending of I Am Legend, Disney‘s version of Winnie the Pooh and the fact that no Americans were involved in the real Great Escape)

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But I do have a number of friends and readers that are Americans so I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Independence Day from a Brit across the pond. To help you celebrate here are some of my favourite USA themed songs

Welcome to America! :-)

Welcome to America! 🙂

 

“Don’t need a gun to blow your mind oh no, oh no” May 23, 2010


I had the pleasure of seeing a terrific new play this weekend at York Theatre Royal. It was called ‘Catcher – Before Chapman Shot Lennon‘. As many of you know, Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon was obsessed with J D Salinger’s ‘Catcher In The Rye’ The book was in his possession when he shot Lennon, in fact it is said that after he fired those fatal shots he sat down to read the book until the police came. I think he was obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the book’s principal character as well as with fame itself. Before he killed John Lennon he had previously been photographed with Stephen King and Bob Dylan amongst others. Click here to read a really strange and frankly highly unbelievable conspiracy theory that it was Stephen King that shot John Lennon. Personally I think this is complete and utter tosh!

Anyway, back to the play. It is believed that Chapman hired a prostitute and had her come to his hotel on the night before the killing. This woman has never been found and has never made herself known. The play is based on the conversations that Chapman my have had with his hooker in his room. There are just two actors in the whole play which lasts 75 minutes. Mitzi Jones plays the prostitute, both as her older self narrating past events and as her younger self in the room with Chapman. The way she portrays both characters is phenomenal, with just a few simple changes to her clothes and hair, which for me proves how talented an actress she is. Ronan Summers plays Chapman and he, like Mitzi, is brilliant. Very intense and he really seems to capture the potential madness and imbalance in Chapman’s personality.

Obviously as a music fan I was keen to see this play and I would like to thank Rachel V for booking it for us (Rachel, Catwoman and me). If you get the chance to see it you really should, I am sure you won’t be disappointed. You can read a couple of reviews of the play here; One in the York Press and the other from The Stage

In a bizarre coincidence I finished Nick Kent’s (a former NME scribe) 70s memoir ‘Apathy For The Devil’ the day after I saw the play and he mentions Lennon’s murder. He said that he had read a book which gave details of every Beatles session, quite a weighty tome I believe! He read it a few years after the murder and spotted a strange thing. Apparently in the early versions of “Come Together” Lennon opened his vocal with the phrase ‘Shoot Me’ George Martin changed this to ‘Shoo’ as allegedly he felt this would be more acceptable to the record buying public.

OK as this is very much a John Lennon related post here are three of my favourite Lennon songs

“Instant Karma” – Without doubt my most favourite Lennon song ever

Whatever Gets You Through The Night” – Perhaps not his most popular song, but I loved it from when I first got the ‘Walls And Bridges’ album on cassette back in the mid 70s. Elton John also plays piano, organ and provides backing vocals on the track. This is a live version recorded at an Elton gig from Madison Square Garden in 1974

“Woman Is The Nigger Of The World” – This is taken from the underrated ‘Sometime In New York City’ album. The song is based on a phrase first coined by Yoko Ono in the late 60s to describe the oppression of women, which is indeed what the song is all about. The use of the word nigger had the song banned from many US radio stations. This clip has Lennon explaining the song to Dick Cavett

 

“Can hear me, can you hear me, through the dark night far away” July 11, 2009


Hello once again good people I thought I’d try and sneak in a few posts in the vein I started this blog, so here for you regular readers are a bunch of ‘onthisdays’ To those non regular or new readers these are snippets of music trivia that took place on this very day. The day in question today is July 12th

On this day in 1954 a very young Elvis Presley, just 19 years old in fact resigned from his job as a truck driver with the Crown Electric Company. The day was made much more important by the fact that Mr Presley also signed a contract with Sun Records

Even after he hit the big time Elvis refused to give up truck driving, although he did insist on using a customised rig ;-)

Even after he hit the big time Elvis refused to give up truck driving, although he did insist on using a customised rig 😉

On this day in 1962 Ray Charles was sitting at the top of the UK singles chart with the excellent “I Can’t Stop Loving You” I heard this a lot as a child as it was a great favourite of my parents. It was also one of the songs my Mum selected to have played at my Dad’s funeral in 2001. Another song played that day, was a massive favourite of my Dad, it was Rod Stewart’s excellent version of Gavin Sutherland off of the Sutherland Brothers’ “Sailing” Even now that song brings a tear to my eye, probably because it never fails to evoke memories of my Dad, a wonderful man who will always be missed. So dear readers tell me what songs make you cry and what your story is. In the meantime click here to see Rod singing “Sailing”. This one’s for you Dad!

Ray was somewhat annoyed with the road crew who had rather hastily removed his piano before he'd even had the chance to tell them to 'Hit The Road Jack'

Ray was somewhat annoyed with the road crew who had rather hastily removed his piano before he’d even had the chance to tell them to ‘Hit The Road Jack’

Also that same day in 1962 saw the live debut of a group you probably all know, it was at the Marquee Club in London and the group was the Rolling Stones. It was a bit of a different line up though, featuring Dick Taylor on Bass and Mick Avory on Drums. The band were actually billed as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, I bet Keef and Brian weren’t happy with that (assuming they were a part of the group at that stage). They were paid the princely sum of £20 for the gig. A figure that might just about buy you a programme from a more recent Stones show

Mick thought he looked the business in his new jacket, the rest of the band thought less business and more.......twat!

Mick thought he looked the business in his new jacket, the rest of the band thought less business and more…….twat!

I suppose todays final ‘onthisday’ is still somewhat topical. On this day in 1988 Michael Jackson arrived in the UK for his first ever solo appearances in this country. He had appeared many times before with his brothers but never alone. He played eight nights to nearly 800,000 people and apparently grossed around £13 million. So even before Thriller he was able to earn big bucks! Here he is performing “Wanna Be Starting Something” on the Bad Tour from 1987

Clearly Michael intended to travel very light for his first solo UK tour. Well if you wanna be starting something you might as well wanna be starting it well ;-)

Clearly Michael intended to travel very light for his first solo UK tour. Well if you wanna be starting something you might as well wanna be starting it well 😉

To finish todays post I want to share this excellent Evian advert with you. I believe it’s called ‘Roller Babies’ and it is soundtracked by the fabulous “Rappers Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. Click here to view it

 

 
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