With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Beware the savage jaw of 1984” September 10, 2016


kim-phuc

Facebook? Angel or Devil? More devil probably, but whilst there are some good things about this social networking behemoth there are also some terrible things about it. In one small action I have raised issues with Facebook  when some pages had posted blatant racist comments. One was “we’re not racist, we just hate Muslims”the Facebook Police do anything about it? No they damned well didn’t. Many other people have raised similar issues with Facebook often to no avail.

But it when it comes to a historical photograph of a nine-year old Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, running from an American napalm attack in 1972 Big Brother Zuckerberg decides that it is not suitable for his social network beast because it breaches the rule on pornography. Why? Because it depicts a naked nine-year old girl. The question is why is this girl naked? Her clothes had been burned from her body by this horrific attack. I am not for a moment saying that this is an easy picture to look at, but it is a truly iconic picture that brings home the violence and futility of war in the most powerful way. Do we need to see these pictures? Of course we do. It is things like this that may one day make people think more of seeking a peaceful outcome to conflict and not war. In the western world, increasingly so since the Second World War, we are anaesthetised to the horrors of war because it happens in other countries and is served up in bite-size pieces on our evening news. OK so Zuckerberg changed his mind on this picture after some heavy protest. But in my opinion it shows how much power this unelected billionaire, and many like him, have. For me Zuckerberg and Facebook crossed a line that they most definitely should not have. Zuckerberg you do not run the world, stop behaving like you do.

 

“And my old man plays the piano for Christmas” – Advent day 25 December 24, 2013


25-numberWell this is it good people of the blogosphere and the world-wide web. To quote Noddy Holder ‘ It’s CHRISTMAAAASSS!’. The bearded weirdo may have already arrived in your neck of the woods. If he has then I hope that he brought you what you hoped for if he hasn’t then I hope that you’ve been good! This is December 25th, Christmas Day and Day 25 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts. That also means it’s my last post in this years advent postings. Thank you very much for reading and normal, non-Yuletide service will be resumed very soon. Above all that have a wonderful Christmas and a 2014 that brings you all the good things that you can handle. In the meantime I still have two songs with the number 25 in their title for you.

Edwin+StarrThe late great Edwin Starr brings you the first of those songs “25 Miles”. The song reached number 6 in the US charts in 1969. Edwin was let down by UK record buyers as the song only reached number 36 here. The song was his second biggest hit in the USA, “War” was his biggest making number one in 1970. “25 Miles” was written by Edwin along with Johnny Bristol and Harvey Fuqua. Legal action saw Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns being given a writing credit as their song “32 Miles Out Of Waycross” was seen to be very similar to “25 Miles”. The Ragovoy and Berns song was recorded by Hoagy Lands and also under a different title (“Mojo Mama”) by Wilson Pickett and Don Varner. A young Michael Jackson once recorded a cover of “25 Miles”.

Everything-But-The-Girl-008The final song in this years advent posts comes from Tracey Thorn’s Christmas Album ‘Tinsel And Lights’ and it is called “25th December”. If you own the UK release of the album you may not have heard the song as it was a bonus track included on the US release. The song is actually credited to Everything But The Girl. “Tinsel And Lights” was released last year, 2012, and is a great album. It’s not strictly a Christmas album as not all the songs relate to Christmas but it is pretty darned good.

 

“Fleet Street looked everywhere and the Police did too” a.k.a 10 Lords a leaping December 22, 2012


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As if I wasn’t struggling for space already my true love has now given me 10 lords a leaping. It was bad enough trying to keep the 9 ladies dancing still while I put them in storage yesterday, but these 10 Lords are even more feisty. Anyway you have probably worked out that it is now day 10 in my 12 days of Christmas series of posts; hence the 10 Lords a leaping. Unlike some of the earlier bird related gifts the Lords are not yet an endangered species, but given the movement for House Of Lords reform I’d like to think that they will be endangered in the future!

George-Harrison

I have selected two Lord related songs for you today. Starting with the first ever solo number one by a member of the Beatles. It’s none other than the Quiet One, George Harrison with “My Sweet Lord” which made it to the top of the charts in 1971 in the UK, US, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Norway to name but a few. It returned to the number one spot in the UK in 2002 following the George’s death two months earlier. The song comes from what in my opinion is one of the best albums released in the 70s, ‘All Things Must Pass’. Too much has been written about the ridiculous plagiarism that was brought against Harrison over his songs apparent similarity to the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” so I’ll say no more on that.

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But what I find interesting is the stories and rumours about who may have played on the recording of the song. some of those stories include; Ringo Starr on tambourine, John Lennon on rhythm guitar, all four members of Badfinger taking part along with Gary Wright and some rhythm guitar parts overdubbed by Peter Frampton later. Harrison originally worked up the song with Billy Preston as part of a wish to write a gospel song. At one stage Harrison allegedly wanted to give the song to the famous gospel group the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

BEATLES FIRST US VISIT 1964

The song has been covered in the studio or in live performance by quite a diverse group of artists including; Richie Havens, Andy Williams, John Holt, Edwin Starr, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Julio Iglesias, Boy George, Osibisa, Nina Hagen and Jose Feliciano. There was also a somewhat cheeky “My Sweet Lord” cover released in 1975 by the Chiffons. Perhaps George should have sued them for that!

black_box_recorder_1271353026_crop_550x540

The second song choice today is “Lord Lucan Is Missing” from one of my favourite acts of the 90s/ 00s, Black Box Recorder. The band never really set the charts alight, but they have always been a great live attraction, Sadly I have so far never seen them live. The studio nucleus of the band is Sarah Nixey, Luke Haines formerly of the Auteurs and John Moores once a member of the Jesus and Mary Chain. The song featured on the bands first album, ‘England Made Me’ from 1998. That album also contained a couple of great cover versions too; “Up Town Top Ranking” (Althea and Donna) and “Seasons In The Sun” (Terry Jacks).

black_box_recorder_2_1_

Since his disappearance in 1974 Lord Lucan has allegedly been sighted in every corner of the globe, none of these have so far proved to be real but included; France, Goa, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Colombia. Lord Lucan, or to give him his full name and title, Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, would have just turned 78 if he is still alive. Personally I think he is probably long dead. What do you think?

Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn't he?

Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn’t he?

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“With your bonuses and expenses you shovelled down your throat. Now you bit the hand that fed you Dear God I hope you choke” January 3, 2012


I’d like to thank my friend Stuart O’Hara for suggesting the theme of this post. Edwyn Collins once said ‘too many protest singers, not enough protest songs’. Strangely that was a lyric from his 90s hit “A Girl Like You” which doesn’t seem to be a protest song itself. That dear reader is the thrust of this blog post; where are all the protest singers and protest songs? The world economy is collapsing, riot and revolution is rife, wars and indiscriminate bombings are commonplace and UK politics is at best inept and the USA is trillions of dollars in debt and dancing with the idea of electing an idiotic republican candidate far more stupid than even Dubya was. So where are all the protests from the music world?

Aside from the fact that a legitimate protest song would probably not get played on mainstream radio and would need to ‘go viral’ on-line, where the hell are they? Where are this generation’s Woody Guthries, Pete Seegers, Bob Dylans and Billy Braggs? OK I know there have been a few good attempts since the Specials summed up Britain in song in 1981 with “Ghost Town”. Notably “Killing In The Name Of” from Rage Against The Machine and perhaps “American Idiot” from Green Day. But what happened to the establishment/ ‘the man’ being scared of rock music? It’s all become too corporate and bland.

U2 and Coldplay have tried to use their muscle to protest against various wrongs in the world, but frankly are their hearts really in it? Radiohead have supported the free Tibet campaign amongst others, but could they do more? Dylan is getting too old, Bragg doesn’t have the fanbase size required (but is still flying the flag), Springsteen and Weller have been quiet of late on the protest front and Marvin Gaye, Marley, Lennon and Strummer are sadly no longer with us.

The environment must be right for a new movement to shake up the old order just like punk did in the 70s and rave and grunge did in the 80s and 90s. The charts are stuffed full of manipulated, impresario created pop muppets; Little Mix, Matt Cardle, Olly Murs etc. It is time to stand up and be counted good people of the blogosphere. We need some strong protest songs to unite all those fighting for freedom and change. Let’s shake up that complacent bunch of career politicians in Westminster and political ivory towers across the world. Frank Turner, Show Of Hands, Neil Young you can do this we need you now! Will somebody please step forward?

In the meantime here are some classic protest songs. I would love to hear your opinions of protest songs and singers;

 

“Induction then destruction, who wants to die?” December 23, 2011


Ho Ho Ho we’re nearly there, you’d better not be bad, you’d better not dare! It’ s December 23rd and Day 23 of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar. Which brings us to the letter W. This was a tough letter for me I had four songs in mind before I finally selected a song with a real message, it’s “War” by Mr Edwin Starr.

Edwin was born Charles Edwin Hatcher in Tennessee in 1942 and sadly died aged just 61 in 2003 at his home in Bramcote in Nottinghamshire. I never knew he lived in England, but apparently he moved here in 1973. Ironically his death came just a couple of weeks after the start of the war in Iraq. He started his singing career in the late 50s with a doo wop group called the Future Tones. He later signed to the Ric-Tic label where he had his first big hit with “Agent Double ‘O’ Soul’ in 1965 which reached number 21 in the US charts. He became a Motown artist in 1968 when Motown took over the Ric-Tic label.

“War” started life as a Temptations album track, but Starr’s version was his biggest hit by far when it was released in 1970 hitting the top of the US charts and going to number three in the UK. Motown and the Temptations were very reluctant to release such a controversial song by one of their most popular acts. But Norman Whitfield who wrote the song with Barrett Strong kept pushing for its release. Eventually Motown offered a compromise and said that it could be released if Whitfield recorded it with another act. He chose Edwin Starr who was seen by many as a second string Motown artist. But for many others, including me, he was seen as a fantastically powerful vocalist.

Edwin made the song his own and it became his signature song. Many other artists (including the Jam, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Bruce Springsteen) have covered it but none have reached the power and impact of Starr’s version. The Undisputed Truth supplied backing vocals on the song and once again those Motown stalwarts the Funk Brothers played the music in another excellent Whitfield production. Incidentally the Funk Brothers also played on the original version by the Temptations.

Enjoy Edwin’s version followed by a Baby Bollox remix of the Temptations original and some covers of this great song, ending with a live perfprmance featuring both Springsteen and Starr. It’s sad to think that the message still resonates today more than 40 years after it was released.

 

“It Ain’t Nothing But A Heartbreaker, Friend Only To The Undertaker” June 23, 2011


I may have missed quite a few music related deaths recently, well certainly in regarding to posting on this blog anyway. One of the biggest of those was the late, great Clarence Clemons long time sax player and personality in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He also played a few tracks with Lady Gaga recently. So whilst much has been said about the passing of such a great man I will not add much to that right now. However if you click here you will be taken to the excellent Barely Awake In Frog Pajamas blog which contains, for me, the best write-up of Clarence Clemons I have read since his sad passing.

 But there was another non music related death last week which I would like to say something about; Brian Haws passed away from cancer aged 62, he spent most of the last 10 years protesting outside the Houses Of Parliament in Westminster. His protest began in June 2001 as a voice against the sanctions imposed on Iraq and gained popularity (although not among some politicians) in a post 9/11 world where Blair cosied up to Bush and took us into a pointless war. I am not religious in any way, shape or form so I wouldn’t agree with Brian Haws Christian beliefs, however I have immense respect, admiration and support for what he did. The law makers of Westminster did their best to move him from his prime Westminster position and failed abysmally. Essentially Haws won his legal argument to remain when his lawyer pointed out that the new law, which was essentially designed to move Brian on, had a clause in it that said such protests were only permitted if the police were informed before the protest started and agreed to let it happen. As Brian started his protest before the law came into being he was exempt. Which begs the question exactly how bright are our politicians and their lawyers? It’s nice to know that the little man still has an opportunity to stick one to ‘the man’

As a footnote I once met Brian Haws, albeit very briefly. I had been to a business meeting in Westminster and as I was walking to the underground station and I was just across the road from Brian’s spot. I had heard that a number of supporters stopped by for a chat and gave him sandwiches and such. I decided that I couldn’t let the opportunity pass so I decided to cross the road and speak to him. It was very brief but I expressed my support for his stance and wished him well. I also gave him a Mars Bar which was all I had on me food wise. I think that was in 2004. Brian Haws RIP I hope that there are many more individuals in the world with that kind of courage of conviction.

As usual I would like to bring this back to music as after all it is a music blog. So enjoy the following songs in the spirit of Brian Haws protest;

 “War” – Bruce Springsteen

Two Tribes” – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

“Taxi For Mr Blair” – Sicknote

Give Peace A Chance” – Plastic Ono Band

“War” – Edwin Starr

 

 
ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST,COUNSELLOR, CBT THERAPIST AND COMEDY WRITER -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

NO DESPAIR WITH LIFE AND NO LIFE WITH DESPAIR . Email: dr.fawzyclinic2019@yahoo.com

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