With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry” October 24, 2013


Did you know that there are four winners of acting Oscars who have also had UK number one singles? No nor did I until I chanced upon the quiz in this weeks NME. Those four clever people and their UK number ones are;

Frank Sinatra won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in 1954’s ‘From Here To Eternity’

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Frank’s UK number one songs were; “Three Coins In A Fountain” (1954), “Strangers In The Night” (1966) and “Something Stupid” (with his daughter Nancy Sinatra (1967)

Cher won the best actor Oscar for her part in ‘Moonstruck’ in 1988.

60th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

Cher’s UK number one singles were “I Got You Babe” (with then husband Sonny Bono) (1965), “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)” (1990), “Love Can Build A Bridge” (with Chrissie Hynde, Eric Clapton and Neneh Cherry) (1995) and  “Believe” (1998)

Lee Marvin won the best actor Oscar for his part in the 1965 film ‘Cat Ballou

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Lee’s only UK number one was “Wandrin’ Star” which was taken from the soundtrack of ‘Paint Your Wagon’ in 1970. The B side was another actor not famed for his singing, Clint Eastwood with “I Talk To The Trees”

Barbara Streisand won the best actor Oscar for 1969’s ‘Funny Girl’.

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Barbara’s only UK number one was “Woman In Love” (1980) which was written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees

 

“I ain’t hidin’ from nobody. Nobody’s hidin’ from me” July 29, 2013


jjcalepic

Most readers of my blog are probably already aware of the loss of one of musics great innovators. J J Cale passed away a few days ago aged 74. His career began in the late 50s and he never really stopped. He played on Eric Clapton’s new album ‘Old Sock’. Personally I didn’t know much about J J until I heard Clapton’s cover of his song “Cocaine“. Clapton also covered Cale’s “After Midnight“.

JJ+Cale

Cale received a writing credit on the track “Run” from my favourite Spiritualized album ‘Lazer Guided Melodies’. Largely because it is a cover of J J Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” with some extra lyrical content. Cale was an early user of drum machines. Neil Young, no slouch in the guitar skills department himself, once said that the two greatest electric guitar players were J J Cale and Jimi Hendrix.

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My thoughts are with J J’s family, friends and fans across the world. RIP J J Cale.

 

“Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder and in the morning you’ll know all you know” a.k.a 7 swans a swimming December 19, 2012


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Seven swans a swimming, I’ve been looking forward to this part of my 12 days of Christmas posts as it features two of my favourite songs. Incidentally did you know that the mute swan which is native to the UK has doubled it’s population since 1983? Maybe it’s the royal protection they are afforded which saw to that.

Ride A White Skateboard anyone?

Ride A White Skateboard anyone?

Anyway on to the first of todays songs and this one was an obvious choice. It is “Ride A White Swan” from T. Rex and it is only the second signal released under the shortened name after the band used to be known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is also the song that helped kick off what became known as Glam Rock and the screaming adulation given to Bolan in what became known as Trextasy. The song was released in late 1970 and didn’t reach its highest UK chart position of number two until January 1971. It was produced by Tony Visconti as were many of the bands biggest hits. It was released as a maxi single. So named as it featured three and not the customary two tracks. The other tracks were “Is It Love” and a rather interesting cover of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues”. “Ride A White Swan” kicked off a run of 10 consecutive UK top 5 hits for the band which lasted from 1971 to 1973 and included four number ones. The song could only manage a very lowly number 76 in the US chart.

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The second choice for today was an obvious one for me, but do you know why it’s here? It is the stupendous “Badge” from Cream. The band was effectively an early supergroup featuring Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Interestingly it wasn’t Clapton that played guitar on this track, it was George Harrison. This was a favour in return for Clapton providing guitar on the Beatles track “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. It was written by Clapton and Harrison and featured on Cream’s final album ‘Goodbye’. It made number 18 in the UK charts in 1969 and only reached number 60 in the US. Apparently it was a drunk Ringo Starr that gave the pair the line in the song which secured its inclusion in today’s post. Do you know what that line is yet? For contractual reasons George Harrison was listed under a pseudonym in terms of the playing personnel. That name was L’Angelo Misterioso.

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“If you just put your hand in mine, we’re gonna lay all our troubles behind” February 10, 2012


Do you receive a regular selection of random e mails from various groups that you have subscribed to over the years? I get loads and often I can’t be bothered to look at them. But for some reason I took a  chance and opened one at random. It contained stacks of old pictures. Mostly of different stars together and not necessarily those that had worked together. Here are a few that I really liked and had never seen before. let me know what you think of them.

Bob Marley & the Wailers and the Jackson 5

George Harrison & Bob Marley

Mick Jagger & Jimi Hendrix

Mick Jagger & James Brown

No more words required just listen to some great music by some of those artists while you enjoy the pictures.

 

“dis regime is racist we know dis regime is bent” January 26, 2012


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this man is a Knight of the Realm................ no seriously, he is!

I think it would be fair to say that there is one area of my life that my Mother may be disappointed in me. That is my dislike of the institution of the British Royal family and all condescending pomposity it has. Yes in case you hadn’t noticed I am very much a Republican (not in the US political sense obviously) and most definitely not a Royalist. Having posted recently about Mick Jagger (aka Sir Michael Philip Jagger) turning down afternoon tea with ‘Call Me Dave’ Cameron and Boris Johnson it’s strangely appropriate that a story about those who turned down Royal Honours appeared in the news today. Following a freedom of information request by the BBC a list of those now deceased who have turned down various Royal Honours form 1951 and 1999 has been published. There are 277 people on the list including artists Henry Moore, Francis Bacon and LS Lowry and authors Roald Dahl and Aldous Huxley. There are no rock or pop stars on the list. Read the full story on the BBC site by clicking here.

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Sir Tom shows off his first house

However it got me thinking about those rock and pop stars who have accepted honours and those that haven’t. The obvious list of those who have are the rock and pop ‘Sirs’ Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Tom Jones and Bono and Bob Geldof who as Irish citizens are Honorary Knights of the British Empire (KBE). Add to that list Dame Shirley Bassey. A large number of British musicians have received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), which is the highest honour a British subject can receive below a knighthood or damehood. Those include: Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton, Sting, Robert Plant the Bee Gees and Rod Stewart. It was alleged that at the time of Elton receiving his knighthood Rod was just a little jealous.

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Macca ponders his failure to win top score in Rate My Mullet

What really interests me though are those rock and pop stars who turned down Royal honours. David Bowie turned down a CBE in 2000 and a knighthood in 2003 and was quoted as saying that “was not what he spent his life working for”.  George Melly and Paul Weller also turned down the offer of a CBE in 2001 and 2007 respectively. Thankfully Keith Richards also turned down a CBE; I’d have been gutted if he had accepted! His comment on Jagger’s knighthood was that he felt it was ludicrous. Influential guitarist and stalwart of the Shadows Hank Marvin turned down an OBE as did Dub Poet Benjamin Zephaniah. At the time Zephaniah publicly stated ‘I get angry when I hear the word ’empire’; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised’ An MBE was offered to John Lydon who turned it down. I’m pretty amazed that they offered him one really.

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Never a Knight of the realm but the only one who came close to looking the part as opposed to looking like an anagram of part

The four Beatles all received the MBE in 1965. John Lennon later returned his to the Queen in 1969 accompanied by a note which read ‘I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts’. It has been alleged that his Aunt Mimi who brought him up and upon whose mantelpiece the award lived was not amused!

 

“When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on” October 3, 2010


A recent survey undertaken by PRS for Music sought to discover the songs that make us men cry. A total of 1,700 men were polled and the results make somewhat interesting reading I think. The top ten is shown below, with a few comments from me. Click here to read a report on the results in the UK free newspaper, the Metro.

1. Everybody Hurts – REM – A great REM song taken from the classic ‘Automatic For The People‘ album. It was written by drummer Bill Berry, although he didn’t play drums on the track, that was done by a drum machine. He also said that the song was aimed at teenagers. In 2006 the song was voted 4th in a poll by Channel 5 to discover ‘Britain Favourite Break Up Songs’
2. Tears in HeavenEric Clapton – A very sad song in many ways. Clapton wrote it with Will Jennings after the death of his four-year old son Conor in 1991. The boy fell from the window of a friend’s apartment in New York
3. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – Now this one is a classic and has been covered by many artists. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke reached number one in the UK with, at best a very mediocre working of the song and at its worst would easily make music purists cry. In my opinion the best version is easily that of the late, great Jeff Buckley and that version can indeed bring tears to my eyes
4. Nothing Compares 2 USinead O’Connor – She will always have my respect for tearing up a photo of the pope on US TV, I bet that made a few people cry with rage though. It reached number one in the UK in 1990. The song is actually a cover version of a song written by his royal purpleness, Prince. It was recorded and released by the Family in 1985, this was simply a vehicle to enable Prince to release more of his material.
5. With or Without YouU2 – This was the first single from ‘The Joshua Tree’ in 1987 and became their first US number one song.
6. The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve – This was the band’s most successful UK single and reached number one in 1997, having been released the day after Princess Diana died. It was written by lead singer Richard Ashcroft about his own drug habit and also about the death of his father.
7. Candle In The WindElton John – I really do prefer the original version of this song, it was about Marilyn Monroe and was taken from the album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ However, sadly, in my opinion, the version that most people remember is the rewritten version for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, although in its defence it did raise millions for charity. Incidentally I reckon that must be the first time Princess Diana has been mentioned more than once in any of my posts.
8. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen – Bruce wrote this for the first mainstream movie to tackle HIV/ AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’ from 1993. The song won the best original song Oscar. It reached number one in many countries, although not in the US or UK. It has also been known to occasionally open my tear ducts too.
9. Unchained Melody – Todd Duncan – whilst the article lists the Todd Duncan version, which was taken from the 1955 prison film; ‘Unchained’ it is probably the Righteous Brothers version that most people know. That version was recorded in the sixties but became a massive hit again when it was used in the 1990 film ‘Ghost’. It has been recorded by more than 500 artists including, Jimmy Young, Elvis Presley, the Supremes, U2, the Smashing Pumpkins and there was also an excruciatingly bad version by Pop Idol muppet Gareth Gates.
10. AngelsRobbie Williams – As regular readers of this blog know, I am definitely not a Robbie fan and I particularly dislike this song. I really don’t get it, I mean “I’m loving angels instead”? Instead of what exactly?

There are a few songs that can make me blub, many by Johnny Nash, Bob Marley and Jeff Buckley. But perhaps the one that does it the most is “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. It was always my Dad’s favourite song and we played it as his funeral back in 2001. What songs make you cry?

Finally let me finish with a classic video for one of my favourite songs about crying. It’s “Cry” by Godley and Creme

 

“Hey little sister what have you done?” September 2, 2009


Hello once again dearest readers, this post is something of a news and catch up style post. Largely because apart from my Reading reports last weekend I haven’t posted much of late. So let’s start by clearing out my mail box folder that is titled ‘Blog Stuff’. So just be warned that you may have seen some of this stuff already, but I reckon it’s worth at least a second view anyway!

First up was the news from two weeks ago that Mr Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) is to release a Christmas album this year. A number of commentators have suggested that this may damage his credibility. Somehow I don’t think so, many supposedly credible artists have recorded Christmas songs with no damage to their credibility. I mean how about the Dame’s (that’ll be Mr Bowie to the non regular readers) duet with Bing Crosby back in 1977 on “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” Anyway the ‘DYLAN TO RELEASE CHRISTMAS ALBUM’ headline prompted the Independent newspaper in the UK to put together a top ten worst rock n roll career moves. It includes things like marrying your 13 year old cousin (Jerry Lee Lewis), showing your potential Nazi leanings (Clapton, Bowie et al), getting your non musical spouse/ girlfriend involved in your music a la John & Yoko, Paul & Linda, Pete & Kate, Pete & Jordan, er well ok the last one probably helped Peter Andre’s career really and that one isn’t in the article anyway, but I thought it was worth a mention. Anyway now you get the drift read the whole thing by clicking here. Incidentally Bowie’s supposed Nazi salute at Victoria Station on his return to London by train in 1976 was in my opinion just a wave, that looked just like a Nazi salute when captured in still photograph form. Why do I believe this you may ask? Well largely because I was there. I’m not usually the sad kind of fan who does things like that, but I only worked 5 minutes walk from Victoria at the time so I thought it was worth going, well that and the fact that I am a massive Bowie fan too!

Bob really got into the Christmas spirit by designing and using enormous candle shaped drumsticks.

Bob really got into the Christmas spirit by designing and using enormous candle shaped drumsticks.

Just about a week ago Living TV ran a report on the most expensive wedding singers, I have reprinted the top 12 and their prices below (the original source was in fact the New Zealand Herald);

1. The Rolling Stones – up to £5 million

2. Sir Elton John – up to £2 million

– Kylie Minogue – up to £2 million

4. Christina Aguilera – up to £1.5 million

5. George Michael – £1.3 million

6. Amy Winehouse – £1 million

– Sir Paul McCartney – £1 million

– Leona Lewis – £1 million

– Jennifer Lopez – £1 million

10. Barry Manilow – £750,000

11. Rod Stewart – £600,000

12. Duran Duran – £500,000

You could book me and my mobile disco for much less than any of those! I reckon that Gareth Gates and Leon Jackson would be up for paying you to appear at your nuptials celebration, what do you think? Why no Billy Idol? He could make some money by turning up at half a dozen weddings each weekend just to sing “White Wedding” at each one. Incidentally I found a wedding songs site, click here to check it out. Interestingly enough none of the above top 12 seem to feature much on any of the song lists, maybe that’s why they have stooped to playing weddings themselves methinks!

Back in my day the couple didn't get bare until the wedding night! Oh that's a different type of bare is it :-)

Back in my day the couple didn't get bare until the wedding night! Oh that's a different type of bare is it 🙂

Many of you will have seen the many different subtitled versions of the clip taken from a film about Hitlers last days in his bunker in Berlin. The first one I saw was Adolf talking about the Chelsea versus Manchester United Champions League Final in 2008. Now that was very good, but one which I think is even better is as usual the same clip of film, but this time Hitler learns that Michael Jackson has died and will be unable to perform at the Fuhrer’s birthday celebrations. Click here to see it and let me know what you think of it as well.

"hello mikey wikey it's adolfy wolfy here" - "why isn't he waving back? Am I too old for him or something?"

"hello mikey wikey it's adolfy wolfy here" - "why isn't he waving back? Am I too old for him or something?"

If you have read any of my posts from the Reading Festival will know from the anguished comments added by my good friend Nick H that we managed to miss the appearance of Them Crooked Vultures a band (although back in the day the moniker would have been supergroup) that has John Paul Jones off of Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl off of the Foo Fighters and Josh Homme off of Queens Of The Stone Age amongst it’s membership! So for all the rest of you that may also have missed them here is a video from their appearance at the Brixton Academy just before the Reading and Leeds festivals. Click here to see it and take comfort in the knowledge that they will be touring in the UK later this year.

And finally for today let’s end with some sad news, it has been reported today that Charlie Watts has left the Rolling Stones, just three years before their 50th Anniversary. 68 year old Charlie took a massive amount of persuading largely from KeithRichards to take part in the last Stones Tour and it seems that with the possibility mooted by Mick Jagger of more Stones activity next year the oldest member of the band has decided to quit. Now that is BIG news, let’s face it though Noel leaving Oasis doesn’t even begin to compare does it?

So until the next time dear readers, ain’t it a shame that Charlie Watts won’t be appearing at a wedding near you soon! 😉

Charlie is an excellent drummer but he was pretty crap with chopsticks

Charlie is an excellent drummer but he was pretty crap with chopsticks

 

 
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