With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Dweezil Zappa – Leeds Town Hall – Tuesday 10th December 2019 December 19, 2019


I was not lucky enough to have seen the legend that was Frank Zappa play live, but I have now seen his son Dweezil play two of Frank’s greatest album’s live. The first time was for ‘Apostrophe’ back in 2011 and nearing the end of 2019 I am delighted to say that I saw Dweezil and his band perform the whole of Frank’s 1969 album ‘Hot Rats’. That album is perhaps the one that really established Frank Zappa as an iconic major talent. It was dedicated to Dweezil, who was only a few weeks old when the original album was released. It was a perfect reproduction of the record, although interestingly the band opened with “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” from the aforementioned ‘Apostrophe’, that has always been one of my favourite Zappa songs. Then it was the business of ‘Hot Rats’ in its entirety, how groundbreaking must that album have sounded when it was released in 1969. It still sounds pretty fresh today with its “out there” jazz, prog, blues, weird mix. Every one of the six ‘Hot Rats’ tracks was superbly played, my personal highlights were “Peaches En Regalia”, “Willie The Pimp” (which originally featured a Captain Beefheart vocal) and “It Must Be A Camel”. The original album was just under 45 minutes in length, so obviously there was going to be more, and there was plenty more when the band returned to the stage after a short interval.

The second part of the show consisted of twenty or more tunes by my reckoning. Dweezil has put together a supremely talented and incredibly powerful band, which he referred to as his ‘Rockin’ Teenage Combo’. I don’t know the band members names but special mentions must go to the insanely talented saxophonist and a vocalist who seemed to be able to sing in any style he needed to, his Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson piece was something majestic to behold. There were many, many highlights in the second set, but for me “200 Motels/ Bogus Pomp”, “I’m A Beautiful Guy” and ” Who Needs The Peace Corps?” were real standouts. The band revived what in essence was an outtake in its original form, although clearly, it mutated into a few future Frank Zappa tunes. That track was magnificently titled “Twinkle Tits”. The magic word for tonight, chosen by the band from towns near to Leeds on a map in their tour bus was……. Scunthorpe. They tried, and succeeded, on many occasions to incorporate Scunthorpe into a song and even had the audience singing one of those Scunthorpe variations. Surprisingly, for me at least, was a barnstorming cover of the Knack’s 1979 US number-one single “My Sharona”. This was apparently a song that Frank Zappa liked to play. Some might say that this is just a tribute band, and in some ways, they would be correct, but believe me, Dweezil and his band are so much more than that. If you haven’t seen Dweezil plays his father’s songs live yet then take the first opportunity that you get! This was one of the best shows that I have seen this year!

As a footnote I was speaking to someone on the train on the way home who informed me that Dweezil is not his birth name, he was born Ian Donald Calvin Euclid Zappa. It was also great to spend an evening with my good friend Andy Golborne and to catch up with another great mate, Adrian Caines.

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone.The videos were all found on YouTube, if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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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. 😉

 

“You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing” August 7, 2017


Carol-Kaye-opener

Who is the bass session player that has played on more sessions than any other bass player? Well according to the Berklee College of Music in Boston it is Carol Kaye who has played on more than 10,000 sessions over four decades.

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She contributed to the Beach Boys classic album ‘Pet Sounds’, songs by Simon & Garfunkel, the Monkees, Ray Charles, Love, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Ike & Tina Turner, Nancy Sinatra and Johnny Mathis to name but a few. She also played on many Phil Spector productions as well as a number of film soundtracks from the likes of Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. In addition to bass guitar she also plays guitar and banjo. The now 82 year old Carol Kaye is without doubt one hell of a talented lady. Now enjoy just a small selection of the hits that she played on.

 

“Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings” July 31, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:58 pm
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By all accounts Frank Zappa was not a great fan of rock groups, well maybe not much of a fan of anyone else’s music some would say. He was often disparaging of rock behemoths like Led Zeppelin and referred to lead singer Robert Plant as Robert Planet and Robert Plant-It. It was also Zappa he first raised the story of the mud-shark and the groupie incident, but that is another story altogether.

However maybe he did secretly like Led Zeppelin. In rehearsals for his 1988 tour he tried a few covers; “Shapes Of Things” by the Yardbirds and “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles. But most of these were never played live, particularly “Stairway To Heaven” a song which Frank claimed never to have heard from start to finish. But he recognised that a Zappa cover of the song, including sound effects, might actually blow the minds of his audience. I have listened to a few live recordings of Zappa doing “Stairway To Heaven” and it is both faithful and fanciful, a truly mental take on a true rock classic. Apparently the song took a slightly different road each night of that tour, even taking on some reggae vibes occasionally. Personally I love Zappa does Zep. What do you think? Here are a few takes from Zappa and the Led Zeppelin original.

 

Zappa Plays Zappa – York Barbican Thursday 17th November 2011 November 17, 2011


Firstly let me say thank you to my good friends Andy and Rachel for getting the tickets for this gig. It was only Andy and me that attended though. I never took the opportunity to see Frank Zappa when he was alive although I know quite  few people who did. Frank’s widow and his son Dweezil probably curate the Zappa musical estate better than that of any other sadly departed stars. Frank’s music is granted all the respect it deserves, especially when played by a band led by Dweezil. Some critics might say this is just a tribute band and whilst technically that may be true, how many other tribute bands actually share DNA with the original.

I have heard bands described as tight and very accomplished before, indeed I have used those very phrases myself. But this band go way beyond accomplished, it seems that every member is a virtuoso of sorts. Dweezil’s guitar talents are sensational, he is even beginning to look like his father. Overall they played for around two hours and frankly (no pun intended) I don’t think anyone would have complained if they had played on for another two hours.

As promised they began with a complete run through of Zappa seniors ‘Apostrophe (‘)’ album. Having listened to the album init’s entirety on my way home from work I would say it was pretty close to a perfect reproduction. It even included some excellent and supremely well synchronised video and audio of Frank. It was as if he was playing with them. Obviously that album is not two hours long; so they played some other Frank classics after the album was done.

Songs such as “Gumbo Variations”, “What Is The Ugliest Part Of Your Body” and a stupendous version of “Dancing Fool” where they even managed to incorporate a line or two from “Ghostbusters” Then there was a storming version of “Honey Don’t You Want A Man Like Me?” which Dweezil said was inappropriately dedicated to all the ladies in the audience. As we left Dweezil was still sat at the front of the stage talking to fans and signing autographs; There aren’t many artists that can be bothered to do that these days are there?

This was probably one of the best gigs I’ve seen this year and I will definitely go and see Zappa Plays Zappa again in fact I will also check out Dweezil in his own right too. This date in York is the first of this UK tour so you still have plenty of opportunity to see them play. Get yourself along, you won’t be disappointed. You know it makes sense! But remember if the big freeze comes early don’t eat the yellow snow!

Please note that none of the pictures or video used in this post are actually from tonight’s gig. Sadly my phone’s battery died. To finish enjoy a couple of excellent Zappa Plays Zappa videos

 

“Light you up, put you on top” December 18, 2010


RIP Don Van Vliet

A random selection of news is heading your way in this post. Starting with the sad news that Don Van Vliet also known as Captain Beefheart has died aged 69 from complications brought about by multiple sclerosis. Read the BBC report here. It would be fair to say that he wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s hard to deny his influence and innovation. It took me a while as a teenager but I did get into ‘Trout Mask Replica‘ indeed I now have a CD copy of the album. He was a contemporary of Frank Zappa and Zappa Plays Zappa played “Willie The Pimp” in his honour the night his death was announced.

Lady Gaga possibly not everyone's cup of tea either

At least we know what she did with Santa's beard 😉

I haven’t posted about Lady Gaga for a while so here goes with news on the Lady GG. She is set to appear in the new Muppets movie along with the likes of Dave Grohl off of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, Jack Black and Ricky Gervais. She has also been named MTV Woman Of The Year for the second year in a row. She also had an Ozzy Osbourne moment at her London O2 show the other night. A stuffed Santa toy was thrown on stage by a fan, she picked it up and made a comment about hating Christmas and then bit the toys head off! I don’t know about you but I love rock and pop stars to be real fruitloops like Lady Gaga. Read the Santa murder story here.

Gaga gets jiggy (ish) with Kanye?

 

“But with a little help from my friends I found a light in the tunnel at the end” November 2, 2010


Many hundreds of people have found their way to this blog by searching for Lily Allen, so on behalf of those people and myself I would like to say to Lily that we are all thinking of her at this sad time. Lily suffered her second miscarriage, this was at quite a late stage in the pregnancy. Hopefully the paparazzi won’t be hounding her for a while. You can read the report on the BBC Newsbeat site.

Gaga in disguise with glasses!

Apparently an US university has now dedicated a course to none other than Lady Gaga. The University of South Carolina now lets you enrol on a sociology course which is dedicated to the life, work, music and rise to fame of Gaga. The lecturer Professor Mathieu Deflem is a fan, as you might have guessed. The Professor is also partial to Frank Zappa, Prince, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, Status Quo and Ritchie Blackmore. the course also has its own blog, click here to see it. Read the BBC report here.

Now these next pictures completely passed me by, but Rihanna did a rather titillating photo shoot for the Russian GQ earlier this year. What do you think?

 

“Strap a hanging, commuting on the double A” April 13, 2009


Hello again folks on this fine Easter Monday 13th April, well that’s Easter over for another year. Did you over indulge in Easter Eggs? I didn’t. But whether you did or didn’t check out this great short film which explains where those gooey little critters Cadburys Creme Eggs come from. Let me know what you think of it.

So on with the usual crap starting with a birthday. Today would have been the 64th birthday of Lowell George off of Little Feat, but sadly he died from a heart attack in 1979 aged just 34. He was born in Hollywood where his father became known as ‘furrier to the stars’ his Dad raised chinchilla’s to provide Hollywood’s biggest stars with fur coats! He was also a member of Frank Zappa’ Mothers Of Invention at one time. Lowell was one of the first along with Ry Cooder to bring the slide guitar into rock music. He also played guitar on JJ Cale’s 1973 album ‘Paris 1919’ (thank you for Rocky for pointing out my error here, it was in fact John Cale and not JJ Cale. I’ll put it down to my age and imbibing a few beers whilst writing this post! Apologies to all concerned, in particular John and JJ) He found fame as a producer as well, he produced the Grateful Dead’s 1978 album ‘Shakedown Street’. Little Feat’s name arose partly because of Lowell’s short stumpy feet. Here are the wonderful Little Feat with “Dixie Chicken” live at the Rainbow in London in 1977.

Lowell had decided to change his image with the aid of a Rasta wig

Lowell had decided to change his image with the aid of a Rasta wig

On this day in 1956 the UK Top 20 became a Top 30, how things have moved on since those days of 78rpm shellac discs when rock ‘n’ roll was still in nappies (or diapers if you’re reading this in the North American colonies across the big pond!)

Londonbeat reached the top of the US charts with “I’ve Been Thinking About You” which also hit number 2 in the UK. The band’s lead singer was Jimmy Helms who had a solo hit in the early 70’s with “Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse” At various times the band or it’s members provided backing vocals for Paul Young, Godley and Creme, Shakespears Sister, Dead Or Alive and Deacon Blue. At one time they were also signed to Dave Stewart’s Anxious Records. My favourite Londonbeat song is “9 A.M. (The Comfort Zone)” click the title to hear it.

After Londonbeat's new spectacles arrived they realised what a spectacle they had made of themselves with their ridiculous headgear

After Londonbeat's new spectacles arrived they realised what a spectacle they had made of themselves with their ridiculous headgear

And finally on this day in 2002 burglars broke into a house in Bexhill, Sussex, in England where they stole a hi fi system and a number of CDs. They left behind albums by Madonna, Robbie Williams (good taste then!) and Oasis (well as long as it wasn’t either of the first two albums that’s ok). However, this is the strange part, they did steal the owner’s entire collection of Showaddywaddy CD’s. Very strange indeed but let’s be honest Showaddywaddy are significantly more talented than Robbie! Here are those Showaddywaddy boys with their first UK hit “Hey Rock ‘N’ Roll” OK fact fans did you know that the first Showaddywaddy single was originally going to be “Sugar Baby Love” which was eventually taken to number one by the Rubettes. It still has the ‘bop showaddy, bop showaddywaddy’ refrain in the chorus

In spite of his innocent look the rest of the band could tell by the smell who had just farted!

In spite of his innocent look the rest of the band could tell by the smell who had just farted!

A very good Kiwi friend of mine (hello Fraser) also had the misfortune to have been burgled a few years ago and his hi fi, TV and the like were all stolen. Along with most of his CD’s, whilst he had no Showaddywaddy CDs, well none that he was prepared to admit to anyway, the thieves left all his Joe Satriani CDs in his flat. I do like to listen to Mr Satriani occasionally, however we did tease Fraser mercilessly about this for a while. So Fraser if you’re reading this I’m sorry mate and here is Mr Satriani especially for you! (just click his name)

Joe was very proud of his acheivement of knitting himself a new guitar with those magic invisible knitting needles

Joe was very proud of his acheivement of knitting himself a new guitar with those magic invisible knitting needles

 

“You wave your hand and they scatter like crows” April 10, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. I don’t know what religious persuasion you are, I’m an atheist, but the UK kind of shuts down a little for Easter. Right now I’m not sure whether that means I’ll post more or less this weekend. But anyway here is one for today, Friday 10th April.

let me kick off with some random stuff from a couple of days back. As the regular readers know I went to Whitby (aka Goth Central) for the day. Well while I was there I saw a van for a joinery company. Now I thought the name was quite amusing, but if you have very strong religious beliefs you might wish to stop reading now. OK I warned you, anyway the company was called JC Joinery and I thought that maybe that awful book the ‘Da Vinci Code’ held a degree of truth and maybe Jesus lived and his descendants continued with the family carpentry business. I wish that I had taken a picture of the van, because when I tried to find the company on Google I found loads of JC Joinery companies. Is there a deep seated and ancient conspiracy theory going on here? We should be told!

Back onto the music stuff now. Have you seen the rather excellent video for Eminem’s new single “We Made You“? If not just click on the title. It features appearances by Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Blake Civil-Fielder, Elvis Presley and Sarah Palin, but none of these are the real people. It also features appearances from the real Dr Dre and the real 50 Cent. On top of all that there’s a great Star Trek spoof . There is also a rather worrying line in the song where Mr Mathers says “If you think this is bad wait until you hear my album” well something like that anyway. I like the song and I reckon he’s back on form. “Crack A Bottle” never really did it for me. Let me know what you think of the new song.

Whilst his women thought he was dynamite in bed Mr Mathers did have quite a short fuse!

Whilst his women thought he was dynamite in bed Mr Mathers did have quite a short fuse!

Check out this great article from the UK’s Guardian newspaper this week. It has an extract from Frank Zappa’s 1989 autobiography which suggests he had and understood the concept of file sharing long before anyone else. Certainly a long while before the music industry as most major labels still don’t have a clue! Click here to read it.

We are celebrating a birthday today as usual. Today is the 62nd birthday of Karl Russell. Who the hell is Karl Russell I hear you shout. Well he is Karl Russell the lead singer off of the Hues Corporation who hit the top of the US charts in 1974 with the wonderful single “Rock The Boat” The song also made it to number 6 in the UK and I still occasionally play it at my mobile disco gigs. In fact it’s seen by many as being on of the very first disco songs. The group’s name was a pun on the Hughes Corporation, with Hue being the colour of their skin. They had also suggested The Children Of Howard Hughes as a name but their label turned it down.

The Hues Corporation........."sofa so good!"

The Hues Corporation........."sofa so good!"

On this day in 1964 UK acts started a phenomenal run of seven weeks at the top of the US singles chart. Starting with “I’m Telling You Now” from Freddie and the Dreamers and followed by “Game Of Love” by Wayne Fontana, “Mrs Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” from Herman’s Hermits and finishing with “Ticket To Ride” by the Beatles.

On this day in 1970 at a gig in Boston Jim Morrison off of the Doors asked the audience if “anyone wants to see my genitals?” The management of the venue switched off the power and the gig was cut short. Jim was lucky Ms Bobbit wasn’t in the audience otherwise it wouldn’t have just been the gig that was cut short! Here are the Doors with “The End” live at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. And for all you fact fans did you know where the Doors took their name from? It was from the Aldous Huxley book ‘The Doors Of Perception

The police really didn't believe Jim when he tried to explain that his dog was indeed called 'Genitalia'

The police really didn't believe Jim when he tried to explain that his dog was indeed called 'Genitals'

And finally on this day in 1990 Tom Waits was awarded $2.475m in punitive damages after taking Dorito Chips to court following a radio advert in which the company had used a Waits soundalike. After the case was finished Waits remarked “now by law I have what I always felt I had…… a distinctive voice!” I wonder if Tom’s win led to the Credit Crunch for Doritos? (geddit?)

Here are a couple of songs from Tom Waits who is one of my favourite singers. Firstly and also in keeping with the fact that it’s Easter here is “Chocolate Jesus“. Second up is the wonderful “Downtown Train” some of you may recall Rod Stewart’s cover of this song which I thought was very good but not a patch on the original by Mr Waits

Tom holds up a giant tortilla chip to celebrate his victory

Tom holds up a giant tortilla chip to celebrate his victory

 

“Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?” March 14, 2009


Welcome to the weekend good people, bad people and those who aren’t sure. It’s time to let your hair down for a couple of days, well metaphorically in my case! It’s 14th March and just one day away from those dastardly Ides, so remember to stay bewared so to speak.

Did you make a donation to Comic Relief yesterday? If not it’s not too late and if you did feel free to donate more. Just click here and remember just £5 will buy a mosquito net for an African child. This could help to eradicate Malaria which is one of the biggest killers of children in Africa. Just think that if everyone who read this blog yesterday donated just £1 that would total £450! For the latest update on Comic Relief click here, the ‘on the day total’ topped £57m!

I have a confession to make about last night’s show though and I can’t believe that I’m about to say this. But Robbie Williams was bloody good last night in the Little Britain sketch. To be fair he wasn’t singing, thankfully but nonetheless he was good. Click here to see the sketch. What do you think of it?

That little devil Robbie Williams raids the tranny dressing up box with David Walliams and Matt Lucas

That little devil Robbie Williams raids the tranny dressing up box with David Walliams and Matt Lucas

We continue todays post with a few contributions from some regular readers. Firstly thank you to Tom who passed on a great video and indeed a potentially great band today. We were talking at the Hospital Radio Station on Wednesday night about Ringo Starr’s solo efforts, which in my opinion have been somewhat patchy. Anyway Tom mentioned that there was an excellent video on YouTube promoting the current single from a band called Blame Ringo, click on the song title to see it, it is all filmed at the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing that was featured on the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road album. The song is called “Garble Arch (A Day In The Life Of Abbey Road)” So tell me, how many of you have had your picture taken on that crossing? Feel free to mail a copy to me and I’ll happily publish it in the blog for you. Blame Ringo’s website is pretty good too, click here to check it out.

This Beatles fan makes his feelings clear about Ringo having a bum deal even if he wasn't the best drummer in the band. To be fair Meg White wasn't the best drummer in the White Stripes either!

This Beatles fan makes his feelings clear about Ringo having a bum deal even if he wasn't the best drummer in the band. To be fair Meg White wasn't the best drummer in the White Stripes either!

I found this while I was searching for a Blame Ringo picture. So I had to include it. Why? Because I can of course!

I found this while I was searching for a Blame Ringo picture. So I had to include it. Why? Because I can of course! Indeed it even features Catwoman as well

Secondly here’s a great tip off from Nick H who lives in what used to be the hometown of Mary Shelley who wrote the rather spiffing Frankenstein. Nick has given us an excellent link to a brilliant cover of Gary Numan’s “Are Friends Electric?” by Jack White’s new band ‘Dead Weather’. It consists of Jack himself, obviously, Allison Mosshart from the Kills on vocals, Jack Lawrence from the Raconteurs and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age. Click the song title for the video and click here for the band’s web site.

Jack tried to warn Allison that she was about to feel a little prick....... from the thorn bush of course, you readers are just sooooooo rude! ;-)

Jack tried to warn Allison that she was about to feel a little prick....... from the thorn bush of course, you readers are just sooooooo rude! 😉

And finally for those readers contributions here is a brief one from Marcy. She wanted me to let you know that she lives a mere stones throw (well if you can throw a stone 7.1 miles) from Mr Davy Jones off of the Monkees. Davy also plays a few shows in Marcy’s home town too. Do any other readers live near a celebrity? Let me know and maybe I can include it in a future post

A horse walks into Davy's Bar and orders a beer, Davy serves him and says "why the long face?"

A horse walks into Davy's Bar and orders a beer, Davy serves him and says "why the long face?"

Anyway let’s move on with the trivia and useful/ useless (delete as appropriate) information for today.

Firstly the birthdays and today is the 63rd birthday of Jim Pons who was the bass player for classic 60s band the Turtles who had a massive hit with the classic (ok so I’ve overdone the classic superlative, so what?) “Happy Together”. Jim didn’t join the band until after that though. He was also a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention. The Turtles first hit was a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. Before this they were called Crossfires From The Planet Mars. Another classic Turtles hit was “She’d Rather Be with Me” which does indeed feature Jim on bass.

Everyone else had walked across the Abbey Road crossing, but the Turtles had to show off by crawling across

Everyone else had walked across the Abbey Road crossing, but the Turtles had to show off by crawling across

The second and last of our birthdays today is the 26th birthday of Jordan Taylor Hanson. He was, somewhat obviously, a member of Hanson who had a massive hit with “MMMBop“. I must confess that I love that song, a true guilty pleasure is that one I suppose. Does anyone else admit to liking it? Jordan preferred to be known by his middle name Taylor and he was just 14 at the height of “MMMBop’s” success. The band have the honour of appearing twice in TV’s Celebrity Death Match. The first time they fought the Spice Girls and both they and the Spice Girls were killed by a chainsaw toting Marilyn Manson. Bizarrely they came back for a rematch with Manson (hey I wonder if it was billed as Manson vs Hanson?), they lost again after Zac Hanson lost control of the chainsaw. Please note that Celebrity Death Match was not real and no stars were harmed during the making of it. Although there are some I would like to see on a real version! any guesses or suggestions? Incidentally fact fans, “MMMBop” has been featured as House’s mobile phone ring tone in House MD.

On further investigation it became clear that Hanson were in fact Triamese twins who shared four legs and three heads

On further investigation it became clear that Hanson were in fact Triamese twins who shared four legs and three heads

On this day in 1985 the mighty Frankie Goes To Hollywood played a show at the Sheffield City Hall in the UK. The band were absolutely mega in 84/ 85 with their first three singles all reaching number one in the UK. At that point they were only the second group ever to achieve that feat after Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 60s. There are various stories as to how the band got their name all relate to a newspaper or magazine headline of a star going to Hollywood. To be perfectly Frank it was one of the following Franks; Frank Sinatra, Frankie Vaughan (one of my Mum’s favourite singers!) or English comedian Frankie Howard (titter ye not!). “Relax” had reached number 6 in the UK charts after an appearance on Top Of The Pops and then the infamous Mike Read banning incident occurred. Allegedly Mike objected to the sexual content of the lyric, this of course gave the band and the song such publicity it shot to (read no innuendo into that smutty people) number one, where it stayed for 5 weeks. The follow up “Two Tribes” went to number one and stayed there for a phenomenal 9 weeks at the same time “Relax” climbed back to number 2. The third single “The Power Of Love” was number one for a short period in December 1984. It’s nativity themed video means that is still seen as a Christmas song by many, but I’m not convinced! The rise of Frankie also led to a proliferation of ‘FRANKIE SAY……’ Tee shirts. Here are the Frankie’s with “Relax” on Channel 4’s the Tube in late 1983.

They had reached page 42 in the Kama Sutra but now neither i=of them had a hand free to turn to the next page

They had reached page 42 in the Kama Sutra but now neither of them had a hand free to turn to the next page

And finally on this day in 1991 REM played the first of two nights at London’s Borderline billed as Bingo Hand Job. Not only did they come up with a different name for the band they also gave each other new names for the shows; Michael Stipe was the Reverend Bingo, Peter Buck became Raoul, Bill Berry was the Doc and Mike Mills had the honour (?) of being Stinky. Out of those I would rather have been called the Reverend Bingo but a number of people have told me that Stinky would be more appropriate. Hmmmmmm I’m not sure why that is 😉 Anyway to finish here are REM with the Muppets on a cracking version of “Furry Happy Monsters

Michael had heard that many dog owners resembled their dogs, but.......

Michael had heard that many dog owners resembled their dogs, but.......

..... he hadn't realised that he was starting to look like his gargoyle!

..... he hadn't realised that he was starting to look like his gargoyle!

 

 
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