With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

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
Tags: , , , , ,

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

 

 
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