With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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

 

 
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