With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“She never begs, she knows how to choose them” June 5, 2013

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 7:57 pm
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Only one member of ZZ Top actually played on their massive hit “Legs”. Billy Gibbons of the band provided the vocal and played guitar on the track. All the other instruments were played by engineer Terry Manning. Personally I find it more amusing that the only member of the band without a beard was the drummer; his name is Frank Beard!

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zztop

 

“Welcome to the Pit and the Pendulum” November 5, 2012


This is a special message to all my American readers. On November 6th you will have the chance to vote once again in a Presidential election. I would like to offer some advice and some opinions. I recognise that some of you may not agree with me, but I can live with that!

Firstly whatever happens please use your vote. Do not assume that your guy will win whether you vote for them or not. This election could be as close to call as the Dubya versus Gore election in 2000. Secondly and here is where I’m sure I’ll lose some of you. Vote Obama! He has been a great president in some very hard times trying to manage an economy which was almost dead and buried when he inherited it. All of this in the midst of a global recession. He has also introduced an incredibly forward thinking health care plan.

He may not have achieved everything he set out to do, but then look back at the record of any previous US President or indeed British Prime Minister and see what their delivery to promise ratio was. I suspect most of them would have been low. As a Brit I believe Obama has done a great job but even I am disappointed with some aspects of his first term, notably a failure to close down th prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. But compared to his opponent Mitt Romney he is by far the better candidate. OK so let’s consider the crazies for a moment; Donald Trump and the so-called ‘birthers’ who think Barack doesn’t have the right to be President. Well he has made his birth certificate available to you and you still don’t believe him. You were never going to were you? In the same vein why is no one making a big fuss about a lack of tax records from Romney, especially as he had promised to publish them?

I am not religious in the slightest and I believe that it is wrong for a political leader to be overtly religious. Mitt is a Mormon a faith that is based on, let’s face it some rather strange concepts based on the visions of Joseph Smith in the 1800s. It wasn’t so long ago that the Mormon faith allowed and promoted polygamy. In addition to that some would say that it is at its roots a very sexist and racist religion. Although to be fair, Mitt’s father took a stand against some of those principles when he supported the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Mitt is definitely what some US hacks call a ‘flip flopper’. His views on abortion and gay marriage seem to have moved like a yoyo to suit his mood and his position. He said himself in an unguarded moment that he really doesn’t care about 47% of the population. So finally I believe that you should vote for Obama, I think you need to give him another four years. If you vote for Romney the only ones who will benefit in the long-term will be the rich. But like I said at the start, whatever you do use your vote!

Incidentally these are my opinions and I have and will offer advice to UK voters when the time arises. I believe that we voted the wrong way last time and now we’re stuck with a pathetic, corrupt and inept coalition government for the next couple of years at least. So let me step off my soapbox and give you some music. This is a music blog after all.

 

“I, I’m so in love with you whatever you want to do Is alright with me” January 20, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 11:05 pm
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President Obama was in attendance at a fundraising event in the Apollo in Harlem, effectively on the same bill as the Reverend Al Green. Obama decided to show his vocal prowess with a bit of Al Green karaoke. He followed that up with the comment ‘Don’t worry Rev, I cannot sing like you, but I just wanted to show my appreciation’

What a guy! I really can’t imagine George W Bush or any of the current crop of Republican hopefuls doing anything like that, can you?

 

“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

 

Reading Festival 2010 – Day 1, Friday 27th August August 30, 2010


It’s been a year of waiting but here is the first of my posts from this year’s Reading Festival. Thankfully the rain had stopped but it had left parts of the festival site looking a little like the First World War trenches, my sympathies certainly extend to many of the more unlucky campers, presumably those who arrived last. Personally I ‘don’t do’ camping and will be staying at my good friend Nicks during the whole event.

We finally got through the gates just after noon and managed to catch a very brief glimpse of a band I had hoped to see purely because they have an excellent name; Wot Gorilla? I didn’t see enough to say much about them sadly, but they seemed ok. Next up we saw Crazy Arm, a tight, strong band very much in a rock mould. Harlem were next and again it was a brief glimpse, but I would suggest that these guys know how to party. A local band appearing on the BBC Introducing Stage had been recommended to us by BBC Radio Berkshire; Amy’s Ghost they were superb. Shades of Kate Bush and Florence (off of Florence and the Machine) influences among others, also very theatrical. I even bought their album from the delightful singer who stayed around to talk to fans until the Beeb told her she had to leave.

New Young Pony Club, were accomplished with a great rapport with their audience. We watched them play a couple of songs in our bid to see as many bands as possible in a day. I would say very much destined for a reasonable career, sound as a pound I would say! Billy Talent were next on the Main Stage; very punk, very loud and they mean it maaaan! After this it was a more chilled sound with Girls who are from San Francisco, but maybe the flowers on the mic stand gave that away. A good band though even if the singer/ stroke guitarist did adopt a one-legged flamingo pose occasionally a little like Ian Anderson off of Jethro Tull. We’re Only Afraid Of NYC were quite reasonable, but we only caught a brief glimpse before heading to the Main Stage again for Gogol Bordello, probably my favourite band of the day. This is the third time I have seen them at Reading and once again they were brilliant. This is truly a superb band that knows their audience and knows how to have a great time. I hadn’t realised quite how cosmopolitan they were either, including members from Russia, Ethiopia, USA, Ecuador and Scotland to name but a few.

Sketches met while at Leeds University and know how to really funk things up; I reckon they’d be great in a small sweaty venue. We only saw a short part of Pulled Apart By Horses set, but I think I may have to check them out on-line when I get home; these boys know their stuff and hit some excellent riffs. Heading past the Main Stage again we chanced upon NOFX. We only heard one song which was about assassinating George W Bush, so that makes them alright with me. Disappointedly we managed just the briefest of glimpses of Egyptian Hip Hop, but it was a good glimpse and I will certainly be exploring them more on-line. You have to love a band with that name, who are neither Egyptian (at least I don’t think so) or Hip Hop (well they didn’t sound it anyway). Back to the Main Stage for the Lost Prophets, these boys were truly fucking ace, we were singing and jumping with the rest of the crowd, another of my favourite bands of the day.

The NME/ Radio 1 tent beckoned next for Delphic. A brilliant dance band, but I might have benefited more with a spliff beforehand, but seeing as I don’t do drugs that was never going to happen, but a great set none the less. We stayed in place for Mumford And Sons and I have never seen that tent so crowded, in fact a number of people passed out in the crush. The crowd was mental for Mumford (hey could that be another band name?) and the band played like they felt it too. I like them, but I’d probably only see them at festivals. I probably lost a few pounds in sweat from that experience too

We then went back to the Main Stage to await the arrival of Guns N Roses, well Axl Rose and some other musicians really. Boy did we wait, they were an hour late coming on and at best were like a G’n’R tribute band. The booing started way before they hit the stage and continued afterwards too. Axl had no interaction with his audience and I think his voice is shot as well. In all my years of going to Reading I have never seen an audience so small for a headliner on the Main Stage or an audience so muted in their applause and reaction. I always felt that Guns N Roses were a poor headline choice and now I’m sure I was right. You could always hear the sound of barrels being scraped and dead horses being flogged.

We actually didn’t stay for the whole of G’n’R but alternated between LCD Soundsystem in the NME/ Radio 1 Tent and Marina And The Diamonds on the Festival Republic stage. Both of these bands were very entertaining and each of them was way better than Guns N Roses. I’ve liked a lot of LCD’s output and I will be buying Marina’s album soon as well.

So now it’s time for some brief R and R before we make our assault on Day 2. In the words of Arnie, I will be back soon, ok I know he never said soon, but that’s just slightly more English and genteel isn’t it?

 

“Cause only two of you had dinner, I found your credit card receipt” January 16, 2010


I was reading the Guardian newspaper earlier today and chanced upon a rather amusing article about the music tastes of what many might consider the more evil of our world leaders. The article itself can be found by clicking here.

I thought he might have been more of a Master Of Puppets period Metallica fan

In a nutshell here are the favourite artists of our favourite despots, or as one Guardian headline put it; The Axes Of Evil

Osama Bin Laden – Whitney Houston. So why don’t we send Whitney to the badlands between Afghanistan and Pakistan and just ask her to sing “Saving All My Love For You” especially for Osama. He’d be in her arms faster than a cruise missile

Where's Osama? Just send Whitney! It's not right but it's ok

Robert Mugabe – Cliff Richard. Now here’s the thing, apparently at the Zimbabwe Independence Concert in 1980 Mugabe was disappointed that Bob Marley was chosen to headline, he considered him somewhat scruffy and allegedly would have preferred the more wholesome Cliff Richard. Clearly Mugabe wasn’t aware of Bob Marley’s tireless efforts to gain justice for Africa. However I’m sure Mr Marley would be sickened by what Mugabe has done subsequently. Here is Bob Marley singing “Zimbabwe” in Zimbabwe in 1980

She said son you be a dictator boy and make your enemies paaaay! (to the tune of Sir Cliff's "Bachelor Boy")

Colonel Gaddafi – Lionel Richie. I can now imagine the Colonel rocking around his tent to Lionel’s “Dancing On The Ceiling” or perhaps “Machine Gun” by the Commodores might be more appropriate

Judging from his body guards you'd think he might have preferred the Supremes or the Three Degrees

Nick Griffin – Kate Rusby. Clearly a very, very, very long way from being a world leader, but definitely a bigoted racist arsehole who is not as bright as he thinks he is. It is interesting that his choice of British Folk Music is perhaps the whitest form of music in the UK. However even the folkies have a Folk Against Facism Movement. So once again the racist thugs of the BNP get it wrong. Maybe we should organise a Political Celebrity Death Match between Nick Griffin and Robert Mugabe, in the hope that both might pop their clogs

Nick was devastated when he realised he couldn't play his records because they were black, if only he'd bought the special edition white vinyl versions. Still he could now agree with the majority of people in Britain, that he is indeed a complete tosser

Kim Jong-Il – Eric Clapton. I wonder when we will hear them say Kim Jong-Well or will he always be sick? I can now only ever picture Kim as his puppet in the wonderful ‘Team America’ movie. I wonder what his favourite Clapton song is?

Kim always liked to listen to a bit of Slowhand when he took time for a little "Slow Hand" of his own 😉

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Chris De Burgh. A member of Dubya’s so called Axis Of Evil and potential owner of nuclear weapons. But frankly how can you take him seriously now you know he listens to that bloody awful “Lady In Red“?

Just one more dig at Lady In Red and I'll rip my wig off and shove it right where the nuclear reactors don't shine!

 

 
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