With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Your love is so edible to me” April 7, 2015


toto

I guess most readers of this blog and anyone with an interest in music trivia will have heard the rumour that former Countdown host Bob Holness played saxophone on Gerry Rafferty‘s classic ode to a famous London Street, “Baker Street“. Well you are also probably well aware that this is in fact untrue and Raphael Ravenscroft actually played sax on the record.

toto coelo draculas tango

However the Holness family do feature in music history. His daughter Ros Holness was a member of Toto Coelo who had a big hit with “I Eat Cannibals” in 1982. The song peaked at number 8 in the UK charts that year. Sadly none of their follow ups dented the UK top 50. Although “Dracula’s Tango/ Mucho Macho” reached number 19 in the Australian chart in 1982 while “Milk From The Coconut” hit number 4 in South Africa the following year.

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Ros’ sister Carol Ann Holness was also a musical success, as well as singing backing vocals for Lena Zavaroni and Cleo Laine she also wrote the fabulous “Flip” for Jesse Green. This was one of my favourite 70s disco hits. She was also a founder member of Toto Coelo with her sister Ros, although she left the band before their chart successes. Carol Ann was known by her stage name of Nancy Nova and also had some solo success in the dance charts and on Italian television.

Nancy_Nova_Photo_2008

 

“I’ll meet you by the underground” January 9, 2013


musictube

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very happy 150th birthday to the London Underground. It all began when the first train rolled out of Paddington Station back on January 9th in 1863. It now carries more than a million passengers each day across it’s 270 stationsmind_the_gap.

I am proud to say that it is also an organisation that I worked at for a large part of my working life. I worked for London Transport from 1975 to 1988 and then as a contractor with Transport for London from 2000 to 2004. So here are a couple of Underground related songs to help you ‘Mind The Gap‘ as you celebrate!

tube-trolls-20-1349724042

 

“And when you wake up it’s a new mornin’ the sun is shinin’ it’s a new morning” January 8, 2012


Those of you in the UK will certainly heard of the death of Bob Holness this week aged 83. Bob was the host of the iconic Blockbusters TV show for from 1983 to 1994. Anyone for “Can I have a P please Bob?” He began working in radio in 1955 and starred as James Bond in a radio adaptation of Ian Fleming‘s ‘Moonraker’ in 1956. he was possibly the first person to portray the famous secret agent.

He was also the subject of a wonderful and long lasting urban myth. It has long been believed by many that he was the saxophonist on Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Street“. However this is definitely a myth, Raphael Ravenscroft played the sax on that song. the myth arose following a regular Stuart Maconie article in the NME back in the 80s for the “Believe It Or Not” section. It was a piece, like many of those included, that Maconie had made up. Bob did play along with the story on some occasions and embellished it a few times too. He has said that he also played lead guitar on Derek and the Dominoes “Layla”. Those gullible people reading this please note; Bob Holness clearly had a great sense of humour.

Bob kept his street cred account well stocked, here he is with Frank Sidebottom and Little Frank

There is a real music link for the South African born TV and Radio presenter though. His daughter Ros was a member of the band Toto Coelo. They were 80s one hit wonders with “I Eat Canibals” in 1982 a song which was produced by 70s hitmaker Barry Blue.

I would like to pass on my condolences to Bob Holness’ family, friends and legions of fans. RIP Bob Holness

 

“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am…..” January 4, 2011


It is with sadness that I bring you news of the death of talented Sottish singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty aged 63. He had a well documented battle with alcoholism and also supposedly ‘disappeared’ a couple of times in recent years. But even with all that 63 is still a relatively young age to go these days.

Most people will remember Gerry for the classic “Baker Street“, which reached number 3 in the UK and number 2 in the US. It’s 1978 parent album, ‘City To City‘ sold 5.5 million copies in the US and managed to top the US album chart in 1978, beating the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. He was also co responsible for another classic song “Stuck In the Middle With You” with Stealers Wheel from 1973. The two songs have achieved 5 million and 4 million radio plays respectively. In 1987 he also co produced one of my favourite songs, “Letter From America” by the Proclaimers. I am sure he will be sadly missed by his family, friends and fans. Gerry Rafferty RIP.

 

“You’ll see Venus and Serena, in the Wimbledon Arena” August 26, 2010


They say that August is the silly season for news don’t they? well here’s a story in the UK media that clearly shows that there can’t be much else happening in the country. Apparently the government is urging local councils to reduce the number of street signs and bollards and the like. Did you know there is a car park in Salisbury with 63 bollards and only space for 53 cars? Nor did I. Did we need to know? I doubt it. Has that information been life changing for any of us? Not bloody likely. The government line on this is being headed by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles (what a great name!) and isn’t it pleasing to see that the focus of our wonderful (NOT!) coalition government is focussing on the big issues. Personally I think it’s a load of bollards! Read the story here

So now let’s get back to music and have some streets and sign related tunes, feel free to contribute your own;

Signs” – Snoop Dogg featuring Charlie Wilson and Justin Timberlake. In my opinion one of Mr Timberlake’s finest performances, a long way from the Mickey Mouse Club that’s for sure. It was produced by the Neptunes and made it to number two in the UK charts in 2004. The lyrics draw from the Gap Band’s “Early In The Morning” from 1982 and Cheryl Lynn’s 1978 hit  “Got To Be Real

No Matter What Sign You Are” – Diana Ross and the Supremes. This was originally intended as the last single from the girls before diva Diana went solo, but it didn’t sell too well and failed to make either the UK or US top 20. Sadly it wasn’t even the Supremes who sang on it. Diana took the lead but the backing vocals were provided by a session group called the Andantes rather than Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong

Streets Of London” -Ralph McTell. Ralph first recorded the song in 1969, but it wasn’t released as a single in the UK until 1974. What could be described as a timeless classic it has been recorded by more than 200 artists

Where The Streets Have No Name” – U2. The video was filmed on the roof of the Republic Liquor Store in downtown LA  in homage to the Beatles performing live on the roof of the Apple Building in Saville Row for the Let It Be film.

Somewhere In America There’s A Street Named After My Dad” – Was (Not Was). I have always loved this band and this is a great song, the video on the link also includes some excellent photographs from Charles Cushman. The key band members were often assumed to be brothers largely because they called themselves Don and David Was. However the truth is that David Was was really David Weiss and Don Was was really Don Fagenson

On The Street Where You Live” – Nat King Cole. I didn’t really appreciate Mr Cole until I got older, probably because my parents liked him when I was a teenager and it’s not cool to like what your parent’s like is it? This song is actually taken from the musical ‘My Fair Lady’ which is one of Catwoman’s favourite musicals.

Across 110th Street” – Bobby Womack. Taken from the blaxploitation movie called, unsurprisingly, ‘Across 110th Street’. The song also featured on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Jackie Brown’

“‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street” – Jam. This song was the B Side to the Jam’s 1978 single “David Watts” which was a cover of a Kinks song. Paul Weller apparently listened to a lot of Kinks stuff prior to recording the ‘All Mod Cons’ album. The video in the link is taken from the band’s appearance on the sadly missed Old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC

Baker Street” – Gerry Rafferty. In the early 70’s as part of Stealers Wheel with Joe Egan, Gerry had a hit with “Stuck In The Middle With You” which was later used in the movie Reservoir Dogs. However it’s “Baker Street” that he is most remembered for and that’s no wonder as it’s a great song.

53rd & 3rd” – Ramones. This video is a live recording with Rancid. The song was written by Dee Dee Ramone and is about an area of New York that was a major haunt for male prostitutes and rent boys. There have been suggestions that Dee Dee worked there himself in his youth.

 

“He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands” April 16, 2009


Hello once again dear readers, well unless of course like a few people that I know you just look at the pictures in which case you’re not reading this anyway are you? Are you? Well I’ll take that as a yes than shall I? Shall I?…. oh I give up!

Anyway let’s kick off this post with yet another shameless promotion of my son Luke’s band, they’re called Steal The Smile and they are extremely bloody good. They are headlining a gig in Abingdon, Oxfordshire on 24th April so get yourself down there. Failing that at least check them out on MySpace and tell me what you think, click on the band name to go to their MySpace page.

Steal The Smile rock Abingdon - be there or be square!

Steal The Smile rock Abingdon - be there or be square!

Someone sent me a great link earlier this week which I felt I had to share with you, it’s National Lampoon’s “Songs That Get Stuck In Your Head – Time Life”. I thought it was very funny and so true as well. Click here to check it out and let me know whether it made you laugh!

I guess that most of you have by now seen Susan Boyle’s appearance on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ show in the UK. (Click here if you haven’t seen it yet) I saw it at the weekend when it was initially broadcast and my initial reaction was that here comes another X Factor talentless type who says they want to be the next Whitney or Britney but in fact turn out to be Shitney! I was very pleasantly surprised when Susan began to sing “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables. It’s not my type of music at all but she has certainly got a great voice. What really peeved me was the reaction of the judges after she had completed her song, particularly Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, both in my opinion were facile, condescending and very shallow. I was reminded of this by Tanya Gold’s excellent piece in the Guardian today, click here to check it out

Dummy, Dippy and Simon

Dummy, Dippy and Simple three of the lesser known dwarves

On to the usual stuff now and today 16th April is the 62nd birthday of Mr Gerry Rafferty of Stealer’s Wheel and a talented solo performer. Did you know that he was once in a group with Billy Connolly in the 60’s called the Humblebums. His biggest solo hit was “Baker Street” and the saxophone solo on the song has been the subject of an urban myth that it was played by Bob Holness the host of the ‘Blockbuster’s’ TV game show. In fact this came about after then NME journalist Stuart Maconie wrote a spoof piece in the NME’s ‘Believe It Or Not’ column. It was subsequently adopted as fact.It was actually played by Raphael Ravenscroft. Recently Rafferty has had somewhat of a chequered existence with alleged alcohol and drug problems. He also went missing in the last few months and there have been contradictory statements from a few different ‘spokesmen’ It would appear that thankfully he is alive and well and living in either Scotland or Tuscany depending upon which ‘spokesman’ you believe. Gerry if you are unwell I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to some new material soon.

If they were really  "Stuck In The Middle" then clearly someone was missing from this picture!

If they were really "Stuck In The Middle" then clearly someone was missing from this picture!

On this day in 1969 Desmond Dekker along with the Aces was at number one in the UK charts with the fantastic song “The Israelites“. He was the first Jamaican artist to reach number one in the UK. Desmond’s real name is Desmond Adolphus Dacres. he eventually relocated to the UK and sadly died of a heart attack in May 2006 at his home in Thornton Heath. He is allegedly the source of the character name Desmond in the Beatles ska/ reggae influenced “Ob La Di Ob La Da”

Desmond with his dogs, the imaginatively named Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot and errr .........Rover???

Desmond with his dogs, the imaginatively named Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot and errr .........Rover???

On this day in 1993 David Lee Roth was arrested by an undercover policeman in New York’s Washington Square for allegedly buying a $10 bag of dope. Just $10? He wasn’t going to share that with his band was he? So just why were the police selling drugs anyway eh? We should be told! Roth found fame with Van Halen before embarking on a pretty successful solo career, although he did murder the Beach Boys “California Girls” on route!

Dave used to have a lot of balls, but not after he wore those trousers!

Dave used to have a lot of balls, but not after he wore those trousers!

And finally on this day in 1997 Mark Morrison was convicted with threatening a police officer with a 23,000 volt electric stun gun, you may not be surprised to know that this is an illegal weapon. He left Marylebone Magistrates court in London in tears after being warned that he may face a custodial sentence. I can’t believe he was surprised can you? You should have spoken to the same cop that Mr Lee Roth did Mark! Morrison is a British R & B singer who was actually born in Hanover, Germany. He does not own the Morrisons supermarket chain! His biggest hit was “Return Of The Mack” which went to the top of the UK charts in 1996.

Morrison in his 'Only God Can Judge Me' shirt, actually Mark I think you'll find that the courts judged you too!

Morrison in his 'Only God Can Judge Me' shirt, actually Mark I think you'll find that the courts judged you too!

 

 
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