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. 😉

 

Grateful Dead – Fare Thee Well – Final Concert Ever – Cinema Simulcast – York City Screen Monday 6th July 2015 July 6, 2015


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I booked my tickets for this cinema show as soon as I saw them advertised. It would be unfair to say that I am a massive fan of the Grateful Dead but I have always had a kind of respect for what they have achieved and who they are. In my opinion the Dead are very much a genre defying band, it is very difficult to put them into a box. They take elements of west coast rock, jazz, psychedelia, soft rock, AOR and even prog. But ultimately they are the Grateful Dead and there is no band quite like them. Are they as good since the death of Jerry Garcia nearly 20 years ago in August 1995? They remain a great band but I believe they have evolved into a slightly different band without Jerry.

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The remaining original members all form part of the band for the Fare Thee Well shows; Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann, all of whom were in the Dead since 1965. Percussionist Mickey Hart joined in 1965. Trey Anastasio off of Phish is part of the Fare Thee Well band on guitar and vocals (he takes some of the Garcia vocals) The band is further augmented with Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti. The last show was the last of three dates at the Soldier Field American Football Stadium in Chicago. It was filmed for a pay per view audience and it was a slightly edited version of that which the cinema simulcast contained.

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The filming and cinematography was brilliant and at times stunning. The band was really on form and it is easy to see that the so-called ‘core four’ have been playing together for a life time. The band were on stage for more than three hours. When they played “I Know You Rider” it sounded like all 80,000 audience members were singing along to the somewhat appropriate lyrical refrain ‘I know you rider, gonna miss me when I’m gone’. My favourite songs from the show were “Throwing Stones” and “Mountains Of The Moon”. But you can’t ignore “Truckin'” which includes the line which for many Deadheads sums um the band. That line is; ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been’. Trey Anastsatio’s playing was phenomenal, for me particularly so on “Terrapin Station”. The last song before they returned for a two song encore was an audience rousing version of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. The encore consisted of “Touch Of Grey” and “Attics Of My Life”. At least I think that was the title of the final song, if I am wrong please let me know.

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Not being a full on Deadhead myself I have never seen the Dead play live. I have seen lots of footage of them playing live though. This film is a great testament to a great band and you should go and see it if you get the chance.Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan there is no denying that this is a classic concert movie. Is this really an epitaph for the Grateful Dead? Time will tell, but personally I believe that it is. Remember what Don Henley said in the song “The Boys Of Summer”? ‘Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back”. If you have seen the film I would love to know what you thought of it.

©Jay Blakesberg

©Jay Blakesberg

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“Their father’s hell did slowly go by” July 11, 2014


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Jerry Garcia off of the Grateful Dead played pedal steel guitar on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young‘s “Teach Your Children”. The canny troubadour from the Dead didn’t want any cash payment. In exchange for that session Jerry asked C, S, N & Y to teach the Grateful Dead how to harmonise.

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“Satan is a evilous man” October 24, 2013


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This is apparently the 666th post on this blog, so I thought I’d celebrate that with devilishly beastly top 13 Satan songs. I’d also love to hear what other songs you might have chosen. Given that we are days away from Halloween I suppose that this borders on being a topical post too 🙂

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Counting Crows – O2 Apollo Manchester – Thursday 25th April 2013 April 27, 2013


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Once in a while you are presented with the opportunity to see a band that you have listened to a lot but have never really made the effort to see play live. I had a lucky break as my friend Andy Golborne’s partner Rachel was unable to attend a gig by the truly splendid Counting Crows. So I became the lucky owner of her ticket and went along to the O2 Apollo in Manchester last to see the band. This was the first time I have seen them but Andy has seen them on many occasions.

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The support was provided by Lucy Rose a 23-year-old singer songwriter from Surrey. She has previously provided some vocals when recording with the Bombay Bicycle Club. She strikes me very much of a young Joni Mitchel but with even more jazz sensibilities. Her band is tight and very talented. To me there is almost an undercurrent of some of the better aspects of prog Rock in their delivery. The exposure of touring with Counting Crows can only enhance her profile and I would definitely see her again. In fact I would like to apologise for missing her at last years Reading Festival.

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The Counting Crows. What can I say? Probably that they are even better live than they are on record and I do believe that their recorded output is bloody good! I can’t believe that this is the first time I have seen them in concert. Adam Duritz mentioned that he had woken up in the morning with a sore throat but that did not seem to mar his vocal performance which was brilliant. it did mean that we missed out on some of the story telling introductions that he often does when playing live. But that was a very small price to pay. The crowd was made up of mostly hard-core Crows fans. The bloke in front of me went nuts for almost every song and it looked like he had his kids with him, they also seemed to love it.

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The band seems to really love what they are doing as well and this made for a stupendous all round performance which they enjoyed as much as the audience. I was really pleased that they raided their back catalogue excellently and didn’t stick with just the big hits; there was no “Mr Jones” for example. The band took to the stage to the sound of Bill Withers’ classic “Lean On Me” and left at the end of the evening to “California dreamin'” from the Mamas and Papas, to which Mr Duritz led us in a sing along. But obviously it’s what was sandwiched between those classic records that was most important. If I mentioned every highlight I would simply type in the set list! The first part of the show had excellent versions of “Omaha” and “I Wish I Was A Girl”.countingcrows

The acoustic set in the middle of the show was beautiful, especially the arrangement of “Mercury”. acoustically this was accompanied by a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” and another Counting Crows classic, “When I Dream Of Michelangelo“. After that excellent trio the set kicked back into electric gear, starting with a rousing “Round Here”. The cover of Gillian Welch‘s “Look At Miss Ohio” was truly stunning and new arrangement (to me at least) of “Rain King” was a truly emotional experience. The encore included “Washington Square” and a gorgeous rendition of “Holiday In Spain”. are the Counting Crows the best live band I have ever seen? Not quite but they are definitely in my top 5 and I will certainly see them again. In fact next time I shall take the wonderful Catwoman (a.k.a. my beautiful wife Catherine) with me.

Please note that apart from the picture at the top of this post none of the images or films were taken by me.

 

“What can you do? What can you do?” February 8, 2011


Did you see the staggering piece of footage on the UK news this week? Where a woman in her 70s saw off six would be jewel thieves in Northampton. She saw a commotion and thought a young lad was being beaten up, so she waded in with her hand bag at which point she realised it was a robbery. It was a while before other members of the public stepped in and held one of the gang. the police later arrested three more of the six.

I’d love to see them explain themselves in prison, they will truly be complete laughing stocks. The three that were arrested were aged between 18 and 39 so all considerably younger than Ann Timson the magnificent lady in question. She said that she recognised that she had put herself in danger but that she would probably do the same again. This lady is my hero of 2011 so far, can anyone top Ann Timson?


Click here to read the story on the BBC site and click here to read it on ITV’s Anglia News

Obviously this is a music blog so I will now give you a few relatively appropriate songs;

“Beat On The Brat” – Ramones. Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone formed the band in New York in 1974. Despite the apparently shared surname they were not related at all. They chose Ramone after a pen name used by Paul McCartney, which was Paul Ramon. Clem Burke from Blondie once appeared with the band and named himself Elvis Ramone.

Robbery, Assault And Battery” – Genesis. The song comes from the bands 1976 album “A Trick Of The Tail” which was the first one to feature Phil Collins as vocalist after the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was written by Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.

“Touch Of Grey” – The Grateful Dead. Fans of the band are often referred to as Dead Heads. The term was used in one of my favourite songs; “The Boys Of Summer” by Don Henley. “Out on the road today I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac, a voice inside my head said don’t look back, you can never look back”

The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” – Jan and Dean. Many of their hits were written by the Beach Boys, especially Brian Wilson, although this was written by Don Altfeld, Jan Berry and Roger Christian. The Beach Boys did record a live version of the song in the 60s though.

“Get Up, Stand Up” – Bob Marley and the Wailers. This is a classic Marley song and was often his encore. In fact it was the last song he ever played live having used it to close his gig in Pittsburgh in September 1980.

 

“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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