With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“She used to be a girl of simple pleasures, a breath of spring to chase your blues away” Blog Advent Calendar Day 14 December 14, 2014


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Ladies and gentlemen and those that aren’t quite sure it is now December 14th and that means that my Christmas advent blog posts for 2014 have reached Day 14 which in turn means that we are at the letter ‘N’. With that in mind I have decided to pick a band from Scotland for todays ABC of British bands entry. Please allow me to welcome the mighty Nazareth to this post.

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The band formed in 1968 and the original members were Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass), Darrell Sweet (drums) and Dan McCafferty (tonsil-shredding vocals). The band still tours although Pete Agnew is the only one of the original members still with the band. There are no middle east or biblical overtones to the band’s name. They are named after a town that is mentioned in the classic song “The Weight” from the Band. That town is Nazareth, Pennsylvania. The line is “I pulled in to Nazareth, I was feeling about half past dead”

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The band was probably at its commercial peak in the early 70s when they had three UK top 20 albums from 1973 to 1974. I used to own two of those on vinyl; ‘Razamanaz’ and ‘Loud ‘N’ Proud‘. They also reached the top 20 of the album charts in Norway six times between 1980 and 1989. Their latest album ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Telephone’ has charted in four countries this year; Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria. This is probably the last Nazareth album to feature McCafferty’s vocals as he retired due to ill-health last year.

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Their biggest success in the UK singles chart was with “Broken Down Angel” which peaked at number 9 in 1973. Their cover of Joni Mitchell‘s “This Flight Tonight” made it to number one in Germany that same year. In 1975 they released a cover version of the classic ballad “Love Hurts” it made it to the top of the charts in Canada and South Africa. Dan McCafferty has released a few solo recordings over the years and his cover of the Rolling Stones “Out Of Time” almost made the UK top 40 in 1975, stalling at number 41, I used to have a vinyl copy of that too. In 1994 Guns ‘N’ Roses covered Nazareth’s “Hair Of The Dog” on their covers album ‘The Spaghetti Incident’. Supposedly Nazareth had previously turned down an invite to play at Axl Rose‘s wedding. They might not have entertained guests at Mr Rose’s wedding, but you can enjoy Nazareth now.

 

“Feet don’t fail me now take me to the finish line” July 11, 2014


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Before Lizzy Grant became Lana Del Rey she went through quite a few names. One of the best (and I thank the NME for pointing this out) is probably Sparkle Jump Rope Queen. Under that moniker she launched a few songs onto the internet in 2008. They included “Elvis“, “Blue Ribbon” and “Axl Rose Husband”. Lana was rumoured to have dated Axl Rose a couple of years ago. Personally I think she could do so much better! The question is was it just a rumour? At the height of that rumour she appeared in a Guns ‘N’ Roses t-shirt at the Jazz Cafe in London. Both Lana and Axl have a Scottish lineage and one of the bonus tracks on her current album is called “Guns ‘N’ Roses”. So did she or didn’t she date Axl Rose? You know what I really don’t care. I simply love Lana’s tunes!

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“So never mind the darkness we still can find a way” March 7, 2014


MjAxMy02ZTFmY2VlYzY1OGY0ODcxSaul Hudson’s father designed album covers for many artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell. But unless you know that Saul Hudson is legendary guitarist Slash that wouldn’t mean much to you would it? Do you know of any other rock stars parents that are also artistically talented in some way?

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“Foreign life forms inventory suspended state of cryogenics” – Advent day 18 December 18, 2013


slide_18_2087138aIt’s the 18th December and by now the regular readers among you will know exactly what that means won’t you? yes it’s day 18 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent calendar posts. So the songs for today both have the number 18 in their title. we are so far down the line now towards Yuletide that my Spiderman Advent Calendar has hardly any chocolate left in it. What Advent Calendar do you have?

wing1The first song for today remains one of my favourite 70s songs. It is “Eighteen With A Bullet” from Pete Wingfield. The bullet in this instance is used to describe a particularly well performing song on the US singles chart. strangely enough the song did enter the US top 20 at number eighteen, presumably with a bullet back in 1975. It reached its peak of number 15 a week after that. In the UK it made the top 10 reaching number 7. Reggae singer Derrick Harriott did a great cover of the song. Wingfield has been quite an active session player and producer. He produced Dexys Midnight Runners first album, ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels‘ , the Kane Gang’s first album ‘The Bad And Low Down World Of The Kane Gang’ . Pete also produce “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and the album ‘Sunshine On Leith’ by the Proclaimers. “Eighteen With A Bullet” can also be found on the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie‘s 1998 film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels‘. The Pasadenas (who I once saw at a corporate function) biggest hit “Tribute (Right On)” was written by Mr Wingfield too.

1991-hangar_18_fcNext up it’s the mighty, massive, metal Megadeth with “Hangar 18”. The song was released as a single in 1991. It made it to number 26 in the UK and number 25 in the Irish charts. It comes from the band’s album ‘Rust In Peace’, a UK number 8 that was released in 1990. The song relates to alien conspiracy theories involving the 1947 crash at Roswell. Hangar 18 at an US Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio is supposedly where some of the alien remains and the alien spacecraft is stored. The lyrics were written by the band’s drummer Nick Menza with the music coming from frontman Dave Mustaine. Slash jammed with the band at one point and while some people thought that he might join them he decided to stay with Guns ‘N’ Roses.

 

“My lonely days are over and life is like a song” January 20, 2012


I have some sad news to pass on, which by now you may already know; Etta James, soul singer extraordinaire has passed away after a long battle with leukaemia and dementia. The former Jamesetta Hawkins died just days before her 74th birthday. Unfortunately she was never as successful as some of her contemporaries such as Diana Ross. Personally I feel that Etta’s voice was streets ahead of Ms. Ross.

Etta seemed to be able to turn her voice to many different styles; soul, blues, rock and even some bawdy numbers. My lovely wife Catherine aka Catwoman wanted a special mention in this post as Etta’s “At Last” was the first song played after we signed the register at our wedding last September. That is one of many songs played that day that still mean a lot to us both.

Etta had a hard life being mostly abandoned to a number of carers by her 14-year-old mother after her birth in 1938. She also struggled against a serious drug addiction for many years. She has been the recipient of six Grammys including two for her earlier songs; the previously mentioned “At Last” and “The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)”. Both were Grammy Hall Of Fame Awards in 1999 and 2008 respectively for  qualitative or historical significance. “The Wallflower” was her only US R & B number one back in 1955 when she was still a teenager.

My thoughts go out to her family, friends and fans. RIP Etta James.

 

“And I know what you’re thinking, you still think I am crap” July 4, 2011


So it appears that I now live in the place that everyone else in the country would like to live, according to a recent survey. I live in York, an obvious jewel in North Yorkshire’s and indeed the UK’s crown. I’m not sure it was the most popular place when I moved here in 2007 so I suppose I could assume that it has become so popular because I live here. What do you think? Anyway I really enjoy living in the north, in my opinion it is a million times better than London. But in fact that could be said of most other places in the UK. So what do I think are the best reasons to live in York, apart from the obvious one for me which would be my fiancée Catherine aka to regular readers as Catwoman. I will try to complete this as a top ten, but in no particular order.

The history – walking the wall is always a wonderful experience when you consider the thousands of years of history below your feet. Vikings, Romans and the Scots have all occupied York at some time or another

The Maltings – in my opinion the best pub with the best beer in York

Dusk – in the daytime a rather excellent coffee bar and at night a rather unique club (This is definitely not a view shared by Catwoman)

The Mediterranean Barbers – The only place in town you can get a full wet head shave (Just the thing for those of us, like me, that are follically challenged)

The Minster – I am not a religious person at all but the magnificence of this building transcends religion. Obviously I ought to mention Archbishop John Sentamu here, a truly wonderful character

Guy Fawkes – in my opinion probably the last person to enter parliament with honourable intentions and he was born in York

Rafi’s Spice Box – all the ingredients (apart from the meat or veg) and instructions that you need to make an excellent curry

Castle Museum – always something new and with a brilliant recreation of a Victorian Street (the National Railway Museum and the Yorkshire Museum are worth a visit too)

Travelling Man – it may be the only comic shop in York, but even if it wasn’t it would still be the best. Staffed by a great team who keep me supplied with the best Marvel has to offer!

Cedar Court Grand Hotel – this building used to be the railway offices which is where I worked when I first met Catwoman. It has been a hotel for just over a year and last October we went for a meal in the restaurant there, where I did the traditional popping the question on one knee. To complete the circle we will be getting married there in September. Does that mean I will become Mr Catwoman?

Apologies to the places and things I have missed. I could easily have come up with ten more. (Notable omissions which make up that additional 10 are; York City FC, Rowntree Park, Fibbers, The Duchess, Oak Street, Little Betties, The Blue Bicycle, City Screen, York Library, the Vinyl Record stall outside M & S) I would love to hear what your favourite things about York are whether you live here or not. If you’ve never visited this wonderful city yet then pull your finger out and get yourself along here. I may even meet you in the Maltings for a swift one! But I am half Scots so don’t expect me to buy you one! I have said on many occasions before that this is a music blog so let me finish with a few songs that are about city life.

Obviously there is a real dearth of songs about York itself, although there are thousands about it’s young offspring from across the pond. You know the place, so good they named it twice? Well my city is so good it only needs one name and that is York!

“Big City” – Dandy Livingstone

“In The City” – Eagles

Paradise City” – Guns n Roses

“In The City” – Jam

“Dancing In The City” – Marshall Hain

 

“I don’t wanna take no pictures I just wanna take some shots!” November 25, 2010


Did any of you see Will.i.am‘s appearance at the American Music Awards at the weekend? It would be fair to say, well in my opinion anyway, that he looked like a bit of a knob. he was wearing a Lego baseball cap, at the usual hip hop style or indeed chav style jaunty angle. Only it wasn’t really proper Lego was it, because Lego is mostly square and that hat certainly wasn’t square. I wonder what the other Peas thought of it. There was also a great piece in the Guardian about it as well, which actually had the hat dissed by a kid who went on to make his own hat from proper Lego. Click here to read it.

I reckon he must have felt like a bit of a brick (misprint!)

Obviously many other rock stars have worn hats that were somewhat loud; Slash and Jay off of Jamiroquai to name but two. I just felt that Will.i.am’s millinery disaster zone was even worse than one time Guns n Roses member; Buckethead. What did you, dear readers think of it?

I also wonder whether that mild obsession with the Danish plastic toy will lead to worse things for Will.i.am, like Lego Porn, you have been warned!

But back to Will.i.am and the other Black Eyed Peas, have you seen their new video, for the new single “Time(Dirty Bit)”? There is a lot of pixellation that makes them seem somewhat Legoized. See what did I tell you it really will be Lego porn next!

 

 
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