With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You’ll take me aside, and say ‘Well, David, what shall I do?'” – David Bowie Is Happening Now – Cinema Event 13th August 2013 August 13, 2013


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Back in May it was my pleasure to visit the marvellous ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Click here to see my post about the museum visit. Well that exhibition is now ready to go on tour and the exhibits will soon be on display in Toronto, Canada. The show at the V & A closed on Sunday 11th August, but as a special send off there has been a nationwide cinema event live from the museum as a kind of epilogue before it moves abroad.

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It was presented by the two curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh. Other guest presenters included author Hanif Kureishi who went to the same school as Bowie and wrote the Buddha Of Suburbia for which David wrote the soundtrack. Japanese fashion designer who provided many of Bowie’s more outlandish Ziggy garbs and choreographer Michael Clark also presented. The amusing and intelligent persona that is Jarvis Cocker had a chance to say his piece. There were many others too, but sadly no appearance from the main man himself.

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But a look behind the scenes and some wonderful background explanations from the curators made up for that to a small degree. It was a well put together and well-informed send off for such a major exhibition which was seen by more than 300,000 people and up to 20,000 in cinemas across the UK this evening. Like many people I was glued to the TV watching Top Of The Pops on July 6th 1972 when Bowie and the Spiders made that now seminal appearance to perform “Starman”. I was transfixed then and have been hooked ever since. If you plan to see this exhibition on its tour I would love to hear from you and I am sure it will blow you away!

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“Louder than sirens louder than bells sweeter than heaven and hotter than hell” a.k.a. 12 drummers drumming December 24, 2012


12 drummers drummingpsddd

Please tell me that this is the last gifts my true love is sending me for the 12 days of Christmas. I have just about managed to squeeze the 12 drummers into the cupboard, but what the hell am I going to do with 12 bloody huge drum kits? Anyway did you know that the 364 items given as gifts in the 12 days of Christmas song would cost £67,000 this year according to PNC Wealth Management. That is a 6.1% increase on the previous year. I have searched high and low to snare some good songs about drumming that might help to ‘cymbalize’ Christmas. Look out for a couple of Billy Bonuses to end this series of posts too.

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First up is the lovely Florence Welch and her Machine with “Drumming Song”. The song was released as a single in 2009 and managed a lowly number 54 in the UK. It comes from the album ‘Lungs’ an international hit LP that went to number 1 in the UK and top 5 in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. The single did slightly better in the NMEs top 50 songs of the year for 2009 where it finished 48th. “Drumming Song” was nominated for best video at the 2009 Q Awards and Best Pop Video at the UK Music Video Awards in the same year. Whilst it won neither of these it did take the prize for Best Styling In A Video at the UK Awards.

Florence + The Machine - Spectrum

Bing+Crosby++David+Bowie++2[1]

The second song I have chosen for you today is probably an obvious choice for a festive song to those of you who know me. It’s the Dame and the Crooner; better known as David Bowie and Bing Crosby with “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy”. The former was written especially for Bowie’s appearance on Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas TV show. The show was recorded in September 1977 and it was alleged that Crosby didn’t know who Bowie was. personally I doubt that is true. Bowie also performed “Heroes” on the show. the music press utilised all their black humour skills in late 1977 suggesting that no one would ever want to appear on TV with Bowie. This was largely because he had recorded TV shows with Marc Bolan and then Bing Crosby and within a few weeks both Bolan and Crosby had died. “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” was finally released as a single in the UK in 1982. It reached number 3 in the UK and Germany and number 6 in Ireland that year.

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And next up is the first of my Billy Bonuses for today, supreme drummer Cozy Powell with “Dance With Devil”

And an extra Billy Bonus for your delight. When I was at school I sat next to a young man who was already a skillful drummer and he went on to ply his trade with the Tom Robinson Band and Stiff Little Fingers. His name is Brian ‘Dolphin’ Taylor. I haven’t seen him in more than 30 years. But Brian if you happen to be reading this feel free to get in touch.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very, very funky happy Christmas and a groovy new year :-)

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very, very funky happy Christmas and a groovy new year 🙂

 

“Yet there’s still this appeal that we’ve kept through our lives” June 24, 2012


Many of you will already know that the NME celebrates its 60th birthday this year. It was first published in March of 1952, it was later that year that it also published the first ever UK singles chart based on sales. That was in November 1952 and featured Al Martino‘s “Here In My Heart” at number one.

As part of their birthday celebrations the NME has published a list of the top 100 songs since the paper has been around. I’m sure that there will be plenty of debate about what is in and what isn’t in the list. I was particularly surprised that there are no songs from the 50’s included. How about Elvis Presley’sHeartbreak Hotel” that was pretty damned ground breaking. Incidentally the spread of songs from the other periods are;

60s = 22

70s = 16

80s = 19

90s = 19

00s/ 10s = 24

Why not cast your vote in my favourite decade poll below 🙂

My favourite song of all time; Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” reaches number 86 and Mr Bowie has “Space Oddity” at number 39 and another song in the top 5 (more of that one later). The Beatles have three entries in the top 100. Thankfully Westlife, Cheryl Cole and their ilk are nowhere to be seen in this list.

So without further ado and in traditional reverse order here is the top 5;

5 “Blue Monday” – New Order

4 “Good Vibrations” – Beach Boys

3 “”Heroes”” – David Bowie

2 “Common People” – Pulp

1 “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division

If you’re interested click here to find the top 50 (I haven’t been able to find a site that shows the whole 100)

 

“And the shame was on the other side” November 29, 2011


This weekend the UK press was reporting that a musical featuring the music of David Bowie would première at the IndigO2 in London next March. It would be called ‘Heroes : The Musical’ and was written by Deep Singh he thought he had obtained permission to use the songs. However it would seem that permission has not been given.

Nope I can't hear you. Permission? No chance dude!

A statement from David Bowie and his management issued this weekend reads; ‘ Neither the David Bowie Organization, nor its co-publishers EMI Music and Chrysalis, has issued a license for this performance at the O2. There are no negotiations pending for a long running musical featuring the music of Mr. Bowie’.

You want permission to use my music? Better give me a call on the diamond dog n bone mate

Personally I’m quite pleased. I really don’t like musicals and the thought of one based on the songs of David Bowie leaves me cold. What do you folks think?

Bowie prepares for his kick ass bling musical version of Diamond Dogs

 

“And I didn’t mean to hurt you, but I know that in the game of love you reap what you sow” October 12, 2011


Here we are again just about a year after the X Factor finalists last murdered a song the new batch of pop muppets are killing another classic. Last year it was Bowie’s “Heroes” and this year it’s Rose Royce’s 1978 hit “Wishing On A Star”. The only saving grace is that at least the proceeds go
to charity. However why not donate to the charity directly (use Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer) and not buy the single. That way the X Factor has a flop single on its hands and the charity gets more money. Let’s face it how many charity singles get played again after the first couple of weeks (or days even!) So if you’re thinking of buying this years X Factor charity single, it’s simple; don’t! Just make a donation directly to the charity. Click here to go to the ACT & Children’s Hospices UK website and do the right thing! I’ve made my donation to the value of 5 copies of the single!

Now enjoy the original of the Rose Royce song and an excellent cover version by Paul Weller too. Obviously as a big Bowie fan I have included the original of “Heroes” as well!

 

“They take some brain away, then turn my face around” January 8, 2011


Bowie was an early adopter of the guitar string floss method

OK perhaps a tad late, but it is still just about 8th January where I am. Anyway I would like you all to join me in a quick chorus of Happy Birthday for David Robert Jones, better known as David Bowie to most of you and possibly even the Dame to longstanding NME readers. I became a Bowie fan in September 1972 after that now legendary performance of “Starman” on Top Of The Pops. Many, many people had their Bowie epiphany from this performance, understandably too, it was otherworldly and alien. Even now it is quite a striking performance, especially subtle touches, like Bowie draping his arm around Mick Ronson‘s shoulders. It might all seem quite innocuous and tame nowadays, but in 1972 it was so very far out there.

That performance was shown on a Thursday night and two days later I raided my piggy bank and purchased four Bowie albums on cassette; “Space Oddity”, “The Man Who Sold The World“, “Hunky Dory” and “The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars“. After about 18 months I had worn them all out! I first saw Bowie in 1976 and have now seen him 8 times in total, although if the rumours are to be believed we may never see him in concert again. However if you’re reading this David, can we at least have another album or two?

I have another piece of very slightly related Bowie news. My good friend Nick Horslen appeared on BBC Radio Berkshire earlier this week to do an interview about his life as a business coach, small business supporter, charity volunteer and many other things. He chose a few songs to play during his slot, notably Mr Bowie’s “Heroes” alongside “Harvest For The World” from the Isley Brothers and “We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles. He interviewed really well and I would also like to thank him for the excellent shout he gave this very blog. You can still hear the interview on the BBC iPlayer for a few days at least. Click here for the link and wind it forward to around 2 hours and 4 minutes and you’ll be able to listen to Nick’s interview on BBC Radio Berkshire’s Phil Gayle Show.

Now take some time out to enjoy a couple of Bowie classics and a couple that don’t get played much. Happy 64th birthday Mr Jones!

 

“Arms that chain us, arms that lie” December 1, 2010


So the X Factor finalists have their own Top Trumps game? In my opinion it's kind of appropriate as trump is another word for fart and this bunch barely have a muppet fart of talent between them!

Firstly this post is NOT in my Advent Calendar series OK? It’s another random selection of music stuff. Firstly and I am saddened to say it in many, many ways a Bowie song is at number one in the UK. It’s the X Factor finalists cover of Bowie’s “Heroes” Thankfully I haven’t been able to hear Wagner on the recording. The singles only other saving grace is that it is raising funds for the ‘Help For Heroes‘ charity which supports those British soldiers that have been injured in the ridiculous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that we followed the Americans into. But believe me, it is the UK Government I have a gripe with and especially former Prime Minister Tony Blair, I have every respect for all the British troops that are out there right now. Go and buy the single and throw it away if you have to. In the meantime take a look at the classic original below.

You know I always thought that Santa's Elves were a little more cuddly than this!

Next some very good X Factor related news. Corey Taylor off of Slipknot has recorded a Christmas single and he wants it to beat whatever single the X Factor show produces for the Christmas slot. Let’s get behind this one people, let’s make Corey this years “Killing In The Name Of“. Buy it and keep a muppet off the number one spot. The song is called “X-M@$”. Check it out below and click here to read the NME report about the song.

US politics often baffles me, especially where outgoing officials are allowed to grant pardons for previous misdemeanours by various criminals, jailbirds and wrongly accused. However I was pleasantly surprised to read that the ousted Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, has issued a pardon for Jim Morrison off of the Doors following the singers arrest for allegedly getting his todger out on stage in Miami in 1969. Fair play Charlie and frankly, about bloody time too! It has always bothered me that with all the people and all the police at that concert there was never any evidence to prove that Jim actually did the deed. Read about the pardon by clicking here.

Enjoy “Break On Through” below

Apparently it was the dog's bollocks that Jim exposed, not his own!

 

 
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