With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

With Just A Hint Of Mayhem is ten years old! Part 3 February 2, 2019


It’s time for part 3/ day 3 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem 10th birthday celebrations with another top ten. This time rock/ music related books, biographies and autobiographies. Regular readers will know that so far I have shared with you top ten most viewed posts on the blog since it began back in February 2009 and yesterday the top ten countries that have given With Just A Hint Of Mayhem the most views. (Click here and here to view those again). OK but what about your favourite tunes and stuff I hear you say? Don’t worry there will definitely be plenty of music in the coming days including things like my top ten favourite singles, albums, bands and more stuff too! There was also a lot of music on yesterday’s post and with this book post too.

Don’t forget that you can also find us on Twitter  and FaceBook .

The book list is in no particular order, other than Ian Hunter being number one!

  • Diary Of A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star – Ian Hunter – an honest and very funny stroll through Ian Hunter’s early 70s diary
  • My Thoughts Exactly – Lily Allen – Lily opens her soul in this very honest and hard-hitting autobiography
  • Rod – Rod Stewart – probably the funniest autobiography that I have ever read
  • Life – Keith Richards – Keef proves how great a raconteur he is and that he remains a fan boy when it comes to the blues greats
  • Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. : A Memoir – Viv Albertine – Easily among the best music related autobiographies ever written. Viv is sharp open and full of confidence
  • England’s Dreaming – Jon Savage – a detailed and colourful perspective on how the UK punk scene arose and its wider impact on social norms and social history
  • Scar Tissue – Anthony Kiedis – Kiedis tackles relationships, drugs and success. His description of an encounter with the Dalai Lama is proper laugh out loud
  • Last Train To Memphis: The Rise Of Elvis Presley – Peter Guralnick – this shows the human side of a young man from Tupelo who met with unprecedented success at supersonic speed. Almost scary at times
  • Hammer Of The Gods – Stephen Davis – if even half of these anecdotes are true then Led Zep are still truly legendary
  • Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties – Ian MacDonald – an in-depth analysis of the Fab Four and their impact on pretty much everything in the 60s and beyond

 

 

 

Lily Allen – ‘My Thoughts Exactly’ January 10, 2019

Filed under: Book,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:36 pm
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I have read many music related biographies and autobiographies and I believe that a lot of them never live up to expectations. However Lilly Allen’s is easily up there with the best. It is incredibly honest, brutally so at times. She is not afraid of exposing her own demons and insecurities in any form and this is most certainly not a salaciously delivered tell all gossip style work.

Lily comes across as a very strong feminist with a barbed sharpness for exposing the manipulative, cynical and misogynistic behaviour of a lot of men in the music industry. Some of these men clearly and blatantly abuse their position and prey on women, particularly younger women. She talks of her battles with drugs and mental health. The stories of the paparazzi and tabloid treatment of Lily’s private life sickens me. But it is no less than any genuine person would expect from the scum that work in the vile, gutter press.

Ms. Allen describes her family at great length. The strange and often strained relationship she has with her parents, particularly her father. There are some lighter moments, notably the tale of Lily and her brother Alfie meeting Princess Diana when they were kids. That was laugh out loud until you choke kind of funny.  This book is for me one of the best music related autobiographies that I have ever read and easily fits into my top five. In case you were interested the other four, in no particular order, are;

  • Diary Of A Rock ‘N’ Roll Star – Ian Hunter
  • Rod – Rod Stewart
  • Life – Keith Richards
  • Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. : A Memoir – Viv Albertine

Public Service Announcement: Photos and videos were all found via Google and YouTube. If any of them are yours and you would like a credit or for me to take them down please let me know.

 

Catherine Rocks The Cleveland Way! May 26, 2018


Many of you who know me will by now know that my wonderful wife Catherine will very soon be embarking on a mammoth 109 mile charity walk on the Cleveland Way in the North East of England. A map of the Cleveland Way is shown at the very end of this post. Why is she doing this? Well four years ago Catherine and I were totally devastated by the loss of two children as a result of an adoption disruption. It was clear to us that the support needed by vulnerable children was just not available. There was no money and no urgency to the long term support that was needed. It is incredibly important to both of us that the children and young people in our community have access to the support they need to thrive and to grow into happy and resilient adults. We know that we are unable to do anything now for the children we lost, but we want to try and make a difference to the lives of other children and young people. We want to do whatever we can to try and prevent what happened to our children from happening again. Please feel free to contribute toward Catherine’s target of £10,000. Her efforts so far means that she is already at 46% of that total. Click here for the link to donate.

Anything you can add to that will be invaluable to the two charities we are supporting. Those charities are The Island (Enhancing the quality of life for vulnerable children and young people in York) and SASH (Working to prevent homelessness in young people aged 16-25 in York, North Yorkshire & East Yorkshire).

The Island offers support to vulnerable 8-13 years olds in York who are struggling to cope at home, at school, or in the wider community, or who are experiencing difficult transitions in their lives. The Island links these young people with volunteer mentors with whom they meet on a weekly basis over the course of a year (or longer if required). This allows them to develop supportive, ongoing relationships, whilst also providing them with the undivided attention and the ‘islands of space and time’ they need to increase their confidence and self-esteem, participate in worthwhile recreational activities, and move forward in their lives.

SASH run supported lodgings schemes which help young people develop the skills they need to live on their own. They provide an emergency nightstop service that makes a difference to young people’s lives when most needed.

Both charities need your support. They only exist because people in our community care enough to help them do what they do. Please click here to find Catherine’s Virgin Money Giving page. Now obviously this blog is essentially a music blog so I have picked ten walking themed songs (ok the first one loosely links to Catherine’s walking route) I hope that you enjoy them. In fact feel free to listen while you donate 🙂

 

 

“Everybody hazy shell-shocked and crazy screaming for the face at the window” November 16, 2016


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Mick Jones was also a big Mott fan

Guy Steven’s is seen by many as some kind of rock evangelist. he had an incredibly broad R& B record collection and he was also the man who ran Chuck Berry’s UK fan club. He was also a bit of a bad boy who served eight months in Wormwood Scrubs for drug possession. It was during his incarceration that he formed the idea for his next master-plan. He had a vision of a band who could mix the Rolling Stones raunchiness with Bob Dylan’s electric folk take on life with a hint of the wild path taken by Jerry Lee Lewis. While he was in the infamous ‘The Scrubs’ he even thought of a name for this up to now mythical band. It would be called Mott The Hoople after the Willard Manus novel about a ‘Hoople’  (effectively an eccentric loser) called Norman Mott. On his release he met various future Mott members and the rest my friends is history!

Mott The Hoople

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Ian Hunter and the Rant Band – Sheffield City Hall Ballroom – Thursday 2nd October 2014 October 5, 2014


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On Thursday I went to see the magnificent Ian Hunter and the superb Rant Band play in Sheffield. This was my second Hunter show in two years, I previously saw him in Harrogate in 2012. The support band was the stunning blues rock outfit Federal Charm from Manchester. They are a very tight unit musically and their lead singer Nick Bowden has shades of a young Paul Rodgers in his singing. I bought their album at the gig and it is a great set for listening to when driving or probably many other activities too. You should check them out. Click here for their Facebook page.

Ian-Hunter

On to the main man though. Mr Hunter was on top form as expected and the Rant Band are just bloody good as always. It looked like Ian and the band were really enjoying themselves on stage too. It was an excellent set with the highlights for me being the old Mott songs “All The Way From Memphis” and “All The Young Dudes” both of which probably had everyone in the crowd singing along. I certainly was. But my favourite two songs of the evening were “When I’m President” which works better live than it does in it’s recorded form, probably because it is such a great song. The other was the poignant “Michael Picasso” which was originally released as a part of Hunter’s ‘Artful Dodger’ album in 1996. It is a heartfelt tribute to the late, great Mick Ronson. I must admit that the lyrics often bring tears to my eyes, as they did on Thursday.

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Sadly the UK part of the tour is over now, but I urge you to go and see Ian and the band the next time they tour. You will not be disappointed. There are still plenty of dates left rolling into January. These are in Scandinavia, Japan and the USA. His merchandise stand was selling a ‘Live In The UK 2010′ CD which showcases just how good the band are in live performance. So while you’re waiting for that next tour get your hands on a copy of that CD. I have one final question how can Mr Hunter look so fit and young into his 70s? I need that secret! For another great review of Ian Hunter on this tour go to the backseatmafia blog who was at the Holmfirth show. I should add that none of the videos or pictures or videos on this post were taken by me and in fact none are from the Sheffield gig.

 

“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.

 

Ian Hunter – Harrogate Theatre Thursday 25th October 2012 October 25, 2012


I had the good fortune to accompany my good buddy John Williams to a gig in Harrogate on Thursday. Not just any gig, but an Ian Hunter gig. Someone who I have always liked but up until now had never seen play live. So I was anticipating great things. Did we get great things? Well let me talk about the support act first and then I will tell you!

Otis Gibbs all the way from Wanamaker, Missouri provided a very entertaining support set. He has some great songs, many of them well written story songs. He also engages really well with the audience between songs. Otis Gibbs; talented, humorous, good bloke and frankly bloody good at what he does!

As I said earlier I was expecting great things from Mr Hunter and I can say that categorically he didn’t let us down. He was, and I use this word sparingly these days, awesome. He started the show with two great rockers “Comfortable” from his new album and the classic “Once Bitten Twice Shy“. He played a lot of songs from the new album including the superb title track “When I’m President”, the wonderful “Black Tears” and a song that grows on me every time I hear it “Ta Shunka Witco (Crazy Horse)”

Obviously he played some classic Mott The Hoople tracks including “All The Way From Memphis” and “Roll Away The Stone“. Then there was the obligatory (well Mott played it often) cover of the Velvet Underground‘s “Sweet Jane“. But that wasn’t the end of the Mott songs. During the encore they played my two favourite Mott The Hoople songs; the sublime “Saturday Gigs” and the best song Bowie wrote and never released himself “All The Young Dudes“. A stupendous end to a great set from a brilliant artist and indeed an excellent band; the Rant Band. Ian is 73 now but he rocks better than many younger rock stars.

Mr Hunter thank you for an excellent night and keep on rockin’ dude! Let me finish with a short clip of “Saturday Gigs” from tonight which was filmed on my positively ancient Nokia as were the photographs in this post.

 

 
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