With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Mike Garson’s “A Bowie Celebration… Just For One Day” – Saturday January 9th 2021 January 19, 2021


I have watched a few streamed shows since this awful pandemic kicked in and like many of us I don’t believe that this type of show can ever replace real gigs. But for now this is all we have so let’s use it. As a huge Bowie fan for nearly 50 years I was obviously looking forward to this show. It was curated by the Dame’s long term piano man Mike Garson and included a wonderful range of Bowie alumni and a stack of special guests performing songs (around 40) from across the Starman’s career. It was an “as live” stream but incredibly well put together. The behind the scenes crew deserve a huge round of applause, they clearly did an amazing job, which in turn helped to provide us punters with three hours of classy Bowie themed entertainment.

First up was Duran Duran with their version of the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album opener “Five Years”, I have never been a huge fan of Simon Le Bon’s voice, but this was a staggeringly good version of an iconic song. Duran Duran really pulled this off with aplomb. Lzzy Hale off of Halestorm was aided and abetted by Tony award winning actress and singer Lena Hall for a wonderfully theatrical cover of “Moonage Daydream”, very much a star performance from Lzzy and Lena. I have been a Smashing Pumpkins fan for many years, so I was looking forward to Billy Corgan’s piano led take on “Space Oddity”. But I felt it wasn’t a great performance, I am really not sure that Billy’s voice suited the song in this setting. Sorry Mr Corgan! Perry Farrell took on “The Man Who Sold The World” partnered by his wife Etty Lau Farrell and it was a perfect spine tingling take on one of Bowie’s finest tunes. Next there was a bluesy run through a somewhat deep cut, “Bring Me The Disco King” by Anna Calvi. This was originally a track released as a part of 2003’s ‘Reality’ album. Regular readers will know that I am not a fan of Take That’s Gary Barlow, so I cringed a little when I saw his name on the list. But to be very honest the boy did good. Barlow didn’t choose an easy option and went with 1975’s “Fame”. A real Five Star performance from Mr Barlow.

Living Colour’s Corey Glover was spot on with his gorgeous run through of “Young Americans”. This was followed by one of my favourite songs from that period, “Can You Hear Me” performed by the obscenely talented Gail Ann Dorsey who played in Bowie’s band for many years. “Sweet Thing/ Candidate/ Sweet Thing (Reprise)” is a tough song to cover but Bernard Fowler, highly regarded backing vocalist who has supplied backing vox to the Stones among many others didn’t just cover the song, he owned it and frankly, blew me away. Possibly my favourite performance of the whole event. Charlie Sexton, a man who has played with an incredible number of music luminaries appeared next with a funky work out of the 1983 classic “Let’s Dance” the first of four songs by him on the night. Judith Hill, a woman who has worked with Michael Jackson, Prince and John Legend to name just a few was next with a haunting rendition of “Lady Stardust” backed by some beautiful piano from Mike Garson. “Changes” as reimagined by Macy Gray was epic, where have you been Macy, the world needs you. Kevin Armstrong who worked with Bowie in the 80s played a rather excellent version of the Mick Ronson arrangement of Richard Rodgers’ “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” which was dedicated by Mike Garson, to the memory of Ronson, Bowie and all Bowie alumni that have passed away.

Jazz Singer Catherine Russell sang an arrangement of “Conversation Piece” from the ‘Space Oddity’ album that was completely unrecognisable from the original and for me that made it a perfect cover version, I loved it! Next up was the return of Charlie Sexton with a Stones style take on Bowie’s Stones pastiche “Rebel Rebel”. This is one of my favourite songs from Bowie and Sexton did a great job with it. Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot was on board for two songs and I was a little surprised at his first one, “Win” from 1975’s ‘Young Americans’ album. Surprised but definitely not disappointed, Joe’s voice was immaculate and accompanied by the kind of piano heaven we have come to expect from Mike Garson. For the second song in his brace of Bowie Joe Elliott rocked hard through a powerful performance of “Ziggy Stardust”. Taylor Momsen frontwoman of the Pretty Reckless had a film to accompany her rendition of one of my favourite Bowie songs, especially lyrically, “Quicksand”. She really did the Dame proud it was quite moving at times and I love the subtle touches of her film, and to finish having written Bowie’s name in the sand was special indeed. Charlie Sexton returned for two more songs “DJ” and “Blue Jean”. Both of them fine performances and in fact the latter has moved me to reappraise my view of Bowie’s 80s output which is in my opinion mostly his low point artistically. But on this evidence, perhaps “Blue Jean” isn’t so bad after all. I saw Michael C Hall in the lead role of Thomas Jerome Newton in the Bowie musical ‘Lazarus’ in London in 2016, he was rather wonderful in that and his incredibly moving version of “Where Are We Now” here was wonderful too.

Foo Fighter’s drummer Taylor Hawkins, ably supported by Dave Navarro played a lively and rambunctious “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide”. This segued into Corey Taylor doing “Hang On To Yourself” aided and abetted by Dave Navarro, Taylor Hawkins and Chris Chaney. But that segue included a nice little romp through “Little Fat Man” from Bowie’s appearance in Ricky Gervais’ ‘Extras’. Actor Gary Oldman was next accompanied by Mike Garson’s eloquent ivories for “I Can’t Read”. I liked that a lot! Jesse Malin’s “Jean Genie” really was top drawer, he aced it. The return of Gail Ann Dorsey brought with it a touchingly sublime take on “Srangers When We Meet”. The show then rocked out wildly with Peter Frampton on “Suffragette City” duties. This was followed by a brace of songs by a great friend and sometime collaborator of Bowie, Trent Reznor supported by Atticus Roos for “Fantastic Voyage” and “Fashion”. “Fantastic Voyage” which was never played often by Bowie was pretty darned good. Ian Astbury tackle “Lazarus”, he did well and put a lot of emotion into it, but I would also liked to have seen Ian tackle something more rock based, even a Tin Machine track maybe. YUNGBLUD poured his very essence into “Life On Mars” and it payed off in dividends, legendary keyboard player Rick Wakeman supported Mr BLUD. Long time Bowie fan Boy George was on top form for his medley of “Lady Grinning Soul”, “Time” and “Aladdin Sane (1913-1938-197?)”. Mr O’Dowd, great respect from me, you nailed it. I was particularly looking forward to Ian Hunter’s performance and I wasn’t disappointed. He kicked off with his Bowie tribute “Dandy” and finished, obviously, with my favourite Bowie song ever, “All The Young Dudes”. I have never been much of a fan of Adam Lambert but there is no denying that he really did “Starman” well, perhaps enough to make me an Adam Lambert fan, time will tell. Judith Hill returned to support Andra Day as they cranked up “Under Pressure” into something even more anthemic than Bowie and Queen managed originally. Bernard Fowler closed proceedings with a highly charged “Heroes” which included some rather excellent drumming from Nandi Bushell.

The credits rolled with a rather decent “Ashes To Ashes” instrumental. Let us not forget the great band members and Bowie alumni that performed throughout the event too, Mike Garson especially, thank you for putting this together Mr Garson. Other band members throughout the evening, that I haven’t already mentioned, were, I think, Guitar: Earl Slick, Gerry Leonard and Carlos Alomar Bass: Carmine Rojas, Mark Plati, Tony Visconti, Tony Levin, Emir Kasan, Erdal Kizcilcay Keyboards: Richard Cottle, Henry Hey; Drums: Alan Childs, Zach Alford, Sterling Campbell, Matt Chamberlain, Omar Hakim, Mark Guiliana, John Lousteau, Gregg Errico, Andy Newark; Backing vocals: Gaby Moreno, Everett Bradley, Robin Clark, Emm Gryner, Ava Cherry, Simon Westbrook; Percussion: Pablo Rosario; Sax: David Sanborn, Clare Hirst, Stan Harrison. I am sure I have missed some names, but thank you to one and all this was a very special event and Mr Bowie would have loved it!

All the photos and videos were found online. If they are yours and you would like a credit or want them taken down please let me know

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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.

 

“‘Cause Chelsea girls are the best in the world for company” October 24, 2010


This post is just a collection of things I have found on the net recently or of things that have been sent to me during the past few weeks. Kicking off with a dance master class from the Godfather Of Funk Mr James Brown. Click here to see it. Check out his robot dance……… totally awesome! Then watch the video below to see him in action on the Shindig TV show in 1965 with “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag

James thought to himself "Man that was some fart!"

Next up is an animated film that accompanied “Basketball Jones” from the mighty Cheech and Chong. I first saw this on the Old Grey Whistle Test in the mid 70s and I have loved it ever since. What do you folks think of it?

The new UK charts were revealed just a few hours ago and unsurprisingly the new Kings Of Leon album tops the album chart. There are also two entries in the top ten for the Beatles with the remastered reissues of the red and blue compilations from the 70s. Meanwhile the new UK number one single is what I probably have to describe as a guilty pleasure for me. It’s not something I would usually like it’s “Just The Way You Are (Amazing)” from Hawaiian singer Bruno Mars. The video does some really clever stuff with cassette tape.

Give me a 'P' please BOB

I would like to introduce an artist that is very new to me, her name is Clarita De Quiroz, (click here for her web site). I discovered thanks to a work colleague who has a friend who has recently written some songs for her. She is definitely worth checking out. She is very gorgeous and very talented….. a bit like me then 😉

Not many people realised that Carlita had started life as a showroom dummy

And finally a clip from the Mott The Hoople reunion gigs at Hammersmith last October. I so wanted to be there, but I couldn’t get tickets. This song is probably my favourite Hoople song, “Saturday Gigs“. It was their final single and the only one they released with the late, great Mick Ronson in the band.

 

“Bless my cotton socks I’m in the news” October 17, 2010


Earlier this week I finished reading the two volumes of Julian Cope‘s autobiography; ‘Head-On‘ and ‘Reposessed’ and I enjoyed them both immensely. I was no more than a casual fan of the Teardrop Explodes, although the fact that their name originated from a Marvel comic certainly sparked some interest in me. I always felt they were far better than some of the over-produced cack that the early 80s pumped out (Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran etc)

 

Julian cope struggles to find his guitar which opted for the hide in plain sight option

 

I got into Julian’s solo output in the early 90s, which is after the period that the two books cover. ‘Head-On’ runs up to 1982 and ‘Repossessed’ from 1983 to 1989. Both books are incredibly open and honest and Julian bares both his soul and his feelings regularly. I think he comes across as a great bloke, who stays loyal to his friends, know’s his enemies and is very, very much in love with his wife Dorian. Incidentally a friend of mine (thank you Mr Hayhurst) once met Dorian at a Black Crowes gig, he said she was lovely.

 

Clearly too much acid can leave your eyes fried!

 

I got a real sense from his writing that he really knows who he is, although perhaps he didn’t in the early days, and where he wants to go. I was also very pleasantly surprised to read about his interest in toy collecting, in particular toy cars. They say that all of us men revert to childhood as we get older and perhaps that’s why my comic collection appears to be growing at the same rate as Julian’s toy collection did!

The book includes some great pieces on many of the people involved in the Liverpool scene of the late 70s/ early 80s; Echo and the Bunnymen‘s Ian McCulloch and Pete DeFrietas, Pete Burns (eventually off of Dead Or Alive), Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford (eventually off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Pete Wylie (off of various incarnations of Wah) and Bill Drummond (eventually off of one of my favourite 90s acts; the KLF)

 

When times were hard Julian would play anywhere with anyone!

 

The stories of touring America are on a par with Ian Hunter’s fabulous ‘Diary Of A Rock N Roll Star’ which is probably my favourite biographical rock book ever! As for the stories of Mr Cope’s solo tours in Japan, well they are just bloody hilarious. So if you like a good rock music book check these out! I am an even bigger fan after reading these books and finally in the words of Julian himself ‘Awlright!’

So before you take a look at the videos and sounds below check out Julian’s excellent Head Heritage site.

 

 
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