With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“From feudal serf to spender, this wonderful world of purchase power” September 15, 2009


Me and my helmet :-)

Me and my helmet 🙂

Here we go again folks and I have some brilliant news, well it was brilliant for me anyway. On Saturday I spent the day at the Riders Edge Harley Davidson centre in Wales. This was a gift experience which was given to me as a birthday present by the wonderful and beautiful Catwoman for my 50th birthday back in January. You have to bear in mind that I have never been on a motorbike in my life. So to say I was a little apprehensive at first would be a major understatement. Let’s just say that I made sure I packed a clean pair of under crackers…….just in case!

Anyway being a complete novice I spent the morning, around three hours riding a 500cc machine around the private roads within the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Whilst I never fell off once I came close a couple of times! I guess I pictured in my head having to lean right over when taking corners, but that’s for the speed freaks, at the speeds I was doing taking a corner upright was easy. Incidentally while it felt much, much faster I don’t think I got above 40 mph. For me the coordination required to change gear with your left foot while not looking down at all was very difficult. But when you think about it it really shouldn’t be. I mean I don’t look down when I change gear in the car so why should I need to when riding a motorbike? Well perhaps because I’m not using a gear stick with my hand but trying to change it with my foot. But by the end of the morning session I had reached the dizzy heights of 5th gear twice and stalled less than ten times in total and as I said earlier, I never fell off or crashed once! The last part was a great result for me as I fully expected to take a few spills.

Me on a Harley

Me on a Harley

So after just three hours on the saddle they sadly weren’t going to let me loose on a fabulous Harley on my own. However I did get a pillion ride on a gorgeous Harley Davidson machine under the control of one of the Rider’s Edge expert instructors, Ian. Having never even ridden pillion before that too was also a great experience for me. Cruising around some wonderful Welsh countryside. Great weather, great views and remarkably attractive sheep, well at least I would imagine they are attractive if you’re perhaps Welsh or a Kiwi.

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all the folks at Riders Edge. Especially Clive, who was my instructor in the morning and also Ian with whom I rode pillion in the afternoon.

In the meantime and as this is really a music related blog let’s steer it back in that direction! Can you guess what today’s theme might be? Well it’s a bit obvious really isn’t it? Today’s theme is Motorbikes! Here are a few motorbike or motorbike related songs with a morsel of trivia about each of the artists or songs

“Motorcycle Emptiness” – Manic Street Preachers. This was the fifth single to be taken from the band’s Generation Terrorists album in 1992. The lyrics are inspired by a book about biker gang culture called Rumble Fish which was written by S E Hinton

“Motorbikin’”– Chris Spedding. This 1975 Top 20 hit was Spedding’s biggest and he is perhaps best known as a sought after session guitarist. He has played with many artists including; Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, John Cale, Katie Melua, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Jeff Wayne and even the Wombles! He also famously played on and produced three demos for the Sex Pistols in 1976. The three songs were “No Feelings”, “Problems” and “Pretty Vacant”

“Funky Moped” – Jasper Carrot. This was a surprise hit for Mr Carrot in 1975. The single was backed with a risque monologue based around the 60s TV series the “Magic Roundabout“, which at the time I thought was bloody hilarious! he also has a thespian daughter; Lucy Davis who played Dawn in the Office. She was excellent in that series don’t you think?

“Silver Dream Machine”– David Essex. At the age of 23 in 1971 David took the lead role in the musical Godspell on the London Stage. I actually went to see that show as part of a school trip in 1972 when he was still in it. Our coach was delayed because all the girls on the trip had gathered outside the stage door to scream and get his autograph. It was around the time he released his first major single “Rock On”. My first serious girlfriend; Gay Topsom, was a big David Essex fan and I remember buying her each of his singles as soon as they were released. I never had enough money to stretch to an album. But we were together for two years from 1975 to 1977 so I guess that’s a fair amount of singles. She left me for a guy who was slightly older and more importantly had a car! But you know what I’m over that now and if you’re reading this Gay, I forgive you 🙂

“Bat Out Of Hell”– Meatloaf. Meat was born Marvin Lee Aday on 27th September 1947 so he will turn 62 in a couple of weeks. get your cards written and sent now folks. Jim Steinman the producer and I suppose you could say creator of Meat’s landmark Bat Out Of Hell album was apparently trying to get something that sounded like a cross between Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen. Well I for one reckon he succeeded. What do you think?

“Born To Be Wild”– Steppenwolf. This band hailed from Toronto and many credit their recording of the iconic “Born To Be Wild” as the first Heavy Metal record, although just as many disagree. It has had a long association with motorbikes, very likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Easy Rider which starred Peter Fonda

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager :-)

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager 🙂

I am sure that you can think of plenty more so fire away folks!

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager ;-)

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager 😉

 

“We were barely 17 and we were barely dressed” March 11, 2009


Hello dear readers and welcome to the 11th March, coming up there’ll be one birthday and four ‘onthisdays’. But just before those here is yet another blatant plug for my son’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ check them out and tell me what you think of them, add them as a friend on MySpace too if you haven’t done so already, click their name for the link.

So in yet another attempt to post a short one (oooooerr missus!) here comes that birthday.

Today is the 59th birthday of Bobby McFerrin who had a massive hit in 1988 with the rather excellent “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (UK 2, US 1 that is it’s respective chart positions and not an international soccer score in case you were wondering). It was the first a capella song to reach the top of the Billboard charts in the US. The phrase “Don’t Worry Be Happy” comes originally from the teachings of Meher Baba. His teachings were followed at times by Pete Townshend of the Who

Bobby was having the worst bad hair day of his life!

Bobby was having the worst bad hair day of his life!

On this day in 1967 the music publisher Dick James announced that the Beatles song (well it’s Macca’s really) “Yesterday” had been recorded by 446 acts at that point. Considering the song was only released in 1965 that’s pretty good going It is now believed that there are more than 3,000 recorded versions. The song is believed to have been performed more than 3 million times in the last century according to the BMI. Paul McCartney gave the tune the working title of “Scrambled Eggs” before he wrote the lyrics. Here are two cover versions of the song, firstly from Dogpatch Debbie, it’s certainly different and then a great version from the late great (oh yes they’re back!) Ray Charles

Paul's audience were somewhat surprised when he decided to cover "I'm A Little Teapot Short And Stout"

Paul's audience were somewhat surprised when he decided to cover "I'm A Little Teapot Short And Stout"

On this day in 1978 there was some shocking news (geddit?). French singer Claude Francois was electrocuted while changing a light bulb when he was standing in his bathtub, presumably with water in. he had a UK hit in 1976 with “Tears On The Telephone” Claude is perhaps most famous for writing the song “Comme D’Habitude” which became a standard after English lyrics were written by Paul Anka and the song with those new lyrics was recorded by ole’ blue eyes himself Mr Frank Sinatra (or as I like to call him Frank Sinister). That song ladies and gentlemen is “My Way” Incidentally David Bowie (yet another DB reference) was the first person to write an English lyric for the tune but nobody took his words up! Here is Claude with “Comme D’Habitude” and here Mr Bowie explains his encounter with the song, it’s impact on “Life On Mars” and how he met Marc Bolan.

Claude always wore Lynx anti-perspirant and it certainly seemed to work for him!

Claude always wore Lynx anti-perspirant and it certainly seemed to work for him!

Also on this day in 1978 Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” album began a 416 week run in the UK album charts and selling 2 million copies in the process. Mr Loaf is actually called Marvin Lee Aday, his Meat Loaf name allegedy came from an incident when he stood on the foot of his high school football coach. Jim Steinman wrote the ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album and many claim that it shows his love of Bruce Springsteen, Phil Spector and Wagner. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album supposedly still sells around 200,000 copies per year even now. Is there anyone reading this that doesn’t own the album? Here is Mr Loaf himself with the classic “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” ably assisted by Ellen Foley.

From the look of it Meat Loaf should have taken Claude's anti perspirant advice

From the look of it Meat Loaf should have taken Claude's anti perspirant advice

And yet again in 1978 the debut single from the wonderful Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” Kate was only 15 when EMI’s interest was sparked by a demo tape of hers was passed to their A & R man Bob Mercer by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Gilmour actually plays guitar on the song too in particular that wonderful solo on the fade out. The company spent nearly 3 years on developing Kate as an artist. Sadly with the awful rise of X Factor and Idol shows that kind of thing is almost unheard of these days. She undertook, dance, vocal and mime classes. Her mime teacher was none other than Lindsay Kemp, who also taught David Bowie his mime skills (there you go, yet another Bowie reference). “Wuthering Heights” was originally scheduled for release in November 1977 but the company deemed it to be not radio friendly, it was eventually issued in January 1978. The song was inspired by Emily Bronte’s book of the same name, Kate is a big Bronte fan and even shares her birthday, July 30th. (Kate in 1958 and Emily 140 years earlier in 1818) Here is Ms Bush with that wonderful song and yes “Wuthering Heights” is certainly one of the 50 songs in my top 10

Kate's Atage Musical version of Lady Godiva never really took off

Kate's Stage Musical version of Lady Godiva never really took off

And finally here’s another picture of Kate, simply because I’ve always had a thing for the delectable Ms Bush 🙂

More Kate Bush........ because I can!

More Kate Bush........ because I can or perhaps more likely because I'd like to 😉

 

 
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