December 3rd and day three of my ABC of British bands advent post for 2014. So as it’s day it must be the letter ‘C’. This sounds a bit like Sesame Street doesn’t it? Anyway today’s band is going to seem like an obvious choice for my regular readers; it’s the Clash.
I love the ‘London Calling‘ album and it often appears in many of the ‘best album’ lists that magazines publish when they run out of ideas. But did you know that it appears in the best albums of the 70s lists in the UK and the best albums of the 80s in the USA. This is because it came out in 1979 in the UK and it wasn’t released until 1980 in the UK.
Now I hope that you enjoy this little selection of Clash ditties that were hidden behind the little cardboard flap on the advent calendar for today.
The Tuts are headlining their own exclusive UK tour in some excellent and intimate venues. I had the opportunity to see them play live again last night. The last time I saw them they were supporting Kate Nash at Fibbers in York back in early 2013. Things have gone well for them since then. They have another EP out next month and an album next year. I can hardly wait! On top of that they met the great Billy Bragg at Glasto last year and he has bagged them a slot on the left field stage for this years Glasto. If you’re there in June DO NOT MISS THEM! THAT IS AN ORDER!
Anyway more of the Tuts later, because they also had some great support. Unfortunately I only caught the last song from Elopes but they did sound pretty feisty. Sorry folks I’ll blame the train for missing your set. The other support band won me over with their name before they had even played a note. They are called Jesus And His Judgemental Father. How good is that name? Often when seeing a band for the first time, especially if I’ve not heard them before, I look for influences. I did that with Jesus And His Judgemental Father (I just felt like repeating that excellent name! For me there were shades of the Beat, Blink 182, 80s metal, the Pogues and I could probably come up with more. But for every small trace of influences they show they have stacks more originality. Harriet from the Tuts said that they sounded like the type of band that might appear at the High School dance in an 80s or 90s teen horror flick. That works for me. They are a really tight and very together band with a fabulously talented guitarist. The drummer showed support for Pussy Riot with the bright red balaclava. Given the chance I will definitely pay to see this band again and I bought their album last night too. It’s bloody good!
It was fantastic to see the Tuts headlining at last. They are well worth that top slot. Fun, funky, punky and different they are the Tuts and there is no one quite like them. Their cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” would make Joe Strummer proud. They were even joined on stage by Jen Doveton, Harriet’s sister from Colour Me Wednesday for one song. Their own songs top tunes. I was still singing “Tut Tut Tut” in my head when I woke up this morning and “Dump Your Boyfriend” has probably been number one in the charts for weeks in a parallel universe where there is no shit like the X Factor on TV. These girls ooze talent and charisma and if they don’t make it to even bigger stages and audiences soon then there is no justice. Harriet, Bev and Nadia good luck with the rest of the tour, Glastonbury and York in October. I need more details about the latter obviously! If the Tuts are playing in a venue near you just get off your lazy arse and go and see them. You will not regret it!
They might look like angels but they rock like fuck when they’re on stage!
XFM listeners recently took part in a poll to name the greatest front man of all time. So many great blokes to choose from and they went for Liam Gallagher. Now don’t get me wrong Liam has been very good in the past, particularly in the early days of Oasis, but the greatest front man of all time? I don’t think so. The full top 20 was;
Firstly let me warn you that this is a shameless piece of self promotion of one of my other blogs too!
Did you think that the word ‘punk’ was a modern word? I certainly did. However it is in fact a very old word, indeed it is over 400 years old. It was supposedly first recorded in the 1590’s. But the Bard himself, William Shakespeare to his folks and Ms Hathaway the term “taffety punk” in his “All’s Well That Ends Well” to describe a ‘well dressed whore’. He wrote it during 1604 and 1605, unless of course you believe the conspiracy theories in which case it was written by Philip Marlowe.
In the 1890’s the word was often used to describe a young male criminal as well as something worthless and rotten. I wonder if Mr Lydon knew that when he chose his moniker for the Sex Pistols. The first time the phrase punk rock was used was surprisingly (to me at least) in a piece written by Dave Marsh for Creem Magazine in 1971. This main body of this post also appears in my learning blog ‘With Just A Hint Of Learning’ as it is a bit ‘what have you learned today’ related.
Is this country finally waking up? Are the downtrodden finally kicking back? Are those that consider themselves middle class no longer ignoring the obvious? Are our students finally in control of their rebellious gene? Let’s hope so! This week saw more than 50,000 people on the streets of London to protest at the raising of student fees. This follows protests about the schools building programme cuts in July, another anti cuts rally in Sheffield last month and the occupation of an RBS bank last week. OK I know the Daily Mail readers out there will be getting all sanctimonious about the violence and to a large extent I agree. (Yep me agreeing with a Daily Mail opinion, fucking hell am I getting old?) I do not condone violence of any kind and I truly believe that this was caused by just a small minority as is often the case.
With Nick Laurel and Dave Hardy at the wheel we can't go wrong....... can we?
Bear in mind that these protests have all taken place before the coalition cuts have begun to bite, so I think things will get much worse before they get better. Just look at the housing benefit plans, sure a great way of saving money in the short-term, but with private rents rising far quicker than the government are predicting a recipe for disaster. If it goes to plan it will lead to an exodus of people from London as they can no longer afford to live there. Where will that exodus take them? Why probably into all the areas in the country where there will be no jobs! Now that really makes sense doesn’t it? I do not disagree that cuts are needed in expenditure but there are far better ways of doing it. Over a longer period, with more considered plans etc.
Cameron prepares to throw the baby out with the bathwater
As for those of you that aspire to be or consider yourselves to be middle class, get over it! There are two classes in this country; the filthy rich and the rest of us! Just remember that the current cabinet contains 18 millionaires among its members. These are the people who believe they are leading the country, a mistake which many politicians make (Thatcher, Blair and more). They do not lead us, they serve us and it would be wise of them to remember this.
Clearly this picture proves that Nick Clegg has been David Cameron's ventriloquist dummy all along
I do not believe that this government will see out its full term and therefore we will have the opportunity to voice our opinions through the ballot box again. When the time comes do not bow to apathy, get off your arse and vote. Let’s show the politicians whose country this really is. Anyway, rant over and let me get back to the music. Obviously I have chosen some appropriate stuff for you!
“White Riot” – The Clash. The song is not about race war as many pundits suggested at the time. According to Joe Strummer it is in fact a call to arms of the white youth of Britain to riot against things that were oppressing them in the same way that black youth in the 70s did.
“Let’s Start A Riot” – Three Days Grace. These guys are an Alternative Canadian band who released their 3rd album, ‘Life Starts Here’ last year.
“Panic” – The Smiths This Morrissey/ Marr composition is not really about social unrest, it’s actually about the poor state of pop music at the time. But frankly it still fits on both levels. It was the first Smiths single to feature new member Craig Gannon.
“Walls Come Tumbling Down” – Style Council This is a superb attack on those that govern and I love it. Weller often gets criticised for the Style Council, but I think they were far better than the press thought they were. This song reached number 7 in the UK charts.
“Another Brick In The Wall” – Roger Waters The Wall album is seen by many as close to being Roger Waters solo album. This video is from his current tour playing The Wall in its entirety.
“Going Underground” – The Jam. This song did not feature on any of the bands studio albums although it has been on most Jam compilations. I almost took the title for this post from the song. The couplet, “their lies let you down and their promises rust” would have worked well. This went straight into the UK charts at number 1.
“I Predict A Riot” – Kaiser Chiefs Formed in Leeds in 1997 the band took their name from a South African football team; the Kaizer Chiefs. The band are Leeds United supporters and former Leeds player Lucas Radebe used to play for the Kaizer Chiefs.
“Fight The Power” – Isley Brothers. Written by Ernie Isley this is a really funky protest song. Public Enemy were inspired by it a few years later.
“You Haven’t Done Nothing” – Stevie Wonder This clip appears to be taken from the Andy Williams show. It’s an excellent piece of protest from Mr Wonder. Did you know that the backing vocals on the original studio version were recorded by Motown stablemates at the time, the Jackson 5.
I do worry sometimes that Jedward may be a little more intelligent than Nivid or Dick
I'm not sure if that sign is a statement or an instruction
Today I had the iPod on shuffle and up popped the wonderfully talented Scroobius Pip aided and abetted by Dan Le Sac. I am a big fan of Messrs Pip and Sac. The song in question was “Thou Shalt Always Kill” It got me thinking that a post addressing all the Pip commandments might be quite fun. So firstly apologies to Dave Gorman who once did a live show which analysed all the parts of Ian Dury’s “Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3”, indeed Catwoman actually saw it (and to be fair he probably did it far, far better than I am about to with Pip and Sac). So on with the song!
Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip
(Feat. Pos Plug Won)
Thou shalt not steal if there is a direct victim; I totally agree with this one, so I guess this makes it ok to steal from banks right? Maybe some office stationery too
Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets; Who the hell would want to worship bloody pop idols anyway, that’d be like ‘All Hail Gareth Gates’ or more fitting with his current life maybe ‘Our Server who art in McDonalds’. As for the Lost Prophets they weren’t a bad band, ok they are Welsh, but that’s not their fault is it?
Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Dekker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain; I totally agree, but who the hell is Johnny Hartman?
Thou shalt not think that any male over 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile, some people are just nice; I am way over 30, I love kids and I’m not a paedo, so I guess that makes me nice, doesn’t it? Incidentally isn’t it strange that those awful swimming trunks are called Speedos? Phonetically just one letter away from Peedo.
Thou shalt not read NME; Nope, can’t agree with this one at all, I’ve been reading NME since I was a young lad, from 1971 to be precise
Thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they have become popular; How very true, people they are not YOUR band just because you liked them before 99% of the population. Tom, it is ok for you to continue to like the Kings Of Leon!
Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry; Yes, because Mr Fry has a brain the size of a planet and has more intellect in his belly button fluff than the collective intelligence of the England Football team
Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover; True, well unless it’s the Playboy Annual or something similar, equally any book with Robbie Williams on the front must, by definition, be rubbish!
Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover; So that must mean you judge it by Mel Gibson, but I’m confused, does that make it better or worse?
Thou shalt not buy Coca Cola products; Absolutely, all that sugar has to be bad for you. Mind you I do like the odd Coca Cola Christmas bauble, so that would be another Pip commandment I have broken
Thou shalt not buy nestle products; Well I can live with this, apart from the fact that my good friend Karen McP works there, but personally I prefer Cadburys anyway
Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend best friend, take drugs and cheat on him; Well I am completely exempt from this as I don’t take drugs, oh and I don’t have a boyfriend either!
Thou shalt not fall in love so easily; That is easy to say but bloody difficult to do
Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls pants……use it to get into their heads; ok, just as long as I can be forgiven for my teenage years, where I confess I did use music in the former regard quite a lot and the latter regard quite a little. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” always worked for me
Thou shalt not watch Hollyoaks; Nor any Aussie soaps either in my opinion
Thou shalt not attend an open mic and then leave as soon as you have done your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick; Well I think that one speaks for itself really!
Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in & week out just because you once saw a girl there that you fancied that you’re never going to talk to anyway; Guilty as charged, but only in my teenage years and only a couple of times and on the second occasion I did get to speak to her, but she did make it very clear she wasn’t interested. Just rearrange these letters to understand what two-word phrase she used. kfcfuof, did you work it out?
Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were; I did this with David Bowie back in the 70s, but then he recorded in the 80s and that made me see the error of my ways
Were just a band.
Just a band.
The Beach Boys.
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band
Just a band
Just a band.
Just a band.
Just a band.
The next big thing
Just a band.I can agree with almost all of the above, except for the Clash, these guys were way more than just a band to me
Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-english speaking countries as to those that occur in english speaking countries; Too true, how many times has the news reported an earthquake somewhere like Mexico and had it low down the running order because no British people were hurt?
Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling where never part of the four elements and never will be; I love rap, but this is sadly so very true
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music; I suspect that this relates to dance music and the Government’s attack on the rave generation, but it could equally apply to the bland crap produced by almost anyone of Simon Cowell’s identikit pop muppets
Thou shalt not pimp my ride; But I assume that it is ok for me to pimp my man-bag though, right?
Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster; nor indeed listen to Geri Halliwell whilst in a sober state
Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness; well ok, but sometimes that is a really good feeling!
Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit; or any other city or town, but then again I am sure that later this year at Reading my good friend Nick H and me will make some noise for Reading
When I say “hey” thou shalt not say “ho”; Say Gabba Gabba instead, in honour of the Ramones
When I say “hip” thou shalt not say “hop”; Say replacement instead
When I say, he say, she say, we say “make some noise”…..kill me; ok then, seeing as you asked nicely
Thou shalt not quote me happy; or like the Go Compare advert
Thou shalt not shake it like a Polaroid picture; Well that’s how I dance bro’ – live with it!
Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me; my girlfriend is all the freak I need thank you very much
Thou shalt spell the word phoenix : P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X regardless of what the Oxford English dictionary tells you; Now as far as this one goes I really don’t care
Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Brad at the club last night by saying “is it?”; very true, the correct statement is ‘innit’ innit?
Thou shalt think for yourselves; I hope everyone does this already
And thou shalt ALWAYS kill. I certainly can’t agree with this, although Catwoman and I do tend to regularly kill all the plants in the back yard, usually by neglect
So here we are on another UK Public Holiday weekend and guess what? It’s raining. Someone once said to me that there is an easy way to tell when it’s summer in the UK. Do you know how? Well it’s quite simple really, the rain is warm! So here I am stuck indoors so I thought I’d put together a slightly random post that captures a lot of the stuff I have been meaning to blog about for a while, so here goes.
Firstly way back on the 13th May I finally got to see my son Luke play a gig with his band Steal The Smile. They were the second band on that night in the FaceBar at Reading. The band on before them were, and I’m being nice here, in need of an awful lot more practice. Apologies to the bands that followed, but we left for some scoff at TGI Fridays! Steal The Smile played a great six song set which included some of their older and newer stuff along with the obligatory Blink 182 cover. I can tell you that all the boys in the band are looking forward to seeing Blink at the Reading Festival in August. It was a real pity that Steal The Smile were once again badly let down by a promoter in that they had to hang around for three hours for a sound check that never actually materialised and by the time they played there were nowhere near as many people as there could have been. The band wasn’t paid for this gig, but I bet the promoter was! What is it with promoters, and I use the term loosely here, who simply book a venue and some bands and do bugger all else? Is it a stupid assumption that promoters ought to promote? I think not! So if there are any good promoters out there (i.e those with brain cells that at least run into double figures) then get in touch with the boys and book them! You can find them on Facebook and MySpace. Keep visiting too, as there is a revamp being lined up and possibly a lot of new stuff!
Steal The Smile live at the FaceBar in Reading May 13th 2010
There were a couple of quite amusing moments during their set. Firstly the sound guy was trying to speak to them over the sound of the music and clearly couldn’t make himself heard. It did make me wonder how much he actually knew about sound! So finally Luke just gave the instruction “Articulate” like a rock n roll Dalek, needless to say there was still no response from Mr Sound. The other part was just before the final song when Luke said “This is the point in the show where I usually tell the audience how beautiful they are. But with a large part of the audience being my Dad it seemed a bit strange” Johnny then made a point of telling me that he thought I was beautiful, hmmmmm I worry about the drummer! Finally on Steal The Smile for now, it’s not too late to get hold of an exclusive free song from them, just click here for a previous post of mine to get your mitts on it!
Next up Glastonbury has lost U2 this year thanks to Mr Hewson’s back problems, which were apparently quite serious. Anyway there is a little silver lining in that their replacement will be the Gorillaz. In their current incarnation the Gorillaz contain not one, but two, former members of the best band ever; the Clash! yes Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are both in the touring band and bizarrely wearing sailors hats as part of the new album Plastic Beach’s nautical theme. I think I may have to get a hold of some tickets for their tour later this year. Read the BBC article on the revised Glasto line up here. Below you can watch the video for the first single from Plastic Beach, it’s called “Stylo” and features Damon Albarn, Mos Def and Bobby Womack
On May 24th there was the news of the tragic death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray aged just 38. I have taken some stick from many Slipknot fans in the past for using an incorrect picture of them without masks, but whilst that has been a bit of fun and banter I am sure all fans of the band are pretty upset and hurt by his death. To lose a music hero is not pleasant, I know how I felt on hearing about the death of John Lennon, Bob Marley and Joe Strummer. So my sympathies go to Paul Gray’s friends and family and to all Slipknot fans around the world. In his memory here are the band with the video for “Psychosocial”
Yesterday saw the sad news that Gary Coleman the diminutive star of the US sitcom ‘Diffr’nt Strokes has died. He had kidney problems all his life which meant he never grew above 4 feet 8 inches. His most famous catch phrase from the show was “What you talking about Willis?” Willis being his older brother in the show. Hed was clearly popular in the music fraternity too as the testimonials on the NME report of his death show. Kind words from Blink 182, Janet Jackson and Katy Perry
And finally for this post, have you seen the new Miike Snow video, for his song ‘The Rabbit’? It’s really strange. It has a bearded kid and a re-enactment of a 2 Live Crew album cover. Click here to see it. Let me know what you think of it
Hello dear readers this I am sure will be quite a short post, but then good intentions and all that stuff eh? Anyway today is August 21st and it would have been the 57th birthday of the late great (it’s like those ls & gs never went away!) Mr John Graham Mellor who was perhaps known better as Joe Strummeroff of the Clash amongst others. Sadly he died way to young on 22nd December 2002 aged just 50 (spookily enough that’s my age now!) Click here to see the Clash with the supreme “London Calling”
Joe tells that guitar who is Boss!
His father was a diplomat and as a result Joe spent his childhood in many different places including Egypt, Mexico and Germany. He was actually born in Ankara in Turkey. The first band he was a part of was called the Vultures and this was during his time in Newport, Wales in the early 70s. During this period he also became a gravedigger for a time (a job that Rod Stewart undertook for a while as well fact fans!). He eventually came back to London where he busked with friends, it was around then that he became know as ‘Woody’ Mellor after Woody Guthrie. He formed a new band in 74/75 with friends from the squat he was living in at the time. In fact it was this property that gave the band their name, the 101er’s. The address was 101 Walterton Road in Maida Vale, London.
Joe seemed unconcerned that he had left the barbers before his haircut was finished!
In 1975 he told everyone that he wished to be known as Joe Strummer, which seems like a self deprecating view of his role as rhythm guitarist. In April 1976 an as yet unknown band, the Sex Pistols (perhaps you’ve heard of them now) opened for the 101ers at the Nashville Rooms in London. Strummer was extremely impressed by the bands attitude and ethos and decided he needed a new direction. He was approached later that year by Bernie Rhodes and Mick Jones. At the time Mick was in the London SS and wanted Joe to join as lead singer. Joe was keen but the band split up before he had the chance. But that led to the opportunity that produced one of my favourite bands of all time the Clash. Initially the band consisted of Joe, Mick, Paul Simonon (it was Simononwho gave the band their name), Terry Chimes and KeithLevine. They played their first gig, curiously enough supporting the Sex Pistols in Sheffield in July 1976. Shortly after this Chimes decided to quit the band and Levene was sacked. Nicky ‘Topper Headon became the bands drummer. In the incestuous world of punk and post-punk Levene went on to be a part of the initial line up of Public Image Limited (PiL) with John Lydon.
This is either the Clash in full swing or the Shadows have gone punk!
By now the band had signed to CBS. The fanzine ‘Sniffin’ Glue’ had said that “punk died the day the Clash signed to CBS. Is that true? Well I’ll leave you to your own opinion. Anyway the Clash had a run of excellent albums, their debut album was the eponymously titled ‘The Clash’ and for me still sounds sharp and exciting today. But my favourite Clash album remains ‘London Calling’ It’s just so diverse and has some excellent lyrics andtop tunes. Here the boys with “Complete Control” their excellent dig at CBS by clicking here.
Joe never quite mastered his letter in the bands potential cover of "YMCA"
Joe later went on to front the Mescaleros and used to play a few Clash songs in their shows. He remained a keen politcal animal playing benefit gigs for striking firemen and such. I guess in many ways it was the Clash that made me think differently about politics andI thank them for that. I certainly never agreed with everything that they said or did, but I definitely started to think more about things after getting into the Clash
OK let’s get back to normal (bloody hell I’m not really normal am I?) service for this post. Before the birthday and ‘onthisday’ stuff let me start by saying that I’ve really been hammering the Soft Toy Emergency CD that I picked up for free at the Fibbers gig the other night. It’s bloody brilliant! You MUST check these guys out.
Whilst I’m on the MUST check out vibe, here is yet another shameless plug for my son Luke’s rather excellent band, Steal The Smile. Click on the name to head to their MySpace page.
As a follow up to celebrities some of the readers may know or indeed have met and following the piece on Justin Hawkins in a recent post, check out this picture of Simon P with Mr Hawkins. Feel free to send in your own starstruck pics and I’ll be happy to include them here.
Simon picks up some nail varnish tips from Justin
Thank you to the wonderful people at Popbitch for this info but if you’re a Boy George fan and you’d like to write to him while he is banged up (oooo errrrr missus!) here is his new addresss; George O’Dowd, HMP – Edmunds Hill, Stradishall, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 9YN.
Popbitch also provided a link to this excellent clip of Ricky Gervais meeting Elmo, you have to watch it’s bloody funny
I also stole this musical related joke from Popbitch (and you’ll find the link to the Popbitch site in my favourite websites on the blog)
Q: What do you get when you cross Feargal Sharkey with Bernard Manning?
A: Racist undertones.
So onto just the one birthday for today, 19th March. It is the 50th birthday of Terry Hall off of the Specials (now reformed), Fun Boy Three, the Colourfield, Vegas and indeed solo. The Specials were originally known as the Coventry Automatics, Coventry being where the band originated from. As with so many excellent bands it was the late and very very great (very big l’s & g’s here) Mr John Peel who first played them on the radio. He played the rather excellent “Gangsters” on his show in early 1979. Hall left the Specials with Lynval Golding and Neville Staples to form the Fun Boy Three just after the massive success of “Ghost Town”. The Fun Boy Three also had two separate collaborations with Bananarama; “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It)” and “(He Was) Really Saying Something” It was of course the Specials, thanks to Jerry Dammers setting up Two Tone Records, that helped drive the late 70’s early 80’s ska revival forward. This was a great launch pad for many bands; Madness, the Beat (the English Beat in the US), the Selecter and many more. The Specials were invited to open for the Clash on the ‘On Parole’ Tour after Joe Strummer saw one of their gigs in 78/79. Here’s one for you fact fans, do you know who produced the first Specials album in 1979? No? well it was none other than Declan McManus better known as Elvis Costello. One of my favourite Specials songs is “Do Nothing” click the title to hear it and see it.
The Specials during their pole dancing period. The boys hadn't realised that it was supposed to be just one person at a time on the pole!
Sticking with the Specials for a moment or in fact I think it was the Special AKA, after Terry Hall had left. You may recall they released a song called “Free Nelson Mandela”. The week after the song was released there was an excellent letter in the NME. It was something like “I loved the Special AKA single so much that I bought it on the day of release. However I was extremely disappointed not to receive my free Nelson Mandela like it said on the cover” I wish that I had written that! Anyway here is the wonderful Amy Winehouse and a cast of thousands with an excellent version of “Free Nelson Mandela” from the Mandela Birthday Concert in Hyde Park last year.
A Pizza To You Rudy perhaps? I wonder if they received a free Nelson Mandela with that?
On this day in 1965 the ‘Tailor And Cutter’ magazine published an article asking the Rolling Stones to wear ties to save tie makers from financial ruin. What the bloody hell is that all about then. I’ve had to wear a tie for most of my working life and indeed at school too, which started before many of you readers were born. I’ve never enjoyed wearing a tie, I’ve never seen the point. let’s face it they don’t keep you warm or keep your shirt buttoned up. OK maybe they act as a bib or napkin for messy eaters. But seriously what is the point of tying a coloured piece of cloth around your neck. You may well wonder why I still do it, I have two words in my flimsy defence; peer pressure! Yeah it’s feeble isn’t it. OK then let’s have your tie comments please.
Clearly no one had told new boy Ronnie Wood about the no ties rule
On this day in 1976 the death of late great (here are those lovable l’s & g’s again) Paul Kossoff off of (now say that fast!) Free and Back Street Crawler and also the son of the excellent actor David Kossoff. He died of heart failure whilst on a flight from LA to New York aged just 25. He had a long history of drug abuse. Kossoff was with Free from 1968 to 1973, appearing on their final album and also one of my favourite albums of all time ‘Heartbreaker’ Although the band actually broke up for a few months during 71/72. When the band formed in 1968 their ages ranged from just 15 to a rather ancient 18. Kossoff was 17 at the time. Here are Free with the title track from the “Heartbreaker” album
That was either an enormous amp or Paul was very small
Is it that time again already? Wow here we are on 12th March just a few days away from those nasty old Ides Of March. More of the Ides in a later post….. if I can be bothered, but either way just beware of them ok? Before we get down to business the regular readers among you may recall that the last time this blog included a fart clip the viewing figures went sky high, so here’s another one! This is a fart that disrupts a Council Meeting in the US. Click here to see it and I dare you, no I double dare you not to laugh!
So onto todays delights of which there are six; three birthdays and three ‘onthisdays’
Today would have been the 92nd birthday of Leonard Chess the founder of Chess Records. The label was home to some fantastic artists including John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed. Mr Chess checked out of this mortal coil of a heart attack aged just 52 in 1969. Strangely enough I won a set of eight Chess compilation albums (these were those big 12 inch plastic things we called LPs back in the day) in around 1975. I think the series was called ‘Chess Golden Decades’ or something like that. It was from a competition in the late great (hey the l’s & g’s get an outing for a publication and not a person!) Record Mirror. The winner was the person who came up with the longest list of song titles that featured colours (“Little Red Rooster”, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” you get the idea. Remember this was way before the internet was even a twinkle in a geeks eye. My winning list comprised of more than 400 titles which was more than double the person in second place. Now that just goes to prove that I have always been a sad anorak doesn’t it? OK not exactly a Chess classic but I couldn’t resist including Chuck Berry’s only UK number one, from 1972 it’s “My Ding A Ling”
Chuck's need to pee wasn't going to stop him finishing the song. He just crossed his legs and held on to his ding a ling!
Anyway back to Mr Chess, he was born in a part of Poland that is now in fact in Belarus. He was originally called Lejzor Czyz and his family changed his name when they arrived in the US in 1928. I guess that’s a good thing really, I mean do you really think Czyz Records would have had the same impact? The label was based in Chicago and many non Chess acts also recorded at their studios, including the Rolling Stones. The Stones immortalised the Chess address with an instrumental track called “2120 South Michigan” in the mid 60’s. Maurice White who was once a session drummer at Chess Studios eventually went on to form the magnificent Earth Wind And Fire. A band I saw live at Wembley in 1979 😉 So to make up for the earlier inclusion of “My Ding A Ling” here is John Lee Hooker with “Boom Boom”
The classic Chess Records label
Today is also the 40th birthday of one of my all time favourite guitarists, Mr Graham Coxon who will be treading the boards as part of a reformed Blur this year. Coxon played on all of Blur’s albums up to and including 1999’s ’13’. He also designed the cover for ’13’. He only featured on one track for the following album ‘Think Tank’ after a big fall out with the rest of the band, although clearly they seem pretty much reconciled now after he appeared at this years Brits to sing a version of “This Is A Low” with Damon Albarn. Graham has also been quite a prolific solo artist having released 6 albums under his own name, three of those while still with Blur. I have seen Blur twice once with Coxon and once without I definitely think they are much better with Graham in the fold. Here is Mr Coxon with the excellent “Freakin’ Out”
Axe Hero or Fashion Victim - you choose!
Finally on the birthdays front today is the 30th birthday of someone once famously described as a ‘rock n roll fuckwit’ by Pete Townshend. Who? Why it’s Mr Pete Doherty of course. He of Libertines, Babyshambles and now solo musical fame and a fair amount of infamy too. As in ‘infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy’ So many tabloid inches have been covered with celebrity prattle about Pete so I won’t dwell on that. But in my opinion he is a great songwriter, I loved the Libertines and also Babyshambles too. I am definitely looking forward to his solo album. To return to something that was covered in a previous post, that something being Janie Jones. Pete featured on a charity cover of the Clash song “Janie Jones” in 2006. Other contributors were Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, Kooks and the Holloways. The song was recorded to raised funds for ‘Strummerville’ which is a foundation for new music set up shortly after Joe Strummer’s untimely death. here is Pete with Babyshambles doing the excellent “Albion” on the BBCs ‘Later With Jools Holland’
Pete often wondered why Kate had to look so hard faced when he asked her to dress up in her police woman's uniform
On this day in 1981 in another monumental piece of hype from Talcy Malcy himself (that’ll be Malcolm McLaren then) Bow Wow Wow were forced to cancel the first dates of a UK tour. The reason for the cancellation was that singer Annabella Lwin aged just 15 would have been guilty of truancy according to the Greater London Council. Incidentally McLaren was the bands manager. Bow Wow Wow were formed after Malcolm began to manage the original Adam And The Ants. He sacked Mr Ant and then brought in Annabella Lwin as the singer. Adam was quite adamant (and Adam Ant) that it did him no harm in the long run though. Lwin’s birth name was Myint Myint Aye, which apparently means High High Cool in Burmese, personally I would have used that as my stage name! here they are with a live rendition of “C30, C60, C90, Go“. Note the Adams & the Ants style Burundi drum beat.
Annabella wondered what on earth she was going to do now that the bands clothing budget had run out!
On this day in 1988 the phenomenally talented (according to some, but not me) Rick Astley was number one in the US singles chart with “Never Gonna Give You Up” . The song was also a UK number one. Following something of an internet phenomenon last year with what became known as ‘RickRolling’ he found himself voted the ‘Best Act Ever’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Well I suppose even that is better than a win for Robbie W (give me a break I haven’t had a dig at for ages have I?) Anyway ‘Rickrolling’ was a means of sending someone the link to a Rick video by stealth. This led to around 30 million views of Rick videos and presumably 30 million people needing therapy have been a victim of ‘Rickrolling’ The song also gave writers and producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman their fourth UK number one when it topped the UK charts in 1987. They had previously hit the top slot with Dead Or Alive, Mel & Kim and Ferry Aid. OK prepare to be Rickrolled and I promise I’ll be gentle, here is Rick with “Never Gonna Give You Up”
oh come on you weren't hoping for a Rick pic were you?
And finally on this day in 2001 Judy Garland’s “Over The Rainbow” was voted the ‘Song Of The Century’ in a poll published in the US. The poll was produced by the R.I.A.A and was compiled from input by musicians, critics and fans. The highest placed UK act was the Rolling Stones with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. The Beatles reached number 28 with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The top ten was;
1. “Over the Rainbow,” Judy Garland
2. “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby
3. “This Land Is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie
4. “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
5. “American Pie,” Don McLean
6. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” Andrews Sisters
7. “West Side Story” (album), original Broadway cast
8. “Take Me out to the Ball Game,” Billy Murray
9. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” Righteous Brothers
10. “The Entertainer,” Scott Joplin
I must say I’m somewhat surprised that the West Side Story soundtrack album made it into the top ten songs of the century, I mean it’s a whole bloody album! If you want to see the whole list just click here.