With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“It’s my entrance, my own creation, my grand finale, my goodbye” May 24, 2018


Shortly after the Sex Pistols played their last show, until the 90s reunion, in January 1978 John Lydon found himself in Jamaica, courtesy of Virgin Records. He was there to help source some reggae acts and tracks for Virgin’s Front Line operation. At this point Public Image Limited was still a little way off. Richard Branson had some other ideas for the former Mr Rotten. He flew Devo‘s Mark Mothersbaugh and Bob Casales out to Jamaica to persuade them to take John Lydon on as the next Devo lead vocalist. Obviously that didn’t happen but PIL did and personally I find that quite a fascinating what if from rocks rich history.

 

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 9 – Bettie Page December 21, 2017


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Day 9 of our twelve day journey to Christmas 2017 and thank you for sticking with this largely non-Christmassy post. Anyway today’s famous person in a song is none other than one of the sexiest, smartest, sassiest and finest photo models there has ever been, Bettie Page! Born Bettie Mae Page in Nashville in 1923, Bettie left this world just over nine years ago aged 85. She made her way to New York via California to become an actress.

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Something Christmassy for my readers 🙂

But she became a pin-up model and in 1955 as Miss January she became one of Playboy magazine’s first Playmate Of The Month. She posed for many photographers during the 1950s until in 1959 she converted to Evangelical Christianity and worked for Billy Graham. She spent many years of her adult life in a psychiatric hospital suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Minor planet 184784 is named after her and the luxury droid in  ‘Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ from 2005 was inspired by her.

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But the song for today has nothing today with Star Wars, but it does come from a true punk star. It is Public Image Limited with the song “Bettie Page” taken from their 2015 album ‘What The World Needs Now….’. This was the tenth studio album released by John Lydon’s Public Image Limited a.k.a. PiL. It reached number 29 in the UK album chart, the band’s highest placing since ‘Album’ in 1986. Sadly, in my opinion, it was never released as a single, but I still love it, I hope that you do too! Incidentally the latest rumour is that Lydon may be representing Ireland in next years Eurovision Song Contest!

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More Christmas Bettie

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Have a Rotten Christmas!

 

Public Image Limited (PiL) – Fibbers, York – Tuesday 22nd September 2015 September 22, 2015


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To see a band like PiL is a great experience whatever the venue, however to see them somewhere as intimate as Fibbers is awesome. The crowd was perhaps mostly 40, 50 and 60-somethings including a couple of old punks that clearly haven’t moved on sartorially since 1977. But Lydon had all 600 of us in his hands whatever our age or fashion sense. He is a magnificent front man and someone who is impossible to imitate, although many have tried.

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The show kicked off with the two opening songs from the new album “Double Trouble” and “Know Now”. The band also played “The One” and an incredibly powerful version of “Corporate” from that same album. The band played supremely well and great credit must go to Lu Edmonds, Bruce Smith and Scott Firth. John Lydon himself was also on his absolute top form. He comes across like a punk librarian spliced with the genes of a Dalek and I mean that all in a good way. (How about John Lydon for the next Doctor Who?) His engagement with his audience is brilliant and his put down of a heckler was hilarious. Incidentally why do people pay to come to gigs and then heckle the band? But as Lydon said to him ” We’ve got your money, now fuck off”!

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Plenty of classic PiL cuts were played; “This Is Not A Love Song”, a stupendous run through “Death Disco“, “Poptones”, an inspirational “Warrior”and an excellent and funky rendition of “Deeper Water” from the ‘This Is PiL’ album. Quite a few times Lydon mentioned how hot it was on stage and I can certainly believe him because it was steaming in the audience. The band left the stage for five minutes before the encore and it was an encore worth waiting for. Kicking off with “Religion” followed by “Public Image” and closing with a rousing stomp through “Rise“. Was there anyone in the crowd that didn’t sing along to the last two? I don’t think so. Anger is an energy but there was far more energy than anger in the crowd. I’ve said this a lot recently, but this truly was one of the best gigs I have ever seen. Surpassing by a mile the last time I saw Public Image Limited in 1978 or 1979. If you have never seen PiL then I suggest that you rectify that now!

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Public Service Announcement (could that be a parallel band to Public Image Limited?) none of the pictures and video were taken by me at the gig because I watched it through my eyes and not through my mobile phone screen!

 

The Selecter and the Tuts – Leeds Brudenell Sunday March 8th 2015 March 9, 2015


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Last night was the first time I had been to a gig at the Brudenell in Leeds and I have to say it really is a fantastic venue. The eclectic and diverse mix of acts appearing there means that I will certainly come back. Anyway on to the main event; the Selecter. I had seen them once before but that would have been around 1979/ 1980 when I was younger than excellent support band the Tuts are now!

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I arrived at the venue just before the doors opened and met some really nice people in the queue. Roger you’re a top bloke! Soon after I came in Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson were manning the Selecter’s merch stand. Obviously I was always going to buy something, so I bought a Selecter polo shirt and a CD of the band’s new album; ‘Subculture’ which the pair of them signed for me. Pauline also signed my copy of her autobiography ‘Black By Design’ which I had finished reading a couple of weeks ago. It is an excellent book and every bit as good as recent autobiographies by John Lydon and Viv Albertine. In the book Pauline comes across as very open and honest and having met her, albeit briefly, she really is a wonderful woman. She and Gaps were very attentive with all the fans in the queue for Selecter product.

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As for the gig it was the amazing Tuts who opened the show. They are the support band on the Selecter’s UK tour and Pauline Black has championed them every step of the way. I think that this is the fourth time I have had the pleasure of seeing this incredible young band and it is clear to me that they just keep on getting better and better each time I see them. The stage costumes for tonight were made from a material patterned with the leaf of a popular and some would say refreshing herb. They looked very effective too! Their set was energetic and powerful and they certainly know how to work a crowd. On”Tut, Tut, Tut” especially for International Women’s Day they invited Sarah Statham from local band Esper Scout to drum the intro while all three Tuts ran through the crowd making sure that we all sang along. New song “Do I Have To Look For Love” will become a classic and old favourites like “Worry Warrior” and “Dump Your Boyfriend” already are. The girls cover of the Clash’s “Rudie Can’t Fail” was sublime. Nadia berated the music industry about the apparent need to posses a penis to succeed in the music business. Now those of us with half a brain know that shouldn’t be true, but judging from the line-up for Reading and Leeds this year it certainly and sadly has some credence. So come on all you labels and management companies stop all the macho willy waving and sign this band! Metaphorically they have more balls than many of the men in the music industry! The queue and interest in the band at their merch table was incredible which shows that the fans are there! So come on record labels how about a deal. As for more gigs what about another support slot? Garbage must need a decent support band and the could not go wrong with the Tuts, are you listening Shirley Manson?

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As for the headliners what can I say? The Selecter were awesome. They played most of their biggest songs; “On My Radio”, “Missing Words”, “Celebrate The Bullet” and my particular favourites; “Too Much Pressure” and “Three Minute Hero”. I thought “Danger” and “London’s Burning” went down a storm too and really got the crowd rocking! One of my newer favourites and it’s yet another crowd pleaser is “My England”. They played a few songs from the new album, which I have now played a couple of times now and it is bloody good. It gets an official release next month, but for now is available at the band’s merch stand on the rest of the tour. Some of the new material fits into the set so well that you’d think it had been around a while. “Box Fresh” could easily become a classic pop song. “It Never Worked Out” and “See Them A Come” are the Selecter at their best and on top form. Another song from the new album, “Breakdown” tackles the large number of black people who have died in custody in this country and is as you would expect very hard-hitting. This is clearly a band that stands up proudly for human rights and are openly anti racist and anti sexist, as frankly we all should be! The pre encore show ended with a magnificent version of “Last Train To Skaville” which had all the aging skinheads from the ska revival of the late 70s stomping and skanking hard enough to cave the floor in! Like me many of those folks now have a natural skinhead look given the lack of hair that age brings to some of us. The encore kicked off with a mighty version of “James Bond” and the Tuts joined the Selecter on stage at the end for a final goodbye to the Brudenell crowd. Nadia even managed to stage dive and briefly crowd surf. As for the energy of the band, Gaps must have sweated gallons! (Is there an exercise DVD that could be made from that performance?) Finally I should also mention two other covers that the Selecter performed; Doris Day’s “Secret Love” which worked really well when ska-ified and Springsteen’s “Because The Night” from the new album and for me worked even better when played live. Overall this was a cracking night and I would definitely not leave it as long before seeing the Selecter again and I am already looking forward to seeing the Tuts again.

You can still catch them both on the remaining dates of the UK tour and if you haven’t already done so then sort yourself a ticket out. You will not regret it!

OK and now for the usual public service note, this time the pictures were taken on my little phone but the videos were all obtained on You Tube.

 

“Ronnie Biggs was doing time ’til he done a bunk” December 18, 2013


ronniebiggs_460x276OK I know he was a criminal and I know that a man died as a result of the violence used in the Great Train Robbery back in 1963. But if only the gang had not coshed the driver of the train they would surely have become folk heroes for taking so much without really hurting anyone. Anyway I thought I would mark the passing of Ronnie Biggs the most obvious way I can given that this is a music blog. Here is Ronnie from 1978 as guest vocalist for the Sex Pistols. McLaren never shied away from bad publicity did he?

Sex-Pistols-Punk-prayerRonnie died earlier this week aged 84. He recorded a track with the Pistols while he was holed up in Brazil and they were in free fall after the departure of Johnny Rotten/ John Lydon. The B Side of the “No One Is Innocent (A Punk Prayer By Ronnie Biggs)” single was the Sid Vicious version of “My Way”. The single made it to number 7 in the UK charts.

RIP Ronnie Biggs

 

“I have held the hand of a devil” July 18, 2013


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Paul Hewson a.k.a. Bono Vox off of U2 has recently been awarded one of the highest cultural honours available in France. This was in recognition of his services to music and committment to humanitarian aid. he was given the honour; Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti in Paris. He dedicated the award to his band, saying, ‘I’ve got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other’. The award was first presented in 1957 and has been awarded to other musicians including; Bob Dylan (1990), David Bowie (1999) and Patti Smith (2005). Two James Bond actors Sean Connery (1987) and Roger Moore (2008). Donald Sutherland, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Audrey Hepburn are also in that exclusive club along with writers T.S. Eliot and Julian Barnes.

Pope steals Bono's glasses in effort to look cool........ FAILS!

Pope steals Bono’s glasses in effort to look cool…….. FAILS!

While we are talking about awards it has been announced that the BMI, the music rights organisation, will present a special icon award for his contribution to music to one-time enfant terrible of the UK tabloids John Lydon formerly Johnny Rotten. Lydon will receive the award in October this year. Since those ‘The Filth And The Fury’ headlines from 1976 when Lydon was known as Rotten and fronted the Sex Pistols he has achieved bigger musical success albeit with a little less notoriety with Public Image Limited (PiL). perhaps in a step away from the rather typecast image that the British press have of him he has also appeared on the UK reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’  on ITV in January 2004 and later fronted a few wildlife programmes. He is currently touring with PiL and recently took to the stage at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury with the band. So it now remains for me to congratulate Hewson and Lydon on their awards. For me the Lydon award is more appropriate and at least neither is some poxy award from our blood sucking UK royal family!

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“If I Only Could I’d Make A Deal With God” August 15, 2012


I must confess that I was a tad disappointed that a number of my favourite British artists never appeared at the Olympic Closing Ceremony.Notably David Bowie and Kate Bush. There was a strong rumour in the week before the show that Kate would appear. This appears to have been driven by a remix of “Running Up That Hill” being made available to buy on-line last week. That remix was played during the show. It was never likely that Bowie would play the show given the low profile he has taken since his heart problem back in 2004. But I did get my hopes up when a medley of his songs and associated film clips were played. However it turned out to be just a precursor to the celebration of British fashion element of the closing spectacle which itself was soundtracked rather obviously by the Dame’s 1980 hit “Fashion”.

Apparently David Bowie, Kate Bush, the Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones all turned down the chance to appear at the Olympic Stadium last Sunday night. John Lydon said  a while back that he had been asked if the Pistols would play and turned the organisers down flat. I wonder if they would have expected the Pistols to play “God Save The queen”? It is also alleged that the Who only agreed at the third time of asking. Who else would you have liked to have seen on the bill? Personally I’m surprised that Adele or Paul Weller wasn’t there or any of the beknighted music stars; Tom Jones, Macca, Elton, Cliff or even Rod Stewart who probably longs to be knighted. Personally I’m glad Cliff wasn’t there as his Jubilee appearance was truly awful. The same goes for Paul McCartney who I didn’t think was particularly good at the Opening ceremony.

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So let’s finish with what we might have missed some Kate and some Bowie.

 

 
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