With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

” When I am king, you will be first against the wall” October 10, 2010


Today dear readers it is 10th October 2010. On the surface quite an insignificant date, however if you represent it as 101010 it becomes the binary number that equates to the number 42. If you have read Douglas Adams‘ excellent ‘The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy‘ you will understand the meaning and importance of this number, if you haven’t read it, well why not? But fear not you still have time to read it before the day is out!

It is a day to celebrate all that is 42; ride the number 42 bus, buy the song that is number 42 in the chart, eat 42 biscuits, kiss your loved ones 42 times, drink 42 gin & tonics, run 42 yards, undertake 42 random acts of kindness, (I should thank Danny Wallace for that one), herd 42 cats and basically any other 42 related activity you can think of. Perhaps at 10 minutes and 10 seconds past 10 o’clock in our respective time zones we should all shout 42. To learn more of this wondrous day and become enlightened as to the answer to the ultimate question as to what is the meaning of life, the universe and everything visit the 42Day website. For those of you with a cynical or nervous disposition I should point out that this is not a cult nor is it Scientology (personally I think Scientology is a cult, but Tom Cruise and John Travolta say it’s not, so who am I to argue?)

Obviously as I’ve said 42 times now, this is a music blog so let’s get on with that bit now. Douglas Adams was a music fan and there is a fictional band called Disaster Area included in the Hitchhikers Guide, he describes them as “not only the loudest rock band in the galaxy, but in fact the loudest noise of any kind”. The finale of their act involved sending a spaceship into the sun, which may have taken it’s influence from Pink Floyd‘s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” Adams actually appeared on stage with the Floyd on his 42nd birthday!

To finish here are a couple of Hitchikers related things;

Something About You” – Level 42 – An obvious one this as the band were named directly after the importance of 42 in the book.

Paranoid Android” – Radiohead – Marvin The Paranoid Android was one of the main characters in the book.

 

“Could it be the devil in me or is this the way love’s supposed to be?” August 10, 2010


This option would have been one hell of a lot safer

There is every possibility that some of you may see this as a sick choice of subject, so for that let me apologise up front. But as my good friend Fraser Matthews once said to me “Billy Boy, you are one sick puppy!” Anyway the story concerns this years 12th (and almost certainly last) annual Sauna World Championship. Basically it’s about who can stay in the sauna for the longest at temperatures of 110C. The two men who got through the heats (pardon the pun) this year were the reigning champion and five time winner Timo Kaukonen from Finland and Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy of Russia. After six minutes in the final officials noticed that there was something wrong. Ladyzhenskiy was dead and Kaukonen had suffered severe burns. Are people so bored that they have to see this as a sport? It’s bloody mental in my opinion. But here’s the sick part, it got me thinking about heat songs, so after you’ve read the story on the Beeb and the Guardian I hope you enjoy my heat selection!

Click here to read the story on the BBC

Click here to read the story on the Guardian

Some Like It Hot” – Power Station. Featuring one of the best white soul voices ever in my opinion, Robert Palmer and some random dudes off of Duran Duran (John Taylor and Andy Taylor) and some more randomers from Chic (Tony Thompson and Bernard Edwards)

The Heat Is On” – Glenn Frey. Frey co wrote many of the Eagles greatest songs with Don Henley and also sang lead vocals on plenty of them. He once fronted a duo with J D Souther (in 1969) who were known as Longbranch Pennywhistle. “The Heat Is On” is taken from Beverly Hills Cop which starred Eddie Murphy

Hot, Hot, Hot” – Arrow.  An excellent party song which was written and produced by Montserrat musician, Arrow (aka Alphonsus Cassell). It has been covered by many people including David Johansen off of the New York Dolls using his Buster Poindexter alter ego

(Love Is Like A) Heatwave” – Martha & The Vandellas. A classic Motown track and one of the many hits penned by the Holland Dozier Holland writing team. The song was well covered by Linda Ronstadt. It was also used to great effect in the blood collection scene in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ which starred John Travolta.

Drop It Like It’s Hot” – Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell. Snoop was known as Calvin Broadus although his parents did give him the nickname Snoopy because they felt there was a resemblance to the Charles Schultz creation.

Melt” – Siouxse & The Banshees. Her parents named her Susan Janet Ballion (although I have seen it noted as Dallion). Her Mum was a bilingual Secretary but her Dad had what must have been quite a unique job, he was a laboratory technician who milked serum from venomous snakes in the Belgian Congo!

Burning Love” – Elvis Presley. The song was written by Dennis Linde and first recorded by Arthur Alexander. Presley’s version came out in 1972. It is one of my favourite Elvis songs from his later years

Canned Heat” – Jamiroquai. Taken from the album ‘Synkronized’ the song reached number four in the UK Chart and made it to the top of the US Dance Chart. It was also used prominently in the film ‘Napoleon Dynamite’

Hot In Herre” – Nelly. Also known as Cornell Haynes Jr, Nelly had quite a prolific output in the noughties. This song title was somewhat deliberately misspelled a little like most of Slade’s early 70s output. The song uses the hook from Chuck Brown’s 1979 hit “Bustin’ Loose”

Disco Inferno” – Trammps. A classic disco song which was also featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I remember once talking to my Dad about having this song played at your funeral if you were being cremated. Well we never played it at my Dad’s funeral, but who knows? There might be room for it at mine! 😉

 

“Eat your words but don’t go hungry, words have always nearly hung me” June 12, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. Did you read the news that according to an American company the one millionth English word is about to be born, well actually it is probably already filling nappies (or diapers if you wish) as we speak. Apparently a company called GLM based in Texas whose raison-daitre is to tell companies how many times they are mentioned on the Internet can also search for the appearance of any word. Their self created methodology in determining a new word says that it must have appeared 25,000 times on the Internet, there is no time period applied. This all seems somewhat like bollocks to me (I’m not swearing bollocks is an Anglo Saxon word, just ask the Sex Pistols and Virgin Records!). Many Lexicographers (now that’s a fantastic job title!) are unhappy with these colonial usurpers telling them how it’s done! I tend to agree, but only because most Americans don’t speak English ‘like what it is supposed to be spoken’ I mean come on, no ‘U’ in colour, pronouncing route incorrectly, then there’s schedule and tomato. Don’t even get me started on fanny OK! 😉 Seriously though please don’t take offence at this if you are American, feel free to take offense though 🙂 But if you’d like a slightly more serious view click here for the link to the BBC that carries the story. Then click here for the follow up, for indeed while I have been typing (admittedly it has taken nearly three days to complete this post!) the new word has been dumped kicking and screaming into a world that, frankly, neither wants it or needs it. Only a nerdy geek could have given birth to it. For I know the word and the word is……………… Web 2.0, I kid you not. The nearest rivals were Jai-Ho (from the Slumdog Millionaire movie) and nOOB (something to do with nerdy, geeky gamers I believe) All that hype and all we get is a couple of small turds plopping into the lexicon of life.

 Anyway I was thinking that a word related post might be interesting so here goes. Let’s kick off with the rather stupendous Tom Tom Club with the rather jolly “Wordy Rappinghood” Now I think Rappinghood would have made an excellent millionth word contender, how about you? Tom Tom Club I suppose really began as on offshoot of Talking Heads, I think nowadays the correct term might be side project! The band consisted of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz off of Talking Heads and a cast of many other noted musicians; Adrian Belew, Wally Badarou and the Compass Point All Stars to name just a few. Their earliest success came with the divine “Genius Of Love”. But they really broke big when the 12 inch versions of Genius and Rappinghood were issued and got a lot of club play in 1982. Their songs have been sampled by many people including Grandmaster Flash and Mariah Carey. The band also appeared on the Talking Heads live concert movie ‘Stop Making Sense’

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

Next up it’s the Gibb Brothers (OK the Bee Gees then) with “Words” Which was once given a depressingly dull makeover by the band that put bland into everything the rather shite (in my opinion of course) Boyzone. Sadly it gave Ronan and the boys their first UK number one. But if you’d like to hear some better covers of the song there are plenty out there. Check out some good covers from Rita Coolidge and Georgie Fame. You can find a great Bee Gees reference in the strangest place, there is an excellent parody of them in Blink 182’s video for “First Date” Speaking of the Bee Gees , I was walking to the train station earlier this week lost in my iPod and on came “Stayin’ Alive”, how I longed to be carrying a pot of paint so that I could make like Travolta’s Tony Manero in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Sadly a laptop bag just doesn’t cut it, does it?

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

Then we have the boys that put Cod Piece back in the dictionary, Cameo with “Word Up” Which bizarrely in my humble opinion was covered by Korn! Click here to here the Korn version. The song was a massive hit for Cameo in 1986, the promo rounds were probably made much more memorable by Larry Blackmon’s polished red cod piece. For me Larry was one of only two people who have ever been able to pull off a cod piece (ooooooooh Matron!) The other one being Edmund Blackadder. The song also gets played in an Episode of the Simpsons entitled, appropriately for this post, ‘Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words’ where Lisa performs in a crossword competition. 

Mr Cod Piece 1986

Mr Cod Piece 1986

I haven’t mentioned the Beatles and Bowie for a while so how about the Beatles with “The Word” and Mr Bowie with the hardly ever played “Word On A Wing”. The Beatles song appeared on ‘Rubber Soul’ and in addition to the Fab Four also had George Martin playing the Harmonium. Bowie’s song appeared on the excellent ‘Station To Station’ album from 1976 and emanating from the Dame’s ‘Thin White Duke’ period. It was also a B side to the single version of “Stay” from the same album. It is a relatively religious song and written while Bowie was very much coke addled. It also coincided with the time Mr Jones began to wear a crucifix

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

I shall finish this post with the wonderful “ABC” by the Jackson Five. OK I know it’s not strictly a word but if you didn’t know your ABC you wouldn’t be able to make words would you? The song was a US number one and like the earlier “I Want You Back” was written by the mysterious Corporation. Not that mysterious though it was a Motown writing team that consisted of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonso Mizell and Deke Richards. The song was backed with a cover of a lesser known Diana Ross And The Supremes song; “The Young Folks”

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

OK that’s all for now, but tell me your word songs, I can think of a couple more but I’d like to hear from you my dear readers!

 

“There’s no payola in his alphabetical file” February 18, 2009


Here we are on the day of the Brit awards. Who will win? Who will “do a Winslett” in their acceptance speech? Who will throw a hissy fit at not winning anything? Who will wiggle their arse at Jacko (and how old will they be, I mean Jarvis is about as old as me nearly)? Who cares? All these questions, ok most of these questions will be answered this evening. Watch it live on ITV at 8pm, unless of course you really don’t care, in which case slip into to something comfortable (comment about J*ck* here has been left out at the request of my legal team) and drink your cocoa before retiring to bed before it gets dark. (Cocoa and early to bed is just what Catwoman will be doing tomorrow I’m sure). Either way you can check out all the potential winners and losers here http://www.brits.co.uk/

Of the nominees the only one that I would like to see win an award is Paul Weller, in fact I’ll be gutted if he doesn’t.

A Brit :-)

A Brit 🙂

Before we move on with the usual stuff I have a very hot tip coming up for you and it’s absolutely nothing to do with the Brits. They are a band that is local to me (in York UK). I haven’t seen them live yet, but I did meet Emi and James last week. Both of them are intelligent, funny and great people. Their band is called Exit Project and you can listen to them on Myspace and you can also order their new single “Healing Slow” now, I ordered my copy this morning. The video was shot, I believe, by Emi’s brother and it’s pretty damned good too. Go have a listen to their music you won’t be disappointed and if you do like it BUY THE CD NOW! (OK that wasn’t very subliminal was it? Never mind, just buy it ok)

So let’s move onto the main business of the day, some birthdays. Firstly it is the 56th birthday of Robbie Bachman the drummer and Bachman off of Bachman Turner Overdrive. I always imagined they were a trio, largely because it would be really cool if your surname was Overdrive wouldn’t it? Sadly there is no one called overdrive in the band. Their biggest hit was “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” which I really used to love when it was a hit in 1974 (US number 1 UK number 2). But after it was appropriated by Smashie and Nicey (aka Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse ) I went off it a bit. But I am trying to rehabilitate it, in fact I even played it at my last mobile disco gig, a 30th birthday party last month! The band inspired an achievement/trophy in the video game Rock Band 2 which is named “The Bachman-Turner Award” in their honour. It is awarded for staying in overdrive for 90 seconds. Another tasty piece of BTO trivia, well certainly for me anyway, is that Stephen King chose his pen name Richard Bachman from the bands name (In case you didn’t know, I am a big Stephen King fan)

Bachman, Turner and one of the others must be Overdrive

Bachman, Turner and one of the others must be Overdrive

Today is also the 55th birthday of John Travolta I know he is predominantly an actor, but love it or loathe it “Grease” is somewhat difficult to ignore. Come on how many of you can resist singing along, or at least tapping your feet to most of the songs from the soundtrack? Speaking of tapping your feet, as a child John attended dance classes. His teacher was none other than Fred Kelly, the brother of famous dancer Gene Kelly

Travolta an excellent dancer who spawned countless poor imitations every time "Night Fever" gets played

Travolta an excellent dancer who spawned countless poor imitations every time "Night Fever" gets played

The third and final birthday for today is that of Andre Romelle Young who is much better known as Dr Dre a former member of the excellent NWA and Eminems Producer. Dre is 44 today. Dre’s “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” featured on the soundtrack of the popular video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas from the rap radio station, Radio Los Santos.

Curtis, Marshall and Andre (left to right)

Curtis, Marshall and Andre (left to right)

On this day in 1998 Noel Gallagher’s Epiphone Supernova guitar raised £4,600 in aid of the Children In Need charity when auctioned at Bonhams auction house in London. This was the Union Jack guitar that Noel used a lot during the promotional tour for the second Oasis album. His was a custom made guitar but Epiphone also produced copies for general sale with either the Union Jack Design or in light blue, which is the colour of Noel and Liam’s favourite football club, Manchester City FC.

Noel with THAT guitar

Noel with THAT guitar

On this day in 1969 Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, better known as Lulu married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees. That same year she tied for first place with three other countries (Spain, France and the Netherlands) in the Eurovision Song Contest with the awful “Boom Bang A Bang” At least she did record lots of really good stuff too, especially her cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” But then I would say that wouldn’t I? Anything to get a Bowie reference into the blog. Lulu also recorded Dan Hartman’s “Relight My Fire” with Take That who at the time featured one Robert Peter Williams (maybe relight my fire was in fact a clarion call to put a match to RW?) (More Bowie references and Robbie digs another day!) Another little known fact, until now, is that when Lulu appeared as a ‘victim’ of the ‘This Is Your Life’ show in the UK in May 1972 the finale included a Scottish pipe band and in that band was my Dad’s cousin Betty!

The Dame with Lulu

The Dame with Lulu

Lulu - Now and then. I hope I look that good when I get to her age

Lulu - Now and then. I hope I look that good when I get to her age

Janie jones in THAT dress

Janie jones in THAT dress

And finally for today, as promised yesterday, here’s some words about Janie Jones, the subject of a great song from the Clash. She was born Marion Mitchell in Seaham, County Durham in the UK. Her first brush with fame came when she attended a film premiere (London In The Raw) appropriately given the title, in a topless dress. A topless dress, wait a minute, that would be a skirt wouldn’t it? She had been a relatively unsuccessful pop singer in the 60s. The best known of her songs was “Witches Brew” which reached number 46 in

Ju Ju Queen on the lash?

Ju Ju Queen on the lash?

the UK charts. She was jailed in 1973 for her involvement in ‘controlling prostitutes’ otherwise know as a madam. In 2006 the Clash song was covered by Babyshambles with and Janie Jones appeared in the video being chauffered around London with Mick Jones (off of the Clash). In 1983, Janie, backed by members of the Clash and the Blockheads and credited as Janie Jones & the Lash, released the single “House of the Ju-Ju Queen” The track was produced by Joe Strummer

Janie ponders a whip round for her court costs

Janie ponders a whip round for her court costs

So that’s it for another day folks apart from a little film I’d like to share with you, it’s called “Funny Fart” and I love it!

 

 
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