With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

East Village Punk ‘n’ Rock Tour (NYC) from Rock Junket Tours – Saturday 29th December 2018 January 8, 2019


As a part of my birthday jaunt to NYC my wonderful wife Catwoman (a.k.a Catherine) booked a rather intriguing East Village Punk ,n, Rock walking tour of New York’s East Village from Rock Junket. Our host and Rock Junket Head Honcho was Bobby Pinn (not his real name) and it was a pure delight to spend a couple of hours in his company. I pride myself on knowing an awful lot about rock music, but I bow to the vast encyclopaedic knowledge of Mr Pinn. I learnt so much on this tour.

We saw the apartment block where Joey Ramone (a.k.a. Jeffrey Ross Hyman and also a.k.a Jeff Starship!) lived. Not far from there is the spot where the iconic photo of the Bruddas that adorns the cover of their first album was taken. Take another look at that picture, in particular the subtle way in which Joey is bending his knee and Dee Dee is standing on tip toes just so that the vast gap between the pair of them does not appear so vast.

Whilst I didn’t try one until later in the week we learnt what an Egg Cream drink was. The drink is immortalised in song by Lou Reed and apparently one of the best spots to buy one is the Gem Spa, a one time haunt of the New York Dolls. Strangely enough the Egg Cream beverage contains neither egg nor cream! Go figure!

I already knew a lot about Bill Graham’s venue the Fillmore/ Fillmore West in San Francisco, but I knew next to nothing about the Fillmore East in New York. Many great acts took to the stage there from the Allman Brothers to Frank Zappa. The most appearances by any artist or band was by the Grateful Dead.

Apartments that were once home to a young Madonna and tortured jazz giant Charlie Parker were encountered. Charlie Parker even has a street named in his honour. Now that is not bad for a suicidal junkie who died aged just 34. But that was just a part of his story and it is impossible not to recognise the towering influential, pioneering genius of Mr Parker. Also who knew that Madonna’s early live appearances were as a drummer for her then boyfriend’s band? I certainly didn’t!

I I hadn’t been on this tour with Bobby Pinn I am certain that I would have walked right past the building that features on the front cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 double album ‘Physical Graffiti’. The building was the home of Jimmy Page’s drug supplier who lived on the fourth floor. That floor is conspicuously missing from the album cover after a real cut and paste job by artist Peter Corriston. The very same tenement block was used in the video for the Rolling Stones 1981 single “Waiting On A Friend”.

The tour ended at the site of the now defunct CBGB’s; the iconic 1970s New York punk venue. I took the obligatory pictures outside and even ventured into the ridiculously expensive and rather disappointing shop that is now on the site. That said, the Captain Fantastic pinball table was stunning!

In this post I have tried to give you a flavour of this magnificent tour of some classic rock landmarks in the East Village. I didn’t want to add much more and therefore spoilmyour enjoyment when you take it. Make sure that you go walking around New York with Bobby Pinn next time you are in the Big Apple. You will not regret it. Click here to check out the Rock Junket site and to book your tour.

Apart from the Rock Junket header all pictures were taken by yours truly, apart from those that feature me which were taken by the most wonderful person that I know, Catherine Adamson. If you were wondering which landmark birthday I was celebrating it was 18 with 42 years of experience. 😉

 

Lost Trends – City Screen Basement, York – Saturday 21st April 2018 April 23, 2018


A headline show in York from the mighty Lost Trends, I mean you have to get yourself along to that don’t you, and I did. But before I tell you about one of York’s finest bands let me say a few words about the support bands. First up were Jerry who are very definitely a British band in the long genealogical line of the best British bands. They have a great sound in which I can hear the influence of The Fall, later period Blur, Pavement, Lou Reed and on occasions even Frank Zappa. Will this band go on to bigger and better things? Well I believe that Jerry can! Sorry about the terrible pun, but while I am on it how come so many bands these days have names that are so difficult to find in Google? (Other search engines are available). Is it because all the good names have been used?

Jerry

Talking of easy to find names next on stage were the Asphodels and oh boy are this bunch different. Imagine some Prog Rock opuses as played by a 90s grunge band. The rhythm section performed like a fuzzed out, punked up, psychedelic version of John Paul Jones and John Bonham off of Led Zeppelin. There were times that I was reminded of the best creations of Paul Draper and Mansun. I should add that their drummer is top draw and for me keeps the band in perfect sonic and rhythmic shape. I am looking forward to hearing more from the Asphodels.

Asphodels

Finally it was time for tonight’s main attraction, Lost Trends, I had met Rusty and Pete from the band earlier in the bar and they were properly up for this. Jerry and the Asphodels are two tough bands to follow but Lost Trends are highly skilled at upping the ante and they did it yet again with a stunning set. I have seen countless bands that give 100% in every performance but not many who go beyond that. Lost Trends are very much a 110% band. I have seen this band only twice before and I know that I will see them many more times in years to come. They have a new drummer who, it is fair to say, is a great fit. They play and perform with incredibly high energy levels with everything turned up to 11. By the end of the night everyone one of us punters were up on our feet frugging and chugging to some of the best dance/ rock hybrid songs out there. These boys know how to engage an audience and do it with buckets of style. They entertain a crowd in a way that many of their contemporaries can’t match. Lost Trends are scholars at intertwining tight, funky dance sounds with phenomenal, soaring rock vocals and punk attitude. In a parallel universe Lost Trends are playing stadiums supported by U2. get out and see them the next chance that you have, you will not be disappointed.

Lost Trends

Also it was great to catch up with my good friend, the stubbornest little bitch on the planet! You know who you are, stay strong!

 

“In the bars, with the men who play guitars” August 10, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 10:45 pm
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Led Zeppelin were never a singles band in the UK during their hey day. But they did drop their standards elsewhere in the world, particularly in the USA. In fact the B Side to the 7″ single release of “Immigrant Song” featured the bands only non-album release when it hit the shops in 1970. It was called “Hey Hey What Can I Do”, and it has seen the light of day on a number of reissues, notably the expanded ‘Coda’.

The band did eventually reach the UK singles chart in 1997 with a reissue of “Whole Lotta Love”. In total, worldwide Zep released 15 singles, the majority of which charted somewhere in the world. The original single release of “Whole Lotta Love” in 1969 made it to number one in both the Australian and German charts. “Immigrant Song” was a top ten hit in Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and on the US Cash Box charts.

 

“The Life I Love Is Makin’ Music With My Friends” August 9, 2017


Apparently the harmonica is the world’s best-selling music instrument. Who would have thought that such a small humble tool would be that successful? How many of you own a harmonica? Of those who do own one then how many of you can actually play it? While you’re thinking about that take a listen to ten of my favourite harmonica featuring tunes.

 

“Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings” July 31, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:58 pm
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By all accounts Frank Zappa was not a great fan of rock groups, well maybe not much of a fan of anyone else’s music some would say. He was often disparaging of rock behemoths like Led Zeppelin and referred to lead singer Robert Plant as Robert Planet and Robert Plant-It. It was also Zappa he first raised the story of the mud-shark and the groupie incident, but that is another story altogether.

However maybe he did secretly like Led Zeppelin. In rehearsals for his 1988 tour he tried a few covers; “Shapes Of Things” by the Yardbirds and “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles. But most of these were never played live, particularly “Stairway To Heaven” a song which Frank claimed never to have heard from start to finish. But he recognised that a Zappa cover of the song, including sound effects, might actually blow the minds of his audience. I have listened to a few live recordings of Zappa doing “Stairway To Heaven” and it is both faithful and fanciful, a truly mental take on a true rock classic. Apparently the song took a slightly different road each night of that tour, even taking on some reggae vibes occasionally. Personally I love Zappa does Zep. What do you think? Here are a few takes from Zappa and the Led Zeppelin original.

 

“When I read the letter you wrote me, it made me mad, mad, mad” November 16, 2016


stefan

OK so we all know that the for me classic album cover produced by Hipgnosis for Led Zeppelin’s 1974 ‘Houses Of The Holy’ has caused a degree of controversy. But frankly I find it all bloody poppycock. It was inspired by ‘Childhoods End’ the Arthur C Clarke classic sci-fi story and the shots were filmed on Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle.

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Despite the number of children on the cover there were only two child models used; 7-year-old Samantha Gates and her little brother Stefan Gates. That is all very well known but did you know that young Stefan went on to be a cookery show presenter on the BBC? He was once asked if he knew what the cover of the album actually meant. He replied “I personally have no idea”. Actually neither do I, does anyone?

 

Apollo Festival – York – Saturday 25th June 2016 June 30, 2016


apollo-festival

I wonder how long it will be before folk start referring to the last weekend in June as Apollo weekend and not Glasto weekend. Well many people in York already do, and rightly so this relatively new festival is still very vibrant, friendly and fun even in its fourth year. I have now been three times and I enjoyed each visit immensely. If you like good music and a good day out for the family in Yorkshire then look no further than York’s Apollo Festival.

Anyway this year I was a bit of a lazy stage hopper in that I only visited one other stage apart from the Main Stage. I arrived at about 11.15 along with my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman our good friend Caron and our amazing Odd Daughter Amelia. The first act we saw was the Ainsty’s Got Talent winner B Boy Swirl, aged just nine years old he is just three years older than Amelia. He proved himself to be a talented whirlwind of beatbox noise and break dance frenzy. What a brilliant start to the day.

Next up on the Main Stage was someone with a vocal talent that could easily compare and compete with Adele. The magnificent and truly soulful Kymberley Kennedy. Definitely check this lady out, she has a gorgeous voice. After that it was a quick dash to the Rick Witter Premier Stage for me to catch the final part of a stunning set from those magnificent scamps, the Mallrats. Just like the last time I saw them they were awesome!

I made my way back to the Main Stage for the second half of the Jackobins set. These scousers owe a debt to Brit Pop, but only a small one. Their talent goes much deeper than that. Ace mod covers band the outstanding 5:15’s were up next. What a party band these boys are, covers of the Jam, solo Weller, the Specials, the Yardbirds and so much more. They were followed by Chris Helme the former front man of the Seahorses. He is clearly a very talented and very chilled kind of bloke. But I’m afraid his music just doesn’t do it for me. But to each their own right?

I was disappointed that I had to miss the Supermodels this year. But I did have good reason,  I had earlier bumped into the fabulous Rachel Brown of Northern Exposure who has recommended the Velcro Teddy Bears for ages. So clearly I was not going to miss them. Rachel and her fella Ash were also in the audience in the Rick Witter Premier Stage for the Velcro Teddy Bears Apollo début. So what were this highly rated Sheffield four piece band like? The were bloody stupendous. They rocked the place hard. If you love Led Zep, the softer side of Sabbath and hard but soulful rock then you will become a fan of the Velcro Teddy Bears. An incredibly tight band with a vocalist who could probably make any song his own. Their songs have the hallmarks of future classics. For me they were the band of the day. Thank you Rachel! I was also pleased to see my mate Kevin Forth in attendance too.

Dave McCabe and the Ramifications were next to entertain us from the Main Stage. Dave in case you wondered is a former Zuton. The band was excellent from start to finish in my opinion although I really would have liked to have seen them close with “Valerie” but Dave was having none of that.

dodgyap

Dodgy were the penultimate Main Stage band and it is fair to say that they were far more than just “Good Enough”. A stonking version of “Staying Out For The Summer” even managed to keep the rain at bay for a while. Sadly the rain really kicked in after Cast’s arrival, what a “Fine Time” for a downpour? So I must apologise to the marvellous Cast as we left about halfway through their set as we were soaked. But they are clearly still a great festival band. I saw them back in the 90s and if anything they have got even better.

castap.jpg.gallery

So once again I have had the pleasure of attending another wonderful Apollo festival. This is one small wacky step for Dad dancing but one giant leap for festival kind. If you’re not already thinking about getting your tickets for next year, well frankly you’re not well!

Public Service Announcement – None of the pictures or videos were taken or filmed by me. I ‘borrowed’ them all from t’interweb.

 

 
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