With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You Have To Show Them That You’re Really Not Scared” October 24, 2013


Mary-Poppins-mv03

According to a recent article on the BBC Entertainment News website there was almost a sequel to the very successful Disney ‘Mary Poppins‘ film from 1964. It would once again have been based on the books by Pamela Travers. It would have been called ‘Mary Poppins Comes Back’. In fact a screenplay was written by Brian Sibley and Pamela Travers. By this time it was 1984 and therefore casting anyone from the original film would have been difficult. Julie Andrews had moved on to many other things and she was also twenty years older.

No more Jesus juice please!

No more Jesus juice please!

There would have been not Bert in the sequel; that was the character played by Dick Van Dyke in the original. However there was a part for Bert’s brother who was to be an Edwardian ice cream seller in a London Park. Given that Dick Van Dyke probably gave us the worst cockney accent in cinema history who do you think some Disney executives were considering to play his brother in the ill-fated sequel? None other than Michael Jackson! can you believe that? Would that have changed Jacko’s self-appointed title to the King Of Poppins? Anyway if you would like to read the whole story on the BBC click here.

Jacko auditions for the Mary Poppins role

Jacko auditions for the Mary Poppins role

 

“Jamming good with weird and gilly” February 27, 2012


According to a recent report in the UK tabloid the Daily Mail (so only a small chance it’s true) Ziggy Stardust is about to be honoured with a plaque in London. In the year that marks the 40th anniversary of the release of what many consider Bowie‘s finest moment it seems that the powers that be may be ready to give Ziggy a commemorative plaque.

Note that this would be very special as they are not awarded to living people. But it’s not a Bowie plaque it is most definitely to honour the Ziggy character. It will be placed in Heddon Street where the cover pictures for ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars‘ album were shot.

Can you think of any other fictitious characters from the rock world that should be honoured in the same way? The Kinks ‘Terry and Julie’ on Waterloo Bridge perhaps?

 

“A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido” October 16, 2011


I am pleased to see that someone has kicked off a Facebook campaign to make Nirvana’sSmells Like Teen Spirit” the UK Christmas number one this year. I posted something of a similar sentiment a short while ago, click here to read it. This new Facebook campaign was kicked off in response to the X Factor naming one of this years crop of average karaoke singers, another insipid, bland girl group, Rhythmix. The name is also the name of a UK charity that uses music as and to help children and young people from difficult backgrounds. It gives many young people the opportunity to make music to help them develop and learn. Check out the charity website here.

Simon Cowell will do anything in his desire to rule the world, including throwing babies to sharks

When the charity contacted the X Factor team they were told to “get a lawyer”. Effectively because they didn’t have the rights to the name for use as a band, basically they held the rights for educational purposes only. That’s within the letter of the law I’m sure, but ethically and morally it suggests that Cowell and his cronies are emotionally bankrupt.

Nirvana's unused sleeve for their cover of the Commodores "Brick House"

So let’s get behind this campaign and spoil this years pop muppets Christmas. Click here to find the page on Facebook. In the meantime enjoy the band doing the song at the Reading Festival in 1992. They even insert a short burst of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” a song fromwhich Kurt Cobain claimed to have ripped off the riff for Teen Spirit from.

 

“Everyone knows one and one makes two, I’m the one and the other one’s you” December 21, 2010


Sir Cliff laughs in the face of the recent cold snap by keeping his shirt open

After a mammoth Beatles Advent Calendar post yesterday, today, December 21st, brings you another person who has so far had three UK Christmas Number Ones. So let’s open that little cardboard flap and see who it is. You’ll firstly be taken back to Christmas 1960 when I was fast approaching the milestone of two years old. It was the first of Cliff Richard’s UK Christmas Number Ones and on this one he was backed by the Shadows, it is called “I Love You”. Cliff is the only act to have achieved UK Christmas Number ones in three separate decades. The other two were “Mistletoe And Wine” in 1988 and “Saviours Day” in 1990. Thankfully the awful, in my opinion anyway, Cliff’s “Millennium Prayer” didn’t make it to the top at Christmas 1999, however it did get to number one for two weeks and was deposed by Westlife, with “I Have A Dream/ Seasons In The Sun“. Of the two I’m really not sure which was the worst, but a 2004 VH1 poll registered “Millennium Prayer” as the worst number one ever. I presume that makes it officially a pile of number twos!

Sir Cliff prepares to celebrate his first UK Christmas Number One

After Hank and the boys moved on Cliff struggled to play his guitar parts on air guitar

Anyway onto the three songs that made it to that coveted UK Christmas Number One spot for Cliff. Firstly with “I Love You” backed by the Shadows in 1960. The song was written by Bruce Welch off of the Shadows and stayed at the top for just two weeks. John Lennon once said that ‘before Cliff and the Shadows there was nothing worth listening to in British Music’ Whilst Cliff went on to massive success without the Shadows, they too were a very successful band. Cliff has had a total of 14 UK number ones, sadly that record is now equalled by Westlife, which puts him and them just behind the Beatles on 17 and Elvis on 21. The Shadows had three number ones in their own right, including the fabulous “Apache” from 1960, and a further seven backing Cliff.

Sir Cliff's cunning plan to disguise himself as Santa wasn't a great success

Cliff waited 28 years for his next UK Christmas Number One which arrived in 1988, it was called “Mistletoe And Wine”, certainly not one of my favourites, but then, to each their own as they say! The song comes from a 1976 musical adaptation of Han’s Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl‘. It was Cliff’s 99th UK single, which whether you like him or not is an astonishing record (no pun intended!) It was also his 12th UK number one and the biggest selling single of 1998, it spent 4 weeks at number one. Like many Christmas themed songs it often returns to the UK charts in December.

And there was me thinking that only Freddie Mercury could get away with clothes like that!

The third and so far final UK Christmas UK Number One from Cliff was “Saviours Day” in 1990. The video for the song was filmed in Dorset. It is one of only three UK Christmas Number Ones to remain at the top for just one week. An honour it shares with “Goodbye” from the Spice Girls in 1998 and “Killing In The Name” from Rage Against The Machine in 2009. At the time of writing Matt Cardle’s “When We Collide” has been at the chart summit for less than a week, but I expect that it will remain for a bit longer yet. I find it pretty sad that once again the X Factor gets the Christmas Number One slot. We must do better next year people, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen. We need another Rage Against The Machine moment, let’s start a Facebook campaign now!

Madonna, Amy Winehouse and Sir Cliff Richard in Lego..... a strange trio if you ask me!

 

“Little things I should’ve said and done, I never took the time” December 5, 2010


It’s already December 5th, just less than three weeks before the bearded weirdie arrives on his sleigh, and those little cardboards doors on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar a falling like dominoes. Today brings you a veritable treat from the 80s and regular readers will know that’s a decade that is my least favourite in musical terms!

Chris and Neil make a blatant bid for a hit in Russia, either that or they were on the FIFA committee that just awarded the 2018 World Cup to them

Ladies and gentlemen and those gender or species uncertains amongst you I give you the Pet Shop Boys. Their cover of the classic “Always On My Mind” was number one at Christmas 1987 where it stayed for four weeks. Incidentally my daughter Lauren was born that year so that was her first Christmas and just like then she is always on my mind now, even though she may not think so.

Initially the Pet Shop Boys bricked it when asked to cover an Elvis song, but once they had 'Lego' of their anxieties they were fine!

The duo first played the song earlier in the year as part of a TV show to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. It was so well liked that they decided to record it and release it as a single and the rest as they say, is history! Elvis recorded his version in 1972 shortly after the song had been released as an US single by Brenda Lee. She was one of my Dad’s all time favourite singers. It is believed that the song has been recorded by at least 300 different acts. In addition to Elvis, Brenda Lee and the Pet Shop Boys, my favourite version is probably that by Willie Nelson. His cover was released in 1982 and reached the top spot on the US Country Chart that year.

Th boys prepare, rather badly in fact, for their cover of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"

The Pet Shop Boys version was the third of their four UK number ones, they only reached number one in the US chart once. That was with “West End Girls” which was their first UK number one. They did however reach the summit of the US Dance Charts some nine times between 1984 and 2009. Finally, for the record, the group’s name has absolutely nothing to do with hamsters, guinea pigs, cardboard tubes and insertion into bodily orifices. They were originally known as West End and Chris and Neil felt that the nickname of their two friends who worked in a pet shop would work better than that!

Enjoy the Pet Shop Boys video for the song from 1987 below

Here is the excellent Willie Nelson version

Followed by the former Little Miss Dynamite, Brenda Lee

And finally it’s Elvis Aaron Presley‘s version

 

“I don’t wanna take no pictures I just wanna take some shots!” November 25, 2010


Did any of you see Will.i.am‘s appearance at the American Music Awards at the weekend? It would be fair to say, well in my opinion anyway, that he looked like a bit of a knob. he was wearing a Lego baseball cap, at the usual hip hop style or indeed chav style jaunty angle. Only it wasn’t really proper Lego was it, because Lego is mostly square and that hat certainly wasn’t square. I wonder what the other Peas thought of it. There was also a great piece in the Guardian about it as well, which actually had the hat dissed by a kid who went on to make his own hat from proper Lego. Click here to read it.

I reckon he must have felt like a bit of a brick (misprint!)

Obviously many other rock stars have worn hats that were somewhat loud; Slash and Jay off of Jamiroquai to name but two. I just felt that Will.i.am’s millinery disaster zone was even worse than one time Guns n Roses member; Buckethead. What did you, dear readers think of it?

I also wonder whether that mild obsession with the Danish plastic toy will lead to worse things for Will.i.am, like Lego Porn, you have been warned!

But back to Will.i.am and the other Black Eyed Peas, have you seen their new video, for the new single “Time(Dirty Bit)”? There is a lot of pixellation that makes them seem somewhat Legoized. See what did I tell you it really will be Lego porn next!

 

“Einstein can’t be classed as witless, he claimed atoms were the littlest” November 24, 2010


This will be another short post, I promise. Largely because I have imbibed a few units of alcohol while watching a rather dull Champions League game (Glasgow Rangers versus Manchester United) with some new work colleagues in London. Anyway after travelling back to my hotel in the Old Kent Road (yes that’s one of the cheap brown ones on the Monopoly board) I switched on the TV to catch the BBC news. As expected the main coverage was the student protests in London. Click here to read the story

Now as I have said before I very much support the actions of the UK students although I do not condone the violence and damage to property that a rogue element seem to perpetrate. Anyway there was a rather funny clip shown where at the height of the protests, while some idiots were trashing a police van. Why was it funny? Well largely because the young lady interviewed on camera shouted her protest at the government, it was something along the lines of “they will be charging us £9,000 a year, for three years, that’s £21,000” Forgive me for being cynical but that young person really does need an education in basic arithmetic, doesn’t she?

OK amusement over, let’s get back to some music and for today I thought I’d go for a couple of slightly appropriate songs from the late and very definitely great Mister Ian Dury! Ladies, gentlemen and those of you with both bits, please enjoy “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards” and “Clever Trevor” Also as many of todays protesters were in fact school kids I thought that you might also like Alice Cooper‘s classic “School’s Out” from 1972 and performed here on the Beebs sadly missed Top Of The Pops show.

 

 
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