I posted recently about how the use of your favourite song to advertise a product you don’t like or feel is wholly inappropriate made me think of something similar. How do you feel when you hear that a celebrity, politician or someone you simply don’t like is a big fan of your favourite artist, song or music? I’m not talking about political parties or candidates appropriating music for their campaigns; just those who give an insight into their personal taste.
Dave 'The Rave' Cameron attempts the Macca signature thumbs up......... and fails!
Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I have been a fan of David Bowie for many years. Chris Evans mentioned on his Radio Two show this morning that Jeremy Vine is a big David Bowie fan. I like that because I think Jeremy Vine is an excellent broadcaster. However when I discovered a few years back that Gordon Kennedy, the former leader of the Liberal Democrat party in the UK was a David Bowie fan I felt almost cheated as I really have no respect or liking for Mr Kennedy. But to be fair I still like him far more than I like Nick Clegg!
The Cleggatron after Dave Cam told him he was no longer required to play tambourine in Led Coalition.
Then there are people like Old EtonianDavid Cameron who has said that he is a fan of the Smiths and of the Jam; particularly “Eton Rifles” How does that kind of thing sit with such a strong right-wing ideology? Paul Weller actually commented on that with “It’s Like, which bit of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a fucking jolly drinking song for the cadet corps” Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, is supposedly a fan of the Scissor Sisters. I bet he doesn’t feel like dancing with Andrew Werrity anymore though!
Dangerous Dave in his Hippie days
As well as being a Bowie fan I am also a massive fan of the author Stephen King and a few years ago I was quite excited to read that Mr Bowie likes him too. Bowie was quoted as saying something like “I like Stephen King, he scares the shit out of me!”
Clegg says goodbye to his groupie and wonders where his red mullet is
So to finish who has expressed a liking for your favourite songs and artists and how did you feel about it?
Johnny and Paul at the first meeting of the Anti Cameron League
Hello once again regular readers and welcome to any new readers, I would love to hear from you via the comments function and also feel free to utilise the ‘rate’ option for each post.
A blue plaque not a blue meanie
A few more bits of music related news for you today. Firstly the house that John and Yoko lived in during 1968 finally gets an English Heritage blue plaque. The Marylebone property (basement and ground floor) was purchased by Ringo Starr in 1965 and before the Lennon’s moved in it was rented out to Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix. Read the story on the BBC.
Yoko thanked the builders for converting her former home into the leaning tower of Marylebone
To celebrate take a listen to “Yer Blues” from the Beatles ‘White Album’
Nick Clegg steals food from children as his contribution to the governments spending cuts
Now for some rather disappointing news, well in my opinion anyway. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat Leader and Tory Party muppet appeared on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs show this weekend and chose a book, a luxury item and 8 records (actually it’s 8 pieces of music. Why is that bad news? Well he’s only gone and chosen a David Bowie song hasn’t he. I just feel bad when people I don’t like happen to like people who I do like, does anyone else feel like that? The Bowie song he chose was “Life On Mars”, he also selected songs by Prince, Johnny Cash, Radiohead and Shakira. So begrudgingly I might have to credit him with some taste, I’d still never vote for him again though. Click here to read the report on the BBC. You can watch Mr Bowie performing the song below at the Yahoo Internet Life Music Awards in New York City in 2000, very ably supported by Mike Garson on piano.
Nick Clegg contemplates another luxury item to take to his desert island. Let's hope the cuts aren't too sharp eh Nick? Don't want any problems with inflation do we?
In another piece of Bowie related news Cheery Vanilla his one time squeeze from the 70’s has published her memoirs and the book is enticingly titled ‘Lick Me’, which is actually quite appropriate given her name. She is quoted as saying that if you’re given the chance to sleep with David Bowie you do it, even if you have giant carbuncles on your thighs. I’m not sure whether she did have those carbuncles though. Read about the book by clicking here.
Cherry Vanilla chooses a novel way of promoting her new book
A week or so back Take That revealed the cover to their new album, ‘Progress’. It is yet another take on the Ascent Of Man idea. The worrying thing about it for me is why Gary Barlow is looking up Mark Owen’s backside. Robbie is right in the middle and Jason Orange seems to have been given a real surprise. One which made him leap high. The Guardian analyses the picture here. What do you think of it?
It's a bit camp and a bit yellow isn't it?
Click here to read a list of 10 things that British Sea Power wished they hadn’t done from the drowned in sound website. My favourites are the fans dressed as 10 foot teddy bears and one of the band dressing as some kind of Geordie/ zebra hybrid to commemorate Kevin Keegan‘s appointment as Newcastle United manager.
The British Sea Power Teddy Bear was a bit grizzly that night!
Nick - "Dave, will this coalition hurt?" Dave - "Not really, but you may feel a little prick!"
Is the UK’s new coalition government the brave new world that some of the media are suggesting? It is the first for many years and indeed it is the first time The Party Formerly Known As The Liberal Party (TPFKATLP) has been represented on the cabinet. But in essence the country is being run once again by a significant number of toffs. Some 72% of the cabinet were schooled at Westminster, Eton and other exclusive schools and most of those are also Oxbridge Graduates. Personally I feel cheated, for the first time in quite a while I voted Lib Dem rather than Labour as I felt that Nick Clegg’s party ideals were closest to Labours. But then he goes and does a deal with Dangerous Dave. Sure he sided with the party that got most votes, but bear in mind that nobody really won this election. The Tories got 36% of the vote, but that equates to just 23% of those eligible to vote. To make matters worse if it all goes wrong I can’t wear my ‘Don’t Blame Me I Voted Labour’ badge, because I didn’t.
Will this government move us closer to proportional representation? I honestly doubt it, because the Tories and Labour have most to lose from it so they will angle any referendum questions their way I suspect. Am I being overly cynical? Maybe. But here’s another one, the Lib Dems said that they would not proceed with a replacement for Trident, but now that Dave and Nick are all cosied up the Lib Dems will concede on that. Hold on a cotton pickin’ minute here, why has no-one stated the bloody obvious. This government will bring in austerity measures to achieve public spending cuts saving £6 billion. Now according to reports of Trident costs that I have read Trident’s replacement will cost anywhere from £76 billion to £130 billion. So why not scrap Trident and take the £6 billion from there and then pay all the rest of us (except bankers) obscene bonuses with the remaining money. But that won’t happen either as banking reform will be handcuffed as it will be led by George Osborne rather than Vince Cable.
Anyway rant over, because frankly what the hell can I do about it now? Bugger all that’s what! Also this is ostensibly a music blog so let’s get on with that element shall we? Taking the theme, appropriately from another new government story. Dangerous Dave Cameron has apparently banned people from using their mobiles and Blackberrys in meetings and I commend him for that. (Read about it here) Where I work I wish someone would take that extra step and ban bloody meetings though, it’s no wonder that nothing get’s done in most organisations when most of us are sat on our arses in meetings all day!
So back to the point, the banning of phones in government meetings, here are a somewhat eclectic six telephone related songs, (one for each Lib Dem member of the Liberative Cabinet, feel free to suggest your own
and you thought the first mobile phones were big!
“Telephone Line” – ELO. This is probably one of my favourite ELO songs, I always preferred their slower numbers. I went off them when Jeff Lynne just seemed to want to be the Beatles, even before Oasis did. But in their time they did record some classic songs though
“Hanging On The Telephone” – Blondie. This was a cover version the original was by the Nerves (click here to listen). I reckon that quite a few people didn’t know that. I suppose I could have chosen “Call Me” as well. I saw Blondie in the 90’s when “Maria” went to number one in the UK. It was at the Reading Rivermead with my very good friend Jes (Jeremy Hyde to his folks). Anyway the band had played a couple of songs from the new album and we were standing a little way from the stage, then they launched into “Hanging On The Telephone” and I remained were I was whilst Jes was dragged forward by the crowd surge. The next thing I could see was Jes right near the front of the stage pogoing his heart out. He has always had a bit of a thing for Debbie Harry though, in fact he once confided in me that our boss Jane reminded him of Ms Harry. But more of that another day perhaps!
“Vibrate” – Rufus Wainwright. This is taken from Rufus’ excellent album ‘Want One’ which was the first of his that I bought. I love the guys voice, which sometimes reminds me of the late, great Jeff Buckley. he is the son of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. Loudon once wrote a song called “Rufus Is A Tit Man” which turned out to be completely wrong as Rufus is gay. If my son Luke was around when I put a Rufus Wainwright CD on he always referred to him as Rufus the Doofus, I thought you might want to know that
“Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)” – Four Tops. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t love Levi Stubbs’ voice, for me it’s an immaculate soul voice. Whilst most of the Four Tops biggest hits were written by the classic teaming of Holland Dozier Holland this one wasn’t. It was co written by Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones. That’s the very same Gloria Jones that wrote and originally recorded, “Tainted Love” which became Soft Cell’s biggest hit. She also went on to become Marc Bolan’s girlfriend and was driving the car in which he died in September 1977
“Alexander Graham Bell” – Sweet. Mr Bell is credited with inventing the telephone and allegedly he wouldn’t have one in his study as he felt it was an intrusion, that seems a little strange to me. Also his mother and his wife were profoundly deaf, so his invention was never going to benefit them was it?
“Telephone Man” – Meri Wilson. Meri specialised in double entendre type songs of which this, her biggest hit (oooooooh Matron!) is a good example. Sadly she died in a car crash aged just 53 in 2002
So now all the hype and spin of the UK General Election is over for the time being. Maybe for just a short period too, given that we have a hung parliament there might be another election as soon as later this year, just like 1974. I was thinking earlier that all three main parties must be thinking about how badly they have done this time around and maybe about the recriminations associated with that performance. The Tories must have hoped to have won an overall majority, Labour might have expected to fare a little better (I wonder what influence bigotgate had on their result) and the Lib Dems surely would have wished for a massive improvement rather than going backwards in terms of number of seats. I also feel that this country is crying out for electoral reform. How is it fair that a party like the Lib Dems can win 23% of the votes but les than 10% of the parliamentary seats? That can’t be right, can it? To quote Mr Rotten from San Francisco in 1978 ‘ever had the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ I feel very cheated in this election. How does everyone else feel? Still there was a modicum of good news; the Green Party won their first seat in Brighton and the BNP still have no MPs. The BNP also lost 12 council seats in Barking, now that is very, very good news.
Gordon makes it clear what he thinks of his opponents. It certainly doesn't look like an 'I agree with Nick' hand gesture does it?
So back to thoughts of failure, recrimination and blame, with heavy emphasis on the blame element. As I have said plenty of times before this is a music blog so here come some blame songs, please feel free to add your own through the comments option.
“I Don’t Blame You At All” – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. In this clip the song soundtracks the UK chart rundown on the BBCs Top Of The Pops hosted by Jimmy Saville. Just dig that crazy fashion sense and dancing skills among the audience daddyo! Was that really my generation? Surely not. Back in my younger days I first heard this song on a Motown Chartbusters album, Volume 6 in fact. It was the one with the excellent Roger Dean cover of a Fly/ Spaceship hybrid. What do you think of it?
Motown Chartbusters Volume 6 cover - I reckon they should have called this superfly, although Curtis Mayfield may have been upset!
“Blame It On The Boogie” – Jacksons. The Jackson as they became after leaving Motown, they weren’t allowed to be called the Jackson 5 as Motown owned the name rights. They also left Jermaine at Motown and replaced him with brother Randy. Does anyone know what the ectoplasm going on in the video is? Confusingly this song was written by a British chap who rather confusingly was called Mick Jackson (not Jacko), click his name to hear his version. Either way it’s a brilliant disco song even after all these years
“Blame It On The Sun” – Stevie Wonder. Taken from Stevie’s excellent ‘Talking Book’ album from 1972. I really had to include this for other reasons as well. In particular the UK tabloid the Sun, a part of Mr Murdoch’s empire back Cameron and the Tories to win. So maybe Dave will blame it on the Sun. At least there wasn’t the old headline of ‘It was the Sun wot won it!’
“Blame Canada” – South Park. Before I am inundated with comments from angry Canadians, let me just state categorically that I love Canada and certainly don’t blame them for the election result in the UK. Although I am sure that a conspiracy could be woven around that if required. This song is taken from the excellent South Park Movie from 1999, was it really that long ago? Oh Boy! Have you seen it before? If not then click here to buy it.
“Blame It On The Pop” (Top 25 songs of 2009) – Various Artists. Nothing much to say about this mixtastic, medleytastic bunch. It features 25 artists (and in some cases I use the term lightly) including Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Keri Hilson, Flo Rida, Pitbull, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jay Sean, Lil Wayne, All American Rejects, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Foxx, Kelly Clarkson, Rihanna and Jason Mraz
OK very funny, which one of you b*stards put super glue on the table?
Squeezing into that little box was easy, but Gordo, Dave and Nicky realised it was going to be bloody difficult to get out!
As I have said many times before this is ostensibly a music blog and therefore pretty much everything I write about gets taken in that direction. This post is no exception. Thursday 6th May sees another General Election in the UK, the 8th one that I have been eligible to vote at, having reached official voting age before the 1979 election.
If only it were true 🙂
I have never failed to cast my vote and I urge you to do the same. It is the apathetic voters that allow the extremists into power, we cannot let that happen with evil and deluded parties like the BNP. But this week those of us in the UK should also vote for change. I know that voting for change is somewhat of a cliché, however I believe that our first past the post system has now had its day. A system that would allow the party with fewer votes to win more seats in parliament is not right, is it?
Most of the fake posters for this election have been better than the real ones don't you think?
In many ways I don’t care who you vote for, but I do care that people actually get off their arse and use theirs. So don’t let the country down, let’s mobilise for a massive turnout!
While you consider who you vote for here are some alleged trivial facts about the leaders of the three main parties; Nick Clegg once set fire to a very rare cactus. Gordon Brown apparently eats nine bananas a day and David Cameron is a direct descendent of King William IV
As I said at the start this is not a vehicle to voice my political opinions, (well perhaps apart from my dislike of the BNP) it’s a music blog. So here are twenty political type songs for you to enjoy while watching the remaining election coverage this week. Enjoy! You can follow the election on the BBC or the Guardian(I will be). Oh and there is also a hidden track somewhere in this post, have you found it? The usual crap prize, subject to postage awaits the first person to tell me what it is and where it is!
Ball Of Confusion – Temptations. This song reminds me so much of my youth and for me is one of the greatest songs Norman Whitfield produced for the Temptations. There was also a pretty good cover produced for Tina Turner by Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware off of the British Electric Foundation (BEF), also off of Heaven 17 and also once off of the Human League! Click here to listen to Tina’s version.
Elected – Alice Cooper. Probably one of my favourite Alice Cooper songs. Did you know he actually ran for the US Presidency in 1972? With a hook line of “They’re changing guards at President Palace, out goes Nixon and in comes Alice” Why I remember that line I don’t know, but it has been stuck in my head now for nearly 40 years! There was a cover of this song a few years ago in aid of Comic Relief which I believe was credited to Mr Bean and Bruce Dickinson off of Iron Maiden. Click here for that one!
Electioneering – Radiohead. Taken from the classic ‘OK Computer’ album and seen by many as one of the greatest political songs. It also takes a nice dig at the IMF too
Election Day – Arcadia. The Duran Duran offshoot that wasn’t the Power Station, well that’s my view. I would always prefer a band with Robert Palmer as vocalist rather than Simon Le Bon. Which one did you prefer?
The Politics Of Dancing – Re-Flex. In this list purely for the title! You know how low my opinion of most 80s stuff is! ‘Nuff said!
You Haven’t Done Nothing – Stevie Wonder. Now this is a superb song and so true of today’s politicians. If you listen carefully you can hear Stevie bringing the backing vocalists in when he says “Jackson Five come sing along” Yes, it was the Jackson clan providing the ‘doo do wops’ on this song
Abraham, Martin And John – Marvin Gaye. Motown really started to get politics in the late 60’s and early 70’s didn’t it, this was in advance of Marvin’s classic ‘What’s Going On’ album, more of which later. I believe that Dion off of Dion and the Belmonts also had a hit with this
Stand Down Margaret – The Beat. In the event her own party stood her down. Whilst I was really pleased that it happened it was pretty disloyal wasn’t it?
A Design For Life – Manic Street Preachers. For me the opening line says everything about when the working class really moved forward. “Libraries gave us power”
Police And Thieves – Clash. I will never tire of hearing this excellent cover of Junior Murvin’s brilliant song, oh and did I tell you that I consider the Clash to be the best band there has ever been? I did? I thought so
So Much Trouble In The World – Bob Marley And The Wailers. No political song list would be complete without Mr Marley in my opinion and there are so many good ones to choose from.
The President Wore Pearls – Lisa Simpson. What can I say about this? Lisa is trying to get elected but doesn’t think she will be cool enough
Anarchy For The UK – Sex Pistols. Well we may not have anarchy by Friday but we will probably have a hung parliament as opposed to some parliamentarians who should be hung. Duck islands and moats indeed!
Rocking In The Free World – Neil Young and Pearl Jam. Great combination which gives Mr Young extra added rock power, also a bloody good song too
Vote Baby Vote – Lady Kier off of Deee Lite. This was put together for an MTV special ‘Rock The Vote’ show, so it’s perhaps more a jingle than a song, but the message is very clear
I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician – Roger McGuinn off of the Byrds. I wonder if this is when politics became a career? I don’t know about you but the term career politician seems to be an oxymoron, with the emphasis on the moron bit for many of them!
Wake Up The Nation – Paul Weller. Is there no stopping this bloke? His last album ’22 Dreams’ was fantastic and the new one ‘Wake Up the Nation’ is even better in my opinion. Nice to hear him getting a tad angry too. How weird is it that Old Etonian David Cameron claims ‘Eton Rifles’ by the Jam as one of his favourite songs? Surely he can’t have listened to the lyrics can he?
Ghost Town – Specials. Reached number one at the height of Thatcher’s early years and amidst all the inner city rioting across the UK. It really summed up the nation at the time I think. It was the night the band performed this on Top Of The Pops that Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple told Jerry Dammers that they were leaving the band to form the Fun Boy Three. Whose first hit was, and still is, appropriate for politicians; “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye. Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time and the lyrics and message are still sadly relevant today, nearly 40 years after it’s release
Arrogance, Ignorance And Greed – Show Of Hands. One of Catwoman’s favourite bands and she has got me into them too. The message on this one fits pretty well all modern politicians and perhaps bankers too. Most of them are arrogant, ignorant greedy bastards aren’t they?
OK firstly this post is a little more serious than my usual fayre, however it is probably just as rambling as the regular stuff! So feel free to stop reading now if you wish
Many of you regular readers will know that I am very difficult to offend, in fact I don’t recall ever being offended by anything. I can see why some people do take offence at things though. Earlier this week YouTube banned MIA’s video for her new single “Born Free” Click here to see the story on the BBC. It is quite graphic on both the sex front and the violence front. However is the real issue that it deals with race issues in a rather novel and hard-hitting way? The army/ police in the video are rounding up red-haired people and killing them in the same way that many other ethnic minorities have been rounded up and killed in the past. Are people offended because they accept people with a different hair colour and not people with different skin colour?
Stills from the Born free video
I wonder what the scummy British National Party think of this? In BNP speak I would be an indigenous British person because my skin is white, whether I have red hair is irrelevant to them (incidentally I have no hair, but my son is a red head) I find this video quite thought-provoking, in particular how it focusses the mind on our attitude to race issues. I personally don’t take offence at the film, but I do take offence at scummy political parties like the BNP
People of the UK in next weeks election use your vote and use it wisely. A no-show from you could enable the BNP to gain ground, that is surely unacceptable. I respect MIA’s right to freedom of speech and expression as I respect my own. Indeed I also respect the right of all political parties to make their point. But to invoke my own freedom I believe that the BNP are inherently evil and should not benefit in the polls by people who can’t be bothered to cast their vote. If you choose to actually vote BNP then I totally believe you are wrong, but I know that it is your right. But I implore the rest of you to make sure you cast your vote; Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, Green, Monster Raving Looney or anyone else but please let’s ensure that the BNP lose their deposits
OK rant over, and I look forward to your comments, although clearly I recognise that I may have opened the floodgates to the crazies!
Click here to see MIA’s video, but trust me it does contain sexual scenes and scenes of violence