With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

12 Days To Christmas – Day 10 – Andy Warhol December 22, 2017


This is the 12 days to Christmas countdown with a series of twelve posts that I confess are not particularly Christmas related. More an opportunity to fill a stocking with plenty of songs about famous people from history. Today is day 10, so only two more to go after this. Day 10 is the turn of Andy Warhol to be represented in song. His real name was Andrew Warhola and he was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 6th August 1928. He died in February 1987, wow where did that 30 years go? In the 1950s Warhol worked as a shoe designer and became a very early adopted of the silk screen process for printmaking. Many of his subjects were American icons, either people or things; Campbell’s Soup Can, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and the mushroom cloud, which technically is a kind of icon of America right? Andy Warhol was gay but in a 1980 interview he suggested that he was still a virgin. A 52 year old virgin? Wow! Many of you who read this blog may well have some Warhol art in your homes. Do you have a copy of the first Velvet Underground album, or the Rolling Stones ‘Sticky Fingers’? well he designed both of those.


So on to the Song about this iconic and talented artist and it is actually performed by someone many also see as a talented and iconic artist, David Bowie. Come on you didn’t think I would miss the opportunity for some Bowie did you? The song is “Andy Warhol” from Bowie’s 1971 album ‘Hunky Dory’. Bowie met Warhol a few times, apparently the first time was a strange encounter with not much being said other than Warhol remarking on Bowie’s bright yellow shoes. Later, in 1996 David Bowie played Warhol in the film ‘Basquiat’ using some of the artists clothes and wigs. ‘Hunky Dory’ peaked at number three in the UK album chart in 1972. “Andy Warhol” was never released as a single, only “Changes” and “Life On Mars” were issued a singles from that album. Although the track in question did make it to the B- Side of the 1972 single release of “Changes”. Bowie originally wrote the song for his friend, lover and protege Dana Gillespie. But her version didn’t see the light of day until 1973. Interestingly Mick Ronson played guitar on both versions. There are four versions of the song for you to feast your ears on below.


Bowie as Warhol


Warhol with a fir tree, now this is a Christmas post……. right?


“Oh man! Wonder if he’ll ever know he’s in the best selling show” David Bowie Is at the Victoria & Albert Museum 2013 May 5, 2013


I am sure that by now you are all aware of the ‘David Bowie Is’ exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in Kensington, London. It began on 23rd March this year and runs until 11th August. It is also the fastest selling and best selling exhibition the museum has ever done. It includes many Bowie artefacts and costumes from his archive; many of which have never been shown to the public before. I booked my tickets ages ago and finally made it here on 5th May. ( I was joined by Catwoman and my good friends the Horslens)


There are handwritten lyrics from throughout his career and stage designs for most of his major tours from the Diamond Dogs US tour in 1974 to the Outside Tour of 1995 via 1983’s Serious Moonlight. The costumes range from those worn in all the aforementioned tours along with all the classic Ziggy outfits; including the classic one worn on that famous Top of the Pops performance of “Starman” from way back in July 1972.


The whole thing is incredibly arranged, directed and curated. The interactive audio headphones which trigger when you are near a particular exhibit are brilliant. I feel sure that Bowie has played a big part in the whole thing. There are some video shots and audio that have never legally seen the light of day before. I particularly loved the version of “Sweet Thing” from the 1974 US tour. There was also an excellent mock-up 3D stage set design for those shows. Those were possibly my two favourite things from the day.

david bowie.

Bowie has always been an artist and not just a rock star and this is clearly shown by the volume of his own paintings and sketches on display. Including a series of storyboard pictures for a ‘Diamond Dogs’ film that never got made. There were also some detailed notes showing that he had definitely intended for 1995’s ‘1: Outside’ album to be the first in a trilogy that would have ended in 1999. I wonder if he’ll ever make those other two? Sadly I think not.


His set of oblique strategy cards used in the studio by Brian Eno are there along with the synthesiser used on the Berlin albums. Another room is dedicated to showing clips from his best known films including; ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth‘, ‘Labyrinth’, ‘The Prestige’, ‘Basquiat’, ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence‘ and ‘Absolute Beginners‘. There is also a rare public outing for a clip from his 1967 black and white short ‘The Image’ (as a bit of a Bowie anorak I already have this on DVD).. Costumes and props from some of these films are also on show.


The Bowie items in the shop are quite tasteful too, in the main anyway! I had previously bought the David Bowie Is hardback book and today I bought the Ziggyology book along with the set of postcards that relate to the exhibition. Obviously I needed more stuff to continue the pimping of my man bag so I bought a pin badge emblazoned with the phrase ‘David Bowie Is turning us all into voyeurs’.


I was excited before the exhibition and that was well justified excitement in my opinion. It exceeded my very high expectations by a very long way. If you have been or are planning to go I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you are unable to attend then you have missed something really special. Now let me sign off with a few Bowie classics.

David Bowie Is at the V&A Museum


“He’d like to come and meet us, but he thinks he’d blow our minds” November 8, 2011

In response to a formal request from the We The People website where any petition gaining 5,000 or more signatures will be considered, the US Government has stated that they have never had any contact with extra terrestrials. They went so far as to say that “no evidence that any life exists outside our planet”.

But there appears to be no formal denial of the existence of the Men In Black, although to be fair that question wasn’t asked! Personally, given the diversity of life on our little planet, I can’t believe that there is no life elsewhere in the universe. Remember people, ‘The Truth Is out There’ Click here to read about it on the BBC.

This post also gives me an opportunity to air a few David Bowie songs that may or may not relate to extra terrestrial life!


“Good evening this is the Intergalactic Operator, can I help you?” April 27, 2011

I have always been a big fan of space exploration and I remain extremely disappointed that the Apollo programme was ended way to soon. The last time a man set foot on the moon was 38 years ago in 1973. Since the first moon landing in 1969 only 12 men have set foot on any piece of land which isn’t the Earth. The big programmes since Apollo have been the Space Shuttle, which is very close to retirement, the International Space Station, now largely supplied by the Russians and SETI. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence are the words that lend themselves to the SETI acronym.

For me the Shuttle was never a good replacement for the Apollo Programme and whilst it was and remains a brilliant act of international cooperation the International Space Station is hardly a mission to Mars is it? However the principles behind SETI have always meant a lot to me. An organisation and network set up with the aim of being there for any communication from alien civilisations is really exciting, isn’t it? If you’ve seen the Jodie Foster movie ‘Contact‘ then you’ll know how important and difficult it could be. do I believe that there are alien civilisations out there? Yes I do. How about you?

Anyway let me get back to the purpose of todays post; it appears that the SETI Institute has run out of money. Just how sad is that? Still as long as we leave an appropriate answer machine message we’ll be fine won’t we? I feel really let down that we have come to this. Can we not find a few billionaires with some spare cash to keep SETI in operation? read the report here in the Guardian.

So as I have said many times before this is a music blog so here are a few appropriate songs for this sad story, feel free to submit your own;


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