With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“If you criticize them I’ll know that you can see” Blog Advent Calendar Day 20 December 20, 2014


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Here we are in December’s 20’s already, it’s December 20th and Day 20 of this years advent calendar blog posts. Regular readers will know that this years theme is the ABC of British bands. The 20th letter of the alphabet as I hope all of you know is ‘T’. As a big fan of a certain fellow called Julian I have chosen the Teardrop Explodes for this post.

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Wikipedia describes the Teardrop Explodes as post-punk/ neo-psychedelic; what the fuck does that mean when it’s at home? Can a band not just be a good band or great band? I am guilty of slotting music into genres on occasions, but post-punk/ neo-psychedelic? That is more pretentious than a thousand Nigel Farage clones.

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Head Teardrop was Julian Cope, an artist who I really love. Dave Balfe was in the band, he went on to set up Food Records. Troy Tate who later produced the Smiths was also a Teardrop. The band formed in the rather incestuous music scene in Liverpool in 1978. The band signed to Zoo Records which was run by Dave Balfe and future KLF man Bill Drummond. Part of the appeal of the Teardrop Explodes for me was the eccentricity and fragility of Julian Cope. He once said “”I was goaded into becoming a rock star by Bill Drummond and the pseudo-intellectual side of me thought it would be quite charming.”

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They were always more of a cult band given their limited chart success. Although their single “Reward” is a mainstay of many 80s compilation albums. It was also the bands highest charting single, reaching number 6 in the UK charts in 1981. Their first album, released in 1980 was ‘Kilimanjaro’ from which they eventually released five singles. Aside from compilations they released another two albums; ‘Wilder’ in 1981 and after the band came together again briefly in the late 80s ‘Everybody Wants To Shag The Teardrop Explodes’ in 1990.

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The band took their name from a frame in a Marvel comic. Daredevil # 77 to be precise. Will the band ever get back together? Probably not, when Julian Cope was asked that question some years ago he replied; “Would you ever return to having your mother wipe your asshole?”. The Freshies featuring Chris Sievey who went on to become Frank Sidebottom released a single in 1981 called “I Can’t Get ‘Bouncing Babies’ By The Teardrop Explodes”.

 

 

“They joined together and decided not to fight” Blog Advent Calendar Day 6 December 6, 2014


TheFarmNot long to go now until the bearded weirdy drops down your chimney is it? Today is 6th December and that means it’s day six in this years Advent blog post series. In case you are new to this site let me remind you that this years theme is the ABC of British bands and today we are at the letter ‘F’. I have chosen Liverpool’s the Farm to appear behind the little cardboard door on todays advent calendar. Let’s face it, they’re better than chocolate aren’t they?

616e5b539694f09ffa5b400cc46ec280The band formed in 1983 although they didn’t score their first chart hit until 1990 when they had two UK top ten hits with “Groovy Train” and “All Together Now” both from their album ‘Spartacus’. That album was produced by Stan Cullimore and Paul Heaton off of the Housemartins and Suggs off of Madness.

3l“All Together Now” is about the unauthorised spontaneous truce between German and British soldiers on Christmas Day 1914. This was the first Christmas of the first world war and the soldiers stepped out of their trenches for a game of football. Sadly the powers that be made sure that it never happened again. The song has been rereleased for football reasons twice as well. For Everton’s 1995 FA Cup Final appearance and for the England team in their 2004 European Championships campaign. There is charity recording of the song scheduled for release on 15th December in aid of the Shorncliffe Trust and the British Red Cross. Shara Nelson, Clean Bandit, Gabrielle, Alexandra Burke, David Gray, Guy Chambers, Amelle Berrabah, Mick Jones (off of the Clash), Jermain Jackman and Gorgon City are among a number of artists who took part in the recording. Buy it, you know it makes sense!

 

“And she never walk down Lime Street any more” January 3, 2014


joe anderson liverpool mayorAccording to Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, his city’s artists can claim more UK number one singles per head of population than any other city in the world. There have been 57 so far, including 17 from the Beatles. Let’s stick to cities and not smaller towns and villages though, otherwise Westlife might put Sligo on top of the list with their 14 UK number one singles. Incidentally I wonder how many number one singles London has had? Or any other city for that matter.beatles and boris

Joe was writing in Q Magazine to counter London Mayor Boris Johnson‘s ridiculous claim that London ‘made’ the Beatles. Surely it was Liverpool and possibly a degree of Hamburg that ‘made’ the Fab Four? What do you think of Boris’ comments? I think he is a complete arse!

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Here are those Liverpool acts and their UK number ones;

14 March 1953 : Lita Roza – “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?”
25 January 1957 : Frankie Vaughan – “The Garden of Eden”
14 February 1958 : Michael Holliday – “The Story of My Life”
29 January 1960 : Michael Holliday – “Starry Eyed”
7 December 1961 : Frankie Vaughan – “Tower of Strength”
11 April 1963: Gerry and the Pacemakers – “How Do You Do It?”
2 May 1963: The Beatles – “From Me to You”
20 June 1963 : Gerry and the Pacemakers – “I Like It”
8 August 1963: The Searchers – “Sweets for My Sweet”
22 August 1963: Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas – “Bad to Me”
12 September 1963 : The Beatles – “She Loves You”
31 October 1963 : Gerry and the Pacemakers – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
28 November 1963 : The Beatles – “She Loves You”
12 December 1963 : The Beatles – “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
30 January 1964 : The Searchers – “Needles and Pins”
27 February 1964 : Cilla Black – “Anyone Who Had a Heart”
19 March 1964 :  Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas – “Little Children”
2 April 1964 : The Beatles – “Can’t Buy Me Love”
7 May 1964 : The Searchers – “Don’t Throw Your Love Away”
28 May 1964 : Cilla Black – “You’re My World”
23 July 1964: The Beatles – “A Hard Day’s Night”
10 December 1964 : The Beatles – “I Feel Fine”
22 April 1965 : The Beatles – “Ticket to Ride”
5 August 1965: The Beatles – “Help!”
30 September 1965 : Ken Dodd – “Tears”
16 December 1965 : The Beatles – “Day Tripper”/”We Can Work It Out”
23 June 1966: The Beatles – “Paperback Writer”
18 August 1966: The Beatles – “Yellow Submarine”/”Eleanor Rigby”
19 July 1967 : The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love”
6 December 1967: The Beatles – “Hello, Goodbye”
27 March 1968 : The Beatles – “Lady Madonna”
11 September 1968 : The Beatles – “Hey Jude”
11 December : 1968 The Scaffold – “Lily the Pink”
23 April 1969 : The Beatles with Billy Preston – “Get Back”
11 June 1969: The Beatles – “The Ballad of John and Yoko”
30 January 1971 : George Harrison – “My Sweet Lord”
3 December 1977 : Wings : “Mull of Kintyre”
20 December 1980 : John Lennon – “(Just Like) Starting Over”
10 January 1981 : John Lennon – “Imagine”
7 February 1981 : John Lennon – “Woman”
24 April 1982 : Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder – “Ebony and Ivory”
14 January 1984 : Paul McCartney – “Pipes of Peace”
28 January 1984 : Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Relax”
16 June 1984: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Two Tribes”
8 December 1984 : Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “The Power of Love”
9 March 1985 : Dead or Alive – “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”
15 June 1985: The Crowd – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
29 August 1987 : Ferry Aid – “Let it Be”
20 May 1989 : Various artists – “Ferry Cross the Mersey”
22 July 1989  : Sonia – “You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You”
26 May 1996 : Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds – “Three Lions”
14 June 1998: Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds : “Three Lions ’98”
March 26 2000: Melanie C featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes – “Never Be the Same Again”
August 13 2000: Melanie C – “I Turn to You”
February 4 2001: Atomic Kitten – “Whole Again”
July 29 2001: Atomic Kitten – “Eternal Flame”
January 20 2002: George Harrison – “My Sweet Lord”
April 28 2002: Sugababes – “Freak Like Me”
August 18 2002: Sugababes – “Round Round”
September 1 2002 : Atomic Kitten – “The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)”
October 19 2003 : Sugababes – “Hole in the Head”
September 30 2007 : Sugababes – “About You Now”
Christmas number one 2012 : The Justice Collective – “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”

 

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” November 12, 2013


happiness-john-lennon-life-school-Favim.com-410383Some rather interesting artefacts from John Lennon‘s school days have recently been uncovered. A collection of his detention sheets from his time at the Quarry Bank High School for Boys in the 1950s. Lennon’s misdemeanours include fighting in class, nuisance, shoving, sabotage and just showing no interest whatsoever. That last one was probably on one of my detention sheets! One of the earlyLennon bands took their name from the school and were known as the Quarrymen. It was this band that Lennon was playing with at a fete when he met Paul McCartney for the first time. The rest ast they say is Beatles history!

article-2498855-0613FA46000005DC-682_306x423The sheets were discovered in the late 70s by a teacher at the school who was asked to clear out and burn some old documents. He saw the name Lennon on some and decided to take them as a keepsake. He has given some away over the years but those that remain are up for auction on November 22nd. The documents have been verified by one of John’s best friends from his schooldays, Pete Shotton. I’m glad I’m not famous, I don’t think I’d want my school reports making it into the public domain! Click here to read the story on the BBC.

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Lennon's school report

Lennon’s school report

John lennon at Dovedale Primary School

John lennon at Dovedale Primary School

 

“The Beatles new record’s a gas” February 17, 2013


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With all the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first album, ‘Please Please Me’ back in 1963 it got me thinking again about the impact the fab four had on popular culture. I know much has been written about the Beatles from a social history point of view so I won’t be getting deep and heavy about that. But my thoughts are more around mentions of the mop tops in popular music.

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There have been some great songs that mention John, Paul, George and Ringo and to celebrate 50 years since the recording and release of ‘Please Please Me’ I thought I would mention some of those songs. Apologies in advance to Dora Bryan though as I won’t be including her ode to the band; “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle”. The chosen songs are;

All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – for the line ‘My brother’s back at home with his Beatles and Stones, I never got it off on that revolution stuff’ I believe that this is probably the best song Bowie ever wrote.

Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)” – Temptations – this was released when the band were just about still around and features them in the line ‘the Beatles new record’s a gas’

“1977” – The Clash – a summation of life in the UK in 1977. The line ‘No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977′ sums up the punk new boys.

“London Calling” – The Clash – a brilliant song that includes the line ‘Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust”

“(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” – Oasis – whilst this song doesn’t mention the Beatles it does mention a Beatles song from the ‘Revolver’ album; ‘Walking to the sound of my favorite tune tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon’. It’s no surprise that the Burnage Boys songs contain many references to their musical heroes from Liverpool.

There are plenty more songs that reference the Beatles, including solo Beatle songs that mention or reference the band. I’d love to hear what your favourites are too.

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“Someone to love, someone like you” February 6, 2012


Did you know that a member of the Beatles was born in Madras (now known as Chennai) in India? I didn’t until recently. So was it John, Paul, George or Ringo? Given his very spiritual nature I guessed George, but I was wrong. If you guessed John, Paul or Ringo you would also have been wrong. But wait a minute that’s all four moptops covered, how can this be? Holy ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ Batman can this be a trick question?

Well Robin some may say that is true but by the contents of my utility belt (ooooooh Matron!) I say that it is no riddle or joke inspired trick from two of our enemies the Riddler or the Joker. I have checked the records in the Bat Cave and indeed in our Liverpool HQ the Bat Cavern Club. The answer is in fact Pete Best who was the drummer with the group until he was replaced by Ringo on the eve of the band’s world domination August 16th 1962 to be precise. “Love me Do” reached number 17 in the UK charts that year.

Pete was born in November 1941 and arrived in Liverpool with his mother Mona on December 25th 1945 on a ship named the Georgic. Even the ship’s name had a tenuous Beatles link. Pete was not the only UK music star to be born in India. Cliff Richard was also born there in Lucknow on October 14th 1940 just over a year before Mr Best.

 

 
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