With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voodoo man” Blog Advent Calendar Day 11 December 11, 2014


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December 11th, what a kinky day this is going to be. It is day 11 in this years advent calendar blog post series which regular readers will know is the ABC of British bands. The 11th letter of the alphabet is ‘K’ so todays band is the Kinks and that is why it is a Kinky day!

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Brothers Ray and Dave Davies along with friend Pete Quaife formed the band in Muswell Hill, London in 1963. In spite of the sometimes acrimonious relationship between the Davies brothers the band kept going for more than 30 years before finally calling it a day in 1996. The band had their first UK chart hit in 1964 with “You Really Got Me” which went to number one. This song is often credited with being the first heavy metal riff. (Although the phrase ‘heavy metal’ was allegedly first heard a few years later in the lyrics of Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild”). The Kinks had two further UK number one singles; “Tired Of Waiting” in 1965 and “Sunny Afternoon” in 1966. They also climbed to the top of the singles charts in Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium and New Zealand. I can only assume that the band were a little too English for the Americans. Their first US singles chart hit came in 1981.

the-kinks

Ray and Dave Davies were the 7th and 8th children in their family, the first six were all girls. Their sister Rene died on Ray’s 13th birthday. She had given him his first guitar as a present that day. The band took their name after hearing the word kinky used in British 1960s TV show ‘The Avengers’. Pete Townshend off of the Who once said that Ray Davies was his favourite songwriter of all time. Whilst Marianne Faithfull said that Ray was ‘Very Gothic, creepy and silent. Uptight and fearful of everyone’. Either way I am definitely a fan of the Kinks and I would like you to take some time out to enjoy a selection of their best songs.

Friis-Promo66

 

 

 

“From feudal serf to spender, this wonderful world of purchase power” September 15, 2009


Me and my helmet :-)

Me and my helmet 🙂

Here we go again folks and I have some brilliant news, well it was brilliant for me anyway. On Saturday I spent the day at the Riders Edge Harley Davidson centre in Wales. This was a gift experience which was given to me as a birthday present by the wonderful and beautiful Catwoman for my 50th birthday back in January. You have to bear in mind that I have never been on a motorbike in my life. So to say I was a little apprehensive at first would be a major understatement. Let’s just say that I made sure I packed a clean pair of under crackers…….just in case!

Anyway being a complete novice I spent the morning, around three hours riding a 500cc machine around the private roads within the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Whilst I never fell off once I came close a couple of times! I guess I pictured in my head having to lean right over when taking corners, but that’s for the speed freaks, at the speeds I was doing taking a corner upright was easy. Incidentally while it felt much, much faster I don’t think I got above 40 mph. For me the coordination required to change gear with your left foot while not looking down at all was very difficult. But when you think about it it really shouldn’t be. I mean I don’t look down when I change gear in the car so why should I need to when riding a motorbike? Well perhaps because I’m not using a gear stick with my hand but trying to change it with my foot. But by the end of the morning session I had reached the dizzy heights of 5th gear twice and stalled less than ten times in total and as I said earlier, I never fell off or crashed once! The last part was a great result for me as I fully expected to take a few spills.

Me on a Harley

Me on a Harley

So after just three hours on the saddle they sadly weren’t going to let me loose on a fabulous Harley on my own. However I did get a pillion ride on a gorgeous Harley Davidson machine under the control of one of the Rider’s Edge expert instructors, Ian. Having never even ridden pillion before that too was also a great experience for me. Cruising around some wonderful Welsh countryside. Great weather, great views and remarkably attractive sheep, well at least I would imagine they are attractive if you’re perhaps Welsh or a Kiwi.

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

Uneasy Rider perhaps?

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all the folks at Riders Edge. Especially Clive, who was my instructor in the morning and also Ian with whom I rode pillion in the afternoon.

In the meantime and as this is really a music related blog let’s steer it back in that direction! Can you guess what today’s theme might be? Well it’s a bit obvious really isn’t it? Today’s theme is Motorbikes! Here are a few motorbike or motorbike related songs with a morsel of trivia about each of the artists or songs

“Motorcycle Emptiness” – Manic Street Preachers. This was the fifth single to be taken from the band’s Generation Terrorists album in 1992. The lyrics are inspired by a book about biker gang culture called Rumble Fish which was written by S E Hinton

“Motorbikin’”– Chris Spedding. This 1975 Top 20 hit was Spedding’s biggest and he is perhaps best known as a sought after session guitarist. He has played with many artists including; Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, John Cale, Katie Melua, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Jeff Wayne and even the Wombles! He also famously played on and produced three demos for the Sex Pistols in 1976. The three songs were “No Feelings”, “Problems” and “Pretty Vacant”

“Funky Moped” – Jasper Carrot. This was a surprise hit for Mr Carrot in 1975. The single was backed with a risque monologue based around the 60s TV series the “Magic Roundabout“, which at the time I thought was bloody hilarious! he also has a thespian daughter; Lucy Davis who played Dawn in the Office. She was excellent in that series don’t you think?

“Silver Dream Machine”– David Essex. At the age of 23 in 1971 David took the lead role in the musical Godspell on the London Stage. I actually went to see that show as part of a school trip in 1972 when he was still in it. Our coach was delayed because all the girls on the trip had gathered outside the stage door to scream and get his autograph. It was around the time he released his first major single “Rock On”. My first serious girlfriend; Gay Topsom, was a big David Essex fan and I remember buying her each of his singles as soon as they were released. I never had enough money to stretch to an album. But we were together for two years from 1975 to 1977 so I guess that’s a fair amount of singles. She left me for a guy who was slightly older and more importantly had a car! But you know what I’m over that now and if you’re reading this Gay, I forgive you 🙂

“Bat Out Of Hell”– Meatloaf. Meat was born Marvin Lee Aday on 27th September 1947 so he will turn 62 in a couple of weeks. get your cards written and sent now folks. Jim Steinman the producer and I suppose you could say creator of Meat’s landmark Bat Out Of Hell album was apparently trying to get something that sounded like a cross between Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen. Well I for one reckon he succeeded. What do you think?

“Born To Be Wild”– Steppenwolf. This band hailed from Toronto and many credit their recording of the iconic “Born To Be Wild” as the first Heavy Metal record, although just as many disagree. It has had a long association with motorbikes, very likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Easy Rider which starred Peter Fonda

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager :-)

I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager 🙂

I am sure that you can think of plenty more so fire away folks!

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager ;-)

This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager 😉

 

“Now I don’t mean to bother you but I’m in distress, there’s a danger of me losing all of my happiness” August 19, 2009


Johnny Nash, Don Webster, Billie Joe Royal and Terry Knight on the Upbeat TV show

Johnny Nash, Don Webster, Billie Joe Royal and Terry Knight on the Upbeat TV show

I reckon this may turn out to be quite a short post but I couldn’t let this auspicious day pass without wishing a very happy 69th birthday to the supremely talented Mr Johnny Nash. I don’t know which record companies own all his rights now but if you’re reading it’s about time more of his stuff was issued on CD and I’m not talking about yet another greatest hits package! Johnny was born John Lester Nash Jr in Houston Texas on 19th August 1940. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have posted about Johnny a few times before as he is and always will be one of my favourite singers of all time.

I believe that he now lives in Jamaica which is quite fitting as he became the first American to record reggae in Jamaica back in the 60s. I first got into him when I heard his excellent version of Bob Marley’s “Stir It Up“. It was that which also got me into the late great (ls & gs are back again!) Robert Nesta Marley. Johnny was influenced by the late great (ls & g sback with a vengeance now!) Sam Cooke. In fact he recored and had hits with two Cooke songs “(What A) Wonderful World” and “Cupid” If you’ve never really listened much to Johnny do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy of one of the many greatest hits packages available, you won’t regret it!

Johnny appeared to be a big fan of...... grass! ;-)

Johnny appeared to be a big fan of...... grass! 😉

And to make this post just a little longer I’ll add just a few onthisdays for your pleasure. Starting with those well known pensioners the Rolling Stones. On this day in 1964 the Stones played the first of six nights at the New Theatre Ballroom in Guernsey in the Channel Isles. On the very same day the band were told that they had been banned by British United Airways (presumably a forerunner of British Airways) from flying with them, presumably due to bad behaviour. Click here to see some pictures of the Stones soundtracked by what is in my opinion one of their finest songs “Gimme Shelter”

Mick knew he would never be as good a guitar player as Keef, but he would always be the best at making fart noises with his microphone

Mick knew he would never be as good a guitar player as Keef, but he would always be the best at making fart noises with his microphone

On this day in 1967 the Beatles had their 14th US number one single with “All You Need Is Love“. Backing vocals on the song were provided by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Marianne Faithfull and Gary Leeds off of the Walker Brothers. Elvis Costello played a reasonable cover of the song at the Wembley leg of Live Aid in July 1985.

In their early days the moptops were so poor that they could only afford one seat between them

In their early days the moptops were so poor that they could only afford one seat between them

And finally, on this day in 1977 the Sex Pistols began an undercover tour of the UK as the Spots. The name was actually an acronym of ‘Sex Pistols On Tour Secretly’ after they had been banned from countless UK venues due to the ridiculous witch hunt engineered by the shabby right wing UK tabloid press. Yep you guessed it I believe that the tabloids are the scum of the earth! Click here to see the Bill Grundy interview with the Pistols that led to those ‘Filth And Fury’ headlines and as a special bonus click here to see the then Johnny Rotten on Juke Box Jury

The Pistols had been banned from so many venues they resorted to playing in rubbish skips!

The Pistols had been banned from so many venues they resorted to playing in rubbish skips!

 

 
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