With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“When I met you you were seventeen not just another teenage queen” Blog Advent Calendar day 18 December 18, 2014


Wow there are now only seven big sleeps until the fat, weird, beardy bastard in red jams himself in your chimney. If that sounds like a double entendre or euphemism it wasn’t supposed to ok. Any it’s December 18th and day 18 of this years ABC of British bands advent calendar blog posts. That means we are at the letter ‘R’, would you like to know what is behind the little cardboard flap today? Okay then I’ll put you out of your misery, it’s Racey!


The bands was formed in Weston-super-Mare in the mid 70s by Phil Fursdon and Clive Wilson.  Their first single was “Baby It’s You” in 1977 it was written by Chris Norman and Pete Spencer off of Smokie. Racey were signed to Mickie Most‘s RAK Records and their first hit, like many on that label, was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. It was a big hit reaching number 3 in the UK chart, number 2 in Ireland and number 1 in Australia.


The follow-up was “Some Girls”, a song that was originally written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman for Blondie who were being produced by Mike Chapman at the time. Both songs were produced by Mickie Most. “Some Girls” fared even better than “Lay Your Love On me” reaching number 2 in the UK, number 2 in Ireland and number 1 in both Australia and South Africa. The band had one more UK top 20 hit before they broke up in 1985. That was in 1980 and it was a cover of the classic rock ‘n’ roll tune originally by Dion and the Belmonts; “Runaround Sue”. On their 1979 album ‘Smash And Grab’ the band recorded a Chinn- Chapman composition called “Kitty”. this later went on to be recorded under the title “Mickey” which was a big hit for Toni Basil in 1982. Now take some time to relive the late 70s and early 80s when Racey were at their peak.




“Well you know you’re the dance hall cutie that you love to be” February 10, 2013

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:43 pm
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Did you know that the Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman penned “Tiger Feet” was originally offered to the Sweet? Those famous ‘navvies in drag’ turned it down apparently saying it was rubbish. Given the more heavy rock direction the band took after their UK number 2 “Teenage Rampage” it was not surprising with hindsight. But I can’t really imagine that a version by the Sweet would have sounded much different to Mud‘s. What do you think?


The song was Mud’s biggest seller and in fact sold more copies that any other UK single in 1974. It was the first of their three UK number ones and the first of five UK top ten hits for them in 1974. So go ahead and enjoy yourself with a couple of fine slices of British Glam Pop from the 70s.


“Poor little greenie” December 22, 2011

OK this is the third and final post about the missing footage of David Bowie doing “The Jean Genie” on Top of the Pops in 1973.  Click here and here to see the earlier posts. The reason for this last post is that the video has now thankfully found its way onto YouTube. You can see it below.

This whole episode brought back one memory about the similarity between Bowie’s “Jean Genie” and the Sweet’s “Blockbuster“, in particular the riff. The latter made it to the top of the chart whilst “Jean Genie”, which only made number two, was still in the top ten. The Sweet‘s single, which was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman was released shortly after the Bowie song. As a teenager and a big Bowie fan I could never bring myself to like “Blockbuster” but I have mellowed with age and I’m ok with it now, although I obviously prefer “Jean Genie” to “Blockbuster”.

Nicky Chinn has said that all the writers, including Bowie, were convinced that the whole thing was a coincidence. However Chinn has mentioned a  conversation with Bowie about the coincidence.  He said Bowie “looked at me completely deadpan and said ‘Cunt!’ And then he got up and gave me a hug and said, ‘Congratulations’.

Anyway now you can enjoy that clip (along with the Sweet and an old clip of Bowie doing “The Jean Genie” on the US TV Special ‘The 1980 Floor Show’ recorded in 1973 which regular readers will have seen before) and I promise I won’t post about it again………probably!


“My tears could melt the snow” December 24, 2010

Almost over for this year then, it’s the penultimate day of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar, it’s December 24th, Christmas Eve. So as we are that close to the big day I have decided to take you back to the Christmas of 1974 and I hope you won’t be lonely at Christmas because todays song is from Mud and it’s “Lonely This Christmas”. It stayed at number one for 4 weeks. Like many of the big pop hits of the 70s it was written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, whose publishing company was known as Chinnichap. A bit like a pre Jedward melding of names there methinks.

“Lonely This Christmas” was the second of their UK number ones following “Tiger Feet” earlier in 1974 and a cover of Buddy Holly’sOh Boy” in 1975. Singer Les Gray was well-known for his Elvis soundalike vocal, in fact at the time many people believed that “Lonely This Christmas” was by Elvis himself! Sadly Les Gray died of a heart attack in 2004. Drummer Dave Mount died in December 2006.

Of the two remaining band members bass guitarist Ray Stiles joined the Hollies. However lead guitarist Rob Davis has carved out a very successful career as a songwriter. He has written dance hits for Kylie Minogue and Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis Bextor. The latter hit the number one spot with a song that Davis co wrote, it was “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)” it also, thankfully, prevented Victoria Beckham from having a solo number one. She remains the only former Spice Girl never to have a solo number one.


“She could kill you with a wink of her eye” February 23, 2009

Well here we are again on a Monday morning, what the hell happened to the damned weekend? Why is it only two days? Three or four would be better wouldn’t it?

Anyway in yet another forlorn attempt to keep this post short, I think I know I’ll fail in that aim, let’s kick off with some birthdays. Firstly 23rd February 2009 is the 65th birthday of talented guitarist Johnny Winter. He was one of the numerous acts to play the Woodstock Festival in 1969, playing a nine song set which included his brother Edgar on two songs. Here is a clip of him from that very set at Woodstock. The rather splendid US band the Smashing Pumpkins recorded an instrumental homage to Johnny called “Tribute to Johnny”, in which they tried to emulate Winter’s unique guitar sound. The song was originally intended for their excellent 1995 album ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’ but was rejected and eventually turned as b-side on theirZero” single. Ill health means that Johnny is only able to play whilst seated. Both he and his brother Edgar are albino, to find out a little more about this go check out Wikipedia here.

As this picture proves Johnny had a very laid back playing style

As this picture proves Johnny had a very laid back playing style

Today is also the day to wish Steve Priest, the Sweet’s guitarist a happy 59th birthday. He was born in Hayes, Middlesex in the UK just a few miles away from where I was born and grew up. I now live 200 miles away in York while Steve lives a little further away in California. Who do you think got the better deal weatherwise? An early incarnation of the Sweet was called the Sweetshop, whilst they released a few singles they all failed to hit the chart. The classic line up of the band (Steve Priest, Brian Connolly, Mick Tucker and Andy Scott) came together in 1970. “Funny Funny” written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman became the bands first hit in 1971. Despite the fact that the band were all competent musicians and thanks to Messrs Chinn and Chapman they were not allowed to play on any of their RCA singles until “Wig Wam Bam”. They were seen by many as just another bubblegum pop band, although many of their B Sides and live gigs belied this and showed their love of and skill at playing harder rock. Steve Priest and Andy Scott are now the only surviving members of that classic line up and both still tour with their own versions of the band. Imaginatively called Steve Priest’s Sweet and Andy Scott’s Sweet! Here are the boys with “Ballroom Blitz” from 1973, Steve is the guy who does the rather camp speaking part in the song!

The Sweet like brickies in drag! Mr Priest is the one on the bottom left

The Sweet like brickies in drag! Mr Priest is the one on the bottom left

The last birthday today is Rob Collins keyboard player with the Charlatans. He would have been 46 today but sadly he was killed in a car crash on 23rd July 1996 in Rockfield, Wales during the recording sessions for the band’s 5th album. The Charlatans first gig was at Vic’s Club in Northwich, Cheshire in the UK. Following that gig their manager was able to secure them five support slots with the then new cult heroes the Stone Roses played between November 1988 and April 1989. It was Rob Collins distinctive Hammond Organ sound that underpinned many of the bands songs. Apparently he bought the organ from a local church. Here are the boys with the rather splendid “Weirdo” which Catwoman swears is about me!

Rob Collins RIP

Rob Collins RIP

On this day in 1974 Suzi Quatro was number one in the UK charts with “Devil Gate Drive” her second number one. From quite a young age Suzi (born Susan Kay Quatro) had aspired to a career in music. She left school in 1964 and immediately formed a band called the ‘Pleasure Seekers’ with her three sisters Arlene, Patti and Nancy. As with the Sweet earlier in this post and Mud from a previous post, many of her early hits were written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Fans of the US sitcom ‘Happy Days’ may also remember Suzi’s appearances on that show as Leather Tuscadero in 1977

Suzi had failed to notice the small ladder in her tights as shen went on stage

Suzi had failed to notice the small ladder in her tights as she went on stage

It was on this day in 1979 that Dire Straits played their first ever US show when they appeared at the Paradise Club in Boston. The single of the title track from 1985’s “Brothers In Arms” album was the first commercially available CD single. 400 copies were pressed for release in November 1985. The album went to number one in both the UK and the US. Here is my favourite Dire Straits song which was also their first UK hit, “Sultans Of Swing

Though they were excellent guitarists those Dire Straits boys never really mastered the Hank Marvin/ Shadows dance steps

Though they were excellent guitarists those Dire Straits boys never really mastered the Hank Marvin/ Shadows dance steps

And finally on this day in 2003 the UK tabloid ‘The News Of The World’ reported that Michael Jackson had undergone scores of painful operations to strip his body of black skin until he appeared white. They also reported that surgeons at a Santa Monica clinic eventually refused him any further treatment. An ‘insider’ told the paper that Jacson had been anesthetized on a weekly basis to have his skin peeled and bleached. Is this a true story? Maybe, but bear in mind the track record of the UK tabloid press in making up stories before making up your mind. Here is Michael with “Black Or White

looking at the man in the mirror Michael finally realised that he may have overdone the plastic surgery

looking at the man in the mirror Michael finally realised that he may have overdone the plastic surgery

Well that’s another day nearly over folks, enjoy the rest of it and I’ll be back tomorrow


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