With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Like a puppet thing, when I pull the string, you’re the dancer” May 31, 2010

Filed under: News,Obituary — justwilliam1959 @ 7:12 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jimmy Helms possibly RIP

I have been buying Mojo Magazine for many issues now, in fact since issue number one and I am so middle-aged that I now subscribe. The writing is excellent and challenges many preconceptions you may have about some artists or music. Anyway enough of that, I was reading the new issue (edited by Tom Waits no less) when I chanced upon a brief obituary for the great Jimmy Helms. If that is correct then it completely passed me by. I have also Googled him only to find no information about his demise. Wikipedia certainly has no mention of it, but then that doesn’t really mean much. So if anyone out there knows whether or not this is true then please let me know. If it is then I for one will be quite sad for a number of reasons. Jimmy had (or hopefully still has) a great voice and also if he is no longer with us why was that not in the news anywhere apart from Mojo? Clearly I’m not the only one who is perplexed, click here for more.

He was born in Florida in 1944 but had his biggest early successes in the UK. His first big break came with the UK top ten single “Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse” in 1973. He had a significant resurgence in the late 80s and 90s as part of Londonbeat even reaching the top of the US charts with “I’ve Been Thinking About You” in 1990. Jimmy if you are gone you will be sadly missed and either way Mojo or Q or someone should publish a piece on you very soon. In the meantime enjoy a few more of Jimmy’s highlights.

 

“It shakes all over like a jelly fish, I kinda like it” July 24, 2009


Hello dear readers I’m back with another post and firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone who has read any of my blog posts. The total number of views reached 100,000 yesterday. Now that gives no clue as to how many ‘regulars’ there are out there so if you are a regular reader I would love to hear from you. (Mickey G you’re welcome to respond to this, but I know you’re a regular!)

Anyway as the number of views has hit six digits for the first time I thought I’d include a few statistics, wow how exciting does that sound……..NOT! But I’m going to do it anyway. Firstly the artists that most people have searched for and found there way to my blog are;

kate is in fact top of the class and definitely not a dunce. She is just borrowing Robbie Williams' hat :-)

Kate is in fact top of the class and definitely not a dunce. She is just borrowing Robbie Williams' hat 🙂

1 Kate Bush, 2 Pink Floyd, 3 Lily Allen, 4 Jackson Five, 5 Slipknot, 6 Iggy Pop, 7 Beatles, 8 Catwoman, 9 Michael Jackson and 10 Green Day This ranges from more than 10,000 hits for Kate and the Floyd and 1,400 for Green Day

Lily uses her new eco friendly banana microphone

Lily uses her new eco friendly banana microphone

Of course some of you may be familiar with the ‘Lily Allen Naked’ experiment we undertook here (if you’re not then check out the tags). The principle was not to lower the tone far enough to show any tabloid style naked pictures of the wonderfully talented Miss Allen, but simply to see how many people arrived here by using Lily Allen Naked as a search term. I can confirm that 220 people have done that. In a couple of strangely related incidents though 253 have searched for Ronan Keating Naked and a further 205 people for Eminem naked. There were also a handful of searches for Kate Bush naked and perhaps I shouldn’t mention the 4 people who searched for Meatloaf naked! (But for those who did search for Meatloaf Naked check the picture below, it’s just for you 😉

Meatloaf Naked, well there's no gravy on it is there?

Meatloaf Naked, well there's no gravy on it is there?

And finally for the stats the most viewed links from the blog have been Steal The Smile (my son’s excellent band – click their name to check them out!), Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” video and Wyclef’s “Stripper Song” video with 34, 26 and 19 views respectively. Catwoman asked me to point out that she loves statistics or maybe she said that she didn’t 😉

OK I’ve bored you enough withnumbers so let’s move on to some hopefully more interesting stuff. Firstly an item from yesterdays newspapers in the UK. A 46 year old Alice Cooper fan was fined £250 and also received a suspended jail term and a 3 month curfew order. He apparently removed his prosthetic leg and waved it around at Alice’s gig in the Southampton Guildhall. One member of the audience tried to stop him and was beaten up. To me this almost sounds like it could have been part of the one time Vincent Furnier’s act. Here is the link to the story in the Daily Telegraph. Let me know what you think of it.

Alice warns the unruly fan that if he hit's anyone esle with his false leg he'll cut the other one off too!

Alice warns the unruly fan that if he hits anyone else with his false leg he'll cut the other one off too!

Also in the news yesterday was the legendary (in my opinion) Mick Jones off of the Clash. He has opened a library/ exhibition of a stacks of his Clash memorabilia, clothing  and various other personal items. He calls it ‘one big living artwork’ Read about it here on Spinner.com. I would love to visit but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it

Either Mick now runs a newspaper stand or this is some of his collection

Either Mick now runs a newspaper stand or this is some of his collection

Morrissey played at the Brixton Academy a few days ago and this is the film and music he played before he came on stage, bloody brilliant in my opinion! Did you guess the music? It’s “Lighten Up Morrissey” by Sparks! And for the hell of it here are the excellent Flaming Lips with a wonderful cover version of Madonna’s “Borderline” I would like to thank those wonderful folks at Mojo Magazine for pointing me to those two

Here’s a great blog for you, I know it’s not music related but I thought it was bloody funny it’s called Kemp Folds and features pictures of Ross Kemp off of Eastenders (aka Grant Mitchell) that have been folded. OK I know that sounds stupid but check it out by clicking here

Let’s finish today July 24th with a few ‘onthisdays’. firstly on this very day in 1967 all four of the Beatles and their then manager the late great (l’s & g’s are back ra ra ra) Brian Epstein signed a petition printed in The Times newspaper which called for the legalisation of cannabis. Well it seems like no one listened doesn’t it? Where can you use marijuana legally now apart from Amsterdam Coffee Shops?

On this day in 1997 Liam Gallagher off of Oasis was given a caution by police after admitting he had caused criminal damage following an altercation with a cyclist in Camden, London. Liam was travelling in a chauffeur-driven car (it’s a tough life being a rock star isn’t it?) when he grabbed the cyclist through the car window and broke his Ray Bans. Do you remember when Ray Bans were THE fashion item? There not as big these days are they? Anyway sticking with Oasis, when Noel Gallagher was the guitar tech for the Inspiral Carpets. The Carpets used to call him “Cot Death” because he slept so much.

I thought this was quite amusing. Thank you to Snipes.com

I thought this was quite amusing. Thank you to Snipes.com

And finally for the ‘onthisdays’ today we go back to 2002. A garden centre was sued by the late great (l & g’sback with a vengeance) Freddie Mercury’s former partner Mary Austin. the law suit accused Clifton Nurseries of killing a collection of Freddie’s prized Koi Fish. Austin had inherited the collection on his death. The claim was that 84 fish died when a the electricity which supplied power to the fishes environment (a temporary pond apparently) was accidentally turned off by a worker at the Garden Centre in Maida Vale, London. Apparently by the time he died Freddie had built up one of the biggest Koi collections in the UK. These are not the sort of fish you’d find in your local fish and chip shop, one Koi can be worth as much as £250,000.

Imagine that Battered Koi, Large Chips and Mushy Peas ...... mmmmmmmm :-)

Imagine that Battered Koi, Large Chips and Mushy Peas ...... mmmmmmmm 🙂

To finish let me say thank you once again to everyone who has stopped at this blog occasionally, visited regularly, read it, commented, clicked on the links or simply looked at the pictures! And as this has been a statistics lead numbers post here is a link to the wonderful “Living By Numbers” from New Musik

 

“So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf and just enjoy yourself” June 26, 2009


OK so I haven’t posted much lately but I couldn’t let a momentous event like the death of Michael Jackson go by without posting could I? As many of you know the first gig I ever saw was the Jackson 5 at the Wembley Empire Pool (now known as the WembleyArena). I went with a school friend, Brian Taylor who later found fame as an incredibly talented drummer for the Tom Robinson Band and the Stiff Little Fingers amongothers. (Brian if by some weird twist of fate you’re actually reading this feel free to get in touch). The importance of the group to Motown was apparent in the choice of support acts; Junior Walker and the All Stars and a pre-fame Commodores.

Sadly I actually had a jacket similar to that, but it was the 70s!

Sadly I actually had a jacket similar to that, but it was the 70s!

If my memory serves me well the Jackson 5 had recently released the fabulous “Looking Through The Windows” single, which I still love to this day. In fact I still play a few Jackson 5 songs in my DJ sets. Most recently I ran “I Want You Back” next to “ABC“. Indeed the former has been the ring tone on my mobile phone for months now. Those early J5 songs were fantastically produced, supremely well written and perhaps most importantly performed so brilliantly. I think that at the time, perhaps because I was pretty much the same age as Michael Jackson (he was born in August 1958 and I was born in January 1959) the J5 were by far my favourite group. I’m not ashamed to admit either that I used to mime to those early singles in front of the mirror using my hairbrush (for in those days not only did I possess one I actually needed to use it) as a microphone. Go on there must be more of you who did that kind of thing, like maybe miming to Hendrix using your tennis racket as a guitar? Post a comment about it, let’s have a series of ‘Confessions Of A Teenage Mime Artist’

Mike on the mic

Mike on the mic

Anyway back to the late great Michael Jackson as the J5 was the first live act I ever saw (I’m not counting the dreadful covers bands that played in hotels when my folks took me to Spain as a youngster – “Guantanamera” in-bloody-deed!) I was always going to interested in them to some degree. I followed their recording career quite closely throughout the 70s. Stuff like “Dancing Machine” is excellent. Then they left Motown to join Epic and produced some great stuff there too, for me the best being “Enjoy Yourself” and “Show You The Way To Go“. I felt that from around 1972 until “Off The Wall” Michael’s solo releases were at best patchy. But when “Off The Wall” hit the record racks that has to be the moment he began to ascend the stairs to super-stardom. He probably reached a level of fame that no one else ever has. In terms of fame he was probably far bigger than the Beatles or Elvis ever were. That level of celebrity must bring such pressure to bear on the way you need to live your life and maybe that’s perhaps where things began to go a little awry. Now is not the time to discuss the allegations of child abuse and whether I believe he was guilty or not is irrelevant. But I will say that it might have been better if he wasn’t surrounded by ‘yes men’ who did nothing to control his excesses. Did those people really care about him or about their own wealth? I’ll let you make your own minds up on that one! What is undeniable though is that he was one of the most talented individuals ever to have graced the world of music. His contemporaries from an age perspective at least were Madonna and Prince. Both of them are also supremely talented, but on the same level as MJ? I don’t think so. I reckon that Michael would probably appear in the top tens of more music fans than any other artist. What do you think dear readers?

A still from the Billie Jean video

A still from the Billie Jean video

The ‘Off The Wall’ album was the first in what proved in my opinion at least to be a trilogy of his greatest recordings. This was followed by the juggernaut that was ‘Thriller’ and then by the underrated (in my opinion) ‘Bad’. After that I never felt he reached those artistic highs again and I’m not sure that he ever would, but now we’ll never know will we?

‘Thriller’ sold in excess of 50 million copies worldwide, I wonder how many more copies will be sold now he has died? Remember that people tend to buy lots of product of immediately deceased stars. Just recall all the hits that Elvis and John Lennon had after they died, in some cases many years after they died

A still from the Zombie dance in the Thriller video

A still from the Zombie dance in the Thriller video

I would like to think that history looks reasonably kindly on Michael Jackson. He was a truly talented individual and yes he had flaws, some allegedly quite serious. But then how many of us can say we are completely flawless?

So let’s celebrate MJ’s life with another view of his superb performance at the Motown 25th Anniversary show in 1983. Click here to see it. Additionally Mojo Magazine has an excellent collection of Jacko videos on their website, click here to see them.

Also did any of you ever see his collaboration with my favourite author, Stephen King? It was a short but superb movie called “Ghosts”

I happened to visit HMV at lunchtime today and oh boy have they moved quickly. Nothing but Jacko on the sound system and stacks of his CDs now occupying prime positions in the store whereas last week they were all in the sale items (2 for £10). I know that sales people are often seen as cynical but to do that so soon after the guy is dead really takes the biscuit!

The tributes from other celebrities are quite interesting too, here are some words from Celine Dion; “He was not only a talented person, but he was unique – a genius. It’s such a loss. It feels like when Kennedy died.” Now it’s kinda strange that she seems to remember how that felt when Kennedy was killed in 1963 and Ms Dion wasn’t born until 1968.

Thanks to Popbitch for the following  joke I know that the usual crop of sick jokes are doing the rounds as well, but I actually found this one quite amusing, here goes, but don’t read it if you think you might feel just a little bit offended ok. You have been warned;

There will be a post-mortem today to determine which was the cause of death:

A) Sunshine B) Moonlight C) Good Times D) Boogie

And a bit of fun to try and cheer up Jacko’s fans, here is an excellent Bollywood version of Thriller (thanks again to Popbitch for pointing this one out too)

Overall the BBC coverage of Michael’s death has been excellent, check it out here.

As a bit of an epilogue to this story I actually received my 15 minutes of fame this morning (well more like 15 seconds actually) when I made a brief appearance on BBC Radio York (thank you to Liam for arranging that!) this morning to comment on MJ and how it was the first gig I’d ever seen.

 

 
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