With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“With her went my future, my life is filled with gloom” Blog Advent Calendar Day 17 December 17, 2014


Q_tips_christmas

Is it really December 17th? It is? Oh well Christmas will soon be over. But in the meantime we’re at day 17 of this years advent calendar blog posts. this means that we are now at the 17th letter of the alphabet, which as you know is ‘Q’. Can you guess which band will feature under the letter ‘Q’ in my ABC of British bands? Really? Are you sure? I’m thinking that most of you guessed Queen, in which case you’d be wrong. Todays band proudly representing the letter ‘Q’ are the Q-Tips. (Any free advertising here for Q Magazine is purely coincidental and accidental; unless the publishers of that great magazine would like to ply me with money and gifts!).

QTips1

The band was formed in 1979 by the remnants of one hit wonders Streetband who hit the charts with “Toast”. Three members of that band stayed together and they were John Gifford (guitar), Mick Pearl (Bass) and Paul Young on vocals. Yes that Paul Young the one with the spiky hair and who layed his hat anywhere he damned well wanted to. They brought in  another guitarist, Dave Laswell and Baz Watts on drums. They then added a brass section consisting of Oscar Stuart Blandamer, Tony Hughes, Richard Blanchchard and Steve Farr. The band was further augmented by keyboard player Ian Kewley. Later in their career Gifford and Blandamer were replaced by Garth Watt Roy and Nick Payne.

Q TIPS

The band was quite short-lived, breaking up in 1982 when  Paul Young signed a solo contract. During their time they were a highly praised live act. They also supported some massive names including the Who, Average White Band, J Geils Band, Bob Marley, The Knack and Thin Lizzy. They began by playing lots of soul music covers but in the end they had a substantial amount of self-penned material as well. The band briefly reformed for some live dates in 1993. In case you were wondering they took their name from a well-known brand of cotton swabs. Now enjoy some rather spiffing tunes from the Q-Tips.

 

 

“We don’t care about long hair” – Advent day 17 December 17, 2013


advent-day-17_2084082aIt seems like just days since I started this years With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent blog posts and yet here we are at Day 17 already. More than two-thirds of the way through. So not only is it December 17th it is also the day that you get two songs with seventeen in the title. I’m getting a little concerned that I’ll be able to find two at least half decent songs for each day up to 25th December. But I think I can!

At_seventeen_(Janis_ian_single_cover)Anyway enough of my mindless prattling, what is the first song for today I hear you cry. Well it is a beautiful song from 1975; it is Janis Ian with the Grammy winning “At Seventeen”. The song failed to chart in the UK although I seem to recall that it got a lot of airplay in 1975/ 76. It went to number three on the US Billboard chart and remains her biggest hit. Janis didn’t want to release the song at first as she felt it was too personal. The song has been covered by Celine Dion for her current album ‘Loved Me Back To Life’. In addition to piano and guitar Janis also plays organ, harpsichord, French horn and flute. She had mastered all of these by the time she reached her teens. Janis also writes science fiction and has had a number of short stories published.

4541100486The second song today comes from punk icons the Sex Pistols and is called “Seventeen”. The song was the first track on side two of their only studio album; the timeless punk classic ‘Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols’. The bass on the album was played by either Glen Matlock or Steve Jones as Sid Vicious was not a particularly competent bassist. However it seems that Mr Vicious may have played his bass on the album’s eighth track; “Bodies”. “Seventeen” was one of 15 songs that the band played at their final gig (not including reunions) at the Winter Ballroom in San Francisco on January 1978. US hardcore punk band Total Chaos have covered the song for the ‘Never Mind The Sex Pistols, Here’s The Tribute’ album in 2000.

 

“But don’t you dare get to the top and not know what to do” – Advent day 11 December 11, 2013


advent-day-11_2078894aCan you believe it’s the 11th December already? Where the hell is the time going. Still I am very close to being in the smug zone; I’ve bought all my presents now it’s just a case of wrapping them, posting some of them and hiding the rest! Have you done all your Christmas shopping or will you be waiting until the turbo kicks in on 24th December? Anyway enough of all that, it is of course day 11 in the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts which means you get two songs with the number 11 in their title.

funny-celebrity-pictures-how-thoughtful-of-uFirst up it’s U2 with “11 O’clock Tick Tock” which is the band’s second single released in May 1980. It was a non-album release produced by Martin Hannett who had previously produced Joy Division among others. There is also a great version of the song on the mini live album ‘Under A Blood Red Sky‘. In their early days the band often played the song twice during their set because they didn’t have much material. An earlier version of the song had different lyrics and was called “Silver Lining”

Julian-julian-casablancas-16833737-667-1000Second tune for today is from Julian Casablancas off of the Strokes; it is called “11th Dimension”. Casablancas is the lead singer of the Strokes and “11th Dimension” is so far his only hit outside the band. It was taken from his 2009 solo album ‘Phrazes For The Young‘. Describing the song as a hit is a little loose; it only charted in Japan where it reached number 48 in 2009. One of Casablancas’ most recent recordings was the vocal on “Instant Crush” from Daft Punk’s planet-conquering album, ‘Random Access Memories’. He has also inspired someone to write a song about him. Notably Courtney Love who included a song called “But Julian, I’m A Little Bit Older Than You” on her first solo album, ‘America’s Sweetheart’ in 2004.

CARD

 

“Flying like an autumn wind, lady did you lose a friend?” February 21, 2013


kevinayers1974

I first heard Kevin Ayers back in the early 70s and ‘Joy Of A Toy’ remains a favourite album of mine. So it is with sadness that I am posting about his demise. He passed away in his sleep aged 68 on February 18th at his home in France. Ayers was a pioneer of the British psychedelic scene and first found fame with Soft Machine. John Peel once said this of him; “Kevin Ayers’ talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it”. Click here to read the BBC report of Kevin’s death.

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Kevin has worked with many people, including Syd Barrett, Brian Eno, Mike Oldfield and John Cale. He was there for the formation of Soft Machine in the mid 60s. The band was named after the William S Burroughs novel ‘The Soft Machine’. Kevin once sold his Fender jazz bass to Noel Redding from Jimi Hendrix’ band. This was after an extensive US tour. He grew up in Canterbury and lived for some time in Ibiza and France.

kevinayers_medium_image

Interestingly he wasn’t the only one in the family with such a pioneering spirit. His father Rowan Ayers was a BBC Producer and was responsible for kicking off the classic BBC music show ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test‘. If you have never listened to Kevin Ayers then I suggest you rectify that right now! I have included a few of my favourite Ayers songs at the end of this post. My thoughts go to Kevin’s family, friends and fans. RIP Kevin Ayers – a true British Rock legend!

 

Gary Numan – York Barbican – Friday 22nd July 2011 July 23, 2011


I mentioned another post earlier this month that I would soon be off to see Gary Numan at the Barbican in York, well it came around quite quickly and I was there for the show last night. It was a part of the weekend long DV8 festival across a number of York venues. It also seemed like there had been coachloads of Whitby Goths dropped in York for the weekend. It could easily have been a Bram Stoker convention. But really I jest because I love the fact that some people, mostly young, take the time to be a little different with their appearance. That indeed was one of the many things that I loved about my late, great cousin Deborah Schofield who died way too young quite a few years ago now. I reckon she would have enjoyed herself last night.

Catwoman did accompany me, against my best advice, I did tell her that she probably wouldn’t like the music. But she came anyway, to try to share my interest. That is one of the many things that I love her for. But she did leave halfway through Gary Numan’s set, I was pretty darned impressed that she made it that far actually!

So onto the show. Personally I thought the support band were dreadful and sit very easily in amongst the 5 worst bands that I have ever seen and I saw my first gig in 1973. Their musicianship was very good, the songs were mostly average and the lead vocalist, well I believe they need to get one! The bass player really looked the part though, he could have stepped right out of Johnny Thunder‘s Heartbreakers in the late 70s. But that is all just my opinion and they did seem to have quite a few fans. Of course it could be that they weren’t allowed anywhere near a sound check as often happens with support bands. Click here to check out their MySpace page and tell me what you think. I would like to stress that this is my opinion and I look forward to the inevitable backlash!

Luxury Stranger finished at 9.30 and then we waited nearly an hour for the main man Mr Numan to arrive on stage, but for me it was definitely worth the wait. I suppose tribal loyalty (I’m a Bowie fan) means I shouldn’t like Gary Numan, but frankly I find all that kind of stuff pathetic. Numan opened with a kind of dark electro fanfare which rolled neatly into the excellent “Down In The Park“. I must confess that I probably know more of his late 70s work, but the newer stuff is strong and powerful and he has a great stage presence. he sure as hell knows how to work his very passionate audience. I will almost certainly buy his new album ‘Dead Son Rising’ when it comes out in September.

He played the classic “Cars” shortly after Catwoman left the building. A shame really as this may have been the one song she would have recognised. He finished the pre encore part of the set with my favourite; “Are Friends Electric?” it still sounds fresh and futuristic. The main synth riff was replaced with a piano riff which works really well. He was only off stage briefly before finishing with two songs. The light show was bloody good as was the sound and the venue is great. I went away happy at midnight as I would imagine the rest of the audience did too. I would definitely go and see him again and I truly believe that his show would work well at the Reading Festival, probably late afternoon on the Main Stage. Are you listening for next year Reading organisers?

I don’t have any recordings from last nights show so here are a few excellent clips for your further listening and viewing pleasure.

And finally an excellent old interview with Graham Norton

 

“You’ll see Venus and Serena, in the Wimbledon Arena” August 26, 2010


They say that August is the silly season for news don’t they? well here’s a story in the UK media that clearly shows that there can’t be much else happening in the country. Apparently the government is urging local councils to reduce the number of street signs and bollards and the like. Did you know there is a car park in Salisbury with 63 bollards and only space for 53 cars? Nor did I. Did we need to know? I doubt it. Has that information been life changing for any of us? Not bloody likely. The government line on this is being headed by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles (what a great name!) and isn’t it pleasing to see that the focus of our wonderful (NOT!) coalition government is focussing on the big issues. Personally I think it’s a load of bollards! Read the story here

So now let’s get back to music and have some streets and sign related tunes, feel free to contribute your own;

Signs” – Snoop Dogg featuring Charlie Wilson and Justin Timberlake. In my opinion one of Mr Timberlake’s finest performances, a long way from the Mickey Mouse Club that’s for sure. It was produced by the Neptunes and made it to number two in the UK charts in 2004. The lyrics draw from the Gap Band’s “Early In The Morning” from 1982 and Cheryl Lynn’s 1978 hit  “Got To Be Real

No Matter What Sign You Are” – Diana Ross and the Supremes. This was originally intended as the last single from the girls before diva Diana went solo, but it didn’t sell too well and failed to make either the UK or US top 20. Sadly it wasn’t even the Supremes who sang on it. Diana took the lead but the backing vocals were provided by a session group called the Andantes rather than Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong

Streets Of London” -Ralph McTell. Ralph first recorded the song in 1969, but it wasn’t released as a single in the UK until 1974. What could be described as a timeless classic it has been recorded by more than 200 artists

Where The Streets Have No Name” – U2. The video was filmed on the roof of the Republic Liquor Store in downtown LA  in homage to the Beatles performing live on the roof of the Apple Building in Saville Row for the Let It Be film.

Somewhere In America There’s A Street Named After My Dad” – Was (Not Was). I have always loved this band and this is a great song, the video on the link also includes some excellent photographs from Charles Cushman. The key band members were often assumed to be brothers largely because they called themselves Don and David Was. However the truth is that David Was was really David Weiss and Don Was was really Don Fagenson

On The Street Where You Live” – Nat King Cole. I didn’t really appreciate Mr Cole until I got older, probably because my parents liked him when I was a teenager and it’s not cool to like what your parent’s like is it? This song is actually taken from the musical ‘My Fair Lady’ which is one of Catwoman’s favourite musicals.

Across 110th Street” – Bobby Womack. Taken from the blaxploitation movie called, unsurprisingly, ‘Across 110th Street’. The song also featured on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Jackie Brown’

“‘A’ Bomb In Wardour Street” – Jam. This song was the B Side to the Jam’s 1978 single “David Watts” which was a cover of a Kinks song. Paul Weller apparently listened to a lot of Kinks stuff prior to recording the ‘All Mod Cons’ album. The video in the link is taken from the band’s appearance on the sadly missed Old Grey Whistle Test on the BBC

Baker Street” – Gerry Rafferty. In the early 70’s as part of Stealers Wheel with Joe Egan, Gerry had a hit with “Stuck In The Middle With You” which was later used in the movie Reservoir Dogs. However it’s “Baker Street” that he is most remembered for and that’s no wonder as it’s a great song.

53rd & 3rd” – Ramones. This video is a live recording with Rancid. The song was written by Dee Dee Ramone and is about an area of New York that was a major haunt for male prostitutes and rent boys. There have been suggestions that Dee Dee worked there himself in his youth.

 

“did you see the suits and the platform boots?” March 1, 2009


I’m back again and it’s a brand new month, time Marches on doesn’t it? Anyway there have been some excellent comments in response to the current banking farce and also about the Chris Allen naked story, we still don’t know who he/ she is although Tom has owned up to searching for naked pictures of the elusive Chris. No one has found us yet via the Lily Allen naked route though, I’m beginning to think that’s a good thing.

I have also received a couple of e mails relating to my comments about that splendid airline company Ryanair who as you know offer some very cheap headline fares and then charge for everything else on top. The UK press today says they are floating an idea to put coin op slots on the aircraft toilets. You’ll need to spend a pound to ‘spend a penny’. On a similar note I reckon you’ll love the link sent to us by Nick H, just click on Ryanair. Maybe it’s actually true!

The new cheaper Ryanair fleet had just been delivered

The new cheaper Ryanair fleet had just been delivered

Larry sent this one to the Dead Zone Yahoo Group, which is where I borrowed it from. It’s an excellent link to a site showing Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” video but doctored so that it has him singing about what is actually in the video. Trust me this one is very funny!

Billy held out his arms ready to fly, he figured it would be so much cheaper than Ryanair

Billy held out his arms ready to fly, he figured it would be so much cheaper than Ryanair

Feel free to send me things that you think the other readers may enjoy, mostly music related but hey there’ll always be the occasional rant about things like Banking and Ryanair 🙂

So onto todays ton of trivia, well maybe not a ton, but quite a lot! Starting with a couple of birthdays. Firstly 1st March 2009 is Roger Daltrey’s 65th birthday. Does that mean he’ll be getting a “Magic Bus” pass? Roger is one of the two surviving members of the Who along with Pete Townshend. In 1972 Roger took the starring role in a fully orchestrated version of the Who’s “Tommy” at the Rainbow Theatre in London. According to Pete Townshend, who was in the audience, this was the moment when he realised just how good Daltrey was. He spent the next few years worried that Daltrey would leave the band, thankfully for us that didn’t happen. In 1973 Daltrey released his first solo album called, very imaginatively, ‘Daltrey’. Most (or maybe all) the songs for it were written by none other than Leo Sayer with his co writer Dave Courtney. Leo went on to record some of the songs for his own albums in the future, notably “One Man Band”. My favourite track from that album and yes it’s also one of the 50 songs in my top 10, was “Giving It All Away” This clip is from a 1973 edition of the Beebs excellent “Old Grey Whistle Test” it also features Russ Ballard from Argent on guitar.

The front row at this gig soon became aware just how many baked beans Roger had eaten before the show

The front row at this gig soon became aware just how many baked beans Roger had eaten before the show

Today is also the 36th birthday of Ryan Peake guitarist with the band Nickleback. For some strange reason my mate Dave always calls them Stickleback, but then his better half calls him Nobby, so perhaps we shouldn’t go there eh? Nickleback got their name from something Mike Kroeger, also a band member, used to say every day when he worked at Starbucks. After a sale if a customer paid cash he often asked “would you like your Nickel back?” I presume that if Gareth Gates formed a band now it might be called ‘Doyouwantfrieswiththat’ what do you think? Anyway here are the Nickleback boys with “How You Remind Me

The band much preferred fans to wave their phones and not their flame throwers during the slow songs

The band much preferred fans to wave their phones and not their flame throwers during the slow songs

On this day in 1970 Mott the Hoople appeared at the Northcote Arms in Middlesex (I think I’ve had a pint or two in there in my much younger days) They were supported by none other than Genesis in the days before they had a singing drummer! Mott have reformed for a London gig later this year are any of you guys going? If you ever read Rock books you must read Ian Hunter’s ‘Diary Of A Rock n Roll Star’ Ian was Mott’s front man and the book is about the bands early 70s days touring in the US. It is truly an excellent book. In 1972 after a show in Zurich the band decided to split up. After hearing this news one of their biggest fans, none other than David Bowie (another Bowie reference at last!) offered them one of his new songs to persuade them to carry on. The band rejected “Suffragette City” but went on to record “All The Young Dudes”. The rest as they say is history. Here’s one for you fact fans, Mick Jones of the Clash was also a big fan of Mott too. My favourite Mott the Hoople song is “Saturday Gigs” which is about the band’s history and also features the late great (another l & g comeback) Mick Ronson who was a member of the band for just a short while in the mid 70s

It was clear that Ian Hunter had the Austin Powers look even before Austin existed

It was clear that Ian Hunter had the Austin Powers look even before Austin existed

On this day in 1977 Iggy Pop appeared at Friars in Aylesbury and his keyboard player was none other than David Bowie. (Whaddya know, no Bowie references for a while and then two arrive at once, a bit like Mr Daltrey’s Magic Bus perhaps?) Iggy with Ziggy now that’s cool! The support band that night was the Vibrators. I wonder if they’ve changed their name and now tour as the ‘Rampant Rabbits’? 😉 Well if the Stones Roses (see yesterdays post) considered ‘Angry Young Teddy Bears’ as a name it’s not beyond the realms of possibility is it? Anyway let’s get back to the Igster, if you haven’t heard his original version of “China Girl” click the title to check it out, it really does blow Bowie’s version away!

Iggy had to sell his shirts to pay for his RyanAir extras

Iggy had to sell his shirts to pay for his RyanAir extras

And finally I’ve included this as I used the word motley the other day and didn’t mention the crue at all. On this day in 1997 a Motley Crue fan who claimed his hearing had been irreparably damaged after a show in New Jersey had his lawsuit thrown out of court. The judge told Clifford Goldberg (aka Chris Allen? Well you never know!) ,who was sat near the front of the stage that he knew what risk he was taking. Presumably Clifford said “Wot?” In the meantime here are the boys with “Smoking In The Boys Room” Is that headmaster scary or what? “Wot?” oh shut up Clifford I’m not talking to you!

The boys had looked forward to Halloween all year long. "Wot?" said Clifford

The boys had looked forward to Halloween all year long. "Wot?" said Clifford

 

 
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