With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Grateful Dead – Fare Thee Well – Final Concert Ever – Cinema Simulcast – York City Screen Monday 6th July 2015 July 6, 2015


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I booked my tickets for this cinema show as soon as I saw them advertised. It would be unfair to say that I am a massive fan of the Grateful Dead but I have always had a kind of respect for what they have achieved and who they are. In my opinion the Dead are very much a genre defying band, it is very difficult to put them into a box. They take elements of west coast rock, jazz, psychedelia, soft rock, AOR and even prog. But ultimately they are the Grateful Dead and there is no band quite like them. Are they as good since the death of Jerry Garcia nearly 20 years ago in August 1995? They remain a great band but I believe they have evolved into a slightly different band without Jerry.

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The remaining original members all form part of the band for the Fare Thee Well shows; Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann, all of whom were in the Dead since 1965. Percussionist Mickey Hart joined in 1965. Trey Anastasio off of Phish is part of the Fare Thee Well band on guitar and vocals (he takes some of the Garcia vocals) The band is further augmented with Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti. The last show was the last of three dates at the Soldier Field American Football Stadium in Chicago. It was filmed for a pay per view audience and it was a slightly edited version of that which the cinema simulcast contained.

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The filming and cinematography was brilliant and at times stunning. The band was really on form and it is easy to see that the so-called ‘core four’ have been playing together for a life time. The band were on stage for more than three hours. When they played “I Know You Rider” it sounded like all 80,000 audience members were singing along to the somewhat appropriate lyrical refrain ‘I know you rider, gonna miss me when I’m gone’. My favourite songs from the show were “Throwing Stones” and “Mountains Of The Moon”. But you can’t ignore “Truckin'” which includes the line which for many Deadheads sums um the band. That line is; ‘What a long, strange trip it’s been’. Trey Anastsatio’s playing was phenomenal, for me particularly so on “Terrapin Station”. The last song before they returned for a two song encore was an audience rousing version of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”. The encore consisted of “Touch Of Grey” and “Attics Of My Life”. At least I think that was the title of the final song, if I am wrong please let me know.

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Not being a full on Deadhead myself I have never seen the Dead play live. I have seen lots of footage of them playing live though. This film is a great testament to a great band and you should go and see it if you get the chance.Even if you don’t consider yourself a fan there is no denying that this is a classic concert movie. Is this really an epitaph for the Grateful Dead? Time will tell, but personally I believe that it is. Remember what Don Henley said in the song “The Boys Of Summer”? ‘Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said, “Don’t look back. You can never look back”. If you have seen the film I would love to know what you thought of it.

©Jay Blakesberg

©Jay Blakesberg

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“Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, this time I’m coming down” August 17, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. I haven’t posted for a while but this week’s furore over the NHS drew me back to the keyboard. Essentially many right wing politicians in the US who clearly don’t understand Obama’s health reforms have been scaremongering by pointing out the terrible state of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Many of the comparisons they have made between US Healthcare and the NHS are at best inaccurate and at worst outright fabrication! The argument was then compounded by a complete twat (copyright Dave Cameron) of a Tory MEP garnering himself an appearance on US TV to criticise the NHS. Before you wade into this debate from an American point of view I would suggest that you complete just a modicum of research. Firstly read this article from the Guardian which answers a number of the points raised by Republican politicians, click here to read it.

You should also watch Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” which offers a brilliant comparison of US versus European Healthcare. But then if you’re a right wing politician in the US you certainly won’t watch anything from Michael Moore will you? Wasn’t the best right wing criticism of Moore a couple of years ago that he was a rich, fat, white man? Hold on a cotton picking minute here, that description could apply to many Republican politicians as well surely.

Also for those of you who fell for the argument that Stephen Hawking would not have survived if he had not been American. He is British, his voice box happens to have an American accent! He himself has said that he would not be here if it wasn’t for the NHS.

In my opinion the NHS does a fantastic job. If I were to fall ill in the UK I know I would be treated regardless of whether I have health insurance. That would not be the case in the US. Millions of people in the US are unable to afford private healthcare. If we consider ourselves part of a caring society we should not even consider leaving these people outside the system!

The doctors and nurses from the NHS that treated my father before he died from Lung Cancer back in 2001 did a fantastic job. I have a friend who is an A & E nurse in the north, you would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated healthcare professional. The NHS like any large organisation is not perfect, however before you jump to conclusions get your facts right!

OK rant over, this is essentially a music blog after all and I thought I’d link to a few medical related songs to tie in. I hope you like them! Oh and as usual there is a tidbit of trivia for each one!

Doctor Doctor” – Thompson Twins. Did you know that no one in the band was called Thompson? In fact they took their name from the two detectives in Herge’s Adventures Of Tin Tin. I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation of that, are you? Is it true that along with Poirot, Tin Tin is the only other famous Belgian ever? If any Belgians are reading this please add a comment to put me right, name some famous Belgians that aren’t fictional characters

Belgian? This looks like two British MPs on holiday to me

Belgian? This looks like two British MPs on holiday to me

The Medicine Song” – Stephanie Mills. Stephanie was married to Jeffrey Daniel off of Shalamar for a short period. Jeffrey is the man who taught Michael Jackson to Moonwalk and Stephanie was also romantically linked to Jacko when they appeared together in the late 70s adaptation of the Wizard of Oz called the Wiz! Now that’s what I call a link!

See Jacko really did used to be just an ordinary black kid (with an extraordinary talent though!)

See Jacko really did used to be just an ordinary black kid (with an extraordinary talent though!)

Night Nurse” – Gregory Isaacs. The Cool Ruler in my opinion had the potential to be a third world superstar along the lines of Bob Marley. However it was the lines that put paid to it, Gregory had a serious cocaine addiction which badly affected his voice at times and also caused the loss of most of his teeth.

Gregory wears a hat like that and looks cool, if I wore a hat like that I'd look like a twat (copyright Dangerous Dave Cameron)

Gregory wears a hat like that and looks cool, if I wore a hat like that I'd look like a twat (copyright Dangerous Dave Cameron)

Knocking On Heaven’s Door” – Bob Dylan. Mr Zimmerman wrote this song for the soundtrack of the 1973 film ‘Pat Garrett an Billy the Kid” and it is one of his most covered songs. Perhaps the best known covers are from Eric Clapton and Guns ‘N’ Roses although let’s not forget that Ruth Lorenzo also covered it on X Factor. On second thoughts let’s forget! 

Bob seems to have taken Johnny Cash's advice and is trying to steal a car one piece at a time

Bob seems to have taken Johnny Cash's advice and is trying to steal a car one piece at a time

Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye. Following my earlier comments about Belgium I should point out that this song was in fact recorded in Ostend in Belgium! It has also been covered by many people from Phish to Kate Bush. Click here to hear Kate’s wonderful version.

Marvin auditions for the Village People with the YMCA dance

Marvin auditions for the Village People with the YMCA dance

The Drugs Don’t Work” – The Verve. This song gave the band their first UK number one single. At various times Richard Ashcroft has said that the song is about his addiction, the death of his father or his love for his wife.

The drugs don't work? Indeed boys, indeed! ;-)

The drugs don't work? Indeed boys, indeed! 😉

Heal The Pain” – George Michael. My favourite George Michael album is ‘Patience’ (I guess that kind of fits with the medical theme too…………. think about it!) One of the tracks from the album caused a great deal of controversy when the video was released. The track was “Shoot The Dog” and it showed Tony Blair as George W Bush’s poodle. Hmmmmmm so what’s wrong with that then, it was true wasn’t it? Click on the song title to check out the video and make up your own mind. Incidentally there might be a prize for the first person to tell me which song George samples on the track

George heals the pain (well I think that's what he's doing) of the other bloke off of Wham

George heals the pain (well I think that's what he's doing) of the other bloke off of Wham

Doctor My Eyes” – Jackson Browne. This song has been covered a few times, most notably by the Jackson 5 in 1973, click here to hear their version. Jackson Browne himself recently won his case against John McCain and the Republican party for using his song “Running On Empty” without his permission.

So no chance of John McCain getting through that door then, thankfully!

So no chance of John McCain getting through that door then, thankfully!

Bad Medicine” – Bon Jovi. Jon BonJovi played in a band called Raze at school and later he went on to play in a covers band called Atlantic City Expressway. Also when he first left school he worked in a women’s shoe shop. Is that a fetish thing maybe?

Jon's hair transplant was a moderate success, he had wanted more on his head really. Oh nad please, no searches for naked Jon BonJovi as a result of this picture ok?

Jon's hair transplant was a moderate success, he had wanted more on his head really. Oh nad please, no searches for naked Jon BonJovi as a result of this picture ok?

Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” – Editors. The video was shot around Prague in the Czech Republic. The band were once named as the second biggest band of the decade by the Mail On Sunday. Actually I’m not sure that’s an accolade I’d want! Incidentally those cheeky chappies from Sheffield, the Arctic Monkeys were first

The band just before they were eaten by Triffids

The band just before they were eaten by Triffids

 

 
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