Given the ubiquitous nature of text messages these days I find it hard to believe that it was only twenty years ago that the first ever text message was sent. The message was despatched from a PC to a mobile phone by an engineer using the Vodafone network in the UK; the message was simply ‘Merry Christmas‘.
The development of texting or SMS (Short message Service) actually goes back further than that. It began as an idea by Matti Makkonen a Finnish Civil Servant. It was during a pizza meal at a telecommunications conference in 1984. his idea became the standard for the SMS facility that we use today. Strangely it was never patented, a little unlucky for Mr Makkonen then!
I assume that there were a few more texts sent in 1992, however the rise has been incredible with an estimated 8 trillion sent last year. I wonder what percentage of those were illegally viewed by the UK tabloid press?
So how about a few text related (some very loosely) songs to celebrate?
I’m sure that you’ve heard Katy Perry’s new single “The One That Got Away” which is clearly yet another slice of perfect perry pop and a great radio song. But what intrigues me about it is the line about making out in the lyrics. It reads ‘We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead’. Firstly we get Katy Perry mentioning Radiohead, which I feel makes for quite strange bedfellows. Secondly, does anyone actually make out to Radiohead? I love the band but they wouldn’t be my choice for a sultry, seductive night in with Catwoman! I would prefer a bit of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ album.
Having listened to the song again though it got me thinking about some of my favourite songs that mention bands or singers. You can enjoy five of them below. Let me know what your favourite songs that mention other artists are;
“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – Vampire Weekend – mentions Peter Gabriel
“Destroy Rock n Roll” – Mylo – mentions a cast of thousands including Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Van Halen, Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Cars, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Men at Work, ZZ Top, Paul McCartney, Weird Al Yankovic, Cyndi Lauper, Pink Floyd, Pretenders, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Elton John, Neil Young, Sheena Easton, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Fashion, Big Country, Morris Day and The Time, John Lennon, Apollonia 6, REO Speedwagon, David Gilmour, Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Wham!, Rebbie Jackson, Adam Ant, Bananarama, Christine McVie, Queen, John Cougar Mellencamp, U2, Fleetwood Mac, The Alan Parsons Project, Rick Springfield, Thompson Twins, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, Police, Eurythmics, Culture Club, Boy George, Band Aid, Stevie Wonder and Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
“White Man In The Hammersmith Palais” – The Clash – mentions Dillinger, Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe and the Four Tops.
“God” – John Lennon – mentions Elvis and the Beatles
“Punky Reggae Party” – Bob Marley and the Wailers – mentions the Wailers, Maytals, Damned, Jam, Dr Feelgood and the Clash
“All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – mentions T Rex and is easily my favourite song that mentions other bands or artists.
Just down the road from where I live there is a Community Hall and as far as I am aware it has never benefited from the appearance of any kind of Rock God. Although my good lady; Catwoman did appear as Principal Boy in an AmDram Panto 15 or 16 years ago, but sadly that doesn’t count! However I bet there are many of you who wished that you lived in or near Monmouth on 9th July this year. Robert Plant played a gig to around 200 invited guests. It was a gig to raise money for the Pick’s Disease Support Group. In simple terms Pick’s is a form of dementia that affects mostly younger people. Click here to check out their website.
The gig was in tribute to his friend Pat Moran who died of the disease earlier this year. Moran was Engineer on Plant’s first solo album and Co-Producer on his second. The band was quite something too, including such luminaries as; Verden Allen off of Mott The Hoople,Dave Edmunds and Martin Chambers off of the Pretenders amongst others. Plant played a few Led Zep songs as well as solo material. Now that gig surely was a truly priceless event! Click here to read about it on the BBC. Now enjoy one of my favourite Led Zep songs and my favourite solo song from Percy (unfortunately not from the Monmouth gig);
Hello once again dear readers, like I’ve said before it is my aim to get back to more regular posting so here comes the second one for the Jumping month of June. I thought doing this post after a serious spillage incident on the train last week. There I was crammed into my tiny space (otherwise known as a seat) on the 7pm Kings Cross to York train with my nose in a good book (1983 by David Peace for those of you who asked!) Then lo and behold the coffee angel arrived in the aisle with the drinks trolley, now obviously I can’t resist a good coffee so obviously (a repeat word…… obviously) I had to order one, which I did, along with a Kit Kat. At the moment the Coffee Angel was about to place my drink on the pathetic excuse for a fold down table the train rocked (and not in a heavy musical way either) and faster than you can say Caffe Americano with a double shot I was the subject of a minor caffeine downpour. I thought it was rather amusing, my suit needed a dry clean anyway, but coffee angel was worried I was going to complain, but I didn’t and my reward was…….. a free Kit Kat and a fresh cup of coffee. Actually now Ive read that back it sounds dull enough to be condensed to 140 characters and posted on Twitter. But enough of that drivel during the rest of the journey I was moved to come up with a list of coffee related songs for this post. So without further adieu here they are and each one contains a frothy topping and a sprinkle of trivia.
The coffee was better in those days but clearly the coffee angels weren’t!
First cup, er sorry first up is “Starfish And Coffee” which is obviously a favourite breakfast menu of ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, Then Known As Roger Or Symbol And Now Known As Prince Again’ or TAFKAPTKAROSANKAPA for short. Prince’s sister is called Tyka, I wonder if her nickname was Chicken at school? Staying with Prince and a loosely related coffee theme, the diminutive one once wrote a song for Sheena Easton called “Sugar Walls” probably not the type of sugar you’d put in your coffee though. But there’s a prize to the first person to tell me what that song is about without the use of explicit language!
Prince had clearly overdone the froth on his Cappucino
Second dose of caffeine is “Black Coffee In Bed” by Squeeze and written by the Lennon-McCartney of their generation; Difford-Tilbrook. They were joined by the rather talented Paul Carrack who in addition to Squeeze and as a solo artist has also had hits with Ace and Mike & The Mechanics. He has also played on sessions by many other bands including Roxy Music, The Smiths and the Pretenders. In a strange coincidence he also sang vocals and played keyboards on a relatively minor Mike & The Mechanics hit called “Another Cup Of Coffee”
You won’t like him when he gets angry and Mr Carrack gets very angry if he has no caffeine
The next one of our Barista favourites is “One More Cup Of Coffee” from the wonderful Mr Zimmerman or Bob Dylan to his friends. The song is taken from Dylan’s ‘Desire’ album and is a duet with Emmylou Harris. The song was covered extremely well by Jack and Meg on the first White Stripes album and is occasionally covered live by Calexico. Also none other than Robert ‘Percy’ Plant off of Led Zep recorded the song for his ‘Dreamland’ album in 2002. The song was written at a corner table in the ‘Other End’ nightclub in Greenwich Village New York. I was kind of hoping it had been written in a coffee bar!
Bob tries to find inspiration over a coffee….. come on Bob, Noel Gallagher sat at the same table and wrote “Roll With It”
The next one of our old beans in this post is the excellent Canadian band the Crash Test Dummies. Their biggest hit in the UK was “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” but they also released a song called “Afternoons And Coffee Spoons” Both songs were taken from their excellent album ‘God Shuffled His Feet’ In 1995 they recorded a splendid cover of XTC’s “The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead” for the Jim Carrey movie ‘Dumb And Dumber’
In the early days the band even dressed as Crash test Dummies and it certainly didn’t harm their pulling power judging from this picture
The next act to bring us a cuppa is Holly Johnson off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood with his solo single “Americanos” It was Holly’s second solo hit and reached number 4 in the UK charts. It also features on the soundtrack to the 1989 movie ‘Cookie’ which starred Emily Lloyd, Peter Falk and Jerry Lewis. I know that strictly speaking the song is not about coffee, well not even strictly speaking, it’s actually got nothing to do with coffee. But Caffe Americano is undoubtedly my favourite coffee so I had to include it here. I always drink it black (often with an extra shot) with no sugar and many coffee houses (in this case Costa Coffee) give this an acronym of BAM (as in Black Americano). This lead to me gaining the nickname BAM BAM Bill for a while. Maybe not a great nickname but at least it wasn’t Pebbles! Over the years I have also noticed that black coffee seems to be the drink of choice for the majority of Project and Programme Managers. Does anyone agree?
“Relax” said Holly as he ordered coffees for him and his ‘flat’ mate Ronnie
I like a cup of coffee when I am deeply engrossed in a good book but Blur clearly prefer theirs in front of the telly! Well judging from their song “Coffee And TV” Vocals on the verses were from Graham Coxon and Damon Albarn sang the chorus. the lyrics were all Graham’s and apparently deal with his attempt to give up alcohol. The video for the song features a milk carton called Milky which was created by ‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop’ Blur were originally called Seymour, I’m not sure that works as well as Blur though. I have seen them live twice at festivals, once with Graham and once without. I certainly prefer them with Graham in the band. So it’s great news that they are reunited for a few gigs this year and possibly some new recording too.
Now either he’s really excited or they’re both seriously injured
The final coffee song in this post is one of my favourites, it’s by the minimally named ‘A’ from Leeds and it’s called “Starbucks“. The original members of the band included three brothers; Jason, Giles and Adam Perry. Since the band took a hiatus (is that code for breaking up?) Jason has worked with Matt Willis off of Busted and has also produced for McFly! Jason do us all a favour and get ‘A’ back together and stop working with these pop muppets! But to be fair Charlie off of Busted’s current band Fightstar are quite good! (Did I really just say that?)
With the proceeds of the single the band bought the worlds first Starbucks Jet Pack
So do you have any favourite coffee songs or indeed favourite coffees? Let me know by adding your choices in the comments
No it was just the earth moving for Milky in the Blur video
I will end this post by saying a big thank you to those wonderful people at ‘Dusk’ in York where I did many of my early posts in this blog. Excellent coffee, good food, free wifi (are you reading this Starbucks?) and great company. Check them out and if you know their web address please let me know