With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Catherine Rocks The Cleveland Way! May 26, 2018

Many of you who know me will by now know that my wonderful wife Catherine will very soon be embarking on a mammoth 109 mile charity walk on the Cleveland Way in the North East of England. A map of the Cleveland Way is shown at the very end of this post. Why is she doing this? Well four years ago Catherine and I were totally devastated by the loss of two children as a result of an adoption disruption. It was clear to us that the support needed by vulnerable children was just not available. There was no money and no urgency to the long term support that was needed. It is incredibly important to both of us that the children and young people in our community have access to the support they need to thrive and to grow into happy and resilient adults. We know that we are unable to do anything now for the children we lost, but we want to try and make a difference to the lives of other children and young people. We want to do whatever we can to try and prevent what happened to our children from happening again. Please feel free to contribute toward Catherine’s target of £10,000. Her efforts so far means that she is already at 46% of that total. Click here for the link to donate.

Anything you can add to that will be invaluable to the two charities we are supporting. Those charities are The Island (Enhancing the quality of life for vulnerable children and young people in York) and SASH (Working to prevent homelessness in young people aged 16-25 in York, North Yorkshire & East Yorkshire).

The Island offers support to vulnerable 8-13 years olds in York who are struggling to cope at home, at school, or in the wider community, or who are experiencing difficult transitions in their lives. The Island links these young people with volunteer mentors with whom they meet on a weekly basis over the course of a year (or longer if required). This allows them to develop supportive, ongoing relationships, whilst also providing them with the undivided attention and the ‘islands of space and time’ they need to increase their confidence and self-esteem, participate in worthwhile recreational activities, and move forward in their lives.

SASH run supported lodgings schemes which help young people develop the skills they need to live on their own. They provide an emergency nightstop service that makes a difference to young people’s lives when most needed.

Both charities need your support. They only exist because people in our community care enough to help them do what they do. Please click here to find Catherine’s Virgin Money Giving page. Now obviously this blog is essentially a music blog so I have picked ten walking themed songs (ok the first one loosely links to Catherine’s walking route) I hope that you enjoy them. In fact feel free to listen while you donate 🙂



“How dare I show face When my diction is such a disgrace” Blog Advent Calendar Day 16 December 16, 2014

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Today is December 16th and Christmas is getting closer. You certainly don’t need to walk 500 miles to get to the festivities now do you? Have you sent your letter to Santa? Have you sent a letter to America? Last posting dates must be here soon. Anyway it is now day 16 in this years ABC of British bands advent blog posts. We are noon on the letter ‘P’. If you sussed out the clues that I left earlier in this paragraph (and frankly they weren’t difficult) you’ll know that todays band is the Proclaimers. Obviously you may have just looked at the picture too 🙂

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The band is Scottish twins Charlie and Craig Reid who were born on 5th March 1962 in Leith. They later went on to live in Edinburgh, Cornwall and Auchtermuchty. The latter place is where they went to the Bell Baxter High School. The boys were a part of a number of punk bands before eventually forming the Proclaimers in 1983. Their big break came along in 1986 after a fan sent a demo tape to the Housemartins. The boys were then invited to support Hull’s finest on the 1986 UK tour. This exposure led to a slot on Channel 4’s the Tube in early 1987.

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Later that year their second single, “Letter From America” went to number three in the UK singles chart and number two in Ireland. This was the first of their six UK top 40 hits. Their biggest chart success came with a re-recording of 1988’s “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” in 2007. It was in aid of Comic Relief and the video involved many celebrities including Peter Kay and Matt Lucas. The song helped raise millions for Comic Relief that year. The original version of that song is their only US hit to date and it reached number 8 in the US Rock chart in 1988. The band have released 9 studio albums so far since 1987. Six of those made it to the UK top 50. 1988’s “Sunshine On Leith” reached number 6 in the UK chart and almost made it to the top in Australia, sadly stalling at number two. ‘The Best Of The Proclaimers‘, a 2002 compilation is their highest charting UK album making it to number 5 that year.


Charlie and Craig are fans of Hibernian Football Club and their song “Sunshine On Leith” has become something of an anthem at the club’s home games. They are also keen supporters of Scottish independence. For me the Proclaimers are something of a Marmite act in that you either love them or hate them. Personally I love them, perhaps that is because I am half Scots. Either way you can now take some time to love or hate a selection of the Proclaimers best tunes.




“Foreign life forms inventory suspended state of cryogenics” – Advent day 18 December 18, 2013

slide_18_2087138aIt’s the 18th December and by now the regular readers among you will know exactly what that means won’t you? yes it’s day 18 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent calendar posts. So the songs for today both have the number 18 in their title. we are so far down the line now towards Yuletide that my Spiderman Advent Calendar has hardly any chocolate left in it. What Advent Calendar do you have?

wing1The first song for today remains one of my favourite 70s songs. It is “Eighteen With A Bullet” from Pete Wingfield. The bullet in this instance is used to describe a particularly well performing song on the US singles chart. strangely enough the song did enter the US top 20 at number eighteen, presumably with a bullet back in 1975. It reached its peak of number 15 a week after that. In the UK it made the top 10 reaching number 7. Reggae singer Derrick Harriott did a great cover of the song. Wingfield has been quite an active session player and producer. He produced Dexys Midnight Runners first album, ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels‘ , the Kane Gang’s first album ‘The Bad And Low Down World Of The Kane Gang’ . Pete also produce “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and the album ‘Sunshine On Leith’ by the Proclaimers. “Eighteen With A Bullet” can also be found on the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie‘s 1998 film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels‘. The Pasadenas (who I once saw at a corporate function) biggest hit “Tribute (Right On)” was written by Mr Wingfield too.

1991-hangar_18_fcNext up it’s the mighty, massive, metal Megadeth with “Hangar 18”. The song was released as a single in 1991. It made it to number 26 in the UK and number 25 in the Irish charts. It comes from the band’s album ‘Rust In Peace’, a UK number 8 that was released in 1990. The song relates to alien conspiracy theories involving the 1947 crash at Roswell. Hangar 18 at an US Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio is supposedly where some of the alien remains and the alien spacecraft is stored. The lyrics were written by the band’s drummer Nick Menza with the music coming from frontman Dave Mustaine. Slash jammed with the band at one point and while some people thought that he might join them he decided to stay with Guns ‘N’ Roses.


“Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am…..” January 4, 2011

It is with sadness that I bring you news of the death of talented Sottish singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty aged 63. He had a well documented battle with alcoholism and also supposedly ‘disappeared’ a couple of times in recent years. But even with all that 63 is still a relatively young age to go these days.

Most people will remember Gerry for the classic “Baker Street“, which reached number 3 in the UK and number 2 in the US. It’s 1978 parent album, ‘City To City‘ sold 5.5 million copies in the US and managed to top the US album chart in 1978, beating the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. He was also co responsible for another classic song “Stuck In the Middle With You” with Stealers Wheel from 1973. The two songs have achieved 5 million and 4 million radio plays respectively. In 1987 he also co produced one of my favourite songs, “Letter From America” by the Proclaimers. I am sure he will be sadly missed by his family, friends and fans. Gerry Rafferty RIP.


“I spent the evening thinking about all the blood that flowed away” March 5, 2009

OK peeps it’s Thursday, it’s the 5th of March and it’s ……….. well it’s a big build up, but just another blog. Before I forget I should warn those of you that read this thing regularly that there may not be a post at all this weekend.

Are any of you a member in any Yahoo Groups? I’m a member of quite a few and I’d like to recommend a couple of those to you (click on the group name to go to the group home page). Both are very well run and full of news updates on a fantastically eclectic mix of artists. So give them a try and tell Tracy I sent you 🙂 So the groups in question are FAMOUS_WOMEN_OF_ROCK and ROCK-AROUND-THE-CLOCK I hope you enjoy them.

Before we get into the usual stuff thanks to Nick H for this link from the BBC. How many of you have degrees? If you answered yes is it a good one like maybe Engineering or Languages say, or is it a cop out subject like Media Studies or Travel & Tourism? Well fear not because help is at hand from Hope University in Liverpool. They are now offering a Beatles Degree!
Click here to get to the story. It doesn’t say but I wonder if there is an easier option like a Westlife NVQ or Boyzone BTEC. Im getting soft in my old age, a golden opportunity to dig at Robbie and I chose not to!

And now let’s get into the birthdays. First up today are twins Craig and Charlie Reid, who you probably know much better as the Proclaimers. Born in 1962 in Auchtermucty, Fife, Scotland the guys are 47 today. At school they were in a number of punk bands one of which was called ‘Eight Eyes’ which railed against the constant taunts of ”four eyes’ made to kids who wear glasses. Does that still happen? is it just a UK thing? Many of you will have heard of them from the reissue of their excellent “(I’m Gonna Be) 500 Miles” in 2007. This version was in aid of Comic Relief and featured Little Britain characters Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin and an excellent video led by Peter Kay, but that one has been seen so often I’m not going to include it here. Incidentally click on Comic Relief and you can see what great work they do and make a donation, go on, you know that you want to! I am going to give you the link to my favourite Proclaimers song though, that is “Letter From America” Sing along and enjoy! Don’t forget Red Nose Day is on Friday 13th March wear yours with pride!

They certainly looked like identical twins but they were very different in size!

They certainly looked like identical twins but they were very different in size!

The second and last of todays birthdays is that of John Frusciante of that excellent band the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he is 39 today. The band was originally formed in 1983 but Frusciante didn’t join until 1988 he then left during a Japanese tour in 1992. In a real case of revolving doors he rejoined the band in 1998! Outside of the Chili’s John has had a successful solo career and has also often collaborated with the Mars Volta. So to celebrate Mr F’s birthday here is “Californication

Springfieldfornication doesn't really work does it? RHCP on the Simpsons

Springfieldfornication doesn't really work does it? RHCP on the Simpsons

On 5th March 1963 the late great (hey those l’s and g’s are still with us!) country singer Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash in Dyersburg, Virginia along with the lesser known performers Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins (sorry but they sound like western action figures or porn star names to me, what do you think?)They were travelling to Nashville for a benefit concert for DJ “Cactus” Jack who had died in a car crash. Two days later in a most unfortunate twist of fate country singer Jack Anglin was killed in a car crash while on his way to Patsy’s funeral. Here is Patsy with “Crazy” which is one of my Mum’s favourite songs

Patsy had tried to live a 'no frills' life but found that she just didn't enjoy it, so the frills were back out front again!

Patsy had tried to live a 'no frills' life but found that she just didn't enjoy it, so the frills were back out front again!

On this day in 1965 “I Pity The Fool” the first single from a promising UK band, the Mannish Boys was released. It wasn’t a hit but the band did feature an 18 year old by the name of David Robert Jones. You may know him better as David Bowie. Oh man I got another Bowie reference in! I won’t say much about him, because there has been so much already since this blog started, so here is Muddy Waters with the song “Mannish Boy” which is where the band took their name from

David's hair always afforded him special treatment when the nit inspector (in this case 'Nitty Norman') visited his school!

David's hair always afforded him special treatment when the nit inspector (in this case 'Nitty Norman') visited his school!

And finally on this day in 1975 Rod Stewart met Britt Ekland ,in my opinion that is the moment that Rod started to go downhill. Especially with crud like “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” and “Baby Jane”. I’ll forgive him “Ole Ola” as that was to support Scotland in the 1978 World Cup, but it was a crap song nonetheless. So I guess the relationship advanced Britt’s career more than it did Rod’s. She had previously been married to Peter Sellers, they seem very different don’t they Pete n Rod. Incidentally Rod is NOT Scottish although my Dad who was always insisted that Rod was, that was the only lifelong disagreement I ever had with my Dad. In case it helps I’m half Scots! By the way, Rod’s Dad was also Scottish! I’ll end with a reminder of just how good Rod once was, here he is with the Faces in 1974 with “You Wear It Well” and “Maggie May

Rod and Britt really hoped that the old saying of 'two heads are better than one' was true as they had used so much hair spray that their heads were indeed stuck together!

Rod and Britt really hoped that the old saying of 'two heads are better than one' was true as they had used so much hair spray that their heads were indeed stuck together!


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