With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“How do you like it, how do you like it” November 29, 2011


Are music related deaths like buses? There isn’t one for ages and then loads arrive at once? That’s what the last few days seem like anyway; The first one I heard about was the sad death of Andrea True who had a massive 70s disco hit in the 70s with “More More More” under the not so imaginative name Andrea True Connection. Her real name was Andrea Truden and she changed it to True when she began to appear in porn films before her singing career, including ‘Deep Throat 2’. This was apparently so that her parents wouldn’t find out that she was in the porn industry. Sadly her singing career was not a long one, however she did spend time working in a number of jobs after throat surgery cut short club singing. These jobs included being a drug and alcohol counsellor. “More More More” was prominently sampled by Len on their 1999 hit “Steal My Sunshine” and was later covered by former S Clubber Rachel Stevens in 2004.

Barry Llewellyn off of the iconic and influential reggae band the Heptones has died in Jamaica aged 64. The band recorded a number of songs with the infamous Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. They are probably best known for their song in praise of the larger woman; “Fattie Fattie” This is also one of my favourite reggae songs and I used to own the 7 inch vinyl version of the song many years ago.

Perhaps he wasn’t a musician or singer but I couldn’t let the great film producer Ken Russell’s passing go without a mention here. He was responsible for what in my opinion is one of the best rock related movies ever made. He created a magnificent and somewhat weird adaptation of the Who’s ‘Tommy’ for the silver screen in 1975. He also made a movie of the life of Liszt starring Roger Daltrey as Franz Liszt and titled ‘Lisztomania’ which was also released in 1975. The soundtrack was provided by Rick Wakeman. In my view these two movies were the pinnacle of Daltrey’s acting career. Russell even tried his hand at the music video format when he directed the video to Elton John’s 1985 hit “Nikita”.

Don DeVito the producer of two of my favourite Bob Dylan albums, ‘Desire’ and ‘Blood On The Tracks’ has also passed away aged 72. He finally lost a 16 year-long battle with prostate cancer. He remained at Columbia records throughout his career where he worked with such luminaries as Aerosmith, Billy Joel and the Boss himself; Mr Springsteen.

Former singer with bands such as the Joe Loss Orchestra Ross McManus has also sadly left us. He was a very good singer in his own right but many people of my generation probably know him better as the father of the former Declan McManus; Elvis Costello. He died on 24th November aged 84 less than two weeks after the death of his second wife Sara. He played trumpet on a few of his son’s recordings. He once recorded a cover of the Beatles “Long And Winding Road” in 1970 under the name Day Costello, which is where young Declan chose his new surname from. He also wrote and recorded the song that accompanied the R White’s Lemonade advertising campaign in the 70s entitled “I’m A Secret Lemonade Drinker” on which backing vocals were provided by the then teenaged Declan.

My thoughts go to the family, friends and fans of Andrea, Barry, Ken, Don and Ross. RIP all of you.

Coincidentally today also marks the 10th anniversary of the death of George Harrison aged just 58. I find it hard to believe that it was so long ago, but it was just a couple of months after my Dad in September 2001. There are a number of events in Liverpool to commemorate the anniversary. In 9 days on December 8th it will also be the 31st anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. Clearly this period of the year hasn’t been great for other rock deaths either; 24th November was the 20th anniversary of the passing of Freddie Mercury and 22nd November saw 14 years since the death of Michael Hutchence off of INXS.

 

“And there won’t be snow in Africa, this Christmas time” December 23, 2010


Getting closer to the big day by the hour now and behind one of the few remaining perforated cardboard door flaps on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar today, December 23rd, is a song that has been the Christmas number one on three separate occasions and technically by different acts each time. It was number one firstly in the Christmas of 1984, then in 1989 and most recently in 2004. It was the last UK Christmas number one before the X Factor winners had four years in a row, finally broken last year by Rage Against The Machine. You have probably guessed that the song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas” originally by Band Aid in 1984, then Band Aid II (1989) followed by Band Aid 20 (2004). Maybe it’ll be top again for the 30th anniversary in 2014.

It was number one fora total of 12 weeks; 5 weeks in 1984, 3 weeks in 1989 and 4 weeks in 2004. The song was written by Bob Geldof off of the Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure off of Ultravox after they had seen the news coverage of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia. They had aimed to raise money for famine relief and the single and subsequent Live Aid concert probably went way beyond their initial expectations. It sold more than a million copies in its first week alone and went on to sell 3.5 million copies. It remained the fastest and highest selling UK single until Elton John’s rerecording of “Candle In The Wind” following the death of Princess Diana in August 1997. The song was recorded on November 29th 1984 at SARM Studios in London after Geldof gathered the great and good of pop music at the time. The opening line was originally written for David Bowie, who was unfortunately unable to make it, so it was done by Paul Young. The single was released just 4 days after the recording on December 3rd 1984 and remember this was way before the days of downloads.

Midge Ure produced the original version, it was offered to Trevor Horn but he was not in the UK at the time. Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced the 1989 version. Some artists such as David Bowie and Paul McCartney were unable to be at the recording of the original so provided messages that appeared on the B-Side. Members of Bananarama appeared on the 1984 and 1989 version whilst Bono sang the same line in 1984 as he did in 2004; ‘Well, tonight, thank God it’s them, instead of you’. On the 2004 version Dizzee Rascal also added some new lyrics.

The artists that appeared on each version are listed below;

BAND AID (1984)


Bono, U2,   Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Boomtown Rats,  Tony Hadley, Spandau Ballet, Midge Ure, Ultravox, Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran,  Paul Young,  Heaven 17,  Marilyn,  Bananarama,  Jody Watley,   Paul Weller, Kool & The Gang,  George Michael , Status Quo, Boy George, Culture Club,  Sting, Holly Johnson, Big Country

BAND AID II (1989)


Bananarama,  Big Fun, Bros, Cathy Dennis,  D Mob,  Jason Donovan,  Kevin Godley,  Glen Goldsmith,  Kylie Minogue,  Pasadenas,  Chris Rea,  Cliff Richard,  Jimmy Somerville,  Sonia, Lisa Stansfield,  Technotronic,  Wet Wet Wet

BAND AID 20 (2004)

Bono,  Daniel Bedingfield,  Natasha Bedingfield,  Vishal Das,  Busted,  Chris Martin, Dido, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Skye Edwards, Estelle,  Neil Hannon,  Justin Hawkins, Jamelia, Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Beverley Knight, Lemar,  Shaznay Lewis, Katie Melua, Róisín Murphy,  Feeder,  Snow Patrol, Rachel Stevens,  Joss Stone,  Sugababes, Thrills,  Turin Brakes,  Robbie Williams, Will Young,  Francis Healy, Danny Goffey, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Paul McCartney, Francis Healy, Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne

If you would like to donate to Oxfam then click here

 

“And when that rainbow’s shining over you, that’s when your dreams will all come true” April 29, 2009


Hello everyone, I’m back with a normal(ish) post, you know the type, a birthday and some ‘onthisdays’. Long time no post I know but I’ve been a bit busy. But right now I have a bit of time so here goes!

Catwoman has posted another excellent blog including some music, now I wonder where that bit came from! But seriously if you’re looking for a great VA (that’s Virtual Assistant if you didn’t know) then get in touch with her. Click on Virtual Assistant to visit her Kaleidoscope Business Services site and click on  Virtual Assistant again to read that excellent blog. The brighter ones among you may have figured that Catwoman is not her real name, it’s…….. her secret identity!

Catwoman, probably not the best seamstress in the world judging by this outfit!

Catwoman, probably not the best seamstress in the world judging by this outfit!

Today the 29th April 2009 is the 30th birthday of Jo O’Meara off of S Club 7, or to give her full name, Joanne Velda O’Meara. Jo was joined in S Club 7 by Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Bradley McIntosh, Hannah Spearritt, Rachel Stevens and Jon Lee. The group was put together by Simon Fuller one time manager of the Spice Girls. Wait a minute so the Spice Girls and S Club 7 are manufactured bands? Surely not! 😉 Apparently Rachel Stevens was the only member who didn’t have to audition, I wonder if she was the only member who could sing too? What do you think? The group scored 11 UK top 5 hits from 1999 to 2003 including 4 number ones. I still play “Reach” quite often at my mobile DJ gigs and I have to grudgingly admit that it is a good party song, very grudgingly though of course! Here are the ‘Club (it doesn’t have the same ring as the ‘Dead does it?) with “S Club Party“. Jo was embroiled in the racial bullying row on Celebrity Big Brother in 2007 along with Jade Goody for their alleged racial comments to Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty. To me the whole concept of a show like Big Brother (celebrity or otherwise) is bloody awful. Anyway Jo is planning to release a new solo album later this year, somehow I can’t see that one being added to my Christmas list! But if it was it would certainly be just ahead of anything by Robbie W or Westlife! (oh come on I haven’t had a dig at Robbie for ages, give me a break!)

Jo meets the newest member of S Club (that's Jo on the left by the way!)

Jo meets the newest member of S Club (that's Jo on the left by the way!)

On this day in 1976 after playing a gig in Memphis Bruce Springsteen took a cab to Gracelands, Elvis’ home and climbed over the wall. A guard stopped him assuming that he was just another crank fan. Wait a minute he tried to climb the wall into Elvis Presley’s home, that surely makes him a crank fan! I wonder if Mr Presley was at home that night?

Bruce sits on the edge of Elvis' bathtub, well it was during the King's Fat Elvis period!

Bruce sits on the edge of Elvis' bathtub, well it was during the King's Fat Elvis period!

On this day in 1981 Sir Elton John paid £14,000 for 232 Goon Show BBC Radio scripts at Christies Auction House in London. The Goons was also a favourite of Prince Charles, which goes to prove that Charles does at least have some taste!

for someone so generous Elton looks as tight as a ducks arse here!

for someone so generous Elton looks as tight as a ducks arse here!

And finally on this day in 1993 the supremely talented Mick Ronson died of liver cancer aged just 46. In my opinion he remains the best guitarist ever to work with David Bowie, and there have been some excellent players since. There is a great quote from Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot at the time of Ronson’s death. “If there’s a god up there why does he do this? It can only be because he’s trying to put together the ultimate band” Mick came from Hull in Yorkshire which is not too far from where I live now! He first played guitar with Bowie on a John Peel session on 5th February 1970 after John Cambridge another Bowie musician persuaded him to leave his job with the Hull Parks Department. He went on to play on four of Bowie’s albums; ‘The Man Who Sold The World’, ‘Hunky Dory’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’ ‘Pin Ups’ and ‘Alladin Sane’ I wonder if Bowie’s 80’s output would have been as crap if Ronson had been involved? What do you think? Mick also produced and did the string arrangements for Bowie and the pair famously produced Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer’ with Mick also playing guitar on the album (and also piano on “Perfect Day”) After the Ziggy years Ronson went on to work with many other excellent bands and musicians. He appeared on Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid 70s. It is said that it was Ronson who persuaded Dylan to wear make-up on that tour, which seems a little surprising as Mick was apparently dead against the make-up and stage clothes for the Ziggy tour at first. He also produced the Rich Kids, Slaughter And The Dogs, Suede and Morrissey among others. He also famously became a member of Mott The Hoople for a short period in 1975, he was a long time friend of Ian Hunter. Click here to visit the official Mick Ronson website and sign the on line petition to have Mick inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame. Let’s get him in there guys, I know I can count on you! It’s a great website too. Click here to watch Mick perform an excellent live version of “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” from his first solo album

Mick Ronson - gone but never forgotten

Mick Ronson - gone but never forgotten

 

 
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