With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing” August 7, 2017


Carol-Kaye-opener

Who is the bass session player that has played on more sessions than any other bass player? Well according to the Berklee College of Music in Boston it is Carol Kaye who has played on more than 10,000 sessions over four decades.

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She contributed to the Beach Boys classic album ‘Pet Sounds’, songs by Simon & Garfunkel, the Monkees, Ray Charles, Love, Glen Campbell, Neil Young, Frank Zappa, Ike & Tina Turner, Nancy Sinatra and Johnny Mathis to name but a few. She also played on many Phil Spector productions as well as a number of film soundtracks from the likes of Quincy Jones and Lalo Schifrin. In addition to bass guitar she also plays guitar and banjo. The now 82 year old Carol Kaye is without doubt one hell of a talented lady. Now enjoy just a small selection of the hits that she played on.

 

“There are concrete mountains in the city and pretty city women live inside them” December 22, 2014


joe-cocker-portrait2-474x267

I was saddened to hear of the death of true music legend Joe Cocker aged just 70. Joe had one of the finest rock and blues voices in music history. He appeared at the historic and iconic Woodstock Festival in 1969 and his Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour shortly afterwards gave a big break to Leon Russell. In fact he had a big hit with Russell’s song “Delta Lady”. His early musical influences were Lonnie Donegan and Ray Charles.

joe-cocker-012714

He showed his range and excellent song interpretation throughout his career including his duet with Jennifer Warnes from the ‘Officer And A Gentleman’ soundtrack, “Up Where We Belong“. The song was a massive hit in 1982, reaching the top of the US singles chart. But many people including myself remember his amazing cover of the Beatles song “With A Little Help From My Friends” which topped the charts in the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands in 1968. Incredibly it only made it to number 68 in the USA.

Joe Cocker In Concert At Zenith In Paris

My thoughts are with Joe’s family, friends and fans. RIP Joe Cocker, one of Sheffield’s and the world’s finest voices.

joe-cocker1

 

“‘Cause I forgot that you left me behind to remind me of you” September 19, 2012


Today, September 19th, would have been my Dad’s 81st birthday. But sadly he died in 2001 shortly after his 70th birthday just 5 days out of his 60s. I still miss him a lot and I often wonder what he would think about where my life has gone since he died. For my whole life there were always two Bill Adamsons in my family; me and my Dad, yes we shared exactly the same name. But since 24th September 2001 I have been the only one. But then I do see my Dad every morning when I shave and I hear him in the way I laugh. I sometimes wonder if I am in fact turning into him and frankly that wouldn’t be a bad thing. I was and always will be proud of my dad as both a father and a man. Time may heal, but that gap in your life after you lose a parent always remains. I’m sure that many of you who have lost a parent will have similar memories too and if it would help you to share them feel free to add a comment with your own feelings about sadly departed parents.

Obviously I have to include some music in this post, this is a music blog after all. So I have chosen four songs; Rod Stewart‘s version of “Sailing” as that was his favourite song ever. “The Living Years” from Mike and the Mechanics as that song made me reflect a lot after dad died and yes I cried a few times at that one. Next is the song that my Mum chose to have played at his funeral, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles. Finally I felt that I had to include Mike Skinner‘s fabulous Streets track “Never Went To Church” as that is all about coming to terms with the loss of his own father and provides the title for this post. In the words of Roland in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series ‘do you remember the face of your father?’ Well i do and I always will. Enjoy the music Dad, these are for you.

 

“Thanks for the joy that you’ve given me I want you to know I believe in your song” December 7, 2011


Dobie Gray has drifted away aged just 71, just slightly older than my own father when he passed away. Dobie had a great voice and in my opinion should have been far more succesful. Even if you’re not familiar with the music of Dobie Gray I am sure there are a couple of his songs that you will have heard. Those are “The In-Crowd” from 1965 (US number 13 and UK number 25) and “Drift Away” from 1973. “Drift Away” reached number 5 in the US charts and sold more than a million copies. Sadly it never charted in the UK, which frankly is a travesty!

The song was written by Mentor Williams and has been covered by many artists, but for me Dobie’s version reigns supreme by a long way. Artists such as Rod Stewart, Ray Charles and the Heptones have all recorded the song. There is also believed to be a cover by the Rolling Stones recorded in 1973 which as yet remains unreleased. For me it is such an uplifting song, I challenge you to listen to it and try to resist the urge to smile and sing along. I am definitely unable to resist that! Uncle Kracker covered the song in 2003 and incorporated one verse by Dobie himself. This version was number one in the US Adult Contemporary chart, but again failed to chart in the UK.

“The In-Crowd” has also been the subject of many cover versions from Mike Flowers and Ramsey Lewis to Bryan Ferry. Personally I think Ferry’s version is an excellent much more rock interpretation of the tune. Dobie’s 1966 recording “Out On The Floor” is seen as a classic Northern Soul track in the UK and reached number 42 in the British charts in 1975. This would have been driven by the amount of airplay it got at such iconic clubs as the Wigan Casino. Dobie was also one of the first artists to play to a non-segregated audience in what was then still an apartheid South Africa. I’m pretty sure that my singles collection used to include an imported copy of Dobie’s “Find ‘Em, Fool ‘Em and Forget ‘Em” from 1976. That song scraped into the Billboard top 100 in the US and failed to chart in the UK.

My thoughts go out to Dobie’s family, friends and fans. Dobie Gray RIP.

 

“Try to see it my way, only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong” December 20, 2010


It’s December 20th and now we’re at day 20 of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar posts. Behind the cardboard door today there is a real treat in store for you. We’re going back to the 60s to take a look at the only act to have had four Christmas number ones in the UK. It’s not Cliff Richard, he’s only had three, the Spice Girls also had three in a row in the 90s. But so far no one has matched the UK Christmas Number One success of this UK band. They had the UK Christmas Number One in 1963, 1964, 1965 and again in 1967. I’m sure you will not be too surprised to hear that I’m talking about the Beatles.

As a special pre-Christmas treat I will be giving you all four of their Christmas Number ones later in this post. The songs that made the Yuletide top spot for the Fab Four were; “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (1963), “I Feel Fine” (1964), “Day Tripper/ We Can Work It Out” (1965) and “Hello Goodbye” (1967). At Christmas 1963 the Beatles also held the number two spot with “She Loves You“. Their sequence was broken in 1966 by Tom Jones with “Green, Green Grass Of Home“. In Christmas 1963, 1964 and 1965 the Mop Tops stayed at the top of the charts for five weeks each year and in 1967 it was seven weeks.

“I Want To Hold Your Hand” was also the Beatles first US number one where it stayed for 7 weeks. It  was also at number four in the US on April 4th 1964 when the Beatles had the whole of the Top 5. Up until 1964 the Beatles hadn’t had massive success in the US and manager Brian Epstein suggested to John Lennon and Paul McCartney that they should write a song that would appeal in the US. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was the result of that request. It was also the first song the band recorded using the new technology of four track recording.

The bands second UK Christmas Number One, “I Feel Fine” was their eighth UK single. In 1964 it was the first US number one in a sequence of six Beatles songs in a row. It displaced the Rolling Stones “Little Red Rooster” at the top of the UK charts, possibly preventing the Stones from achieving what would have been their only UK Christmas Number One. Apparently Paul McCartney has said that the drum sound on the song was inspired by the Ray Charles song “What I’d Say“.

The third of the Beatles UK Christmas Number Ones was a double-A  side, something the CD and download era has made pretty much redundant. The two songs remain classics, for the price of one 7 inch single you got “Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out”. The songs were recorded during the ‘Rubber Soul’ sessions and were hurried along in order to provide the band with a Christmas release. Apparently Brian Epstein felt that a lack of releases or a lack of visibility would bring an end to the band’s success. When deciding which song to release John Lennon argued strongly for “Day Tripper” while the Paul, George and Ringo went for “We Can Work It Out”, hence it became the first commercial double-A side release. Noel Gallagher off of Oasis has referred to “We Can Work It Out” as the song that defines the Beatles (with the Beatles obviously being the band that defined Oasis!)

The last of the Beatles UK Christmas Number Ones, “Hello Goodbye” was at the top during Christmas 1967. It was also a US number one. The band filmed three promotional clips for the song, which were never aired in the UK at the time because of the Musicians Union embargo on miming. In an interview at the time of the songs release, Paul McCartney was quoted as saying the following when explaining the meaning of the song; “The answer to everything is simple. It’s a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That’s the amazing thing about life”.

So now go ahead and enjoy the five songs that make up the Beatles four UK Christmas Number Ones and at the end there is a special Beatle Christmas treat for you all! Enjoy!

 

” It’s been too long since we took the time, No-one’s to blame, I know time flies so quickly “ October 8, 2010


A mixed bag of a post for you today, drawn from a few recent news stories. Firstly I would like to wish a posthumous 70th birthday to John Lennon. I find it incredible that it is now almost 30 years since he was cruelly gunned down in New York. Has that time gone quickly for you too? He is also in the news for something other than his birthday as well. The FBI have seized a set of Lennon’s fingerprints that he gave to New York police in 1976 as part of his green card application. The card was part of a memorabilia auction, but the FBI claim it is official government property and have taken it away. haven’t they got a big enough file on Lennon already? Frankly though, why go they need it, I mean he is unlikely to commit any crime is he? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.

Now for another very sad Beatles related story. The cast of Glee have now beaten the Beatles record of the most appearances on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart by a non solo act. They have a total of 75 compared to 71 for the Fab Four, they have also surpassed Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin who have 74 and 73 respectively. The only acts ahead of them right now are James Brown with 91 and Elvis Presley with 108. Click here to see the report.

It has been reported that soulful chanteuse Toni Braxton is filing for bankruptcy for the second time. She went bankrupt for the first time just 12 years ago. This time a heart condition caused her to cancel a number of Vegas shows. So I would like to wish her well in the sale of her assets and hope that she can soon ‘unbreak the bank’ and will soon be able to “Breathe Again“. I must confess that earlier this year I burnt the original and a few remixes of “Unbreak My Heart” for my good friends Glen and Jill. So now we know of Toni’s financial predicament I ought to as k them to buy the songs. Come on guys help the poor girl out!

Kurt Kobain’s letter in which he appears to rail against MTV is to be auctioned. He referred to the TV Channel as Empty TV and signed the letter as Kurdt Kobaineee. read about it at the NME by clicking here.

Finally for today it is now 25 years since A-ha released “Take On Me” accompanied by that wonderfully arty video featuring Morten Harket from the band along with Bunty Bailey off of Hot Gossip. Enjoy the video below and read all about it by clicking here.

 

“Can hear me, can you hear me, through the dark night far away” July 11, 2009


Hello once again good people I thought I’d try and sneak in a few posts in the vein I started this blog, so here for you regular readers are a bunch of ‘onthisdays’ To those non regular or new readers these are snippets of music trivia that took place on this very day. The day in question today is July 12th

On this day in 1954 a very young Elvis Presley, just 19 years old in fact resigned from his job as a truck driver with the Crown Electric Company. The day was made much more important by the fact that Mr Presley also signed a contract with Sun Records

Even after he hit the big time Elvis refused to give up truck driving, although he did insist on using a customised rig ;-)

Even after he hit the big time Elvis refused to give up truck driving, although he did insist on using a customised rig 😉

On this day in 1962 Ray Charles was sitting at the top of the UK singles chart with the excellent “I Can’t Stop Loving You” I heard this a lot as a child as it was a great favourite of my parents. It was also one of the songs my Mum selected to have played at my Dad’s funeral in 2001. Another song played that day, was a massive favourite of my Dad, it was Rod Stewart’s excellent version of Gavin Sutherland off of the Sutherland Brothers’ “Sailing” Even now that song brings a tear to my eye, probably because it never fails to evoke memories of my Dad, a wonderful man who will always be missed. So dear readers tell me what songs make you cry and what your story is. In the meantime click here to see Rod singing “Sailing”. This one’s for you Dad!

Ray was somewhat annoyed with the road crew who had rather hastily removed his piano before he'd even had the chance to tell them to 'Hit The Road Jack'

Ray was somewhat annoyed with the road crew who had rather hastily removed his piano before he’d even had the chance to tell them to ‘Hit The Road Jack’

Also that same day in 1962 saw the live debut of a group you probably all know, it was at the Marquee Club in London and the group was the Rolling Stones. It was a bit of a different line up though, featuring Dick Taylor on Bass and Mick Avory on Drums. The band were actually billed as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones, I bet Keef and Brian weren’t happy with that (assuming they were a part of the group at that stage). They were paid the princely sum of £20 for the gig. A figure that might just about buy you a programme from a more recent Stones show

Mick thought he looked the business in his new jacket, the rest of the band thought less business and more.......twat!

Mick thought he looked the business in his new jacket, the rest of the band thought less business and more…….twat!

I suppose todays final ‘onthisday’ is still somewhat topical. On this day in 1988 Michael Jackson arrived in the UK for his first ever solo appearances in this country. He had appeared many times before with his brothers but never alone. He played eight nights to nearly 800,000 people and apparently grossed around £13 million. So even before Thriller he was able to earn big bucks! Here he is performing “Wanna Be Starting Something” on the Bad Tour from 1987

Clearly Michael intended to travel very light for his first solo UK tour. Well if you wanna be starting something you might as well wanna be starting it well ;-)

Clearly Michael intended to travel very light for his first solo UK tour. Well if you wanna be starting something you might as well wanna be starting it well 😉

To finish todays post I want to share this excellent Evian advert with you. I believe it’s called ‘Roller Babies’ and it is soundtracked by the fabulous “Rappers Delight” by the Sugarhill Gang. Click here to view it

 

“and the more I find out the less I know” May 4, 2009


This is the first in a not particularly regular series of posts covering some of my most favourite and in some cases poorly recognised artists. First up it’s Mr Johnny Nash. Johnny, despite his greatest success coming with reggae was actually born in Houston Texas on August 19th 1940. Like many of his contemporaries he sang in the choir at his local Baptist Church in his childhood and youth. He became a regular on a local television show called ‘Matinee’ in 1953 where he mainly performed covers of current hits. In another potential big break he entered a talent contest in the early 50’s where he eventually lost out to none other than the mighty Joe Tex. In 1956 he began a seven-year run of appearances on Arthur Godfrey’s radio and tv shows. Godfrey claimed to have ‘discovered’ Nash. Perhaps in the same way that Diana Ross ‘discovered’ the Jackson 5, she didn’t and it was in fact Gladys Knight. Johnny’s recording career began in the fifties when he signed a deal with ABC-Paramount and released his debut single “A Teenager Sings The Blues” Indeed he even had some US hits. Notably a cover of the Doris Day song “A Very Special Love” in late 1958 and also “The Teen Commandments” The latter was actually a collaboration with Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV. ABC had tried to market Johnny as another Johnny Mathis which led to him becoming disillusioned and did nothing to enhance his fledgling career. In my opinion this suggests that even in the 50’s the record labels would still opt for the easy route. ABC had a handsome black crooner on their books so they thought the easiest step would be to market him just like another handsome black crooner; Johnny Mathis. I feel that both had very distinct voices and should have been developed and promoted as individuals.

An Early Shot Of Johnny Nash

An Early Shot Of Johnny Nash

This disillusionment with the record industry saw Nash take his first steps in what could have been a very successful parallel career as an actor with a starring role in the film “Take A Giant Step”. It turned out to be his only starring role. He played a black teenager raised in white neighbourhood who struggles to fit in. Johnny won a Silver Sail award from the Locarno International Film Festival for his performance. The film’s Executive Producer was Burt Lancaster. It was filmed in 1958. As far as I am aware there has never been a DVD release. In 1960 he appeared in the movie ‘Key Witness’ alongside the supremely talented Dennis Hopper which received some good reviews and a degree of critical acclaim in Europe. After this he made a return to the recording studio where he recorded a string of middle-of-the-road tunes. None of these singles (which included releases on the Warner Brothers, Groove and Argo labels amongst others) were able to even dent the charts so once again his singing career began to tail off. Eventually he recorded the R & B song “Let’s Move And Groove Together” in 1965. This reached the dizzy heights of the US R & B top 5. But perhaps much more significantly for Nash the record became a massive hit in Jamaica. He embarked on a promotional tour of Jamaica in 1967. In a follow up trip he recorded the single “Hold Me Tight” which was based around a very strong reggae groove. This recording was made at Byron Lee’s (off of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires) Federal Studios. The single was released on the JAD label, which Nash had set up with producer Arthur Jenkins and businessman Danny Simms. The label’s name was made up of the first letter of the owner’s first names. The song reached the top 5 in both the US and the UK. He also reached the top 40 again with a reggae cover of the late great Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” which has more recently been covered by the talented Miss Amy Winehouse. In the same period he also had a hit with a cover of the Bill Johnson song “You Got Soul” Sadly JAD folded in the early 70’s. Click here to listen to Johnny’s “(I’m So) Glad You’re My Baby” from 1967 and a cover of “Ole Man River” which I had never heard until I started researching this post, just click the title for that one 🙂

The cover of Johnny Nash's "Hold Me Tight" album

The cover of Johnny Nash’s “Hold Me Tight” album

After “Cupid” went higher in the UK chart (no. 6) than it did in the US (no. 39) Nash decided to move to the UK in 1971. That year he became the first artist to have a major hit with a Bob Marley composition, the classic “Stir It Up” This was the first Johnny Nash single I ever bought and it also made me search for more of Bob Marley’s music too. Nash had met the Wailers while visiting Jamaica in the late 60’s. Nash was impressed enough to sign Bob, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh to an exclusive deal with JAD records. He also produced a number of songs for the band. By the time he released “Stir It Up” Nash was signed to CBS/ Epic Records. The follow up was the classic “I Can See Clearly Now” which was a top ten hit in the UK and went to the top of the charts in the US where it stayed for four weeks. Click here to see Johnny performing the song on Bert Sugarman’s Midnight Special TV Show in 1973. Many people have covered the song. Notably Jimmy Cliff for the movie ‘Cool Runnings’ and perhaps rather strangely, given that he was blind, Ray Charles. Following his success with a reggae influenced sound Johnny moved to Jamaica in 1972 where I believe he still owns a recording studio. The Wailers had backed Johnny on some of the recordings he made in 1971/72 and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick who also played with Free was a contributor to the ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ album. One of Bundrick’s songs and indeed one of my favourites from that album was “The Fish And The Alley Of Destruction” This has strangely been left off the extremely hard to find CD reissue of the album. Click here to listen to Johnny perform the excellent “Cream Puff”

The cover of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" album

The cover of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” album

After this success in the early 70’s Nash had yet another chart hiatus despite releasing what I believe to be his best album “My Merry Go Round” in 1973. This has now been reissued on CD, you really should make every effort to buy it! He was back in the charts in July 1975 where he reached number one in the UK with the song “Tears On My Pillow” Contrary to some sources on the internet this was not a cover of the Little Anthony And The Imperials song of the same name nor is it the same song that Kylie Minogue released a few years back. The song was originally called “I Can’t Take It” and was written by Ernie Smith a Jamaican singer/songwriter

The cover of my favourite Johnny Nash album "My Merry Go Round"

The cover of my favourite Johnny Nash album “My Merry Go Round”

The cover of Johnny Nash's "Tears On My Pillow" album

The cover of Johnny Nash’s “Tears On My Pillow” album

Johnny had a few more chart hits in the 70’s, notably with another Sam Cooke cover “(What A) Wonderful World” he was known to be recording with engineer Andy Bradley at Sugarhill Studios in Houston in 2006, although this might have been remastering old material rather than recording anything new. He seems to have retired now although I would love to hear from someone who can tell me that isn’t the case. In the meantime I think it’s a travesty that his back catalogue has largely been ignored for CD reissue. “My Merry Go Round” and “Tears On My Pillow” were both reissued in 2007 and apart from a number of compilations that’s about it. Surely it’s about time all of the Nash albums were reissued on CD I for one would buy them all! Those reissues should also include an album he recorded with Kim Weston in the late 60s and also the score he recorded for a Swedish movie in 1971. Who knows if it hadn’t have been for Johnny maybe Bob Marley and indeed reggae wouldn’t have proved so successful and durable as it did. I’m not religious in any way but if I did believe in angels I reckon they would sing with a voice like the wonderfully talented Johnny Nash!

Johnny Nash with Andy Bradley at the Sugarhill Studios in Houston, Texas in April 2006

Johnny Nash with Andy Bradley at the Sugarhill Studios in Houston, Texas in April 2006

I would like to finish this post with my favourite Johnny Nash single “There Are More Questions Than Answers

If you’re a fellow Johnny Nash fan feel free to get in touch 🙂

 

“I think I’m done with the kitchen table, baby” April 8, 2009


Welcome back my friends to the blog that never ends…….. well ok it does take the odd sabbatical, anyway enough dithering and on with the show as they say! Well Queen and Leo Sayer say it as they both had hits about the show going on!

Some important news for you to start with, apparently Lady GaGa refuses to have sweaty cheese in her dressing room. Her current rider states that it must be odourless and served on ice. She also requires a whole roasted chicken in her dressing room. Thank you to those nice folks at ‘The Smoking Gun‘ for that information. So did you know that the Lady’s real name is Stefani Germanotta? No? well you do now!

Lady GaGa's Cheesy Rider

Lady GaGa's Cheesy Rider

It’s April 8th and it would have been the 80th birthday of Jacques Brel the Belgian born singer/ songwriter who died of cancer in October 1978. In the English speaking world Brel is better known for the English translations of his songs which many artists have recorded. Including such luminaries as Nina Simone, Scott Walker, Marc Almond, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie (yep him again!) and Terry Jacks. “Seasons In The Sun” an English translation of a Brel song was recorded by Canadian singer Terry Jacks and was a big hit around the world in 1974.. Bowie recorded Brel’s “Port Of Amsterdam” and often played “My Death” live during the Ziggy days (click the song title to see the Dame doing the song more recently). Marc Almond often played Brel songs live and in 1989 he recorded a whole album of Brel songs called ‘Jacques’. Click here for a very comprehensive list of Brel covers on Wiki

Did he really write "Jumping Jacques Flash"? He's sure got a lot of sole!

Did he really write "Jumping Jacques Flash"? He's sure got a lot of sole!

On this day in 1967 a live soul revue at the Hammersmith Odeon in London included sets by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley and Booker T & the MGs. Now that is one fantastic package, it’s just a pity I was only 8 years old at the time. Well that and the fact that my parents preferred country music. So I suppose it could have been worse! Here is Arthur Conley with the classic and still one of my all time favourites and yes it is one of the 50 songs in my Top 10, “Sweet Soul Music

Arthur was well known for his skill in playing the invisible trombone

Arthur was well known for his skill in playing the invisible trombone

Also on this day in 1967 Sandie Shaw became the first UK female artist to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the appalling song “Puppet On A String” She worked at the Ford Motor Plant in Dagenham, Essex, England when she left school. A very high proportion of Dagenham’s working class population worked there too. Unlike many of her contemporaries she also recorded many of her songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish. This clearly helped to popularise her more outside the UK. She also became the first artist to cover a Led Zeppelin song. Here is Sandie with a more recent update of “Puppet On A String” called “Puppet On A Brand New String

Sandie had clearly been selling Mozzer short!

Sandie had clearly been selling Mozzer short or perhaps they were going to a Fancy Dress Party as Tom Cruise and his wife!

On this day in 1994, Gary Smith an electrician who was working at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle discovered Kurt’s body lying on the greenhouse floor. A shotgun was found next to the body. Seattle Radio Station KXRX broke the news at 9.40am that morning that the late great Cobain was dead, he was just 27. Conspiracy theories about Cobain’s death still abound, personally I don’t buy them at all, clearly he had considered and attempted suicide before so in some ways his death by his own hand, whilst very, very sad was not too much of a surprise. Cobain was given a guitar for his 14th birthday and soon learnt to play, apparently to covers he mastered early on were “Back In Black” (AC/DC) and “My Best Friends Girl” (The Cars). Here are Nirvana from the rehearsal of their ‘Unplugged’ show with Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World“. Nirvana were actually on the bill at the Reading Festival in the UK in August 1991 the same month my son Luke was born. Yes you guessed it here is yet another shameless plug for Luke’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ They are currently recording an EP. To check out their MySpace page just click on the band name.

Freddy Krueger does grunge horror in 'Nightmare On Nirvana Street'

Freddy Krueger does grunge horror in 'Nightmare On Nirvana Street'

And finally on this day in 1998 George Michael was arrested by an undercover policeman at the Will Rogers Memorial Park in LA for committing a sex act in a public toilet. George Michael was quoted as saying “I was followed into the restroom and this cop, well I didn’t know that he was a cop at the time obviously, started playing a game. I think it’s called ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours and then when you show me yours I’m gonna nick you” Michael was later fined $810 and ordered to complete 80 hours community service for committing a lewd act. He later lampooned the arresting officer, Marcelo Rodriguez in the video for “Outside“. the cop later sued George for $10m for his apparent portrayal in the video and the emotional stress it had caused him, he lost the case, in fact it was thrown out by the courts. The UK tabloids had a lot of fun reporting George’s arrest. Whilst I really dislike what the UK tabloid press has become (cheap, nasty, invasive and greed driven) it’s clear that their headline writers do indeed have talent. The main headline from the Sun was ‘ZIP ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO’

George gets ready to 'Whip It Out Before He Go Go's' he's such a 'Bad Boy' especially if you believe those 'Careless Whispers'

George gets ready to 'Whip It Out Before He Go Go's' he's such a 'Bad Boy' especially if you believe those 'Careless Whispers'

 

“We were barely 17 and we were barely dressed” March 11, 2009


Hello dear readers and welcome to the 11th March, coming up there’ll be one birthday and four ‘onthisdays’. But just before those here is yet another blatant plug for my son’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ check them out and tell me what you think of them, add them as a friend on MySpace too if you haven’t done so already, click their name for the link.

So in yet another attempt to post a short one (oooooerr missus!) here comes that birthday.

Today is the 59th birthday of Bobby McFerrin who had a massive hit in 1988 with the rather excellent “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (UK 2, US 1 that is it’s respective chart positions and not an international soccer score in case you were wondering). It was the first a capella song to reach the top of the Billboard charts in the US. The phrase “Don’t Worry Be Happy” comes originally from the teachings of Meher Baba. His teachings were followed at times by Pete Townshend of the Who

Bobby was having the worst bad hair day of his life!

Bobby was having the worst bad hair day of his life!

On this day in 1967 the music publisher Dick James announced that the Beatles song (well it’s Macca’s really) “Yesterday” had been recorded by 446 acts at that point. Considering the song was only released in 1965 that’s pretty good going It is now believed that there are more than 3,000 recorded versions. The song is believed to have been performed more than 3 million times in the last century according to the BMI. Paul McCartney gave the tune the working title of “Scrambled Eggs” before he wrote the lyrics. Here are two cover versions of the song, firstly from Dogpatch Debbie, it’s certainly different and then a great version from the late great (oh yes they’re back!) Ray Charles

Paul's audience were somewhat surprised when he decided to cover "I'm A Little Teapot Short And Stout"

Paul's audience were somewhat surprised when he decided to cover "I'm A Little Teapot Short And Stout"

On this day in 1978 there was some shocking news (geddit?). French singer Claude Francois was electrocuted while changing a light bulb when he was standing in his bathtub, presumably with water in. he had a UK hit in 1976 with “Tears On The Telephone” Claude is perhaps most famous for writing the song “Comme D’Habitude” which became a standard after English lyrics were written by Paul Anka and the song with those new lyrics was recorded by ole’ blue eyes himself Mr Frank Sinatra (or as I like to call him Frank Sinister). That song ladies and gentlemen is “My Way” Incidentally David Bowie (yet another DB reference) was the first person to write an English lyric for the tune but nobody took his words up! Here is Claude with “Comme D’Habitude” and here Mr Bowie explains his encounter with the song, it’s impact on “Life On Mars” and how he met Marc Bolan.

Claude always wore Lynx anti-perspirant and it certainly seemed to work for him!

Claude always wore Lynx anti-perspirant and it certainly seemed to work for him!

Also on this day in 1978 Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” album began a 416 week run in the UK album charts and selling 2 million copies in the process. Mr Loaf is actually called Marvin Lee Aday, his Meat Loaf name allegedy came from an incident when he stood on the foot of his high school football coach. Jim Steinman wrote the ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album and many claim that it shows his love of Bruce Springsteen, Phil Spector and Wagner. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album supposedly still sells around 200,000 copies per year even now. Is there anyone reading this that doesn’t own the album? Here is Mr Loaf himself with the classic “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” ably assisted by Ellen Foley.

From the look of it Meat Loaf should have taken Claude's anti perspirant advice

From the look of it Meat Loaf should have taken Claude's anti perspirant advice

And yet again in 1978 the debut single from the wonderful Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” Kate was only 15 when EMI’s interest was sparked by a demo tape of hers was passed to their A & R man Bob Mercer by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Gilmour actually plays guitar on the song too in particular that wonderful solo on the fade out. The company spent nearly 3 years on developing Kate as an artist. Sadly with the awful rise of X Factor and Idol shows that kind of thing is almost unheard of these days. She undertook, dance, vocal and mime classes. Her mime teacher was none other than Lindsay Kemp, who also taught David Bowie his mime skills (there you go, yet another Bowie reference). “Wuthering Heights” was originally scheduled for release in November 1977 but the company deemed it to be not radio friendly, it was eventually issued in January 1978. The song was inspired by Emily Bronte’s book of the same name, Kate is a big Bronte fan and even shares her birthday, July 30th. (Kate in 1958 and Emily 140 years earlier in 1818) Here is Ms Bush with that wonderful song and yes “Wuthering Heights” is certainly one of the 50 songs in my top 10

Kate's Atage Musical version of Lady Godiva never really took off

Kate's Stage Musical version of Lady Godiva never really took off

And finally here’s another picture of Kate, simply because I’ve always had a thing for the delectable Ms Bush 🙂

More Kate Bush........ because I can!

More Kate Bush........ because I can or perhaps more likely because I'd like to 😉

 

 
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