With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Podcast July 20, 2019

I have just uploaded another With Just A Hint Of Mayhem podcast. It outlines my views on the Apollo 11 moon landing from 50 years ago. How exciting that was to me and my thoughts on what has happened since, accompanied by a soundtrack of some of my favourite space, moon and Apollo tunes. Click here to check it out. I would love to hear your views too.


With Just A Hint Of Mayhem is ten years old! Part 2 February 1, 2019

Here we go with part 2/ day 2 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem 10th birthday celebrations. Regular readers will know that yesterday I gave you the top ten most viewed posts on the blog since it began back in February 2009 (Click here to view that again). Today I bring you the top ten countries that have given With Just A Hint Of Mayhem the most views. Don’t worry there will be plenty of music in the coming days including things like my top ten favourite singles, albums, bands and more stuff too! Don’t forget that you can also find us on Twitter  and FaceBook .

So on with the countries who have visited the site most often

USA 173,833

UK 116,030

Chile 27,682

Germany 26,344

France 22,616

Canada 19,208

Mexico 15,273

Spain 14,654

Australia 11,828

Brazil 8,475

Incidentally there are a handful of countries that have never visited With Just A Hint Of Mayhem, well at least not yet. If you can make it happen for Svalbard, Western Sahara, Bujumbura, Chad, Turkmenistan, Kosovo, Djibouti and unsurprisingly, North Korea. There are also thirteen countries with only one view each in 10 years.

So to celebrate how about a few world related songs? Don’t mind if I do 🙂



“The trial was a pig circus, he never had a chance” February 3, 2016


The other day I decided to take a quick count of all the artists in my album collection where I have at least 10 albums by a single artist. I included CDs, LPs and cassettes (although the only non compilation cassettes that I have are David Bowie bootlegs). Oh and while I’m on bootleg recordings obviously I have included them whether they are live, studio outtakes or simply unreleased stuff. I have not included digital recordings. I was surprised to find that there are 4o artists where I have at least ten releases by them. The list is below, (artist followed by the number of albums) there are no real surprises for me, are you surprised at any on this list? Have you ever done anything similar? I have also added a song from each of the top ten artists 🙂

David Bowie 141
Bob Dylan 30
Johnny Nash 26
Bruce Springsteen 26
Beatles 25
Neil Young 25
Elton John 19
Bob Marley 19
U2 19
Rod Stewart 18
Pink Floyd 17
REM 17
Elvis Costello 15
The Eels 15
Prince 15
Paul Weller 15
Ryan Adams 14
Led Zeppelin 14
Madonna 14
The Clash 13
Elvis Presley 13
Radiohead 13
Kate Bush 12
Oasis 12
Lou Reed 12
Stevie Wonder 12
Morrissey 11
Tom Waits 11
ZZ Top 11
Jeff Buckley 10
Julian Cope 10
Johnny Cash 10
Michael Jackson 10
John Lennon 10
Manic Street Preachers 10
Kylie Minogue 10
Iggy Pop 10
Rolling Stones 10
Frank Turner 10
The Who 10


“Rock’n’roll with all my friends, hopin’ the music never ends” March 20, 2014

mr happyI might be a little late with this but today is the United Nations second International Day of Happiness. So let me help you celebrate with a few Happy and Happiness songs. Enjoy them and feel free to contribute some of your own.



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“Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé” – Advent day 9 December 9, 2013

3d-9-number-like-christmas-toy-7227322It’s day 9 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Christmas Advent calendar which means it is now December 9th. We haven’t put our decorations up yet and probably won’t put them up until much nearer the big day. Have you put your baubles on your tree yet?

johnsfaceFollowing on from yesterdays post which referenced the anniversary of John Lennon’s murder with a Beatles song today I offer you a song from Lennon’s solo career. In keeping with the numbers theme of this years advent posts it has a number in the title; can you guess which song it is? Well I’ll put you out of your misery, it’s “#9 Dream”. Taken from Lennon’s 1974 album ‘Walls And Bridges’ it only made number 23 in the UK chart but was a top ten hit in the USA. In fact it reached a rather appropriate number 9. May Pang who was Lennon’s partner for much of his ‘lost weekend’ recorded the backing vocals for the song. She has also said that the vocal refrain ‘Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé’ in the lyrics came to John in a dream. In fact the whole song was an interpretation of that dream. It is one of my favourite Lennon songs and has been covered by REM, Andrea Corr and A-Ha.

220px-1969-tempts-cloud9The second song in todays line-up comes from the Temptations. It is their 1968 single “Cloud Nine”. It was the first release to feature Dennis Edwards in place of David Ruffin. The song was written by multi-talented producer Norman Whitfield and former Motown artist Barrett Strong. It stemmed from Whitfield being exposed to a new style of music via Sly and the Family Stone‘s hit “Dance To The Music”. At first he was reluctant to move too far from the hit making formula employed up to now. It was Temptation Otis Williams that convinced him to do it. I for one am glad that he did because it led to some amazing psychedelic funk workouts right into the 70s.


“I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” November 29, 2012

Based upon information released recently it is alleged that the US Government had planned to blow up the moon in the late 50s as a means of intimidating their nemesis in the Cold War, the Soviet Union. After the Russians effectively took the lead in the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 it was apparently believed that a show of strength like blowing up the moon would really scare the Russians. Apparently it was called ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ or ‘Project A119‘. Even that sounds a little James Bond like doesn’t it?

It really does seem like a crackpot scheme and it is unlikely at the time that anyone possessed enough in their nuclear arsenal to actually complete the task. At best it might have left the man in the moon looking more like the elephant Man and the satellite’s surface covered in high levels of radiation. In addition any debris that fell to earth would almost certainly have been radioactive as well.

I wonder if this idea came from the same think tank that thought of the idea of using an explosive cigar to blow up Fidel Castro or to rig the voting in Florida in 2000 in favour of Dubya. Ooops wait a minute that second one was true wasn’t it? had it happened then Neil Armstrong probably wouldn’t have been there to utter his famous ‘one step for man’ line. But then again maybe it did happen and didn’t work very well other than to make the moon radioactive. That would certainly give more credence to those people who believe the moon landings were faked and took place in a film studio directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I’d love to know what you think of this incredibly stupid, yet potentially real plan of  Eisenhower’s government. Bearing in mind that his Vice President was Tricky Dicky Nixon, maybe it isn’t surprising! Anyway as I have said many times before so here are a few songs that may not have happened or certainly wouldn’t have been the same had the moon been blown to smithereens, feel free to add your own moon related songs.

Apologies but there are two kiddie fiddlers for the price of one on this next one!

And finally a special Billy Bonus, my favourite track from Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark side Of The Moon’; “Brain Damage”


“That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane” May 21, 2011

I will try to make this a relatively short post, mostly because it may be the last one I ever do (shades of Bowie’s 1973 Ziggy retirement there don’t you think?). Why might this be my last post? Well today is rapture day of course. A day when 200 million Christian believers will be swept up to heaven, while the rest of us remain down here suffering a hell on earth, which will apparently end on October 21st. An 89 year-old US preacher, Harold Camping, has predicted that Jesus will return to earth at 11pm UK time today. He will apparently be accompanied by earthquakes that roll around the world. Click here to read about the atheist rapture parties in the US.

Try as hard as you like Ermintrude but you won’t be raptured or looked after!

Personally I think this is complete crap, even more so given that Camping actually predicted the end of the world 17 years ago. But he says he wasn’t wrong and that his 1994 prediction was in fact a precursor to the main event. So rather than dwelling on delusional folks like him I thought I’d focus on what I think is a wonderfully amusing aspect of the whole story. it is said that only humans will be drawn up in the rapture, which means that all their pets will be left behind. But don’t fret pet lovers, there is a company called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets who will take care of your pets after you’ve caught the 11pm express service to heaven.

So clearly he cares for animals, just not your pets!

They operate in more than half the states in the US and will take care of your cats, dogs, small birds and small caged mammals for a bargain price of just $135 and an another $20 each for any additional pets that you have. Up to 250 people have already signed up even in the knowledge that no refunds are available. In four states they also offer the service for some larger animals such as horses. perhaps the best thing about this great deal is that it has a ten-year guarantee! So if Mr Camping is wrong again you still have ten years for him to get it right! How do they guarantee that post apocalyptic pet care? Well they guarantee that all their care teams are committed atheists, pet lovers and have no criminal record. Click here to check their website.

As I have said before this is a music blog so please enjoy the following songs before the end of the world. If my internet connection gets washed away with the rapture tonight I may not be able to post again, but I can promise you I will definitely still be on earth tomorrow 🙂


“When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on” October 3, 2010

A recent survey undertaken by PRS for Music sought to discover the songs that make us men cry. A total of 1,700 men were polled and the results make somewhat interesting reading I think. The top ten is shown below, with a few comments from me. Click here to read a report on the results in the UK free newspaper, the Metro.

1. Everybody Hurts – REM – A great REM song taken from the classic ‘Automatic For The People‘ album. It was written by drummer Bill Berry, although he didn’t play drums on the track, that was done by a drum machine. He also said that the song was aimed at teenagers. In 2006 the song was voted 4th in a poll by Channel 5 to discover ‘Britain Favourite Break Up Songs’
2. Tears in HeavenEric Clapton – A very sad song in many ways. Clapton wrote it with Will Jennings after the death of his four-year old son Conor in 1991. The boy fell from the window of a friend’s apartment in New York
3. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – Now this one is a classic and has been covered by many artists. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke reached number one in the UK with, at best a very mediocre working of the song and at its worst would easily make music purists cry. In my opinion the best version is easily that of the late, great Jeff Buckley and that version can indeed bring tears to my eyes
4. Nothing Compares 2 USinead O’Connor – She will always have my respect for tearing up a photo of the pope on US TV, I bet that made a few people cry with rage though. It reached number one in the UK in 1990. The song is actually a cover version of a song written by his royal purpleness, Prince. It was recorded and released by the Family in 1985, this was simply a vehicle to enable Prince to release more of his material.
5. With or Without YouU2 – This was the first single from ‘The Joshua Tree’ in 1987 and became their first US number one song.
6. The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve – This was the band’s most successful UK single and reached number one in 1997, having been released the day after Princess Diana died. It was written by lead singer Richard Ashcroft about his own drug habit and also about the death of his father.
7. Candle In The WindElton John – I really do prefer the original version of this song, it was about Marilyn Monroe and was taken from the album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ However, sadly, in my opinion, the version that most people remember is the rewritten version for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, although in its defence it did raise millions for charity. Incidentally I reckon that must be the first time Princess Diana has been mentioned more than once in any of my posts.
8. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen – Bruce wrote this for the first mainstream movie to tackle HIV/ AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’ from 1993. The song won the best original song Oscar. It reached number one in many countries, although not in the US or UK. It has also been known to occasionally open my tear ducts too.
9. Unchained Melody – Todd Duncan – whilst the article lists the Todd Duncan version, which was taken from the 1955 prison film; ‘Unchained’ it is probably the Righteous Brothers version that most people know. That version was recorded in the sixties but became a massive hit again when it was used in the 1990 film ‘Ghost’. It has been recorded by more than 500 artists including, Jimmy Young, Elvis Presley, the Supremes, U2, the Smashing Pumpkins and there was also an excruciatingly bad version by Pop Idol muppet Gareth Gates.
10. AngelsRobbie Williams – As regular readers of this blog know, I am definitely not a Robbie fan and I particularly dislike this song. I really don’t get it, I mean “I’m loving angels instead”? Instead of what exactly?

There are a few songs that can make me blub, many by Johnny Nash, Bob Marley and Jeff Buckley. But perhaps the one that does it the most is “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. It was always my Dad’s favourite song and we played it as his funeral back in 2001. What songs make you cry?

Finally let me finish with a classic video for one of my favourite songs about crying. It’s “Cry” by Godley and Creme


“Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?” July 11, 2010

What a bummer, I missed the train again!

I was reading the news earlier today and I discovered a fantastic longstanding tradition that I had never previously heard of and yet it appears to have started more than 30 years ago. It is the annual Amtrak Mooning in Laguna Niguel in Orange County California. It took place this weekend and started as some kind of bet in a bar. A drinker in the Mugs Away Bar which is opposite the Amtrak rail line offered to buy a drink for anyone who would go out and moon at the next train. One drinker took the challenge and it has grown since then to a point where thousands of people take part every year. Many people even travel on the Amtrak on that day especially to see it.

Don't look now but there's a crack on the track!

Here is a video of the Amtrak Moon event from 2005

I think this whole idea is bloody hilarious and maybe we should kick something off like it in the UK, maybe on the platform at Baker Street Station or a bridge over the main east coast rail line in York. Who would be up for that?We already have the Annual Naked Bike Ride in York in June, maybe we can combine it with a rail mooning event.

What I don't get is why there are so many clothes on a naked bike ride

Strangely I was considering a train related post having visited the National Railway Museum in York yesterday with some friends and their two children. So when I saw the Amtrak mooning story on the Beeb I thought I’d combine the two. So here are a few songs relating to trains or mooning. If anyone knows of a song that actually combines trains and mooning then please let me know.

The Train Songshttps://justwilliam1959.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1701&action=edit&message=10

Runaway Train” – Roseanne Cash. She is the eldest daughter of the late, great Johnny Cash. Her first, self titled album, was recorded largely in Germany. It was released in 1978 although not in the USA

Downtown Train” – Rod Stewart. Rod has recently turned down the opportunity to tour again with the remaining members of the Faces and his place is taken by Mick Hucknall of Simply Red. Now I just don’t get that, do you? Glen Matlock off of the Sex Pistols replaces the late, great Ronnie Lane.When speaking of his divorces Rod was allegedly quoted as saying “Instead of getting married again, I’m going to find a woman I don’t like and just give her a house.”

Long Train Runnin‘” – Doobie Brothers. The fledgling Doobie Brothers were called Pud until a friend noted their fondness for smoking doobies (marijuana cigarettes to those of you who were bypassed by drug culture). So not real brothers at all!

Chattanooga Choo Choo” – Glenn Miller Orchestra. Mr Miller was born just two months before my wonderful Nan, Rosie Lavinia Schofield in March 1904. She died aged 93 back in 1998. Glen Miller was recorded as missing presumed dead on 15th December 1944 after his plane ditched into the English Channel

The Moon Songs

Blue Moon” – Marcels. The group who formed in 1959, were named by Fred Johnson’s (who sang bass)Priscilla, after a popular hair style of the day (the Marcell wave)

Under The Moon Of Love” – Curtis Lee. Curtis had a US hit with this song and “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” in 1961, both were produced by Phil Spector and both were covered in the 70s by UK band Showaddywaddy who had a UK number one with “Under The Moon Of Love” in 1976

The Whole Of The Moon” – Waterboys. This song was a minor UK hit in 1985, its progress was hampered by singer Mike Scott’s refusal to appear on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops where he would have had to lip sync the song.

Man On The Moon” – REM, The song is about US comic performer Andy Kaufman. This video is a live performance at a Rock The Vote show and has Michael Stipe duetting with Bruce Springsteen


“Are we living in a land where sex and horror are the new gods?” March 14, 2009

Welcome to the weekend good people, bad people and those who aren’t sure. It’s time to let your hair down for a couple of days, well metaphorically in my case! It’s 14th March and just one day away from those dastardly Ides, so remember to stay bewared so to speak.

Did you make a donation to Comic Relief yesterday? If not it’s not too late and if you did feel free to donate more. Just click here and remember just £5 will buy a mosquito net for an African child. This could help to eradicate Malaria which is one of the biggest killers of children in Africa. Just think that if everyone who read this blog yesterday donated just £1 that would total £450! For the latest update on Comic Relief click here, the ‘on the day total’ topped £57m!

I have a confession to make about last night’s show though and I can’t believe that I’m about to say this. But Robbie Williams was bloody good last night in the Little Britain sketch. To be fair he wasn’t singing, thankfully but nonetheless he was good. Click here to see the sketch. What do you think of it?

That little devil Robbie Williams raids the tranny dressing up box with David Walliams and Matt Lucas

That little devil Robbie Williams raids the tranny dressing up box with David Walliams and Matt Lucas

We continue todays post with a few contributions from some regular readers. Firstly thank you to Tom who passed on a great video and indeed a potentially great band today. We were talking at the Hospital Radio Station on Wednesday night about Ringo Starr’s solo efforts, which in my opinion have been somewhat patchy. Anyway Tom mentioned that there was an excellent video on YouTube promoting the current single from a band called Blame Ringo, click on the song title to see it, it is all filmed at the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing that was featured on the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road album. The song is called “Garble Arch (A Day In The Life Of Abbey Road)” So tell me, how many of you have had your picture taken on that crossing? Feel free to mail a copy to me and I’ll happily publish it in the blog for you. Blame Ringo’s website is pretty good too, click here to check it out.

This Beatles fan makes his feelings clear about Ringo having a bum deal even if he wasn't the best drummer in the band. To be fair Meg White wasn't the best drummer in the White Stripes either!

This Beatles fan makes his feelings clear about Ringo having a bum deal even if he wasn't the best drummer in the band. To be fair Meg White wasn't the best drummer in the White Stripes either!

I found this while I was searching for a Blame Ringo picture. So I had to include it. Why? Because I can of course!

I found this while I was searching for a Blame Ringo picture. So I had to include it. Why? Because I can of course! Indeed it even features Catwoman as well

Secondly here’s a great tip off from Nick H who lives in what used to be the hometown of Mary Shelley who wrote the rather spiffing Frankenstein. Nick has given us an excellent link to a brilliant cover of Gary Numan’s “Are Friends Electric?” by Jack White’s new band ‘Dead Weather’. It consists of Jack himself, obviously, Allison Mosshart from the Kills on vocals, Jack Lawrence from the Raconteurs and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age. Click the song title for the video and click here for the band’s web site.

Jack tried to warn Allison that she was about to feel a little prick....... from the thorn bush of course, you readers are just sooooooo rude! ;-)

Jack tried to warn Allison that she was about to feel a little prick....... from the thorn bush of course, you readers are just sooooooo rude! 😉

And finally for those readers contributions here is a brief one from Marcy. She wanted me to let you know that she lives a mere stones throw (well if you can throw a stone 7.1 miles) from Mr Davy Jones off of the Monkees. Davy also plays a few shows in Marcy’s home town too. Do any other readers live near a celebrity? Let me know and maybe I can include it in a future post

A horse walks into Davy's Bar and orders a beer, Davy serves him and says "why the long face?"

A horse walks into Davy's Bar and orders a beer, Davy serves him and says "why the long face?"

Anyway let’s move on with the trivia and useful/ useless (delete as appropriate) information for today.

Firstly the birthdays and today is the 63rd birthday of Jim Pons who was the bass player for classic 60s band the Turtles who had a massive hit with the classic (ok so I’ve overdone the classic superlative, so what?) “Happy Together”. Jim didn’t join the band until after that though. He was also a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers Of Invention. The Turtles first hit was a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. Before this they were called Crossfires From The Planet Mars. Another classic Turtles hit was “She’d Rather Be with Me” which does indeed feature Jim on bass.

Everyone else had walked across the Abbey Road crossing, but the Turtles had to show off by crawling across

Everyone else had walked across the Abbey Road crossing, but the Turtles had to show off by crawling across

The second and last of our birthdays today is the 26th birthday of Jordan Taylor Hanson. He was, somewhat obviously, a member of Hanson who had a massive hit with “MMMBop“. I must confess that I love that song, a true guilty pleasure is that one I suppose. Does anyone else admit to liking it? Jordan preferred to be known by his middle name Taylor and he was just 14 at the height of “MMMBop’s” success. The band have the honour of appearing twice in TV’s Celebrity Death Match. The first time they fought the Spice Girls and both they and the Spice Girls were killed by a chainsaw toting Marilyn Manson. Bizarrely they came back for a rematch with Manson (hey I wonder if it was billed as Manson vs Hanson?), they lost again after Zac Hanson lost control of the chainsaw. Please note that Celebrity Death Match was not real and no stars were harmed during the making of it. Although there are some I would like to see on a real version! any guesses or suggestions? Incidentally fact fans, “MMMBop” has been featured as House’s mobile phone ring tone in House MD.

On further investigation it became clear that Hanson were in fact Triamese twins who shared four legs and three heads

On further investigation it became clear that Hanson were in fact Triamese twins who shared four legs and three heads

On this day in 1985 the mighty Frankie Goes To Hollywood played a show at the Sheffield City Hall in the UK. The band were absolutely mega in 84/ 85 with their first three singles all reaching number one in the UK. At that point they were only the second group ever to achieve that feat after Gerry and the Pacemakers in the 60s. There are various stories as to how the band got their name all relate to a newspaper or magazine headline of a star going to Hollywood. To be perfectly Frank it was one of the following Franks; Frank Sinatra, Frankie Vaughan (one of my Mum’s favourite singers!) or English comedian Frankie Howard (titter ye not!). “Relax” had reached number 6 in the UK charts after an appearance on Top Of The Pops and then the infamous Mike Read banning incident occurred. Allegedly Mike objected to the sexual content of the lyric, this of course gave the band and the song such publicity it shot to (read no innuendo into that smutty people) number one, where it stayed for 5 weeks. The follow up “Two Tribes” went to number one and stayed there for a phenomenal 9 weeks at the same time “Relax” climbed back to number 2. The third single “The Power Of Love” was number one for a short period in December 1984. It’s nativity themed video means that is still seen as a Christmas song by many, but I’m not convinced! The rise of Frankie also led to a proliferation of ‘FRANKIE SAY……’ Tee shirts. Here are the Frankie’s with “Relax” on Channel 4’s the Tube in late 1983.

They had reached page 42 in the Kama Sutra but now neither i=of them had a hand free to turn to the next page

They had reached page 42 in the Kama Sutra but now neither of them had a hand free to turn to the next page

And finally on this day in 1991 REM played the first of two nights at London’s Borderline billed as Bingo Hand Job. Not only did they come up with a different name for the band they also gave each other new names for the shows; Michael Stipe was the Reverend Bingo, Peter Buck became Raoul, Bill Berry was the Doc and Mike Mills had the honour (?) of being Stinky. Out of those I would rather have been called the Reverend Bingo but a number of people have told me that Stinky would be more appropriate. Hmmmmmm I’m not sure why that is 😉 Anyway to finish here are REM with the Muppets on a cracking version of “Furry Happy Monsters

Michael had heard that many dog owners resembled their dogs, but.......

Michael had heard that many dog owners resembled their dogs, but.......

..... he hadn't realised that he was starting to look like his gargoyle!

..... he hadn't realised that he was starting to look like his gargoyle!


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