With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I thought it was the UK or just another country” March 28, 2015


westminster

As many of you are aware there will be a General Election in the UK in May. Well for the first time that I was granted the legal right to vote in 1977 I really cannot find any politician or party that inspires me enough to put my ‘X’ next to their name on May 7th. What are the main options?

Tories a.k.a Conservatives – I despise this party and I think hell might freeze over before I voted for them and Cameron is an incredibly weak leader in my opinion

Liberal Democrats – like many former Labour supporters who switched to them in 2010 I feel betrayed after they joined forces with the Tories. I hope Nick Clegg loses his seat, his party is as good as over.

Labour – lacking in direction when they should be crushing the other main parties. Sorry but they chose the wrong Milliband brother to lead them.

UKIP – Farage and his cronies? Why would anyone vote for this bunch of racist, Daily Mail supporters with no more than one policy

Greens – My heart says possibly but my brain says no. From what I’ve seen I don’t believe that they have the ability to lead or to influence a minority government

BNP – Fuck off you racist scumbags!

Obviously I can’t vote for the nationalist parties of Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales as I am in England. I would have gone for the ‘None Of The Above’ movement but then I saw that they propose to actually stand candidates, that goes a lot against the grain for me. So all I hope is that the Monster Raving Looney Party are standing in my constituency or I may simply go along and spoil my ballot paper. The government do record and publish the number of spoiled ballots so perhaps that is the most effective protest that we have in this “democracy” of ours. What do you think and feel free to cast your vote in the poll.

Signpost, political parties

 

“The rabbits rush, around the brush” January 7, 2014


LandscapIn 1942 during World War 2 the BBC banned a rather innocuous little song. The tune was deemed to be ‘too catchy’ (an early earworm perhaps?) and the ‘powers that be’ thought that it would distract factory workers when it was played on the wireless. This of course would significantly damage the war effort. So what was that demonic song that might have caused Britain to lose the war? It was Bing Crosby’s version of “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”.

bing crosbyWhere are these people when you need them to ban such drivel as anything by One Direction, Matt Curdle, Olly Murs, Westlife and Boyzone to name but a few. However it is quite amusing that the Bing Crosby song is joined on the list of songs banned by the BBC by “Relax” – Frankie Goes To Hollywood, “Je T’Aime (Mois Non Plus)” – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, “Fuck You” – Eamon, “God Save The Queen” – Sex Pistols and “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” and “Hi Hi Hi” both by Wings. These songs were variously banned for being about sex or drugs, containing profanities or being too political. All Bing’s little ditty did was simply be ‘too catchy’!

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“Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there” January 6, 2014


beatlesDid you know that the Beatles released one single that none of the band played on? It’s kind of obvious when you think about it. The song is “Eleanor Rigby” which was released on the same single as “Yellow Submarine” in 1966. It reached number one in many countries including the UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Australia and Austria. The musicians who played on the track were;

On Violin – Tony Gilbert, Sidney Sax, John Sharpe and Juergen Hess.

On Viola – Stephen Shingles and John Underwood

On Cello – Derek Simpson and Norman Jones.

beatles pantoIt makes you wonder how many other bands didn’t play on their big hits. It would be fair to assume that the likes of the Bay City Rollers, Westlife, Boyzone, the majority of X Factor muppets and many others didn’t play on any of their hits wouldn’t it? But then again even Ringo didn’t feature on the Beatles initially released version of “Love Me Do” in 1962. Sid Vicious‘ bass playing featured on hardly any Sex Pistols recordings, most of those were completed by Glen Matlock or Steve Jones. Listening to some bootlegs of the band from late 1977 to the ill-fated US tour of January 1978 suggests that there was a good reason Sid didn’t contribute bass to many songs, he just wasn’t very good at it!

eleanor rigby headstone

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“Ronnie Biggs was doing time ’til he done a bunk” December 18, 2013


ronniebiggs_460x276OK I know he was a criminal and I know that a man died as a result of the violence used in the Great Train Robbery back in 1963. But if only the gang had not coshed the driver of the train they would surely have become folk heroes for taking so much without really hurting anyone. Anyway I thought I would mark the passing of Ronnie Biggs the most obvious way I can given that this is a music blog. Here is Ronnie from 1978 as guest vocalist for the Sex Pistols. McLaren never shied away from bad publicity did he?

Sex-Pistols-Punk-prayerRonnie died earlier this week aged 84. He recorded a track with the Pistols while he was holed up in Brazil and they were in free fall after the departure of Johnny Rotten/ John Lydon. The B Side of the “No One Is Innocent (A Punk Prayer By Ronnie Biggs)” single was the Sid Vicious version of “My Way”. The single made it to number 7 in the UK charts.

RIP Ronnie Biggs

 

“We don’t care about long hair” – Advent day 17 December 17, 2013


advent-day-17_2084082aIt seems like just days since I started this years With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent blog posts and yet here we are at Day 17 already. More than two-thirds of the way through. So not only is it December 17th it is also the day that you get two songs with seventeen in the title. I’m getting a little concerned that I’ll be able to find two at least half decent songs for each day up to 25th December. But I think I can!

At_seventeen_(Janis_ian_single_cover)Anyway enough of my mindless prattling, what is the first song for today I hear you cry. Well it is a beautiful song from 1975; it is Janis Ian with the Grammy winning “At Seventeen”. The song failed to chart in the UK although I seem to recall that it got a lot of airplay in 1975/ 76. It went to number three on the US Billboard chart and remains her biggest hit. Janis didn’t want to release the song at first as she felt it was too personal. The song has been covered by Celine Dion for her current album ‘Loved Me Back To Life’. In addition to piano and guitar Janis also plays organ, harpsichord, French horn and flute. She had mastered all of these by the time she reached her teens. Janis also writes science fiction and has had a number of short stories published.

4541100486The second song today comes from punk icons the Sex Pistols and is called “Seventeen”. The song was the first track on side two of their only studio album; the timeless punk classic ‘Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols’. The bass on the album was played by either Glen Matlock or Steve Jones as Sid Vicious was not a particularly competent bassist. However it seems that Mr Vicious may have played his bass on the album’s eighth track; “Bodies”. “Seventeen” was one of 15 songs that the band played at their final gig (not including reunions) at the Winter Ballroom in San Francisco on January 1978. US hardcore punk band Total Chaos have covered the song for the ‘Never Mind The Sex Pistols, Here’s The Tribute’ album in 2000.

 

“I have held the hand of a devil” July 18, 2013


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Paul Hewson a.k.a. Bono Vox off of U2 has recently been awarded one of the highest cultural honours available in France. This was in recognition of his services to music and committment to humanitarian aid. he was given the honour; Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti in Paris. He dedicated the award to his band, saying, ‘I’ve got the biggest mouth and the loudest voice but the music we make comes from each other’. The award was first presented in 1957 and has been awarded to other musicians including; Bob Dylan (1990), David Bowie (1999) and Patti Smith (2005). Two James Bond actors Sean Connery (1987) and Roger Moore (2008). Donald Sutherland, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and Audrey Hepburn are also in that exclusive club along with writers T.S. Eliot and Julian Barnes.

Pope steals Bono's glasses in effort to look cool........ FAILS!

Pope steals Bono’s glasses in effort to look cool…….. FAILS!

While we are talking about awards it has been announced that the BMI, the music rights organisation, will present a special icon award for his contribution to music to one-time enfant terrible of the UK tabloids John Lydon formerly Johnny Rotten. Lydon will receive the award in October this year. Since those ‘The Filth And The Fury’ headlines from 1976 when Lydon was known as Rotten and fronted the Sex Pistols he has achieved bigger musical success albeit with a little less notoriety with Public Image Limited (PiL). perhaps in a step away from the rather typecast image that the British press have of him he has also appeared on the UK reality TV show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’  on ITV in January 2004 and later fronted a few wildlife programmes. He is currently touring with PiL and recently took to the stage at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury with the band. So it now remains for me to congratulate Hewson and Lydon on their awards. For me the Lydon award is more appropriate and at least neither is some poxy award from our blood sucking UK royal family!

aging-rock-stars-old-young-40

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“And didn’t I go and shout it when you walked into my room” a.k.a. A Partridge in a Pear Tree December 13, 2012


partridge-in-a-pear-tree-771236

Some of you may recall my Christmas advent calendar posts in recent years; these included UK Christmas number ones, Cover versions and an ABC of Motown. This year I have gone for something slightly different but one that sticks with a Christmas tradition at least. I will be making a series of posts influenced by the items in the song “The 12 Days Of Christmas”. I recognise that this won’t mirror the 12 days strictly according to dates as I am starting today, 13th December.

The-Partridge-Family-A-Partridge-Famil-430838

You know the first line of the song I’m sure. But here it is anyway “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree”. So what can I give you musically that relates to that line? Well two songs actually, first “I Think I Love You” from the Partridge Family. This song was a number one in the USA and Canada in 1970 and only managed number 18 in the UK. The song featured in the TV show ‘The Partridge Family’ in the same year, but only David Cassidy and Shirley Jones from the show performed on the recording.

album-a-partridge-family-christmas-card

The song was written by Tony Romeo who wrote a number of other hits in the 60s and 70s, including Lou Christie’s “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”. “I Think I Love You” has been covered by a diverse group of artists that include; Perry Como, Voice Of The Beehive and Less Than Jake. David Cassidy’s daughter Katie also covered the song when she was just 15.

ChristmasMonkees

The second song for the first day of Christmas comes from another music TV series, this time the Monkees. The song “Apples, Peaches, Bananas And Pears” was featured in the show but only found commercial release on the compilation ‘Missing Links’ from 1987. Monkee Mickey Dolenz was the lead vocalist on the song. It was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. They wrote a number of other Monkees songs including “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” which was originally recorded by Paul Revere and the Raiders and later covered by the Sex Pistols. The pair also wrote the following Monkees classics; “Last Train To Clarksville”, “Valleri” and the “(Theme From) The Monkees”.

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So now you can enjoy the two songs from the first day of Christmas and I dedicate them to my own true love, Catherine a.k.a Catwoman. Incidentally did you know that the Partridge in the UK is becoming an endangered species with a fall in numbers of around 30% in the five years to 2010.

 

 

 
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