With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’m just about at the end of my rope, but I can’t stop trying, I can’t give up hope” December 15, 2011


Smokey and the Miracles really tried their best to help out in the promotion of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar

Have you been good? Will Santa bring you lots of goodies (I mean as in presents as opposed to Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie of course)? I hope you are getting excited anyway as we’re now on day 15 of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar, yes folks it’s December 15th and it’s the letter O. the song is from one of my favourite Motown voices, Smokey Robinson. It comes from his days with the Miracles and it is “Ooo Baby Baby

The song was written by Smokey and Pete Moore of the Miracles. The strings were arranged by Pete Moore. As is usual with almost all Motown hits it was the supremely talented Funk Brothers who provided the backing. “Ooo Baby Baby” reached number 16 in the US chart in 1965. A cover version of the song by Linda Ronstadt hit number 7 in the US in 1979. sadly it never charted in the UK. It has been covered by many other artists in addition to Ronstadt; including Todd Rundgren, Ella Fitzgerald and Shalamar who covered it as part of their “Uptown Festival” hit from 1977. That recording was actually a medley of classic Motown hits.

Smokey’s real name is William Robinson Jnr. His Uncle Claude gave him the nickname ‘Smokey Joe’ when Smokey was a boy. Smokey initially thought of it as his cowboy name, but as he got older his Uncle explained that as young Master Robinson was quite light-skinned it was a name to remind him of his roots. He dropped the Joe part of the nickname when he was a teenager. A couple of Smokey’s children also have interesting names too. There is a son called Berry, named after Motown President Berry Gordy. Smokey was Vice President of the label from 1961 until 1988. He also has a daughter called Tamla named after a label from the Motown portfolio. Those Motown fans from the UK will be very familiar with the amalgamated name the label took in Europe where it was known as Tamla Motown.

He also gets a mention in a couple of hit songs too. Firstly there is the sublime “Genius Of Love” from Talking Heads offshoot the Tom Tom Club in 1981. Most notably though he was the main man in ABC’s 1987 hit “When Smokey Sings”

 

“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

 

“Like a cat in a bag, waiting to drown, this time I’m coming down” August 17, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. I haven’t posted for a while but this week’s furore over the NHS drew me back to the keyboard. Essentially many right wing politicians in the US who clearly don’t understand Obama’s health reforms have been scaremongering by pointing out the terrible state of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. Many of the comparisons they have made between US Healthcare and the NHS are at best inaccurate and at worst outright fabrication! The argument was then compounded by a complete twat (copyright Dave Cameron) of a Tory MEP garnering himself an appearance on US TV to criticise the NHS. Before you wade into this debate from an American point of view I would suggest that you complete just a modicum of research. Firstly read this article from the Guardian which answers a number of the points raised by Republican politicians, click here to read it.

You should also watch Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” which offers a brilliant comparison of US versus European Healthcare. But then if you’re a right wing politician in the US you certainly won’t watch anything from Michael Moore will you? Wasn’t the best right wing criticism of Moore a couple of years ago that he was a rich, fat, white man? Hold on a cotton picking minute here, that description could apply to many Republican politicians as well surely.

Also for those of you who fell for the argument that Stephen Hawking would not have survived if he had not been American. He is British, his voice box happens to have an American accent! He himself has said that he would not be here if it wasn’t for the NHS.

In my opinion the NHS does a fantastic job. If I were to fall ill in the UK I know I would be treated regardless of whether I have health insurance. That would not be the case in the US. Millions of people in the US are unable to afford private healthcare. If we consider ourselves part of a caring society we should not even consider leaving these people outside the system!

The doctors and nurses from the NHS that treated my father before he died from Lung Cancer back in 2001 did a fantastic job. I have a friend who is an A & E nurse in the north, you would be hard pressed to find a more dedicated healthcare professional. The NHS like any large organisation is not perfect, however before you jump to conclusions get your facts right!

OK rant over, this is essentially a music blog after all and I thought I’d link to a few medical related songs to tie in. I hope you like them! Oh and as usual there is a tidbit of trivia for each one!

Doctor Doctor” – Thompson Twins. Did you know that no one in the band was called Thompson? In fact they took their name from the two detectives in Herge’s Adventures Of Tin Tin. I’m looking forward to the movie adaptation of that, are you? Is it true that along with Poirot, Tin Tin is the only other famous Belgian ever? If any Belgians are reading this please add a comment to put me right, name some famous Belgians that aren’t fictional characters

Belgian? This looks like two British MPs on holiday to me

Belgian? This looks like two British MPs on holiday to me

The Medicine Song” – Stephanie Mills. Stephanie was married to Jeffrey Daniel off of Shalamar for a short period. Jeffrey is the man who taught Michael Jackson to Moonwalk and Stephanie was also romantically linked to Jacko when they appeared together in the late 70s adaptation of the Wizard of Oz called the Wiz! Now that’s what I call a link!

See Jacko really did used to be just an ordinary black kid (with an extraordinary talent though!)

See Jacko really did used to be just an ordinary black kid (with an extraordinary talent though!)

Night Nurse” – Gregory Isaacs. The Cool Ruler in my opinion had the potential to be a third world superstar along the lines of Bob Marley. However it was the lines that put paid to it, Gregory had a serious cocaine addiction which badly affected his voice at times and also caused the loss of most of his teeth.

Gregory wears a hat like that and looks cool, if I wore a hat like that I'd look like a twat (copyright Dangerous Dave Cameron)

Gregory wears a hat like that and looks cool, if I wore a hat like that I'd look like a twat (copyright Dangerous Dave Cameron)

Knocking On Heaven’s Door” – Bob Dylan. Mr Zimmerman wrote this song for the soundtrack of the 1973 film ‘Pat Garrett an Billy the Kid” and it is one of his most covered songs. Perhaps the best known covers are from Eric Clapton and Guns ‘N’ Roses although let’s not forget that Ruth Lorenzo also covered it on X Factor. On second thoughts let’s forget! 

Bob seems to have taken Johnny Cash's advice and is trying to steal a car one piece at a time

Bob seems to have taken Johnny Cash's advice and is trying to steal a car one piece at a time

Sexual Healing” – Marvin Gaye. Following my earlier comments about Belgium I should point out that this song was in fact recorded in Ostend in Belgium! It has also been covered by many people from Phish to Kate Bush. Click here to hear Kate’s wonderful version.

Marvin auditions for the Village People with the YMCA dance

Marvin auditions for the Village People with the YMCA dance

The Drugs Don’t Work” – The Verve. This song gave the band their first UK number one single. At various times Richard Ashcroft has said that the song is about his addiction, the death of his father or his love for his wife.

The drugs don't work? Indeed boys, indeed! ;-)

The drugs don't work? Indeed boys, indeed! 😉

Heal The Pain” – George Michael. My favourite George Michael album is ‘Patience’ (I guess that kind of fits with the medical theme too…………. think about it!) One of the tracks from the album caused a great deal of controversy when the video was released. The track was “Shoot The Dog” and it showed Tony Blair as George W Bush’s poodle. Hmmmmmm so what’s wrong with that then, it was true wasn’t it? Click on the song title to check out the video and make up your own mind. Incidentally there might be a prize for the first person to tell me which song George samples on the track

George heals the pain (well I think that's what he's doing) of the other bloke off of Wham

George heals the pain (well I think that's what he's doing) of the other bloke off of Wham

Doctor My Eyes” – Jackson Browne. This song has been covered a few times, most notably by the Jackson 5 in 1973, click here to hear their version. Jackson Browne himself recently won his case against John McCain and the Republican party for using his song “Running On Empty” without his permission.

So no chance of John McCain getting through that door then, thankfully!

So no chance of John McCain getting through that door then, thankfully!

Bad Medicine” – Bon Jovi. Jon BonJovi played in a band called Raze at school and later he went on to play in a covers band called Atlantic City Expressway. Also when he first left school he worked in a women’s shoe shop. Is that a fetish thing maybe?

Jon's hair transplant was a moderate success, he had wanted more on his head really. Oh nad please, no searches for naked Jon BonJovi as a result of this picture ok?

Jon's hair transplant was a moderate success, he had wanted more on his head really. Oh nad please, no searches for naked Jon BonJovi as a result of this picture ok?

Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors” – Editors. The video was shot around Prague in the Czech Republic. The band were once named as the second biggest band of the decade by the Mail On Sunday. Actually I’m not sure that’s an accolade I’d want! Incidentally those cheeky chappies from Sheffield, the Arctic Monkeys were first

The band just before they were eaten by Triffids

The band just before they were eaten by Triffids

 

“You just took for granted that I want to skinny dip” March 17, 2009


Hello everybody on this glorious Tuesday 17th March, well the weather is glorious where I am anyway. Firstly did everyone see the reports about Francis Rossi of Status Quo in the press last week? He finally had his hair cut short, yes he has had his pony tail chopped off. His hair had been receding considerably at the front too, so perhaps he should have done it ages ago, but at least he’s done it now. Personally I really don’t think old grey haired men with receding hair lines and pony tails is a good look. But then maybe I suffer from hair envy as I do have a head like a billiard ball and I have also been likened before to Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppets, so what do I know! Anyway you can read the story and see the pictures in an article from the Guardian by clicking here (or should that be clicking hair?). Either way it really does have the same shocking effect as seeing Elvis getting his hair cut for the Army in 1958.

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

On with the usual stuff now starting with just a couple of birthdays. Firstly today is the 42nd birthday of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. Whilst he is younger than me we do share the same first name and hairstyle! Billy was (and presumably still is) a big baseball fan. He played for his school and whilst there he also built up a collection of baseball cards that reached 10,000. Wow that even makes my CD and comic (sorry graphic novel) collections look tame! Corgan also dated Courtney Love before she came into Kurt Cobain’s life. Corgan even shared some songwriting credits on Courtney’s band Hole’s album “Celebrity Skin”. Incidentally you should check out Courtney on MySpace, in my opinion she has a fantastic presence there and uses it really well. The Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000 but reformed in 2006. In the ensuing period Corgan formed the rather short lived Zwan and also released some solo material. In my opinion the Pumpkins 1997 album “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s. Check out “1979” from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by clicking on the song title.

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Today is also the 34th birthday of Justin Hawkins off of the Darkness and Hot Leg. Since the Darkness split up and before Hot Leg came to be Mr Hawkins was quite a busy boy. He issued a solo single, a cover of the Sparks song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. He took part in the competition to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m glad he didn’t win that, the voting is so political and territorial that the UK is unlikely ever to win it again. In the Film ‘Telstar’ which is based on the life of the late great (finally those l’s & g’s make a return!) Joe Meek, Justin will be taking on the role of the wonderful English eccentric, the late great (with a vengeance, l & g’s ra ra ra) Screaming Lord Sutch. I saw the Darkness live at the Reading Festival twice. Firstly in 2003 when they were about 4th on the bill and still relatively new, they were absolutely fantastic one of the best bands of the whole festival that year. However they went on to headline the following year and personally I don’t think that they were ready. Their second album still hadn’t been released and they tried out some of the new songs which seemed under rehearsed. In my opinion they were one of the worst Reading headliners that I have ever seen and I have been going for a long while, the fireworks at the end were the most exciting thing about their set that year. I reckon they peaked way to early. However I do feel that Justin Hawkins is immensely talented. I loved both the Darkness albums and the current Hot Leg album is pretty damned good too. Here is the Darkness classic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and a future Hot Leg classic “I’ve Met Jesus

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

On this day in 1976 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers appeared at New York’s CBGB’s club. The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975 when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the ‘New York Dolls’ and Richard Hell left ‘Television’. Hell left in 1976 and went on to form the Voidoids. The Heartbreakers were invited to appear on the bill of the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976, although most of the dates were cancel thanks to the massive overreaction by much of the British press and many local councils. The invite may have come about because Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had previously been the manager of the New York Dolls and he knew Nolan and Thunders quite well. The Heartbreakers are certainly unlikely to reform since Thunders died in 1991 and Nolan in 1992. My favourite Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers song is “Chinese Rocks” check it out and tell me what you think, to me it’s a punk classic.

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

The CBGBs club opened in 1973 in Manhattan and sadly closed down in 2006. The initials stood for Country, Blue Grass and Blues although strangely enough it is most associated with punk. However it’s full name was CBGBs & OMFUG the second set of initials stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. I must confess that I haven’t got the foggiest as to what Gormandizers means, do you? The final show at CBGBs was by the fabulous Patti Smith. “Elegie” was the last song ever played at CBGBs, a very sad moment indeed

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

And finally on this day in 1997 US singer Jermaine Stewart died of liver cancer which was believed to have been complicated by HIV/ AIDS. He had a UK number two hit in 1986 with “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off“. He also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George amongst others, largely providing backing vocals. He provided many of the backing vocals on Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers” album. His first big break was becoming a dancer on the iconic US TV show ‘Soul Train’

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

 

“My Daddy was a Bank Robber….too” February 27, 2009

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:38 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Thank you for all you banking song suggestions following my original banking rant yesterday. In fact there were five new songs suggested by Marcy, Mickelodeon and Catwoman. I might have guessed that Catwoman’s would be from a musical. Anyway I will keep this one very short and I will end it with a poll including the five from yesterdays post and your suggestions. Get voting good people, obviously the bad people and anyone in the banking industry is also allowed to vote too. Personally I’m torn between the Clash and the O’Jays

 

“My Daddy was a Bankrobber” February 26, 2009

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 12:07 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Welcome back dear readers, I thought I’d throw in a free bonus post for you today. I was just thinking about the latest published horror stories from the banking industry, notably that bunch of bwankers at RBS and I thought how about a list of top 5 songs relating to the banking industry;

So here is my view;

1 “BankRobber” – The Clash

2 “Loser” – Beck

3 “Stand And Deliver” – Adam & the Ants

4 “Take That To The Bank” – Shalamar

5 “Money’s Too Tight To Mention” – Simply Red

I can think of plenty more but I would love to know what songs you guys would include

Let’s think about it as well, these banking and finance companies run up some of the biggest debts in history and then come cap in hand to various governments for a bail out. Fair enough so far, I wouldn’t want to see hundreds of employees who toil honestly lose their jobs. But then the bank big wigs decide that they should be still allowed to take their enormous bonuses. The guy who got RBS into this position has a bigger pension that most can even dream of. Hold on a cotton pickin’ minute here, I’m a taxpayer that is MY damned money he and others are getting! OK some perspective if I committed benefit fraud to the tune of just a few hundred pounds I might well be spending some time in prison, oh I’m sure I could ask for a bonus but I would imagine the response I would get would be more painful and embarrassing than dropping the soap in the prison showers

OK rant over so let’s listen to the Fun Boy Three with “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum” and fade out for a while!

Let’s get some comments going I’d love to hear your ideas for songs related to the current state of the banking industry

 

 
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