American rock bandKiss are tailor-made for appearing in comics and they have on many occasions. But did you know that their first ever appearance in a comic was in a 1977 issue of ‘Howard The Duck‘? Has anyone got a copy of that comic? As well as appearing in their own comic book series the band have also appeared on the Simpsons as themselves.
It’s now just over three weeks until the big day when the bearded weirdo arrives at your house and drops down your chimney. Are you excited yet? If not then I hope that the two tunes with numbers in their titles that I have selected for day 2 get you at least a little bit revved up. So behind the colourful little cardboard flap today we have a couple of classics for singing along to when drunk.
Pull the udder one Damon
First it’s Blur with an excellent if rather unimaginatively titled song; yes it’s “Song 2” from 1997. It came from an album which also didn’t need much creative juice when it came to choosing a title; it was simply called ‘Blur’. However forget the issue I have with those titles for me it remains one of the band’s finest albums. Sadly it only made it to number 2 in the UK charts, but it did hit the top spot in Canada. It has been covered by a wide range of artists, including; Avril Lavigne, Scooter, Robbie Williams and Vampire Weekend. It was also sampled by Pink on her song “Slut Like You”. “Song 2” has featured in episodes of Torchwood, the Simpsons and South Park. It is said that the US military wanted to use the song at the launch of a new Stealth Bomber, but Damon Albarn refused them permission. Rightly so in my opinion.
The second song from day 2 is the wonderful “Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please” from Splodgenessabounds. The song was released in 1980 when it made it to number 7 in the UK charts. The B side was the rather excellently titled song “Michael Booth’s Talking Bum”. In a throwback to the early days of punk many of the band members gave themselves some rather clever stage names; including vocalist Max Splodge, guitarist Pat Thetic Noble and Miles Flat also a guitarist. The band still tours, often with Bad Manners and appeared at the Rebellion Festival for the 19th time earlier this year.
As far as début albums go I believe that Jake Bugg‘s self titled long player is among the best ever and if you don’t have it yet then do something about it! Anyway a few months ago we bought tickets to see Jake play at the Barbican in York. That night finally arrived on Friday night. I am pleased to say it was a brilliant evening.
Misty Miller was the support and she played a great 2o minute set. She has some really classy songs and a relaxed stage manner. Her drummer and bass player work well together too. I sensed a bit of Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads about her. Catwoman suggested a voice as strong as Deborah Harry‘s. Either way this young woman is pretty darned good. As well as supporting Mr Bugg she has also played a few support slots with Tom Odell; so she is getting some great exposure. I suggest that you check her out soon.
As for Jake Bugg. It’s hard to believe that he has only been around for such a short while. I mean he is 35 years younger than me and he was born more than 20 years after I went to my first gig. He is a truly consummate rock performer. Great songs, great playing, the band were great and Jake’s singing was excellent. On top of that I was supremely impressed with his guitar soloing. Jake Bugg will go a long, long way and deservedly so. If his stated mission is to kill off all the X Factor shit then he has the talent, the drive and the weaponry to do it. If your child or anyone you know is a big X Factor fan lock them in a room and make them listen to Jake Bugg. I don’t think it will take them long to convert to real music like Jake Bugg’s. The only downer of the evening was the two drunk tosspots in front of us who spent most of the show talking loudly to each other and on their phones.
As for the show Mr Bugg played most of his album. “Trouble Town” was superb and “Broken” certainly pulls on my heart-strings. Obviously the crowd went mental when he played “Lightning Bolt” including some people near us who danced to it while throwing some Usain Bolt shapes. I thought he might have used “Lightning Bolt” as his encore, but he had the balls to do it his way. He even played a couple of new songs and if they are a good sign of what musical direction he will take I think his next album might have a heavier sound.
He did a couple of songs to encore; notably a song that he introduced as one of his favourites. It was a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues“. He did it proud. I get the impression that since his musical epiphany aged 12 while hearing Don McLean’s “Vincent” on an episode of the Simpsons he has been a sponge soaking up so many brilliant songs and influences. He is lauded by many people including Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller. But for me he is his own man, an original, definitely the one and only Jake Bugg. I also get the chance to see him again at the Reading Festival later this year and I can hardly wait! I should let you know that none of the pictures or videos in this post were taken by me at the gig.
How many of you remember the SimpsonsUK number one from 1991, “Do The Bartman“? It is nearly 21 years old now after all. Did you know that it was the first UK number one song by a cartoon act since the Archies in 1969? Which incidentally was the first single that I ever bought.
But back to “Do The Bartman” which was included on the album ‘The Simpsons Sing The Blues’ and the the vocals were provided by Nancy Cartwright who provides Bart’s voice in the series. It was co written and co produced by Bryan Loren by none other than Michael Jackson. Jacko was a big fan of the Simpsons but contractual reasons (he was on a different record label) meant that he wasn’t credited on the original release. This was rumoured for sometime after the event and was eventually revealed by Simpsons creator Matt Groening at a convention in 1998. I know this will be old news to some of you but I only read about it a couple of days back. Jackson did go on to make an appearance on the show but not as a caricature of himself.
The song also reached the top of the charts in Norway, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland. It only made it to number 24 in the USA, but it was never officially released as a single there. It stayed at number one in the UK for 3 weeks between February and March 1991.
Well I trust that you all had a good Christmas and that your turkey is all used up. Myself and Catwoman certainly ate too much as usual! Anyway I’m back with a couple of snippets of news for you.
Even Simon Cowell can't stand to listen to most contestants
Firstly I am saddened to report that the X Factor was the most watched show of 2010 on UK TV. Some 17.7 million viewers watched Matt Cardle crowned champion on the final show of the series whilst England versus Germany in the World Cup could only muster 17.4 million. But it would be fair to say that the England team showed as much talent as some of the no talent losers that populate the first few weeks of the X Factor. Eastenders and Coronation Street were 3rd and 4th. You can read the story here on the BBC. Matt Cardle has also managed to stay for a second week at the top of the UK charts. The top ten also features Rihanna, Black Eyed Peas, Take That and Katy Perry who have all had major guest slots on the show. Olly Murs, X Factor Finalists and JLS, all former contestants are in the top 40. In addition part-time X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger has a top 40 place and there are two for X Factor judge and the Nations Sweetheart Cheryl Cole. So many places taken up by X Factor related stuff, how bad is that?
So onto some better news, the zebra crossing outside the Abbey Road studios which was featured on the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road album has been given listed status. This must be the most famous crossing in the world. How many of you have been there and had your picture taken on it? Send them to me and I’d be happy to post them on the blog! The BBC reports the story here. To celebrate listen to the Fab Four below with “Come Together” from that very album. Below that you can also see two other famous crossings, the Simpsons and the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Squeezing into that little box was easy, but Gordo, Dave and Nicky realised it was going to be bloody difficult to get out!
As I have said many times before this is ostensibly a music blog and therefore pretty much everything I write about gets taken in that direction. This post is no exception. Thursday 6th May sees another General Election in the UK, the 8th one that I have been eligible to vote at, having reached official voting age before the 1979 election.
If only it were true 🙂
I have never failed to cast my vote and I urge you to do the same. It is the apathetic voters that allow the extremists into power, we cannot let that happen with evil and deluded parties like the BNP. But this week those of us in the UK should also vote for change. I know that voting for change is somewhat of a cliché, however I believe that our first past the post system has now had its day. A system that would allow the party with fewer votes to win more seats in parliament is not right, is it?
Most of the fake posters for this election have been better than the real ones don't you think?
In many ways I don’t care who you vote for, but I do care that people actually get off their arse and use theirs. So don’t let the country down, let’s mobilise for a massive turnout!
While you consider who you vote for here are some alleged trivial facts about the leaders of the three main parties; Nick Clegg once set fire to a very rare cactus. Gordon Brown apparently eats nine bananas a day and David Cameron is a direct descendent of King William IV
As I said at the start this is not a vehicle to voice my political opinions, (well perhaps apart from my dislike of the BNP) it’s a music blog. So here are twenty political type songs for you to enjoy while watching the remaining election coverage this week. Enjoy! You can follow the election on the BBC or the Guardian(I will be). Oh and there is also a hidden track somewhere in this post, have you found it? The usual crap prize, subject to postage awaits the first person to tell me what it is and where it is!
Ball Of Confusion – Temptations. This song reminds me so much of my youth and for me is one of the greatest songs Norman Whitfield produced for the Temptations. There was also a pretty good cover produced for Tina Turner by Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware off of the British Electric Foundation (BEF), also off of Heaven 17 and also once off of the Human League! Click here to listen to Tina’s version.
Elected – Alice Cooper. Probably one of my favourite Alice Cooper songs. Did you know he actually ran for the US Presidency in 1972? With a hook line of “They’re changing guards at President Palace, out goes Nixon and in comes Alice” Why I remember that line I don’t know, but it has been stuck in my head now for nearly 40 years! There was a cover of this song a few years ago in aid of Comic Relief which I believe was credited to Mr Bean and Bruce Dickinson off of Iron Maiden. Click here for that one!
Electioneering – Radiohead. Taken from the classic ‘OK Computer’ album and seen by many as one of the greatest political songs. It also takes a nice dig at the IMF too
Election Day – Arcadia. The Duran Duran offshoot that wasn’t the Power Station, well that’s my view. I would always prefer a band with Robert Palmer as vocalist rather than Simon Le Bon. Which one did you prefer?
The Politics Of Dancing – Re-Flex. In this list purely for the title! You know how low my opinion of most 80s stuff is! ‘Nuff said!
You Haven’t Done Nothing – Stevie Wonder. Now this is a superb song and so true of today’s politicians. If you listen carefully you can hear Stevie bringing the backing vocalists in when he says “Jackson Five come sing along” Yes, it was the Jackson clan providing the ‘doo do wops’ on this song
Abraham, Martin And John – Marvin Gaye. Motown really started to get politics in the late 60’s and early 70’s didn’t it, this was in advance of Marvin’s classic ‘What’s Going On’ album, more of which later. I believe that Dion off of Dion and the Belmonts also had a hit with this
Stand Down Margaret – The Beat. In the event her own party stood her down. Whilst I was really pleased that it happened it was pretty disloyal wasn’t it?
A Design For Life – Manic Street Preachers. For me the opening line says everything about when the working class really moved forward. “Libraries gave us power”
Police And Thieves – Clash. I will never tire of hearing this excellent cover of Junior Murvin’s brilliant song, oh and did I tell you that I consider the Clash to be the best band there has ever been? I did? I thought so
So Much Trouble In The World – Bob Marley And The Wailers. No political song list would be complete without Mr Marley in my opinion and there are so many good ones to choose from.
The President Wore Pearls – Lisa Simpson. What can I say about this? Lisa is trying to get elected but doesn’t think she will be cool enough
Anarchy For The UK – Sex Pistols. Well we may not have anarchy by Friday but we will probably have a hung parliament as opposed to some parliamentarians who should be hung. Duck islands and moats indeed!
Rocking In The Free World – Neil Young and Pearl Jam. Great combination which gives Mr Young extra added rock power, also a bloody good song too
Vote Baby Vote – Lady Kier off of Deee Lite. This was put together for an MTV special ‘Rock The Vote’ show, so it’s perhaps more a jingle than a song, but the message is very clear
I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician – Roger McGuinn off of the Byrds. I wonder if this is when politics became a career? I don’t know about you but the term career politician seems to be an oxymoron, with the emphasis on the moron bit for many of them!
Wake Up The Nation – Paul Weller. Is there no stopping this bloke? His last album ’22 Dreams’ was fantastic and the new one ‘Wake Up the Nation’ is even better in my opinion. Nice to hear him getting a tad angry too. How weird is it that Old Etonian David Cameron claims ‘Eton Rifles’ by the Jam as one of his favourite songs? Surely he can’t have listened to the lyrics can he?
Ghost Town – Specials. Reached number one at the height of Thatcher’s early years and amidst all the inner city rioting across the UK. It really summed up the nation at the time I think. It was the night the band performed this on Top Of The Pops that Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple told Jerry Dammers that they were leaving the band to form the Fun Boy Three. Whose first hit was, and still is, appropriate for politicians; “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye. Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time and the lyrics and message are still sadly relevant today, nearly 40 years after it’s release
Arrogance, Ignorance And Greed – Show Of Hands. One of Catwoman’s favourite bands and she has got me into them too. The message on this one fits pretty well all modern politicians and perhaps bankers too. Most of them are arrogant, ignorant greedy bastards aren’t they?
Hello again everyone and thank you for joining me for another of my infrequent posts This one is based around a great recent news story about Mr Bowie who is no stranger to this blog! Anyway he has been granted the honour of having a spider named after him. I guess this is because of the occasional spider references in his work. Notably dear old Ziggy and his Spiders from Mars and also the Glass Spider tour of 1987. Although to be fair the less said about his 80s stuff the better I’ll feel! The discovery of the new species of spider, named Heteropoda davidbowie, was made in Malaysia by a German arachnoligist (now that is what I call a job title!) Peter Jaeger. He says he named the large yellow spider after Bowie to draw attention to the endangered status of many spiders. He is quoted as saying “We are also quickly losing genetic resources that have evolved over more than 300 million years.” Apparently last year the Rameshwaram Parachute Spider was among included on a “red list” of thousands of endangered species which was compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Less than 500 of these spiders are believed to remain in their woodland habitat on the island of Rameshwaram, which is closed to Sri Lanka. The areas they live in are slowly being cleared to increase the number of hotels and tourist facilities on the island
Bowie on the web!
This isn’t the first arachnid to be named after a musician either. In 2008 Jason Bond a biologist at East Carolina University named a newly discovered trapdoor spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. Can you guess who it was named after? It’s Neil Young of course!
So this got me thinking about some spider songs to add to todays post, so here we go and please send me your own suggestions as well
Although it only mentions spiders I will also add Bowie’s classic Ziggy Stardust. Incidentally during my time working with some wonderful people at Accenture and Unilever in 2007/ 2008 I had the Ziggy guitar riff as my ring tone. Every time my phone rang when I was working with my good friend Elmus Da Costa Gomez (doesn’t Elmus’ name make everyone else’s name sound dull?) he would break into spontaneous air guitar antics until I answered it. Which was quite amusing at the time, but I guess that you had to be there really!
Hello once again dear readers. Did you read the news that according to an American company the one millionth English word is about to be born, well actually it is probably already filling nappies (or diapers if you wish) as we speak. Apparently a company called GLM based in Texas whose raison-daitre is to tell companies how many times they are mentioned on the Internet can also search for the appearance of any word. Their self created methodology in determining a new word says that it must have appeared 25,000 times on the Internet, there is no time period applied. This all seems somewhat like bollocks to me (I’m not swearing bollocks is an Anglo Saxon word, just ask the Sex Pistols and Virgin Records!). Many Lexicographers (now that’s a fantastic job title!) are unhappy with these colonial usurpers telling them how it’s done! I tend to agree, but only because most Americans don’t speak English ‘like what it is supposed to be spoken’ I mean come on, no ‘U’ in colour, pronouncing route incorrectly, then there’s schedule and tomato. Don’t even get me started on fanny OK! 😉 Seriously though please don’t take offence at this if you are American, feel free to take offense though 🙂 But if you’d like a slightly more serious view click here for the link to the BBC that carries the story. Then click here for the follow up, for indeed while I have been typing (admittedly it has taken nearly three days to complete this post!) the new word has been dumped kicking and screaming into a world that, frankly, neither wants it or needs it. Only a nerdy geek could have given birth to it. For I know the word and the word is……………… Web 2.0, I kid you not. The nearest rivals were Jai-Ho (from the Slumdog Millionaire movie) and nOOB (something to do with nerdy, geeky gamers I believe) All that hype and all we get is a couple of small turds plopping into the lexicon of life.
Anyway I was thinking that a word related post might be interesting so here goes. Let’s kick off with the rather stupendous Tom Tom Club with the rather jolly “Wordy Rappinghood” Now I think Rappinghood would have made an excellent millionth word contender, how about you? Tom Tom Club I suppose really began as on offshoot of Talking Heads, I think nowadays the correct term might be side project! The band consisted of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz off of Talking Heads and a cast of many other noted musicians; Adrian Belew, Wally Badarou and the Compass Point All Stars to name just a few. Their earliest success came with the divine “Genius Of Love”. But they really broke big when the 12 inch versions of Genius and Rappinghood were issued and got a lot of club play in 1982. Their songs have been sampled by many people including Grandmaster Flash and Mariah Carey. The band also appeared on the Talking Heads live concert movie ‘Stop Making Sense’
camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club
Next up it’s the Gibb Brothers (OK the Bee Gees then) with “Words” Which was once given a depressingly dull makeover by the band that put bland into everything the rather shite (in my opinion of course) Boyzone. Sadly it gave Ronan and the boys their first UK number one. But if you’d like to hear some better covers of the song there are plenty out there. Check out some good covers from Rita Coolidge and Georgie Fame. You can find a great Bee Gees reference in the strangest place, there is an excellent parody of them in Blink 182’s video for “First Date” Speaking of the Bee Gees , I was walking to the train station earlier this week lost in my iPod and on came “Stayin’ Alive”, how I longed to be carrying a pot of paint so that I could make like Travolta’s Tony Manero in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Sadly a laptop bag just doesn’t cut it, does it?
The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys
Then we have the boys that put Cod Piece back in the dictionary, Cameo with “Word Up” Which bizarrely in my humble opinion was covered by Korn! Click here to here the Korn version. The song was a massive hit for Cameo in 1986, the promo rounds were probably made much more memorable by Larry Blackmon’s polished red cod piece. For me Larry was one of only two people who have ever been able to pull off a cod piece (ooooooooh Matron!) The other one being Edmund Blackadder. The song also gets played in an Episode of the Simpsons entitled, appropriately for this post, ‘Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words’ where Lisa performs in a crossword competition.
Mr Cod Piece 1986
I haven’t mentioned the Beatles and Bowie for a while so how about the Beatles with “The Word” and Mr Bowie with the hardly ever played “Word On A Wing”. The Beatles song appeared on ‘Rubber Soul’ and in addition to the Fab Four also had George Martin playing the Harmonium. Bowie’s song appeared on the excellent ‘Station To Station’ album from 1976 and emanating from the Dame’s ‘Thin White Duke’ period. It was also a B side to the single version of “Stay” from the same album. It is a relatively religious song and written while Bowie was very much coke addled. It also coincided with the time Mr Jones began to wear a crucifix
John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn’t a midget!
I shall finish this post with the wonderful “ABC” by the Jackson Five. OK I know it’s not strictly a word but if you didn’t know your ABC you wouldn’t be able to make words would you? The song was a US number one and like the earlier “I Want You Back” was written by the mysterious Corporation. Not that mysterious though it was a Motown writing team that consisted of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonso Mizell and Deke Richards. The song was backed with a cover of a lesser known Diana Ross And The Supremes song; “The Young Folks”
Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport
OK that’s all for now, but tell me your word songs, I can think of a couple more but I’d like to hear from you my dear readers!
Captain’s (b)Log Stardate 16022009 it’s pretty damned quiet in space, no one can hear you scream either, apparently! If only Captain James T Kirk’s ‘T’ stood for trivia, that’d be a good link, but sadly it stands for Tiberius, so these words are completely random. But to bring it back to music, have you ever heard William Shatner’s version of Pulp’s “Common People“? Do you want to? yes? well just click on the song title and tell me what you think!
Hair today, gone tomorrow - anyone seen my syrup?
So boldly onto birthdays now, starting with Sonny Bono. He would have been 74 today but sadly he died in a skiing accident in January 1998 aged 62. He is perhaps most famous for being the singing partner and husband of Cherilyn Sarkasian La Pier (more commonly know as Cher) but he also became a US Congressman in 1994. Here he is with Cher in a mildly amusing skit introducing the Jackson 5 singing “Looking Through The Windows” on the Sonny and Cher Show in the early 70’s. Apparently the All Saints song “Never Ever” was dedicated to the memory of Mr Bono, who incidentally is no relation of the short Irish chap who fronts U2.
Sonny with his second wife Cher
The second and final birthday for today is that of Andy Taylor guitarist off of Duran Duran and the Power Station. Happy 48th today Mr T. Andy was one of three unrelated Taylors in Duran Duran. The other two were John Taylor (Bass) and Roger Taylor (drums). Just to confuse things further Roger Taylor was also the name of Queen’s drummer! Perhaps they should have called themselves Taylor Taylor! They actually took their name from an oft used phrase from the 60’s Jane Fonda movie “Barbarella” that phrase was “I am looking for Duran Duran” I believe the Duran in the movie was played by Miles O’Shea. Coincidentally in their early days the band played quite a few gigs at Barbarellas in Birmingham! Andy joined the band after answering an ad in the Melody Maker for a live wire guitarist! Shocking! Here is a very underrated song in my view, this is Andy Taylor with the Power Station and “Some Like It Hot” featuring the late great (did you miss those good ‘ole l n’ g’s?) Robert Palmer on vocals.
A rather unflattering shot of Andy Taylor
On this day in 1974 the three members of Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) were arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah after swimming naked in their hotel pool whilst on a US tour. They were each fined $75. They were primarily an albums band and in fact when they released “Brain Salad Surgery” as a single in advance of the album of the same name in December 1973 it failed to chart in the UK. The album and single were released on the bands recently formed own label ‘Manticore’ The name comes from the name of a supposedly mythical beast that battled the armoured armadillo called Tarkus on the album, “Tarkus”. They did have one massively successful single though, it was their interpretation of the American composer Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” which reached number 2 in the UK charts in July 1977. That was pretty damned good for a bunch of ‘old farts’ at the height of punk!
"ELP I need somebody...." Emerson Lake and Palmer on stage in 1973
On this day in 1991 the Simpsons were number one in the UK singles chart with “Do The Bartman” lyrics provide by one Michael Jackson! They never had a number one hit in the UK again (well so far anyway) but the marvellous “Spider Pig” reached the top 30 in 2007.
Doing the Bartman
And finally on this day in 2002 thieves broke into George Michael’s London house and made off in his £80,000 Aston Martin DB7 with £100,000s worth of paintings, jewelery and designer clothes. They also caused more than £200,000s worth of damage to his home. I don’t know who they were, but the must have been “Bad Boys” <groan!!!!> Incidentally the song was a number two UK hit for George and Andrew in 1983. I’m not sure who the lass in the fat suit in the video is though, any ideas?
George obviously very camp but not so obviously out and gay in the 80s
1, 2, 3, 4 dun dur dun, dun dur dun etc. What the bloody hell was that I can hear you say? well I just fancied beginning todays blog just like the Ramones started all their songs mainly because I wanted to add “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” to todays post and there is no “on this day” Ramones news for today as far as I’m aware. Play it, pogo around the office, kitchen, bus, train, coffee bar, internet cafe, toilet or shed and enjoy! If I could have been in any band in the world ever I think I would have picked the Ramones, Billy Ramone sounds kind of ok too 🙂
Here are da brudders with one of my heroes.....Homer Simpson
Also I hope that all you triskaidekophobics have been ok today and nothing bad has befallen you.
OK back to the usual stuff you’ve come to know and love dear friends and readers. Starting with those birthdays. Firstly it’s my Mum’s birthday today, she is 73, Happy Birthday Mum 🙂
Tennessee Ernie Ford would have been 90 today, but sadly he died nearly 20 years ago. He was responsible for giving Capitol Records their first number one of the rock era in the US with the song “Sixteen Tons” It was number one in the US in 1955 and in the UK in 1956, now that was even before I was born, so that is REALLY old!
Tennessee or Mr Ford to you, but to me.......Ernie
second up on the aging fast stakes, well he’s older than me anyway, is Mr Peter Gabriel who is 59 today. I suppose he’ll be going out for a Lamb Bhuna and a skinful in New York and then lying down on Broadway. (such an appaling reference, is anyone reading this warped enough to get it I wonder?) my favourite Peter Gabriel song is “Solsbury Hill” I also preferred Genesis with Gabriel at the helm as opposed to the bloody singing drummer!. The song is actually all about Gabriels departure from the band. The video for Gabriel’s song Sledgehammer was co produced by Aardman Animations who later went on to massive worldwide success with Wallace and Gromit. Peter also won a grammy for his soundtrack to the Scorcese movie “The Last Temptation Of Christ” which bizarrely starred David Bowie as Pontius Pilate. I’m am one of Bowie’s biggest fans, but he’s certainly no actor, well not in my opinion anyway, apart from perhaps “The Man Who Fell To Earth” in which he pretty much played himself!
Flower Power - Peter Gabriel in the costume he used to wear for "Supper's Ready" from Foxtrot, taken from a show in 72/73
Today, February 13th, is also the 53rd birthday of Peter Hook, most well known as a member of Joy Division and New Order (also Revenge and Monaco). He was also married to actress/ comedienne Caroline Aherne. I reckon he’s a damned good bass player too. Supposedly he is currently working on a new band project called Freebass with bass players Mani (The Stone Roses/ Primal Scream and Andy Rourke (The Smiths). Recently he has also performed as a DJ; though numerous videos recorded of him live show him doing nothing more than allegedly playing a free CD included in Mixmag, a DJ magazine.For me and especially as it is Valentines Day tomorrow and this song was number two in the NME’s list of alternative love songs this week, here is “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by the wonderful and late great Joy Division.
Hooky effecting the classic low slung bass player pose!
And finally, for the birthdays at least it is the birthday of one of my least favourite artists, ladies and gentlemen I give you Mr Robbie Williams who is 35 today. In my opinion Robbie is a highly overrated and untalented George Michael wannabe (words crossed out on advice from my legal team) This part of the blog does not necessarily reflect my opinion ok, I really do not like Mr Williams. But I know that many of you do, so here he is with what in my opinion is an awful song, why do people love bloody “Angels” so much? Anyway just click on the song title to hear the “fat dancer from Take That” (copyright Noel Gallagher) sing the song live at Knebworth. When Robbie released the “Rudebox” single in 2006, the British tabloid paper The Sun called it “The Worst Song Ever” and as much as it pains me to say it about such a vile publication I agree with them. To finish Robbie off (now there’s a thought) did you know that when Take That broke up after Robbie left them they announced the split on Robbie’s 24th birthday?
Robbie in his Bill Oddie disguise
On this day 1974 David Bowie (yes that’s two Bowie references in one day……yippeee!) turned down an offer from the Gay Liberation group to compose “the worlds first Gay National Anthem” Whatever it was it would have been more exciting than the current British national anthem, that is soooooo dull. Actually I bet a lot of you didn’t know this but Scotland, Ireland and Wales all have their own National anthem but England does it. Maybe we should have a vote on what it should be, my vote goes to “God save The Queen” by the Sex Pistols, what do you think?
The excellent Jamie Reid cover art for the Pistols "God Save The Queen"
So to finish we go to yet another Bowie reference, but this time it’s the superb Flight Of The Concords with the hilarious “Bowie” click n laugh!