With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan” March 24, 2014


EltonJohnThe synthesiser intro to Elton John’s magnificent (in my opinion) “Funeral For A Friend”, the opening track on the ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ album, was recorded by David Hentschel an engineer and, obviously, a synthesiser player. Apparently Elton only heard it for the first time after it was finished.

funny-Spider-Man-Elton-John-biggest-fan

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“Foreign life forms inventory suspended state of cryogenics” – Advent day 18 December 18, 2013


slide_18_2087138aIt’s the 18th December and by now the regular readers among you will know exactly what that means won’t you? yes it’s day 18 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent calendar posts. So the songs for today both have the number 18 in their title. we are so far down the line now towards Yuletide that my Spiderman Advent Calendar has hardly any chocolate left in it. What Advent Calendar do you have?

wing1The first song for today remains one of my favourite 70s songs. It is “Eighteen With A Bullet” from Pete Wingfield. The bullet in this instance is used to describe a particularly well performing song on the US singles chart. strangely enough the song did enter the US top 20 at number eighteen, presumably with a bullet back in 1975. It reached its peak of number 15 a week after that. In the UK it made the top 10 reaching number 7. Reggae singer Derrick Harriott did a great cover of the song. Wingfield has been quite an active session player and producer. He produced Dexys Midnight Runners first album, ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels‘ , the Kane Gang’s first album ‘The Bad And Low Down World Of The Kane Gang’ . Pete also produce “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and the album ‘Sunshine On Leith’ by the Proclaimers. “Eighteen With A Bullet” can also be found on the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie‘s 1998 film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels‘. The Pasadenas (who I once saw at a corporate function) biggest hit “Tribute (Right On)” was written by Mr Wingfield too.

1991-hangar_18_fcNext up it’s the mighty, massive, metal Megadeth with “Hangar 18”. The song was released as a single in 1991. It made it to number 26 in the UK and number 25 in the Irish charts. It comes from the band’s album ‘Rust In Peace’, a UK number 8 that was released in 1990. The song relates to alien conspiracy theories involving the 1947 crash at Roswell. Hangar 18 at an US Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio is supposedly where some of the alien remains and the alien spacecraft is stored. The lyrics were written by the band’s drummer Nick Menza with the music coming from frontman Dave Mustaine. Slash jammed with the band at one point and while some people thought that he might join them he decided to stay with Guns ‘N’ Roses.

 

“The tyranny of distance, didn’t stop the cavalier” – Advent post day 6 December 6, 2013


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Are you excited yet? It’s less than three weeks to the big day where we all eat too much, drink too much and regret that over indulgence the next morning! But in the meantime I am rationing my chocolate intake to what is behind the pathetic little doors of my Spiderman advent calendar. I’ve said it before but why is all the chocolate shaped like Christmas things? How about some shaped like doctor Octopus, The green Goblin, the Lizard or even Spidey himself? Chocolate manufacturers please take note!

220px-6Underground

az_2222_Becoming%20X_Sneaker%20PimpsAnyway it’s December 6th which means that todays songs will contain the number six. It’s an easy concept really isn’t it. The first song for today is “6 Underground” by Sneaker Pimps. The song comes from the Hartlepool bands album ‘Becoming X’. It was their first chart single when it reached number 15 in the UK when it was released in 1996. It was re-released the following year when it made the top ten at number 9. It also made it to number 45 in the US charts that year too. The song was used in the film ‘The Saint’ in 1997 which led to its reissue. The open melody on harp is a sample from the soundtrack of 1964’s James Bond movie ‘Goldfinger’. The band took their name from and article in the Beastie Boys ‘Grand Royal’ magazine. It was about a man who the Beasties used to tracked down classic box fresh trainers and sneakers.

split_enz_wideweb__470x340,0The second song for today comes from down under and it is New Zealand’s Split Enz with “Six Months In A Leaky Boat” taken from their album ‘Time And Tide‘. The song is about the time it took for early pioneers to sail from Europe to New Zealand and Australia. It was released in 1982 and because of the Falklands war it received hardly any airplay in the UK. The Powers That be felt that references to leaky boats in a time of naval conflict would be inappropriate, so it only managed to reach number 83 in the UK and an even more lowly 104 in the US charts. It fared better in Australia where it went to number 2. It also made it to number 7 in both New Zealand and Canada. The song was written by Tim Finn brother of Neil Finn who was also in Split Enz. the pair went on to form Crowded House. The tune has been covered by artists ranging from Marillion to the Wiggles.The band were originally called Split Ends but they changed to Split Enz before their first Australian tour to emphasise their New Zealand heritage with the nz in the name.

 

“Move to the flow of the pyramid blaster” – Advent post day 3 December 3, 2013


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Are you ready to open the next box on the advent calendar? What delightful chocolate awaits us? well none actually because this is the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent Calendar blog post for 3rd December so instead of chocolate you’ll get two songs. Incidentally what advent calendar do you have at home? Does it contain sweets or chocolate? Mine is a Spiderman one and Catwoman, my lovely wife, has a Maltesers calendar.

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

The first of todays number themed songs is the Commodores smash hit from 1978, “Three Times A Lady”. The song which was written by Lionel Richie was a number one in the UK and the US. It comes from their album ‘Natural High’. Personally I preferred their more funky efforts and this song for me saw the band and indeed Mr Richie plunge into some bland identikit ballad territory. Songs such as “Still” and “Hello” just didn’t do it for me. I do love a good ballad though and the Commodores have some that are far better than “Three Times A Lady”. In particular “Just To Be Close To You”. “Three Times A Lady” has been covered by artists as diverse as Cobra Starship, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty and Bill Bailey. Bill included a German translation of the song in his Part Troll live show. I first saw the Commodores when they supported the Jackson 5 in 1972. Yes I really am that old!

The+KLF

The second song on todays posts comes from one of my favourite acts of all time; the Kopyright Liberation Front, better known as the KLF and sometimes the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu or the JAMMs. This sadly short-lived band was the brainchild of Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty. Drummond co-founded Zoo Records and was also manager of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. In addition to the music the KLF were also infamous for acts of art terrorism which included burning a million pounds on a remote Scottish island. The song I have chosen is the bands only UK number one as the KLF “3 a.m. Eternal (Live At The S.S.L)” from 1990. They also hit the UK number one spot in 1988 as the Timelords with “Doctorin’ The Tardis“. This was apparently achieved by following the rules set out in their book; ‘The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way)’. Remaining true to their words Cauty and Drummond by withdrawing their back catalogue from sale. This remains the case for most of the world, although some copies of their output are produced via Arista in the USA.

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“Maybe she’ll find an island with a shaded tree just like the one in our backyard” February 19, 2012


I was travelling back to York with Catwoman earlier today after a great weekend with family and friends down south. The drive back is a great opportunity to take in Johnnie Walker‘s excellent ‘Sounds Of The 70s‘ show on BBC Radio 2. The music choice as usual was excellent and as occasionally happens for me Johnnie played one track that I don’t think I’ve heard since the 1970s. It was “Shannon” by Henry Gross. I used to really love this when it had just a small amount of radio play in the UK back in ’76.

The song was written after Henry read about the death of Carl Wilson‘s (off of the Beach Boys) Irish Setter Shannon. I think you can definitely pick up a Beach Boys vibe and influence in the performance and production. The song was a number 6 hit in the US Billboard chart in 1976 and a number one in Canada. It only made number 32 in the UK. Another claim to fame the Henry Gross has is that he was the youngest artist to appear on the main stage at Woodstock in 1969. He was a founding member of Sha Na Na with whom he took to the stage immediately before Jimi Hendrix at Max Yasgur‘s farm some 43 years ago this year.

Henry is still recording and performing. Enjoy “Shannon” below along with a great performance from Sha Na Na;

How cool is that? Henry Gross gets a namecheck in an issue of Spiderman!

 

“There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner” October 18, 2011


This hopeless sinner (or maybe I’m just a talented sinner) was listening to the radio at the weekend and a song that I really love came on. It was the beautiful “People Get Ready” by the Curtis Mayfield era Impressions. Now this is a very religious song and I am not a religious person. So my question to you is; should I be able to enjoy religious songs even if I am not religious myself? Well I’m talking conventional religion I suppose because in the last two census forms I completed I registered as a Jedi (hence the Star Wars elements of this post!)

I have quite a few songs of a religious nature in my collection including;

“I Want Jesus To Walk With Me” – Johnny Nash – But then I do have a rather extensive Johnny Nash Collection

“Forever Loving Jah” – Bob Marley – I love loads of Rasta but let’s face it I can never be one, I am now forever a “Crazy Baldhead”

“You Got The Love” – The Source featuring Candi Staton – Probably my favourite dance track, probably my favourite song of the 90s too! I am pretty sure this is a religious love song about the love of god rather than just a love song.

“People Get Ready” – The Impressions – A truly beautiful song whatever it’s sentiment in my opinion

Caravan Of Love” – Isley Jasper Isley – The biggest hit from this Isley Brothers offshoot and also superbly covered by those legends from Hull, the Housemartins

I’d like to know what you think about this potential dilemma. I don’t have a problem with this, but I wonder if there is anyone out there that does. On a similar vein I once worked with a guy who was a racist, I’d like to stress that he wasn’t a friend. He had lots of 60s soul music in his collection; Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and plenty of Motown. Personally I find that hard to reconcile; he didn’t like black people and yet he had a large amount of black music in his collection. I’d love to hear your views on that too.

Incidentally I would like to state categorically that I do not own any of Cliff Richard‘s religious songs such as “The Lords Prayer ” and “Saviours Day” 🙂

 

“Gone, gone the water’s all gone, Mummy come back ‘cos the water’s all gone” September 11, 2009


Is this Ziggy or one of the spiders?

Is this Ziggy or one of the spiders?

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!

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

Boris The Spider” – The Who A great spider clay animation video this one!

Spiders” – System Of A Down – Now this is one scary mofo of a video

Spiders (Kidsmoke)” – Wilco -spiders filling out tax returns indeed!

Glass Spider” – David Bowie – the full works including the stage set from the ’87 tour that seems to have been ripped off by U2 for their current tour

Spider Pig” – Simpsons – the full choral version which uses images of said Spider Pig in the promo stills from Spiderman 3 – Excellent!

Spiderman Theme” – Ramones – a great cartoon of both Spidey and the band

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!

 

“Out of self respect I’m out of bread, I’m under loved I’m under fed” April 9, 2009


We took a day out to Whitby in North Yorkshire yesterday which is only about an hours drive from where I live in York. Many of you may know that Whitby is where much of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is set and much of the fabulously imposing structure of Whitby Abbey still remains. I think I will have to read the book again soon. Catwoman tells me that Whitby is supposed to be Goth Central, well apart from a couple of pre-teen girls with My Chemical Romance hoodies there was nothing even remotely close, maybe they just come out at night. By the way I know that MCR would not be considered goth, but really that is the closest thing I saw. But if the Daily Mail is to be believed, and I really don’t think it is, then these two kids were off to do some self harm and plan for suicide!

Whitby Abbey, it'll look good when it's finished won't it?

Whitby Abbey, it'll look good when it's finished won't it?

I did find a small independent music store though, as usual! I bought a copy of the supremely talented Julian Cope’s album ‘Black Sheep’ I got into Cope quite late really but I love his stuff now, especially his solo albums, I’m not so keen on the Teardrop Explodes. Incidentally did you know that the band got their name from issue 77 of Marvel Comics Daredevil from 1971 (which also featured Spiderman and Prince Namor)? Well they did and did you know that whilst I like Daredevil and Spidey the Silver Surfer is probably my favourite Marvel character? Well he is, but is followed in a very close second place by the Fantastic Four!

The page of the comic from which the Teardrop Explodes got their name

The page of the comic from which the Teardrop Explodes got their name

Whilst in Whitby we simply had to visit it’s most famous Fish and Chip restaurant, The Magpie and trust me it was well worth it! Click on the name to check it out. Speaking of fish,have any of you seen the new TV advert for Birds Eye Salmon Fish Fingers? I’m not sure if it is being shown outside the UK yet. Either way and just in case click here to see it. I think it is bloody hilarious and the best TV ad I’ve seen for ages.

I’ll cover just one birthday today 9th April. It’s the 29th birthday of Albert Hammond Jr off of the Strokes who has also produced a couple of solo albums in recent years too. He is the son of US singer songwriter Albert Hammond, I could make a joke here about his parents lacking creativity by giving him the same name as his Dad, but I won’t because that’s exactly what my parents did. no they didn’t name me Albert Hammond, he wasn’t my Dad ok, that’s just a “Big Stripey Lie” (you like the secret Kate reference Mickelodeon?). No my Dad, and therefore me too, were and are William Adamson, although no one ever calls me William anymore. Nowadays it’s Bill, Will, baldbloke or git. Anyway back to Mr Hammond Jr, I bought the Strokes’ first album ‘Is This It’ while I was on holiday in Canada in late August 2001. My copy contains the track “New York City Cops” which was removed from the US and some other territories releases after the terrible events of September 11th 2001. It was deemed disrespectful to the many public servants who risked and in many cases lost their lives on that day. I do understand that, but clearly it was written and recorded some time before those horrific murders so maybe now is a good time to reclaim it! Click here to see the band performing it live. Albert met Julian Casablancas, also off of the Strokes whilst at Boarding School in Switzerland. Albert’s dad had a massive hit in the early 70s with what I suppose would be termed one of my guilty pleasures these days, “It Never Rains In Southern California“. well maybe it does but surely it rains much, much less there than it does here in the UK.

Once again the Strokes fail to win at Giant Scrabble, spelling c;early wasn't their strong point!

Once again the Strokes fail to win at Giant Scrabble, spelling clearly wasn't their strong point!

It has been pointed out to me that Queen have not yet featured in my blog so far, well it’s nothing personal I do like them quite a lot. So here they are! On this day in 1973 Queen played a showcase gig for their new record label, EMI, at the Marquee Club in London. The late great (those l’s & g’s are getting very regular now, it must be all the Bran Flakes!) Freddie Mercury came up with the band’s name and claims he never even thought of it’s gay connotations, here is what he said about it; “I thought up the name Queen. It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid, It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.” For me Queen was more than just Freddie, it was a combination of him, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. That is why I really don’t get stuff like the newish Paul Rodgers and Queen album. I think Paul Rodgers has one of the great rock voices but he’s not a part of Queen is he? I’m sure that some of you will disagree but that’s my opinion. Anyway let’s end this Queen piece on a fun note with another excellent Freddie quote. Queen and the Sex Pistols were recording in the same London studio complex in 1977 when Sid Vicious went into the wrong room and saw Freddie Mercury sitting at the piano alone. Sid allegedly said something like “Freddie Mercury, still bringing ballet to the masses are you?” Freddie’s excellent reply was allegedly something similar to “Oh yes Mr Ferocious dear, we are doing our best” Here are the mighty Queen with my favourite of all their songs “Seven Seas Of Rhye

Freddie loved to lord it over all those who were shorter than he was, which was basically..........everybody!

Freddie loved to lord it over all those who were shorter than he was, which was basically..........everybody!

And finally this day in 1991 saw the death of record producer Martin Hannett. He was born in Manchester and had produced many Manchester bands including; the Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays and Magazine. He also worked with U2 and the Psychedelic Furs. He was credited as Martin zero for his first production job which was the “Spiral Scratch EP” by the Buzzcocks. He died of heart failure in 1991 after years of heavy drinking and drug addiction, which included heroin. Many people have a real misconception of the nature of addiction, myself included until recently. I have learned a lot from an Australian blog which now features on my BlogRoll, it’s called ‘The Australian Heroin Diaries‘ and you really should check it out. As far as Martin goes I had to finish with Joy Division’ fantastic “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Martin was constantly being followed by two small UFOs that no one else could see

Martin was constantly being followed by two small UFOs that no one else could see

 

 
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