With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“We hear you’re leaving, that’s OK I thought our little wild time had just begun” September 3, 2017


I was so sad on hearing about the death of Walter Becker, one half of Steely Dan, at just 67. ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ from 1972 remains one of my favourite albums of all time. They had a unique way of fusing many musical styles into a coherent and beautiful sound; jazz, rock, reggae, pop. Becker met his Steely Dan cohort Donald Fagen at college in New York and they played in a number of bands often playing covers of the likes of the Rolling Stones and Moby Grape. One of those bands had none other than Chevy Chase on drums.

Their début album, the aforementioned ‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ was released in 1972 and spawned two Steely Dan classic singles; “Do It Again” and “Reeling In The Years”. For me though every track on that album oozes class. Their highest charting album was ‘Aja’ which reached number 3 in the US and number 5 in the UK. It also made the top 10 in Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand and Norway. They were never really a singles band although “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” from 1974”s ‘Pretzel Logic’ album made it to number 5 in the US charts.

Click here to read a very touching tribute, on the Rolling Stone website, to Walter Becker from his friend and partner in Steely Dan, Donald Fagen. The loss of such a talented man as Walter Becker will be felt throughout the music world. My thoughts are with his friends, family and fans all around the world. RIP Walter Becker.

 

“And I’ll play you old 45’s That now mean nothing to me” Blog Advent Calendar Day 4 2014 December 4, 2014


deacon-blue-new-360-240448583

Already it’s day 4 of this years advent calendar blog posts. so it’s 4th December and in the ABC of British bands we have so far visited Sheffield (ABC), Liverpool (Beatles) and London (Clash). Today we go north to Glasgow to hear from Deacon Blue. This is a band who have been around nearly 30 years. They took their name from a Steely Dan song from 1977’s ‘Aja’ album entitled “Deacon’s Blues”.

deacon-blue (1)

Deacon Blue had the first of their seven UK top 20 hits in 1988 with “Real Gone Kid“. Their most recent top 20 hit was the third release of “Dignity” in 1994. Their biggest hit to date was  cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David‘s “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” which made it to number 2 in 1990.

Deacon-Blue

I hope you enjoy this little selection of Deacon Blue songs.

 

“If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now” April 26, 2010


The book is way better than the film!

As many of you know I am somewhat of a fan of lists, very much like the protagonist in Nick Hornby’s excellent book ‘High Fidelity’ Although I was pretty disappointed that the film was set in the US, were you? So back to those lists, there have been a couple published recently that you might be interested in. I certainly was! 

The first is from UK Radio Station Absolute Classic Rock whose listeners have voted in a poll to identify Britain’s favourite rock songs. I was a little surprised at some of the entries; The Beatles only song in the top ten is “Revolution” and only seven different acts appear in the Top 10. Led Zeppelin get three entries and the Who get two. Obviously I was incredibly disappointed that there was nothing from David Bowie in the final ten. Here is the top 10 and you can click here to go to the Absolute Classic Rock Radio website 

Dangerous Dave representing Freddie and the boys at number three, which is exactly where I hope he is after the election. Another One Bites The Dust perhaps?

1. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
2. The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
3. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
4. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta love
5. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water
6. The Who – Baba O’ Reilly
7. Led Zeppelin – Rock n ’ Roll
8. Free – All Right Now
9. The Beatles – Revolution
10. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter 

The second of the lists is much more US centric and covers the best debut albums. These were selected by Dave White at About.com:Classic Rock 

‘Are You Experienced’ – Jimi Hendrix Experience 

‘Boston’ – Boston 

‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ – Steely Dan – actually this is one of my favourite albums of all time as well 

‘The Doors’ – Doors 

‘Eagles’ – Eagles 

‘England’s Newest Hitmakers’ – Rolling Stones 

‘Led Zeppelin’ – Led Zeppelin 

‘Music From Big Pink’ – The Band 

‘Please Please Me’ – Beatles 

‘(pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd’ – Lynyrd Skynrd 

You can click here to see more details about the albums on the list. But where are the Clash and the Pistols? What was your favourite debut album? On reflection mine is probably ‘Grace’ from the late, great Jeff Buckley. Add a comment to let me know your choices

 

“The world won’t get no better if we just let it be” January 14, 2010


Hello dear readers and those of you who just like to look at the pictures. This post is a little random and maybe in the spirit of all of my earliest posts. Today is the 14th January 2010 and it marks 32 years since the last proper Sex Pistols gig. Certainly the last one to feature Sid Vicious and not one of those reunion shows. That show was at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco and Johnny Rotten’s last words from the stage were “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good Night” I actually have the bootleg of that gig and judging from the bass playing it was clear that, as Rotten later observed, Sid was out of his brains. Here are the Pistols with “Bodies” from that very gig

As for Mr Rotten, or Lydon as he is known nowadays I was disappointed when I saw him advertising British butter (click here to see it). However he was recently quoted as saying that it paid him enough to put up the initial funding for the PiL tour he is currently undertaking, so now I feel very relieved.

Sid dry humps a lamppost and johnny dresses as a Hasidic Jew, just another boring day for the Pistols then!

Today we also received the sad news that Teddy Pendergrass had died. Teddy (or Theodore to his parents) was the voice of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Ha! I bet plenty of you thought Harold was the singer didn’t you? They had some massive hits in the early 70s with wonderful songs like “Wake Up Everybody” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now“. The latter was covered in a somewhat mediocre way by Mick Hucknall with Simply Red. Teddy went solo later in the 70s and had another string of hits including “Close The Door” and “Turn Off The Lights” Hey those titles fit together nicely don’t they? Teddy was involved in a road traffic accident in 1983 which left him a paraplegic, but he continued to perform in spite of that. His rich and distinctive voice will be sadly missed by those of us who love such sublime soul music.

In his youth Teddy always like pussy............cats!

Finally and perhaps most importantly I experienced a really bizarre coincidence yesterday. Just as I opened my newspaper to read about the awful earthquake in Haiti, Steely Dan’s “Haitian Divorce” popped up on my iPod. So I thought that I would give you the link to the BBC report of the disaster and also a link where you can donate to the relief effort. Pay whatever you can, because even if your day has been pretty shit it cannot be anywhere near as bad as those affected by the quake. Do it, you know it makes sense 🙂

 

“you have sent the maid home early like a thousand times before…” February 20, 2009

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:43 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I have in mind that today’s post will be much shorter than recent days, but let’s see how that pans out at the end shall we? before we get into the usual crop of birthdays and onthisdays I’d like to talk about what I listened to on my iPod today on a brisk walk into the city this afternoon. Don’t panic I’m only going to mention one song. That song being the magnificent “One Nation Under A Groove” by the mighty Funkadelic. This song is in my all time top 10 (which Catwoman tells me seems to contain at least 50 songs!) and for me should be used in the peace process for conflicts across the globe. Let’s all Funk for World Peace, a bit like Make Love Not War, only this is funkin’ instead of ………….. lovin’ (how rude are you? You thought I was going to say something else didn’t you? But funk has an ‘N’ not a ‘C’) Anyway I absotively posolutely love this song. How can you not want to dance to it? when it came out in 1978 I actually saw their show, which was a joint effort with one of George Clinton’s other wonderful creations, Parliament at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. It still ranks as one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen and there have been many since my first in November 1973. Sadly the song only just scraped into the UK top 10, peaking at 9. But it should have put the funk into the number one slot for weeks! George Clinton is the Funkmeister behind both Parliament and Funkadelic using both as vehicles for his prolific output, particularly during the 70s. If you don’t already own this song download it now! If you want to just listen to it click on the title here “One Nation Under A Groove” It would also be remiss of me to include no trivia about them so here is a George Clinton snippet or two (he’s no relation of Bill Clinton by the way!) In 1955 he was still attending the Clinton Place High School (now that’s some coincidence) when he started work as a foreman at New Jersey’s Wham-O Hula-Hoop factory. Now that would have been a cool first job. Mine was in the bus schedules mileage section at London Transport (we measured bus routes!) in 1975.

George and the gang had been caught raiding Mum's dressing up box and make up bag again!

George and the gang had been caught raiding Mum's dressing up box and make up bag again!

So now let’s get back to normal starting with the birthdays. February 20th is the 63rd birthday of J Geils who gave his name to, can you guess? yes the J. Geils Band! I can confirm that his real name wasn’t in fact just J, to his Mum he’s just little Jerome! Whilst Jerome may have used his name to name the band he wasn’t the singer (a bit like Van Halen then) the singer in their heyday was one Peter Wolf. Apparently at some point in their career the band also included the wonderfully named Magic Dick on harmonica. I’d love to know if that’s the name on his passport! The bands biggest UK hit was “Centrefold” which reached number three, the song was also a US number 1. OK click the song title and then after three….. all together now na na na na na na (repeat ad infinitum!)

He promised himself that next time he would check that the pole was firmly fixed before commencing his pole dance to Centrefold

He promised himself that next time he would check that the pole was firmly fixed before commencing his pole dance to Centrefold

The second of todays birthdays is that of Mr Walter Becker who is 59 today. Becker is 50% of Steely Dan along with Donald Fagen. The band have absolutely nothing to do with Steeleye Span (other than their names sound similar). Steely Dan took their name from the steam powered dildo in William Burroughs book “The Naked Lunch”. They were generally known as more of an albums band, although many of you may be familiar with the singles “Reelin’ In The Years”, “Do It Again” and “Haitian Divorce”. My favourite Steely Dan song though, is the supreme “Dirty Work” from their album “Can’t Buy A Thrill”

Donald never had a chance in the longest hair and most facial hair contest

Donald never had a chance in the longest hair and most facial hair contest

The third and final birthday for today is that of the late great (you knew those l and g’s would be back didn’t you?) Kurt Cobain. He would have been 42 today had he not taken his own life aged just 27 in 1994. Apparently 27 is a bad age for rock stars, not only Cobain, but also Jimi Hendrix (more of him later), Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin all died at 27. Kurt’s suicide note quoted some lyrics from Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue)” Those words were “it’s better to burn out than fade away” Nirvana played their final gig on March 1st in Munich, Germany. Cobain’s body was found on April 8th. Have a look and listen to Nirvana’s excellent “Come As You Are” The “I don’t have a gun” refrain in the song is somewhat eerie given how Kurt killed himself.

Kurt in his prime.... and his Mum's cardigan!

Kurt in his prime.... and his Mum's cardigan!

And there is just one onthisday today. On this day in 1960 Jimi Hendrix made his stage debut at a High School show in Seattle. Although some sources suggest that this took place in 1959. when Jimi was born in 1942 he was registered as Johnny Allen Hendrix by his mother Lucille (who was a full blooded Cherokee indian). He was renamed James Marshall Hendrix four years later by his father. In 1964 Hendrix was the guitarist in the Isley Brothers touring band, it is said by many that this is really where Ernie Isley developed his Hendrix style guitar playing. Here is Jimi with Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” at the Isle of Wight festival in 1970 just a few months before his death

Bryan Adams may have played until his fingers bled, but Jimi played until his guitar caught fire

Bryan Adams may have played until his fingers bled, but Jimi played until his guitar caught fire

That’s all for today folks apart from this picture of one of our cats, Benny. He is named after Benny the Ball from Top Cat and he will be 1 year old at the end of March

Benny has unusual musical tastes, he is a big fan of 80s band Living In A Box

Benny has unusual musical tastes, he is a big fan of 80s band Living In A Box

I have an apology for all of you who have read this far, it wasn’t a particularly short post today!

 

 
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