With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

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


8162440-number-3--christmas-tree-decoration--part-of-a-full-set

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.

Pyramid_Blaster

 

“Bless my cotton socks I’m in the news” October 17, 2010


Earlier this week I finished reading the two volumes of Julian Cope‘s autobiography; ‘Head-On‘ and ‘Reposessed’ and I enjoyed them both immensely. I was no more than a casual fan of the Teardrop Explodes, although the fact that their name originated from a Marvel comic certainly sparked some interest in me. I always felt they were far better than some of the over-produced cack that the early 80s pumped out (Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran etc)

 

Julian cope struggles to find his guitar which opted for the hide in plain sight option

 

I got into Julian’s solo output in the early 90s, which is after the period that the two books cover. ‘Head-On’ runs up to 1982 and ‘Repossessed’ from 1983 to 1989. Both books are incredibly open and honest and Julian bares both his soul and his feelings regularly. I think he comes across as a great bloke, who stays loyal to his friends, know’s his enemies and is very, very much in love with his wife Dorian. Incidentally a friend of mine (thank you Mr Hayhurst) once met Dorian at a Black Crowes gig, he said she was lovely.

 

Clearly too much acid can leave your eyes fried!

 

I got a real sense from his writing that he really knows who he is, although perhaps he didn’t in the early days, and where he wants to go. I was also very pleasantly surprised to read about his interest in toy collecting, in particular toy cars. They say that all of us men revert to childhood as we get older and perhaps that’s why my comic collection appears to be growing at the same rate as Julian’s toy collection did!

The book includes some great pieces on many of the people involved in the Liverpool scene of the late 70s/ early 80s; Echo and the Bunnymen‘s Ian McCulloch and Pete DeFrietas, Pete Burns (eventually off of Dead Or Alive), Holly Johnson and Paul Rutherford (eventually off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood), Pete Wylie (off of various incarnations of Wah) and Bill Drummond (eventually off of one of my favourite 90s acts; the KLF)

 

When times were hard Julian would play anywhere with anyone!

 

The stories of touring America are on a par with Ian Hunter’s fabulous ‘Diary Of A Rock N Roll Star’ which is probably my favourite biographical rock book ever! As for the stories of Mr Cope’s solo tours in Japan, well they are just bloody hilarious. So if you like a good rock music book check these out! I am an even bigger fan after reading these books and finally in the words of Julian himself ‘Awlright!’

So before you take a look at the videos and sounds below check out Julian’s excellent Head Heritage site.

 

“Fire in the Disco, fire in the Taco Bell” November 9, 2009


Hello once again good people of blogworld. I felt that it was about time I posted again as it’s been nearly a month, my excuse if you’re interested is that I started a new job just about a month ago and I have been just a little busy. But enough of that and on with the post!

Have you read in the press about the celebrations accompanying the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall? I can’t believe that it was 20 years ago, can you? Anyway part of the celebrations involved a concert near the site of the old east-west barrier which included a twenty minute set from U2. The whole shebang was promoted and I believe set up by MTV. I assume that they have some highly paid and highly skilled PR people working for them. Highly paid maybe but highly skilled I doubt very much. Why do I draw this conclusion? Well largely because in their infinite wisdom MTV decided to ensure that the 10,000 ticket holders were going to be the only people that would see the stage. How did they do this? Well they built a wall of course! Did no one see the irony in this? Many German Radio Stations with tickets to give away in competitions sent them back in protest and I must say that I don’t blame them. You can read about it here

U2

Even the combined weight of the giant members of U2 couldn't crush MTV's Berlin Wall

It’s been a while since I last posted any criticism of the banking industry, but now those poor impoverished bankers (apologies I should have started that with a W rather than a B shouldn’t I?) are getting close to their bonus levels of old the time is surely ripe. What I will never understand is how a bunch of people who came close to destroying the whole industry and have caused serious damage to the world economy should be paid any form of bonus? What the f*ck is that all about. Anyway if that wasn’t bad enough it has been brought to my attention that Wall Street Banks Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have bullied their way to the front of the queue for the swine flu vaccine H1N1. At the same time many health care workers, pregnant women and people at risk are still waiting. Click here to read the story. It used to be said that in the event of a nuclear catastrophe in the world the creatures that would survive and thrive in post apocalyptic times would be rats and cockroaches. I believe that is still essentially true, however I think that bankers should also be added to that list although perhaps they are just rats and cockroaches already! What do you think? OK as I have said many times before that this is essentially a music blog so let me bring so music into it, something relevant to the story of course.

Rat In Mi Kitchen” – UB40. The band bought their first instruments with £4,000 compensation that former lead singer Ali Campbell received from injuries he received in a bar fight as a 17-year-old. Compensation people, not a bonus ok!

Reward” – Teardrop Explodes. One of the bands early singles was “Bouncing Babies” which actually had its own tribute song released by the Freshies, “I Can’t Get Bouncing Babies By The Teardrop Explodes

fatcat-banker

A banker with swine flu.........'nuff said!

Another story in yesterdays newspaper was about yet another failure in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Cerne. It has just been returned to service after nearly a year out of action and £23 million of repairs following a serious electrical fault in September 2008. The LHC in simple terms is trying to recreate conditions that existed just before the Big Bang that created the universe billions of years ago. The search for the elusive ‘god particle’ was stopped this time by another power cut. How was this caused? Well when an LHC support worker found the source of the outage he found a piece of bread being eaten by a bird! I wonder if the bread was the remains of an LHC workers lunch or was it manna from heaven? I thought I’d include the last comment to placate any creationists that might be reading this, you’re wrong but at least I placated you! You can read the Guardian’s article on this incident by clicking here. I must add that this is also one of the headlines of the year too! Big Bang Goes Phut As Bird Drops Baguette Into Cern Machinery!

bird bread

This time those boffins at the large hadron collider in Cern had made sure that their plans for a big bang would not be upset by some bird brained idea. Crustice had to be seen to be done

Danger High Voltage” – Electric Six. A rather excellent song and listen out for the counter point vocal from none other than Jack White off of the White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather

And finally I simply have to mention ITV’s X Factor, sadly I have been hooked beyond the point where all the no hopers have gone (well except for john and Edward, although more about them later). Finally this week John and Edward (or Jedward as the tabloids have christened them) made it into the bottom two this weekend. I would have expected Simon Cowell to use his casting vote to cast them out, but he chose to put it to the public vote which meant that Lucie Jones leaves the show. I never have had any respect for Louis Walsh but I used to maintain a degree of respect for Mr Cowell. However that has completely gone now. Given the opportunity to rid us of Jedward he copped out, or did he simply want to get rid of the act most likely to beat one of the acts he is mentoring. At this point I really hope that Jedward win the competition, not because I think that they have any talent or deserve to win, but simply because that would mean Mr Cowell would have to give these two walking toilet brushes a £1 million recording contract. Perhaps that would finally kill off awful TV shows like X Factor. Big Brother is dead now let’s kill the X Factor!

Toilet-Brushes

John and Edward

jedward

Two toilet brushes

 

“Leaving just your picture behind and I’ve kissed it a thousand times” October 8, 2009


Hello people and welcome to another post from me, in fact this is the 98th post which means that my mega 100th post which will list my top 100 songs is not too far away now, how exciting is that eh?

I have some news for the regular readers amongst you; back in May I asked if you could guess where I was going to be starting work that month. The link to that post is here if you wish to try and guess again! So don’t read on at this point if you are a second guesser! Why? Well that’s easy because I have now left that job and will be starting another soon. OK if you’re not a second guesser I’ll put you out of your misery, I have been working at BP! Where am I working next? OK let me give you a few clues; Prince Charles off of the Royal Family, Prince off of Purple Rain, Henry VIII off of Herman’s Hermits 60s hit “I’m Henry the VIII I am” What do they all have in common? What are they? Answer that and you will have guessed where I’ll be working next! As usual there may well be a prize if anyone can be bothered to enter and if I can be bothered to sort through my crap at home for a prize!

OK onto the news. David Bowie along with James Osterberg (that’ll be Iggy Pop to the non anoraks) is to be immortalised in Lego for a new Lego version of the Rock Band game. Click here to see Lego Bowie performing “Let’s Dance”I wonder if they’ll do the same to Robbie Williams. I’ve always thought he was a bit of a brick (errrrrrr did I spell that right?)

Taken from the 1983 Serious Moonlight image, I'm not sure it looks much like him. What do you think?

Taken from the 1983 Serious Moonlight image, I'm not sure it looks much like him. What do you think?

Now this one looks much more like the real thing

Now this one looks much more like the real thing

OK this next piece is not strictly music, but I just wanted to say something about it. I personally have a big issue with the piles of ‘self help’ books that clutter our book stores these days. For me the term ‘self help book’ is a complete oxymoron. You either help yourself or perhaps read a book where effectively someone else is trying to help you. (or they’re trying to make a fortune from gullible people by publishing stream of consciousness psychobabble bollocks. Apparently self help books are the only literary genre to have increased sales (by 25%) during the recession. Or to use the more snappy name of ‘The Credit Crunch’ bestowed by one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Which one was it; Pestilence, Plague, Flood or Marketing? I’ll bet that you can’t guess. As a follow on I read on Tuesday that sales of Sarah Ferguson’s self help books have plummeted, they must be worse than awful then! Anyway the article can be found by clicking here. There is one quote which I believe sums up my opinions of this awful genre and it was from the Guardian’s medical correspondent. When asked if he would read another book of this type he said “I would rather slam my cock in the door” So as I have said before this is a music post, so let’s get back to that with a combination of songs about books and help!

Paperback Writer – Beatles. This may have been the most obvious choice for the book part of the list. It was the first of the Beatles UK singles that wasn’t a love song

Story Of The Blues– Wah! I have always loved this song, it has a great, almost Phil Spectorish, production and certainly on record Pete Wylie’s voice is superb. I’m not sure about the sailors hat in the video though, but don’t worry, things become even more camp later in this post! Wylie started his career in Liverpool in 1977 in a short-lived band called the Crucial Three along with none other than Ian McCulloch (off of Echo And The Bunnymen) and Julian Cope (off of the Teardrop Explodes)

Book Of Love – Monotones A classic one hit wonder group. Charles Patrick one of the singers wrote the words after hearing a Pepsodent jingle which carried the refrain “You’ll wonder where the yellow went”

Help– Beatles. This, as the astute readers will have spotted is the second song from the MopTops in this list, an obvious choice I suppose but a great song nonetheless. Lead vocals come from John Lennon on this song which he wrote about his feelings of insecurity following the bands rapid rise to global fame. Incidentally on the album cover the Beatles semaphore stance was originally intended to spell HELP, but apparently it didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, so it actually spells NUVJ. Which on reflection wouldn’t have been a great album title would it?

Help Yourself – Tom Jones This video is taken from the first edition of Tom’s UK TV show ‘This Is Tom Jones’ in February 1969. Is it me or are those dancers the campest in the entire history of the universe?

I Can’t Help Myself  (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)– Four Tops. Some excellent Motown formation dancing from the guys in this one, which if you haven’t viewed the previous Tom Jones clip you might have considered somewhat camp, after that it is downright butch! The Tops were originally known as the Four Aims back in the 50s, but there was another vocal group known as the Four Ames (Ames being a family name) so to avoid confusion they became the Four Tops. They were one of my favourite groups when I began to get into music and in my opinion Levi Stubbs voice may never be surpassed. However there does exist another rather good version of this song from the talented but hardly mentioned these days, Mr Donnie Elbert, click here to hear it. Still on the subject of camp who is Music Mike and what is Flashback Favourites? (you’ll have to check out the Donnie video to understand

 

 
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