With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“How do you like it, how do you like it” November 29, 2011


Are music related deaths like buses? There isn’t one for ages and then loads arrive at once? That’s what the last few days seem like anyway; The first one I heard about was the sad death of Andrea True who had a massive 70s disco hit in the 70s with “More More More” under the not so imaginative name Andrea True Connection. Her real name was Andrea Truden and she changed it to True when she began to appear in porn films before her singing career, including ‘Deep Throat 2’. This was apparently so that her parents wouldn’t find out that she was in the porn industry. Sadly her singing career was not a long one, however she did spend time working in a number of jobs after throat surgery cut short club singing. These jobs included being a drug and alcohol counsellor. “More More More” was prominently sampled by Len on their 1999 hit “Steal My Sunshine” and was later covered by former S Clubber Rachel Stevens in 2004.

Barry Llewellyn off of the iconic and influential reggae band the Heptones has died in Jamaica aged 64. The band recorded a number of songs with the infamous Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. They are probably best known for their song in praise of the larger woman; “Fattie Fattie” This is also one of my favourite reggae songs and I used to own the 7 inch vinyl version of the song many years ago.

Perhaps he wasn’t a musician or singer but I couldn’t let the great film producer Ken Russell’s passing go without a mention here. He was responsible for what in my opinion is one of the best rock related movies ever made. He created a magnificent and somewhat weird adaptation of the Who’s ‘Tommy’ for the silver screen in 1975. He also made a movie of the life of Liszt starring Roger Daltrey as Franz Liszt and titled ‘Lisztomania’ which was also released in 1975. The soundtrack was provided by Rick Wakeman. In my view these two movies were the pinnacle of Daltrey’s acting career. Russell even tried his hand at the music video format when he directed the video to Elton John’s 1985 hit “Nikita”.

Don DeVito the producer of two of my favourite Bob Dylan albums, ‘Desire’ and ‘Blood On The Tracks’ has also passed away aged 72. He finally lost a 16 year-long battle with prostate cancer. He remained at Columbia records throughout his career where he worked with such luminaries as Aerosmith, Billy Joel and the Boss himself; Mr Springsteen.

Former singer with bands such as the Joe Loss Orchestra Ross McManus has also sadly left us. He was a very good singer in his own right but many people of my generation probably know him better as the father of the former Declan McManus; Elvis Costello. He died on 24th November aged 84 less than two weeks after the death of his second wife Sara. He played trumpet on a few of his son’s recordings. He once recorded a cover of the Beatles “Long And Winding Road” in 1970 under the name Day Costello, which is where young Declan chose his new surname from. He also wrote and recorded the song that accompanied the R White’s Lemonade advertising campaign in the 70s entitled “I’m A Secret Lemonade Drinker” on which backing vocals were provided by the then teenaged Declan.

My thoughts go to the family, friends and fans of Andrea, Barry, Ken, Don and Ross. RIP all of you.

Coincidentally today also marks the 10th anniversary of the death of George Harrison aged just 58. I find it hard to believe that it was so long ago, but it was just a couple of months after my Dad in September 2001. There are a number of events in Liverpool to commemorate the anniversary. In 9 days on December 8th it will also be the 31st anniversary of the murder of John Lennon. Clearly this period of the year hasn’t been great for other rock deaths either; 24th November was the 20th anniversary of the passing of Freddie Mercury and 22nd November saw 14 years since the death of Michael Hutchence off of INXS.

 

Roger Waters – The Wall Live – O2 Arena London 18th May 2011 May 18, 2011


So if I were to say to you that earlier tonight I went to see a 68-year-old pensioner perform a thirty odd year old album it wouldn’t sound particularly exciting would it? But if I said that I’d been to see Roger Waters (off of Pink Floyd) perform the classic Floyd double albumThe Wall‘ in it’s entirety backed by a superb band, amazing light show, pyrotechnics, massive marionettes, incredible film and animation and a flying pig you might think otherwise right? (But then you’ve probably already read the title of this post anyway!)

Firstly let me thank my friend and work colleague Grant who gave me a ticket for the show. He had already attended last week on the night that remaining Floyd members David Gilmour and Nick Mason joined Mr Waters on stage. So whilst I may have missed the mini Floyd reunion I did see the show and it was something else. Regular readers know that I have been going to gigs now for nearly 40 years and this show is probably straight into my top 5.

Roger Waters performance was commanding and immaculate. The projections on the wall and the other special effects made it more than just another rock show. This was a rock spectacle, a truly spectacular show. I have been listening to the album again these past few days and seeing it performed live makes you realise what a stupendous album it really is. It contains my second favourite Floyd song ever in “Comfortably Numb” My favourite is actually “Wish You Were Here” But ‘The Wall’ is an album I can still listen to end to end. All I needed tonight was a good spliff and it would have been perfect. Snowy White‘s guitar playing was stupendous, especially the solo on “Comfortably Numb”

Many people see the Who as a band who are Rock Opera experts and with ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’ they clearly are damned good. However in the annals of rock opera ‘The Wall’ stands with the best and for an album released nearly 32 years ago really stands the test of time. essentially it’s Waters’ first solo album that just happened to be recorded with Pink Floyd. It is very much about his life and the experiences that shaped him as a man. He is clearly more comfortable in his own skin now than he was all those years ago, but he still tells the story well.

If you get a chance to see this show do whatever it takes; sell your granny, pimp out your budgie or send your kids out to sweep chimneys, anything but make sure you don’t miss the opportunity!

Please note that none of the videos or pictures are from the show I saw, just in case you wondered. Mainly because my camera skills are pretty crap!

 

“Now hold on a minute before we go much further, give me a dime so I can phone my mother” April 17, 2011


Dizzee enjoyed dressing as an 18th Century poet whilst promenading with a powerful female. Thatcher hasnt aged well has she?

Hello people, I have some assorted bits of music related news for you in todays post. Some old, some new and some strange. Beginning with Dizzee Rascal, who according to the UK tabloid press has an addiction. But not to drugs, drink, sex or gambling, but to 18th century poets. He is very much into his Wordsworth, Byron, Blake and Keats. Mr Rascal, formerly known as Dylan Mills, is hoping that classical English poetry will have an influence on his next album. Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Read about it here in the soaraway Sun and be careful your phone isn’t tapped!

Simon makes one last appearance on Page Three before he departs for the USA

Most of you probably know that Simon Cowell will be leaving the UK version of X Factor to launch and take part in the US version. It still seems most likely that he will take Cheryl Cole with him, providing the Americans can understand her one assumes. My only wish is that the opportunity is taken to get rid of Louis Walsh. What do you think and also who would your ideal fantasy X Factor judging panel consist of? My vote would be Lily Allen, Keith Richards, Jeremy Paxman and Nick Clegg. The latter choice is largely because there should always be one idiot on the panel and surely he will be out of a job soon won’t he?

Clearly Liam was buzzing about the new Beady Eye Bee Side

You’ve probably all heard of the post Oasis band Beady Eye, which is basically Oasis without Noel. I have listened to their album and it’s not bad, it’s hardly ‘Definitely Maybe’  or ‘Morning Glory’ but it’s ok. Anyway this isn’t a review but a rather strange piece of news about Liam Gallagher. According to a report in the NME (click here to read it) he likes to warm up before he goes on stage by listening to Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, let’s pray he doesn’t do a cover version of it! What song do you use to get pumped up before work? For me it’s often “Complete Control” by the Clash or “Do Anything You Wanna Do” by the Rods.

Billie Joe auditions for a part in the new version of Snow White

Tom Hanks is currently preparing to produce a film adaptation of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ album. The director is likely to be Michael Mayer who was the director for the ‘American Idiot’ Broadway musical. Could this be this generation’s ‘Tommy’? Only time will tell. Click here to read the NME report. What album would you like to see turned into a film? I would definitely vote for David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’

And finally how small do you think the world’s smallest working guitar actually is? Well you’re probably wrong. It is in fact no bigger than a human blood cell and obviously impossible to be played in a conventional way. It has to be played by having lasers directed at the strings. Read more about the Nano Guitar in the Guardian by clicking here.

 

“And no one had the guts to leave the temple” October 13, 2010


Earlier this evening I was watching with fascination and respect the rescue of the 33 trapped Chilean miners. I have watched many amazing live TV events in my lifetime, with the 1969 moon landing being the most amazing (and to the conspiracy theorists, it happened OK, get over it! How do I know? Obviously I know it’s true cos I saw it on the TV! Anyway to celebrate this amazing rescue and excellent good news let’s take a look and listen to some freedom songs.

As I type this 26 of the 33 trapped miners are now free, let’s hope that the rest are on the surface very soon.

The songs are “I’m Free” by the Soup Dragons. Any band named after a character in the Clangers is more than cool with me. next up is a song with the same title by the Who and taken from the truly stupendous Tommy album, purportedly the world’s first rock opera, only don’t mention that to the Pretty Things whose ‘S.F. Sorrow’ was released a little earlier. The final song is “Freedom” from Wham, that one celebrates George Michael‘s recent release from prison.

 

 
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