With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You’ve heard of the twist, now listen to this” September 21, 2015

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Glastonbury tickets go on sale in a few weeks, I’ve registered, have you? I have been to quite a few festivals, but if I am lucky enough to get a ticket this will be my first Glasto, after all these years!


Anyway take your mind back to the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. The first thing of note is that it was called something different then, it was the Pilton Pop, Blues and Folk Festival and all festival goers were provided with free milk. Well Worthy Farm is a dairy farm. It was almost 45 years to the day that it took place. The Kinks were originally scheduled to headline the event but were replaced much nearer the start of the inaugural festival on the site by Tyrannosaurus Rex. Obviously this was just before they became T Rex.


For many of you this is probably not new information. However, did you know who opened the festival in 1970 and then returned to the stage at the end of the second day to close it? It was the marvellously quintessential English band Stackridge! They have played Glastonbury more recently too; in 1999 and 2008. So in honour of that achievement I would like you all to get ready to “Do The Stanley”!


“Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder and in the morning you’ll know all you know” a.k.a 7 swans a swimming December 19, 2012


Seven swans a swimming, I’ve been looking forward to this part of my 12 days of Christmas posts as it features two of my favourite songs. Incidentally did you know that the mute swan which is native to the UK has doubled it’s population since 1983? Maybe it’s the royal protection they are afforded which saw to that.

Ride A White Skateboard anyone?

Ride A White Skateboard anyone?

Anyway on to the first of todays songs and this one was an obvious choice. It is “Ride A White Swan” from T. Rex and it is only the second signal released under the shortened name after the band used to be known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is also the song that helped kick off what became known as Glam Rock and the screaming adulation given to Bolan in what became known as Trextasy. The song was released in late 1970 and didn’t reach its highest UK chart position of number two until January 1971. It was produced by Tony Visconti as were many of the bands biggest hits. It was released as a maxi single. So named as it featured three and not the customary two tracks. The other tracks were “Is It Love” and a rather interesting cover of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues”. “Ride A White Swan” kicked off a run of 10 consecutive UK top 5 hits for the band which lasted from 1971 to 1973 and included four number ones. The song could only manage a very lowly number 76 in the US chart.



The second choice for today was an obvious one for me, but do you know why it’s here? It is the stupendous “Badge” from Cream. The band was effectively an early supergroup featuring Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Interestingly it wasn’t Clapton that played guitar on this track, it was George Harrison. This was a favour in return for Clapton providing guitar on the Beatles track “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. It was written by Clapton and Harrison and featured on Cream’s final album ‘Goodbye’. It made number 18 in the UK charts in 1969 and only reached number 60 in the US. Apparently it was a drunk Ringo Starr that gave the pair the line in the song which secured its inclusion in today’s post. Do you know what that line is yet? For contractual reasons George Harrison was listed under a pseudonym in terms of the playing personnel. That name was L’Angelo Misterioso.



“I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” November 29, 2012

Based upon information released recently it is alleged that the US Government had planned to blow up the moon in the late 50s as a means of intimidating their nemesis in the Cold War, the Soviet Union. After the Russians effectively took the lead in the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 it was apparently believed that a show of strength like blowing up the moon would really scare the Russians. Apparently it was called ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ or ‘Project A119‘. Even that sounds a little James Bond like doesn’t it?

It really does seem like a crackpot scheme and it is unlikely at the time that anyone possessed enough in their nuclear arsenal to actually complete the task. At best it might have left the man in the moon looking more like the elephant Man and the satellite’s surface covered in high levels of radiation. In addition any debris that fell to earth would almost certainly have been radioactive as well.

I wonder if this idea came from the same think tank that thought of the idea of using an explosive cigar to blow up Fidel Castro or to rig the voting in Florida in 2000 in favour of Dubya. Ooops wait a minute that second one was true wasn’t it? had it happened then Neil Armstrong probably wouldn’t have been there to utter his famous ‘one step for man’ line. But then again maybe it did happen and didn’t work very well other than to make the moon radioactive. That would certainly give more credence to those people who believe the moon landings were faked and took place in a film studio directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I’d love to know what you think of this incredibly stupid, yet potentially real plan of  Eisenhower’s government. Bearing in mind that his Vice President was Tricky Dicky Nixon, maybe it isn’t surprising! Anyway as I have said many times before so here are a few songs that may not have happened or certainly wouldn’t have been the same had the moon been blown to smithereens, feel free to add your own moon related songs.

Apologies but there are two kiddie fiddlers for the price of one on this next one!

And finally a special Billy Bonus, my favourite track from Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark side Of The Moon’; “Brain Damage”


“Cold fire, you’ve got everything but cold fire” February 22, 2009

Welcome to Sunday everyone, I hope you’re having a good weekend. I am, in fact I am slightly hungover today, but hey that’ll pass soon enough….. well I hope so anyway!

So on with the show then, today, 22nd February 2009 is the 36th birthday of Scott Phillips, drummer with Creed who had a US number one single with “With Arms Wide Open” in 2001. It also reached number 13 in the UK charts. It won a Grammy for best rock song too. He also played keyboards on Creed’s album “Weathered”. He is currently a member of Alter Bridge along with two other former members of Creed, Mark Tremonti and Brian Marshall. Creed were often dismissed by critics as a Christian rock band, however they were never signed to a Christian label, nor indeed did they play Christian venues. A number of their songs certainly suggest a strong interest in religion, but for me whatever their beliefs they were a damned good band. The rumour mill suggests that Creed may be getting back together this year. What are your thoughts on band reunions? I think some are great and some are dire, for example in my opinion the reunion of both the Specials and Blink 182 this year is excellent, however the reunion of Limp Bizkit………….. WHY?????

Creed had now moved wholesale into the decorating business

Creed had now moved wholesale into the decorating business

The last of todays birthdays is that of James Blunt, who is 35 today (although some sources suggest 32. Someone once remarked that it was no coincidence that his name rhymed with another but much more derogatory word than blunt. I’m not sure I’ve figured out what that word is so for now let’s just say he’s a bit of a runt. Although strangely enough his real name is in fact Blount, James Hillier Blount to be precise. I’m sure that you all know him much too well. For me the first time I heard “You’re Beautiful” I thought this is an ok kind of song, but then it was absolutely played to death by radio and in pretty much every clothes store in the land too. Personally I prefer the Weird Al Yankovic version entitled “You’re Pitiful” (click the title to hear it) and just to show that I am completely unbiased, after all this is James ‘The Runt” Blunt and not Robbie Williams, here is James with his song “1973” You may be aware that James served in the British army for six years, notably as part of the peacekeeping force in Kosovo in the late 90s. But did you know that he was also one of the Guards for the lying in state of the Queen Mother after her death in 2002, he was also a part of her funeral procession. I know that last point will interest my Mum, but I’m really not a fan of the Royal Family at all!

In spite of his apparent wealth James still couldn't afford a full set of clothes for his lady

In spite of his apparent wealth James still couldn't afford a full set of clothes for his lady

On this day in 1960 the Percy Faith Orchestra began a nine week stint at number one in the US chart with “Theme From A Summer Place” which also reached number two in the UK chart. This piece of music is very much a guilty pleasure of mine, I remember hearing it on the radio quite a few times when I was young and it is indeed on iTunes on my laptop, it hasn’t quite been promoted to my iPod just yet and it’s not in the 50 songs that make up my all time top 10 either. The music was written as the theme for a 1959 movie called, can you guess, “A Summer Place” The film starred Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue, Sandra went on to be immortalised in the song “Look At Me I’m Sandra Dee” in the Grease movie. Percy was a renowned band leader and often branded as a leading light among producers of ‘easy listening’ music. He was Canadian and died aged 67 in 1976

After months of practice Percy still couldn't get the "YMCA" dance right

After months of practice Percy still couldn't get the "YMCA" dance right

On this day in 1969 Tyrannosaurus Rex (soon to become T Rex) featuring the late great (those l and g’s have been quite busy this week haven’t they?) Marc Bolan were headlining at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in the UK. The support act was one Mister David Bowie who performed a one man mime act. But perhaps the less said about Mr Bowie’s acting the better! Anyway Bolan and Bowie were good friends for quite a few years before either of them found fame. In fact at one point in the sixties they shared the job of painting Ken Pitt’s apartment, he was their manager. Bolan had success before Bowie and helped out his old friend by playing guitar on Bowies single “The Prettiest Star“. This single is still a sought after collectors piece. It’s a good song too, in fact Bowie rerecorded it for the Aladdin Sane album in 1973

Bolan and Bowie together for what became Marc's last ever TV appearance before his untimely death in September 1977. Look closely and you'll notice that is was also before any work on Bowie's teeth too

Bolan and Bowie together for what became Marc's last ever TV appearance before his untimely death in September 1977. Look closely and you'll notice that is was also before any work on Bowie's teeth too

On this day in 1975 Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel achieved their only UK number one single with the excellent “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)“. I just had another idea for a special edition blog, how about songs with parentheses (that’ll be brackets to the less well read amongst you, to anyone else they’re the little curly things at each end of this sentence). “Make Me Smile” has been used for two UK national TV advertising campaigns; Carlsberg Lager in 1995 and more recently for Marks and Spencer in 2005. It remains one of the most played songs on UK radio. I finally got to see Mr Harley in concert in 2005 at the Royal Opera House in York, he was very good, I would certainly see him again given the chance.

Steve wondered why all the other boys dressed in blue

Steve wondered why all the other boys dressed in blue

And finally on this day in 2002 the drummer Ronnie Verrell died aged 77. He worked with many different people including Tom Jones, the Strawbs and Phil Everly. But most people have probably heard him without even knowing it, for Ronnie is the man who provided all the drum licks for the Muppet Shows in-house drummer, Animal! Here is Animal himself drumming for Rita Moreno on “Fever“, an excellent clip from the Muppet Show

Animal drummer for the Muppet Show House Band

Animal drummer for the Muppet Show House Band

The late great Ronnie Verrell stunt double drummer for Animal from the Muppets

The late great Ronnie Verrell stunt double drummer for Animal from the Muppets

Has anyone ever said that you resembled one of the Muppets or perhaps a cartoon character? Well a number of people have said that I look something like Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppet Show. I don’t have blue skin, so is it cos I is bald? This link goes back to my youth and more recently even Catwoman made the same remark. Anyway here is Sam the most handsome and intelligent Muppet!

Sam The Bald Eagle or perhaps it really is William? Answers on a postcard, or maybe in the blog comments

Sam The Bald Eagle or perhaps it really is William? Answers on a postcard, or maybe in the blog comments

I hope you enjoyed yet another day of full on trivia bombardment and until we meet again tomorrow I bid you farewell good trivia fans 🙂



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