With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music reviews, gig reviews, fun trivia and extra added random stuff!

“If you just put your hand in mine, we’re gonna lay all our troubles behind” February 10, 2012

Do you receive a regular selection of random e mails from various groups that you have subscribed to over the years? I get loads and often I can’t be bothered to look at them. But for some reason I took a  chance and opened one at random. It contained stacks of old pictures. Mostly of different stars together and not necessarily those that had worked together. Here are a few that I really liked and had never seen before. let me know what you think of them.

Bob Marley & the Wailers and the Jackson 5

George Harrison & Bob Marley

Mick Jagger & Jimi Hendrix

Mick Jagger & James Brown

No more words required just listen to some great music by some of those artists while you enjoy the pictures.


“We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead” November 30, 2011

Katy does the garden........ shearly not?

I’m sure that you’ve heard Katy Perry’s new single “The One That Got Away” which is clearly yet another slice of perfect perry pop and a great radio song. But what intrigues me about it is the line about making out in the lyrics. It reads ‘We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead’. Firstly we get Katy Perry mentioning Radiohead, which I feel makes for quite strange bedfellows. Secondly, does anyone actually make out to Radiohead? I love the band but they wouldn’t be my choice for a sultry, seductive night in with Catwoman! I would prefer a bit of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ album.

Having listened to the song again though it got me thinking about some of my favourite songs that mention bands or singers. You can enjoy five of them below. Let me know what your favourite songs that mention other artists are;

“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – Vampire Weekend – mentions Peter Gabriel

“Destroy Rock n Roll” – Mylo – mentions a cast of thousands including Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Van Halen, Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Cars, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Men at Work, ZZ Top, Paul McCartney, Weird Al Yankovic, Cyndi Lauper, Pink Floyd, Pretenders, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Elton John, Neil Young, Sheena Easton, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Fashion, Big Country, Morris Day and The Time, John Lennon, Apollonia 6, REO Speedwagon, David Gilmour, Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Wham!, Rebbie Jackson, Adam Ant, Bananarama, Christine McVie, Queen, John Cougar Mellencamp, U2, Fleetwood Mac, The Alan Parsons Project, Rick Springfield, Thompson Twins, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, Police, Eurythmics, Culture Club, Boy George, Band Aid, Stevie Wonder and Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

“White Man In The Hammersmith Palais” – The Clash – mentions Dillinger, Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe and the Four Tops.

“God” – John Lennon – mentions Elvis and the Beatles

“Punky Reggae Party” – Bob Marley and the Wailers – mentions the Wailers, Maytals, Damned, Jam, Dr Feelgood and the Clash

“All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – mentions T Rex and is easily my favourite song that mentions other bands or artists.


“And we know we shall win as we are confident in the victory” April 13, 2010

I was saddened and angered by the news I read today that Somali militants have banned the playing of music from the country’s airwaves. Well technically the transition government only control a small part of the capital Mogadishu so it is actually the work of the militants that run the rest of the country. There has not been a functioning government in the state since 1991. The militants have closed down five BBC radio relay stations in the south of the country, so now there are just two FM transmitters left in the transition government and UN controlled part of Mogadishu. Is there anything we can do about it? I don’t know, but I doubt it. The waters off Somalia are already full of proper pirates so the chances of setting up a pirate radio station off shore seems unlikely. Can we write to our politicians? Well sure you can, but certainly in the UK at the moment the self-regarding parasites are so far up their own sphincters with the General Election and new ways to fiddle their expenses that they won’t be bothered by something so trifling as this. But if you do believe there is something we could do then please get in touch. If anyone from Somalia is actually reading this I would love to hear from you. You can read the BBC report on this story by clicking here 

The ban on music radio in Somalia has led to the discovery and use of many innovative living instruments. I'm not quite sure where you blow on this one though!

This whole sorry episode got me thinking about songs that have been banned from airplay in the UK, so that, my dear readers is what this post is all about! 

One of the biggest en masse bans occurred just after 9/11 back in 2001. A Programme Director at one of the Clear Channel Radio Stations produced a list of songs that he felt might be in bad taste after the events of 2001. It was allegedly meant as a guideline and supposedly received no corporate backing. I kind of see where this person was coming from with some of the choices (although I do not agree at all) but how the hell did the following make it on to the list? 

Ob La Di Ob La Da” – Beatles 

What A Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong 

99 red Balloons” – Nena 

Alice In Chains, the Beatles and Metallica have four entries each while AC/ DC are way out in front with six. It seems that almost any song mentioning planes, fire, death, bombs, New York or the middle east was included. Click here to see the whole list. The BBC actually preceded this during the Gulf War of 1991. This list included Abba’s “Waterloo” and also the instruction that Massive Attack would be referred to as Massive during the conflict. Click here to see the BBC’s Gulf War banned list and many other lists referenced in this post 

The BBC has quite a long history of banning songs for various reasons and here is just a small selection along with the reasons they received a beeb ban! 

Je T’Aime” – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Obviously the powers that be at the BBC back in 1969 understood french far better than I did then or even do today. personally I think there would have only been a tiny minority of people in the UK in 1969 who would have understood the lyrics anyway. It allegedly wasn’t helped though by the inclusion in the lyric of Serge’s desire to “entre te reins” which I’m told means between the kidneys, or in English probably ‘up the bum’ 

The Day After You” – Blow Monkeys (supported by Curtis Mayfield). This was banned for being anti Margaret Thatcher. Since when was that a crime? I always have been and always will be. If you feel the same maybe you should also check out Elvis Costello’s “Tramp The Dirt Down” 

Tribute To Buddy Holly” – Mike Berry and the Outlaws. This was a Joe Meek production from 1961 and was banned for being a morbid celebration of a dead teen idol 

Cover Of The Rolling Stone” – Dr Hook and the Medicine Show. Obviously the BBC were not going to advertise an American publication, which in those days was almost impossible to get in this country anyway. The band tried to help by recording a new version of the song which replaced Rolling Stone with Radio Times, which was and still is a BBC published TV and Radio listings magazine (other listing magazines are available!) 

Many other songs, especially more recently have been banned for including swearing. The earliest of these that I am aware of is John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” in 1970. John Lydon (formerly known as Johnny Rotten remains the only person to have sneaked the ‘C’ word into a song and had it played though. Listen to the Sex Pistols “Pretty Vacant” again and hear how he pronounces ‘vacant’ in the chorus. I understand that this was deliberate. Nice one Mr Lydon 😉 

I could go on and on with this post but I will draw it to a close, but I would like to hear your stories of banned songs wherever you are. Personally I think the world would be a nicer place if the likes of Boyzone, Westlife, Robbie Williams and anyone who wins X Factor were to be banned from getting any airplay ever! 

I will finish with a story about Michael Logan who recently received an ASBO for singing Bob Marley songs outside his home in the UK from 8 a.m until midnight. (Click here for the link to the story from the Manchester Evening News) Now I don’t condone that sort of thing but it does give me a great excuse to end with a Bob Marley song! This is Bob with a great live segue of “War/ No More Trouble”

Did you know that the lyrics to Marley’s “War” were the words of a speech made by Haile Selassie?


“My feet is my only carriage, so I’ve got to push on through” July 16, 2009

Hello good people and thank you for reading my blog, however you got here 🙂

I’ll kick off this post with yet another shameless plug for my son Luke’s band, Steal The Smile. They are playing at the SweatBox in Wantage tonight (17th July) and then on Friday 18th July they are playing at TheNet in Abingdon. Check out their MySpace page here. You will not be disappointed, these boys are bloody good!

And now on with the usual crap, a few ‘onthisdays’ for July 17th. Starting with those old fellas the Rolling Stones. On this day in 1972 a bomb exploded under their equipment van in Montreal, Canada. It was alleged to be the work of French Separatists. Presumably nothing to do with Mick’s alleged relationship with Pierre Trudeau’s wife then, but hey maybe that allegation came later! In addition to the bomb many angry fans rioted and threw bottles and bricks after it was discovered that there were around 3,000 forged tickets in circulation. Can’t get no satisfaction indeed! In the meantime check out the Stones with the classic “Angie

Well no wonder they were bombed, insulting a moose like this was the catalyst!

Well no wonder they were bombed, insulting a moose like this was the catalyst!

This day in 1975 was in my opinion highly historic as it was one of the nights that one of the greatest albums ever was recorded, well certainly the greatest live album anyway! Bob Marley and the Wailers played the firs of two nights at the Lyceum in good old London Town. Both shows were recorded and later released as the classic Marley album ‘Live’ later that year. For me it contains the definitive version of the undeniably brilliant “No Woman No Cry“, which is easily my favourite Marley song. I have worn out three copies of that album over the years, one on cassette and two on vinyl. I have t on CD now though!

“No Woman No Cry” was originally included on the excellent ‘Natty Dread’ album and many people assumed it was not written by Mr Marley, largely because the song is credited to a ‘V. Ford’. This is in fact one Vincent Ford who ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown, Jamaica. He was a good friend of Bob’s and the royalties he  received enabled him to continue running that same soup kitchen for man years. I think that is a great gift to give, what do you think? Ford died a few months ago, click here for the BBC report of his death.

Bob was supposedly a talented footballer, but I bet he wouldn't have taken the Manchester City silver dollar!

Bob was supposedly a talented footballer, but I bet he wouldn’t have taken the Manchester City silver dollar!

The cover of my favourite Bob Marley album, go out and buy it now! That's an order!

The cover of my favourite Bob Marley album, go out and buy it now! That’s an order!

And finally for today I will feature someone who my regular readers will know that I don’t rate very highly at all……… Robbie Williams! On this day in 1995 he left Take That, bucket loads of tears were shed and the story even made all the main TV news shows. I mean come on it was hardly the Beatles breaking up or even Geri leaving the Spice Girls was it? Well ok maybe it was on a par with Geri’s departure. Robbie obviously went on to great success for a while and Take That eventually broke up. Now that Take That are back though our darling tabloids would have us believe that Robbie wants to rejoin. You know what? This is a big admission but I believe them for once 🙂 Anyway it does seem like they’re “Back For Good” doesn’t it?

See I always said that Robbie and the boys were just pants!

See I always said that Robbie and the boys were just pants!


“and the more I find out the less I know” May 4, 2009

This is the first in a not particularly regular series of posts covering some of my most favourite and in some cases poorly recognised artists. First up it’s Mr Johnny Nash. Johnny, despite his greatest success coming with reggae was actually born in Houston Texas on August 19th 1940. Like many of his contemporaries he sang in the choir at his local Baptist Church in his childhood and youth. He became a regular on a local television show called ‘Matinee’ in 1953 where he mainly performed covers of current hits. In another potential big break he entered a talent contest in the early 50’s where he eventually lost out to none other than the mighty Joe Tex. In 1956 he began a seven-year run of appearances on Arthur Godfrey’s radio and tv shows. Godfrey claimed to have ‘discovered’ Nash. Perhaps in the same way that Diana Ross ‘discovered’ the Jackson 5, she didn’t and it was in fact Gladys Knight. Johnny’s recording career began in the fifties when he signed a deal with ABC-Paramount and released his debut single “A Teenager Sings The Blues” Indeed he even had some US hits. Notably a cover of the Doris Day song “A Very Special Love” in late 1958 and also “The Teen Commandments” The latter was actually a collaboration with Paul Anka and George Hamilton IV. ABC had tried to market Johnny as another Johnny Mathis which led to him becoming disillusioned and did nothing to enhance his fledgling career. In my opinion this suggests that even in the 50’s the record labels would still opt for the easy route. ABC had a handsome black crooner on their books so they thought the easiest step would be to market him just like another handsome black crooner; Johnny Mathis. I feel that both had very distinct voices and should have been developed and promoted as individuals.

An Early Shot Of Johnny Nash

An Early Shot Of Johnny Nash

This disillusionment with the record industry saw Nash take his first steps in what could have been a very successful parallel career as an actor with a starring role in the film “Take A Giant Step”. It turned out to be his only starring role. He played a black teenager raised in white neighbourhood who struggles to fit in. Johnny won a Silver Sail award from the Locarno International Film Festival for his performance. The film’s Executive Producer was Burt Lancaster. It was filmed in 1958. As far as I am aware there has never been a DVD release. In 1960 he appeared in the movie ‘Key Witness’ alongside the supremely talented Dennis Hopper which received some good reviews and a degree of critical acclaim in Europe. After this he made a return to the recording studio where he recorded a string of middle-of-the-road tunes. None of these singles (which included releases on the Warner Brothers, Groove and Argo labels amongst others) were able to even dent the charts so once again his singing career began to tail off. Eventually he recorded the R & B song “Let’s Move And Groove Together” in 1965. This reached the dizzy heights of the US R & B top 5. But perhaps much more significantly for Nash the record became a massive hit in Jamaica. He embarked on a promotional tour of Jamaica in 1967. In a follow up trip he recorded the single “Hold Me Tight” which was based around a very strong reggae groove. This recording was made at Byron Lee’s (off of Byron Lee and the Dragonaires) Federal Studios. The single was released on the JAD label, which Nash had set up with producer Arthur Jenkins and businessman Danny Simms. The label’s name was made up of the first letter of the owner’s first names. The song reached the top 5 in both the US and the UK. He also reached the top 40 again with a reggae cover of the late great Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” which has more recently been covered by the talented Miss Amy Winehouse. In the same period he also had a hit with a cover of the Bill Johnson song “You Got Soul” Sadly JAD folded in the early 70’s. Click here to listen to Johnny’s “(I’m So) Glad You’re My Baby” from 1967 and a cover of “Ole Man River” which I had never heard until I started researching this post, just click the title for that one 🙂

The cover of Johnny Nash's "Hold Me Tight" album

The cover of Johnny Nash’s “Hold Me Tight” album

After “Cupid” went higher in the UK chart (no. 6) than it did in the US (no. 39) Nash decided to move to the UK in 1971. That year he became the first artist to have a major hit with a Bob Marley composition, the classic “Stir It Up” This was the first Johnny Nash single I ever bought and it also made me search for more of Bob Marley’s music too. Nash had met the Wailers while visiting Jamaica in the late 60’s. Nash was impressed enough to sign Bob, Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh to an exclusive deal with JAD records. He also produced a number of songs for the band. By the time he released “Stir It Up” Nash was signed to CBS/ Epic Records. The follow up was the classic “I Can See Clearly Now” which was a top ten hit in the UK and went to the top of the charts in the US where it stayed for four weeks. Click here to see Johnny performing the song on Bert Sugarman’s Midnight Special TV Show in 1973. Many people have covered the song. Notably Jimmy Cliff for the movie ‘Cool Runnings’ and perhaps rather strangely, given that he was blind, Ray Charles. Following his success with a reggae influenced sound Johnny moved to Jamaica in 1972 where I believe he still owns a recording studio. The Wailers had backed Johnny on some of the recordings he made in 1971/72 and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick who also played with Free was a contributor to the ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ album. One of Bundrick’s songs and indeed one of my favourites from that album was “The Fish And The Alley Of Destruction” This has strangely been left off the extremely hard to find CD reissue of the album. Click here to listen to Johnny perform the excellent “Cream Puff”

The cover of Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" album

The cover of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” album

After this success in the early 70’s Nash had yet another chart hiatus despite releasing what I believe to be his best album “My Merry Go Round” in 1973. This has now been reissued on CD, you really should make every effort to buy it! He was back in the charts in July 1975 where he reached number one in the UK with the song “Tears On My Pillow” Contrary to some sources on the internet this was not a cover of the Little Anthony And The Imperials song of the same name nor is it the same song that Kylie Minogue released a few years back. The song was originally called “I Can’t Take It” and was written by Ernie Smith a Jamaican singer/songwriter

The cover of my favourite Johnny Nash album "My Merry Go Round"

The cover of my favourite Johnny Nash album “My Merry Go Round”

The cover of Johnny Nash's "Tears On My Pillow" album

The cover of Johnny Nash’s “Tears On My Pillow” album

Johnny had a few more chart hits in the 70’s, notably with another Sam Cooke cover “(What A) Wonderful World” he was known to be recording with engineer Andy Bradley at Sugarhill Studios in Houston in 2006, although this might have been remastering old material rather than recording anything new. He seems to have retired now although I would love to hear from someone who can tell me that isn’t the case. In the meantime I think it’s a travesty that his back catalogue has largely been ignored for CD reissue. “My Merry Go Round” and “Tears On My Pillow” were both reissued in 2007 and apart from a number of compilations that’s about it. Surely it’s about time all of the Nash albums were reissued on CD I for one would buy them all! Those reissues should also include an album he recorded with Kim Weston in the late 60s and also the score he recorded for a Swedish movie in 1971. Who knows if it hadn’t have been for Johnny maybe Bob Marley and indeed reggae wouldn’t have proved so successful and durable as it did. I’m not religious in any way but if I did believe in angels I reckon they would sing with a voice like the wonderfully talented Johnny Nash!

Johnny Nash with Andy Bradley at the Sugarhill Studios in Houston, Texas in April 2006

Johnny Nash with Andy Bradley at the Sugarhill Studios in Houston, Texas in April 2006

I would like to finish this post with my favourite Johnny Nash single “There Are More Questions Than Answers

If you’re a fellow Johnny Nash fan feel free to get in touch 🙂


Happy Birthday Mr Marley – Skank In Peace! February 9, 2009

Filed under: Observation,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:24 am
Tags: , , , ,

OK in fact I’m late with this one, the late and exceptionally great Robert Nesta Marley would have been 64 on 6th February. Although his passport actually stated April 6th. His father was an English army Captain, Norval Sinclair Marley originally from Liverpool in the UK. So not only are the Beatles roots in Liverpool, so are Bob Marley’s!

The Wailers on Whistle Test

The Wailers on Whistle Test

Sadly he succumbed to cancer on May 11th 1981 aged just 36. The disease began after he injured a toe playing football (soccer to those of you across the big pond) allegedly following a tackle from Journalist/ Broadcaster Danny Baker. His Rastafarian beliefs meant he refused to have the toe amputated, this might have saved him.

I became a Bob Marley fan quite early I suppose, probably around 1972 when Johnny Nash released his excellent “I Can See Clearly Now” album. What’s Johhny Nash got to do with it I hear you say? Well Mr Nash, as far as I am aware had the first UK and US hit with a Marley song, “Stir It Up”. This song dear friends was the first Bob Marley song I ever heard when it hit the UK charts in 1972 when I had just become a fully fledged teenage delinquent. On the “I Can See Clearly Now” album Johnny also covered three more Marley songs “Guava Jelly”, “Comma Comma” and “You Poured Sugar On Me”. You can see Bob singing “Stir It Up” here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6U-TGahwvs

The anorak in me meant that I always read the names of the composer and tried to find out more about them, so I started searching for the then elusive Marley When I eventually found out who he was I was really impressed I borrowed the “Catch A Fire” album from one of my school friends older brothers. Of course I made the obligatory (in those days anyway) cassette tape of the album and played it so much it wore out.
Dreadlocks in full flight
Eventually I bought my first Bob album in 1975, that was “Live At The Lyceum” and to this day that remains one of my favourite Marley albums. It contains, for me, the definitive version of the classic song “No Woman No Cry” definitely one of my all time favourites. It only managed number 22 in the UK charts though. This is one of the songs I want played at my funeral, maybe that will be an upcoming blog theme, songs for funerals. What do you think?

There is a great story behind the song too. When Marley was a struggling musician he was often helped out by a man called Vincent Ford who ran a soup kitchen in Kingston Jamaica. In return for all that assistance Bob gave Vincent Ford the writing credits for “No Woman No Cry”. Now that is generosity! Another thing that often gets misconstrued about the song is the meaning of title. It is written and sung as it would be spoken in Jamaican patois. It doesn’t mean he won’t cry because he doesn’t have a woman, Marley is asking his woman not to cry.

Check it out yourself and let me know what you think http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u2GpQzEu3Y

Bob Marley was often described as the first Third World Superstar and he certainly lived up to that with his support of change in Africa and indeed the politics of his home, Jamaica. In fact he was seen as such a strong and influential figure that an attempt was made on his life on December 3rd 1976. Shortly afterwards he went into self-imposed exile from Jamaica for around 16 months. On his return in April 1978 he and the Wailers headlined the “One Love Peace Concert” in Kingston where he famously united the then Prime Minister Michael Manley and his political opponent Edward Seaga. He probably would have had a lot to say about the current horrible state of affairs in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. probably more so than many of today’s spineless political leaders. In fact Marley played live with the Wailers at the Zimbabwe Independence celebrations in April 1980

Marley unites Michael Manley and Edward Seaga at the One Love Peace Concert

Marley unites Michael Manley and Edward Seaga at the One Love Peace Concert

Marley was father to 13 children some of whom have followed him into the music business. Stephen, Damian and Ziggy with a good degree of success.

Another Marley favourite for me is “Punky Reggae Party” which first appeared as the B Side to the “Jammin” single in the UK in February 1978. He tried to sum up how close punk and reggae had become in the UK during 1976/77. A great party tune and as a bonus he name checks a number of bands in the lyrics; the Wailers (obviously), the Maytals, Dr. Feelgood, the Damned, the Jam and the Clash (now they were truly a great band!). The song was co written with another reggae great, Lee “Scratch” Perry. Who also produced the Clash single “Complete Control”

I don’t have many regrets in my life, but one is that I didn’t take an opportunity to see Marley live in 1978. I was on a lads holiday in Spain in 1978 (you know the type – birds, booze, sun and sand) and Marley and the Wailers were playing in Barcelona which was just 30 minutes from our resort. There were tickets available but the holiday rep convinced us that we would get a serious beating from the mostly Spanish crowd, stupidly we took his advice and didn’t go

If you don’t have any Bob Marley in your collection I have one thing to say to you! Why? Go out and rectify things tomorrow, the best place to start would be to buy the Legend compilation. If you don’t have sufficient funds just sell all your Robbie Williams CD’s on E Bay, that should raise at least 5% of the cost if you’re lucky 🙂 You will come to know that I am not a fan of Robbies in anyway shape or form! You should check out the official Bob Marley page on MySpace too, you can hear four classic songs including his original version of “Stir It Up” which not only is a great song but also rather rude in a double entendre kind of way. “push the wood to light the fire” indeed 🙂 www.myspace.com/bobmarley

So to finish my first post here are a couple of great quotes from Mr Marley;

“Me only have one ambition, y’know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together – black, white, Chinese, everyone – that’s all” – I think we can all agree with that!

“Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction” – personally I’ve always preferred alcohol to weed, but to each their own!

“My music will go on forever. Maybe it’s a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever” – he was right about that!

And finally a word from Bart Marley 🙂


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