Monday, 23 September 2013

Last tired gasp of Bizarre Beatles Coincidences


 One final astonishing set of Beatles coincidences has recently been sent to me by a reader of this blog. I present them below.

The production of the Beatles' Lady Madonna owes a great deal to Humphrey Lyttleton's Bad Penny Blues. That much is beyond dispute.

What is less well known, however, is that "Bad Penny" was a character in the comic Smash!, created by Leo Baxendale and based on his own character Minnie the Minx in the Beano; Baxendale had left DC Thomson by the mid sixties so could no longer draw the anarchic tomboy he had created.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Thunderbirds are Wash 'n' Go!

It's not music-related, but I just had a really good idea which I'd like to share.

I like to swim, and I take shampoo and shower gel for afterwards. Obviously there's no point in taking big heavy bottles so I usually decant stuff into two small bottles, but even so it seems a lot to be carrying about, especially if you've got a back problem like me. I wondered about having one bottle with two compartments, maybe a stopper at top and bottom, or perhaps having a tiny bottle of shampoo within a bigger (but not too big) gel bottle with a wide neck.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Birch tree agonised - please advise

On a certain social networking site I have been entertaining (or not) family and friends with youtube clips of fave songs which actually might be better placed here. I think the reason I haven't placed them here is that a few lines of writing doesn't seem adequate, and the best pieces on this blog have, I think, been the longer, more considered ones. But those arose out of having no other writing activities on the go, a situation which has changed. So, on the understanding that this is low level, Division Two stuff in terms of care, the following series of posts contain some of those songs and what I wrote to my limited audience at the time. Or, as in this case, writing taken from an earlier blog post.

Not long after the news of his death I was upstairs in Tower Records in Picadilly Circus when they were playing On Again! On Again! (the album). There was an additional pleasure in hearing it unexpectedly, and at such a time. Not exactly on the scale of the vigil at the Dakota, but someone working in the shop must have been responding to the death - or scenting a marketing opportunity. Whichever it was, the music felt like a glass of cool, clear water after whatever aural alcopops had just been blasting out, and I delighted in being reminded of his capacity for taking pains with details - "rascally episcopal", "pussyfooting butcherman", not to mention "wild as little strawberries" - but it was The Rain on the Mountainside, with its blind persistence and final note of defiant hope, which got to me most - and it is clearly poetry, not comic verse. A bare transcript cannot convey the strange half-growl ("singing in hi-i-i-is") with which he invests the final line.

As a sort of companion, here is Van Morrison's The Philosopher's Stone.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

To our joys a C.L.O.G.(S.)

When Frank Zappa used a phrase like "cretinous love songs of greasy simplicity" he may have been thinking about records like this. I don't think I've heard this before today but it sounds awfully familiar - at least I could predict every change. And I love it.

I'm presuming these Markeys are not the Mar-Keys of Last Night fame - in fact I'd be willing to bet money on it. The sound is not dissimilar to various New Orleans vocal groups I'm familiar with from a compilation entitled Lost Dreams.

I looked at Unca Marvy's website and found a reference to a song called Eternal Love recorded by the Heralds, but this is a different song. Then there was a page on Marv's site about the Marquees, which mentions there were lots of groups with a similar name ... You know what? In the past I would have happily gone down  a series of alleyways and come up with some vaguely interesting discoveries.

But if you're wondering about the heading for this post, wonder no more.