Friday 11 June 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 64 (Intro)

June 11:

♫ Hello once again to everyone’s favourite...ha you thought I was going to say ‘Monkeynuts’ didn’t you? Well, no, everybody’s favourite newsletter featuring a review of one of the most obscure Monkees albums. In the meantime its happy birthday to two leading musical geminis Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, congratulations are in order for making 1240 views since last October and commiserations to us all as David Cameron promises to make our lives a misery in the budget but only if we’re poor to begin with and the world cup robs us of all the decent programmes on the telly. I’d stay in and read some back reviews of this website if I were you, there’s nothing else on...


♫ Beatles News: Two bits of Macca news for you this issue: The first is that McCartney and his band are headlining this year’s Isle Of Wight Festival – the 9th show since the 1970s classic was revived - closing the show on Sunday night, June 13th. Macca is one of many acts on the bill keen to cement the Isle Of Wight’s status as a leading ‘green’ festival after winning an award for their environmentally friendly weekend last year. You can see Macca’s show on ITV and ITV 2 at 10pm and 1am on Sunday respectively. 

In other news, Macca was given a lifetime achievement award by President Obama last week, performing a short set for the White House staff and assorted guests. Macca revived ‘Michelle’ for the first time in a few years in honour of the First Lady before telling assorted press to ‘lay off’ the president near the end of his difficult first year in office. 

♫ Beatles/Hollies/Pink Floyd: ‘EMI: Facing The Music’ was broadcast on Monday, June 7th (and still available on BBC I-player for the next week or so) and discussed the problems of one of the world’s leading music labels. There wasn’t much music played, alas, but we did learn that the recent Beatles re-issue bonanza netted the label £13million last year – although that still isn’t enough to prevent the sale of Abbey Road Studios.

♫ Hollies News: The second part of the strangely titled ‘They Ain’t Heavy, They’re The Hollies’ wasn’t quite as good as the first, not because of the music (70s Hollies are almost as good as 60s Hollies) but because there were less interviews with the people around (Terry Sylvester was missing, for instance, for whatever reason). There weren’t any unreleased tracks this time around either, although there was a hearing for the rare Hollies-backing-Buddy-Holly tribute ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ (masterminded by original member Graham Nash) and a sweet story about the Hollies story going full circle with Nash and Clarke together on stage for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (how the band started back in the 1950s). Let’s hope this programme sees a boost to the band’s following – they certainly deserve it and a decent TV documentary sometime soon as well.

♫ Oasis News: BBC4 are celebrating Britpop on Friday, June 11th – is Britpop really old enough for a celebration yet and when did it officially end?! – but shockingly have no special programmes or even a repeat about the era’s leading band Oasis (even though Blur get two). Expect lots of them in the era documentary ‘The Story Of Britpop, though, at 9.15pm.  Oh and breaking news: Saturday, June 12th sees the screening of one of the shortest – and weirdest- documentaries yet about any band. ‘Oasis: What’s Your Story?’ is a 15 minute doc featuring fans of the band talking about their favourite moments from the band’s history (alas the only name issued to the press so far is a blooming footballer!) A repeat of the rather more serious doc ‘Lord Don’t Slow Me Down’ follows, which is good if rather dull and shot in monochrome for no good reason.

♫ ANNIVERSARIES: The birthday cards are in the post for the following AAA members (June 14th-20th): Paul McCartney (do I really need to tell you who he is?!) turns 68 on June 18th (the same day as Nick Drake, interestingly) and Brian Wilson (bassist, songwriter, singer and so much with The Beach Boys 1962-1988) who turns 68 on June 20th. Anniversaries of events include: The Graham Nash-organized ‘No Nukes’ concert campaigning for nuclear disarmament, featuring the first CSN reunion since 1977 takes place (June 14th 1981); Some interesting tour dynamics next – the Rolling Stones fly back to the UK partway through their first American tour to honour a commitment to Oxford’s Magdelen College for a fee of £50 (30 times less than the cost of the flight for band and crew!) (June 16th 1964); The Monterey Pop festival takes place featuring AAA bands Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Otis Redding and Simon and Garfunkel (June 16-18th 1967); The Byrds’ first week on the UK charts, with ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ on its way to #1 (June 17th 1965); On the same day The Kinks start their first American tour – and after certain shenanigans on the plane on the way over, their last till the 1970s (June 17th 1965); The Beatles’ ‘Butcher sleeve’ is released on the cover of American album ‘Yesterday and Today’ – and is recalled in its thousands after horrified fans complain about the slabs of meat on the cover (June 17th 1966); The first recording by 10cc – sort of – is released on its way to #2, ‘Neanderthal Man’ by ‘Hotlegs’ (as a trio before Graham Gouldmann joined) (June 19th 1970) and finally, The Prince’s Trust benefit concert of 1986 takes place in London’s Wembley Arena with Paul McCartney and Dire Straits among those taking part (June 20th 1986).   

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