Friday, 23 July 2010
♫ Hello and welcome to another News and Views, full of all the latest theories, queries and everything else we feature in this series. There’s a lot more news items than usual this issue, so hurrah to the AAA groups for finally giving me something to write about – oh and while we’re at it a big boo for the search engine that wasted an hour of my time last week filling in a ‘free’ submission form before telling me the only way to stop it being rejected was to pay for it. I hope you feel well and truly snubbed once this site becomes world famous (we’re meant to be no 19 by the year 2109 according to our April 1st issue). Till the next time, happy reading!
♫ Beatles News: The first of two surprise reunions on our website this week. Paul McCartney was the special guest at a Ringo Starr All Starr concert last week, celebrating Ringo’s 70th birthday with a surprise reading of, suitably, ‘Birthday’ from the Beatles’ White Album. This was the first the two have performed in public since the Concert for George in 2002 (although Macca did guest on Ringo’s album ‘Y Not?’ earlier this year) and the first time the pair have played on that track together since the album sessions 42 years ago!
And in other news, listen out for a BBC6 repeat of the classic 1980s ‘At The Beeb’ series, featuring two full hours of Beatles re-recordings and links (only a small portion of which is available officially on the ‘Beatles at the BBC’ set). The show is on next Saturday and Sunday (July 31st/August 1st) and follows several others in the series including AAA favourites The Rolling Stones...
♫ Pink Floyd News: The second surprise reunion is David Gilmour guesting at a Roger Waters charity, some five years after the last big Floyd reunion at Live 8. The news comes as quite a shock to fans as Gilmour has been denying rumours of a full-scale Floyd get-together for some time – especially after the sad death of Rick Wright in 2008. More news if and when we hear it.
♫ Rolling Stones News: As mentioned above, BBC6 are repeating many of their classic ‘BBC Sessions’ programmes from the 1980s and include The Rolling Stones on Thursday (July 29th). Now, unusually, I’ve never heard this programme but it’s meant to be good. Let’s hope BBC6 keeps repeating classic documentaries like these and then it might get so many listeners its future will never be in doubt. Well, either that or they can go back to repeating 1970s heavy metal rubbish and watch their audience fall to zero again.
♫ Small Faces News: A DVD we meant to tell you about last month before DellBoy went wrong, ‘All Or Nothing 1965-68’ is a fantastic new documentary-come-rare footage set from production team ‘Reelin’ In The Years’ (famous for their jazz and motown stuff). The show features the absolutely fantastic footage from ‘Beat Beat Beat’ in 1966 (we’ve mentioned it a few times on this site already – never has rock and roll been rawer or more exciting!), the complete ‘Odgen’s ‘ episode of ‘Colour Me Pop’ featuring Stanley Unwin’s unfathomamothabilitusis narration and various promo videos. The footage is linked by narration from the archives of Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane (from his last interview in the 1980s) and new interviews with Ian Mclagan and Kenney Jones although – in one of the best moves by a DVD company ever – you can choose to watch just the footage without the modern bits in the middle (even if one or two tracks seem to be missing when you do this). This first batch of the series, labelled ‘The British Invasion’, also features sets by Gerry and The Pacemakers, Herman’s Hermits and Dusty Springfield. Let’s hope for some releases by The Who, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Stones et al in batch two!!
♫ Cat Stevens News: A new biography simply titled ‘Cat Stevens’ is due out in August. The set, which is being advertised on Amazon for around £10 at the time of asking, is part of the ‘Biography Channel’ season (they did one on the Grateful Dead we mentioned a while back, although we still haven’t got round to buying it yet) and is only the third Cat Stevens DVD we know about (along with ‘Cafe Sessions’ and ‘Majikat’).
ANNIVERSARIES (July 19-25th): Happy birthdays to the following AAA musicians: two sadly missed members of the AAA fraternity on July 19th – Clarence White (guitarist with The Byrds 1968-72) who would have been 66 and Keith Godchaux (keyboardist with The Grateful Dead 1973-79) who would have been 62; also John Lodge (bassist with The Moody Blues 1967-present) who turns 67 on July 20th and Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam who turns 63 on July 21st. Anniversaries of events include: One of Otis Reddings’ last projects, with Carla Thomas, ‘Tramp’ reaches the charts (July 19th 1967); Simon and Garfunkel begin their first reunion tour, which will break down in recriminations a few months later (July 19th 1983); Jane Asher shocks the music press by announcing her six-month long engagement to Paul McCartney is off, after the couple have spent nearly five years together (July 20th 1968); 4000 fans unable to get tickets to a Beatles show in Blackpool rush the arena and the Beatles have to get flown in by helicopter (July 21st 1963); The Beatles’ first American album ‘Introducing...’ is released on the small label Vee Jay Records. It becomes the only Beatles LP to miss the charts in America (July 22nd 1963); The Dire Straits’ first eponymously titled record hits the LP charts (July 22nd 1978); Four days after his 31st birthday Grateful Dead keyboardist dies in a car crash (July 23rd 1979); Jefferson Airplane receive their only gold disc for ridiculously high sales of their second album ‘Surrealistic Pillow’ (July 24th 1967); Brian Jones’ last ever Stones concert – and the last any of the band did for three years – takes place in San Francisco (July 25th 1966); A year later The Beatles publish their infamous advert in The Times calling for the legalisation of marijuana (how the band ever got Brian Epstein to sign too I’ll never know...) (July 25th 1967); Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin release their second, last and best loved album ‘Cheap Thrills’ (July 25th 1968); Neil Young’s first performance with CSN, barely a week after the trio’s debut album came out (July 25th 1969) and finally, The Beach Boys return to their old hit making ways – briefly – with well received LP ‘Surf’s Up’ (July 25th 1971).
♫ We’ve all done it haven’t we? Studied a Monopoly board thinking ‘I could do better than that’ and working out what songs would be ‘Mayfair’ and which would be ‘Old Kent Road’ (what do you mean you haven’t?!? We’ve done it several times!) So for this edition of ‘News, Views and Music’ we’ve decided to modify our usual top five to offer you the lowdown on the most desirable AAA properties there to buy (on CD, at least, if not a real Monopoly board). As a little extra, your two members of AAA staff have decided to play this game under the same rules as Radio 4’s ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue’s ‘Mornington Crescent’ (Fortheringay rules 1894 with a triple twist wordscore, naturally). In order to play we’ve started our guinea pig players off with £200 each (and luckily we’re playing this game before the ridiculous decision to raise the VAT prices goes up, David Cameron hang your head in shame...yet again...)
Hmm, how to start... Perhaps a safe bet. How about ‘Abbey Road’? (Mayfair, title of Beatles album 1969, rent £50, recently at a cheaper price from EMI)
....Interesting decision. In that case let’s move left down the street to ‘The Long and Winding Road’ (Park Lane, Beatles track ‘Let It Be’, 1970, rent £35 pending Apple law suit, but will it lead to your door? Only if you live on Park Lane.)
Just to stop you looking smug, next comes ‘The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion) (Regent Street, 1st Grateful Dead single 1967, rent £26 and presumably a bag of LSD, ‘hey hey come fly away and join the party every day!’)
...If you’re going down the Dead line then I’ll have to travel down the back lanes into ‘Shakedown Street’ (Pentonville Road, Grateful Dead song and album title 1979, rent £8 - not much shaking on shakedown street)
Hmm, just as long as you don’t try to build a ‘Mars Hotel’ on it. While we’re down the back end of town I’m going to try ‘Old Dirt Road’ (Euston Road, John Lennon track from ‘Walls and Bridges’ LP 1974, rent £6 - everybody’s hustling for a buck and a dime)
...While I clean the mud of my wellington boots here comes ‘Broad Street’ (Bond Street, Paul McCartney film and soundtrack album 1984, rent £28 – no more lonely nights this end of town!)
That was a nice visit, give it my regards. Next up I’m feeling groovy so it’s down to the 49th Bridge Street (Bow Street, Simon and Garfunkel track from 1967 album ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme’, rent £14 - life I love you, all is groovy).
...Right time to get you out the groove with what is Positively 4th Street (Vine Street, Byrds track from live section of ‘Untitled’ LP 1970, rent £16 - pick up your tent because you ain’t going nowhere! Ha! Top Hat That!)
Looks like I’m forced to use evasive measures so here’s a long journey round the 14 minute opus Telegraph Road (which really turns on the Water Works, Dire Straits track from LP ‘Love Over Gold’ 1982, rent £4-times-the-amount-on-the-dice - come with me and I’ll take you away out of the darkness and into the day)
...That road still didn’t last as long as my next offering, ‘Eternity Road’ (Piccadilly, Moody Blues track from 1969 LP ‘To Our Children’s Children’s Children, rent £24 - searching to find some peace of mind)
Horrors! No wonder I’m having a Kansas City Nightmare on the 18th Avenue (Northumberland Avenue, Cat Stevens song from 1972 album ‘Catch-Bull At Four’, rent £22 - and cold potatoes too!, just down the street from ‘Portobello Road’, do I get extra for that one?!)
...Hmm this game’s taken a bit of a turn for the worse. Is that ‘Bleecker Street’ I see up ahead?! (Whitechapel Road, Simon and Garfunkel track from 1964 album ‘Wednesday Morning, 5AM’, rent £4 - that’s funny, its $30 pays your rent in the song, it must be a sale this week)
Time for a real road now with that infamous Ray Davies diatribe about a well known road of songwriters Denmark Street (Definitely not a community chest, perhaps the ‘Go To jail’ square, Kinks track from 1970 LP ‘Lola Versus Powerman and the Merry-Go-Round’, rent, huh, you’ll be lucky, more like lawyer’s fees pay £200)
...Well if you’re in a Kinks mood then I’m in ‘Dead End Street’ (Old Kent Road – what else? - Kinks single 1966, rent £2 - my feet are nearly frozen, boil the tea and put some toast on quick!)
Thank goodness they’re out the way, this neighbourhood is looking up now. Let’s try ‘Long Promised Road’ for size (Oxford Street, Beach Boys song from 1971 album ‘Surf’s Up, rent £26 - let my soul automatically soar)
...I’m having a belated sense of ‘Salvation Road’ (Leicester Square, Kinks track from 1973 album ‘Preservation Act II’, rent £22 - we’ll all hold hands and all sing a song and all mark time as we go’)
Well, I’m having a spiritual turn now I’m near the end of the board with ‘Spirit Road’ (The Strand, Neil Young song from 2007 album ‘Chrome Dreams II’, rent £18 - it’s a long highway in your mind, you know)
...Well I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground, here on ‘Natural Avenue’ (Trafalgar Square, song and album by Moody Blues bassist John Lodge, rent £20)
Goodness knows where I am now. Must be the ‘Road To Kingdom Come’ (Marlborough Street, track on 1st Lindisfarne album ‘Nicely Out Of Tune’ 1970, rent £14 - as I turn my face back to the sun, condemned to walk the road to kingdom come)
...Well I know where I am, I’m in America – doing the Wall Street Shuffle to be precise - moaning at all the banks for losing all our money gambling (Fleet Street because the newspapers are always writing about it, a single by 10cc and track from their 1972 album ‘Sheet Music’, rent £18 - they plead with you ‘brother can you spare a dime?’, but you ain’t got the time’)
I’m running out of roads but I’ve still got some stations up my sleeve. First up an obvious one seeing as it really is on the Monopoly board, ‘King’s Cross Blues’ (King’s Cross Station, a track from the 1978 Lindisfarne album ‘Back and Fourth’ , rent £25 per station owned – I wish this King’s Cross Station didn’t have to be so far!)
...Alright then, two can play at this game. I’m In ‘Terrapin Station’ (or rather ‘Marleybone Station’ – same thing really – a track and album by The Grateful Dead 1977, rent £25 per station owned – some have lied, some have cried, some have died just to get to Terrapin, just left going out of Carlisle)
Is that a ‘Train’ I see ‘In The Distance’? (I’m getting desperate now...) (Liverpool Street Station, a track from Paul Simon’s 1983 album ‘Hearts and Bones’, rent £25 per station owned – everyone loves the sound of a train in the distance, they just don’t like it passing through’, especially in the tunnels at Liverpool’s Central Station where they make one heck of a din)
...Well I passed through there Yesterday, so that’s ‘Yesterday’s Train’ to me now (Fenchurch Street Station, yet another track from the 1970 Byrds ‘Untitled’ LP, rent £25 per station owned)
Right, I’m getting desperate now. How about ‘4 Way Street’? (Whitehall, the title of a CSNY concert recording from 1971, rent £10 – and if you can find the cost of freedom, that would be helpful as well)
Continuing the CSN theme I’ve got a ‘Street To Lean On’ (Pall Mall to be precise; a track from the 1994 CSN album ‘After The Storm’, rent £12 – she got no galleria, she got no Pall Mall, all she got is the street to lean on and the gutter where I fall after paying the rent on the next property no doubt)
My finances are getting low too – but I don’t know when I’m beat, that’s why I’m your ‘Shadow In The Street’ (The Angel, Islington; Allan Clarke track from 1979 LP ‘I Wasn’t Born Yesterday’, rent £6 – I must have been born yesterday to charge that low price!)
Blimey we’re getting close now. But not closer to home because I’m in ‘Blue Jay Way’ (Coventry Street, a track from the 1967 Double EP ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ by The Beatles, rent £22, but please don’t be long on paying it or I may be asleep....z...z.z.z.z.z.z.z.z.z.z.z.z)
Err, Umm, Ooh, Hec, I can’t think of anymore and we’re only one property away from completing the board.
...Does that mean I win?
I think it does...
...Yippee! ‘Mornington Crescent’ (The Electric Company because, well, this track is electrifying, a track by Belle and Sebastian from their 2005 CD ‘The Life Pursuit’, rent £4-times-the-amount-shown-on-the-dice - ‘Mornington Crescent, I think of you, when I’m in the South East and I’m feeling blue’)
What a victory! What can I spend my winnings on? Everything in next week’s news column probably! We hope you’ve enjoyed this little sojourn round our heads. More strangeness next week!