Saturday 12 May 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 143 (Intro)

May 12th:

Dear friends, at last a cause for celebration”! No, scratch that, four causes for celebration! First up, The Hollies set of BBC sessions ‘Radio Fun’ is out at the end of this week and hasn’t magically disappeared from the schedules like so many fascinating projects have (not yet, anyway). You may recall that we half-asked for this set as long ago as newsletter 24, so you could say it’s been quite a time coming. And at 2 CDs and 35 tracks is a lot longer than I ever expected. Expect a full review shortly! Secondly, our site has now passed the magical mark of 17,000 hits and this month we shaved a whole 24 hours off the record for the fastest 1000 visitors – can we do it even quicker in May?!

Thirdly, I still haven’t heard from the dreaded ATOS-pots about my next medical – doubtless it’s in the post as I speak but any delay in going through that godawful process where everyone assumes you’re a huge criminal and deliberately ignore the answers from the patient and your doctor has got to be good. Frankly, this is an awful process and I really feel for those currently being booted off employment and support allowance because of paying ‘contributions’ over the years – yeah, right, and you’re expected to keep that all as savings all those years are you? Incidentally, shame on Denmark for still treating ME/CFS cases as psychiatric ones – why the hell hasn’t money been spent analysing the ‘abnormalities’ we know happen physically with CFS (try the root ganglia in the spine, genetic fluctuations, the immune system which we know works less well – anything but psychiatry – in my experiences the only people interested in psychology are the ones who need a psychologist the most). Incidentally, two links you all should have: is a website devoted to news stories around the UK for people who have taken their own life/died from stress directly because of the unfair Coalition benefit system (the Government keep trying to take it down, so apologies if you’re reading this a way into the future and the link no longer works) and which is a link to an excellent documentary about ME and the deaths that surround it that deserves to be seen by everyone. Together we can beat this prejudice, which is of course what this site is all about (music is still the best art-form of beating prejudice).

And fourthly? David Cameron is really coming in for attacks from all sides this week. An interesting article in the I paper (sister to the independent, but cheaper) showed what a really ugly side Cameron’s had in the house of commons lately, being rude and obnoxious to anyone who raises a point of interest he doesn’t like – and that includes the 70 and 80-year-old back benchers who’ve lived through these harsh times before and don’t want to see Cameron making them again. Also, Cameron’s stood by his culture secretary Jeremy Hunt in a rare display of compassion, over his illegal and undeclared links to the Murdoch newspaper group – the fact that culture secretary then gets all the hits instead of the pm has not gone un-noticed. People are baying for his blood, something we’ve been doing since before his election. Now that people have seen the real Cameron, surely it’s more than obvious that he’s an unfit leader out to line the pockets of his upper-class friends and that he does not have a mandate on how to get us out of the trouble he largely caused. And that’s what’s in my head as I walk to the polls today for the local election, that we must get anyone in charge other than Cameron by any means possible. #CoalitiongonebyXmas


Crosby-Nash/Yoko Ono News: Theres a new four CD box set out raising money for the Wall Street Occupancy charity of protestors slightly miffed that 4% of the worlds population own 99% of the wealth. Its called Occupy This Album and at the moment only seems to be released in America understandably perhaps the British press have ignored it completely! In total 99 exclusive tracks are being included on the compilation, with Crosby-Nash by far the biggest names (theyre actually listed first on the CD sleeve!) As yet the track name hasnt been released yet it could be one of the exciting new Crosby/Nash originals heard in concert and not yet on an official album (two made it to the Crosby-Nash In Concert DVD from last year and were the best things on it!) Unfortunately, perhaps because its only available on import, the price at the moment is colossal so much for breaking capitalism, eh, at least in the UK! Crosby and Nash have long been supporters of the campaign you may remember we posted a link to a picture of Crosby speaking with protestors which no other music publication seemed to cover and Nash has said in a press release: The Occupation movement is really the ‘Voice of the People’…. It’s an idea that’s been a long time coming….
I fully support their non-violent protests against a system that is carefully crafted in favor of the rich 1%. The ability for people to unite behind the idea that our very constitution is supposed to guarantee freedom of speech is a wonderfully sight to behold… we have to take our country back from the corporate state …”
Yoko’s contribution is rather more unexpected and equally mysterious to date, especially seeing as the makers of the ‘occupy’ website haven’t filled in her ‘biog’ page yet, although you sense the protest is exactly the sort of thing the JohnandYoko team of the late 60s/.early 70s would have loved. The date for the CD release is Tuesday, May 8th and the full link to the press release can be seen here:

Kinks News: Another oddity listed by our partners Amazon is a mouth-watering six disc box set entitled The Kinks At The BBC. Weve known for years that there were a lot more BBC sessions than ever made it to the bands two disc set (1964-77) and indeed a few more have surfaced on both the Kinks Music Box set and the recent deluxe edition sets. However, as yet theres no track selection for the songs, with the release date given as far away as August 21st, although the bands official site says one of the disc will be a DVD (presumably with the 1972 In Concert and possibly the 1977 Kinks Xmas Koncert included, both showt for various BBC shows). There is a picture of the box, though, which looks lovely. Another one for the Christmas list, perhaps?

Searchers News: Heads up about a new Searchers box set which takes up a massive six CDs yes thats right, despite the fact that The Searchers only ever released seven albums! Its not out till the end of June, sadly, but Hearts In Their Eyes has appeared on Amazon listings already. As well as the usual run of A sides, B sides, EPs and album tracks theres selections from the now hard-to-find Iron Door Club session tapes, the live tracks included on the 45th anniversary collection set, the excellent Swedish radio broadcasts and the two hard-to-find 1970s albums. Most exciting of all are a whole group of rarely heard solo singles by Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis after they left the group, some of which have never been released on CD before to the best of my knowledge. More news if and when we hear it!

Paul Simon News: BBC6 are giving a third repeat to our beloved documentary series The Paul Simon Songbook. Weve covered this excellent seven part series twice in these newsletters already suffice to say its the model for any good interview series, with Paul on top form and relevant contributions from everyone involved in his duo and solo records (Art Garfunkel is a particularly on form interviewee!) The series was first broadcast in 1990 when Rhythm Of The Saints came out and can now be heard in the 4am documentary slot starting on Saturday, May 17th.

The Who News: Apologies for the late post but Roger Daltrey was the latest guest on BBC6 musics new series My top 10. Roger got to play lots of records by his favourites including fellow AAA star John Lennon singing Stand By Me and with tastes that varied from rockabilly to punk. What was most interesting, though, was the interview where Roger confessed that Live Earth might be the last gig The Who ever play (though Pete Townshend has been known to change his mind!), his love of fishing, how much he misses singing and what a mad unique indivual Keith Moon was! The show was broadcast at 4am on Friday, May 4th and should be available on I-player until at least this Thursday.

ANNIVERSARIES: Birthday greetings to the following AAA members born between May 2nd and 8th: Jo Callis (synthesiser with The Human League 1981-85) who turns 57 on May 2nd. Anniversaries of events include: A sad day for collectors as The Beach Boys officially scrap ‘Smile’ (May 2nd 1967); On the same day in 1979 The Who’s film ‘Quadrophenia’ premieres – a mere six years after the double album of the same name came out – and The Who Two debut in concert, with Small Faces drummer Kenny Jones taking over from Keith Moon a year after the latter drummer’s death (May 2nd); Pink Floyd’s single ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ is famously banned in South America after children take it up as a rallying cry against the poor education and services on offer there (May 2nd 1980); Happy birthday recorded music! Yes it was this week in 1886 (May 4th to be exact!) that a patent was awarded to Chichester Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter for their invention of the gramophone; and Happy 45th Birthday Moody Blues, who were formed a mere 78 years after the gramophone on May 4th 1964; the Buffalo Springfield disband on May 5th 1968 after four glorious but frustrated years with a final show at Long Beach, California (please release the soundtrack of this show, Atlantic!); Mick Jagger and Keith Richards buy a new fuzz-box for their guitar and, duly inspired, end up writing their key song ‘Satisfaction’ the same day (May 6th 1965), Paul Simon sets out on his first solo tour three years after the break-up of Simon and Garfunkel (May 6th 1973) and finally, An unbeaten record on May 8th 1965 – no less than nine record in the American top 10 are British (the Beatles’ ‘Ticket To Ride’ and the Stones’ ‘The Last Time’ among them).

And for those born between May 9th and 15th: Graham Gouldmann (bassist with 10cc 1972-83 plus re-unions) who turns 66 on May 10th and Ian McLagan (keyboardist with the Small Faces 1966-68) who turns 67 on May 12th. Anniversaries of events include: the Beatles officially sign their contract with EMI and become recording artists, although they won’t actually release anything until October (May 9th 1962); a year later on the same day, Paul McCartney meets long-term girlfriend Jane Asher for the first time following a prestigious gig for the band at the Albert Hall; The Rolling Stones record debut single ‘C’mon’ (May 10th 1963); the Beatles officially dissolve Apple Records after eight years (May 10th 1975); the famous London ‘Games For May’ concert at which Pink Floyd played, among others, debuting their top five single ‘See Emily Play’ (May 12th 1967), the first ‘new’ Beatles release in seven years – ‘Live at the Hollywood Bowl’ – is released (May 13th 1977). Amazingly we’re still waiting for an official CD release even now in 2012!,The Beatles cause consternation up and down the country by – shock horror – refusing an invitation to play for The Queen at the London Palladium (does the silly woman not read the news for crying out loud? The Beatles hadn’t played a gig in two years by then! May 14th 1968) and finally, Pink Floyd get into serious trouble with the organisers after a gig at London’s Crystal Palace when, due to a combination of their blistering sound system and use of a 50-foot inflatable octopus, half the fish in the lake nearby die (May 15th 1970).

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