Monday, 11 June 2012
News, Views and Music Issue 148 (Intro)
Dear all, did we really have a full five and a half hours of coverage of The Queen waving from a boat on prime time television last Monday? It was the worst television since MTV ran a Spice Girls day! The comments were sickening as well ‘I can’t believe all the work that’s been done to make this day happen – err a few boats made it from A to B down a river without the mad old passengers falling in the water. Well done! Now how about helping the nation’s homeless while you’re about it (the London homeless quarters could literally see all this money being wasted from their site, a thought that angers me beyond belief). I don’t know if it’s the same round your way but my street’s gone mad this month, with bunting and union jacks staring at me in a sea of confused red white and blue wherever I look. Everything I read now seems to have a British theme about it too, whether Jubilee or Olympics related. Don’t worry though, we’re going to stay the one voice of sanity in amongst all this patriotic piffle – so only one more mention of anything British the whole issue through!
Instead we have to tell you how our websites are doing: our ‘first’ at www.alansalbumarchives.moonfruit.com is now on 18,720 hits – and is well on target for being the shortest time we’ve ever had to wait to make 1000 hits; our second at www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk is doing well too, now at over 200 views with Otis Redding still the most popular article ahead of Macca’s ‘Kisses On The Bottom’ review and our latest time travel April 1st edition. We’ve also had lots more views in the US to join the UK and Russia and now have had hits in Australia, Germany, Poland and Sweden too. Welcome to all our new readers to both sites – and a big friendly hug to all of our regulars! You can now leave comments for us on our Blogspot site so let us know what you think (simply scroll down to the bottom of each article) and you can still comment on our ‘welcome page’ or forum on our moonfruit one.
Anyway, that’s enough babbling from me, it’s on with our much-delayed Monkees review we originally planned to publish in February before the untimely death of Davy Jones...
STOP PRESS: We’ve just learned that two months ago David Cameron accidentally left his eight-year-old daughter alone at a pub in Buckhinghamshire where the family was having Sunday lunch for 15 minutes before he sheepishly came back for her. Easy to do I know – but proof perhaps of how unthinking our beloved prime minister is about anyone but himself (and as all the headlines are saying, if he can’t look after his daughter how can he look after the country?!) By the way Cameron is due to appear at the Leveson inquiry soon and is now being investigated for offering time over lunch for cash – I can’t wait for the outcome of all this bad publicity!
♫ Beatles News: Paul McCartney played a subdued set at the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at Buckingham palace, one of dozens of expensive tatty bits of property the Queen bought with your hard earned money. With his normal band on tow he seemed to go out of his way to play a different set to the one at the Silver Jubilee (in 2002) singing some less than expected songs (‘Magical Mystery Tour’ ‘All My Loving’ ‘Let It Be’ ‘Live and Let Die’ and, err, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da – when’s he going to learn that’s one of the few Beatles songs most people hate?!) Macca looked unusually thin and gaunt throughout the mini concert and wasn’t his usual exuberant self at all, so let’s hope he’s OK and it was just a rough day (he does turn 70 in a fortnight’s time after all and I’d love to still be as active as Macca when I’m that age. Actually I’d love to be that active at my age but that’s another story...). Apparently Macca’s booked to be the closing act of the opening ceremony too – we can hardly wait (that’s sarcasm, by the way).
♫ Dire Straits News: Mark Knopfler will have a new album out in September, with the working title ‘Privateering’. It’s only been three years since the last album (2009’s ‘Get Lucky’) but Mark’s been busy with this new set a double CD featuring no less than 20 new songs – a far cry from the Dire Straits days when there were seven years between albums! Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher plays on most of the album although no other band members seem to be involved. More news if and when!
♫ Neil Young News: STOP PRESS AGAIN! I was within seconds of posting this newsletter when I learnt that Neil Young gave a rather informative interview for Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’ programme last Friday, June 8th – unless I missed one that’s the first interview he’s given in the UK since the CSNY album ‘Looking Forward’ in 1999. Neil is plugging his latest Crazy Horse album ‘Americana’ and discussed why he’s singing ‘God Save The Queen’ on the album (its what American settlers sang – and what Neil sang in his school assemblies), the fact that a good half of the album used to be in the set of Neil’s first band The Squires back in 1963, the fact that he correctly predicted the rise of Barack Obama on his 200-4 song ‘Lookin’ For A leader’ back when he was an outside choice as Democrat leader (never mind president) and that the early 70s was ‘my chance to shine and be first – every artist gets one in their lifetime!’ The interview runs for a full half hour and is well worth catching – it’ll be on the BBC’s I-player till Thursday so get a move on quick!
ANNIVERSARIES: Many happy returns are in order for the following AAA musicians (born between June 13th and 19th: Paul McCartney, who turns an amazing 70 on June 18th. Anniversaries of events include: 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) and finally, 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).