Monday, 19 November 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 171 (Intro)

November 28th:
Dear all, here we are again with another newsletter dedicated as ever to news, views and music. To be honest I’m writing this edition right to the wire of our Monday posting deadline and we have quite a lengthy review for you this week as well as quite a few TV and radio news round-ups so I won’t waffle on (yet). The only thing to mention is that our sites now have a collective hit rate of 32,862 and we’ve been a big hit in Latvia this week! One thing I do have to add though, no doubt with more next week, is that Cameron has said this morning that he’s ‘sick of red tape’ delaying Government laws and the rest of the Commons a- and the media – have murmured in support. If so they’re all thick – we need the appeals system the Coalition is taking away so that we can fight the Government when they get it wrong (which is the vast majority of the time these days). If they take the ability to appeal to an independent third party away we no longer have a democratic Government – we have a Stalinesque totalitarian regime where you are no longer allowed to question official decisions (and even with the best will in the world where there are human beings in charge there will be mistakes). This scheme is wicked and the worst step yet towards our freedoms being stripped away, with only the coalition evil enough to think of it and only our present media stupid enough to let it pass without a fuss. I rest my case. There’s quite a few TV and radio AAA appearances to mention this week but don’t forget to check out our other news stories in this handy newspaper-style format:

♫ Beach Boys News: BBC4 spend next Friday, November 30th discussing the new Beach Boys reunion with a documentary 'Doin' It Again' and a repe4at screening of the band's 1980 Knebworth concert - their last with the full band before Dennis Wilson's death in 1983 and yet another repeat of the Dennis Wilson documentary 'The Real Beach Boy'.

♫ Beatles News: The old Beatles-Stones rivalry is back! While BBC2 devotes next Saturday again to their new Stones documentary, ITV are competing with Paul McCartney's 'Live Kisses On The Bottom' concert, showing at 11pm on ITV. While hardly the m,ost scintillating of albums for Macca to perform (see our reviwew...), it does mean we won't have to fork out a fortune for the DVD so hats off ITV!

♫ Kinks News: Entertaining new series ‘Mastertapes’ on Radio 4 has been a big hit so far, asking musicians in the present day to re-asses an old album (often not the most obvious ones) and re-visit their youthful songs in the present with bare, acoustic performances. Divided into two programmes looking at the ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides independently, it’s been an intriguing twist on an old formula and I’ve been waiting for an AAA band member to take part. At last its here: Ray Davies discusses both ‘Lola Vs Powerman’ and ‘Muswell Hillbillies’ on Tuesday, November 27th and Monday, December 2nd at 3.30pm on Radio 4, which should be a treat indeed seeing as Ray barely covered these events in his autobiography ‘X-Ray’ and hasn’t really talked about them since 1970/71 respectively.

♫ Pink Floyd/Cat Stevens News: BBC6 have spent the last month appealing for fans to send in their old cassette recordings of tracks they might not have in the archives and after a bit of sprucing up have compiled them into a series of programmes under the banner ‘The Listener Archives’ on Sundays at 12pm. We’ve only had one show so far but that was a treat, featuring a rather muffled Pink Floyd from 1969 with a rare, swirly performance of ‘Point Me At The Sky’ from 1969 on a John Peel Session (‘you can put your heads back on now’ the DJ deadpans at the end), Paul McCartney mucking about on the Kenny Everett show and a still poorly Cat Stevens talking to Kenny Everett about why he’s been missing from the music scene for a while (‘I had TB and nearly died, Ken’) and performing a lovely version of ‘Trouble’. We’ll keep you posted what other AAA gems crop up in this tantalising series, but if you want to hear this lot they’ll still be available on I-player until Saturday.

♫ Rolling Stones News: As you probably know by now, last Saturday, November 17th saw the broadcast of a much publicised Stones documentary ‘CrossFire Hurricane’. Using unseen footage and new interviews, it tries the hard task of telling the story of the band’s 50 years in music in just two hours, the first of which was broadcast on BBC Two (its still available on I-player for a while. More interesting still is the unedited red button footage of the band on tour in 1972, 81 and 03 which was is to be screened several times this week so keep an eye out for that in case you missed it). The documentary is similar to the ‘Early Beatles’ montage screened in 1982 that saw only minimal links from the present day and mainly just presented rare (and some not so rare) footage from the years 1962-68. Part 2 – covering the Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood years – is on this Saturday, November 24th at 9.45pm.Next week's part is coveredd by a fascinating looking compilation of 'The Stones at the BBC' and the culture show special from 2010 which interviews Keith Richards about his autobiography 'Life'.Fans should then cross over to BBC4 at 11.30pm for a rare showing of the Stones in concert with their idol Mudday Waters in 1981 (the same period our review this week dates from incidentally!) The next stop is the classic 1960s documentary film of the band 'Charlie Is My darling', showing on BBC2 on Sunday, November 25th at 11pm.

As fort this week, BBC 2 also repeated the classic ‘Rolling Stones Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus’ from 1968 (not shown till 1997) and the not-so classic compilation ‘...Sings The Rolling Stones’ full of surprisingly straight-laced versions of Stones classics first broadcast on BBC4 a couple of years ago – it goes without saying that if you haven’t got round to visiting the Stones’ circus yet, you should – if only for The Who’s highwire set!

BBC6 celebrate the Stones most of the following week, with repeats of their ‘Classic Singles’ episode on ‘Brown Sugar’ broadcast at midnight Tuesday, November 27th and the two-part ‘Rolling With The Stones’ on Wednesday and Thursday, November 28th and 29th at midnight.

ANNIVERSARIES: Sadly there are no AAA stars born between November 21st and 27th. There are heaps of anniversaries of events however: No less than three important Beatles releases come out for the Christmas market on November 22nd (‘With The Beatles’ in 1963, ‘The White Album’ in 1968 and John Lennon’s last record ‘Double Fantasy’ in 1980); The Rolling Stones are temporarily banned from all BBC Radio for the heinous crime of - gosh – turning up a bit late for a show for the series ‘Saturday Club’ (November 23rd 1964); The Who play their first gig at London’s Marquee Club, the venue that will forever be linked with their name (November 24th 1964); Otis Redding scores the biggest single hit of his short lifetime with ‘Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa (Sad Song)’ (November 24th 1966); John Lennon returns his MBE, awarded in 1964, to The Queen along with a letter outlining his fury at Britain’s involvement in Biafra and Vietnam and, umm, ‘Cold Turkey’s poor showing in the charts. His Aunt Mimi is furious – she’s been keeping the medal in her living room and thought her nephew wanted to borrow it, not use it as a political gesture! (November 25th 1969); The Band’s farewell extravaganza ‘The Last Waltz’ takes place including AAA members Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Ringo Starr (November 25th 1976); 10cc split into two after just four albums, surprising all of the fan base who hadn’t spotted any signs of discord in the group (November 26th 1976); Paul McCartney and Wings’ little seen but fabulous concert film ‘Wings Over America’ finally premieres in the US some four years after being shot (November 26th 1980); The Beatles release their double EP ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, ahead of a screening of the TV special on Boxing Day; contrary to popular belief the soundtrack is very well received (November 27th 1967) and finally, The Rolling Stones start a four day concert tour at Madison Square Gardens, the highlights of which are immortalised on the most popular Stones live record ‘Get Yer Ya-Yas Out!’ (November 27th 1969).


  1. Great Review the ewoks really enjoyed it.

  2. Thankyou oh mighty Ewoks! How I bow to your superior musical vision and intelligence! p.s. get out of my closet now!