Monday 7 October 2013

Chinese Horoscopes AAA Style (Top Twelve, News Views and Music Issue 214

Dear AAA/astrology fans, here's the much-delayed follow-up to our discussion of some key AAA Western signs we published way back as part of News, Views and Music issue 53! This time we're offering up the Eastern equivalent of Chinese Horoscopes, named after the 12 animals who deigned to come when the God Buddha called them after the creation of the world and listed - as tradition dictates - by the order in which they came. As so many of the AAA bands first came together at school, you can see more 'pockets' of them working together than we could with the Western zodiac, which isn't necessarily a good thing and might have added to their splits (similarly if you've ever been a teacher you might notice that one year of students tend to be quite similar to each other and different to other years, though stupidly the Autumn term always adds a group of 'outsider' students too). Along the way we'll be giving you a short praisee of each sign, the AAA stars who share it and whether they seem to fit the pattern. Incidentally, it won't come as any surprise to learn that our AAA Youtube Star Max The Singing Dog is - wait for it - a dog! As am I, incidentally, but I seem to be in good company...Sadly there are no AAA Tigers/Cats (depending which translation of the original horoscopes you read) - we thought for a minute there 'Lulu' was going to be one to keep with the canonicity of her song 'I'm A Tiger', but sadly no such luck! We haven't quite listed every single person whose ever been in an AAA band (that would take years!) and seeing as the official start of the Chinese New Year takes place at the end of January, but not always at the same time each year, we've left out a few AAA figures whose dates were so close to the changeover we're not quite sure which sign they're in. Most of the key figures are here though (the general rule is ever member of what fans think of as the 'key' line-up and any important later musicians who joined before or after):

Year Of The Rat (1936/48/60/72/84/96/08)]

Cat Stevens, Liam Gallagher, Bill Wyman, Lulu

Rats are traditionally the 'charmers' of the Eastern signs and are not adverse to using their charms to get their own way (many politicians tend to be 'rats', like Tony Blair - no jokes please!) (Liam Gallagher is, then, a natural rat, in the nicest possible sense)! Rats tend to enjoy working on their own and doing their own thing (hence the fact that two of our three AAA choices, all born in the different rat years of 1936, 48 and 72, are solo artists and Bill Wyman has always been treated as an 'outsider' in the Stones). Though known for their strong opinions, their bark tends to be worse than their bite (few people have ever been bitten by a rat but they still scare more than a few unsuspecting humans!) - Liam fits this bill particularly well - and they try to keep their 'real' selves hidden until some major life event brings their 'real' selves to the surface. As examples, you could give Cat's sudden personality switch from dandified teenager writing cute songs and appearing cute shorts to something deeper after falling deadly ill with TB - and Lulu's autobiography is a very 'rat' book; not because she's unkind but because the 'real' Lulu, hidden for most of the book, only reveals herself at times of true heartbreak. Bill Wyman, too, seems to have 'hidden' his deeper self well: his fellow Stones claimed they'd never really 'known' him when he quit the band 28 years after joining it.

Year Of The Ox (1937/49/61/73/85/97/09)

Mark Knopfler

The Eastern 'Ox' is the equivalent of 'Taurus' andfeatures much the same characteristics: a well-balanced, hard worker who alternates being greatly patient and in projects for the short-term with a stubborness when they don't get their own way. Oxes tend to be the 'salt of the Earth' types who take their responsibiolities seriously and love the great outdoors. There are surprisingly few AAA oxes that I can find - only Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, who fits the idea of a 'grounded' person who hates celebrity quite well (knocking Dire Straits on the heads when they became 'too big' to go his own way)and who is also quite a 'trusted' straightforward figure, using his songs to try to make the world a better place. Note too that Mark was 29 when he made his first record - some ten years behind most artists we cover - slow and steady in contrast to some bands (like the Small Faces for example) who'd tired themselves out long before reaching that age.

Year Of The Tiger (1938/50/62/74/86/98/10)

Tigers are the Western equivalent of Leos, full of charisma, courage and generosity - the kings and queens of the jungle, whatever the lions might think. Eastern tigers aren't quite as self-serving as Western Leos, however, using their power and social standing to protect those who are weaker than themselves. Tigers tend to follow their own hearts and minds and work on their own and love being in charge. Amazingly there isn't a single AAA member among the tigers, so we can't offer any comparisons here!

Year Of The Rabbit (sometimes replaced by 'Cat') (1939/51/63/75/87/99/11)

Grace Slick, Nils Lofgren

How fitting - the bouncy trampolining active Nils Lofgren is a bouncing bonny bunny, as is Jefferson Airplane's Grace Slick, who once sang about a 'white rabbit'. The mystics of the Eastern horoscope, rabbits are often talked about by others who are either devoted to them or scared by them and revered or reviled in equal measure! (If that sentence doesn't sound like Grace Slick...)Yet unlike some of the other signs here, Rabbits have a softer, harsher, artistic side and rely on their intuitions rather than logic in life. Many rabbits tend to be philosophers or priests - Grace has ben her fair share of both!

Year Of The Dragon (1940/52/64/76/88/00/12)
John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Phil Lesh

Dragons are the showmen of the Eastern horoscope, getting things done by their sheer charisma and inner power. Those people who always turn heads when they walk into a room, even if they aren't actually doing anything, Dragons are as grand as grand can be and can be a worthy ally for those who need protection - although most 'mere' animals around them tend to get singed by accident! John Lennon is your template dragon, breathing fire with every word he says, although often using his abilities for the good of others and protecting 'lesser' beings. The Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh, too, is known as being a great friend to those who think like him - and a bitter enemy to those who don't (as more than a few producers and engineers down the years will attest!) Ringo seems a less likely dragon, although dragons are known for their vanity and their collections of fine clothes and jewellery, which might explain his love of rings!

Year Of The Snake (1941/53/65/77/89/01/13)

David Crosby, Mike Love, Paul Kantner, Charlie Watts, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel

Snakes tend to be the more shadowy figures of the Chinese horoscope. Combining the charm of the rat, sparkle of the dragon and the powerof the tiger, snakes tend to come out on top, though they get their message across more quietly than all the three signs. Traditionally there's often been something of the 'dark' about this sign (snakes generally mean something bad for mankind, from the garden of Eden onwards), though more moden scholars tend to see the snakes as being above rather than apart from everyone else - they just happen to be less emotional than other signs or at least hide their emotions well and use their intelligence more. No two snakes ever seem to be like another and that's true fo our six AAA examples too, who could not be more different: the happy-go-lucky Stones drummer Charlie Watts seems a world away from the brooding Paul Simon, the brash Beach Boys singer Mike Love or the ultimate in hippie philosophers David Crosby and Paul Kantner, for instance. Perhaps their characters are just too slippy for us to get a hold of...

Year Of The Horse (1942/54/66/78/90/02)

Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, Roger McGuinn, Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, Marty Balin, Mike Nesmith, Brian Jones, Janis Joplin

Horses tend to be the workaholics of the Eastern horoscope who put huge amounts of effort into their careers. perhaps that's why so many of them became 'stars' - on our AAA list alone they easily 'win' in terms of quantity, their energy ensuring they always reach the top. The trouble is that, with all that enthusiasm, horses don't often see projects through to the end and do tend to be bad losers, feeling the 'highs' and 'lows' of life very easily (note the fact that two of the AAA Horses died young). Generally helpful and loyal, horses are known to kick when they think someone is trying to 'ride' them to somewhere they don't want to go (see Mike Nesmith sticking his fist through Don Kirshner's wall or the Clarke-Nash standoffs that saw a close childhood friendship tear apart) and often they'll simply 'drop' a career when it suits them or switch to another completely when bored (Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin left the band at the last minut - twice - while Paul McCartney's recorded in every style going). Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Al Jardine don't seem to fit the pattern, however - you wouldn't expect to find many 'horses' in bed for decades after nervous breakdowns or taking as much in their stride as the more easy-going Jardine did.

Year Of The Goat (1943/55/67/79/91/03)

George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, Peter Tork, Noel Gallagher, Roger Waters, Rick Wright, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bert Jansch, Phil Oakey

The goats are the philosophers and artists of the Eastern signs and traditionally are said to have a natiural affinity with music, so it's no surprise that they are our second-busiest year. In fact all of the entries on this list could be termed 'hippies' of one kind or another - peaceful, easy-going types who believe in artistic and creative endeavours over material gain. However, goats are difficult to lead and keep control of, being the passive-aggressive types (something the other Beatles must have felt a few times over - and which Jerry's Grateful Dead bandmates felt whenever they tries to pin their 'leader' down to a decision!) However of all the signs the goat's 'vision' is the closest to the 1960s philosophy of peace and progress - note the fact that two of the biggest 60s-sounding post-60s writers (The Human League's Phil Oakey and Oasis' Noel Gallagher) were born under this sign too. Interestingly, though, at least three of the names above don't fit - Roger Waters might have started his career in the summer of love but his dog-eat-dog approach doesn'tg exactly fit the goat image (though his anti-education and war rants do) and who would have guessed that the two chief Rolling Stones were born not under struttiong roosters or charismatioc dragons but peacenik goats?!

Year Of The Monkey (1944/56/68/80/92/04)

Dennis Wilson, Stuart Murdoch, Gene Clark, Stephen Stills, Ray Davies, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle

That sociable person you met at the party who just wouldn't stop talking even though you'd never met - they were probably a 'monkey', the most sociable of the Chinese horoscopes. Characters with a lot to say and not enough time to say it in, they are traditionally the most intelligent and multi-tasked of all signs (Stephen Stills was nicknamed 'Captain Manyhands' by his colleagues for his ability to juggle tasks, something that suits most of the other 'monkeys' on this list too!) However Monkeys do suffer from a slight superiority complex and don't have the empathy of other signs, unable to understand why anyone should have a different outlook to their own. The ever chatty Roger Daltrey and Dennis Wilson suit this sign well, often doing party pieces or 'tricks' to amuse guests, although three names don't seem to fit the 'sociable' type (especially 'the quiet one' John Entwistle). What he does have in common, though, along with Ray Davies and Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch, is a high intelligence and mental capacity.

Year Of The Rooster (1945/57/69/81/93/05)

Tony Hicks, Alan Hull, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Syd Barratt, Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Pete Townshend, Yoko Ono, Pigpen

Roosters are the 'show-offs' of the Chinese horoscope who love nothing more than to look good - except to be seen looking good. Davy Jones is your typical rooster, showing off their best moves at the drop of a hat (or, so he once admitted, 'every time the fridge light comes on at home'). At their best roosters are the most committed of all the signs, putting their heart and soul into projects they believe in - at their worst they're brutally frank, unwilling to compromise over ideas they don't think work or soften their blunter edges. Note the sheer amount of AAA stars on this list who are famous for their 'hard' image (Yoko, Pete, Pigpen) - although at the same time there's a playful quality that also makes them great fun to be with (when they're not using their blunt tongue!) (see, err, Yoko, Pete, Micky, who doesn't seem to have that rooster bluntness). Deeply eccentric (because they believe in their own views over most other people's), roosters also tend to be the most conservative of beings, afraid to upset traditions for the sake of it: the Dead's Pigpen, for instance, may have been the counter-culture;s pin-up for a few years but he was a blues traditionalist who stopped listening to music somewhere around world war two!

Year Of The Dog (1946/58/70/82/94/06)

Carl Wilson, Justin Hayward, David Gilmour, Ronnie Lane, Graham Gouldman, Keith Moon, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Bil Kreutzmann

Someone has to worry about where their careers are heading: when the Monkeys are out gossiping to the media, the goats are doing something aryistic but uncommercial and the pigs are in the bar having fun, someone has to have a creaive vision and think about how best to keep warring band members together long enough to get 'deep messages' across for the good of humanity. Note the sheer amount of bass players in our AAA list above - traditionally the instrument keeping the band together, although dogs do have their fair share of the spotlight, they make sure its fair and that they are part of a 'band' (and what with the eccentric bass playing of 'dragon' Phil Lesh I count Dead drummer Bill Kreutzman as an honorary bassist!) Note Carl Wilson, who kept the Beach Boys together a good 30 years past the point where they naturally imploded and Graham Gouldman and Ronnie Lane quietly working behind the scenes to keep 10cc and the Small Faces, respectively, together. You could add in Justin Hayward, who under a different sign would have shot straight to solo stardom the minute the Moody Blues broke-up (and he scored several solo singles), but no - Justin returned conscientiously back to his old band. There are twonames who don't seem to fit the pattern: Gilbert O'Sullivan had no band to belong to but does fit the 'dog' mixture of carefree eccentricity and anxiety well; Keith Moon, surely, seems to belong to another sign entirely (if ever I thought 'there goes a Monkey' about a person...err in context of writing this article, of course!), but is known for his darker, edgier side. was all that fun and games and boozy parties simply an attenpt to fill that canine-created void?

Year Of The Pig (sometimes replaced with 'boar) (1947/59/71/83/95/07)

Bob Weir, Dave Davies, Steve Marriott, Lawrence Creme

Pigs are the type of people who believe the best of people and of themselves, easily distracted by life's little luxuries and easily conned out of their fortunes and broken promises, time and time again. Many other signs though would regard them as the easiest of signs and the best to spend time with: they don't expect the world to revolve round them like the tigers and dragons or exist outside it like the rats and goats and aren't trying to manipulate someone like the monkeys. Any chinese horoscope scholars could do much worse than read Dave Davies' autobiography 'Kink' : no one else has ever been that honest, that gullible (for his 'monkey' brother Ray at least) and that likeable all at once. Pigs are as honest and straightforward as they come, often putting their own careers on hold if they believe in someone else's more, and tend to be great humanists. All four of our AAA stars (except perhaps Steve Marriott) had a central role in their bands but as a 'second-in-command', helping other people take the spotlights despite relishing it when it falls on them. Marriott, the one exception on our list, would seem to be more of a natural dragon or tiger, but
 did have a taste for the pig luxuries in life and sadly was taken advantage of by more than one unscrupulous manager down the years.

Well, that's all for another issue - if you think we've missed out an important point or want us to go into more detail (there's enough information here for a whole series of articles, but we don't want to bore everyone!) then drop us a line! In the meantime, whatever sign you are, you'll be able to find more news, views and music next week! See you then!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!)

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

164) AAA Songs About Islands

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012

166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) 

180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

222) Five Random Recent Purchases

223) AAA Grammy Nominees

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums

227) Top ten AAA drummers

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides)

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

258) #Coronastock

259) #Coronadocstock

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