Monday, 10 January 2011
News, Views and Music Issue 86 (Intro)
January 10 :
♫ Hello and welcome to the first ‘News, Views and Music’ of 2011. What a year we have in store – and no, we don’t mean the unnecessary cuts of the Coalition or the infuriating lack of new material during the coming year. No, we mean all that newsing, viewsing and musicing that we’ll be doing on your behalf in the new year, starting off with two issues based around the new releases that were lurking in my Christmas stocking...
♫ Kinks News: The Imagine programme ‘Imaginary Man’ dedicated to Ray Davies over Christmas week was a typically rambling, typically infuriating, typically moving piece of Kinks whimsy. Ray switched from subject to subject so quick it was hard for even Kinks fanatics like me to keep up with him and I can guarantee those who don’t ‘get’ The Kinks magic were switching off in their droves, but there was something wonderfully moving in the odd aside Ray made throughout the 80 minute programme. Singing his songs out loud to himself while wandering around London (including Waterloo bridge) was, at first, trying (and brought all sorts of odd looks from passers by) and then moving – nobody else but Ray would get away with this and few would even try. Best moment: Ray saying ‘there’s no way you’re going me to play anything’ and a dramatic edit into him singing a medley of all sorts of rare material (including Arthur’s under-rated ‘Princess Marina’, missing from the Kinks’ live set for far too long!)
♫ The Who News: Ha ha ha, ho ho ho, how we laughed. Not that Jools Holland quite meant it in that way. To explain, Roger Daltrey was the one token decent musical celebrity in the latest supposedly star-studded ‘Holland Hootenany’ to see in the new year. Only, the wooden Jools Holland was replaced by a robot and the joke was meant to be how badly the robot worked compared to the compere. But even as a stiff manikin with a funny voice and a stammer the robot still managed to act Jools Holland off the stage. Jools also ruined a surprisingly good and raw take on The Who favourite ‘I’m A Man’ (here given it’s original name of ‘Mannish Boy’) by Roger on fine form with a piano solo so terrible I truly thought the musicians were going to double up with laughter. Why oh why did Roger only get one song to perform either when people I’d never heard like Vampire Weekend got three?! To be fair, though, good on Roger for reviving this early Who classic and having a sense of humour enough to change the words to ‘I’m an old man now – way more than 21!’ and an ad lib about ‘I wish I’d died before I got old – but it didn’t work out that way!’ Please, though, BBC, replace Jools before next new year’s eve because his ego is getting intolerable – even that malfunctioning robot will do...
ANNIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to the following AAA members for the surprisingly busy week of December 29th-January 4th: Ray Thomas (flautist with The Moody Blues 1964-2004) turned 68 on December 29th, no less than two Monkees – Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones – are born on December 30th (and turned 68 and 65 respectively); Pete Quaife (bass player with The Kinks 1963-68) would have been 67 on December 31st, George Martin (producer of The Beatles 1962-69 and various solo albums) turns 85 on January 3rd, Van Dyke Parks (lyricist on The Beach Boys’ ‘Smile’) turns 70 on January 3rd and Stephen Stills (guitarist with Buffalo Springfield 1965-68 and Crosby, Stills and Nash 1969-present) turns 66 on January 3rd. Happy birthday all. Anniversaries of events include: Bert Berns, the songwriter who wrote ‘Twist and Shout’ for the Isley Brothers before the Beatles made it world famous, dies four years after his composition tops the EP charts (December 31st 1967); The Beach Boys play their first show using the name that will make them world famous – they drop their previous name The Pendletones from now on (December 31st 1961); Paul McCartney seeks a legal dissolution of The Beatles’ partnership at a London court (December 31st 1970); The Beatles record their less-than-successful audition at Decca studios, little knowing they will finally sign to EMI just nine months later (January 1st 1962); The Beatles begin their first UK tour – in Scotland (January 1st 1963); TV show Top Of The Pops debuts on TV starring the Hollies and the Stones (January 1st 1964); The Winterland Theatre – a second home for the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane – closes (January 1st 1979); Beach Boys Carl Wilson refuses to join the Army ranks after being drafted (January 3rd 1967); JohnandYoko’s ‘Two Virgin’s record is released – in brown paper bags after distributors object to the ‘pornographic’ front sleeve (January 3rd 1969); The last ever Beatles recording – and even then minus John Lennon – takes place for the George Harrison song ‘I Me Mine’ which had just been added to edits of the ‘Let It Be’ film (January 4th 1970) and finally, Performance – the film that all but split the Stones after Mick jagger was cast in the lead alongside first Brian Jones and then Keith Richards’ partner Anita Pallberg is first shown (January 4th 1971).
Birthdays for week two (January 5th-11th) are: Syd Barratt (guitarist and so much more with Pink Floyd 1967-68) who would have been 65 on January 6th, Jerry Garcia (guitarist with the Grateful Dead 1965-95) who would have been 68 on January 8th and Terry Sylvester (guitarist with The Hollies 1969-80) turns 64 on January 8th. Anniversaries of events include: The release of The Beatles’ first record – well, sort of, the release is the German-only small label single ‘My Bonnie’ credited to Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers (January 5th 1962); The sad death of ‘fifth Beatle’ and unsung hero Mal Evans, who is shot by police in America after threatening suicide (January 5th 1976); The Rolling Stones headline their first tour with The Ronettes in support (January 6th 1964); The first new John Lennon song since his death in December 1980, ‘Nobody Told Me’, is released as a single (January 6th 1984); Max Yasgur is sued for $20,000 of damage to properties following the Woodstock concert the previous August (January 7th 1970)and finally, Crosby, Stills and Nash release their last (to date) platinum-selling album ‘Daylight Again’ (January 7th 1983).