Thursday, 21 April 2011
News, Views and Music Issue 96 (Intro)
Hello again, faithful readers (including Prince Zucko from the excellent series Avatar according to the name given on a recent posting – we’re honoured). Talking of Royalty, someone actually asked me the other day if I would be doing a special newsletter dedicated to the Royal Wedding – like every other business seems to be (I swear I even saw a repeat of a Fleetwood Mac doc on BBC6 given the sub-heading ‘to coincide with the marriage of William and Kate...I know the weddings a bit of an Albatross for us but?!?) Rest assured we’re not – we only cover proper actual relevant topical news here on this site (which is why this week we’re talking about a record released 26 years ago!) Anyway, ther’ll be another one along soon I’m sure (Harry’s, I mean, I don’t expect William to divorce just yet when he’s not even married, that would be cruel even for me) and most of the AAA songs about royalty aren’t that kind to them either (I will be playing The Monkees’ ‘Zor and Zam’ on the day though for my own amusement, ha!) Why do we care anyway? We don’t need a monarchy, we haven’t for centuries now and they all have more German blood than they do British (Windsor, let’s not forget, is a Germanic name whatever people think of it now). Oh and while I’m moaning, what’s with our Eurovision entry this year? Unlike most music lovers I’m a big fan of eurovision but all the fun’s been taken out of it now that the public don’t actually choose our entry – we get handed it on a plate. And whose big idea was it to reunite Blue, the soppiest boyband of them all. Surely they’ve learnt from the Lloyd Webber and Waterman fiascos by now – if we’re to lose, then we want to lose with a song we chose, not what some panel of ‘experts’ thinks will win. Blue’s song ‘I Can’ really isn’t a winning song – and no surprises that the band have come up with a song that’s ‘all about them’ for what’s meant to be a contest about the best of modern music around Europe. I expect 12 points at best, but even that will be an improvement on the last couple of years. Why don’t we stick to unknown acts for our success – look what it did to Abba, etc – I mean, nobody from Eastern Europe (who make up most of the voting bloc) will know who Blue is anyway. And watching Lulu tell a bunch of 30 year olds who’ve let themselves go ‘you’re gorgeous, so you’re gonna win’ when she looks 10 years younger than they do at 60 may just be one of the surrealist things I’ve seen on television. Ah well, the humiliation will be over again for another year soon. In the meantime, settle yourselves down with a mug of something palatable and peruse our latest news, views and music reviews...
♫ Beatles News: BBC6 are broadcasting ‘Band On The Run: The Story of Wings’ next week (at 3am on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 26 and 27th). I must admit, I’ve never heard about this programme – is it a new one? Seems a bit odd if it is, given that Macca’s already pretty faithfully covered this era with his own telly doc ‘Wingspan’ 10 years back. Or is it a selection from another one, such as the ‘Band on the Run’ 25th anniversary or McCartney on McCartney (another great series recently repeated on BBC6). Hmm, could be interesting...
Also, he only counts as an honorary AAA member, but the Wings progs are followed in the time slot by a rarely heard Johnny Cash two-part doc ‘American’. Full marks to BBC6! (Let’s just hope they don’t change the date at the last minute like they did with the Stones at the beginning of the month!)
♫ The Who News: The latest Uncut Special magazine has just been released, dedicated to everything you’d ever want to know about the ‘Orrible ‘Oo (and haven’t already read on this site, obviously!) The magazine follows equally excellent magazines dedicated to The Beatles, Rolling Stones and John Lennon and is the same mix of new analysis of old albums (the review of ‘Who By Numbers’ is especially spot-on and echoes many of the thoughts we wrote in our review four years ago)and vintage reviews from the vaults of the NME, including the infamous pair of Daltrey and Townshend reviews from 1975 attacking each other (much talked about, rarely seen in full these days). Some great and rarely seen pics as well so keep your eyes out, although the one thing I will say against it is that the ‘solo albums’ section is decidedly skimpy (Pete Townshend’s excellent and important ‘Empty Glass’ – our AAA classic no 77 – is dismissed in a paragraph; sure The Stones’ solo albums were dismissed the same way but aren’t quite as vital to their canon as a whole).
ANNIVERSARIES: It’s that time of year again for AAA members celebrating between April 23rd and 29th: Klaus Voormann (Beatle friend, illustrator and bass player) who turns 69 on April 29th. Anniversaries of events include: The official dissolution of Wings 18 months after their last recordings (April 25th 1981); the Rolling Stones release their first LP imaginatively titled ‘Rolling Stones’ (April 26th 1964); Ringo Starr and his twin Ognir Rrats starr in a rather odd TV special ‘Prince And The Pauper’ plugging the ‘Bad Boy’ album (April 26th 1978); It’s a good week for Ringo in fact – he marries second wife and former Bond girl Barbara Bach on April 27th 1981; Andrew Loog Oldham sees the ramshackle Rolling Stones perform for the first time at their ‘home’ club the Crawdaddy and signs a contract with them to be their manager the next day (April 28th 1963) and finally, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of the Moon tops the American charts – for a total of one week, despite staying in the top 200 charts for a ridiculous 15 years (April 28th 1973).