Friday 21 May 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 61 (Intro)

♫ Welcome everybody to the 61st issue of everybody’s favourite monkeynuts newsletter. Now that Cameron has been given a Clegg-up into power under mysterious and barely legal circumstances makes it look as if the predictions in our last issue are really coming true (let’s hope the same applies to clandusprods and growing a third ear – see April 1st’s issue!) In the meantime its back to normal for us this issue – although given that the Conservatives’ ‘victory’ (we use the term loosely) we’re likely to become exiles very soon. So, what better album to celebrate this issue than the Rolling Stones’ seminal album ‘Exile On Main Street’, especially given the fact that it’s now been re-issued and there are no less than three documentaries attached to it?


♫ Rolling Stones News: The long-awaited CD re-issue of ‘Exile On Main Street’ has finally been re-released on May 17th and is accompanied by all sorts of programmes to commemorate the event. BBC 1 on Sunday (23rd May) has two programmes, one a new documentary looking at the making of the album and an hour edit of the ‘Bigger Bang’ DVD not broadcast on television in this country before. Radio 2 are also getting in on the act with their own documentary about the album on Monday (24th May). More news next week.

♫ 10cc News: Godley and Creme got no less than three of their videos into the latest attempt at a top 50 list of music videos by channel four last week. Alas only one of them – ‘Cry’ which just made the list at no 50 – was actually by the duo who also directed winning videos for Duran Duran and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Kevin Godley was interviewed throughout the programme – the first time he’s been seen on television since the last channel 4 pop video run-down five years ago – and gave his views on the making of all sorts of promos not just his own (such as AAA honorary member Johnny Cash whose ‘Hurt’ video made no 30).

AANIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to the following stars of AAA folklore (May 17th- 23rd): Only one rock legend this week - Pete Townshend (guitarist with The Who 1965-82 and various reunions) gets his bus pass by turning 65 on May 19th. Anniversaries of events include: The Beatles headline their first ever concert in the exotic location of Slough following the success of ‘Please Please Me’ during a Helen Shapiro tour (May 18th 1963); Dire Straits release their debut single ‘Sultans Of Swing’ (May 19th 1979); Three Beatles get back together for an impromptu jam session to celebrate Eric Clapton’s wedding to George Harrison’s ex Patti Boyd, the first time that many have been seen in public since 1970 (May 19th 1979); The BBC bans a Beatles track for the first time – no, not the drugs-referenced ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ or the subversive ‘Revolution’ but ‘A Day In The Life’ (and its not even the ‘love to turn you on’ postscript but the line about ‘4000 holes’ relating to drug injections) (May 20th 1967); Our AAA classic no 50 – the first Stephen Stills/Manassas album – is released (May 20th 1972); two important dates for The Who on May 21st : 1965 sees the release of second single ‘Anyway Anyhow Anywhere’ and the band’s first appearance on Ready Steady Go, the TV show that will become synonymous with the group (1965) while Pete Townshend marries first wife Karen Astley in 1968; The first – of many – posthumous CSNY releases, the live record ‘4 Way Street’ is released (May 22nd 1971); The Beach Boys release their ‘response’ to Beatlemania with ‘I Get Around’ (May 23rd 1964); Another legendary release – The Who’s double album ‘Tommy’ turns 41 on May 23rd; The Beatles’ posthumous album Let It Be’ sets a then-record amount for pre-order sales (3.7 million – May 23rd 1970); the Grateful Dead play their first ever date in the UK in Newcastle some five years after their debut despite their cult following in Britain (May 23rd 1970) and finally, Jefferson Starship find that their planned free concert in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park – a venue they made their own 10 years before – has now been outlawed after authorities ban the use of electronic instruments at outdoor events. The ban inspires the #1 Starship hit ‘We Built This City’ some eight years later (May 23rd 1977).

And for the following week (May 24th-30th): Honorary AAA member Paul Weller turns 52 on May 25th; Pete Sears (bassist/keyboardist with Jefferson Starship 1974-88) turns 62 on May 27th; Papa John Creach (violinist with Jefferson Airplane/Starship 1970-75) would have been 93 on May 28th and finally, Ray Laidlaw (drummer with Lindisfarne 1970-72 and 1978-2002, plus drummer with Jack The Lad 1973-78) turns 62 on May 28th. Anniversaries of events include: milestone ‘comeback’ single ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash restores the Rolling Stones to the top of the charts for the first time in three years (May 24th 1968); Simon and Garfunkel become the first artist since The Beatles to replace themselves at the top of the album charts when ‘Bookends’ replaces ‘The Graduate Soundtrack’ (May 25th 1968); The Who perform a secret gig to a handful of fans to end the rockumentary film ‘The Kids Are Alright’  - it will be the last time Keith Moon plays with the band (May 25th 1978); John and Yoko begin their second bed-in at a hotel in Montreal (May 26th 1970); Ronnie Lane becomes the first member to leave The Faces to form his own band ‘Slim Chance’ (May 28th 1973); Roger McGuinn plays his first solo gig after the break-up of The Byrds (May 29th 1973) and finally, CSNY’s classic album ‘Deja Vu’ is released (May 30th 1970).   

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