portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Monday, May 20, 2019


1966 - The Who
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who grew tired of waiting for John Entwistle and Keith Moon to arrive for their gig at the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor, England so they took to the stage with the bass player and drummer of the local band that opened the show. When Moon and Entwistle finally arrived in the middle of the set, a fight broke out, with Townshend hitting Moon on the head with his guitar. Moon and Entwistle quit the band, (and rejoined a week later).

7/6 to get in I call that a BARGAIN!

I loved Keith Moon as a drummer, as a person I imagine, like many an alcoholic, he would have been almost unbearably stupid! 

But we love them . . . . . . . . . 

How could you resist? Match him drink for drink and keep up if you could and fun would be unrestrained, were we sober and he would doubtless have proved impossible. There are accounts of him and his behaviour in Graham Chapman's (a Monty Python friend and fellow alcoholic, they gravitate towards each other by osmosis or some secret sense)) wonderful book 'A Liar’s Autobiography' that are really worth reading . . . . . . . disappointed with being 'misunderstood' as destructive in hotels he once ordered some house bricks and built a dog kennel in the carpeted living room of his suite complete with cement and pointing rather than put cherry bombs down the toilet or throw a TV out the window. There, that'll learn ya!

I also like to think that Keith and John would have really enjoyed this:

1966 - Bob Dylan and The Band
Bob Dylan and The Band played at the ABC Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland. Some members of the audience were unhappy with Dylan ‘going electric’, and attempted to overpower the band by playing their own harmonicas.

Bob Dylan walking in Princes Street, 20th May 1966.  ©Barry Feinstein 1966.

1967 - Kenny Everett BBC radio broadcast Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles new album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band had a special preview on the Kenny Everett BBC Light program, 'Where It's At', playing every track from the album, (except 'A Day In The Life' which the BBC had banned saying it could promote drug taking).


1970 - The Beatles
Let It Be, the final feature film involving The Beatles was premiered simultaneously in London and Liverpool a week after the film's US release.

2011 - Pete Doherty
Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty was jailed for six months after being filmed taking crack cocaine by documentary-maker Robyn Whitehead the day before she died of heroin poisoning. A judge told the court that Doherty had an "appalling record" of committing offences, having made 13 other court appearances. Doherty, 32, had pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.

2013 - Ray Manzarek
Ray Manzarek, keyboard player and founder member of the The Doors died aged 74. Manzarek, who had suffered from cancer for many years, died in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, with his wife and brothers at his bedside. He formed The Doors with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.


1944 - Joe Cocker
Joe Cocker, English singer and musician who had the 1968 UK No.1 single with his cover of The Beatles 'With A Little Help From My Friends', plus 8 other UK Top 40 singles. Scored the 1982 US No.1 single with Jennifer Warnes 'Up Where We Belong'. In 2007 he was awarded a bronze Sheffield Legends plaque in his hometown and in 2008 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Cocker died of lung cancer on 22 December 2014 in Crawford, Colorado.


Just because the sun is shining and I believe I will be received in Graceland . . . . I can't explain

not forgetting the stellar Batikhi Kumalo on bass and 
Biodun Kuti, on lead/rhythm guitar mourning the absence of Ray Phiri and Biodun Kuti both now lost to us from cancer and yet still with penny whistle from Barney Rachabane sends shivers down my spine


- 'Clouds' -

Bought 'Seagull' and this album when they were released over here and fell for Joni's songwriting playing and that haunting undisciplined voice up to 'Blue' and then began to wonder at the power of fame and wealth to corrupt the innocent and she seems to have been destined to end her final years as mad as a box of frogs . . . . . . . but hey? That's feminism for ya if it's true of the great male artists why shouldn't it be true for Joni too?

On this day in music history: May 19, 1969 - “Clouds”, the second album by Joni Mitchell is released. Produced by Joni Mitchell and Paul A. Rothchild, it is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from January - March 1969. Though her debut album “Song To A Seagull” charts and sells only modestly, Joni Mitchell finds her public profile growing rapidly during this time. With numerous artists covering her already significant catalog of songs, she is a consistent public presence, also touring extensively. Looking to take more control of her music in the studio, Mitchell is largely given free reign to produce her second album. Veteran producer Paul A. Rothchild (The Doors, Janis Joplin), produces only the track “Tin Angel”, with Mitchell producing the rest on her own. Recording engineer Henry Lewy provides valuable assistance in capturing her musical ideas on tape. The project is the first of a long and productive collaboration between the pair, which lasts for a decade. Much like her first album, Joni’s sophomore effort is musically spare with the musician accompanying herself on guitar and or piano on many tracks. The only other musician who appears on the album is friend Stephen Stills, who contributes guitar and bass to some tracks. Full of vivid lyrical imagery buoyed by Mitchell’s soaring mezzo-soprano voice, listeners are immediately enchanted. Among the centerpiece tracks on “Clouds” are “Chelsea Morning”, which had been previously recorded by Judy Collins and Fairport Convention, and “Both Sides Now”, also recorded by Collins. Released in the Spring of 1969, it heightens Joni Mitchell’s profile significantly, earning the prolific singer/songwriter her first Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance in 1970. Like its predecessor, “Clouds” features cover artwork painted by Mitchell herself, rendering a self portrait that becomes iconic in its own right. In time, the album becomes one of her most popular, marking the beginning of a string of musically innovative and influential albums, that Mitchell creates during the 70’s and beyond. Originally released on CD in 1986, it is remastered and reissued in 2000, with HDCD encoding and restoring the original artwork and printed lyrics to the packaging. To date, the vinyl edition of the album has yet to be reissued. “Clouds” peaks at number thirty one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. 
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Along with Labi Siffre's 'Something Inside So Strong' this stands as one of my favourite therapeutic support songs and has such a powerful message
Love this song and it also stands as the only real Kate Bush performance I can listen to (not a fan of that nasal whining shrill voice or the faux genius in the countryside schtick that produces next to nothing . . . . . . ) but hey, if it's good enough for Peter G
"So" is such a fine album . . . . . . . here below are both songs

On this day in music history: May 19, 1986 - “So”, the fifth studio album by Peter Gabriel is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel, it is recorded at Ashcombe Studios, near Bath, England from May 1985 - March 1986. It is Gabriel’s second collaboration with producer Lanois (having worked together on the “Birdy” Soundtrack in 1984), the songs are a mixture of his more experimental progressive rock sounds and world music combined with more radio friendly, pop oriented material. The results yield his biggest selling album, spinning off five singles including “Sledgehammer” (#1 US Pop, #4 UK), “Big Time” (#8 US Pop, #13 UK), and “In Your Eyes” (#26 US Pop). The albums cover artwork is designed by graphic artist Peter Saville (New Order, Factory Records), and is the first to feature a clear photo of Gabriel on the front. It is also the first of his solo albums to bear a proper title, which he comes up with off the cuff, liking its simplicity and the fact that it had no specific meaning. In 1989, “In Your Eyes” is prominently featured in the Cameron Crowe written and directed film “Say Anything”, in a highly memorable scene featuring actor John Cusack, blasting song on a boombox outside his girlfriend’s (Ione Skye) window. The songs exposure in the film and soundtrack album, leads to it being re-released and charting a second time, peaking at #41 on the Hot 100 in July of 1989. In 2012, a three CD reissue to commemorate the album’s twenty fifth anniversary is released, containing a remastered version of the original album and a live concert recorded in Athens, Greece in 1987 during the “So World Tour”. A further box set edition is also released including the aforementioned contents along with a disc of demo recordings, two DVD’s including the Athens concert, the Classic Albums documentary on the making of the album, a remastered vinyl pressing of the LP, and a vinyl 12" single including two unreleased tracks and an alternate piano version of “Don’t Give Up”. “So” hits number one on the UK album album chart, peaking at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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Sunday, May 19, 2019


1967 - The Beatles
The Beatles held a press party at manager's Brian Epstein's house in London for the launch of the Sgt. Pepper album. Linda Eastman was hired as the press photographer.

I think he likes her!

I think she likes him!

1973 - Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'You Are The Sunshine Of My Life'. His third US No.1, won Wonder a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. This song was the second single released from the album 'Talking Book'. 

1978 - Dire Straits
Dire Straits released their first major label single 'Sultans Of Swing', recorded on a £120 budget. The song was first recorded as a demo at Pathway Studios, North London, in July 1977, and quickly acquired a following after it was put on rotation at Radio London.

1979 - Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton held a party at his Surrey house celebrating his recent marriage to Patti Boyd. Clapton had set-up a small stage in the garden and as the evening progressed, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr ended up jamming together along with Clapton, Ginger Baker and Mick Jagger. The all-star band ran through old Little Richard and Eddie Cochran songs.
Paul, Lonnie Donegan, George and Ringo at the garden party 

2013 - John Lennon and George Harrison
A guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison sold for $408,000 (£269,000) at auction. The custom-made instrument, built in 1966 by VOX was bought by an unidentified US buyer in New York. Harrison played ‘I Am the Walrus’, on the guitar in a scene from Magical Mystery Tour in 1967. Lennon used it in a video for 'Hello, Goodbye' later that year. After playing the guitar, Lennon gave it as a 25th birthday present to Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas, a member of The Beatles' inner circle in the 1960s.

Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien's Auction's, holds a rare Vox guitar, played by Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison, built by Mike Bennett and Dickey Denney which was gifted to ìMagic Alexî Mardas by Lennon in 1967 Photo: AFP/GETTY

A curio and frankly whoever owns it is welcome, it looks hideous!

1945 - Pete Townshend
English musician, singer, songwriter Pete Townshend, The Who. Had the 1965 UK No.2 single 'My Generation' and the 1967 US No.9 single 'I Can See For Miles' plus over 20 other UK Top 40 hit singles, 16 US Top 40 singles and rock opera albums 'Tommy' & 'Quadrophenia'. Townshend became known for his eccentric stage style swinging his right arm against the guitar strings in a windmill style, often smashing guitars on stage. Although known primarily as a guitarist, he also plays keyboards, banjo, accordion, harmonica, ukulele, mandolin, violin, synthesiser, bass guitar, and drums.



Archie Bell and The Drells

On this day in music history: May 18, 1968 - “Tighten Up” by Archie Bell & The Drells hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 2 weeks on the same date. Written by Archie Bell and Billy Butler, it is the biggest hit for the Houston, TX based R&B vocal group. Archie Bell and Billy Butler originally write the beginnings of what becomes their biggest hit in 1964, and forget about it until nearly three years later. Bell receives notice that he has been drafted into the army, and is scheduled to be shipped off to Vietnam. Archie’s friend and band mate Billy Butler, notices his friend is depressed and tries to cheer him by doing a dance. Amused, Bell asks Butler what the dance is that he’s doing, and Billy responds “it’s called the Tighten Up”. Re-vamping their old demo with a new arrangement and lyrics, the group record the song at the Jones Town Studio in October of 1967. Bell’s spoken intro announcing that he and the group were from Houston, is inspired by a comment he hears a DJ make after JFK’s assassination in Dallas in 1963. The person in question states that “nothing good ever came out of Texas”. A proud Texas native, Archie Bell responds to the remark on “Tighten Up”, wanting people to know where his group was from, stating “we were from Texas and we were good”. Originally released on the small independent label Ovide Records, the song becomes a regional hit in Texas, before attracting the attention of Atlantic Records who pick up the single for national distribution, re-releasing it in February of 1968. Entering the Hot 100 at #81 on March 30, 1968, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. At the time, Bell is serving in the Army during the Vietnam War, is wounded and recovering in a hospital from his injuries. With the group unable to make personal appearances to promote the record, numerous fake groups claiming to be the real Archie Bell & The Drells begin surfacing to take advantage of the groups’ inactivity by using the groups name, including nine white men out of Nashville, TN!! “Tighten Up” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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Saturday, May 18, 2019

B ★ O ★ W  I  E  
Well not least because of the Eno connection and the Berlin Trilogy but also the art connection with Derek Boshier contemporary of Hockney's at the RCA and yet the experimental nature was receding into pop (or back into pop0 for these ears and I left him for a while again after this . . . . . .

On this day in music history: May 18, 1979 - “Lodger”, the thirteenth studio album by David Bowie is released. Produced by David Bowie and Tony Visconti, it is recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreaux, Switzerland and The Record Plant in New York City in September 1978 and March 1979 . The album is the third and final release in David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy”, his collaborative efforts with producer/musician Brian Eno, named as such since the songs are composed while the two are living in East Germany (though recorded elsewhere). More pop oriented than its predecessors “Low” and “Heroes”, but with Bowie still maintaining an experimental edge. The albums two sides feature songs that follow specific themes. The first side include songs representing travel, while the second side feature songs commenting on Western society. The albums cover art (designed by Bowie and British pop artist Derek Boshier) features a photo (taken with a Polaroid SX-70 camera) of the singer posed as an accident victim with a broken nose sprawled out on his back. It spins off two singles including “DJ” (#7 UK) and “Boys Keep Swinging” (#29 UK). To help promote the album, Bowie makes a now famous appearance on Saturday Night Live on December 15, 1979, with performance artists Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias, where he performs “TVC 15” and “Boys Keep Swinging”, wearing a dress and as an anthropomorphic puppet respectively. Reissued numerous times since making its CD debut in 1984, it is most recently remastered and reissued in September of 2017. The album is reissued on CD and as a 180 gram vinyl LP, individually and as part of the box set “David Bowie: A New Career In A New Town”. “Lodger” peaks at number four on the UK album chart and number twenty on the Billboard Top 200.
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"completely inappropriate or total appropriate in other ways . . . . . . . "

Still at war on at least seven (count 'em) fronts life during wartime sounds about right . . . . . . 


1967 - The Beatles
The Beatles were selected to represent the UK for the first-ever global-wide satellite broadcast. The group agreed to be shown in the studio recording a song written especially for the occasion, scheduled for June 25. John Lennon wrote ‘All You Need is Love’ which was thought to sum up the 1967 'summer of love' and The Beatles' sympathies. With the satellite broadcast being broadcast to many non-English-speaking countries, the BBC asked The Beatles to 'keep it simple'.

1967 - Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd started recording their forthcoming single 'See Emily Play' at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. Syd Barrett was inspired to write See Emily Play, by the ‘looning about’ of the early Pink Floyd fan Emily Young, (who is now a renowned sculptor). Guitarist David Gilmour, playing gigs in France with his own band in that period, visited Floyd in the studio during a trip to London.

1975 - Tammy Wynette
Five times married US country singer, Tammy Wynette was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Stand By Your Man.' Originally released as a single in 1968 in the USA. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette's career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music.
1980 - Ian Curtis
Joy Division singer and guitarist Ian Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield, England at the age of 23. Curtis had the Iggy Pop album 'The Idiot', playing on his stereo and left a note that said, 'At this very moment, I wish I were dead. I just can't cope anymore.' Joy Division released the critically acclaimed debut album Unknown Pleasures in 1979, and recorded their follow-up 'Closer' in 1980.
From the film 'CONTROL'
The real deal . . . . . 
Bought this one when it came out . . . . . . you may recognise it, if you don't I'm worried
2008 - Ting Tings
Ting Tings scored their first UK No.1 single with 'That's Not My Name'. Taken from the Manchester duo's debut studio album 'We Started Nothing'.

2017 - The Killers
It was announced that The Killers' 'Mr Brightside' was the most-streamed song released before 2010 in the UK. The 2004 single was streamed 26 million times last year, beating any other song released before 2010, according to music industry body the BPI.

1961 - Russell Senior
Russell Senior, guitarist with English rock band Pulp, who had the 1995 UK No.2 single 'Common People'. He quit the band in January 1997. Pulp were regarded among the Britpop "big four", along with Oasis, Blur and Suede.

Disco 2000

1958 - Toyah
Toyah, (Victoria Wilcox), English singer and actress, who scored the 80s hits 'It's a Mystery', 'Thunder in the Mountains' and 'I Want to Be Free'. Toyah has released over 20 albums, written two books, appeared in over forty stage plays and ten feature films. Willcox married Robert Fripp of King Crimson in 1986.

1950 - Mark Mothersbaugh
Born on this day Mark Mothersbaugh, co-founder of the new wave band Devo. His other musical projects include work for television series, films, and video games.

when it came out . . . . . . oh yes, I Can't Get No (Satisfaction)

First Devo single I bought and it still stands for me as one of the weirdest songs ever committed to vinyl . . . . . .can you dig it? Well maybe . . . .