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

Friday, June 30, 2017

Now a word about Pink Floyd, I bought 'Piper At The Gates of Dawn' when it came out and 'Saucerful . . . ' too and up to 'Zabriskie' UmmaGumma and 'Atom Heart Mother' and finally 'Meddle',  soundtracks like 'Obscured By Clouds' being the last album I bought I think which is where I left them and clearly I guess I must have been more of a Syd fan as when he went, they left me behind within a few albums. 
The previous adoration of all the band members including his 'replacement' so called, his oldest school friend Dave Gilmour, paled as Roger Waters took over the mantle of writing which frankly by 'Dark Side of The Moon was some of the most juvenile and cliche ridden dross I had ever heard. Fun tracks like 'Bike' and singles like 'See Emily...' and the transvestite peon 'Arnold Layne' and his 'strange hobby' made way to 'Money' and by the truly dreadful 'Wall' I was no longer a fan except maybe of Gilmour.  'Saucerful . . ' still had something and 'Set The Controls . . .' was still a musical tour de force but by 'Dark Side' I had left them in disgust . . . . 

On this day in music history: June 29, 1968 - “A Saucerful Of Secrets”, the second studio album by Pink Floyd is released. Produced by Norman Smith, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London from August, October 1967 and January - April 1968. The bands follow up to their debut “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” is recorded sporadically over a period of eight months, largely because of Syd Barrett’s increasing mental instability due to his excessive consumption of psychedelic drugs. Syd's friend and guitarist David Gilmour is brought in to take Barrett’s place, though they had been working together for a while as Syd deteriorated Dave becoming a permanent member of the band in March 1968. The album features songs such as “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” and the title track, both of which become staples of their live performances. The enigmatic cover art for the album is designed by Hipgnosis, making Pink Floyd the first EMI act (besides The Beatles) to have their album covers designed by someone other than EMI’s art department). It is the beginning of a four decade long association with the graphic design company. Reissued on CD numerous times since its first digital release in 1987, it is most recently reissued in 2011. The album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2016, with the album sleeve using a printed version of the original UK “flip back” jacket design, and pressed with the original 60’s era UK Columbia labels. “A Saucerful Of Secrets” peaks at number nine on the UK album chart, and does not chart on the Billboard Top 200.

with thanks to Jeff Harris' wonderful blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History   
Nick Drake - Place To Be
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From the legendary Nick Drake and  I think I have pretty much everything as he was really important to us growing up and my dearest friends, Leo and Michelle, played 'Time Has Told Me' as their signature tune for me . . . . . . . 'Place to Be' from Pink Moon to ease you towards the weekend

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Don't often post much Elvis as he leaves me a tad cold except for the real early stuff (Sun sessions is a favourite and the comeback in '68 and then he blew it for me)  . . . . . but it's Friday so heck here's a classic . . . . Camp as you like! Dedicated to my old friend and colleague Paul Reid because he is SO conflicted about being a Mod and loves his Elvis who as we all know was a Greebo! Dirty Filthy Rocker! 😉 😎

Thursday, June 29, 2017

another in the series of singles bought when they came out thanks to Jeff Harris' wonderful blog
still members of the Fan Club by now and yet about to leave and move on as the Wings and 80's kicked in and left me cold  . . . . at least for a while

On this day in music history: June 28, 1980 - “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” by Paul McCartney & Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Paul McCartney, it is the seventh solo chart topper for Liverpool, UK born singer, songwriter and musician born James Paul McCartney. Written in the Summer of 1979 while recording his album “McCartney II” at his farmhouse in rural Scotland, he performs all of the instrumental parts and most of the vocals on his own. Months prior to its release as a single, McCartney and his band Wings perform “Coming Up” to live audiences on a brief tour of the UK to rapturous response. The bands show at the Glasgow Apollo in Glasgow, Scotland on December 17, 1979 is recorded and includes a rousing performance of “Coming Up”. When the studio version is released as a single in April of 1980, that performance is also included on the B-side of the 45 with the “Venus And Mars” era track “Lunchbox/Odd Sox”. US radio stations immediately take to the live version, giving it more airplay than the studio version and creating a huge public demand for it. Initially, Columbia Records in the US wants to add the live recording to the “McCartney II” album, but Paul refuses. A compromise is reached with CBS by including a bonus 7" single (actually one sided white label promotional copies originally intended for radio stations only) of the “Live At Glasgow” version with the first pressing of the album. Entering the Hot 100 at #73 on April 26, 1980, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “Coming Up” is also instrumental in McCartney’s friend and former band mate John Lennon coming out of his five year long retirement from the music business. While spending time at his and wife Yoko Ono’s beach house at Cold Spring Harbor in Long Island, NY, Lennon hears the song on the radio just days before its release. Impressed by the song and feeling the competitive urge once again, Lennon is immediately inspired to begin writing the songs that becomes the “Double Fantasy” album released in November of 1980. After the chart success of the live recording of “Coming Up” in the US, an alternate live performance recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on December 29, 1979 is released. That version is featured in the live concert film and soundtrack album “Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea” released in 1981. “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
with thanks to Jeff Harris' wonderful blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History    

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On this day in music history: June 27, 1989 - “Cosmic Thing”, the fifth album by The B-52’s is released. Produced by Don Was and Nile Rodgers, It is recorded at Dreamland Recording Studio in West Hurley, NY and Skyline Studios in New York City from Late 1988 - Early 1989. After the loss of original guitarist Ricky Wilson in October 1985 and the lukewarm reception to the “Bouncing Off The Satellites” album, the veteran new wave band take a three year long hiatus from the music business before regrouping. In the interim, Keith Stickland having switched from the drums to playing guitar (having learned Wilson’s unique guitar tunings), begin composing new material in 1988. Playing some of the new songs for his bandmates, The B-52’s begin writing and playing together again. Their first album of all new studio material in over three years. Returning to the studio in late 1988, the band work with Was (Not Was) bassist Don Was fresh off of producing Bonnie Raitt’s comeback album “Nick Of Time”, and Chic guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers. The album features additional musicians including former Gang Of Four bassist Sara Lee, drummers Steve Ferrone (AWB, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers), Sonny Emory (Earth, Wind & Fire, Bruce Hornsby), and Charley Drayton (Divinyls). It is an artistic and commercial triumph upon its release, and is the biggest selling album of their career. It spins off four singles including “Love Shack” (#3 Pop), “Roam” (#3 Pop) and “Deadbeat Club” (#30 Pop) “Cosmic Thing” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Another song bought when it came out and this I have on a 12" single or EP extended remix when it came out. It was a great chart classic and you could dance to it! Ironic too! 

Lily Allen - Ldn (Layered)

• download

One for my daughter Amy largely because we shared a passion for Lily Allen and it is fun to find out you share musical tastes with your children. My son Matthew used to despair when his friends came round and found Blur or Pulp albums at the height of Britpop and they admired them and he had to say "It's my Dad's!" Hah!We share a penchant for Miss Allen and anyone who samples Professor Longhair on their first album is alright by me . . . . . here's the single from the album LDN that we bought when it came out . . . . . . . . 
Possibly the most perfect album of all time . . . . . . . well the most perfect band of all time so . . . . . . . . . "Home"
Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

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  • Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
  • Ian Dury
  • New Boots And Panties (Deluxe Edition)
Ian Dury - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Of course . . . . . ."I will buy you scarlet ribbons . . . . Bernard Cribbins" I Dury
More in the series of singles or sounds bought when they came out and largely I think because of the video this was a resounding success

  • Bitter Sweet Symphony
  • The Verve
  • This Is Music: The SIngles 1992-1998

  • Da Da Da
  • Trio
  • Da Da Da Ich Lieb Dich Nicht Du Liebst Mich Nicht Aha Aha Aha Maxi
Da Da Da | Trio

Another in an ongoing series of singles (or albums) bought when they came out and an exploration in the hook I guess. This made me laugh out loud! I bought it anyway. Ice Lieb Dich Nicht Du Liebst Mich Nicht. Quite . . . . . 

  • Macarena
  • Los del Río
  • Fiesta Macarena
Macarena |  Los del Río

Pure pop? . . . . . . how infectious is this song? Fed up with it? Think it's uncool? tell your feet! It is totally infectious and a work of genius like all summer hit songs ( well maybe not the Birdie Song . . . .although . . . . maybe another time.(sic!) This is fun and the song is, I believe, a peon to women IMHO check the laughter and the lyrics . . . . the women win and all there is to do is DANCE!

  • T. Rex - Get It On (Full Length Version)
  • T. Rex
  • “Electric Warrior” (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition
T. Rex - Get It On (Full Length Version) (1971)
(AKA “Bang a Gong (Get It On)”)
Marc Bolan
from: “Electric Warrior” (40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (CD2)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

more in the series of singles or sounds bought when they came out and this is a single from the one hit wonders Martha and The Muffins but what a track!?

“Echo Beach”
Martha and the Muffins

Monday, June 26, 2017

Solar Dynamics Observatory

The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is a NASA mission which has been observing the Sun since 2010. Launched on February 11, 2010, the observatory is part of the Living With a Star (LWS) program. The goal of the LWS program is to develop the scientific understanding necessary to effectively address those aspects of the connected SunEarthsystem directly affecting life and society. The goal of the SDO is to understand the influence of the Sun on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the solar atmosphere on small scales of space and time and in many wavelengths simultaneously. SDO has been investigating how the Sun’s magnetic field is generated and structured, how this stored magnetic energy is converted and released into the heliosphere and geospace in the form of solar wind, energetic particles, and variations in the solar irradiance
Read more at: NASA/SDO | Wikipedia
Image credit: NASA/SDO/AIA/HMI/EVE & proccessed  Stuart Rankin

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Ever since I first heard him (you know THAT single) I have enjoyed the work of George Ezra and this appearance on the One Show I enjoyed and is my summer Hit Single choice. Not hip enough?
It don't matter now . . . . . . . . check out the previous single too the official video here . . . . special guest appearance from some old dude. I LOVE IT!

Listen To The Man . . . . . . . . 
Well this is an interesting coincidence after posting the '68 Cream concert yesterday here from  Jeff Harris' wonderful  site and a truly fascinating bit of music memorabilia  - a piece of rock history 'on this day in music' series and an auction doesn't feature  that often if ever here but this is truly fascinating and from 1999 in a brilliant cause for Eric's Crossroads rehabilitation centre

On this day in music history: June 24, 1999 - Musician Eric Clapton auctions off 100 of his guitars, amplifiers and other accessories. Clapton puts the guitars on sale through Christie’s Auction House of New York to raise funds for his Crossroads Center Foundation and for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic The Crossroads Centre in Antigua, W.I.. Among the instruments on the auction block are numerous vintage Fender, Gibson and Martin guitars. The centerpiece of the collection is the two tone sunburst 1956 Fender Stratocaster nicknamed “Brownie”. This iconic guitar being one of Clapton’s personal favorites was most famously used by him on the Derek & The Dominoes album “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs” in 1970, and pictured on the back cover of the LP. Clapton originally purchased the guitar for $400 at the Sound City music store in London in May of 1967, while on tour with Cream. The Strat is also pictured with Clapton on the cover of his first solo album. The pre-sale estimate for the guitar is for between $80-100,000. The final auction price will far exceed that when it sells for a then record price of $497,500. The winning bid is placed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. “Brownie” is now on permanent display at the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, WA.
 again from Jeff Harris' wonderful blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History    

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Well I haven't posted anything from 24hour deja vu for a while but this morning they posted a classic which maybe could do with a push. Cream recordings and bootlegs or ROIO's are notoriously poor quality and the music of the late and mid sixties which is when I started collecting vinyl bootlegs are largely unplayable so I nearly didn't bother with this but boy was I wrong. If you are a Cream fan an Eric Clapton fan a Jack Bruce or Ginger Baker fan please check this out it is literally fantastic. Great quality and appears to be a soundboard. 

I dedicate this to my old school friend Jonny Marter the drummer who introduced me to the art of the drum, is amongst all those who could copy Ginger Baker's patterns by instinct while still at school and went on to play with a wide variety of bands from Mr Big to the stuff he is doing now. A truly lovely guy and one of nature's gentlemen though we have lost touch rather, I have only happy memories of our friendship. Google him he is a master of the percussive art and no mistake!
This one's for you Johnny!

Cream @ 24 Hour DejaVu here . . .

Friday, June 23, 2017

Really worth a visit the interactive exploration of Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights' an early influence and much admired painting that we had in a beautiful book that Dad had that attempted to explore all the great art of the past . . . . . .

Bosch - Interactive Garden of Earthly Delights
The English Beat - Save It For Later

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The BEAT - Save it For Later
 N.B. not the English Beat . . . they are THE BEAT
A feel good song . . . . . but angry too

 Two dozen other stupid reasons why we should suffer for this 
Don't bother trying to explain them, 
just hold my hand while we come  . . .  
to a decision on it

run away runaway run away let me down let me down
Just a reminder to never under estimate Kris Kristofferson this is possibly one of the best written drug withdrawal hangover songs ever written IMHO. Happy sobriety birthday Mr K

Born on this day: June 22, 1936 - Singer, songwriter, musician and actor Kris Kristofferson (born Kristoffer Kristofferson in Brownsville, TX. Happy 81th Birthday, Kris!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


a favourite . . . . so just because it's Midsummer day and the longest and hottest one for an age . . . . . 
Everybody Needs Somebody . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: June 20, 1980 - “The Blues Brothers - Original Soundtrack Recording” is released. Produced by Bob Tischler, it is recorded at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, IL, The Record Plant, Sound Mixers in New York City and The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA from April - May and July 1979. On the heels of the surprise success of the album “Briefcase Full Of Blues”, The Blues Brothers are spun off into a feature length film released through Universal Pictures. With a screenplay co-written by Dan Aykroyd and directed by John Landis, the musical comedy film co-stars Aykroyd and John Belushi as Elwood and Jakes Blues. Like on their previous album, The Blues Brothers are backed by many of the same musicians that had played on “Briefcase”, with the exception of keyboardist Paul Shaffer who is prevented from participating in the recording of the film soundtrack or appearing in the film due to his contractual ties with Saturday Night Live. Shaffer’s place in the Blues Brothers band is taken by Murphy Dunne, and Steve Jordan though he plays on the album is replaced in the film by former Bar-Kays and Isaac Hayes Movement drummer Willie “Too Big” Hall. The film and album also feature performances and on screen appearances by numerous R&B and blues music legends including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker and Cab Calloway. The album produced by SNL writer Bob Tischler is recorded prior to the start of principal photography in Chicago in July of 1979. One exception is the sequence in the church featuring James Brown as the Reverend Cleophus James. Not used to lip synching to his own pre-recorded vocals, filming his performance in proper synchronization with the track, is problematic at first. Landis solves the problem by having a 24-track tape machine running on set, with the pre-recorded instrumental playing as Brown sings his vocal live, and is captured on tape as the cameras roll. The album is another success, spinning off two singles including “Gimme Some Lovin’” (#18 Pop) and “Jailhouse Rock”. To promote the soundtrack and film, Belushi and Aykroyd and the the band go on tour, which is recorded for a live album titled “Made In America” released in December of 1980. First issued on CD in 1986, the soundtrack is remastered and reissued in 1995. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is first reissued as a limited edition pressing on marbled blue vinyl by Music On Vinyl in 2014 and a standard black vinyl pressing by Friday Music in 2015. “The Blues Brothers - Original Soundtrack Recording” peaks at number thirteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
this single is as old as me! 
Ain't it cooooool!
I think so . . . . . . . . 

Ruth Brown, The Hippodrome Beale Street, Memphis, TN    by Ernest Withers   1955
check out that dress!

CHUNGA'S REVENGE . . . . . ?

La Chunga and Salvador Dali, summer of 1957. Salvador Dali invited Micaela Flores Amaya, aka La Chunga to make art while performing for himself and friends. She danced on a blank canvas, while Dali applied paint. During intervals she would stop and he would add more paint.

I always admired flamenco artists and saw Paco Pena at the Oxford Guitar Society with my brother Steve Swapp, and being an intimate concert we sat in the front row and no less than 4 to 5 metres away and we also saw Manitas de Plata at the New Theatre who was an early childhood hero and that caused us to go see Segovia at the Sheldonian Theatre  all of whom I will never forget and if I had to choose it would go to Paco Pena who was sublime and this surprises me as I expected it to be in the reverse order if anything he went on to perform mostly with singers and dancers and quite a large troupe which I often had difficulty with (the singing is difficult to this untrained ear) but the solo guitar performance was simply exquisite and I bought a few albums by him . . . . . . that Salvador Dali was influenced (and vice versa) by Flamenco and all things Catalan was a part of his mystique that I admired the great master for as well.

Found this stunning dance video through International Times and being a life long fan of IT thought I should post it here in tribute. The discussion around sexism and belly dancing I will leave to others frankly this breathtaking beautiful dance is beyond such pettiness despite it's sinuous eroticism. It possesses all the heart beat of the world and reminds us if it were needed that woman is the source of the world. Wonderful . . . . ..  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My children worry about me and here's why . . . . . . . . . Bear with me, I have a new hobby . . . . . 
I know it’s too hot and who cares really but I can’t go out in this and my record for stringing along cold callers has hit a new level. Over an hour! A woman with a strong accent (possibly of Asian origin) called at 1.55pm and introduced herself as ‘Stephanie’ from Telephone Preference Management.

I asked if their company subscribed to the Telephone Preference Service which she said not which I informed her was illegal. She said no it isn’t because they were a part of the TPS and to improve their service they needed some info from me as to verify I am who I say I am and I said well I am Mr Swapp’s butler will that do? She said so and that the reason they were calling was to prevent international nuisance calls to which I said I wasn’t getting any. She then went on to verify my ‘masters’ details and went through my exact address and asked repeatedly for my name to which I said I was my own butler but was authorised to answer questions on my behalf. I stated that the address she had was correct (this slightly alarmed me but it is on the electoral roll so settled in for a while to see how long I could keep it going). She then asked for the verification code on my masters debit card was and I said my employer doesn’t have any, “several American Express (Platinum), Gold Visa, Silver Co-op multiple credit cards and several bank cards she asked if ‘he’ had one from HSBC so I said yes them and Lloyds, Midland (sic) Scottish Widows”, etc etc so she said could I read the number on my masters HSBC card above the name but not the account number. I said it doesn’t have one above the name and she said it should start 0206 (falsified) and so I said yes, she then repeatedly asked me to say out loud the rest of the number and I strung her along for over twenty minutes giving her random wrong numbers REALLY SLOWLY . . . . . . fourrrrrr . . . . . . . . . . . . .threeeeeeee . . . . . . . .and then claiming either it didn’t have one or the number was wrong. I switched card names several time saying the wrong one just to piss her off. 

After twenty minutes I got fed up so said if she though I was going to read out any number from my employees cards, the sort code or bank number (she asked for my master’s chequebook at one point and I said what’s one of those?) but that I would not give ANY number over the phone then she must be mad and why did she need me to do that if it was just about verifying I am who I say I am then I am clearly not the person on the card and she said she was going to hand over to her supervisor and a “Kevin” [love this Western names they are all suddenly using] came on the line and started from the beginning and I said “Hi Kevin how are you?” and he said ‘How are You today sir” So I said well actually I have a back condition and it has been bothering me but the worst thing was that I was being forced to take early retirement as |I had some weird condition which the hospitals and the medical profession where confused by but it was something to do with my having been bitten by a spider several years ago and what with privatisation of the Health Service I now had no money. He interrupted me and explained he was ringing to upgrade by Telephone Preference Service and he needed to ask me some questions first to verify who I was and I said you know I am just the butler here right and whilst I can answer questions on Mr Swapp’s behalf what did his numerous bank accounts and gold or platinum credit card numbers have to do with withholding nuisance calls like this one? Bit lost on him this, I’m afraid! I explained we don’t need to expand the service of TPS to include international nuisance calls as I wasn’t getting any. “You know apart from THIS ONE!”

I started to pretend to get cross and asked to speak to his supervisor and he said he was the supervisor so I said no YOUR supervisor, which really confused the poor dear and asked repeatedly for his line manager. I then asked where he was calling from and he disclosed W1W London and I said whereabouts and he said W1W so I asked for the company details and he said the company was DMA House  >>Correct address for TPS removed<<  to which I said FF? he said no SS I asked again can you spell that is it like F for Fascist? He said S for Sugar so I said what like SS for Schutzstaffel and he seemed confused so I said what like S for Spoof? or S for Spam? to which he agreed. 

Meanwhile I looked them up and realised there was such a company but that hadn’t been who they said they were so quizzed him about this falsification and kept him going for another twenty minutes or so. I asked him what area in London he was calling from and he said repeatedly Wetc 8SS and I said no that’s the post code, what area? and he said 70 so 'n'so St and I said no that’s the street name and number, try again and I said what area you know like Hounslow, or Whitechapel what area did they all work in and he kept repeating W1W and I said no that’s the postcode why don’t you look it up and he said ‘I don’t need to’ and I said ‘I think you do because you don’t even know where you are!’ Eventually he said ‘Fitzrovia’ and I congratulated him on his ability to look it up on Google which was exactly what I had just done!! and I told him that he had won a prize and that was that, that I was going to report the DMA of  >>Correct address for TPS removed<<  o the Telephone Preference Service because he was not from TPS and he was from the some other SpamBot Association and would be hearing from my masters lawyers within the next few days and suddenly at ten past 3 he hung up! 

Tip: Don’t hassle Mr Swapp’s butler when it’s hot!

I win! Oh, my bad!?

P.S. I am a big believer win the TPS and checked and was somewhat surprised to see they had indeed suede the correct address for them in this SCAM which annoyed me - do you rally think I wouldn't check?! The site is useful and does work and I have been registered with them for ages and always ask cold callers if they are registered and it will usually out them off. This one was the exception as they pretended to BE the TPS or the management team thereof and for info the TPS does NOT ask for credit card, bank account details or any financial info from it's registered clients and registering is STILL free!
Register with the Telephone Preference Service here
Sir Paul McCartney turns 75 today - born in 1942 in Liverpool, England. He is a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the recipient of 21 Grammys. His Beatles song "Yesterday" is one of the most covered songs in musical history, and he has written over 30 No. 1 songs in his life.
"Every time I come to write a song," says McCartney, "there's this magic little thing where I go, 'Ooh, ooh, it's happening again.' I just sit down at the piano and go, 'Oh my God, I don't know this one,' and suddenly there's a song."
 When he was 14, his mother died of an embolism. This led to his deep connection with John Lennon, whose mother had also died when he was a teenager

Paul & Linda @ Mardis Gras 1975
I was late posting as there was so much horror on the tv I quite forgot to post any silliness of fun, celebrating Sir Paul's birthday and I have said else where on previous posts in what high regard I hold him and it seemed significant his birthday should fall on Father's Day.
"They say it's your birthday . . . . . . "