|Gone But Not Forgotten|
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I was very sad to hear that Davy Jones of Monkees fame died of a heart attack, 66 years of age. The English part of America’s answer to the Beatles, probably one of the first manufactured boy bands. When the Monkees came into being, there was a lot of anger from the music press about them not being a proper band. I didn’t care, I was just an eight year old kid who loved the TV show with it’s whacky and zany (60’s speak) plots. Of course being English and the lead singer, Davy Jones was always the favourite. The other thing I remember about the group was that you could buy cards which cost sixpence, old money, and for this grand sum you got 3 picture cards and a small strip of foul tasting chewing gum. Davy also appeared once on Coronation Street before he found fame in America. So farewell Davy, for a band that couldn’t play, they had some fantastic songs, such as “Steppin’ Stone” “Last train to Clarkesville” “A little bit me, a little bit you” and a host of others including my favourite “Alternate Title.” Micky Dolenz sang on this one and when he did Davy filled in on the drums. So I hope you are up there with your tambourine in hand.
Duncan, Feb 2012
I was very sad to hear today that Jimmy Castor died last Monday. I only do these about people that mean a lot to me and Jimmy was one of them. I first saw him in the mid 70’s on The Old Grey Whistle Test doing the “Bertha Butt Boogie” it probably doesn’t mean any thing to a lot of people but I just loved the funk of it. This led me to buy “Butt of Course” and “Supersound.” I was also lucky enough to pick up an original vinyl copy of “It’s just begun” as well, with its stylish cover and fantastic title track.
He has actually had 2 vinyl’s of the month on Chelmsford Rocks and not many performers can boast that accolade either.
He will be a very great miss in my household and my brothers I think. I just hope that the Everything man has Potential with those Butt sisters by the lake.
Gil sadly passed away yesterday. He was a poet, musician with a strong sense of the rightness in things. He was called the black Bob Dylan and wrote protest songs. I first heard one of his songs back in the 70’s. It was at a disco and the song was “Johannesburg.” I being young and ignorant at the time thought it was about what a nice place it was. If you listen to the words, the complete opposite. He also possibly did the first ever rap record, well the first one I had ever heard and that was back in 1970 “The revolution will not be televised.” He made a lot of social tracks, listen to his songs like “Home is where the hatred is” “Whitey on the moon” and the track that is sometimes played on the northern soul circuit “The bottle.” Another strange thing was that his Jamaican dad played football for Celtic and he was their first ever black player.
So just remember “a dollar nine, gets a bottle of wine.”
Duncan May 2011
Malcolm Allison RIP
Mr Big Stuff/Jean Night
I was very sad to hear of Malcolm Allison’s death the other day. Always a larger than life character. My main memories of him was when I was a kid seeing him at Wembley with the big Fedora hat and even bigger cigar. I have always had a soft spot for Man City as my mum is from Manchester and a lot of my cousins supported City. When I was young while visiting my Nan, my Dad used to take us to Maine Rd where we used to stand in the Kippax. This was in the Joe Mercer & Malcolm Allison Days and City actually used to win things. I always treasured those moments, standing at the front with a big wave of noise rolling down the terraces. It’s quite a thing for a 9 or 10 year old. Big Mal was definitely a blokes, bloke, a big drinker and womaniser. I can recall just when I first started work, him being in a newspaper because he was in a bath with porno star Fiona Richmond. Top chap.
I have picked this tune from one of my fave record labels, STAX, as I feel it describes him. They don’t make footballers or managers like him anymore, so rest in peace.
Sir Norman Wisdom 04.02.1915 to 04.10.2010
Colin Oct 5th 2010
Sad to hear of the death of Malcolm Mclaren yesterday of cancer at the age of 64. I didn’t really know much about him apart from managing a couple of bands that I like, the New York Dolls (who I am going to see on the 19th) and the fabulous Sex Pistols. Without this band, the 4 great singles and album they released, perhaps the British and maybe worldwide musical landscape would never have changed. You might still be listening to ELO or have Emmerson, Lake and Palmer release their 47th concept album. Anyone of an age can still remember the Sunday papers chasing Johnny Rotten, Paul Cook, Steve Jones and Glen Matlock around the country with headlines like Puke Rock, where supposedly Rotten was sick on stage in the middle of a gig (it probably never happened). Who can forget the release of “God save the Queen” in the Jubilee year? It seems quite tame now, but then, it was revolutionary, where people did not criticise or make fun of the monarchy. Or the Bill Grundy interview with tales of disgusted viewers, smashing their TV’s. This was all orchestrated by Mclaren, who knew how to get the most publicity out of the smallest action.
He also, with his then girlfriend Viviene Westwood had a shop in the Kings Rd called Sex. They sold all the punk gear in there. I walk past it once but would not go in to have a look, as these sort of places always seemed to be sinister and dangerous places to be and not the sort of shop for us normal kids.
Mclaren and Rotten fell out and as far as I was concerned this was the end of the Pistols who just cashed in after this with some awful singles such as “My way” and the awful other side of that one, Ronnie Biggs singing “No one is innocent.” They also tried to do a lot of Eddie Cochran songs with Sid Vicious, the bassist who took over from Matlock as the lead singer. I can remember that Malcolm Mclaren had some more tracks which charted later in the 80’s, who can forget the song “Buffalo Gals” and “Double Dutch” with the girls with the skipping ropes. He also diverted into opera with the electronic “Madam Butterfly.”
A wonderful thing that he is also responsible for is his son with Vivienne Westwood, Joseph Corre who is responsible for the lingerie shop, Agent Provoceteaur. Who hasn’t had a peek through the windows of that shop whilst in Pont Street, Belgravia.
So good luck in your next career and thanks for the memories in this one.
Duncan April 2010
It was with great sadness that I saw on the net that Teddy Pendergrass passed away a few days ago, aged 59. As a soul fan who can forget the lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes. Recording on Philledelphia International such great songs as “Don’t leave me this way,” not the insipid Jimmy Summerville version, but Teddy giving it the billy big bollox vocals, on the original. “Wake up everybody,” which had the album with the same name, this had a great cover of a statue with an afro. “If you don’t know me by now,” and my favourite “the love I lost.” After the Wake up everybody album he left the blue notes and pursued a solo career where he recorded such great ballads as “Turn off the light,” “Close the door” “Life is a song worth singing” and the more ballsier “Only you.”
Teddy had a great voice which was both warm and powerful at the same time, I mean who can not try give it your all when you sing along too “don’t leave me this way.” I hope you have now found the love you lost and I hope it is a sweet love.
Duncan Jan 2010