On This Day – A Squid Eats Down Into a Polyethelene Bag

Yes, that’s right the Maskara Snake, on this day in 1941 the world of music saw the birth of a stone cold genius.

The ZigZag Wanderer himself, Don Van Vliet, made his appearance in Glendale California. The old fart was playing and the mothership was flying when, 28, years later the best album ever made hit our shelves (and has rarely been off my turntable or out of my CD player ever since).

Trout Mask Replica is unconditionaly guaranteed to amaze and delight you in your blue jeans under the moonbeams while the doc at the radar station watches a black bird eating ice cream and a man in a hat picks up his easel says goodbye and then walks down his yellow brick road. Its the same ol’ blues, again. Ella Guru sheds a tin teardrop and says that he was the one red rose that she meant.

Just Throwing This One In a Captain Tribute Band – And they ain’t Bad!

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On This Day – The Great Slim Harpo

On this day in 1924 one of the best blues performers ever was born.

Slim Harpo was born James Moore in Lobdel, Louisiana and was the eldest in an orphaned family.  He worked as a longshoreman and builder during the 30s.  He began performing in Baton Rouge as Harmonica Slim.  Later he backed his brother in Law Lightnin’ Hopkins (another blues great).

he was given the name Slim Harpo by his producer Jay Miller, a reference to his mastery of the harmonica.  His solo debut was amazing coupling “I’m a King Bee” with “I Got Love if You Want It”.  A string of hits followed.  His songs were covered by many in the British Blues boom of the 60s including The Stones, Yardbirds, Them, Pretty Things – infact, almost anyone playing in British clubs at the time.

His lazy delivery cooupled with understated but effective electric backing ensured his place in the pantheon of blues greats.

The Sons of The Delta with King Bee

Slim’s Original

The Immortal Muddy’s Version (turn this one up)

Stone’s version 1966

2 for the Price of One! The Wonderful Bonnie Raitt Singing ‘Coming Home’ and Steve Tyler with King Bee!

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On This Day – Elvis Lives !

Jan 8th was a significant day for Elvis, he was born on this day in 1935, Jan 8th 1945 he was given his first guitar, Jan 8th 1955 he released his 3rd single. Not too shabby.

So January 8th was not a bad day for Elvis, or for us music lovers as it also saw the birth of Bowie (1947), Shirley Bassey (1937), (the Dame is 10 years younger than the Dame?) and Bill Graham in 1931.

ON the other hjand January 8th has provide some lows as well. Yoko Ono released “Approximately Infinite University” in 1973.

‘Nuff Said (One for the older readers)

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On This Day – Max Sued

On this day in 1970 Max Yasgur who owned the farm where Woodstock was sued by neighbours for damages caused by the rampaging hippies. The suits either totaled $25,000 0r $35,000. Eventually, they were settled. The finances of ‘Woodstock Ventures’ are a bit murky but it seems that although it was planned as a profit making venture (it only became a free concert after so many people turned up) but the some 80 lawsuits filed against them were paid from the profits of the film. The film also helped to settle their $1.4m debts.

The people who didn’t play Woodstock?

The Beatles, some say because the organisers would not also book
the Yoko Ono Band, some because Lennon could not get into the states because of visa difficulties.

The Doors because they thought it would not be worthy of them ‘a second class Monteray’.

Led Zepp ‘cos they did not want to be just another band on the bill.

Dylan was negotiating but his son became ill.

The Moody Blues decided to play a gig in Paris instead. That was either a really bad decision or an inspired one. Bad because of the loss of exposure good because more than most they relied on a good sound system when playing live and the sound at Woodstock was bad, very bad.

Missed opportunity?

Keef Hartley played Woodstock but did not make the film because their manager refused to give the rights away. Shame ‘cos KH was ‘my’ band in the 60’s and they deserved much better recognition.

Best way to experience Woodstock? Watch the film turn up the volume, sit in a tub of mud, and smoke your little smoke, drink your little drink, while I dance the night away…….(No FZ wasn’t there either)

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On This Day – Stones In Harrow & The Beatles On US TV

The Fab Four at their most Fab.......

The Fab Four at their most Fab.......

On this day in 1964 two British bands were on the up. The Beatles made their first appearance on american TV. The Jack Paar Show aired film taken from a BBC film ‘The mersey Sound’ that showed the Fab Four playing ‘She Loves You’. Jack Paar was patronising and commented, negatively, on the Beatles’ hair cuts and music.

Gawd knows what he would have made of the Stones.

They were embarking on their first tour in the UK on which they were the headliners having previously backed people like Bo Diddley, Little Richard and The Everly Brothers. This tie round they were supported by the Ronnettes (as was usual at the time a strange pairing it seems to me). Jack Paar may not have liked the Beatles’ hair Phil Spector did not like the Stones’ morals. He sent a telegram to the Stones warning to stay away from ‘his girls’. Mind you Ronnie of the Ronnettes was his wife at the time.

Apparently, the Stones ignored the telegram.

the_rolling_stonesThe tour started in the Harrow Granada, not the best venue they would ever play, but certainly not the worst. One notable thing from the tour was that the Stones stopped wearing their band uniform. One of the first bands to do so. These days it seems hard imagine that any band would wear a uniform, but it was the norm in those days. That they stopped wearing them enhanced their loutish, bad boy image. parents (mine included) hated them because of it. The kids (me included) loved them because of it (and the music, of course).

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On This Day – The First UK Band To Have a US Number 1

On this day, 22nd December 1962 a British band had the first ever US number 1. Who was it?

It is one those irritating music trivia questions that most of us would get wrong.

It was Telstar by The Tonados (known as The Tonadoes in the USA).

They have another first to their name. They recorded the first ever openly gay song in pop history. It was a b side to their 1966 single “Is That A Ship I Hear?”

Their producer was the great Joe Meek, wracked with so many issues in his own life he felt that the instrumental needed a lift. So he added what seems a mild piece of conversation between 2 of the group’s members. There were references to going down to Picadilly, the centre of the gay scene London. Remember being gay was still a crime in those days and the reason for the obscure references becomes clear. Still, you have to think that it was a brave thing to do.

One disregarded band and 2 milestones, not bad going.

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On This Day – 17th December 2010 Captain Beefheart dies

On this day in 2010 CaptainBeefheart died after a long illness. He was most original, and best, artists to ever grace rock music. In many ways he epitomises what I mean when I talk about real rock music. Original, informed, unconventional, thoughtful and provoking.

Rather than write the usual eulogy I have decided to give you a couple of may favourite Beefheart quotes, in no particular order;

They can catch a straight line, but they can’t catch a circle. I don’t work in straight lines.”

It was a very ecological album. I was just trying to eke out a little logic.” About Safe as Milk

“Garland likes Lightnin’ Hopkins but he has too much ego to listen to my music. If I’m listening to my music while I paint and Garland walks up I have to turn off the music or he won’t come in the room” This about fiscal Garland (It is good to know that The Magic Captain named his cat after one of Bristol City’s best ever players, Chris Garland – or then, maybe he didn’t ..

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On This Day – Dusty Deported! 15th December 1964

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On this day, 15th December 1964, Dusty Springfield was deported from South Africa.

Her crime was to insist on playing to mix race audience outside of Cape Town.  This angered the white apartheid government.  The evil regime had her put on a plane back to the UK. The regime was, regarded as legitimate by the rest of the world at that time.

It was a brave move by a singer who had released her first album earlier in the year. Later in the year she was voted the UK’s favourite female singer,not that this incident would have played any part in that.

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To her credit Dusty had a habit of standing up against bigots.  She refused to have footage of her touching Harry Belafonte’s alarm during a USA TV special.  Resisting enormous pressure from sponsors she stood firm.

As she was escorted to the plane the black airport workers formed an impromptu guard of honour for her.

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On This Day – Quite a week for The Beatles

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In this week in this1961 The Beetles, still with Pete Best, had quite a week. On the 9th they played in Aldershot to just 18 people. Their then manager, Sam Bleach had forgotten to book any advert in the local paper….. Back in Liverpool, the next day – a trip of some notes350 miles – they had their second interview with Brian Epstein . He wanted to become their manager, of course. Any doubts they may have had must have been eased after the previous day. Who could do worse? Anyway John Lebanon summed up the band’s feeling when he said. “Right the, Brian, manage us”. The start of a great partnership. Their week was not finished, though, 3 days later they were playing in the Cavern Club when they were seen by Mike Smith. Smith was looking for talent for the Mecca record label and recommended them for an audition. Not allgood news, as they were rejected by Decca !

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On This Day – The Mancs Take Over TOTP

On This day in 1989 The Happy Mondays and the Stone Roses (both from Manchester) made their debuts on Top of the Pops.

The Roses played “Fools Gold” and The Mondays “Hallelujah” (no not that Hallelujah). I was never a fan of Shaun Ryder and co and time has not mellowed my opinion…………

Now The Roses, I always had a soft spot for them, well, a grudging like of their music.

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