Thursday, August 02, 2007

Imagine There Are Some Clever Turkeys

Here's an interesting story... about the piano John Lennon wrote the song Imagine at...




One of the more interesting side notes is that George Michael ( yeah the guy from Wham who passes out in his car) is the guy who donated the piano, which he'd bought a few years ago for a little over $2 million bucks.

Maybe he just forgot where he parked it...

Here's a couple songs associated with Mr Lennon

First up here's Lennon's aforementioned Imagine, as done by A Perfect Circle, the side project group featuring Maynard of Tool.

There's a bit of a serial killer fronting Led Zeppelin feel to it ... but, why not?

A Perfect Circle - Imagine


I'm catching this next act next week when they roll into the Hollywood Bowl to do tribute set built around the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

The occasion is the 40th Anniversary of the discs release, and I hope it's as grand an occasion as the ticket price. I'll report back to y'all on this one for sure...

Many people have heard Cheap trick do Daytripper, or even Magical Mystery Tour, which was tacked onto an "unauthorized" Greatest Hits collection by Sony awhile back. So interest of keeping it fresh, here's Cheap Trick doing a Lennon solo number from a 1995 tribute disc. Perhaps you were unaware that Bun e Carlos & Rick Nielson also played on Mr. Lennon's last album?

Bun E has mentioned before in an interview that Lennon smoked a highly unusual for the times, but exceptionally potent sticky sort of marijuana, that these days would be known as "the dank".

Here's Lennon offering the blind Stevie Wonder some Cocaine through the PA at a 1974 Jam Session, since I guess Stevie couldn't likely "hear" what was going on...

John Lennon - Would You Like a Toot?


Lennon had dabbled in myriad drugs since his mop top daze, hence the all too realistic song Cold Turkey.

The slightly wicked, but somewhat wholesome midwestern boy Robin Zander does fine with the tune here, but one never imagines him as quite as depraved as Mr. Lennon likely was in his "lost weekend".

Cheap Trick - Cold Turkey


Ironically, the track that Bun E & Rick played on at the 1980 Double Fantasy sessions was called "Losing You". It was rejected for the album because it seemed out of character with the rest of the songs, and perhaps a little too much like Cold Turkey.

Here's Cheap Trick in a montaged video clip with Lennon doing the Losing You song, but shot in the mid 1990's along with Tony Levin who also played on the song. This is from around the same time as the Cold Turkey tribute track was released...



I expect the rest of today's post will be more flaky. less focused and far more worthless...

I promise!

anyhow...

Paul McCartney, Lennon's friend/co-writer/nemesis who was not one any Lennon tributes I know of, but also present for that 1974 jam session mentioned above, also later contributed to a tribute album to the late Mr. Ian Dury.

McCartney sang "I'm Partial To your Abracadabra"...

I don't have that McCartney version of the track, being a flake, but I do have the original from Mr. Dury himself that I'd like to post...

as well as some others...

I can commit to that...so let's dig into da Dury shall we?

While McCartney & Lennon were in LA partying it up with Stevie Wonder, Harry Nilsson, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman and May Peng... Ian Dury was roughing it out on the pub circuit with a band on either the verge of breaking out or breaking up.




It turns out Dury's band Kilburn & The Highroads despite a slot opening for a Who tour in the UK were essentially doomed, and called it quits circa 1975.

Kilburn & the Highroads - Rough Kids(1974 demo version?)



Here's a slightly more polished studio version with a bit less hiss, and more trademark Dury growl from their debut/only real album Handsome recorded in 1975 for Pye Records label subsidiary Dawn. I got this version off a great, but now likely out of print CD compilation called "Pub Rock : Paving The Way For Punk", that documented the mid 70's U.K indie rock scene, including Dr. Feelgood, The Kursaal Flyers, Eddie & the Hot Rods etc.



Kilburn & High Roads - Rough Kids ( LP version )


The slightly condescending term 'Pub Rock' was never something these bands sought, but what else can ya say about a low brow scene that rarely left the small halls & clubs of the English cities & countryside. The music was basically roots rock revivalism, inflected with a more casual 70's flair & simple sensibility. It's laidback boogie style portended to be less about backstage passes, the pomp & circumstance of stadium rock, and more about downing brews and enjoying a good time.

Other bands in the London / Essex pub circuit included jazz vet Joe Strummer's 101ers, Barry Richardson's Bees Make Honey, Paul Carrack's band Ace, NME writer Charles Shaar Murray's band Blast Furnace and Eggs Over Easy with Austin DeLone. A young Bon Scott had emigrated temporarily from Australia to work the U.K pub scene with his band Fraternity before heading back to start AC/DC in 1974. One San Francisco area act who ended up playing the U.K's pub rock scene was Clover, a fore runner of Huey Lewis & The News, and they were asked to back a guy named Declan MacManus on his debut album after leaving his previous group Flip City. You of course know him better as Elvis Costello.



Kilburn & The Highroads were a somewhat popular pub rock combo, but gained no traction outside London with their debut disc and soon broke up. After venturing forth on his own as the punk fad was breaking out in 1976, Dury had considerable trouble getting noticed on his own. Despite help from several well connected music biz friends including Peter Jenner, he was rejected by nearly every label his demo had been submitted to. Fortunately his management company, Blackhill, also handled Joe strummer's new band The Clash, and rented in the same building as a new record company that might take a chance on a very rough looking, and not entirely commercially palatable bloke in question.

After all this same company was getting traction with a skinny guy pub rock vet of the band who wore glasses, named Elvis Costello, why not a cockney accented Ted with a little showman flair?

It was renegade indie Stiff Records that came to the rescue, they leased the masters and helped assemble his band The Blockheads, and put him on the road as part of the Live Stiffs 77 tour...

Stiff was on a roll, and had arguably released Britain's first punk rock record in 1976, The Damned's "New Rose", helping spawn a movement, with a simple single produced by ex- Brinsley Schwartz "pub rocker" Nick Lowe.

Ian Dury was along for the ride, to old to be entirely "punk", but he was definitely a misfit who seemed an unlikely candidate for the mainstream, much less the burgeoning disco craze or metal scenes. Known for his natty thrift store threads, and distinctly Cockney personality, he eventually made several Cockney reggae crossover hits on the Stiff label with his band The Blockheads starting in the late 1970's.


Here's Ian Dury & the Blockheads from a 1977 performance of Sweet Gene Vincent on the Old Grey Whistle Test programme.



And here's another from the debut releases "New Boots & Panties", whose album title came from Dury's preference for wearing eccentric vintage suits, paying top dollar only when scoring new under garments & footwear.

Ian Dury - I'm Partial To Your Abracadabra.mp3


Amongst the most remembered Dury tracks are "Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll," "Spasticus Autisticus" "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" and "Reasons to be Cheerful".


Dury, a lifelong smoker of "fags", died of complications from colon cancer and emphysema at age 57 in March of 2000. After his musical career mostly subsided in the late 80's, he'd appeared in a few flicks, including the cult classic film The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. He made rousing appearances at occasional U.K festival and club dates up until his health failed. Dury was a childhood polio victim and had recently visited war torn Sri Lanka in 1998, on a campaign to rid the county of polio. He toured refugee camps with Robbie Williams and helped give children oral vaccinations against the disease.

Here's his biggest stateside hit, a song he wanted to remain a single, and insisted be left off of his debut album.

Ian Dury - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

This next track is from an old Stiff records 12" I had laying about...or maybe a CD reissue of the 12", anyway..it's the so called "version" dammit!

Dury liked the music of the Caribbean islands, and fell in love with Jamaican Reggae & Dub like his Brixton bred contemporaries in the Clash...

Ian Dury - Spasticus Autisticus ( Version)

Here's one more, a lesser known track, from Dury's 7th album, that was not released in the US when it originally came out circa 1992 called The Bus Driver's Prayer & Other Stories. It's now reissued as a pricey DBL CD import set. It featured a lineup that reunited most of the original Blockheads, including co-songwriter & occasional Clash keyboardist Mickey Gallagher.



Ian Dury - Poor Joey

One more Dury bonus treat:

Here's Dury reciting his Bus Driver's Prayer years before the album was recorded on the British TV show "So It Goes"...



and so we find the stray trails of my random thoughts and attempt to lasso whatever they may be into something further for you to dig through...

I know that this treasure trove can provide riches one day

and then not much the next...

It all depends on my mood I suppose

and right now...

the mood

is uh...

good question...

I suppose teetering somewhere on the ledge of despair & contentment as usual...

So in the interest of escaping whatever malaise that that brought me here to this juncture...let's get into some more music shall we?

Since this post sorta starts with the Beatles, it should finish with The Stones eh?

Or at least something related...

Here's one Stones tune from a defunct act that I remember sold shirts for real cheap, I think I paid a couple bucks or was it maybe $5 for mine...

They just spray painted cool thrift store scores with their cartoon logo, and I'm sure my gas station attendant job is still in a heap or something in my closet somewhere.

I was looking through a folder of Rolling Stones stuff, and came across one random cover...She's A Rainbow, by the band that "i tunes" dare not speak their name.

If yer wondering what the f*ck i'm talkin 'bout, I'm talking about

Fuck - She's A Rainbow

This came from a session supposedly done for John Peel at the BBC...it was released on their Gold Brick CD circa 2001...

Speaking of rainbows...

Another bit of unfinished business would have to be some Rainbow...

I posted a few tracks from them the other day, and then by golly, I forgot about this one...

It's not particularly crucial, but since I meant to stick it into the piece I wrote about 'em earlier this week... here goes...

From their first album circa late 1974, listen to the elfen hippie lord known as Ronnie James Dio get all mystical Lord of The Rings & sh*t on yo azz...


Yo y'know what bro, scratch that, for more Rainbow, of the delectable Dio era head here but no more today...

I think I'll just move on...


it's pretty late / early and i've got to get some shut eye before I tackle a lot of work ahead of me today...

0 peanut gallery sez::