The Soundtrack To My Life. 20/08/2011.

Well, I’ve slowly been moving out of my flat for the past couple of days now and here are some of the records that have kept me from going mad…

Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three – “Live At The Newport Folk Festival 2010”:

Robert Crumb And His Cheap Suit Serenaders’ selt titled Debut Album (1974):

Leadbelly: “Easy Rider” (3-Disc Compilation):

Big Mama Thornton: “The Original Hound Dog” (1990):

The “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” soundtrack by Jack Nitzsche (1975):

Almost 2 years have gone by since I wandered into The Strathclyde Suite in The Royal Concert Hall and saw Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three play one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen and they are STILL one of my favourite bands right now.
Still!
I got a hold of their performance at last year’s Newport Folk Festival and it’s just as good as their studio work.
I listen to these guys a lot and the Newport performance put me right in the mood for some more oldies…

Robert Crumb And His Cheap Suit Serenaders.
– Now there’s a fucking band!
Robert Crumb is of course, THEE Robert Crumb; the World famous (and notorious) underground cartoonist and illustrator. If you think his drawings are the works of a genius, you should check out this debut album because it fits perfectly with his artwork and him and his band will take you right back to the 1920’s.
Back to when music was good and inspired and played with heart.
Back before it was cheap and disposable like most of it is now.

I’ve been playing that Leadbelly compilation up there quite a lot recently too because I don’t know how he gets his 12-string guitar to sound exactly like it does and I want to find out. I’m pretty sure it’s because he tunes real low and hits his guitar rather than plays it.

Big Mama Thorton’s version of  “Hound Dog” will always be better than Presley’s for me but this particular album has a song on it which I love just as much. It’s called “Big Mama” and I love it because it starts off like this:
WELL…THEY CALL ME ‘BIG MAMA”BECAUSE I WEIGH 300 POUNDS!
Big Mama Thornton is how I imagine the Woman at the top of those legs in the Tom & Jerry Cartoons to be!

I’m not moving house very far. In fact I’m moving next door to myself but that’s besides the point because moving can still drive you crazy and sometimes it’s better if you just go with it and Jack Nitzsche’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” soundtrack will take you all the way to crazy and back.
I love that soundtrack more than the six invisible penguins who helped me move my things out of the flat.
Cheers boys!

Time to lie down for a few days.
Good morning.

The Soundtrack To My Life. 06/08/2011.

Prince’s mysterious and hard to find acoustic album “The Truth” (1997):

The Cramps, “A Date With Elvis” (1986):

The soundtrack from “The Devil’s Rejects” (2005):

The Misfits’ “Night Of The Living Dead” Single (1979):

ZZ Top’s “Eliminator” (1983):

Cab Calloway’s “Are You Hep To The Jive?” (1994):

This is what I’ve been listening to whilst clearing out my flat all week and I must urge you to go out and find that Prince album at the top of the list.
“The Truth” is mainly an acoustic album from Prince and it was released as a sort of bonus disc to his 3 Disc “Crystall Ball” Collection in 1998.

“The Truth” is nothing short of sheer magic all the way through and I’ve been telling everyone I know about it ever since I managed to find a copy in a second hand record shop years ago. For me, the stand out track is the title track which features an alarm clock and the loudest, longest, most over the top scream from Prince that you’ll ever hear from anyone in your life!

A close second favourite of mine is the track “Dionne” which will blow your mind away with it’s multi layered harmonies, simple acoustic guitar and lots of other little studio surprises which leave you on the floor thinking “What?”
If you can find it, get yourself “The Truth“.

My favourite song of the week comes from the soundtrack to “The Devil’s Rejects” and it’s called “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” by Elvin Bishop. I must have listened to that 20 times this week already!
I don’t know anything about Elvin Bishop but I’m off to see if I can find out.

No Particular Place To Go.

Chuck Berry is my hero.
Always has been, always will be.
There’s only ever gonna be one of that guy.

When it comes to Rock & Roll, it’s hard to pin down exactly who did what first but it basically comes down to Chuck, Elvis, Little Richard & Jerry Lee Lewis and for my money, I think Little Richard invented Rock & Roll but right behind him and ready to take over was Chuck Berry.

I never got the chance to see Little Richard pound that piano live but I once went to a Chuck Berry gig!
…The only problem was that Chuck Berry wasn’t there.

It was a few years ago now in Glasgow but basically Anna and I sat through the crappy support band for a LONG time until we realised that Chuck probably wasn’t gonna show up.
I remember feeling disappointed because it’s not often that Chuck Berry rolls into my town to play but I’d read a couple of books about him and I half expected him to be a no-show or at the least, very late.

I kept saying to Anna: “He ain’t coming. He’s probably arguing about money backstage! I’m never gonna see Chuck Berry.”
And you know what folks? I never did get to see Chuck Berry.
Goddamn.

We knew that we’d have no problem getting our tickets refunded so we left the 2000 strong audience to argue and complain at the box office and went for a drink.

I think it took us about a week or so before we actually found out what had happned to Chuck because it made the papers.
Apparently, Chuck had wanted to drive himself to the venue for the concert and although his hotel was less than a 10 minute walk away, Chuck is said to have insisted on driving.

His people had to explain to him that you can’t drink & drive in Glasgow and that you also must have a license to drive a car here.
Ol’ Chuck didn’t have any of these things going for him so that was that.

The story goes that he showed up later on at the empty venue demanding to be paid. – Whadda guy!
It’s easy to get pissed off at an uncompromising old feller like Chuck Berry but read any book about him and you will see how badly promoters and managers in the 50’s burned him for cash.

Also, he wrote “Johnny B. Goode”. 
What the hell have you ever done?

Chuck Berry comes across as really difficult at times and as you can see HERE, nobody knows this better than Keith Richards.

“Borrow & Never Give Back”.

Remember that song “Follow The Yellow Brick Road” from “The Wizard Of Oz”?

“Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow, follow, follow, follow,
Follow the yellow brick road”
.

Well,
Every time I walk into a library,
That song plays in my head on a loop.
Except the lyrics are different.

“Borrow and never give back.
Borrow and never give back.
Borrow, borrow, borrow, borrow,
Borrow and never give back”
.

And folks,
That’s why to this day,
I can’t get a library card in the whole district of Lanarkshire.

Y’see,
Sometime around the early 1990’s I borrowed and never gave back a book called:
“A Nasty Piece of Work: The Art & Graft of Spitting Image.

I fucking loved that book.
It detailed the sketches, technique, concepts and work that went into the satirical 1980’s puppet T.V. show “Spitting Image” by illustrator Roger Law:

Anyways,
One day the book fell apart in my hands and the last I saw of it,
The pages got blown all the way up Stewart Street in Bellshill.

That book is long gone out of print now and I’ve been looking all over the internet for some of the pictures from the book.
I found nothing.

But!
I did find a mint copy of the book on http://www.abebooks.co.uk/ and bought it straight away.

Here are some photos of the puppets from the book:

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