Five from The Police

The Police were a sort of cross between punk, reggae, pop, with a bit of jazz thrown in. They were, and are, all great musicians. Well, you have to be if you want to be in a 3-piece band. There’s nowhere to hide. They hit the big time with Outlandos d’Amour which came out in 1978, followed that album with Reggatta de Blanc, and then Zenyatta Mondatta, which had their classic hit Don’t Stand So Close To Me. Ghost in the Machine followed and them came Synchronicity, a true monster hit of an album. They were a great band – Sting on bass and vocals, Andy Stewart on guitar, and Stewart Copeland on drums. Here are five of my favourite songs from them. It’s not a definitive list, just five that come to mind.

1. Roxanne – of course, who could forget this song. It is a classic from the 70s. On so many compilation albums that practically everybody has heard it, however it’s popularity hasn’t dulled my appreciation of it. A bit of punk influence mixed with some reggae sounds. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T1c7GkzRQQ&list=RD3T1c7GkzRQQ

2. Can’t Stand Losing You  - this is a reggae influenced song from their first album, not a big hit, but it’s a good song, not over-produced and well crafted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH0vjLwMyc4

3. The Bed’s Too Big Without You – a soothing guitar intro guides the listener into this song, it’s a cruisy musical massage for the mind –  very relaxing too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stlKHh_f0-0&list=RDZRS3cL0fdZ8

4. Bring on the Night  – There is some jazz influence coming through on this, mixed with the reggae feel. Very relaxing intro and song. It’s a sort of musical massage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_8_eP7v8X4&list=RDR_8_eP7v8X4

5. Peanuts – Off Outlandos d’Amour , and a bit more punk than anything else. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkYTfmNd5c4&list=RDRcEumfNE9vM

 

Cheers

George

 

Easter Disaster

Yes, I know, perhaps poor taste, but it’s what came to mind…sorry

 

Easter Disaster

 

In Perth it reached 100 degrees
That’s pretty hot for this time of year
And the unseasonal weather caused a catastrophe
That may impact on Easter, I fear.

The Easter Bunny, with his thick fur coat
didn’t stand a chance as he hopped round the city.
He became quite delirious (don’t laugh now, I’m serious!)
and hopped under a car, such a pity.

The eggs hit the bitumen, still warm from the sun
and the bunny squeezed a ride on the tyre
the last thing he saw was a bloody four by four
it’s not the way that he’d thought he’d expire.

My Funky Bassline

A bit of a re-post, but I’ve fiddled with it a little to make it flow better

My Funky Bassline

It was a steamy summer’s day and I had a tortured soul
I was being persecuted by the gods of rock’n’roll
I had a funky bassline imprinted on my mind
It was trying to escape, there was someone I had to find

I went looking for the Funkster, the only man around
Who could help me make this tune into some sort of groovy sound
There was nothing else to do that could ease my suffering brain
And release that groovy beat that was driving me insane

On my way down to his joint I maintained exclusion zones
With my unexploded rhythm vibrating through my bones
And I got the strangest looks from other people on the street
As I walked the paving stones with a syncopated beat

When I reached his place he asked me, ‘How can I help you man?’
And I said ‘I’ve got this funky bassline and I need a helping hand.’
‘No worries mate,’ he told me, ‘I’ll see what I can do,
It’s a crime to find a bassline and fail to follow through.’

So he sat me on his couch and I hummed my funky music
And his face lit at once and he said, ‘YEAH, I can use it!’
He left the room for hours, but then when he returned
He played me the result, a CD that he’d burned

He’d mixed guitars and drums with my groovy little bass
And my syncopated rhythm had finally found its place
But no sooner had I left him, I was once again afflicted
With a catchy little bassline, it seems that I’m addicted

I hear music all the time and it comes from everywhere
And new rhythms make me nervous and it doesn’t seem quite fair
That I get funky tunes appearing, while the Funkster soothes my soul
And I’m fated to be tortured by the gods of rock’n’roll

 

 

Suffering Mervyn (another foray into the Dregs of History)

Yes, I haven’t posted one of the dregs for a while so here’s another one, another piece of drivel…but one that I enjoyed writing…

 

Suffering Mervyn

Mervyn Livermore was an artist, writer, and sometime actor. He soon ditched writing and painting and became obsessed with acting, much to the despair of his family and friends. ‘You’ll never make a life that way,’ he was told on many occasions.

He became interested in method-acting, the study of parts through undertaking the exact same emotional experiences as the character which he was chosen to play, when he was thirty-seven. He was a late bloomer and was looking for a career change. This form of acting was said to have been pioneered by Lee Strasberg and Constantin Stanislavski, but it appears Mervyn was the first. Initially he found that method acting was not too difficult; it was easy to the research to play Man Standing on Street Corner and Man Yelling in Angry Crowd. Mervyn particularly excelled in his research for the part of Anonymous Man Drinking Ale in the Local Inn.

As he became more proficient in the art of acting, or at least less of an embarrassment to the group of players that was in (The Wandering Remedials), he gained more and more important parts in plays. This group was cutting edge theatre; they refused to any plays except the ones they had written themselves.

Mervyn’s marriage fell apart during his research for the part of Drunken sailor seen carousing in sleazy brothels. His career took another turn for the worse in 1410 when he tried to convince King Henry IV that he should take over for a week to ‘get a feel’ for the job of King so that he could play it better in his forthcoming play. The King threw him in a dungeon next to James I of Scotland and suggested it would be better if he got a feel for what was like to be a king who had been rotting in gaol for the last four years. He relented after a week and told Mervyn to get a real job.

Mervyn then played the part of a starving peasant, but had to pull out because he was suffering from malnutrition in danger of dying. A series of minor roles followed and his career was stagnating to a point that he considered looking for employment in other areas. His career looked up after he was picked to play a drunk who made people laugh and solved crimes. Despite a brief scuffle with some rather nasty members of the underworld, Mervyn pulled this off with distinction. It ended up being his final role.

Later on in the year he gained the part of Gareth the Brave, a Welsh separatist who fought valiantly against King Edward the Second before dying a violent death in a battle with said King. How, he surmised, could the writer expect him to play the dying Gareth, bleeding from numerous wounds and delirious from loss of blood, unless he knew exactly what that felt like? He would not be dissuaded. He joined the army and went to fight the French at Agincourt, where it is thought he gained first hand physical and emotional experience of how it felt to die less than heroically, screaming hysterically while losing his blood and bowels, at the hands of some French cavalry. The acting world did not notice his passing.

5 from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

I like Tom Petty & and his heartbreakers – there’s nothing like a bit of southern rock. I have many albums by the man and his band, but here are five songs that I think you should listen to. And don’t forget Mike Campbell – great guitarist and songwriter.

Even the Losers - yes, even the losers get lucky sometimes. This is off a great album that will probably be next in my Classic album series. This is possibly my favourite of all of Tom P and Heartbreakers.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNZxmq6aRos

Rebels   – Off Southern Accents (another great album). This is the first track and it rocks you into a great collection of songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoV-awiHpuM

American Girl – off the debut album and the first really big hit for Tom Petty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WBWov6nd6E

I Won’t Back Down – yes, Tom is digging his heels in with this one. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvlTJrNJ5lA

Don’t Come Around Here No More – a bit of Alice in Wonderland in this ‘out there’ video. It’s a vivid memory of my youth, so it gets the final position in this five. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0JvF9vpqx8

enjoy

George

Never before have so many political parties offered so little substance to so many.

I got grumpy today. And it was politicians that made me so grumpy.

Yes, today I wandered down to my local polling station and then wondered! Yes, I wondered who the fuck to vote for. Never before have so many parties offered so little substance to so many.  It’s all about ideology and nothing shits me more than politicians mindlessly following an ideology, or even just jumping onto plain opportunism over  common sense. And yet this is what was out before me.

Once I’d given fuck-off-and-die looks to all of those idiots handing out how to vote cards – why would I want to be a mindless drone following a party line? – I got the voting paper. 77 boxes to number, or just put one in the box of a party,  and then my vote would go wherever that party chose to put it. Well, I can tell them just where to put their preference deals – they can shove them up their arse! I get really frustrated that numbering multiple boxes seems so hard for voters. It takes 5 minutes and then your vote goes where you choose it to go. If you’re so friggin’ apathetic that you can’t do this, then don’t complain when some party gets in that you would never vote for in a million years – you might have helped put it there.

Anyhow, I thought to myself about who to vote for and then it came to me. At least the first 5 or 6 of my 77 I would vote for in terms of what I thought of individuals – not their political parties. This seemed fair enough. No voting for party hacks who mindlessly do what their ideologically driven head office wants. This means that my preferences were all over the place, and the vote counters won’t like it as it makes their jobs more difficult, however I reckon a lot of people will have done this today. It’s all part of our Hair-brained system of voting.

Enough of my ranting – I voted and I’m happy that I did it my way. Now it’ll only be another 2-3 weeks before we know the result!

 

And as there has to be something useful to come out of this otherwise disappointing day,  I’m now going to blatantly self-promote my book More Gravy Please! (the definitive politician’s handbook). It contains all you could possibly want to know about managing a life in politics including the mysteries of Mutually Assured Distraction, Viral Ignorance, Manic Irrelevance Syndrome, and much more. Available from Amazon.com (where else?)

More Gravy Please !

 

Cheers

George

 

5 from Latin Quarter

Who remembers Latin Quarter? I certainly do. I played their album Modern Times a lot back in 1985. So for all those who remember them (I believe they reformed in 2012, although not sure if they carried on) here are five tracks that resonate with me. They know how to put together a good melody with edgy lyrics.

Modern Times – I can’t believe that this wasn’t a hit! This is a great catchy pop tune with  bit of a political message. Love the reggae influence also.  The singer’s voice is strong, the lyrics good, the musicianship first class, albeit in a very 80s style. But I like that. Have a listen!    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMFhT0zDUf4&list=PLAB2fqw-BsHT8-vsbA35-53LZnJWJyhpK

Radio Africa  - very reggae, very laid back, quite political too – perhaps they were too political, but not for me. This is good stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eF79sN_8g3E 

Truth About John – I love this song. It is pop at its best with a dig at tell all books and the gutter press. Great keyboards too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enFb3_bC7SA&list=PLAB2fqw-BsHT8-vsbA35-53LZnJWJyhpK

Blameless  -  More classy pop with soul and depth and just a hint of country. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx7r_rMRxK0

Desert Rose  – from 2012, a beautiful song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_LMZhb3MRU

 

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