It’s nice that lots of people are enjoying remembering auld Winston O’Boogie today. This, from George’s people over on Twitter
On the new Albumtoalbum podcast. He was great to chat with, and lots of brilliant details about being in the studio with the Dame, Visconti and the band. We talked for ages, and I invited musician, writer and manager of the Visconti Studio at Kingston Uni, Leah Kardos to join in too. It made me re-listen to Blackstar and get over the loaded associations I had with it and really appreciate the joy and verve captured in the studio as Bowie and McCaslin’s band set each other off beautifully.
This is first of three episodes and hope you might enjoy!
Abba were the first band I can remember. When I was three or four, ‘Arrival’ had come out and my parents bought it for me and would sit with me patiently, listening to the whole LP over and over again. I can still remember identifying the songs by their tones and feels, not having a clue what they were on about. Which was definitely a blessing in the case of ‘Dum Dum Diddle’.
The cover was (and is) gorgeous and became synonymous with the music for me. Four goodlooking people in white boiler suits standing around a still helicopter, in a mysterious dusk. Sure! Why not? The beautiful title track, all yearning chorale and folkish melody entranced and soothed me, after the terrifying screaming finale to the preceding ‘I Am The Tiger’.
The following year I was gifted ‘Abba The Album’, by a friendly nurse who worked at my dad’s surgery. It had to be explained that this was Abba – I still remember that, weirdly clearly, I initially didn’t understand that this was the same group of people as those standing around the helicopter. But again, here was a mysterious cover with lots to look at, colourful » Continue Reading.
I have decided to buy a bass. Budget £400- 450ish, am drawn to Squier models, currently looking excitedly at a Squier CV Jag. Intrigued by Mustang but wondering if short scale might feel a bit fiddly (I am a substantial slab of bloke at around 6’3 and broad in the beam).
Wildcard is a 50s CV Precision, this bloke’s review of it is pretty tempting and it looks stunning
I am veering towards the Jag as it blends P and J pickups, and review videos balance out the joys of these configurations in one package vs fiddly ‘stack’ controls.
A bass playing friend has recommended I go for a “proper” bass [his words] and just get a Jazz bass.
Any Fender bassists here who could give me any tips? I know it is not possible to physically try one out at the moment, I just want something with a lovely fat, rich soft tone which is approachable for a guitarist (Fender Jazzmaster) to learn on.
New episode of Albumtoalbum is out now and its the first instalment of a chat with bass-wallah Guy Pratt whose stock of HORAs is on a par with Ellen, Hepworth at the very least. We don’t get very far in our discussion of Lodger, but I did have a lot of fun with him. Have a listen! 🙂
While away an hour with the latest albumtoalbum episode – Stuart Maconie and I ramble at length about Diamond Dogs, taking in 1970s Wigan, glam rock, the welfare state, The Beatles, the Stones, playing the ‘exactly!’ game with Alan McGee, McCartney and the avant-garde, Bowie’s guitar playing and how the nominal successor to Aladdin Sane, Hallowe’en Jack arrives and leaves in just one line. By one hour in, we’ve barely got past ‘Sweet Thing’, so this is the first in God knows how many episodes. But, this can be an ideal accompaniment for your daily allocated time in the exercise yard.
If Keir Starmer wins the Labour leadership, popular “disk jockey” and severely-wronged public figure and beat obituarist Paul Gambaccini says he will stand (or run) against him at the next election.
From The Times:
Paul Gambaccini, the BBC radio star, is threatening to stand against Sir Keir Starmer at the next general election in protest at the Labour leadership hopeful’s handling of Operation Yewtree.
The disc jockey, who was arrested in 2013 on false allegations of sexual abuse, blames Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions, for the “torment” he suffered at the hands of the Metropolitan police.
“I can assure you if the Labour Party makes Keir Starmer their leader, I will run against him at the next election,” he said.
Mr Gambaccini claims that Sir Keir, who headed the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008 to 2013, launched a “witch-hunt” against him and the likes of Sir Cliff Richard and Jimmy Tarbuck, “ruining countless lives”.
In 2013, Sir Keir responded to the Jimmy Savile scandal and sex-grooming cases by issuing new guidance to prosecutors to focus on the credibility of allegations, not the alleged victims, when deciding whether to prosecute.
In a valedictory interview on the Andrew Marr » Continue Reading.
Hello all Bowie peoploids! Just a quick note to say the latest episode of my sporadic Albumtoalbum series is out now, the second in a three parter featuring the mighty Nicholas Pegg – loquacious author of ‘The Complete David Bowie’ and wonderfully erudite and knowledgeable source of all things Jones, getting well and truly stuck into the fabulous 1995 epic ‘Outside’. If you enjoy the pod, please do share! Thanks and enjoy 🙂
This is really good. Swedish guys sample Trump in a vaguely mid 70s Zappa/Dan idiom and it works out pretty funny
Just a heads-up but I’ve a new batch of my Bowie pods all set to go and today I uploaded my encounter with former The Area guitarist, Mod memoirist (and one time Home Secretary) Alan Johnson, in which he reminisces about the old days and Hunky Dory. As well as hearing about why Hunky Dory is his go-to Bowie album, we repeatedly revisit his love of the HJH (and his rather original assumption that DB didn’t much care for the Fabs), as well finding out what his all time favourite LP is (not Bowie or The Beatles) and there’s an acappella rendition of the song he wrote when his first son was born.
I’ve been reading excerpts from Reg’s forthcoming autobiography in the papers. The extracts thus far have been v entertaining and hair-raising (toupee-raising?) in equal measure with the blizzards of gak fuelling the monstrous ego, all related with self deprecating wit. Who else is looking forward to this?
The annual ‘best gag of the Fringe’ poll by the intriguingly named TV station, Dave, has just been announced. What do you think? I think Richard Stott should have won, that’s a one-liner Monkhouse would have been proud of.
10 funniest jokes of the 2019 fringe:
1. I keep randomly shouting out “Broccoli” and “Cauliflower”. I think I might have Florets. – Olaf Falafel
2. Someone stole my antidepressants. Whoever they are, I hope they’re happy. – Richard Stott
3. What’s driving Brexit? From here it looks like it’s probably the Duke of Edinburgh. – Milton Jones
4. A cowboy asked me if I could help him round up 18 cows. I said, “Yes, of course. That’s 20 cows.” – Jake Lambert
5. A thesaurus is great. There’s no other word for it. – Ross Smith
6. Sleep is my favourite thing in the world. It’s the reason I get up in the morning. – Ross Smith
7. I accidentally booked myself on to an escapology course; I’m really struggling to get out of it. – Adele Cliff
8. After learning six hours of basic semaphore, I was flagging. – Richard Pulsford
9. To be or not to be » Continue Reading.
I was ambling down Portobello Road this morning when I saw a familiar, black clad figure striding along the pavement, accompanied by a dark-haired woman. As he drew closer, realised it was none other than the ABITW hitmaker, Dave Gilmour. I was getting closer. Should I say something? Should I ignore him? He was now almost level with me. I decided to say hello. He came towards me and I opened my mouth but nothing came out. I walked past.
What would you have done?
Bill Wyman has been uninvited/no-platformed/dropped from an upcoming talk at the Sheffield Film Festival where a new doc about him, ‘The Quiet One’ was due to be screened. (It’s not any longer). The reason? Most of us will know about his creepy association with the young Mandy Smith and all the palaver that entailed. Yet at the time, in 1989, the tabloid bonanza about it was more amused than thunderously condemnatory. Reading his ‘Stone Alone’ autobiog, written in the brief interregnum between marriage and 1991 divorce, there is plenty of defiance and belaboured justification of his actions with regard to the underage dalliance (“She pursued ME, we are in love” is the burden of his song) There’s also plenty of smirking, boorish reporting of his innumerable hookups over the decades which, whichever way you look at it, make him out to be a rather pathetic little chap, very Pooter-ish in his lack of self-awareness and how his prim boasting and gloating comes across. But I wonder, when all this has been in the public eye for many years and by his own account, Plod has told him he doesn’t have a case to answer – should the aged lothario now » Continue Reading.
While the other lot go hell for leather, with their 50th anniversary bonanzas this November, a much more minimal remastered new package is on the way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Beggars Banquet. Includes a mono mix of ‘Sympathy’ and a recording of a phoner with Lord Beezlebub. Also coming up, rerelease of One Plus One and next year a reissue of RocknRoll Circus with a few more bits and bobs
Just in case anyone is wondering why its so damn quiet on the McCartney front at the moment, here’s a rather good interview from the new GQ. Given he has been uncommonly open on recent encounters with Marc Maron, Howard Stern, he’s on equally good form here. Nothing shockingly revelatory but a good read nonetheless.
Hello all, just a quick note to alert you to the release of my latest Bowie podcast, ‘Albumtoalbum’ – in this one-hour chatathon, ‘The Complete David Bowie’ author Nick Pegg and I chow down on Lodger for your listening pleasure. Do spread the word and hope you like it!
So, Macca confirms (almost) a bumper box of White album wonderfulness this year. Quite possibly, Abbey Road will follow. So, am guessing will include Esher demos, mono and stereo remixes, studio outtakes etc… will you be getting it?
And while we’re here, what do we make of the new Macca single? I think it’s not half bad…
I have to host a music quiz soon and came up with a beezer idea for the album cover round, where you see five album covers and have to work out the link between them. I thought of PSB ‘Introspective’ and Bowie’s ‘Station To Station’, the link being they both have six tracks. Now am stumped. Any recommendations for six track LPs, ideally a bit less obvious (but not too obscure!)? Cheers
Hello all, just to let you know the latest episode of my Bowie pod series is happening now featuring Quantick musing on Pinups
Come and join me and Nicholas Pegg for an unexpectedly entertaining ramble about the 1987 solid gold classic Never Let Me Down…
I decided to make a series of podcasts, which would contain Afterword-levels of geekery in the service of discussing Mr Bowie’s oeuvre. I interviewed writers, musicians, artists and random mates about their favourite DB LPs and have come up with a series of what I hope are interesting conversations. My production skills are audibly shonky but I hope to improve in editions to come. First one is live now, with The Complete David Bowie author Nicholas Pegg talking about his love of 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’. I’d be terribly grateful for any feedback, listens, likes etc from the AW massive. Thanks!
Apropos nothing at all, here is the gorgeous 1936 reading of WH Auden’s ‘The Night Mail’
Rick Hall has died, aged 85. I recently had a bit of a Muscle Shoals phase after watching this excellent documentary that places him pretty much at the centre of the 60s soul explosion in the US and an endearingly humble fellow
Listening to the ho-hum title track to Magical Mystery Tour, I was reminded again what a weak track it actually is, especially coming hot on the heels of ‘Pepper’. But come to the coda, and fade, and it all suddenly gels – a plinky-plonk piano ambles skywards, vaguely referencing the main theme, beneath the sound of clinking glasses and one of Macca’s best bass moments – a pulsing, dark little groove, that bubbles and squirms its way out of the song.
I think it’s a proper little HJH moment, and thinking about it, they did seem to chuck in little goodies at fade-outs or codas. Backwards tapes on ‘Rain’, the honking laughter on ‘Within You’, those big, straffing lush guitar lines at the end of ‘Strawberry Fields’ and of course, HJ itself, about 5 minutes bloody coda.
So, what are your favourite endings? Happy or otherwise…