Talking (Warhol) Heads

Posted: November 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

Mary Harron, 1980, ‘Pop Art/Art Pop: The Andy Warhol Connection’ in Hoskyn, 2003, The Sound and the Fury: A Rock’s Backpages Reader, Bloomsbury

No Warhol –  no Roxy Music no Bowie no Talking Heads…(list incomplete)

I was lucky enough to see Talking Heads at the Hammersmith Palais in December 1980. They were stunning. Musically rounded and colourful. They smiled. They got off on the audience reaction.  It has to be one of my favourite gigs.

Harron in her article argues that a significant difference between London and New York groups at the time was the respective stances on society, politics and moral issues. Young UK groups were apparently earnest and serious whereas their US counterparts taking from Warhol were largely curious and ironic.

Too neat of course but of everyone knows that Andy Warhol did play a crucial part in the creation of the most interesting pop and rock music of that era. Not a svengali but simply a fascinating human being.


Five years my senior

Posted: November 3, 2015 in Uncategorized
adam ant

Scorpios both. Absolutely no further resemblances. I saw the punk-rock, Adam & the Ants at The Marquee in Wardour Street. One of the most tense pre-gig atmospheres I’ve ever experienced but the tension didn’t seem to be released at any point. It was all held back, seemingly. Could he actually deliver or did he just not want to?


Sam Smith and rustling packets

Posted: November 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Source: Sam Smith and rustling packets

Sam Smith and rustling packets

Posted: November 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Spectre, Ritzy, Brixton, November 1st 2015

So on comes Sam with ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ – no, it’s not memorable – there’s little to entice me back for another listen let alone buy it  – not that I ever bought a Bond theme song, not even ‘Live and Let Die’, which is the best in my opinion.

Screen One at the Rizty cinema. It’s full which means rustling packets, creaking seats and eventually quiet snoring (a bloke next to me). But that’s a necessary part of it. Maybe the surround-sound and giant screen of a ‘home cinema’ would give an even more thrilling experience, in private, but this is a people’s film, us people with all our annoying behaviours.

Sam for the people – even with their rustling.

Richards and his roots

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

Keith Richards, Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4, 25th October 2015

I think Charlie Watts is the coolest but most people would consider Keith Richards to be the epitome of the Rolling Stones – paradoxically, nonchalant, aggressive, greedy and ‘bad’ (both connotations).

It is hard not to laugh just hearing him speak. I picture a very dissolute thespian or Danny the London hippy in Withnail and I although Richards could never be considered a hippy…never ever – see above.

His music choices were all ‘roots’, all US (apart from Venetian Vivaldi) and all by black artists apart from Hank Williams.

Just after listening to the programme, to go back to my ‘roots’ (?) I streamed ‘Dancing With Mr D.’, 1973 and ‘Fingerprint File’, 1974. Muddy, funky, sleazy – the recordings/lyrical content etc.. There are many more superior Rolling Stones songs but I loved them back then, just the same.


My mother’s 45

Posted: October 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

It was 1971, I was eleven. Jimi Hendrix, ‘Stone Free’, B-side of ‘Hey Joe’,1966, (Polydor).

Hard to believe that the record belonged to my mother. A young mother affected by 1960s pop culture and one of its coolest creators, Jimi Hendrix, affected enough to buy his record.

The orange wrapper and label of Polydor. The song’s danceability – during the verse a cowbell keeping the 1/4 note pulse, the funky off beat 1/8 notes on the kick drum with the brilliant extended blues/jazz chords and then the take-off chorus… culminating in the guitar solo, which has to be one of the most exciting ever recorded. Controlled, to the point but also full of wildness. It is the song’s essence.

From then on I am affected, obsessed. The love begins.