Q is for Queen

Get your lighters out…

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Well not quite Queen, I am thinking more Freddie Mercury. Why Freddy I hear you ask…well of course he is the lead man in my imaginary band of Dead musicians.

Think about it, that incredible ensemble of dead-too-soon genius’ reunited for one last hoorah. Everyone’s invited and you so better bring your dancing shoes because it could be a rather good night.

Now you may have your own opinion as to who is the best dead front man but I am sorry but it’s more than likely wrong if it isn’t Freddie Mercury. I am not even going to listen to any alternatives and will simply place me hands over me ears if you try and la-la-la-la-la-la. Forgotten how good he is? Maybe you have but I haven’t and I thnk perhaps just go youtube him because you’ll realise I’m right.

I know I probably should have done lead man last but I think he sets the tone and if we cannot agree on anything else then you know what, he can do an unplugged acoustic kinda thing and I’ll still get my lighter out and wave it in the air.

Now before I continue I will admit that I’m no expert when it comes to music bit I know what I like so this will mostly be about me because I’m a bit of a princess. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments though.

So. Drums. I went instinctively for John Bonham because he probably was the most insanely talented and influential drummer ever and if you don’t believe me go and watch his him on ‘Moby Dick’. Sweet baby Jesus he was seriously intense and after he launches into his solo you’ll know what I am on about. He was a real show stealer too and given he died so very young I am putting him in my line up.

Guitar? Ok so I am having two and they can fight it out. I am having Jimmy Hendrix and Prince. I could have had Prince as lead man and every instrument to be honest but this is more of a rock band and I am trusting Prince to get on board because bloody hell he could play a guitar. I think it was often overlooked because his persona was so huge, and having seen him live I will admit to having somewhat more than a semi after watching him play Purple Rain.

Hendrix doesn’t need a reason why. He’s just Hendrix.

Now there is no way you’re putting a line up together of dead musicians together without Phil Lynott bass guitar. I don’t care just how good he was or wasn’t…I need him in there because he is simply frigging awesome. Get listening to some Thin Lizzy and you’ll see what I mean. You know, he could be front man too, behind Freddie, Prince and Jimmy…

Now I have no idea whether they could gel because they were all so fabulous in their own rights but just imagine if they could. Such talent, on stage for one night only, and with the exception of Levon Helm all gone way too soon and such a loss.

Let’s see those lighters in the air one last time…

P is for Prince

All hail his purple majesty!

 

I cried the day prince died, and for weeks after continued to feel real loss.  I haven’t always been a fan though, I can still remember a time when I didn’t care for his music but quite clearly I can recall the day when the penny dropped and I realised that here was something worth listening to.  It was the day I heard the haunting whistles of ‘Around the world in a day’.  From then on I was hooked.

Album after album provided the soundtrack to my growing up and as I have become older that love has passed down to my youngest son Tom who is a big fan. Clever kid that Tom.

I will admit that there have been times when I wasn’t the greatest of fans of what he was doing, but he was still doing things no one else was even thinking about and there were still gems to be found no matter which of his phases he was in.

The pinnacle for me though was when I got the chance to see him at the O2 arena when he was in London in 2007.  As I stood there watching him play purple rain live I realised that I could quite happily call it a day and shuffle off this mortal coil because this was as good as it gets and given that I had an heir to carry on the family name everything was going to be downhill from there.

Michael

X

 

D is for Duran Duran

Her name is Rio and she apparently dances on the sand

I’ll be buggered if I know why I wrote ’D is for Duran Duran’ yesterday, but I did.  Well not literally, I think that would be pretty harsh by way of action to be taken if I do at some point happen to remember.

I must have some subconscious Duran Duran issues to be worked through.

I do recall going to a disco in someone’s garage in Secunda in South Africa when I was about 13 and all they played was ‘Reflex’ by DD and Locomotion by OMD.  Like just those two songs all night long.  I recall I was terrified at the thought of dancing so remained mostly outside and a couple of the lads tried to put of aspirin in a coke can and get the girls to drink it because they believe it would make them super horny.

Looking back that is suddenly quite sinister and rather rapey isn’t it.  No wonder we are having all these issues at the moment with sex pests and deviant artistic types.

Needless to say it didn’t work but my mate Granville did get to snog Sian Williams as I recall.  They were both particularly tall and rather well suited to one another on that basis alone.

I also recall the first time I saw the ‘Wild Boys’ video.  Oh god did you see it?  Where you there?  It was a freaking event the likes of which you just don’t see these days.  One of the lads turned up with it on a VHS cassette and we shared it around just in awe.  We all wanted to be Simon Le Bonne.  Apart from one of the lads wanted to be Nick Rhodes.  In later years we discovered why.  You have to remember this was South Africa in the eighties.  A whole other world, but I will probably write about that when I get to ‘S for Secunda’.

Thinking back, I can also remember the first time I went to a cinema over there.  It was 1987 and we had to travel an hour and a half on a school  to Pretoria to watch Living Daylights.  I recall an argument and insisting, quite incorrectly, that the there tune was done by Duran Duran when in fact it was A-HA.

I also remember that was the first time I ever went to a Pizza Hut.   Funny the things you recall.

 

Tomorrow, E is for Ectoplasm

Resonance

It was  1992 and I was living in Knysna in South Africa.  I went to the cinema, a ramshackle old place with the most uncomfortable seating, but working air conditioning which at the height of an African summer is a true wonder indeed.

A while back I wrote here about my relationship with music, and felt that it was more of a series of filthy one night stands rather that a true romance for the ages.

Listening to a random playlist this morning I was reminded of the time when I indeed fell in love at first sight and in fact spent the following years in slow lovemaking on a white fluffy rug in front of a crackling fire with Kenny G playing the high notes in time with my enamoured thrusts.

It was  1992 and I was living in Knysna in South Africa.  I went to the cinema, a ramshackle old place with the most uncomfortable seating, but working air conditioning which at the height of an African summer is a true wonder indeed.

I recall quite clearly sitting in my seat, and being early the projectionist had put some music on.  This was no chain, but a privately owned place.   Sitting there, as the music played, never had I ever heard anything, before or since, that resonated with me as much as the album he had playing that day.

You know that feeling, when something just resonates so deeply and perfectly that you feel like it’s what you’ve always been waiting for.  Sometimes you will meet a person, read a book or watch a film and it feels like it was made just for you.  Yes?  Well that is how I felt when I first heard ‘Blind Man’s Zoo’ by 10000 maniacs.

I listened and listened and track after track just left me wanting more.  I don’t remember what the film was that day, but I do remember heading up to the projection box before the film started needing to know what was playing.   The chap was so excited to share as much as he could and actually gave me the cassette that was playing at the time that I could take it home and just bring it back when I was done.

Even now, when I hear the album – which I still listen to regularly – I still remember each song like it was the first time I heard it and I am taken back to that pokey little cinema with it’s uncomfortable chairs and the gorgeous melancholy of Natalie Merchant.

 

Photo courtesy of stevepb @ pixabay

Music to my ears

If music were a woman then I think perhaps she would be my dirty secret rather than my soul mate.

Mel, who you can and should read, posted a piece earlier today which you can read here.  Mel has a load of posts, and I would recommend reading all about Charlie in particular.   Most enjoyable indeed.

Anyway, it got me to thinking about my own relationship with music.  I say relationship, but to be honest it is more a series of dirty one night stands than something more meaningful and long term.  I doubt very much that music and I will be slipping off for a romantic weekend to a little cabin somewhere to celebrate a lifetime of loyal partnership though there may well be the chance of a dirty romp in the back of the car.

Ask me who I love and I will tell you that I adore Prince and would happily let him touch me inappropriately (were he not dead – something that still upsets me terribly).  I would also insist that I love all things eighties, that I have a thing for rather loud and nasty metal and own most of Bob Dylan’s early works on Vinyl.  I also had an awkward jazz phase (and have the Dave Brubeck red vinyls to prove it), a pop stage and a particularly filthy long weekend where I was into rap music but that just made me a bit sweary and it turns out that there is no appropriate time for a fat middle aged programmer to be using the ‘N’ word.  No matter how fly or dope his tunes.

There isn’t much I haven’t tried but mostly I seem to resort back to the music I loved when I was in my teens in the eighties.  And Volbeat.  I heard Volbeat for the first time about 5 years ago and since then have fallen very much in love with their rockabilly metal.  I’ve even seen them in concert a couple of times and took my kids to see them.  Our Tom loves them especially, and he is only 9.

I then realised that technology has played a big part in my on off romance with music, particularly in recent years.  The music varies slightly but how and when I listen to it has been hugely influenced by the way I access it.  For many years I had the same old stack of CD’s and cassettes and things did not vary much at all.  Perhaps that was to do with having a young family and trying to work on my career.  Probably.  But as the years have progressed and I have found more time I have dipped in and out of music and most often as I have discovered new technology.

I dabbled with peer-to-peer sharing for a while and found myself stealing all manner of music I had never really listened to but that did not last long as I also stole some pirated films and a particular copy of the Lord of the Rings ended up being a virus so I packed that in pretty quickly.

iTunes then made me super horny for all the music I had forgotten from the eighties and nineties (and sometimes later), and for a long time I amassed a ton of stuff that I hadn’t really appreciated at the time and enjoyed it a lot more as I got older.  I ended up with everything Hootie and the Blowfish had done which when I look back was just a bit weird.  They were okay but I’m not sure I needed their entire collection.

Spotify and Deezer followed and that was quite fabulous and I had a nifty little speaker I would plug my phone into as I browsed endlessly but I would always end up coming back to the things from my youth.  I will admit to having a real thing  for Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band which I picked up from my dad.

Sonos speakers followed and I put them through out the house and again these gave me a new lease of life and it was not long before I was treating my neighbours to hours and hours of Erasure and the Pet ship boys.

Recently my listening time has increased again on the back of picking up a couple of Amazon Alexas which I have hooked into my Sonos speakers and Spotify and Amazon music accounts and between me and the boys there is often sometime playing in multiple rooms throughout the house.

Funny how it goes though because the kids are mostly into eighties music and volbeat…I do wonder what will be next.


Some more limericks

100 word Wednesday – The Chase

Harold