Tag Archives: Music

Letters to the Editor – thoughts on the inappropriate use of popular music


The power of advertising is unquestionable and people often cite my criticism of what I regard as a bad advert as being proof in point; “Are, but you remember it, so they did their job” will be crowed gleefully at me. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under fun stuff, Letters to the Editor - I think we should be told, random rants

More on a love of music

My parents were not musical. Other than belting out hymns in church with more enthusiasm than technique I can't remember either doing anything remotely musical, and so I don't know where my interest in music comes from. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under about me, fun stuff

My Favourite Songs Ever? According to my i-Pod anyway

I was looking at the #myfavouritesongsever posts on Twitter at the weekend. but I had scrolled a long way down without recognising any of the songs or most of the artists.

No doubt this is because I am an old codger and most of those posting are about the same age as my grandchildren, but I thought that I would consult my i-Pod and see what the top ten most played are, and here is the list:

2001 – John Phillips (he of Mamas & Papas fame)

Mumblin’ Guitar – Bo Diddley

Lodi – John Fogerty

Time Is Tight – Booker T & the MGs

She Lets Her Hair Down – The Tokens

I Get a Kick Out of You – Gary Shearstone

Stay Awhile – Dusty Springfield

007 (Shanty Town) – Desmond Dekker & The Aces

Abdul & Cleopatra – Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival

So there you go. No doubt there are a few there that no-one has heard of either!

I’m a little surprised myself; no Dylan (not ’til about number 13), no Stones (not in the top 25, although Out of Time, which is a Jagger/Richards song and they are on it doing backing vocals, is in about 23. Keef is also on 2001 playing guitar and, possibly, singing backing vocals). But there you go. The little white box keeps score so I’m not going to argue.


Leave a comment

Filed under Music

why do I love music and books?

Music and books played a part in my life from an early age. I was something of a sickly child and would be laid up for one to three weeks at a time. As both of my parents worked, albeit not that far away and could pop in to check on me, when I was ill in bed it was just me and the radio to start with. Thankfully talk radio hadn’t been thought of then (not many of us had ‘phones to call in with anyway) and most of the programming was music.

This was in the 1950s and so a lot of the music was from the big shows; Carousel, South Pacific, Calamity Jane, Oklahoma! and so on. These especially sparked the imagination for farway places and times and could take that small boy with them.

One of my early treasures was an atlas, and I would try to find anywhere mentioned in a song on the map. Of course there were some fictional places, but, through song, I found a love of geography, travel and maps (even now I can spend a happy hour with an ordnance survey map).

Song also helped my vocabulary, pestering my parents when they came in about new words, and when Doris Day sang Que Sera Sera or Dino crooned Volare more horizons burst into my developing mind.

Picture books and annuals with cartoon strips came into my life as well then and I began to understand a few written words too as I struggled with the captions. We didn’t have much money, but jumble sales were a good source of cheap books that helped me read well before I went to school even if I did make a complete nonsense of pronouncing some of them (ocean came out as okeen, and Pharaoh as something like farrower I recall).

Books still play a big part in my life, but music require less effort and I can listen with my eyes shut (that does tend to impair one’s reading ability). I have an ancient i-Pod that I love dearly and be transported to places and memories or just listen to the different components of the sound.

I have very catholic tastes and there are all sorts of genre on the i-Pod; punk, chamber music, folk, big bands, blues, light opera, soul, classical , protest songs and pop plus a few that I’ve no doubt missed.

Along the way I’ve I’ll write some more about music and books that I enjoy in coming blogs

Leave a comment

Filed under about me, Books & Reading, Music

Lucy Snivelshed is dead – let her rest in peace

So Lucy Snivelshed is dead? I can’t say that I am especially interested in this news other than because it still rumbles on. Of course there are those that miss her dreadfully, and I can empathise with that; I have lost people I loved too. But is there not something of a whiff of profit in the air here once again?

We all know that anyone in an artistic field will have their work become more valuable posthumously, and to see that two of her albums are in the top 10 with a third top ten entry of, oh yes, a double album of the first two. I gather these days just someone looking at the album on Amazon counts towards sales, and you only need to sell about 5 to go platinum, but even so…

I have never deliberately listened to anything of the lady’s work, but I do recall my browsing amongst the CDs in the late lamented local Border’s store being made less pleasurable by the noise coming from the speakers above. When asked for about the fourth time “can I help you with anything?” I suggested that I might be more likely to buy something if they could turn off that dreadful racket. “But that’s Lucy Snivelshed” they said, adding “she’s won awards”.

Perhaps, but my personal pantheon of favourite lady singers features the likes of Nina Simone, Dionne Warwick, Doris Day, Dusty Springfield, Judith Durham and more. Maybe Lucy S did have talent, but my brief encounter with her work did nothing to suggest that I listen further, or to add her to those that grace my i-Pod.

Those that might have helped her defeat the trouble that surrounded her are now profiting from her demise. Fortunately she is now safe from the grasp of the demons that troubled her, and perhaps her squalid demise might save another soul from following the same path. If she is to be any sort of role model, that would, at least, add up to something.



Filed under fun stuff, Music, serious stuff

RIP Gary Moore

After various posts and tweets today, all pales into insignificance on hearing the news that Gary Moore has died. Same age as me as it happens.

An amazing guitarist and master gurner in the process, GM will be sadly missed, but he does at least leave us with a catalogue of material to for us to enjoy his memory from.

I’m off to find some of those memories on my iPod.

1 Comment

Filed under obituaries

the joys of shopping #1

A new theme of blogs, this time on the joys of shopping. Now please treat these rants with an element of tongue in cheek but, as a grumpy old man, these are all things that annoy me to some degree. I’ve blogged elsewhere about standards (“Why bother? No-one else does.” on another of my blogs), and whether I’m right or wrong, this is how I feel.

To set the scene, I’m in a store on a retail park on the edge of town. As I wander around the aisles Elvis begins to croon “Love me tender, love me tr” bing bong “ Will Alan Smith please come to the back door, Alan Smith to the back door”, “’reams come true” etc. You get the picture? Now Love Me Tender is not, by a long chalk, my favourite Elvis song, but this is close to sacrilege and I start getting these urges to campaign for reinstatement of capital punishment. It’s the same with those idiot DJs who talk over the music; if you’re going to play a song wait until it’s finished before inflicting your banal chatter on your audience.

This especially true when I’m out food shopping with the Wonder of Wokingham and we are deep in meaningful conversation about what we’re going to eat when some oik with no idea of manners will interrupt us with some meaningless, to us, announcement or other. If they want Mary Smith to report to the checkout captain, or some such instruction, and are prepared to interrupt the customers with this request, the surely we should be told why? “Will Mary Smith please report to the checkout captain to be shot for interrupting Elvis” does at least give us some explanation as to why we have been so rudely interrupted even if it does not excuse them having done so.

More joys of shopping another time perhaps.

Leave a comment

Filed under fun stuff, random rants, The Joys of Shopping