Hello Playmates, Brummies, Mates Abroad especially in Spain right now,
"The blog's late","Where are you Bob?" "What no blog?"..... thankyou for your emails!! Yes the blog is late. It has nothing to do with the virus, I'm glad to say. I would like to say that it's late because I've been busy recording with McCartney on a new project called 'I Wish I was Bob". Mmmm, no that's a lie. It's very boring but I'm afraid to say that 4 days ago whilst getting up out of my chair my back went wonky, just like that. " "Ah young Bob, you have Wonky back" said the Dr. So, since then I have been flat on my wonky back waiting for it to get better. I am still in that position today and right now I am typing this on a tablet suspended above me. Not the best thing but I always try to get the blog done no matter what!
Billy Fury was probably the most exciting of the 50's Rock Stars, he must have been the greatest because my Dad used to say he was "filthy" and "scum". Probably like the parents attitude to the Sex Pistols during the punk days. Anything that pushed against the staid moral principles and attitudes of those early days of R and R, bearing in mind that in those days too it was considered unlady-like for a female to whistle in public, how funny. I bought his LP The Sound of Fury which I still have and like a lot. It never occurred to me then what a ground breaking achievement he had made by getting an LP made full of his own material, something that never happened back then. Quite incredible. I met Billy Fury on a couple of occasions when we were on the same bill and he was a really nice guy, sexy, charismatic and good looking.
I have mentioned this before but wanted to bring to your attention the book 'Halfway to Paradise' by the great partnership of Brummies David and Caroline Stafford who give us the fine detail of this great Rockers life. Highly recommended read to pass some time away these days.
So, Mr Dylan has released a new single "Murder Most Foul" as a way of thanking his loyal Fans who have followed him for all these years, its 17 minutes long about the death of JFK or should I say his thoughts on the death of JFK. Bob Dylan has written wondrous songs crafted and considered, forged out of torment and disappointment with society or soul searching to explain his lost love for the various women who have passed through his life which, in turn, we have adopted as unwritten diary entries in our own existence, our special song that we play endlessly in our times of melancholy. "North Country Fair" or "Just Like a Woman" for example.
I am somewhat perplexed at Murder Most Foul in many ways. The Press announced it as his first original song in 8 years, but read on a little and you find it's something he wrote 'some time ago' and it sounds like it too. To me it sounds like he recorded an idea for a song that he might return to another day when he would either consider its potential merits of just dump it. The backing is demo quality, no melody line to speak of and the lyrics are dolloped out like cold porridge.
I think its mediocre at best, no I don't, I think its rubbish. How this can be considered as a gift to his fans escapes me? perhaps he doesn't like his fans too much and is fed up with the constant questions about what a certain line "really means". There is no ambiguity here, it's simple text. A mate said that it's full of code and needs interpretation. I think it's full of shit and with all that's wrong with the world today I simply don't want to waste my precious time on it....... it will probably feature in Steve Gibbons set list which will give you time to take a nap.
There are songs that disappear into the past then, all of a sudden, pop into your head and you think how good it was and one of those for me is "That's What I want" by The Marauders.
The Marauders hailed from Stoke on Trent and were lucky to get this early Carter/Lewis song to record which was a minor hit, reaching 43 on the charts of 1963.
It was really perfect for the times and its production by Peter Attwood and arranger Mike Leander was superb, even now it sounds good especially the bass and drum sound. A medium paced rocker, this would gave been a massive hit had it been recorded by The Searchers for example. It is probably one of the first records to feature a 12 string guitar albeit an acoustic and the hook line of the chorus Thats What I Want is punchy and memorable.
There were great groups around the Midlands but at that time everyone was focussed on the bands coming out of Liverpool courtesy of the Fabs which unfortunately had a diminishing effect for the midlanders. They had three more releases and called it a day in 65. There were so many bands then that you had to be very lucky, have a brilliant agent or exceptional talent to get recognised and unfortunately it just wasnt their time. Give it a listen.
THE CURRENT SITUATION
We old brumbeaters are in the danger zone, age wise, from this terrible virus and no doubt some aren't going to make it through this thing, including me However we can all do things to lessen that possibility by being sensible, you all know about the distancing and particularly remaining indoors etc so I wont harp on about it but I think constantly about the musicians that I knew and loved back in the 60s in Birmingham and I hope that I have been able to highlight some of those bands who otherwise might not have not got a mention at all. I wish you all well for the future.
I received a phone call, late at night, a couple of days ago from a dear friend who had been on the same musical adventures with me right from our school days. We had both struggled, coming from financially poor families. He phoned to say he was now getting short of breath and was close to death and wanted to take the opportunity to thank me for being a friend and for doing some things for him in the past. He didn't sound breathless though so the next day I asked another mate to check on him.
It turned out he had suffered an attack of Jamesons disease, the whole bottle in fact, this had been aided by that rarest of infections, Boddingtonsitis. Luckily for us both he has made a total recovery, I'm glad he's still alive and treasure the fact that he had called me to say goodbye, a true friend indeed.
Sorry there are no images in this blog, just too difficult to do on yer back!!
Take Care out there, I promise I shall be doing my best to stay alive too!