Sunday, 16 June 2019

My Father's Name is Dad


Dad's just rung. He thanked me for his card and then proceeded to tell me that he's going travelling round Ireland at the end of the month. He's 83. Respect. I think the last time he took the car on the Holyhead to Dublin ferry he was driving a 1963 Ford Anglia. And they still had the Punt. Cars and currency may change but my dad's determination is locked-on. There will be stories when he gets back; to be sure, to be sure.


The Fire - My Father's Name is Dad (1968)

Friday, 14 June 2019

Dotage


My love of David Bowie is based, essentially, on a handful of albums and singles from, in the main, the period 1970-1975. Yes, I know this is shortsighted of me and, yes, I know he was so much more than that. But, like opera, Shakespeare, and beetroot, I think I've been saving latter period Bowie for my dotage: in effect, Bowies's dotage if he did but know it. 

This may or may not turn into a feature that I'll return to on rainy days and Mondays. Or even Fridays. As a holding statement I'll just put this out for today. It's taken from Heathen - his 22nd studio album. Released seventeen years ago and produced by Tony Visconti, I'm still to be convinced that Everyone Says Hi was not co-written with Ian Broudie. Have a jolly Friday everyone.

David Bowie - Everyone Sys Hi (2002)

Monday, 10 June 2019

Leave Your Stepping Stones Behind


Bob Dylan recorded It's All Over Now, Baby Blue in 1965. And since then it's been covered by every man and his dog. Far be it for me to tell you which versions are worth seeking out, and those that belong on the turkey farm - I'll let you make your own minds up.
That said, I am rather partial to Chris Robinson's version. I'm not too sure if the former Black Crowe ever released it officially, but this was recorded in a New York radio station a couple of years back. Check the beards out, too.

Chris Robinson Brotherhood - It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (2016)


We're a man down: one of our blogging fraternity -  The Swede - is not too good at the moment. I'm sure we all wish him a speedy return to form, and hope he's back in harness before too long.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

More Cunning than the Raven


Moose Allain regularly appears on my Twitter feed. His cartoons put a smile on my face most days. A must when wading knee deep in imbecilic rants from the POTUS; not to mention right wing ramblings from several of our own swivel-eyed loons.

So, crows. What's the story morning glory? And just how do you tell a crow from a raven? Well, look no further. Proof, if proof were needed, that 'Are We There Yet?' also has a charter to inform, educate, and entertain. It can also shoehorn a song from the fabulous Black Crowes into any blog post at the drop of a hat. You're welcome.

The Black Crowes - Remedy (1992)

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Imagine

Dirty John

There are a number of songs I don't need to hear again. And at least two of them were written by John Lennon. Imagine is one; mawkish. Woman is another; anodyne. The latter was lifted from Lennon's Double Fantasy album just days after he was assassinated, and put out as a single. Whereupon it went straight to Number One; of course it did.

Double Fantasy was Lennon's first album in over five years. He'd turned his back on music in 1975 and had been working part-time for Warburtons. His new record, released only three weeks before an infamous autograph hunter lay in wait for the ex-Beatle outside the Dakota building, had generally been ignored by the press and public alike. Mark Chapman, however, changed all that.

But if you take Lennon's killing out of the equation, it's a very ordinary album; considering it was made by a very extraordinary man. It's slushy for the most part and a bit of a let down. With the exception of one track. I'm Losing You had been demo'd by Lennon with members of Cheap Trick and it was John at his lowdown best; dirty John, if you will.

But when it came to the finished studio version the rough edges had all been sanded down and his studio musicians had taken all the life out of it. Shame on them.

The Cheap Trick version appeared about 20 years later tucked away on an anthology. And it's still classic Lennon, sounding just how you've always wanted John Lennon to sound. Imagine if the rest of the album had been this good.

John Lennon with Cheap Trick - I'm Losing You (1980)

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Hitchcockian

RH

Robyn Hitchcock's tweets have been most amusing this week; you see, he has a doppelgänger - another grey haired English singer songwriter of a certain vintage, no less. I'll let the polka dotted former Soft Boy explain.


NL

And, for the avoidance of doubt and any conspiracy theorists out there who say that you never see Robyn Hitchcock and Nick Lowe together in the same room...