Friday, May 6, 2011

Can you hear us pumping on your stereo? (Supergrass)

This is my 100th post on this blog. That's fairly significant I think. 100 rants about music.

What should I do to celebrate? Maybe a list of 100 somethings? Mmm no - that might be a bit of a bridge too far.

Maybe I could do a greatest hits type post of my favourite posts so far. Mmmm no again - they're all there if you want to dip into my back pages.

Instead I'd like to return to the beginning of it all and that was a post on April 13 in 2009 - just over two years ago.

Here's what I wrote:

So we (Jacky me and Samantha) were sitting in our favourite lunch place - Lush in New Plymouth's centre city - and Samantha was asking about my blogging for family/friends and why I didn't put more music posts on it and I said because a lot of wozza's place people don't read that stuff so I was limiting that from now on and Jacky (God bless her) said, "Why don't you just do a music blog and..." (I had drifted off into a distant realm). I think I said in a dreamy far away voice, "Of course - a blog just for my rants on music. But where do I start". Samantha helpfully suggested I start from the beginning!

The beginning - The beginning for me is watching the Ed Sullivan Show on New Zealand TV in maybe 1965 or 1966 (whenever NZBC got around to showing it. I was about 8 or 9) and wozza's place readers will know what effect that had on me. No surprise then that this blog is named after Lennon's walrus sound. The hooks were sharp and deep!

Actually - that wasn't, strictly speaking, the real beginning, now I come to think of it.

The real start of my musical adventures would involve my parents and their love of piano jazz and swing music. I would hear their choices around the house and gaze at the covers of the albums they owned long before The Beatles crashed my consciousness.

These would include albums by Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Smith, Glenn Miller, Woody Herman, and Frank Sinatra (my mother's favourite).

I guess what I meant, in that first post, was that the first music that was mine was the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.

In that first post I also did my own responses to the regular 'All Back To Mine' quiz in Mojo magazine. Seems timely that I do an update.
What music are you currently grooving to?
I'm still constantly buying and listening to music - right now I'm listening to my latest purchases, all of which I've picked up cheaply in the local Al Ain supermarkets: The Crowded  House waifs and strays compilation Afterglow which is excellent - their cast offs are better than some band's whole careers; A compilation entitled Saturday Night Divas (Tina Turner's Steamy Windows and Lene Marlin are on there so it's pretty fine); another compilation called Metal For The Masses (Lacuna Coil, Strapping Young Lad keep Deep Purple and Scorpions company); and a Supergrass compilation of hits - Supergrass is 10. I love their chirpy Britpop fun songs.
What, if push came to shove, is your all-time favourite album?
In all my various best of lists two albums have always vied for best ever - The Beatles white album (really called 'the Beatles'), and John Lennon's 1970 solo album - 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band'. The shock of the invention and honesty in each makes them my favs by some distance.

What was the first record you ever bought? And where did you buy it?
I've an unreliable memory on this. I've always thought it was The Hollies single 'Hey Willie' that I bought from the record bar in 246 (a large mall in Queen St, Auckland). However this was in 1971 and I'd already got some albums before that for Christmas 1970 The Beatles 'Hey Jude' - from a record shop in Otahuhu and I also had a clutch of albums including a best of The Cowsills, a Monkees album and a Hollies album around this same time.

Which musician, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be?
The Mojo questions are often given to musicians of course and I'm not one. However for a while there after seeing Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee in concert (I was about 10 feet away at Nambassa) I bought a blues harp and wailled along with Sonny - desperate to be as cool as he was.

What do you sing in the shower?
I wish I could sing, but a man's gotta know his limitations.

What is your favourite Saturday night song?
Let's have a Party by Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs is the finest thing to twitch around to that I know. Don't Let Go redone by Cold Chisel on their live album is also damn good.

And your Sunday morning record?
Currently it's a good time for some Jazz (Dexter Gordon), Buddha Lounge chill music or Rumer's excellent Seasons of My Soul album (makes me long to be in England too).


  1. This comment is from one of my whanau - my friend GK:

    ONE: Whenever I hear "The Ed Sullivan Show" something happens to me. I am transported back to the living room at Shackleton Road with the big Black and White TV. I've tried to explain Ed Sullivan et al to our kids but can't quite convey the essence of what he, and others like him, meant for the culture of that time.

    I want to say "Letterman," or "Leno" but it's not the same. I want to explain the idealism and simplicity that those days contained - I can't do it. Things were just different then.

    Our kids have memories and maybe for them they are as simple and uncluttered as ours are - but it's not the same.

    BTW - I also think of that crazily un-PC show that had chimpanzees "acting" with human voice-overs and there was always an Ed Sullivan section where the chimp was standing with his arms folded saying in Ed's deadpan voice, "We got a really great song for you tonight."

    TWO: a musical question I often ask people is, "What is your musical default?" That is, what is the song that pops into your head most often.

    Now, not everyone has one. Believe it or not, some people don't have music floating around in their heads all the time!?!?! Go figure. But I do! (and I think you do too Wozza!).

    And there is, for many people a default tune - a tune that seems to be on high cerebral rotation. It may change from time to time but it is there.

    For instance, for years mine was Tex Pistol's (RIP), Game of Love.... at the most unexpected moments I would find myself going; "bomp ba bomp, ba bomp, ba bomp ba, The purpose of a man is to love a woman, the purpose of a woman is...."

  2. The songs-that-in-our-heads syndrome drives people crazy around me. Every day (and many times a day) someone will say something and a lyric will pop into my head and I, of course, then have to verbalise it!

    The tunes in my head change all the time - currently it's Crowded House's "My Private Universe" - which is fairly appropriate.