Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Band - 'Don't do it'

This is the same song with which The Band ended their career, as an encore at their legendary 'Last Waltz', Thanksgiving Day show in 1976. Think this UTuber is from a show about six months earlier though. Obviously this is a practise run... Rick Danko's opening bass lines are as funky as anything and when the drums and piano really lock in, it gets even better.

Anyhoo, It's a 'Holland-Dozier-Holland' Mowtown tune which was first made famous by Marvin Gaye. Levon Helm (the only American in the group does the honours on vocals).

Always wonder how great that The Band could have been with a second guitar player to compliment Robbie Robertson, and why Richard Manuel doesn't sing a note on this tune (Rick Danko seems to have to improv on all of the harmonies, even though Robbie had a really decent high tenor voice and does a couple of falsetto bits), but there you go....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rolling on the river - Italian style

One of the worst cover versions of all time. Even 'Ireland's Got Talent' would reject this.

Lucio Battista makes an interesting attempt at the John Fogarty classic 'Proud Mary'. Sadly Lucio doesn't succeed, despite appearing to have the entire La Scala philharmonic orchestra at his disposal and also the Italian version of Bob Dylan (Lucio's brother, I think) and what seems to be the complete cast of the Italian version of 'Hair'  backing him.

I'm not bragging but I could seriously do a better version on my banjo or ukulele. But then again, this is from the country that regards Zucherro as a musical genius (and also gave us Mussolini)....

2009 - Top 5 good and bad sh*t list

Well, as the year is almost ended, here is a list of my perks and peeves:-

Bad Sh*t:

  1. Getting made redundant for the first time in my life in May 2009.
  2. Trying to deal with truely ignorant pen-pushing public servants in the dole office who ask questions like "are you really doing anything to find a job?", even though I didn't apply for benefit for 4 months (out of some stupid sense of optimism and pride) and have 15 years worth of continuous PRSI stamps. I haven't claimed or received  a cent from the state yet. Think that early 2010 will see me visiting those scumf*cks with a solicitor by my side. I spent a couple of years in the public service after Uni, so know exactly how ignorant some of the 'servants of the state' can be. Hope in 2010 that they get massacred (guards and nurses aside) and that the Senate gets abolished.
  3. Jedward (need I say any more) and the fact that nobody has tried to assasinate Louis Walsh yet. Surely some religious fanatic or republican extremist can help with this? Also, the return of of talentless, gurning midget Robbie Williams to the world we call pop, although it looks like he's pretty much finished now. 
  4. Joe Duffy's 'Funny Friday' radio show.  Is there any worse example of Licence-Payers' money being completely washed down the toilet?
  5. Channel-flicking on the TV and constantly coming across 'Play TV', '2 Pints of Lager...', 'Top Gear' or any of those heavily scripted Panel Shows like 'Qi' or 'The Panel'

    Good Sh*t:
    1. Judicious and successful online gambling; Also, adult Japanese porn - keeps getting better and better - especially the stuff they do live on metro trains!
    2. Getting to see P-Funk live (George Clinton - you are the man and always will be!).
    3. All 5 seasons of 'The Wire' shown on the BBC. Was great, as my multi-region DVD player had packed up at the time.
    4. Irish Catholic Bishops resigning in droves. How my heart wept!
    5. The respective demises of Michael Jackson and Jade Goody. Again, my heart was broken. "Good for you!"

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Fat Larry does Zoom

    Not many things that make me weep a couple of tears these days but this is one.  Great Philly funk/soul/pop music from my childhood; 'Fat Larry' James is the bandleader and drummer. Not much of a surprise that he kicked the bucket at an early age  - (think morbid obesity) :-(

    The lead singer looks really like DJ Spoony.

    Sunday, December 27, 2009

    Great fun entirely, Ted!

    You couldn't really make this up.  Bogshite, apparently-retarted  Parish Priest sobs on hearing of the (somewhat enforced) impending resignation of  the Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh. Perhaps they'll be coming for him next?

    His accent is so muck-savage that it's hard to make out what he's saying/sobbing. but he seems to want to convey to us that the beloved bishop has been a 'saviour for the country over t'last 15 years';

    And at the end - "We just love the man - he's so cut". Perhaps the good bishop is a body-builder and the reference is to his physique; either that or he was circumcised particularly well?.

    Also loved his opening line in this interview which seemed to have been 'We loved Willie...'. I think that loving willy (particularly those attached to 4-16 year old boys) is what got a lot of those perverts into this situation in the first place.

    Wonder also what kind of name Mrs. Doyle would guess for this creature:-
    • Fr. Girly McSqueek
    • Fr. Harry Hysterical
    • Fr. Krai Baby
    • Fr. Tony Twit
    • Fr. Big Eejit
    • Fr. Psycho Sicko
      Fr. Who's GoingToApproveMyExpensesNow
    • Fr. Billy BogShite
    • Fr. Willy Lover
    • Fr. Kiddy Fiddler
    • Fr. YoungAnus Adorer
    • Fr. Bishop Licker
    • Fr. TheyLeftTheFarmToMyBrotherSoIhadNoOtherOption

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground

    This is the legendary 'Blind' Willie Johnson, recorded in the late 1930's, doing the truely disturbing, aethereal 'Dark was the Night...' (a tune based on an old African-American spiritual originally referred to as 'Gethsemene').  Probably the most seminal piece of music recorded over the past 100 years (aside from Westlife's stuff, of course)...

    I try to play along on slide to this on my Dobro sometimes but can never finish it for some reason - it's weird as I can get the notes & tuning down fairly easily, and it's not as if there are many words to remember, but it is almost like an impenetrable wall of sadness hits half-way through.

    Willie was an itinterent musician who endurded a pretty horrific life of abuse and poverty, and died pretty young but his music had a huge influence in later years - Led Zeppelin, Ry Cooder, Duane Allman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rev. Gary Davis, Fairport Convention, Clapton, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher and so many other great people were deeply influenced by him.

    A recording of this tune was allegedly included in a capsule sent into space on the 1977 Voyager flight. Am still waiting for it to land in my back garden or at least somewhere local (hopefully on the head of Louis Walsh).

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    Welcome to Listowel - Europe's #1 spot for Hen Parties

    The mayor of Listowel blames all of this fuss and nonsense on the advent of the mini-skirt, Nell McCafferty, Marian Finucane and Sinead O'Connor.

    "Ask not for whom the window squints..."

    Not much to say about this really - those 50 odd filthy, backward shits who shook that guy's hand in the court room should be thrown into the sea. At least the mad priest got shown the door...

    Really shameful how some of the inbred residents of that town are all over the Interweb insinuating that the victim 'had a history' and was essentially 'asking for it'.

    It makes me so proud to be a citizen of this country:-(

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009

    Bill Cullen to cull Bishops

    Following shocking revelations in the Ryan and Murphy reports, documenting instances of historical child abuse and years of cover-ups by the Irish Catholic church, TV3 have developed a unique new quality TV show, hosted by self-made millionaire used-car salesman, Bill Cullen.

    Bill and his expert team (Marty Whelan,  Lorraine Keane and Brian Dowling from Big Brother 2) will interview and  critique 10 existing bishops and attempt to find one with any sense of moral decency.

    The impressive prizes for the winning contestant will include:-
    • One year's free consultancy from Mr. Cullen's top PR person, to advise on ongoing damage limitation.
    • A luxury hamper from
    • An all-expenses, 2-week stay at a Phillipines orphanage.
    • A complete new wardrobe from the 2010 John Rocha 'Vatican' collection.
    The 9 losers will be forced to resign from their posts immediately and will be sent to work as missionaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo or Liberia.

    "I don't give a feck about your 'Pastoral Reflection'.
    By the end of this, 9 of yiz are out of here."

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    Tiger Woods - close shave

    Poor old Eldrick Woods. Sundry bimbos are coming out of the woodwork to tear holes into the illusion of his perfect little wholesome American marriage. Expect a tearful appearance on Oprah soon...

    Tigers's various conquests line up at the offices of the National Enquirer to spill the beans.

    The world's blandest high-profile sports person is reported to be self-flagellating with a pitching wedge in an attempt to obtain forgiveness for his 'transgressions' and 'sins'.

    I'm putting this down to the curse of the odiously cheesy Gilette shaving advertisements he did with Thierry Henry and Roger Federer.

    Three extremely smug tossers.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    Play TV - JG is gone?

    Wow - It seems that JG Murphy has resigned from TV3's late night flagship rip-off quiz show Play TV.

    JG does 'Spot the difference' for the very last time.

    Like many, I had warmed to him eventually as the most competent of their presenters. Think he will probably have a decent career in the media. It took some skill to be amiable for 3 hours every night while presenting that car-crash...

    So we are left now with the not-so-bright Northern girl who dresses like a tramp (with varicose veins) and has a horrible adenoidal Belfasty accent and the almost equally thick red-headed girl Fiona. It just won't be the same again...

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Mowtown Magic

    The mighty Temptations rehearse 'Sorry is a Sorry Word' (no, not the shitty Elton John song) in a Mowtown studio.

    Boggle-eyed soul legend David Ruffin had become the de facto  lead singer at this time. His elder brother Jimmy also achieved some fame on another Mowtown hit 'What becomes of the Broken Hearted?' Jimmy had been turned down for the Temptations though as he had 2 left feet when it came to dance steps.

    The talent in this clip is unbelievable. The Tempts are backed here by various core members of the legendary Funk Brothers house band (James Jamerson in background on bass, Earl van Dyke on keys, Robert White, Joe Messina, Eddie Willis on guitars) and also Brian Holland (of Holland-Dozier-Holland fame) who wrote this tune and breaks it up half-way in to ask them to do another take.

    Eddie Holland wrote the vocals. He is the guy in the producer's area with the flamboyant pompadour hair. Lamont Dozier is visible in the top left corner when they resume the recording.

    This clip was alledgedly done as a promo, but the Tempts vocalist Eddie Kendrick and especially funk-brother band leader Earl 'chunk of funk' van Dyke look distinctly unhappy at having their work interrupted and critized.

    Wednesday, November 4, 2009

    Black Jacks at the Academy 2

    Just back from the 'Blk Jks' gig at the Academy tonight.  Didn't know much about them but their album 'After Robots' had gotten rave reviews from Mojo and similar magazines, so thought it worth checking out. They are a four-piece rock group from Johannesburg. Spent the last couple of days listening to the CD.

    BLK JKS: (L-R) Rhytym gtr/vcls, Bass gtr/vcls, Lead gtr/lead vcls, Drums/vcls. No idea how to spell their Zulu names, so won't bother at this point.

    They were pretty damn good, very hard to classify - South African roots, bits of Hendrix and even U2 and Radiohead in the mix (but I won't hold that against them too much); The lead singer/lead guitarist was brilliant. He was (ahem, I think) skinning up in the mensroom when the support act was on. I didn't have a clue who he was but I think he was worried that I would steal his pint from beside the sink where he had left it :-(

    As for the show, I don't think there were any more than 70 people there tonight. Not surprising as the weather was horrific.

    Anyhoo, forgot to bring my camera, so might post photos from my phone if any of them are useable...

    Have been to the Academy in Middle Abbey St. for a few gigs recently. Nice place (think Vicar St. Xtra-lite). The building was the old Adelphi cinema from years back, as far as I know.  Relaxed atmosphere - very friendly bouncers and staff. Also, the gig only cost 12 Euro on the entrance fee - take note Paul McCartney...

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    Return of the Moving Statues

    Virgin Mary, as she appears to Joe Coleman

    Dubliner Joe Coleman, who describes himself as "a visionary of our Blessed Mother and a spiritual healer under the energy of the Holy Spirit" recently drew large crowds to the Knock Basilica when he predicted an apparition from the alleged mother of Jesus.

    Coleman (55), who is based in Ballyfermot, Dublin, told the Irish Times yesterday he believes Our Lady appears to him because, “I’m a channel for love, and I’m a channel for God”. He claims he has “never gone public before” on his ability to see apparitions, which dates back to 1986. “I was in hospital having an operation – I broke my ankle – and I died under anaesthetic. I left my body and I went to heaven, where I saw my father who had passed away, and my son, and Our Lady and Jesus and Archangel Michael.”

    Until recently, he described himself as a clairvoyant. He now prefers the term “spiritual healer”, and claims to be able to cure people of various illnesses. "People come to me for all sorts of ailments. They could have cancer, arthritis, haemorrhoids, MS – all sorts of things. Healing comes out of my hands. I pray over people and sometimes touch them in their delicate regions.  That normally does the trick".

    Last Sunday, Coleman claimed to have had another vision of the blessed mother while visiting the toilet in Murty Coyne's bar in Knock, following midday mass. "I had a bad curry the night before so made a bit of a mess", said Coleman. "It was when I was wiping myself down that I saw the blessed virgin smiling serenely at me from the toilet bowl. I took this as a sign that I should not flush the toilet. A voice told me that she would return again at 7PM that evening and reveal certain key secrets involving the oncoming advent of armageddon if the human race did not renounce Satan immediately.

    I went back at 6:55 but Murty had got the specialist cleaners in and destroyed the beatific image of the mother of Our Lord, so this picture is the only evidence I have of the apparition. Murty will burn in hell for that. I don't care that he has now barred me for life.":

    Joe captures image of blessed Virgin Mary's latest apparition

    Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, has issued a statement that makes clear the church’s view of Coleman’s predictions:  "That man is a f*cking nutter - I checked with various dioceses and it seems that he is such an oddball that his regular applications for the priesthood were turned down a total of 27 times over the years 1985 - 1989 (bear in mind that back then we weren't too fussy and would take any kind of deviant or eejit). 

    Certainly, the fact that he was completely illiterate, and had done 13 years in Mountjoy for a litany of serious crimes was a stumbling block to any potential ordination, but his beliefs that his holieness the Pope was a lizard spawned by aliens, and that the jews (sic) were trying to poison his tea-bags (because he knew too much) also counted against him."

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Slagtastic! Bet she went to a Loreto Convent school.

    "Wahoo - Jade Goody, Britney and Jordan are my idols!"

    I encountered someone very similar to this fine lady on a Saturday Nightlink bus earlier this year.

    On that occasion though, the girl wore her underwear in a more conventional manner; Her panties looked like they may have been white originally, although a dose of double incontinence seemed to have occurred, so it was really quite hard to tell. I only happened to notice this fact, as she spent the latter part of the journey upside-down in the stairwell of the bus and caused me to miss my stop and I practically need to perform a gymnastic bars routine to avoid standing on her head or staining my shoes in her vomit, when I finally attempted to disembark.

    She appeared to be semi-conscious but was still making a detemined effort to hum along with her similarly classy friends who were screeching out a rendition of the horrific Robbie Williams dirge 'Angels'.

    Anyhoo, hope she got home OK and that her family (and the nuns) are proud of her!

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    The Dark End of the Street - diffs

    Two versions of the same song. Not sure which I like better (does that make me bi-polar?).

    James Carr

    Gram Parsons

    A sad tale of infidelity and ensuing guilt. I'm not sure which version I like better.

    James Carr is not remembered as much now as he probably should be, as one of the greatest southern soul singers of all time like Otis, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, Solomon Burke et al.

    He 'fell at the first hurdle' due to mental health issues and ended up virtually catatonic for most of his life.

    Gram Parsons was a rich-kid who found that he had a knack for country/soul music and managed to get himself into 'the Byrds' and unofficially 'the Rolling Stones' and made vital contributions at crucial times in both bands' careers, with 'the Byrds' on 'Sweethearts of the Rodeo' and with 'the Stones' on their 'Exile on Main Street' period.

    This is essentially his own group - 'The Flying Buritto Brothers'.  Gram Parsons didn't make it past 30 years of age, I don't think. Fulfilling a promise, some friends stole his coffin and gave him a cremation in the Joshua Tree Park in CA.

    James Carr made a couple of very brief comebacks but died a few years back, after being cared for by his sister for many years.

    I find it abhorrent when people try to do this song - like Andrew Strong in 'the Commitments', or anyone on 'XYZ Factor' or any of those shows. You can't touch these 2 versions...

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    50 best characters from 'the Wire'

    Saw this unusual list on the Interweb and can't really disagree with much of it:

    The Wire - 50 best characters.

    No surprise as to whom the #1 position was awarded to.
    Would  be interesting to see similar top 50 lists with 'Fair City' or 'Hollyoaks' characters. It could be done on City Channel or TV3, with perhaps Gerry Ryan presenting.

    I am sure, judging by his appalling 'Ryan Confidential', that Gerry is up for anything on TV these days. Saw him interview Roger Moore last night while he guzzled his red wine in the upmarket restaurant of the Westbury Hotel.  Poor old Roger probably needed to lie down in a dark room for a while after enduring Gerry's platitudes for 30 minutes.

    Gerry's sombre, slowly-spoken overdubs defy belief on these shows. Does nobody in RTE have the guts to tell him how bad they are?

    Update on my life

    OK - this photo wasn't taken from my best side, but I blame the photographer.  I guess I may have taken my recent redundancy more badly than I had anticipated initially, and made a bad mistake in giving all of my Italian designer clothes to that charity shop last month.

    No bother though - I hear that the grunge look is back for this season.

    This is I in People's Park, Dun Laoghaire, last week. I may have put on some weight but it's all muscle, I assure you.

    At least I kept my laptop and can still blog, as I can hook into the wi-fi of local suckers. Here I am sending off my CV for the 1,000th time. The dog died, but I guess I can eat it when I get hungry...

    I probably don't smell too nice as I stupidly drank my last bottle of 'Salvador Dali Eau de Toilette' last night, but I think I have enough qualities to ace any interview, in any major company.

    Have to go now as it is council bin day tomorrow.  Need to explore them for scraps of food before they take them away in the morning.

    Keep the faith,

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Stephen Gately dead

    Don't want to offend anyone close to him (yeah like they'd be reading this anyway!) but I'm guessing that we can expect the delcaration of a 'national day of mourning' very soon...

    Future presidential candidate, B. Ahern certainly wasted no time this morning releasing a statement lauding this great 'musician' (what the f*ck?). Ahern's PR folks must have woken him up early, as he is promoting his book this weekend. Nice tie-in.

    I heard this years ago about Gately, so not so sure how true it is, but it would appear the real reason he emerged from his closet a few years back was that a certain UK redtop got wind of an existing caution from the Irish police against him from years ago and more or less blackmailed him, via Walsh, into either confessing all or being 'exposed'.

    Hints: the reason for the caution involved the words 'solicitation', 'mens public toilets', 'Connolly Train Station'.

    I guess this will be revealed in the press soon if there is any truth in it. The other thing I heard at the time was that he had to endure the Louis Walsh 'casting couch' quite a lot.

    Can't blame the guy, as he came from a really rough area, left school early and didn't have any other way of making money in the barren early 90s. Think I had met him a few times back then, as he was going out with a guy I knew from Uni at the time. He (Gately) seemed a fairly decent chap, very short, very effeminate and (ahem) not the brightest person on the block.
    Anyhoo, he dumped my Uni colleague, on Louis Walsh's orders, once he got the Sh*tzone job.
    Not much else I can say, except R.I.P., although the '1 down, 4 to go' jokes have started already on the InterWeb.
    I'd include Louis Walsh and all of Westlife in that list. Surely we can have a Hague tribunal for 'Crimes Against Music' some day soon.

    TV3 - Play TV. Naked Presenters

    In an attempt to boost ratings, as they still appear to have very few callers per night, the Play TV folks have come up with a unique  new approach.

    Regular presenters J.G., Fiona and that other Northern bird have agreed to appear completely naked on each show.  The callers will be invited to dial the premium lines and guess the amount of hairs on the presenter's body.

    To avoid any risk of repetition, in the games, the presenters will also begin each game by shaving a part of their body, behind a screen, then displaying their various 'regions' to the general public.
    Also, the length of the reckonable hair will differ each night, adding to the excitement and reducing the chance of anyone winning a prize.

    Where's my feckin' razor? I need to get the suit off and trim the bush. Remember caller: "" tonight is pubes-only night, so head hair is not included..."

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Whispering Pines

    L-R, Richard Manuel (Piano and vcls.), Levon Helm (drums and vcls.), Rick Danko (Bass and vcls.), Garth Hudson (Organ) and Robbie Robertson (gtr. vcls. and band leader)

    Perhaps the best piece of work that 'The Band' ever did, post-Dylan; Richard Manuel's achingly beautiful, piano-based composition 'Whispering Pines' from their 'Brown Album'. He sings the lead on this with Levon and Rick on backing vocals.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Where exactly was the real 'Club Tropicana'?

    It was never really made clear as to the true location of the 'Club Tropicana' referenced in Wham's classic pop tune, until now...

    In fact I can reveal that the real Club Tropicana was actually situated in a basement flat in Clarinda Park, Dun Laoghaire.

    The famed nightclub Tropicana in all its pomp.

    UCD philosophy graduate Justin Ponce had spotted a gap in the market and opened the club in 1983. It's noteriety soon grew and began attracting top name celebs like Wham, Duran Duran, Grace Jones, Twink, Bishop Eamon Casey, and the Dalkey Rat-Pack (Adam Clayton, Chris deBurgh, Pat Kenny, Ronnie Wood and most of Def Leppard).

    "Those were great days, in retrospect", says Ponce.  "George Michael became totally enamoured by the place when he first visited. In fact, he bought 2 places in Clarinda just so he could be close to my club, whenever he was in Dublin.

    His lyrics really sum up what things were like in those hedonistic days.  The basement flat could accomodate up to 30 stars at any one time.  My mom served the cocktails through a sliding hatch in the kitchen. Her bedroom doubled as the orgy room.

    The place once got so packed that I had to turn away Mick Jagger, Jerry Hall, Andy Warhol and Gerry Ryan all on the one night. Mick was quite dismissive and claimed he didn't want to come in anyway, as he was just 'waiting on a friend', and would get his limo driver to take him to Shaft in Ely Place instead.

    Another night, Oliver Reed and Richard Harris dropped in. They were complete gentlemen, I must say, nothing like their reputations, although it took a few hours to clean up the vomit and faeces they left on the bedspread in my mother's room.

    It was true that the 'drinks were free'.  I still managed to make a profit by imposing a nightly cover charge of 500 punts, although we'd let nurses in for free on Thursdays. I always wore a Panama hat while working the door, so I'm, sure that was a reference to me."

    Let me take you to the place where membership’s a smiling face,
    Brushing shoulders with the stars.
    Where strangers take you by the hand,
    And welcome you to wonderland -
    From beneath their Panamas...

    Club tropicana, drinks are free,
    Fun and sunshine - there’s enough for everyone.
    All that’s missing is the sea,
    But don’t worry, you can suntan!

    "It was actually possible to get a suntan. I had set up 2 prototype sunbeds in an annex at the back of the garden. Things went badly wrong one night when future Eurovision queen Linda Martin used one and fell asleep for 3 hours.  She sufferred 2nd-degree burns to most of her body, but I still maintain that it was her own fault for having knocked back too many cocktails and for fiddling with the controls on the machine.

    Her lawsuit failed in the end as I had put in CC-TV and could prove that it was Twink who locked her in the sunbed.

    Those were great days. We always had the heating turned all the way up to give the place that tropical feel, and planted some plastic palm trees beside the fish pool in the back garden."

    Castaways and lovers meet,
    Then kiss in tropicana’s heat,
    Watch the waves break on the bay.
    Soft white sands, a blue lagoon,
    Cocktail time, a summer’s tune,
    A whole night’s holiday!

    Justin was forced to close the club a couple of years back when an internicine feud between the entourages of Eminem and Westlife exploded into violence. A shootout ensued, the guards were called and Justin was questioned as to why he had been operating a nightclub for 23 years without a licence.

    He fled to the Bahamas a couple of days later, where he now has plans to open a new Club Tropicana.

    His 83-year old mother got sentenced to 4 years in prison for operating an unlicened premises, as the flat was in her name. While inside, she became involved in a passionate affair with nastier one of the scissor sister murderers. Unfortunately Mrs. Ponce was shanked in the showers in Wheatfield women's prison last month and is no longer with us.  49 Clarinda Park West is still up for sale....

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    George Benson - Take Five

    George Benson does the Dave Brubeck/Paul Desmond jazz classic 'Take 5'. I love to watch anything old by Benson as he had become the official poster person for Ibanez jazz guitars by then.

    He almost seems to play this with a certain amount of disdain, like it's technically beneath him or something; At times he is playing with more speed than any heavy metal-head could do even though he is on a bulky jazz guitar with absolutely no effect pedals.

    Anyhoo, this was around the time when people had discovered that GB was possessed of a very good voice, besides being an untouchable  natural genius on jazz guitar.

    I started to dislike him when he got one of those Jackson family nose jobs in the late 80's, began doing bland pop ballads and got into Jehovah's Witness sh*t. But them is my predjudices.

    Will always love his guitars though!

    Wahoo - PlayTV may be f*cked

    Thanks to the good work of a couple of members, it looks like TV3's shameful PlayTV 'quiz' show may be taken off the air. Should mean a good decrease in eldery pensioners wasting 80 EUR per night trying to connect to the non-open lines on their fraudulent show.

    The regulating Broadcasting Complaints Commission has agreed with most complainents and I can't really see any other eventuality than this crap being shut down now.

    Here are some of the amusing decisions giving by the BCC:
    BCC verdict on Play TV

    J.G., don't despair- you will probably still have a career, as a taxi-driver, prostitute or beggar!

    Thursday, October 1, 2009

    TV3 - PlayTV. An unhappy caller

    Someone mailed me on this earlier.

    The lovely slag Fiona was presenting on PlayTV tonight with one of their usual completely unsolvable quiz games where you have to count the number of cats left on a bus after a series of improbable incidents occur during a trip...

    "Am i live on air?

    "Yes you are caller, what's your answer?"

    "The answer is you're a thieving b*tch and i don't know how you sleep at night"

    Classic! hope someone will UTube it as I missed it... Apparently, they gave away about 200 EUR tonight, even though they were promising 15,000 at one point for a resolution of the one quiz game they played all night. Unf*ckingbelievable.

    Think that the other presenter J.G. got done recently in a similar manner when a caller gave the answer as 'This is a total scam'.

    J.G., to his credit just replied with a robotic 'Sorry caller, that's not the right answer, but please do try again'. Kudos for his quick thinking on that one!

    Bring on the imsomniac merry pranksters!

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Immigrant Avenue & Fela Kuti

    This is Fela Kuti, a passed musical genius from Nigeria doing 'Water has no Enemy'. He came to mind when I was out shopping today and overheard a couple of typical taxi drivers slobbering down their Latee Coffees and moaning about how the 'f*cking Africans (sic)' were taking over their jobs.  I was listening to this through one half of my MP3 player at the time.

    Thankfully, they didn't use the 'N' word'...

    It may be kind of true that 30% of city-centre Dublin cabbies come from Nigeria these days, but at least you can ask them to turn off Sh*te 104 on the radio, and put some good music on - most of the guys can whip out a Fela or King Sunny Ade CD in seconds.

    My thinking/experience is that if you show the slightest bit of interest in someone else's culture, then you may get some respect back.

    From hundreds of trips, I have only had 4 bad experiences with Nigerian cabbies - one insisted on playing religious instruction CDs, two tried it on with me (invitations which I politely declined but took as back-handed compliments)  and one went on a wild visit three times around the Harcourt Street vicinity.  I got out and paid immediately on all occasions.

    In the whole, I have had nothing but good laughs with taxi drivers from the new sides of our community in recent years.

    Just wish that those dinosaurs would get over it...

    Oh yeah - it would be great as well if RTE could put a believably representative immigrant family in Fair City. I know they had a Nigerian family a while back, but in the couple of shows I saw, the 'actors' looked like they were heavily sedated and had wandered in to the wrong place, expecting to do some contract cleaning. I think they did the same thing with poorly-written Eastern European characters who were usually all villanous by nature.

    Alternatively just invent a new show.They could call it 'Immigration Avenue', 'Romanian Road', 'Lithuania Lane', 'African Avenue' , 'Polish Place', 'Filipino Flats', 'Chinese Close', 'Generally-Latino Square' or something along those lines...

    Just throw some stereotypical Eastern European navvies and Roma folks with poor accordian skills into the plot and we'd really have an award-winner.

    Anyhoo, I jest a little - just going to dig Fela for now.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    Gok-Wank in shock after eye surgery

    Why didn't anyone tell me I was so revolting looking?

    Channel 4 presenter Gok-Wan, who has made his name for humiliating frumpy housewives on his TV show, was reportedly under heavy sedation last night, following the results of eye surgery to correct issues with his vision.

    A hospital source commented:- "Once the bandages came off, he demanded to see himself in a full-length mirror. He shrieked and became hysterical when he realised that he looked more of a fashion disaster than any of the ladies he had ever insulted on his show. "This mirror is f*cked, he sobbed. I look practically emaciated, my clothes are sh*te and what's going on with my hair?"

    The camp presenter sufferred from myopia for all of his life but was apparently convinced for the last several years that he had the charismatic looks and style-sense of an oriental Brad Pitt.

    This delusion gave him great confidence on his TV Show 'How to look good in the F*cking Nip', during which he chided middle-aged women for such crimes as not using the correct skin toner, wearing the wrong heels, under-emphasising their cleavages, having large hips and wearing striped blouses in the wrong season.

    A senior staff nurse who did not wish to be named commented: "Poetic Justice - this limp-wristed freak of nature has finally realised that it is he himself who needs a drastic makeover.

    He was highly abusive when he first arrived here - asking one young nurse exactly what abbatoir she had escaped from. He also reduced a cleaner to tears by asking if she gets all her clothes from Oxfam, told her that she had hair like like a really butch lesbian and asked her to do something to cover up her varicose veins, as they were making him ill".

    "We will not be sad to see him go"...

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    Sly and the Family Stone

    Sly Stone was always one of the most interesting characters of the 60's musical revolution. He was a brilliant composer and multi-instrumentalist (a Mozart-like genius, in my opinion) but when he got into cocaine and heroin, things hit the slides big time. 

    His performance at festivals like Woodstock made him into a legend. He also had the guts to resist all calls to make his band 'less female' and/or 'less caucasian', despite stupid political oppostion.

    Here he is in 69, before he got real bad, doing a medley of hits.

    Things did get so bad within the band that Sly once arranged for a group of his goons/bodyguards to give a real hiding to super-bassist Larry Graham, who was having an affair at the time with the wife of Sly's brother - Freddie (who is playing the beautiful Gibson on this). Also Sly resented Graham for getting more female attention than he was getting at the time.

    Anyhoo, one of their roadies got wind of the plan and managed to spirit Larry and his girlfriend away down a hotel backstairs on the night in question, to save them from Sly's posse.

    Larry Graham left to do his own thing after that and ended up years later playing bass with Prince. Sly kept sinking and sinking, but he's still alive, albeit in in really poor health...

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Chris de Burgh surprised by critics

    Ireland's number 1 balladeer, Chris de Burgh admitted today to being quite stunned by the reaction to his recently-released album of cover versions 'Footsteps', on which he interprets songs by a diverse array of artists such as the Beatles, the Byrds, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan.

    "To be honest, I've never had a decent review for any of my work, so I was quite shocked when the Irish Times referred to my new album as 'almost listenable'. To have the NME call it 'surprisingly inoffensive bland MOR' was also very weird."

    "When Rolling Stone gave it two stars out of five, I knew I was on to something big. They had famously referred to my work in the past as combining the very worst elements of the Bee Gees and Cat Stephens. Very, very hurtful, at the time."

    Chris was further boosted by reviews from other respected elements of the printed press:-

    'Not half as shit as you would have expected from this unctuous clown' - Spin magazine.

    'This one is a keeper - will give it to my aunt as an xmas gift' - Sunday Times.

    'I didn't puke once while listening to this.  I think I need to see a doctor' - Evening Herald.

    'Of course, it's shite but I found myself humming along to a couple of the tunes. Think I'll self-harm now...' - Hot Press

    'Actually almost liked a few of the tunes on this. Early signs of dementia on my part?' - Evening Standard

    'Oasis and Blur are great. Chris de Burgh is OK' - Q Magazine

    'For some reason, and I can't quite put my finger on it, this is not too bad' - Dave Fanning

    'Have lost the will to live after listening to this and actually liking some of it' - Mojo Magazine

    'F*ck me. How did he manage to make a half-decent album? I expected it to be as shit as the wretched crap done by my stable of  performers' - Simon Cowell

    Whilst admitting that he is grateful for all of the positive feedback from the media, Chris is determined to continue his long-running battle with Irish Ferries, encouraging his fans to refuse to pay the Ferry company, until you actually reach the other side (normally Holyhead). "Don't payyyyyyy the Ferry Man" he bellowed. At this point he excused himself as he had a nanny to feck console...

    Lay me your money down

    Tillakeratne Dilshan - a really nice bloke, by all accounts

    Wahoo! Won a good K+ on Sri Lanka in the cricket today, when they trashed South Africa in a 50-overs game. They were as long as 15/8 at the start so I lumped on, and threw more at it during the game until they got below evens.

    One of those times when the outcome was just so bleeding obvious, it was too good to resist...

    Just p*ssed off that I didn't put 5 K on it, but the Lankans, for all their talents, can f*ck it up some times, so caution is usually required.

    Anyhoo - thanks Dilshan, Mahela, Sanga, Mendis and especially Paddy Power; Give me some money! I shall save it all for a rainy day. Actually, I'll put a couple of hundred on Colarado in the early morning Baseball also. Will see how that works out...

    Tuesday, September 22, 2009

    China Cat Sunflower

    Never understood why people liked the Grateful Dead in such a fanatical manner, but this tune is impossibly funky. Jerry Garcia is pretty classy on this.

    Poor ole Jerry was a decent guitar player but could never really sing; somehow he got away with it for 30 odd years. Bob Weir was pretty OK but no match for Jorma Kaukonen of the Airplane, Mike Bloomfield or any of those guys who were around at the time. Look out for a young Bill Gates on bass, before he invented an operating system!

    Anyhoo - think the reason I never really dug the Dead was because, as in this case, their tunes tended to go on into never-ending culs de sac  unlike their San Francisco rivals the Jefferson Airplane, who always kept things tight, could sing way better and had better players on bass and lead gtr., at least in terms of making popular music.
    One sad thing is seeing Ron 'Pigpen' McKernan in his cowboy hat tapping tambourine at the back of this. I think he lasted only a few months after this was shot. The profits of Jack Daniels declined significantly that year.

    Monday, September 21, 2009

    Whatever happened to... B.P. Fallon?

    B.P. Fallon was a legend in Irish radio and media circles back in my school days. I used to listen to his Saturday night radio show religiously, where he would do very well-informed one hour documentaries on all of the greats - Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Sam Cooke are the ones that stand out for me.  I would tape them and re-listen for hours on end...

    I remember once calling in as a pundit, when I was about 14, on an RTE1 radio show where the newest musical releases were being reviewed. I think Ian Dempsey hosted it and B.P. was a panellist. I was shitting myself trying not to say anything too stupid, but the Beep put me at ease when he agreed with me that Prince was the rising genius of the musical world. Think I gave a big thumbs down to Banarama and Kajagoogoo's latest singles:-(

    Rather like the character in the Woody Allen movie 'Zelig', B.P. could appear anywhere at anytime, like in this clip where he has hair and bangs a tambourine on John Lennon's Top of the Pops version of Instant Karma:
    BP with John Lennon

    B.P. went on to work as a publicist with Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats and various other people. In the Zeppelin bio book 'Hammer of the Gods', it is pretty apparent that Led Zep's thuggish, scumbag drummer John Bonham hated Beep and was close to doing serious violence to him on several occasions.

    Anyhoo, I actually met the Beep a few years back. It was back in the day when there was an all night predominately gay club called 'Shaft' in Ely Place, where everybody who hated Leeson Street,and thought they were cool, would go after all other places had closed at 3 in the morning.

    B.P. was with an attractive young blonde girl, whom I assumed was his niece or something (ahem)! He stopped for a five minute chat and was a real gent. He spoke exactly like he did on the radio - like something out of a beatnik novel - "Hey Daddy-O, that's cool".

    It seems that he is now an esteemed DJ in New York clubs. Go figure!

    I think B.P. should run for president of Ireland after Mrs. McAleese's tenure is complete. He would certainly make a better run of it than that shameless piece of sh*te Aherne, who has zero chance.

    A Great Day in Harlem

    This is, sometimes, the first thing I see when I wake of a morning - a big mounted print of the iconic Jazz photo taken by Art Kane in 1958, for an article in Esquire magazine.

    Kane was new to photography at that time and had sent out word that he would be doing a shoot at a certain location in Harlem on a particular morning.  Hoping for perhaps a dozen jazzers to show up, he was shocked when almost 60 made it, all for no fee.

    It took around 3 hours to shoot, as people who hadn't met in years were reaquainting themselves and trying to wake up, if they had been playing in the wee small hours. This was in the days before 'Red Bull'!
    There are some real giants here - Dizzy Gillespie (on the right, sticking his tongue out), Gerry Mulligan behind him, Theolonious Monk looking very dapper beside the ladies, Sonny Rollins in the shades, Lester Young (looking down on his luck), Charlie Mingus dragging on a cigarette and trying to seem hard.

    Art Blakey is towards the back - I know someone who looks exactly like him at that age (the Bill Cosby look, I calls it).

    The éminence grise in the middle, front centre is Coleman Hawkins, still dressed up in his suit from the night before. Count Basie would probably have had seniority and occupied that top spot but chose instead to sit on the curb with the young neighbourhood scallywags, as his bunnions were hurting him...

    There is a DVD available called 'A Great Day in Harlem' which explains the whole background to the photo shoot and also gives insights into the lives of the lesser known musicians who appear in this picture. Think it won a few awards when the movie came out. Well worth a viewing...

    Stephen Ireland - Why I can't play for Eire

    Talented Manchester City midfielder today ruled out a return to the international fold.

    Stephen Ireland had previously missed out on international duty by claiming that his maternal (and then paternal) grandmothers had passed away.  This came as a great surprise to both ladies at the time.

    In an exclusive interview with respected broadsheet 'The Sun', Mr. Ireland revealed the real plausible reasons why he cannot play for his home nation:-

    "My girlfriend was recently raped by a lesbian Octopus - it's not something I'll get over any time soon. Also, my sister is being held captive by the Taliban in Drimnagh and my brother was kidnapped by aliens. My Ma has a goiter the size of 2 basketballs on her gee, and my Da's leg fell off last week. I just can't concentrate on international football at this point in time".

    "You have to be realistic, Manchester City only offered me 80K per week to play for them.  How do you think I feel with all this turmoil?  That gaffer Trappatoni guy is meant to be a bastard as well. We have no midfield - if a modern-day Ronnie Whelan, Roy Keane or even John Giles was playing, I might consider it cos at least I'd have a decently  inferior partner beside me, but at the end of the day, I'd be doing all of the work, for no money. What is the point of that? Now, excuse me, my Ferrari is double-parked outside."

    You got to know when to hold them...

    One of my few talents is online gambling, which I seem to have a knack for but do quite rarely, as it is obviously a potentially ruinous route.

    Last time I plunged big was the cricket world cup in the early summer, during which I was able to do bets on the  'in the running' market, as I had been recently made unemployed and got fed up with doing the garden all day. Came out with a good  few Ks (thanks Sri Lanka and Australia!).

    The other night, I got a hot tip from a 'friend', who shall remain nameless, to bet the house on Seattle to beat San Francisco in tonight's NFL. I was going to throw a few Ks at it but thankfully didn't. 

    The first few games in the NFL season are normally erratic, as a large minority of the players are generally up on rape charges, spousal-abuse charges, steroid charges, dog-fighting charges or murder charges at the beginning of the season. This can tend to play on their minds a bit...

    Anyhoo, San Fran won.  Might be the only game they win this season.  Hope they enjoy it!

    I'll keep my coins in my man-bag until at least the 3rd game of the NFL season...

    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Give me your hand

    Twice around the parlour and mind out for the dresser...

    This is "Tabhair dom do lámh" ("Give Me Your Hand"), which I always thought was composed by Sean O'Riada, but apparently goes back a couple of centuries.  The only other versions I could find were by the Wolfe Tones (whom I regard as IRA-loving Nazis) and Planxty (who had Christy Moore in their ranks - his very voice makes me want to vomit).

    Not sure if the song ever had English-translated lyrics, or any lyrics at all? I'm reading a bio on Paul Robeson at the moment - he would have blown this out of the water, if he had an orchestra behind him.

    Shame that it takes a southern US emsemble to do a decent version of this.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Elton John - Bad Samaritan

    Mrs Gilsenan - "I much prefer that nice Chris de Burgh, Marilyn Manson or Tupac Shakur. Mr. John has not made a decent recording in 35 years. He is a spoiled ignorant pig in my opinion."

    Elton John's recent trip to Ireland was ruined by the acts of a selfish, accident-prone pensioner.

    Making a flying visit to Dublin, to take advantage of a sale at the top mens' fashion store 'Unique', concerned Sir Elton ordered his limousine driver to stop immediately when he noticed 92 year old Drumcondra pensioner Joan Gilsenan prostrate on the pavement in Cuffe Street.

    Famed humanitarian, Sir Elton waddled from the car and ordered his travelling companion David Furnish to 'look in her handbag and find her address. She is obviously high so we need to make an intervention and send some people around to her place to clean out her booze stash and medicine cabinet'.

    Mr Furnish attempted to help Mrs. Gilsenan to her feet, but was unable to do so, as she had sustained a broken leg and hip, after slipping on a drain cover.

    Sir Elton offerred to fly Mrs. Gilsenan to London, at his own expense, and have her admitted to The Priory. 'What type of stuff are you on love? Booze, xanax, valium, crack cocaine, weed? I've seen it all, believe me...

    You need help - you need to realise that. I have helped top international stars like Robbie Williams to conquer their addictions, so there is no reason we can't do the same for you dear, if you live long enough'.

    Mrs. Gilsenan replied that she was only taking the occasional Panadol for her arthritis and felt that all she really needed was for someone to call an ambulance, as she was in considerable agony at the time.

    At this point Sir Elton flew into a rage and called Mrs. Gilsenan an 'ungrateful old homophobic slag and a pleb'. "Don't you know who I am?", he raged. "I was Diana's best friend and my charities raise millions for AIDs research. You can't even be bothered to get your lazy broken body up off the pavement, you self-centred cow", he ranted.

    Sir Elton is not pleased...

    "Get me out of here David. Leave this selfish b*tch to wallow in her own denial and crawl her way to a hospital. I want to go somewhere classy like Florida, Zurich or Cannes right NOW!  And I want lots of nice flowers and expensive chocolates in the hotel suite when we get there."

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Rory blows on the Mando

    Not sure what the f*ck the bass player and the drummer are doing on this but this is 'The last King of Ireland, Rory Gallagher'. Just be thankful that Bono was not available to do a 'Late Late Show' tribute when Rory passed.  enough said...

    Tuesday, September 8, 2009

    " I'm done! " - Bobby Womack on Jools Holland's Later

    Bobby Womack does Jools Holland's BBC show 'Later', and plays 'California Dreaming' and one of his signature tune's - 'Across 110th Street', which is best known these days for its use in the movie 'Jackie Brown'.

    The movie 'Across 110th Street' was labelled as a 'Blaxploitation' flick, with its stars Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto, but I think it was just a pretty good mainstream movie; the 'Exploitation' genre was great at the time and has certainly inspired Quentin Tarantino.

    If you have a sense of humour, and like Blaxploitation, I would recommend stuff on DVD like 'The Black Six', which is so horrendously bad that it is actually amusing (like an omnibus episode of Fair City)!

    'Black 6' was intended as a mix of  'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Easy Rider', the six NFL footballers who star in it do their best to deliver their lines without laughing, whilst trying to avoid the boom mike which is ususually visible in their shots.

    Also, anything with Jim Kelly (of 'Enter the Dragon' fame) is worth a laugh. Jim eventually left acting to become a tennis coach, much to the relief of Sidney Poitier, who felt his career was being threatened by Kelly at the time and feared that he would lose out in an audition for a proposed multi-million dollar version of Othello.

    Anyhoo, I digress; Bobby Womack was a left-handed player who, cos he couldn't afford a leftie guitar when he was a youngster, just learned to play a normal right-handed one upside-down, which he continues to do to this day.

    This is not the same as Jimi Hendrix, also a leftie, who modified all his right-handed guitars by cutting the bridges and then re-stringing them to allow him to play left-handed.

    Bobby had a wild career, working with his family as 'The Womack Brothers' and 'The Valentinos', writing and recording stuff like 'It's All Over Now', which the Rolling Stones famously covered, giving him a decent pension as a result. He went on to play with Sam Cooke at the height of Cooke's fame.  It was probably when he married Cooke's widow, very suddenly after Sam's death, that people turned against him and his career took a slide.

    Womack ended up for a short time in the late 60's hanging out with Sly Stone and his notorious entourage of coked-up thugs and scumbags. Search for some 'Mojo Magazine' back issues if you want to get the full story on that.

    Bobby was also the last person to see Janis Joplin alive, except for the dealer who gave her the final fix.

    Jayzus - unlucky or what?

    What's big and purple and lives in the ocean?

    Moby Grape - the only US 60's band that ever collectively surpassed the Beatles in terms of individual  talents and song-writing ability, in my humble opinion:-

    The Grape was made up of probably the 5 best unattached singer/songwriter musicians in the West Coast area in the late sixties.

    They were put together to be America's serious answer to the Beatles and the Stones, but were f*cked by their record company, who released 5 singles simultaneously from their debut, and best, album, 'Moby Grape', and then seemed to do everything else possible to inadvertantly wreck their careers.

    Still, some of their tunes are blissfully astounding, usually all coming in at under 3 minutes: '8:05', 'Some Day', 'Sitting by my Window', 'Naked if I want to' et al.

    Check out '8:05' on the second part of this UTuber.

    Jefferson Airplane's original drummer, the schizophrenic genius Skip Spence was one of their 3 guitarists and one of the 5 very capable vocalists in Moby Grape. He's not around anymore - he spent years in mental institutions in the 70s.  Also, growling-voiced bassist Bob Mosley (a Vietnam Veteran) was reported to have been living on the streets for many years due to mental health issues, but is meant to be doing better these days.

    There is very little video on them, but I hear that there have been some reformations recently. I would donate a testicle to see the remaining band live!

    Anyhoo, they almost, almost, almost made it to the big time. That's the thing about life though - sometimes 'almost' isn't enough...

    Monday, September 7, 2009

    Best headline in years

    I always thought that August was meant to be the 'slow' month in the printed newspaper media, but this headline is surely the Sun's best work since their classic 1986 piece:-

    It is always great to read anything about the demure Jordan. I sometimes feel that she hides her light under a bushel and needs to get out more into the media spotlight.  Since the death of Jade Goody, she has truely become the 'Queen of all our Hearts', and the law must do all in their power to protect her from agressive 'Gipsy Boxers', who plague our fine nations with their boxing, decking and sheer gipsyism.

    Shame the Sun's sub-editor didn't spell-check 'Gipsy' though...

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Gerry Ryan - Ryan Confidential

    Radio chat show king Gerry Ryan interviews former Ireland soccer manager Brian Kerr. Whilst Gerry gorges himself on the 'Quail Tongue' with side order of 'curried ring of Ostrich, cooked in Rhino fat', Brian sensibly settles for baked beans and sausage rolls.

    As Brian leaves, Gerry, expecting his best buddy, property magnet Harry Crosbie to appear, orders his next meal - an order of 'Lesbian Sweat Soup', followed by 'Rectum of Rodent..'.

    Gerry is seemingly incapable of letting any of his morning radio shows go by without gushing about his friendship with the Docklands developer Crosbie, or indeed plugging his forthcoming TV interviews.

    Anyhoo, this Apres Match pastiche had me in stiches...

    Due to personal circumstances, Gerry is forced to live alone on a pittance of about 600K p.a. of our licence fees, in Dublin's most exclusive hotel. He has spent about 20 years failing to realise that he will never, ever, ever, ever have a successful TV programme, but I suspect that those delusions will go on forever.

    He makes me actually like Ryan Tubridy, who was almost good in his recent Brian Cowen interview, which I watched in full earlier today.

    Saturday, September 5, 2009

    P-Funk do Maggot Brain

    Anyone who doesn't appreciate P-Funk can never be my friend!

    This is rare and from way back in the 80's, Parliament -Funkadelic doing their classic instrumental 'Maggot Brain', one of the most insanely simple, yet brilliant pieces of music ever made.

    The 'P-Funk' name was only ever really used for complicated legal reasons. Essentiallty, this is Funkadelic, the more musical side of George Clinton's operations; Parliament was a doo-wop vocal group from way back in the 60s.

    I don't know to this day how George gets away with it - he doesn't sing much as his voice is shot by D & A abuse, but he still leads the band, and they leave him regularly ( as he is known to be quite parsimonious when it comes to paying wages on time).

    The tune's main composer, the very late Eddie Hazel and Michael Hampton do the honours on the guitars (Eddie starts it on the Les Paul and Hampton rips it up later on in a more eighties Eddie van Halen style).

    Legend has it that, at the time this tune was originally being finished in the studio in the early 70s, Eddie Hazel was advised kindly by George Clinton to 'play it like you just heard your mother died' and then towards the end 'like you just heard your mother is actually alive'. So he did, and plays it like that here.

    On this night, it's surprising that they can play at all as the smoke/dry ice machine seems to be broken, or more likely turned up to eleven and left unattended (this would make sense given the habits of the P-Funk entourage and family).

    A third scenario is that the rest of the huge band is smoking stuff backstage.
    It was rumoured that P-Funk members more or less kept the agrarian economies of both Columbia and Afghanistan going for 20 years, in terms of supporting the native crops of those countries!

    Who knows? It's all in the past...

    Anyhoo, George Clinton wanders onstage later in the song, to conduct and finish things, looking very fetching in a Blondie-type wig and a lovely white fur outfit.

    When I saw them live a couple of months back, I recall that it took 4 guitarists playing together to even get close to replicating this tune. It reminds me a little of Neil Young's 'Cortez the Killer' (if only for the chord progressions) and especially 'Little Wing' by Jimi Hendrix, but I think it was Hendrix who was the obvious big influence on Hazel.

    There have also been comparisons with Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' or, more bizzarrely, Frankie Goes to Hollowood's 'Power of Love', but both of these were produced years after the original version of 'Maggot Brain'.

    I'm guessing also that this tune, and Hazel's other early work, must have been a major influence on a young Prince, leading to his guitar style on stuff like Purple Rain.

    Eddie Hazel got this outfit, including the hat and briefs,  from a 1973 Xmas sale in 'Unique in the ILAC Centre'. It cost 3.99 in punts, which was a lot of money in those days. However, it helped Eddie place third in the 1974 World's 'Pimp of the Year' competition.

    In 1997, a few years after his death, Eddie Hazel was posthumously inducted into the 'Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' along with George Clinton and the other core P-funk members who had come and went and returned over the years: Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worell, Billy "Bass" Nelson, Tiki Fulwood, Gary Shider, Michael Hampton and another 10 or so dead and alive P-Funk folks from past and present.

    P-Funk was always so uniquely diverse though that they could probably have had at least 50 inductees.

    Maggot Brain

    Friday, September 4, 2009

    Ryan Tubridy tonight on his Late-Late debut

    I get some people telling me that I am too hard on Irish celebrity people on my Blog, but the arrival of our new Late-Late host is really quite annoying...  We will probably now have to watch this Conan/Leno/Letterman wannabe every Friday night for the next 5 years at least, until advertising revs go completely down the drain and RTE goes bankrupt and then we will be left with only 'the Sunday Game', 'Nationwide' and 'the Angelus' on our primary national TV station:-(

    Our esteemed leader Mr. Cowen got a fairly easy ride, in as much that they didn't do an outside broadcast where he was publicy hung upside-down 'Mussolini style' from the Montrose mast on live TV, which many would say he deserves to be; At one point, I was expecting Tubridy to question him on his favourite Maeve Binchy or Enid Blyton book.  Disappointingly, this did not happen. My guess is that the Taoiseach's reading material would not extend to much more than the Sunday World, Farmer's Journal and, of course the abridged version of the Lisbon Treaty.

    I thought your one from the Corrs was fairly pleasant and engaging, and she managed to stay awake during Ryan's tough line of questioning (bonus points for her). Also, Ryan controlled himself and didn't ask her what she was doing later, so she didn't need to hurt his feelings with any 'not if you were the last man on earth' put-down.

    Her appearance on the show probably allowed thousands of middle-aged bachelor farmers across the country to make crass remarks about how she could come down and 'fiddle with them anytime'. 

    Bryan McFadden was proof positive that it is possible to escape from a Louis Walsh boyband with a
    full head of intact, heavily-gelled hair, if not with any dignity.

    Not sure who else was on; I missed a lot of the show as I was arguing with someone online at the time.

    I remember Ryan's initial introduction to stardom was when he did occasional book reviews on the kid's radio show 'Poporama', which passed as entertainment when I was in short trousers.  Doubt very much if he has any relevant journalistic qualifications, except his UCD Arts degree (ahem!).

    I never liked Gay Byrne with his antiquated, often right-wing attitudes but the skinny D4 nerd Tubridy seems to have a knack for really annoying people. Come back please Pat Kenny - all is forgiven. You may have been bland but there is now an even more bland sheriff in town.

    "Sorry Ireland - you get what you pay for. It was either me or Gerry Ryan"

    My opinions on Facebook

    Wow - strange things happen.  I had always regarded Facebook, mySpace etc. as vehicles for teenagers only, but a former work colleague invited me a couple of days back to Facebook and I got to search for, and re-aquaint myself with at least 4 people I hadn't spoken with for up to 15 years. In 2 cases, I remembered very quickly why I had stopped speaking to them!

    Anyhoo, it occurred to me that a business opportunity might present itself. Here are some alternative suggestions for web-based community sites:-

    F*ckBook: An easy way to remember whom you might have made pregnant or infected with a venereal disease, during a moment of drunken madness. The basis would be that you upload their photo and contact details to your site before getting down to the basics, so you could later pass the details on to your solicitor, or contact the person when you need to let them know they might want to get checked for syphillis, gonhorrea etc.

    RapeBook: An easy way for rapists and other serial sex-offenders to exchange ideas on how best to ensnare their victims and swap recipes for Rhohypnol and similar medications.

    WhoTheF*ck are you Book?: Again, it requires a pre-op photo. Ideal for chucking someone out of your place on a Saturday/Sunday morning when they wake you up and you advise them that there is juice in the fridge, the bus-stop is down the road and that they should let themselves out and close the backdoor quietly behind them.
    You have all the evidence in the book and can slip off to the toilet and access it on your WAP, so at least you remember the name of the person, when you are throwing them out. After all, good manners cost nothing...

    Wednesday, September 2, 2009

    Shocking display at latest Bishops' emergency session

    It's getting hot in here...

    At their daily 'child protection' damage limitation meeting at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, IRELAND’S CATHOLIC bishops were entertained by some South American & Caribbean dancers, scheduled to appear at the Dun Laoghaire Festival of Cultures, who, due to poor road signage, inadvertantly arrived at the wrong event.

    "Those girls are practically 'in the nip' ", commented The Bishop of Cloyne Most Rev John Magee. Sure there's 'divil a bit of harm' in that. Just wish Michael Cleary was around to see it", he remarked wistfully. "Mick would have been all over them, whether they liked it or not - the younger the better", he guffawed.

    Irresistable to women, Ireland's all time greatest minge-magnet, the late, great Fr. Michael Cleary.

    "Sure some of those lads haven't much on either - I know quite a few clergymen who would go for that too", he bellowed.

    Questioned on a recent damning report on child protection practices in the Cloyne diocese by the National Board for Safeguarding Children (NBSC) in the Catholic Church in Ireland, Magee stated:
    "Sure lookit, if their parents dress them in tight tops and the like, what do they expect?. If they leave them to go to swimming pools unattended, things are bound to happen, specially in rural areas where priests get in for half price.".

    Bishop Magee received the public support of Cardinal Brady, as well as the Archbishop of Cashel Most Rev Dermot Clifford and the Archbishop of Tuam Most Rev Michael Neary, all of whom have stated that the South American dancers were 'absolute rides', and wished that they (the bishops) were 40 years younger, cos they would be 'in with a real chance'.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2009

    Celebrity Gossip Magazines

    There's nothing more annoying than standing in a queue in your local convenience shop, as some cashless person insists on paying for a pack of chewing gum with his/her credit card, then deliberates for a few minutes as to whether or not they want cashback.

    Was in a similar queue yesterday and noticed that the woman in front of me had taken a carrier basket to fill it up with every available gossip magazine.  Perhaps she worked as a receptionist in a dental clinic, or was just saving them up for a month's worth of reading material while taking her morning dumps.

    Of course these publications serve a public need, keeping us updated as to the current marital circumstances of Pete and Jordan in any given week, and confirming who exactly may be classed as a bona fide celebrity at any given time. 

    In the case of Ireland's VIP, we are also offerred regular exclusive pictorial access into the homes of genuine superstars such as Marty Whelan, Sonny Knowles, Barbara McMahon and the guy who does the weather on TV3.

    Anyhoo, got me to wondering as to what would be the best name for a new gossip mag. Here are a few ideas:-

    • WAG
    • NAG
    • SLAG
    • TRIPE
    • DRIVEL
    • FOLLOW
    • HOLLOW
    • SCUM
    • WHY?

    Monday, August 31, 2009

    The Ballad of Ronnie Drew

    This Late-Late Show 'tribute' to a dying Ronnie Drew was a truely surreal, appalling, tasteless, catastrophic piece of noise, with most of the usual suspects.  They couldn't even wait until he was dead in the grave. 

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if this 'celebrity sh*t-fest' didn't just hasten his death...

    I wondered at the time why Ronnie didn't just walk out of Montrose and throw himself under the next passing 46A:-

    They must have done a few takes on this abomination, as 'the Hedge' appears originally playing an acoustic guitar, then seconds later, is miraculously strumming an electric Gibson Firebird model. Also, Liam O'Maonlai must have been pretty strung out on this as he appears to be holding a banjo for decorative reasons only.

    Thankfully, Van Morrison had the good sense to absent himself and Chris de Burgh, Dolores O'Riordan, Twink and Ronan Keating just weren't invited...