Just over 2 months on from the passing of iconic bass man, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn of Booker T. & The M.G.’s (http://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2012/05/donald-duck-dunn/), another of Soul’s most prolific bass players, Bob Babbitt, a member of Motown’s illustrious studio band, the Funk Brothers, died yesterday, aged 74.
Like so many of my generation I was transfixed to my TV screen exactly 40 years ago today, when David Bowie performed ‘Starman’ on Top Of The Pops, and Ziggy Stardust, the singer’s alter ego, burst ever so brashly into public consciousness, ushering in a new era for Pop music.
ARTIST: TALKING HEADS
ALBUM: STOP MAKING SENSE
YEAR: 1984 (SPECIAL NEW EDITION 1999)
This Sunday (June 3rd) at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
Muhammad Ali, arguably the greatest sportsman of the 20th Century, and certainly one of its foremost historical figures, is 70 years old today.
The photo above shows a man walking down the street past a wall that’s been sprayed with some graffiti – it says ‘Powell For P.M’. I’d imagine that most people under a certain age would completely miss the relevance of this image, having no idea who this Powell was. Maybe they might pick up on the clue that it has some reference to race, as the man in the picture is black, but without understanding the context its message has been lost with the passage of time. Anyone looking at it in the years following the milestone date of April 20th 1968 would be left in no doubt of its potency, but whilst children in British schools are now taught about Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and key aspects of the US Civil Rights movement during the ’50s and ’60s, the story of what happened in this country, following the mass immigration of the post-war period, remains a largely hidden history. Without the knowledge of what went on back then, it’s impossible to properly understand what’s going on now, for Enoch Powell MP, and what he had to say in Birmingham that fateful April day almost 44 years ago (which, at the time, a Gallup poll told us was supported by almost three quarters of the UK population), set the agenda for the race debate in this country – a heated debate which has very much reignited in the past few months.
12 months ago, in the post ‘A Christmas Gift For You’, I related one of my favourite aspects of Christmas – how it provides the opportunity for me to give an annual listen or two to the seasonal masterpiece, ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ (aka ‘Phil Spector’s Christmas Album’). http://blog.gregwilson.co.uk/2010/12/a-christmas-gift-for-you/
As I navigated the winding country lanes on my way to the M5 from Minehead, where I’d been playing the Sunday night 1.00am-3.00am closing slot / graveyard shift at the inaugural ‘House Of Fun’ weekender, I was pleased to discover that there was a programme on the radio about the JFK assassination 48 years ago in 1963. Always a subject of fascination, this would help me whittle away half an hour of journey time as I weaved onwards towards the motorway.
“I suppose when I was writing V For Vendetta I would in my secret heart of hearts have thought: wouldn’t it be great if these ideas actually made an impact? So when you start to see that idle fantasy intrude on the regular world… It’s peculiar. It feels like a character I created 30 years ago has somehow escaped the realm of fiction.” – Alan Moore 2011
With the recent ‘Astrid And The Exis’ piece came the realisation that this was, over 100 posts in, the first time I’d focused on a photographer. I thought I’d better begin to address this accidental omission, and pay more props to the still image, starting off with the controversial Tokyo photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, now in his seventies, whose medium ranges from global art galleries to the pages of readers wives type porno mags (which brings to mind what Alan Moore said about the difference between erotica and pornography being largely dependent on the income bracket of the buyer).
“In my work as an author, I traffic in fiction, I do not traffic in lies.”