Given the widespread outrage at the killing of George Floyd and the resulting Black Lives Matter protests on both sides of the Atlantic, I thought it might be timely to post up on Facebook some important songs of the past that brought the struggle of black people into the popular arena, especially during the Civil Rights era. All are classics, loved by millions, but hopefully this will offer some context with regards to the times in which they were made and the weight of their subsequent cultural significance. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | The Rolling Stones
This Saturday I’m back on my home patch at The Underground in Liverpool for a Freeze event playing alongside Belgian brothers Steven and David Dewaele, aka 2ManyDJs, who also make up two thirds of the band Soulwax. All the info here:
Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter / vocalist with Sly & The Family Stone, died last month aged 71. She was part of a band that truly broke barriers back in the late ’60s / early ’70s, being both multi-racial as well as consisting of male and female members.
Another Soul legend left this mortal coil last Friday, aged 70.
Things have been pretty hectic since I got back from Glastonbury just over a fortnight ago (this coming right on the back of a full-on 3 days in the North Of Ireland) – I was no sooner home than I was off on my annual jaunt to Croatia, so this is the first chance I’ve had to catch my breath and blog about what were a few unforgettable days at the world’s most famous festival.
Following a run of 2 years 9 months I’ve decided to wind things down with Living To Music, perhaps making it an irregular feature of the blog from herein. Up until now it had been a monthly series, but something has to give and, as I’m currently stuggling to fit in all the things I need to be doing, I can’t maintain this commitment, although I don’t want to stop the series completely.
When my agent, Matt Johnson, booked me in for ‘A Night With…’, I hadn’t realised that it did exactly what it said on the tin, namely present just the one DJ for the full 8 hours the venue was open. I generally play for either 2 or 3 hours, with the odd 4 hour slot along the way – the only times I can recall playing longer (since I started out again), was a night at The Key in London back in 2005, and then the Credit To The Edit launch parties, both Sunday All-Dayers held at a couple of East End boozers (The Dolphin in 2005 and The Horse & Groom in 2009), so, as you can imagine, it came as a bit of a shock when the penny dropped and I realised that I’d unwittingly signed up for a marathon, but I quickly warmed to the idea and began to ponder the possibilities it presented.
On October 5th 1962 the first single by The Beatles, ‘Love Me Do’ c/w ‘P.S. I Love You’, was released in the UK on the Parlophone label. Principally written by Paul McCartney a few years earlier, when he was 16 (John Lennon added the middle-eight), and based around 3 chords, it was the first of a run of 3 singles that featured John Lennon on harmonica – the others being ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘From Me To You’, both released the following year (the instrument, a signature of the early Beatles sound, was retired by Lennon 1965). The harmonica used had been pinched from a music shop 2 years previously in Arnhem, Holland, whilst The Beatles were on their way to their first stint in Hamburg, Germany (Aug – Dec ’60). A photograph was also taken of them that day by Barry Chang, the brother-in-law of then manager Allan Williams, as they passed through Arnhem, which would later prove to be somewhat prophetic – the then unknown band, minus Lennon, with their pre-Ringo drummer Pete Best and original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, Williams and his wife Beryl, along with Williams’ one-time partner Lord Woodbine (aka Harold Phillips), who drove the minibus they were travelling in over from Liverpool. The snapshot was taken in front of the War Memorial, on which the legend ‘Their Name Liveth For Evermore’ was carved. Lennon had stayed in the van, opting out of the photo opportunity, whilst apparently declaring himself, in another portent of the future, a pacifist.
Well, that was the London Olympics that was – what was initially greeted with mass cynicism ended up captivating the nation, engendering a new sense of identity that would have been unthinkable just two and a half weeks ago.
One of the sassiest sights of the early ’70s has to be the sheer dynamism of the force of nature that is Tina Turner, with backing singers / dancers, The Ikettes, as they raunchily strutted their stuff on stage to what was the signature song back then for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue – their showstopping rendition of ‘Proud Mary’. I came across this wonderful performance footage of the song on YouTube the other day – not sure where it’s from (looks European), or what year, but it’s a stunning example of one of the greatest live acts of the era kickin’ it up, as outlined in the spoken intro of the song, ‘nice and rough’. Forget all the talent show impersonations – this is the raw-assed real deal: