Ian Brown is the Mancunian King of the Monkeys
There was a lot of talk before the summer that the latest band to jump on the reunion bandwagon was going to be The Stone Roses
but to the disappointment of many of their fans was the rebuttal from guitarist John Squire
was quick off the mark with his announcement but to be honest, it has been bassist Mani
and lead singer Ian Brown
who have been the more creative in recent years.
Fans of the band have at least been pleased by the news that Ian Brown
has announced that his next album will be released in September and is entitled ‘My Way’. The singer has managed to split opinion throughout his career with many considering him to be a poor singer but his influence stretched far and wide.
It is very easy to the influence that Ian Brown
has had on Oasis
frontman, Liam Gallagher
. Everything from the swagger to the nasal-led delivery of the ‘Champagne Supernova
’ singer can be linked back to the man who brought ‘Fools Gold
’ to the world. There is no doubt that The Stone Roses
were a massive influence on so many of the indie bands
who have came since but they weren’t the only major act to have come from the Madchester
Some people considered The Stone Roses
to be a bit too serious and much preferred the more humorous output of Happy Monday
. With lyrics along the lines of “Son, I’m thirty, I only went with your mother cos shes dirty” from ‘Kinky Afro
’, it’s hard to argue that Shaun Ryder
and the rest of the boys knew how to party. The early 1990s were a great time to be alive for Manchester music
but there have been many fantastic generations for music in one of England’s major cities.
A prior boom period for Manchester music
came in the late 1970s when the punk scene
was sweeping the United Kingdom with Joy Division
forging their own musical path and laying the building blocks for future generations. The lyrics
of front man Ian Curtis
are remembered to this day with the bands most successful track ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart
’ still being loved and covered to this day. Tragedy struck the band when on the eve of an American tour, Curtis
committed suicide, derailing the band and devastating music fans all over the world. Curtis
may have joined the club of music stars dying before their time but much like Kurt Cobain
, Jimi Hendrix
, Brian Jones
and Bon Scott
, his music lives on and continues to inspire musicians and music lovers everywhere.
The next popular wave of Mancunian music came in the early to mid 1980s when The Smiths
were the band that all the indie kids loved, with focus falling on the bands dynamic duo. Guitarist Johnny Marr
unleashed classic line after line but much of the focus fell on ‘The Charming Man
who was the poster boy for flower waving intellectualists
may have appealed to a completely different market that Ian Brown
managed to win over a few years later but both of these singers have captivated audiences everywhere.
Labels: Happy Mondays, Ian Brown, Ian Curtis, Indie, Johnny Marr, Joy Division, Madchester, Manchester, Morrissey. Stone Roses
The summer of 2009 has definitely been the time for former heroes to get on the road and wow a new audience
but it is not always about the artists who have been away for years. Sometimes an older artist or act finds a new lease of life and manages to stay on the road for a period of years. What their shows lose in the novelty excitement of their first shows back, gain in the experience and comfort that comes from playing regularly and getting a partnership together again. This is a good way to describe many of the acts performing this summer but one of the best ones under this banner is definitely the New York Dolls
. They may be close to their fortieth year together but they are still more than capable of putting on a show, even though they may be down to two original members. David Johansen
and Sylvain Sylvain
are more than capable of putting on a show and anyone who has the pleasure of seeing the boys on their current tour will be more than satisfied.
They may have developed their own sound from bands like MC5 and The Stooges
but the New York Dolls
had a far wider influence than just on punk bands. Yes, their impact on the New York New Wave and punk scene is well documented with even acts like Blondie
taking a lot from the band but there have been a number of big names artists professing their love who you may not think of as big Dolls
, formerly of The Smiths
and now a solo artist of much fame, was such a big fan that he was president of the fan club. It doesn’t get much bigger than that and Morrissey
played a huge role in the bands reformation in 2004. Another really big fan of the band is Michael Stipe
Yes, the man who crooned “that’s me in the corner
” on ‘Losing My Religion
’ has regularly stated his love of the New York Dolls
, even if the influence does not come shining through in his own bands music.Johnny Thunders
managed to carve out a career after the band went their separate ways and the maverick guitarist and front-man was one of the most recognisable heroes of the punk legend. Tracks like ‘You Cant Put Your Arms Around A Memory
’ or ‘One Track Mind
’ stand the test of time and are as much a blue print for punk rock as anything by The Ramones
or the Sex Pistols. As well as touring the Sex Pistols
and The Clash
later worked with Steve Jones
and Paul Cook
on his ‘So Alone’ album, putting him firmly at the heart of all things punk on both sides of the Atlantic. There will always be a level of debate and discussion over which brand of punk rock was better but Thunders
was one of the boys that managed to straddle both sides convincingly.
In the end, Johnny Thunders
went the same way as Brian Jones
, Jimi Hendrix
and Sid Vicious
in the fact that his death is still shrouded in mystery. He may be missing from the New York Doll
’s current tour and new found popularity but his legacy lives on and still managing to influence new generations of fans.
Labels: Clash, Johnny Thunders, morrissey, New York Dolls, Punk, REM, Sex Pistols, The Smiths
Given that we are now in the middle of July, it is obvious that many people will start to turn their attention to getting away and enjoying the summer sun if possible. The credit crunch may be holding some people back and if you find yourself unable to get away, why don’t you turn up your amps to 11 and let your classic rock
and heavy metal heroes
transport you to a different time and place?
One of the things about a great summer is that it allows you to get away from your everyday life and experience new things. One thing that many people would choose to do is “Run To The Hills
” and what better way to do this than by taking the advice of Iron Maiden
. Steve Harris
and Bruce Dickinson
may not have had a summer holiday on their mind when they unleash this song at gigs, and we all know its an unlikely thought for Eddie to have but if it gets you in the mood, then why try to fight it? It may surprise you but Iron Maiden
have a lot more holiday advice for any metal head
who wishes to soak up the sun. A rallying cry of “Scream for me Long Beach”
from the ‘Live After Death’
release may not necessarily be about finding the sun but with a bit of lateral thinking, who can fail to find their mind wandering to the beach and sand.
And when it comes to sand, who better to guide you than Metallica
and their 1990s smash hit, ‘Enter Sandman’
. This was one of the songs that launched James Hetfield
, Kirk Hammett
and Lars to a truly worldwide and mainstream audience but although the days of Cliff Burton
may have been behind them, Metallica
still knew how to rock out and have fun.
Former touring partners and more often than not enemies, Guns N Roses
also knew how to throw in a holiday style lyric to their back catalogue and who can overlook the classic ‘Paradise City’
? Any location where “the grass is green and the girls are pretty”
would be an almost perfect holiday destination and with Axl Rose, Slash
and Duff McKagan
as your tour guides, who could fail to have a great time? The Jack D may flow freely but you can bet that the amount of girls hanging around would be akin to Led Zeppelin
and their Starship
days. Great weather and girls really would be the ‘Stairway to Heaven
‘of all holiday hot spots. And if you cant get a lot of girls, get one big one and if you need any advice about how to do just that, who better to ask than AC/DC
, who will tell you about ‘Whole Lotta Rosie
’ and the ways you can have fun on holiday.
So whether you want to spend your holiday in a ‘Purple Haze
’ or you just want some quiet ‘Satisfaction
’, following your classic rock stars
advice when it comes to getting away from it all will ensure you make the very most of your time off.
Labels: AC/DC, AC/DC. Metallica, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Iron Maiden, Summer Holiday
Even a casual observer of the music press would have noticed a lot of column inches given over to Florence and the Machine, who are due to release their debut album this week. Female vocalists
and kooky front women
have been all the rave this year with Lady Gaga, La Roux and Little Boots all being ranked highly but Florence offers something different, notably the fact that there is no L at the start of her name. However, she also sings in a very ethereal manner and is quite happy to show her pants at every occasion, making her a big hit with the boys. This may sound slightly similar to an act who has gone before and it has to be said that Florence just seems like a modern version of Kate Bush
Who can forget Kate Bush
bursting onto the scene with ‘Wuthering Heights
’ with the tremendous lyrics
of “You had a temper like my jealousy
” and it has to be said that young Florence cannot hold a candle to Kate Bush
. There may be a level of hype around Florence but it has to be remembered that Kate Bush
had a helping hand at the start of her career with Dave Gilmour
being a key influence on her early days. Yes, that is Dave Gilmour
of Pink Floyd
fame, friend of Syd Barrett
and adversary of Roger Waters
who helped Ms Bush
break into the music scene.
Of course, with strange dance moves, unpredictable vocal range and flowery dresses, many fans may think there is a similarity between Florence and Stevie Nicks
. The music of Fleetwood Mac
may be far more commercial than the material released by Florence and the Machine but it does indicate that modern bands and artists wear their influences very openly.
This means that fans who weren’t even born when some of the greatest musicians were tearing up the stage can be a fan of their material and love it as much as fans at the time did. Sure, The Rolling Stones
, Neil Young
, Bruce Springsteen
and Bob Dylan
are all still touring
and wowing live audiences
but not every artist was this lucky but this hasn’t done their level of fame or fan base any difficulties.Brian Jones
’ death may still be a cause of debate and conjecture but there are many fans who insist that Keith Richards
and Mick Jagger
just haven’t been as potent without him. Similarly, who knows what other riffs and leads Jimi Hendrix
may have conjured up if he wasn’t taken from us and even mods were robbed of a full Small Faces
reunion when Steve Marriott
passed away. The thing is, all of these classic rock artists are as loved today as they ever were which means that death is no barrier to commercial success or developing a strong following. In fact, in some cases, it probably helps!
In ten years time, it is hard to say if anyone will even raise an eyebrow at the mention of Florence and the Machine or recall their music but there is no doubt that the passing of some artists leaves many fans with a heavy heart.
Labels: Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks
Guest post from The History of Rock Music
40 years ago saw the first of many rock and roll deaths in the shape of The Rolling Stones
' Brian Jones
. Sure there had been other musicians that had died, but he was the first to really die a rock and roll death and was the founder member of the 27 club. Within a few years he would be joined by several more.Brian Jones
died sometime just before midnight on July, 2nd 1969 after drowning in his pool at Cotchford Farm (the former home of A A Milne, creator of Winnie The Pooh) The coroners report was accidental drowning and many assumed he simply drowned having been either drunk or stoned.
Subsequently many people have come forward and made many claims about the death of Brian Jones
, but the most believable are those that he was killed, accidentally or otherwise, by his builder, Frank Thorogood. They had fallen out over payment and workmanship.
Both Anna Wohlin (Brian's girlfriend at the time) and Janet Lawson (the mistress of Rolling Stones
tour manager, Tom Keylock) were known to have been at the house when Brian died and have both made claims that he and Brian were alone in the pool and the acted very strangely when the body was discovered. Tom Keylock, in an interview in 2004, said that Frank Thorogood even confessed as much on his deathbed in 1993.
The Police Investigation
More disturbing are the issues surrounding the police investigation following the death. There is lots of evidence of leads that were not followed up, issues with the interviews of the people at the house, the information provided to the coroner and even a case of attempted murder that was known to have been connected to the death of Brian Jones
, but was not investigated as such (at least not publicly)
The police found Frank Thorogood with unprescribed Durophet ("black bombers") but only warned him, something that was rare in the 1960s. They also did not pass this information onto the Coroner. The Coroner stated that Brian had the equivalent of a 3-4 pints of beer in his system and low levels of some kind of stimulant.
The police also suspected and had some evidence that there were more people at Cotchford Farm than the four that were officially acknowledged, however they did not follow these up properly.
There were also reports that a taxi was seen leaving the farm before the police or ambulance arrived. The time taken for the ambulance to arrive would not have been enough for a taxi to be called, get to the farm and leave again. But what if a taxi was already there?
A few weeks after Brian Jones
death, on July 26, 1969, Joan Fitzsimons was the victim of a vicious assault near Chichester which left her in a coma with a fractured skull and blinded for life. Her boyfriend, Jordanian Michael Ziyadeh, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and spent four years in Broadmoor Prison before being deported. Despite his guilty plea, Ziyadeh always claimed he did not carry out the attack. The police case against him concluded, "The motive for this is a mystery"
However Fitzsimmons was the some-time mistress of Frank Thorogood and worked for her family's taxi firm in Chichester, only about 40 miles from Cotchford Farm. She was also a friend of Suki Poitier, a former girlfriend of Brian Jones
. In fact in the days following Brian Jones
death, both Poitier and Fitzsimmons stayed at Cotchford Farm.
Joan Fitzsimmons died in 2002 and since then certain information has become available under the freedom of information act. One of these pieces of information was a statement made to police by her brother claiming she was scared of Frank Thorogood. Irene Russell, Joan Fitzsimmons mother even made a statement to police stating she was at Cotchford Farm the night of Brian's death and that Frank Thorogood had been making her life awkward.
A newspaper at the time made a claim that the police were looking to find out whether she was at Cotchford Farm was strenuously denied by police, but the information we now have shows that they knew there was a connection between herself and Thorogood and that they had a claim from another witness that she was there.
So if the police were not interviewing people about this connection, then they should be asked for the reason why? There are so many obvious holes in the investigation that it would seem an investigation into these events is well overdue.
Where are they now?
After seeing Joan Fitzsimmon's injuries, Janet Lawson vanished from public view and changed her name. She only resurfaced a few years ago, many years after Thorogood's death, when traced by a reporter. She has since died from cancer.
Anna Wohlin, Brian's Swedish girlfriend found herself back in Sweden, claiming she had been spirited away by the Rolling Stones
management. She was not able to attend his funeral and miscarried the child that neither she or Brian Jones
knew she was carrying when he died. In the 1990s she wrote a book on her time with Brian Jones
and was a consultant on the film Stoned, the film on the life and death of Brian Jones
Tom Keylock died on July 2nd, 2009, exactly 40 years after Brain Jones died. He was 82.
This is the link to the full story on the events surrounding the death of Brian Jones
on The History of Rock Music
Labels: Anna Wohlin, Brian Jones, Frank Thorogood, Joan Fitzsimmons, Rolling Stones, Tom Keylock
Why isn’t T rocking?
Most of the major UK music festivals
so far have shown a leaning to classic and hard rock
that would have even the most cynical rocker impressed but Scotland’s premier festival
, T in The Park, appears to be letting the side down. Its common knowledge that the Scots like to have a drink and a party, with Angus Young
one of the few Scottish adults who doesn’t take a drink but perhaps the schoolboy uniform
has something to do with that, so this omission is puzzling. Yes, there is a recession on and the festival
has no doubt tried to go for as mainstream and punter-pulling line-up as possible but the success of so many other festivals
with classic guitarists
and legendary front-men
on their main stage indicates that rock can be a winner.
So whilst Neil Young
rocked out on the Isle of Wight
can look forward to Metallica
, T in the Park can welcome Lady Gaga, Snow Patrol and
The Saturdays. Yes, as a manufactured girl group with a large fan base they have their place in society but is it really in front of a baying audience who wants to hear their music? We can only hope the girls make it out alive but perhaps a little bit of defiance may persuade the T in the Park
promoters that there is room for a little rock n roll in Balado.The Manic Street Preachers
are a headliner in a tent on Saturday so it is not all shiny pop or thumping techno and with the band playing new material featuring lyrics from Richey Edwards
, it may be a throwback to their early days when they rocked with a vengeance. Another blast from the past headlining over the weekend are Blur but as was so often the case, their set will be compared with the Oasis
shows that are taking place at Wembley Stadium
. These two are always going to be inter-linked although some find it funny that Daman Albarn is the brains behind the Gorillaz given that Noel Gallagher
, Liam Gallagher
and their army of fans are likened to shaved apes by a number of observers.
Of course, T in The Park
has had many classic and vibrant rock stars before so perhaps the omission this year is a one off. Those who witnessed it will not forget the sight of Iggy Pop
bouncing about the main stage inviting the kids up to party with him or Dave Grohl
wowing a capacity crowd with the Foo Fighters
but making most people secretly wish they were watching Nirvana
The thing is though, the hard rocking acts may be missing from the stage but you can bet there will be lot of Ramones
, Sex Pistols
, Rolling Stones
and Led Zeppelin t-shirts
being worn but the crowd and riffs rolling around the camp site. DF Concerts and (bald) head honcho Geoff Ellis may have lost touch with what the people want from a music festival but you can bet your life that the people who turn up at T in The Park 2009
will be rocking out from start to finish.
Labels: festivals, live tours
In the immortal words of Spitting Image.... "someone famous has died" (other than the tragic loss of Farah Fawcett and Sky Saxon of course.)
Anyway, never ones to not want to pay our respects, here at BathroomWall
we would like to remember the high points of famous people's lives. And for us the high point of the career of any entertainer must be when they get mooned on stage at the Brit Awards.... so here we pay tribute to the genius that is Jarvis Cocker
, we salute you.
Labels: jarvis cocker
Yes, its time to salute all of those people that are about to rock as AC/DC’
s latest trip to the UK
is coming to a close after wowing fans all over the UK. Some people may not be aware but the Young brothers
owe a large part of their success to the Scottish upbringing they had and there are some who claim the band to be another graduate from the Glasgow music scene. It is more likely to say that the band are Australian due to the massive impact shown by original lead singer Bon Scott
but Malcolm Young
and Angus Young will always carry a little bit of Scottishness where every they go.
And one place they are going to is the ‘Highway To Hell
’ but their legions of followers will go anywhere the band heads to, so there is sure to be a warm welcome waiting for them. AC/DC
may lack the class or finesse of some acts like Radiohead
but when it comes to giving the people what they want, nobody does it better.Bon Scott
may be the original livewire
and a major reason why so many fans fell in love with this tight rock n roil outfit but Brian Johnston
hasn’t served the band and the fans too badly either. Johnston
stepped into the breach bravely, after the untimely death of Scott
, who left the world too early like Hendrix
. In fact, when you consider how many fantastic singers have been taking from the world of music at a young age, you cannot help but feel anger at the fact that James Blunt appears to be allowed to live
on without any issue or concern. It would certainly be beautiful if someone was to end James Blunt reign of misery
. No matter the song, Blunt
is always moaning and whinging, which is not something that could be said about Brian Johnston
Simply put, Johnston
is a mans man, who likes to drink and knows how to treat women. Led Zeppelin
may have raised the bar with their Groupie antics
and turns on the Starship
in the 1970s but when it comes down to working class no-nonsense boogie, Johnston
Of course, rumours are growing that AC/DC
will bow out next year, never to return. With artists like the Rolling Stones
, Neil Young
and Bruce Springsteen
seemingly able to tour
for ever, there is some doubt cast over whether next year will finally see Young
hang up his schoolboy uniform
for the very last time but if he does, the world will become a much sadder place. Any band who conjured up songs like ‘Highway To Hell
’ or ‘Whole Lotta Rosie
’ deserve to be remembered fondly and even if Angus
and the boys are heading for their final hurrah, it can only be hoped they go out with an almighty bang. And as the band never appears to be too far away from their trusty cannon, causing a bang is not something that AC/DC
tend to struggle with.