Thursday 29 April 2021

Grumpy Old Men Songs #14: Analog Girl

Here's a song for all those of us who long for simpler times... featured on a blog on the internet superhighway. Still, as Amy Rigby pointed out recently (via John), nobody writes blogs anymore. Except for us old dinosaurs. But look how long the dinosaurs lived!

Here's another song from one of my favourite Grumpy Old Men, the late Guy Clark.

Now she gets online out in the backyard
Hangin' up her ol' blue jeans
She's got all of the memory she can live with
She really hates drum machines

Out in the garden she's got a website
It sparkles in the mornin' dew
Got a mouse in her pocket,
she's got spam in a can
What's an analog girl to do?

Wednesday 28 April 2021

And breathe... #1: Nothing But Love

Given the current length of Tuesday's posts, I decided to try giving you all a breather on a Wednesday. Hence this new feature in which I try to write as little as possible to introduce a tune. (I've already gone way over my target word count, but this is the pre-amble. It doesn't count.)

My old friend Sally got in touch the other week and recommended Scott Fagan. She thought I may already be familiar with him, but I wasn't. This record is a bit of a lost classic apparently, "a mystical, mythical and deeply soulful masterpiece" from a songwriter who was discovered and mentored by the great songwriting duo of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Tipped to be bigger than Elvis, but faded away into obscurity almost immediately. Years later he was revealed to be the surprise biological father of Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields.

There's a lot more to that story, but I was supposed to be keeping it brief...

(Sigh. There goes another failed feature.)

Tuesday 27 April 2021

Conversations With Ben #14: Mr. Blobby & The Super Gonorrhea

Rol: One of my greatest musical heroes just died.

Ben: The man who wrote the Mr Blobby song?

Robert Blobbert?


I always imagined it was BBC interns in the Blobby suit that Edmonds played some weird fetish game with by making them wear the suit...

Who was the death?

Jim Steinman.

The Footloose guy? Wasn't that the other day?

I only saw it today. He didn't write Footloose. That was Kenny Loggins. He did write Holding Out For A Hero, but that's a lesser work. He also wrote all the good Meat Loaf songs, plus Total Eclipse of the Heart and some stuff that Celine Dion murdered, but was done far better by others.

Chuck Berry + Phil Spector + Springsteen + Wagner + a shameless sense of melodrama and hyperbole = Jim Steinman.

Wagner as in...?

Or Wagner as in...?


Seems like it could be a little of both, actually.

I think that's a fair point.

Did I ever tell you about how one of my old best mate's girlfriend's parents were Rod Stewart and Tina Turner tribute acts? Big ones.

They had a house in Penistone. One of the massive ones on the river.

We used to stay over a lot. They were really nice and loved hosting us all the time. They had a recording studio in their garden where they, and other tribute acts would record. 

One of the most surreal moments in my life is waking up, hungover, walking into their kitchen and seeing Rod Stewart, Marc Bolan and Meatloaf smoking weed.

Sounds like that Pulp video...

I don't think I've ever seen the video. I thought it was the video to Disney Time. No idea why.

And now I remember that Disney Time is on Cocker's solo album.

I'd forgotten that track completely.

Some forgettable tunes on that album. Especially when it starts with the swagger of Don't Let Him Waste Your Time. It definitely trails off.

Maybe. I love that final Pulp album though.

It's the one I've listened to the least. Listening priority in order: This Is Hardcore, His N Hers, Different Class, PULP. Does anybody even count the first two?

By Pulp do you mean Intro?

There were 4 albums before Intro / HnH. All contain interesting material, but not up to later standards.

Fairground is a terrible song and that's all I can think about with their old stuff.

Separations is the best of the early albums. Countdown, My Legendary Girlfriend in particular.

For me, We Love Life is the perfect coda to their career. I love TIH (favourite album of 90s) but I prefer that they went out on a happy note.

Scott Walker too. Pop sensibilities SW, not mad old hermit making unlistenable twaddle SW. Quite an achievement.

First text from the boss this morning came through at 6.20.

Tell her to leave you alone. That is not just not on, it's absolutely pathetic.

I have.

Send her an envelope full of flour. Make her think it's ricin or anthrax.

She'd only ring me up and ask her what I thought she should do with it.

Well, this week's Taskmaster should hopefully cheer you up. A very funny one.

One word.


I await the vague upward curl at the edge of my mouth.

In reply, Ben sends the following video...

I think that's the least hip song you've ever sent me. I respect that.

No. That would be this one...

I found this record in a shop years ago. And I'm still not positive that Tennille is not actually attracted to muskrats.

Nah. Captain & Tennille are acceptable kitsch.

That song should never be acceptable. And The Cap is a prick.

*Was* a prick

I didn't realise you knew him.

We used to go to the same milk bar.

I've never been able to hear Secret Smile in the same way since someone told me it was a metaphor for a vagina.

That's uncomfortable.

Maybe you're mixing it up with the film, Teeth?

Was that the Barry Gibb biopic?

That's what I thought I was settling down for...

That film would have been even scarier if her nether regions had Barry Gibb's face. And maybe a big medallion and huge white collars.

That needs to be optioned as soon as possible.

My Saturday night treat this week is my Covid jab.

Well, you're lucky. I'm still here without one.

Just got down to the under 50s. But I thought you might have been fast tracked because of your history.

Nah. That'd involve competence at a national level.

Maybe they have you down as an insurgent. You'll be last on the list, after Putin's undercover agents.

On a more positive side of all that, last year this week I was sat gasping for breath walking up stairs. Today I ran 10k for the first time in my life.

Marathon next?

I think I'm going to try for a half marathon next year. Maybe Manchester, which is flat compared to Sheffield.

Rol replies with the following image... which Ben chooses to ignore.

I wish I could grow a 'tache like that man in the background.

I have a weird obsession with middle age men and moustaches.

My hair is too blonde otherwise I would definitely just have a 'tache.

Has to be like an 80s businessman 'tache, though.

When I was a child, I used to watch the Thin Blue Line. I was too young to understand it but it had Mr Bean and I liked the moustache man.

That's a real generation gap thing. For my generation, Mr Bean was a betrayal of Blackadder, and we never forgave Atkinson.

My early years were spent watching the Three Stooges, Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes etc, so Mr Bean was right up my alley. As was Baldy Man.

I had to Google Baldy Man. Never knew he had a TV show. I only remember the Hamlet ad.

I don't remember much of it, just that I used to find it hilarious.

I miss the Hamlet ads. When I was a little, my dad smoked cigars. I loved the smell. Eventually he graduated onto pipes. Then one day, in my late teens, the doctor told him: they're killing you. So he quit. Cold Turkey.

That's admirable.

I think I'm too young to remember smoking ads.

I feel like I've seen them but not sure how much of that is due to seeing them on shows later.

I remember the billboard ads for Lambert and Butler.

TV was pretty much all smoking ads and booze ads when I was a kid. And scary ads warning us all not to die or get murdered.

And only one channel could show ads.


Have you seen The Offspring's Covid inspired song? It defies belief.

I last listened to Americana.

I know the singer got his PhD in infectious disease over the past few years though.

That probably explains the covid germs flying around in the video.

Why would anyone want a PhD in infectious diseases?

Dunno. A mate of mine has.

He studies super gonnarhea.

Genuinely what it's called.

But spelt correctly.

Still. Could be worse.

Could have my job.

Or he could have super gonnarhea.

It's a toss up.

Monday 26 April 2021

Positive Songs For Negative Times #52: The First Jab

Well, I guess that goes down as the best Saturday night out I've had in a long time. Sad commentary on my life though that may be. A trip to the John Smiths' Stadium (formerly the Alfred McAlpine Stadium, football fans), which I don't think I've been inside since I saw REM there back in the 90s. 

Stood in line for about ten minutes, wondering why I was having my jab with all these old people, then sat down in a drafty corridor (the space heaters were glowing red even though it had been, and still was, a pleasantly warm day outside). A lady from St. John's Ambulance took down my details, before another lady from the NHS reeled off a speech she must surely have been sick of reciting, the gist of which appeared to be there are lots of unpleasant side effects, but I probably won't get any of them. I had Astra-Zeneca, so she made a special point of saying that it doesn't cause blood clots, but sometimes people who would have had blood clots anyway develop blood clots after it, and if I was one of them, I should call 999 immediately.

When I mentioned my history of fainting during injections (actually, it only happened one time; it was a very hot day and they were drawing a blood sample, but I always mention it), the nurse told me to talk to the St. John's Ambulance lady while I was having it done.

"What's that on your T-shirt?" she asked.

Greetings From Asbury Park, New Jersey. "It's Bruce Springsteen," I said.

And then it was over, and I drove home in the fading sunshine, ready for dose two in July. 

This seemed appropriate...

Sunday 25 April 2021

Snapshots #186: A Top Ten Planet Songs

Who better to introduce us to a Top Ten Planet Songs than the man who knows more about planets than anyone else?

But did he know all the answers...?

10. Run, Dada, Run!

A pretty simple anagram.

Duran Duran - Planet Earth

9. First word to Gort.

If you've seen The Day The Earth Stood Still (no, not the Keanu version), this one would have been pretty easy. Klaatu Barada Nikto, Gort!

Klaatu - Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft

8. Korean war doctors lose their mobility.

The Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, without its mobility, would just be A*S*H*.

Ash - Jack Names The Planets

7. Jimmy Cagney.

Public Enemy - Fear Of A Black Planet

6. Always chooses the fifth letters.

Picks Es.

The Pixies - Planet Of Sound

5. Losing at tennis.

15 - Love. 30 - Love. Etc.

Love - The Daily Planet

4. When reorganized, she betrays UK.

Reorganise those letters and you get...

Kate Rusby - Planets

3. Cuban angel feet.


Teenage Fanclub - Planets

2. Bombs on stage.

The B-52s - Planet Claire

1. Half the binary code.

Only the 1s.

How was this never a hit?

More next week.

Saturday 24 April 2021

Saturday Snapshots #186

 Moore Saturday Snapshots? You want Moore?

Roger that!

You know the rules. Identify the artists from the clues. Work out the theme that connects their songs. Identify the songs...

10. Run, Dada, Run!

9. First word to Gort.

8. Korean war doctors lose their mobility.

7. Jimmy Cagney.

6. Always chooses the fifth letters.

5. Losing at tennis.

4. When reorganized, she betrays UK.

3. Cuban angel feet.

2. Bombs on stage.

1. Half the binary code.

Eyebrows raised at the answers tomorrow morning.

Wednesday 21 April 2021

My Top Ten Jim Steinman Songs

The death of Jim Steinman will probably go without much attention to most people, but for me it's a huge hammer blow in a year that keeps on kicking me in the teeth. 
I've written numerous times on this blog about my adoration for Steinman's song-writing, taking the best bits of Chuck Berry, Phil Spector, Born To Run era Springsteen and Richard Wagner, setting them on fire, then adding dynamite. There was little subtlety to Jim's work, but there was plenty of drama, passion, hyperbole, sturm und drang and a savage sense of humour. He didn't just write teenage love songs, he made them into epic mythologies, complete with screeching motorbikes, angels and devils, and hearts ripped literally out of the protagonists' chests. And yet, I never got the impression he took it seriously - yes, the work itself, he took very seriously, hence the perfectionism of his arrangements and the huge rows with his collaborators. But the storytelling... there was a tongue-in-cheek quality to the melodramas he crafted that suggested Jim knew how ridiculous it all was - how ridiculous the very medium was - but that was why he adored it so much.

Putting together a Top Ten Jim Steinman Songs was, for me, an impossible task. There are so many I want to take with me to the grave. But if they bury me with headphones on and these ten tracks playing on eternal loop... I could die reasonably happy. I think Jim would appreciate that imagery.

Not a song so much as an intense, Steinman-voiced monologue; this first appeared on Jim's only solo album, Bad For Good, originally intended for Meat Loaf, though the Loaf was having throat problems at the time. It was then re-used on Bat Out Of Hell II, still voiced by Steinman. 
I could recite the words to this by heart. To me, it defines the importance of rock n roll in our lives, builds the tension to a frightening climax, and then throws it all away with a stupid gag that never fails to make me smile.

It should come as no surprise that Jim Steinman's favourite story was Peter Pan, as it deals with a group of boys who never grow up. That, to him, was what rock n roll represented - the chance to remain young forever. The title track of Steinman's solo album (later re-recorded by Meat - who was undeniably a far better singer than Jim, although I still have great affection for Steinman's own recordings) was originally written for a never-finished rock n roll musical based on the Peter Pan story. It's a classic example of Steinman's way of piling image on image, metaphor on metaphor, repeating and building long after other songwriters would have cut back to the chorus. That very excess was what I loved about Jim.

The sea is whipping the sky
The sky is whipping the sea
You can hide away forever from the storm
But you'll never hide away from me
The icy cold will cut us like a knife in the dark
And we may lose everything in the wind
But the Northern Lights are burning
And they're giving off sparks
I want to wrap myself around you like a winter skin

I read a review that described this song as "a melancholic middle-aged man reminiscing about his youth".

'Nuff said.

Another song close to the heart of this blog. Look at the Springsteen quote at the top of the page, then compare it to this...

Think of how we'd lay down together
We'd be listening to the radio so loud and so strong.
Every golden nugget coming like a gift of the gods.
Someone must have blessed us when he gave us those songs

Another song from the ill-fated solo album, later re-recorded (and, in this case, bettered) by Meat. It also contains the quintessential Steinman line...

You've been through the fires of hell
And I know you've got the ashes to prove it.

In what world does Dead Ringer - arguably the ultimate rock n roll duet* - only rank at #6? Like a demonic outtake from the Grease soundtrack. Perfection.

A man he doesn't live by rock 'n roll and brew alone

It opens with another irresistibly OTT Steinman monologue, incorporating werewolves, blood, passion and a corny gag at the end... then it kicks into a full-blooded power ballad where teenage lust is expressed in pure hyperbole. Taking it's cue from 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) - another tale of teenage romance on the beach, late at night - this builds into an explosion of passion through trembling bodies, weak knees, licked lips and a kiss so powerful it steals your soul. To listen to this song is to relive full-blooded teenage lust afresh... even if you never experienced it the first time. (Clue: I never did, but Jim helped me through that.)

Bonnie Tyler's biggest hit was originally written for Meat Loaf, but he had that bad throat year and this was another casualty. In many ways, I find it hard to believe that this was a Number One single, since it's so ridiculously over the top, I'm surprised it connected with such a large audience. Then again, look at Bohemian Rhapsody. It's a song about yearning and desperation, those are the best words I can find. And it contain another quintessentially Steinman line...

We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks

(At this point, I should mention one of the other big Steinman tunes that Bonnie brought to life, another great duet with frequent Steinman collaborator and BOOH producer Todd Rundgren, Loving You's a Dirty Job but Somebody's Gotta Do It. It wasn't a hit, but damn, it should have been.)

*Above, while writing about Dead Ringer, I placed an asterisk next to the phrase "the ultimate rock n roll duet*", because... well, there's this. It is a duet, with Ellen Foley giving as good as she gets from Meat (although it's Karla DeVito in the video), but it's much more besides. The term "rock opera" gets thrown around far too liberally, but this is the real deal. Like many Steinman songs, it veers dangerously towards the ten minute mark, but there's so much going on in its three act structure, it's hard to get bored... or even catch a breath. Boy meets girl. Boy tries to get girl to go all the way. Girl says she will if he promises to love her forever. They go back and forth on this until the boy is whipped up into such a frenzy that he'd agree to anything... and then immediately wishes he hadn't. Classic Steinman twist, made even more exciting through the use of a metaphorical baseball game to symbolise the consummation.

Frankly, if you don't love this record, you don't love life.

What is there to say about Bat Out Of Hell that hasn't already been said? (Other than why isn't it Number One?) The only thing I will say is that you should never, ever, ever listen to the radio edit. It is pure blasphemy... and also a pretty shocking edit that even I, with my crude music editing skills, could have done a better hack job on. 

No, you really need the full 9 minutes and 52 seconds to appreciate this tune in all its pomp and glory.

1. More Than You Deserve

Probably the least known track on this list, and you probably think I'm being all muso for putting it at Number One, but More Than You Deserve has long had a special place in my heart. I knew I'd written about it before, but I had to dig into the archive of my old blog to find what I wrote. Excuse the youthful exuberance...

I swear that in the future, there will come a critical reappraisal of the songwriting genius of Jim Steinman, and I will be vindicated. As with every subject Steinman tackles, this is infidelity turned up to eleven - hell, twelve! - and only the melodramatic madness of vintage Loaf could do it justice. The song begins with a simple betrayal...

From the very first moment I saw you, 
I knew our love would be so strong 
And the very first moment I kissed you, 
I knew our joy would last so long 
And then I saw you making love to my best friend, 
I didn't know whatever to say 
I saw you making love to my best friend 
So I looked him right in his eyes and I said - listen boy... 

Won't you take some more, it's what you came for 
And don't mind me, I won't throw you no curves 
Have yourself a ball with my good woman 
Won't you take some more boy, it's more than you deserve!

But of course, in Steinman world everything is always louder than everything else, and so by the end of the song things are so much worse...

Now I think I'm gonna have to leave you 
Because I'm feeling much too weak to share 
And the pie, oh it's cut in too many pieces 
The flavour that I crave is no longer there 
Then I saw you making love to two of my best friends 
I didn't know whatever to say 
I saw you making love to a group of my best friends 
So I looked them right in their eyes and I said - listen here, group! 
Won't you take some more boys, it's more than you deserve!

Nothing succeeds like excess!
Oh, and I'd forgotten the video too. The video is an absolute hoot...
This is the first Top Ten I've ever written without having to listen to any of the songs. So indelibly ingrained into my subconscious are they. Rest in peace, Jim, buddy.  I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell...

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Conversations With Ben #13: Bulgogi with gochujang as the base sauce

Ben: This came up on my Google news feed. I really don't understand this. What were they expecting with that road being so close? 

There's a really really nice house near us that we keep seeing but it's next door to a pub. When restrictions are lifted, that is going to be very noisy because I know it is next to a pub.

Rol: I like the sound of the double-deckers going past out house. Especially at night.

The busses that used to go past my old place I liked. It kept the timing of things. But if you buy a new build that is clearly next to an A road. Surely. Surely. You know what you're in for.

Having lived in a new build (albeit one that someone else had lived in for 18 months from new and we then lived in for 18 months and I suspect the new people won't last that long), I can confirm that nobody should ever buy a new built because the companies that build them don't give a shit about quality, durability, location et al. Bunch of crooks.

Even though we don't really speak or have much affinity, my dad is a joiner  and a bloody good one. I used to labour during summers from uni for him and his crew. Quantity surveyors don't even bother checking his roofs, they just trust him. I remember times as a kid where he wasn't happy with stuff and went back out, like a time I was 8 and he went back out at 9pm because he'd done something slightly wrong at a property and it ate at him so he went back to fix it before it had time to set. And he hates the idea of new builds because of the people who work on them.

My dad was a joiner too. You speak to the older generation of tradesmen and they are shocked by what goes on these days. No integrity.

It's almost like things were better in the past...

Ben sends this in reply...

I don't like it when I'm photographed without my consent.

That's why I recorded you instead.

You used the magic camera box. Probably stole my soul while you were at it.

I tried but nothing came out.

It's long gone.

Ben replies with a link to this video...


That's you and your soul duetting.

My soul is Mel C?


You're Mel C.

Surely I'm crinkly old Bryan. I don't feel like Mel  C. I've never once been sporty.

And neither has my soul.

I can't help the truth. This is the way.

Mel C was always my favourite Spice Girl. She was the most real, least cartoon.

You're thinking of these guys.

No. I would never, ever.

These guys? They're not really cartoons but I can see your mix-up.

The punchline to that should have been, "No, that was All Saints."

All Saints were something special. They made a RHCP song sound good.

I thought I'd share my tea with you. Made a wild mushroom bulgogi.

With pickled cucumber.

Well, not quite a bulgogi as I used gochujang as the base sauce.

That looks like something out of the food section of the Grauniad, which Louise has quit reading in horror.

I'll buy in some chicken dippers and oven chips for tomorrow.

Send you a picture of them.

And before you say, yes, they do vegan ones.

My sister has some vegan chickens. They won't even eat worms.

That's a Tim Vine style joke. I'm very disappointed.

It's a true statement. I can't help if it offends your Ben Elton right on alt-comedy sensibilities.

Alright, Lee Mack.

I like Lee Mack. He's old school without being old school. And very sharp.

I knew you wouldn't like him though.

Little bit of politics, as Ben Elton used to say.

Everything is politics.

Name me something, I'll show you the politics.


Ben sends me a 21 page report entitled "Snails, Mining & Climate Change: The Politics of Biodiversity In New Zealand". (I'll spare you the link.)

"Name me something, I'll show you something you're totally not interested in. 21 pages of it."

It's not an area I'm familiar with but the underlying argument is that politics encompasses everything in its exploitation. Also, whilst I'm boring you, in relation to our conversation the other day, Springer released this a few years ago and it was very good. Crude for academia but a good read and outlines why I am not neoliberal.

Is that Frank Springer?

Simon Springer.

And his amazing dancing bear.

Sadly, they broke up.

Political differences, I bet.

I always smile when I remember Paul Heaton saying The Beautiful South broke up because of musical similarities.

I like Paul Heaton.

Well, of course. He's a Marxist. He made sure every member of the band got equal royalties.

I like that he still lives in a terraced house.

And didn't he buy the whole street and give away the rest of the houses?

I'm not sure on that, I just know about having a house. He lived round the corner from some mates at uni. And he writes a cracking pop song.

No argument there. Though he's gone off the boil a bit lately.

It'll never be as good as Happy Hour.

Though he still does a good one.

Five Get Over Excited is my favourite.

Every time my phone buzzes with a text, I think it's you with another Marxist rant.

I think I've only ever done two or three Marxist rants at you. To be critical of the state isn't exclusively a Marxist endeavour.

Are you still putting my witticisms on your blog? Do you call it "Rol over Benthoven"? That's very bad if you do and I'd expect better wordplay from you.

I call it Conversations With Ben. Like Conversations With God, the dark side.

Most people seem to believe I make you up.

By most people, I mean 3 out of the 4 people in the world with nothing better to do with their lives.

I think we've covered the fact that I am definitely a person you manifested into existence to cope with COVID. You did know a Ben in Barnsley but he died 30 years ago.

And only I know where the body is.

Now you're beginning to remember.

I need a Sharpie to write it on my arm so I don't forget again.

When you're doing a PhD you get people try and impress you at weddings and other places of bigger gatherings.

Like they're trying to prove their intelligence and interests to you.

But it's like, I like comics and watching cartoons.

Mainly from older people as well.

Weird you should say that, because I was just typing that the older I get, the less time I have for intellectual snobbery.

But then I guess I've never been an intellectual.

Most of the time it's ok as I try to instantly move onto hobbies instead to steer it away but then sometimes you get those "university of life, me, mate" people.

The last 60 seconds of this is my answer to anyone who claims high art is better than dumb fun... I can't believe they edited it from the single version. It's the best 60 seconds Jon Bon Jovi ever recorded.

(Sometimes Ben's silence speaks volumes.)

I don't care your education level, I can still talk to you, They try and like prove themselves, like Ricky Gervais and his best mate in the Office.

Ricky Gervais is actually like that in real life though.

Start reeling off facts. Like, why would I give a shit about the capital cities of the world or the scientific name of something? It has very little relation to anything in my life. I'm awful at geography and I'm comfortable and happy to say that.

It's OK if you're a 7 year old. Sam knows all the capital cities. But he'll grow out of it.

Then again, what about pop trivia...?

I know what I know, pop trivia wise.

It doesn't make me better or worse in intelligence but there's a lot of people out there who think that's a marker of intelligence.

I'm not sure. I think they cling to it because they don't know much else. I certainly do.

But you're intelligent.

It's an act.

One more time, with feeling...

Monday 19 April 2021

Neverending Top Ten #4.0: Corkhill Drive

The other day, a question came up in conversation with Sam about where he might live when he was grown up.

He immediately answered, "Corkhill Drive."

After my initial thought that if this particular drive was in any way related to Jimmy Corkhill, he'd be better off keeping away or he'd end up addicted to smack and getting threatened by small time gangsters all over Liverpool... I thought perhaps this was a road he'd seen while we were driving around. Sam has a pretty good memory for signs he's read when we're out and about.

Louise decided to investigate, and put Corkhill Drive into Google Maps... but the only one she could find was in the gorgeous town of Tilba Tilba, New South Wales.

These photos give you a taste of what it might be like to live on Corkhill Drive... and I think we'd all agree that Sam has chosen well.

But where the hell has he got Corkhill Drive from? Louise's brother lives in Brisbane, but that's a long way from New South Wales, and he'd never heard of Tilba Tilba either.

All I can say is, I hope Sam lets his old man come visit.

I couldn't find any songs about Corkhill Drive or Tilba Tilba, and this isn't really about the New South Wales in Australia either... but it's a cracking tune anyway.

Sunday 18 April 2021

Snapshots #185: A Top Ten Spider Songs

For a Top Ten Spider Songs, here's three Spider-Men. Rumour has it they may all appear together in the same film at the end of this year. That probably won't mean much to you, but to me it'll be like all my Christmases come at once.

Anyway, some web-spinning songs...

10. Not the French band.

Last week we featured the French band Space. This is the Liverpudlian band who stole their name.

Space - Spiders

9. The front of the ship, that is.

I.E. the bow.

You could have had this...

David Bowie - Glass Spider

But really I was thinking of this...

David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust... and The Spiders From Mars

8. Could be Jack's victims?

Jack was a Giant Killer.

They Might Be Giants - Spider!

7. Join teeth: yow!


Tony Joe White - Stud Spider

6. The sound of Queen's motorbike.

Freddie Mercury's bike goes REV!

Mercury Rev - Spiders & Flies

5. Heaven wouldn't, but...

...hell wood.

(That's Jim White, Johnny Dowd and Willie B, Americana fans.)

Hellwood - Spider In The Bed

4. Heard by Horton.

The Who - Boris The Spider

3. Short gambler makes you go Euurrrghh!

Kenny Rogers was The Gambler. Shortened, he's Ken... and he's ickie!

Kenickie - Scared Of Spiders

2. Place for exercise, halfway between Stoke and Wolverhampton.

Halfway between Stoke and Wolverhampton is Stafford.

Jim Stafford - Spiders And Snakes

1. Muddled moaners.

Moaners, muddled up, gives you Ramones.

More Snapshots swing into to town next Saturday.

Saturday 17 April 2021

Saturday Snapshots #185

Like a willow blowing in the wind, Saturday Snapshots blows back into town... and let's dedicate this week's quiz to Alysons everywhere, especially those with a y.

You know the drill by now. Guess ten artists from the clues below. Work out the thematic connection between their songs, then identify the songs. Go.

10. Not the French band.

9. The front of the ship, that is.

8. Could be Jack's victims?

7. Join teeth: yow!

6. The sound of Queen's motorbike.

5. Heaven wouldn't, but...

4. Heard by Horton.

3. Short gambler makes you go Euurrrghh!

2. Place for exercise, halfway between Stoke and Wolverhampton.

1. Muddled moaners.

How You Meet Your Answers... tomorrow morning.

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