And you can hear Jack say.. MOAR COWBELL

…or rather, ‘Sweet Jane’.

Many, many bands have covered this song. it’s a great warm-up number and I have vague memories of seeing Hello Sailor use it as a set opener back sometimes during one of their mid-80s incarnations.

It’s got a chugging basicness, a riff which kind of pulls you in.

I’ve always loved the Mott the Hoople version. I think it’s my favourite one, although the Cowboy Junkies and Lone Justice run it close.

Not to mention, of course, the original, on Lou Reed’s final album with the Velvet Underground.

Mott the Hoople’s big hit, All the Young Dudes, was written by David Bowie, and he produced them in 1972.

This demo track seems to have been a warmup number in the studio, that year, and they are backing the man who actually wrote Sweet Jane, Lou Reed.

The recording quality is a bit fuzzy but you can hear the zest and verve in the playing.

Hippies

For Keith Richards’ birthday tomorrow. Honoured as one of the great bad asses of all time. Even those of us who, when it comes to bad-assery in our own lives, manage only an occasional miscreant mule-ishness, venerate Keef.

But at one point he was also a bit of a hippie. This was one of the songs he wrote for the ‘Stones. Even named his daughter after it, some years later.

Oh, and Marianne Faithful was gorgeous.

For the English Rugby Team…. #RWC2015

 

I think there’s only one appropriate song for the English Rugby team after the 33-13 loss to the Aussies and its this.

So far as I know its the only rock song to mention rugby** specifically, and the lines

 Back in the scrum

On a wet afternoon

Down in the mud

Dreaming of flowers in June…

…seem very right for today.

From the Kinks, mid-1960s. A fairly obscure, if rather lovely, album track. Apparently Ray Davies wrote this the same time he wrote the hit ‘Sunny Afternoon’ – after a complete mental crack up when he’d shoved his money in his sock, run down Denmark Street in London  and tried to assault his manager, which strikes me as a marvellously Goon-ish way to behave.

 

**UPDATE: Keir Leslie has pointed out to me, on Twitter, there’s also the Jam’s ‘Eton Rifles’. Can’t believe I’d forgotten that one – much more my era than this one, and besides, I’ve only recently bought the remastered ‘Setting Sons’.

The Beatles – Hey Bulldog in the studio

http://youtube.com/v/UaRz-3DYV7c

Back in the late 60s the only time I remember seeing musical clips was when they were jammed in between programmes to fill a gap. The word ‘Interlude’ could come up. More often than not it was an orchestral version of ‘Do You Know the Way to San Jose’ being played with a film of a steam engine. My brother and I used to call that ‘The Interlude Song’.

I remember seeing a musical clip at my aunt’s – this would have been mid- 1968, and I was four – and being told it was The Beatles. I could never recall the song – the only thing I remembered was one of them, at the end,  picking up his jacket and throwing it over his shoulder.

Discovered recently, through Youtube, the song was ‘Lady Madonna’.

This clip is from the film which went with that, but – obviously – the song is not ‘Lady Madonna’

The tale goes they wanted to film the Beatles in the studio to go with the ‘Lady Madonna’ single and they figured, since they were in the studio anyway, they’d record a song.

The Lady Madonna clip has them singing and playing and at no point do the words and singing and playing match the tune, but that was pretty common in those days anyway.

A few years ago someone went back to the film, unscrambled it and put this together.

The song is one of Lennon’s nonsense numbers, in the same vein as the more well known ‘I Am the Walrus’. I like it for a lot of reasons, one of the big ones being it hasn’t been played so often any magic has long since departed, which is how I feel about most of the Beatles output.

It’s also got some great playing. The bass in particular, along with that nagging rhythm guitar riff. Ringo’s drums are heavier on the tomtoms than usual, and the lead guitar break is a great little slash and burner.