Released in the interregnum between Stills’s time in Crosby, Stills and Nash and Manassas before he took up with C, N (and Y) again, my elder brother took exception to the apparent incitement to free love in this song’s lyric and title. Myself I took it to mean be nice to the people you encounter.
It was, though, Emerson’s work with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as Emerson Lake and Palmer (aka ELP) that solidified his reputation as one of the “rock dinosaurs” that punk rock sought to consign to oblivion.
Here’s a live performance of part of ELP’s take on Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Promenade and the Gnome
Keith Noel Emerson: 2/11/1944 – 10/3/2016. So it goes.
I’ve come to this late. Stevie Wright, lead singer of Australian band The Easybeats, whose Friday on my Mind I chose as the first song in my 1960s music category of the same name, died in December. I only saw his obituary in The Guardian earlier this week.
Evie was a solo no 1 hit for him in Australia, possibly the first 11 minute song to reach no 1 anywhere in the world.
The song manages to encompass the three main themes of the love song as a form. Its first two parts are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well or Derek and the Dominos’ Layla in that it starts in an up tempo rocking style and then segues into quieter mode. Like Evie both those were split over two sides of the corresponding single release. Evie, however, returns to a higher tempo for its third part.
Stevie Wright: Evie
Stephen Carlton “Stevie” Wright: 20/12/1947 – 27/12/2015. So it goes.
I can just about remember when Terry Wogan wasn’t a fixture of British public life but that memory was fading. In recent years he had himself receded a little from the public eye, retiring from his braekfast show and from commentating on the Eurovision Song Contest but he still popped up with an intermittent weekly radio show on Radio 2 and the annual Children in Need telethons (all in a good cause certainly but usually so laced with embarassing performances that I found it difficult to watch so I hadn’t done so for years.)
Despite his failure to appear on last year’s Children in Need in November due to illness – a warning sign as it turned out – it was still a shock to wake up to the news today that he had died.
I also noticed there were retrospective clip shows from his thrice-weekly 80s chat show on in the afternoon in the run-up to Christmas 2015. Maybe there was a hint there too.
I wasn’t one of his listeners in the 60s – or indeed in the 70s – but in later life I found his breakfast radio show congenial listening in the short interval between being woken by the alarm clock and actually getting out of bed. Perhaps it took reaching a certain age to appreciate his charms.
He always seemd perfectly genial – a great trick to pull off in the early morning – but by all accounts this was simply him; there was apparently no difference between his public and private persona.
The world feels diminished by his death. I fervently hope it doesn’t turn out he had feet of clay (as others of his vintage had) but if all that has been said of him is true there may be no need to fear.
Michael Terence “Terry” Wogan; 3/8/1938 – 31/1/2016. So it goes.
For many the iconic moment of their lives was Bowie placing a carefree, languid, unthinking arm round Mick Ronson’s neck on that Top of the Pops appearance while promoting Starman and thereby validating sexualities beyond that of the straight and cis.
Bowie’s first brush with the charts came with Space Oddity in 1969, regarded at the time as a bit of a novelty record, though it wasn’t his last song to tangle with SF imagery.
He hit his stride with the Hunky Dory album in 1971 – on which nearly every track is a belter – though no hits were to come from that source till Life on Mars? was released as a single in 1973. This was of course after the breakthrough, the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in 1972 and that hit with Starman. I would argue that Hunky Dory is the greater achievement. From Ziggy onwards Bowie seemed to be commercialising his talent. The string of hits that followed on from the Ziggy album, through his Aladdin Sane persona, up to Diamond Dogs perhaps bore that out.
He lost me with Young Americans, though. I’ve never been into that sort of music. There were stonkers still to come of course, when he’d changed his style a few more times, Heroes, Ashes to Ashes, Let’s Dance, China Girl, but it is the early stuff I’ll remember him for.
This is The Bewlay Brothers, from Hunky Dory of course.
David Bowie: The Bewlay Brothers
“Man is an obstacle, sad as the clown. (Oh, by jingo.)
So hold on to nothing and he won’t let you down.”
David Bowie: After All (from The Man Who Sold the World)
“I borrowed your time and I’m sorry I called.”
David, we’re not sorry you called.
David Robert Jones (“David Bowie”) 8/1/1947 – 10/1/2016. So it goes.