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Friday on my Mind 144: I Am a Cathedral

Everyone knows the big hit performed by Peter Sarstedt (who died earlier this week) Where Do You Go To (My Lovely). Many people think he was a one-hit wonder – even his Wikipedia entry says that about him despite mentioning he had two other hits (though I must confess I don’t remember Take Off Your Clothes – probably because it was a B-side) but the follow-up single Frozen Orange Juice did get to no. 10 in the UK.

His previous single to the big one wasn’t a hit though arguably it deserved to be.

Peter Sarstedt: I Am a Cathedral

Peter Eardley Sarstedt; 10/12/1941 – 8/1/ 2017. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 143: Garden of my Mind

More psychedelia. Why not?

During this I keep expecting the lead singer to follow the pause with “Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”

I think the group’s name was perhaps a bit of a mickey take.

The Mickey Finn: Garden of my Mind

Live it Up 34: Rip George Michael

This category’s title is horribly inappropriate given today’s subject.

I didn’t take too much to Wham! Being a schoolteacher relatively new to the game in the early 1980s it was a mystery to me why certain acts inspired adolescent devotion. From the perspective of thirty years later this frothy concoction is more understandable. It exudes the exuberance of youth.

Wham!: Freedom

A more thoughtful sound soon appeared though. I heard Michael accorded Andrew Ridgley a writing credit on the song below despite him not being involved. The royalties have stood Ridgley in good stead ever since. Only one among Michael’s many charitable acts.

George Michael: Careless Whisper

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou (George Michael:) 25/6/1963 – 25/12 /2016. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 44: Black Veils of Melancholy. RIP Rick Parfitt

Though it seems I didn’t, I thought I had mentioned in Friday on my Mind 29 that I actually bought Status Quo’s first hit Pictures of Matchstick Men, though they were The Status Quo then.

This follow-up – remarkably similar to that first hit and which appeared on the ludicrously titled first LP, Picturesque Matchstickable messages from the Status Quo – has a title that is all too appropriate, but has a bass line reminiscent of Hendrix.

The Status Quo: Black Veils of Melancholy

Richard John (Rick) Parfitt: 12/10/1948 – 24/12/2016. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 128: RIP Greg Lake

I know I marked Greg Lake’s passing a fortnight ago but it is Christmas time and this is his best known song.

We need its sentiments this year more than for some in the recent past. (More than for in most of my lifetime.)

I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave new year.

Greg Lake: I Believe in Father Christmas

Friday on my Mind 142: Gong With The Luminous Nose

Les Fleur de Lys1 were the band called upon to record my favourite 60s song, Reflections of Charles Brown, and its B-side, Hold On under the name Rupert’s People.

I naturally assumed this song is a reference/tribute to the Edward Lear poem The Dong With A Luminous Nose. I was therefore amused when on Sounds of the Sixties 26/11/16 it was introduced and listed as “Going with the Luminous Nose.”

It sounds like psychedelia to me.

Les Fleur De Lys: Gong With The Luminous Nose.

1To be correct French shouldn’t that be Les Fleurs de Lys?

Reelin’ In the Years 127: Lucky Man

Now add Greg Lake to the growing list.

Founder member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Lake of course found individual fame with his 1975 hit I Believe in Father Christmas.

Lake apparently wrote Lucky Man when he was twelve having received a guitar from his mother as a present. It was one of the first times a Moog synthesiser had featured on a record.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Lucky Man

Gregory Stuart “Greg” Lake: 10/11/1947 – 7/12/2016. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 141: RIP John D Loudermilk

I only discovered this week that John D Loudermilk has also gone from us this year.

He didn’t have a hit in his own right in the UK but was the composer of several for others.

Tobacco Road was covered by the Nashville Teens,

The Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road

This Little Bird by Marianne Faithfull,

Marianne Faithfull: This Little Bird

and Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian – which I remember as titled (The Lament of the Cherokee) Indian Reservation; a change which makes the lament a more general rather than individual one – by Don Fardon.

Don Fardon: Indian Reservation

John D. Loudermilk: 31/3/1934 – September 21/9/2016. So it goes.

Fidel Castro

Whatever your opinion of him, Fidel Castro, who died yesterday, was undoubtedly one of the most significant figures of the Twentieth Century.

Not only did he somehow contrive from a very small personnel base to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista he managed to sustain his regime against the efforts to undermine it of a great power whose territory began only 103 miles away even when his backer, the Soviet Union, which that confrontation drew him to had fallen into the jaws of history.

The nationalisation of all US-owned businesses on the island naturally poisoned relations with it, as, no doubt, did the treatment of Batista suporters and the suppression of opposition voices. Castro did, though, institute free medical care for all and a well regarded education system.

The Cuba-US stand-off provided the biggest world crisis since the Second World War when USSR missiles were stationed on Cuban soil. Thankfully cool heads prevailed on the part of both the great powers to procure their removal.

Despite many increasingly lunatic plans to remove Castro or his influence (see first link above) he survived them all and was able to pass on his leadership peacefully.

Even if that was only to his brother he did not continue to cling to power beyond his capacity to wield it, unlike many.

Here are two opposing musical views.

Focus: Sugar Island

The Skatalites: Fidel Castro

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz: 13/8/1926 – 25/11/2016. So it goes.

Live It Up 33: (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

I wasn’t one for dance music (and we’ll forget the outrageous but intentional misspelling in the song’s title for the moment) but the title of this has become very to the point this month.

As has the lyric. Just replace “Reagan’s” with “Trump is” and “Generals tell him what to do” with “white supremacists tell him what to do”.

This is Heaven 17 in a live performance from a few years ago of their 1981 hit.

Heaven 17: (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang

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