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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

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.

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?

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.

Friday on my Mind 140: Journey to the Centre of the Mind

I’ve not posted a piece of psychedelia for a while so here are The Amboy Dukes performing on Spanish TV.

The Amboy Dukes: Journey to the Centre of the Mind

Friday on my Mind 139: Big Time Operator

This breezy single from 1966 became a minor hit. I have a soft spot for it mainly because of the large number of rhymes it employs for operator – only the first of which, paper, doesn’t really work.

A newsboy on a paper, I worked an elevator, I knew that later, a higher rater, big time operator.
I drove an excavator, wine and (brandy?) waiter, decorator, estimator, big time operator.
As an air-line navigator, crime investigator, commentator, illustrator, big time operator.

I suppose they had rhyming dictionaries back then but it’s still quite a feat to work all of these into the song’s rhythm.

Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band: Big Time Operator

Friday on my Mind 138: Take Good Care of My Baby: RIP Bobby Vee

In the early 1960s it seemed that all you needed to be a successful North American male singer was to be called Bobby. Bobby Darin, Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydell all had hits then. The middle one of those, Bobby Vee, died this week.

Singer of the outrageously catchy Rubber Ball, and teen ballads like More Than I Can Say and Run to Him, the admonitory The Night has a Thousand Eyes and the yearning Take Good Care of My Baby, Vee’s star fell along with that style of recording once the Beatles came along.

Take Good Care of my Baby was a typically breezy sounding song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King with an attendant less than breezy lyric. Note those plucked strings fixing its vintage.

Bobby Vee: Take Good Care of My Baby

Robert Thomas Velline (Bobby Vee): 30/4/1943–24/10/2016. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 137: Al Capone; Madness; One Step Beyond

Prince Buster, who has died recently, was one of the instigators of ska and rock-steady and hence of course influential on the eventual development of reggae.

He only had the one hit in the UK in the 1960s though.

Prince Buster: Al Capone

His music was of course an inspiration for the group Madness who not only took their name from one of Buster’s songs (which they performed as the B-side to their first hit) –

Prince Buster: Madness

– but also covered his One Step Beyond for their second UK chart entry.

Prince Buster: One Step Beyond

Cecil Bustamente Campbell (Prince Buster): 24/5/1938-8/9/2016. So it goes.

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