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Friday On My Mind 88: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

I remember when The Man From U.N.C.L.E. first started it was broadcast in the UK on BBC 1 on a Thursday night at 8 pm. That meant it was a quick rush home from choir practice, which itself followed straight on from my piano lessons. Thursday nights were busy then.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. theme tune is very hard to recall. It always gets overwhelmed, at least in my head and also in those of other people of my acquaintance, by the one for Mission Impossible – a show which took over that Thursday night slot from The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The first episode’s opening with explanatory introduction:-

Later colour version, with altered arrangement:-

Reelin’ In The Years 70: Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands was a children’s TV programme, broadcast by ITV between 1970 and 1972, which had fantasy elements. As well as this, another attraction was the cracking theme tune.

The tune was released as a single, Tarot, and was performed by Andy Bown. There’s some brilliant mellotron in this.

Andy Bown: Tarot

The Beach Boys. Student Demonstration Time.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Ohio wasn’t the only song to mention the Kent State shootings. Student Demonstration Time, from the Beach Boys excellent Surf’s Up album, does so too.

A (restricted access) blog which I frequent aired complaints that this is a rip off of Riot In Cell Block Nine which, according to Wiki, the Beach Boys used to play in their concerts around that time. Some might, instead, call it a homage.

The lyric does contain what I think is rather a good pair of lines in:-
“The pen is mightier than the sword
But no match for a gun (when there’s a riot going on.)” The parentheses are mine.

The blurb on this You Tube item says it’s a different version from the one on Surf’s Up.

This is the more familiar (to me) track from the album.

Crosby, Stills And Nash. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

My correspondent Campbell Yule eulogised CSNY in a recent comment.

Well; this is only CSN but it is still an anthem for old hippies. One of the sounds of the Sixties.

Stephen Stills breaks into Spanish during the last section – apparently to be obscure just for the sake of it.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Jackie DeShannon, The Band: The Weight

The Band’s The Weight has famously indecipherable/obscure lyrics. Nevertheless I did buy the single way back when and also found a very good version of the Bob Dylan song I Shall Be Released on the B-side.

The first version of The Weight I remember hearing, though, and one that got a bit of airplay at the time, was by Jackie DeShannon. She wrote a good few of the familiar songs from the mid nineteen-sixties including a couple of The Searchers’ hits.

Here she is on You Tube.

For comparison purposes here also is The Band’s original version.

F C Cludgie?

No game today.

So I might as well (re*)post the following.

When I was a Chemistry student at Glasgow University, way back when, the student Chemical Society was known as The Alchemists’ Club. Among its many functions was providing the team for an annual University Challenge with Strathclyde Chemistry students. (The year I was in the team we creamed them. Another of our team members loved quizzes so much he went on to the full University team and later appeared on Mastermind. Hello, Tam.)

However the most popular of the Alchemists’ Club’s endeavours was running a football league for students. The participants were allowed to choose their team names. With typical undergraduate, or indeed post-graduate, humour a fair few tended towards the rude but there were also word plays on the names of well known European teams of the time.

To get it out of the way first, there was the fairly obvious Arselona. A team of students whose studies straddled various disciplines called themselves Inter Course. Unless my memory serves me incorrectly there was also a bunch called Surreal Madrid. Another good one was Us Pissed Dossers, in homage to the Hungarians of Ujpest Dosza. But my personal favourite was No Time Toulouse. (I’ve always been partial to a pun; especially one that straddles two languages.)

No doubt inspiration for these creations was derived from the wonderful chutzpah of the works team of a firm of Glasgow bread bakers who adopted the magnificent moniker of A C Milanda. They even took up the red and black striped shirts of the more famous Italian team which has a similar name.

I can only imagine what such jokesters would have made of CFR Cluj.

Milanda bread is long gone. but it seems there is still an A C Milanda.

*Edited to add:- Old age must be creeping up on me. I’d forgotten I’d posted the bulk of this already. I’ve only just seen it again on looking for something else. Serves me right for composing posts elsewhere and not scrubbing them from that file immediately. That earlier post has now been deleted.

The Troggs

For a short while in the sixties The Troggs were my favourite band. (I was young, OK? My musical tastes were relatively unformed.) They have, however, left a lasting legacy – not least on REM, see Athens Andover and this video, which I have featured before – and are credited by some on You Tube as being punk ten years before it happened. To my mind that description’s a bit simplistic, though.

In retrospect they were quite a peculiar band. Their catalogue is actually a strange mixture of stripped down raunch (I Can’t Control Myself, Give It To Me) and the sentimental (Anyway That You Want Me, Love Is All Around, Little Girl.)

Usually these two strands were kept separate with different tracks falling into one category or the other but they could make the jump between them in the one song. Wild Thing has a crude, thumping but insistent beat and a more than suggestive breathiness in the “Come on. Hold Me Tight,” bits but then suddenly in the middle it breaks off into an almost delicate ocarina solo.

I remember a film of the single below from the time of its release with the group walking about in a forest or something in their trademark striped jackets but that doesn’t seem to be on You Tube any more. (I’m sure it was, the last time I looked.) Anyway, here’s the creeping menace that is Night of the Long Grass.

Misheard Lyrics: Angel Of The Morning

Coincidences and confluences. P P Arnold, who was the backing singer on The Small Faces’ Tin Soldier which I featured recently, also had a great influence on The Nice whom I mentioned several months ago now. They were formed to be her backing band. However they quickly broke off to do their own thing.

Angel Of The Morning is the object of the most spectacular mishearing of a lyric I have ever encountered. Someone I was acquainted with once asked the good lady and myself why the singer (Angel has been covered by just about everybody – I think it was the Merrilee Rush version) was asking her lover to, “just brush my teeth before you leave me.”

It is of course, “just touch my cheek.”

And yes, Jim, I did split an infinitive up there.

P P Arnold: Angel of the Morning

Just brush my teeth before you leave me….

The Free Electric Band

I heard this on the radio the other day and it took me back.

So. To all of you who, like me, never gave up anything or anyone for rock and roll but instead have spent their lives working for the man, here’s Albert Hammond.

!! Years Ago Today

I got married.

On a bank holiday (in nineteen hundred and long time ago.) My English-born and raised cousin, who was no stranger to Scotland, came up for the do and when my father mentioned getting the signatures to the registrar afterwards, said, “I thought you said it was a Bank Holiday.”

We said, “It is. A bank holiday. The banks are shut, everything else is open.”

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