Every Record Wins Blogging Award!

Image courtesy of Sketches From Memory

As part of this blogging lark, one of the occupational hazards is that other bloggers will read your stuff (hopefully) and lavish praise (always nice) and bestow awards upon you (like the Oscars – oh they’re meaningless really – until you get one).

So I was very pleased to receive an award (my third! Woohoo!) from the most excellent and very talented sketch artist blogger Chuck Cottrell at Sketches From Memory. His blog is a regular source of wit and he’s prolifically funny and prolifically prolific, if that’s something anyone can be. You can check out his blog at Sketches From Memory here.

The award given is The Liebster Award. No, me neither.

The rules are that you have to answer a few questions, and pass on the award to a few other well-deserving bloggers by setting them some questions of your own. It’s like setting an exam. With stupid questions. And hopefully the recipients will come up with some entertaining answers and the world becomes a slightly happier and more fun place to live in. That’s what we’re doing here – making the world a better place. That, or it’s just a colossal waste of everyone’s time and energy. I’ll let you decide.

The questions set by Chuck were as follows:

  1. What are your top 5 albums of all time?
  2. What’s the most poisonous aspect of the current American political climate?
  3. If you could hang out with any figure in history how would you mess with them and attempt to alter the future?
  4. Who’s your favourite Doctor Who?

A good and diverse set there I think you’ll agree. Let’s tackle them in order:

1. Top Five Albums of all time.

This is something that changes over the years. If you had asked me twenty years ago I would have given you this list:

  1. Masters of Reality – Blue Garden
  2. Aerosmith – Rocks
  3. Tesla – Mechanical Resonance
  4. Kings X – Gretchen Goes To Nebraska
  5. The Black Crowes – $hake Your Money Maker

I found a list the other day that I wrote ten years ago. It read as follows:

  1. Masters of Reality – Blue Garden
  2. The Black Crowes – The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
  3. The Rolling Stone – Exile on Main Street
  4. Rush – Moving Pictures
  5. The Beatles – Revolver

And now? Today? Here’s a list for you. It might change tomorrow.

  1. Masters of Reality – Blue Garden
  2. The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street
  3. The Beatles – Revolver
  4. Queens of The Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf
  5. The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

I don’t know if the insidious creep of classic artists is just a sign of age or an inevitability…. and I’ll write about the wonderful Masters of Reality all in good time.

2. What’s the most poisonous aspect of the current American political climate?

As a Brit, I get to see this as an amused bystander from afar, and the recent election was fascinating, but I enjoy reading Matt Taibi’s inflammatory reporting in Rolling Stone magazine on the Corporatocracy (his phrase) of America and many other aspects of American politics.

3. If you could hang out with any figure in history how would you mess with them and attempt to alter the future?

I might try to keep Mariah Carey’s parents forever in different countries. So they never met. Or maybe Celine Dion’s. Or Beiber’s. Oh dear, there’s too many of them isn’t there? Did I just miss the chance to rid the world of Hitler? (NB Stephen Fry’s novel Making History tackled that subject – and the result was…well I won’t spoil the ending). Otherwise talking to Malcolm Allison in 1978 and persuading him not to re-join Manchester City as manager might have saved 35 years of pain…

4. Who’s your favourite Doctor Who?

The important questions are always saved until last…

For most people their first Doctor is their favourite Doctor. Whilst I do have vague memories of John Pertwee being a time lord rather than a straw-ridden bird-scarer in Wurzel Gummidge, the first Doctor Who that made an impact upon me was Tom Baker. He generally eschewed the rather violent habits of his successor Peter Davidson (who carried a surprisingly accurate and effective cricket ball around with him to throw at Daleks and Cybermen) and instead offered potential foes a jelly baby, a never ending supply of which he carried in a scrunched up paper bag in his pocket.

(I sometimes wonder if Spinal Tap’s cricket bat wielding Manager Ian Faith was not based upon Led Zep manager Peter Grant after all, but was in fact heavily based on Davidson – this prototype cricket hooligan Doctor Who).

I recall collecting a number of Doctor Who cards that were a free gift in boxes of Weetabix (do cereals still have free gifts in them?), featuring Sarah Jane, Cybermen and some strange aquatic beasts – perhaps the less irritating fore-runners of Jar Jar Binks. For the cereal box gifts alone, Baker (Tom) gets my vote.

I’m sure that if I saw it now, of course, I’d think it was rubbish. However, can we get Christopher Lloyd to appear in an episode? I’d love to see the Tardis get 1.21 jigawatts put through it…

It now becomes my great honour to bestow a few Liebster Awards myself, so here goes:

Of the many blogs that I like to check in on here are just a few that I find especially entertaining and / or interesting:

  • Mike Ladano – Mike used to work in a record shop. He has some good stories of those times. He’s also a CD collector and a completist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure Heavy Rock.
  • Defending Axl Rose – Jason Wendleton’s entertaining and eclectic music blog which is great fun, and surprisingly lacking in Axl Rose related stuff. Jason started his blog a month or so before I did, and appears to have a similar musical taste to my own. His articles are always opinionated and entertaining.
  • Hipster Approved – Working in London I am surrounded by Hipster types, and this entertaining look at that particular Fixie-and-cardigan-beardy world is always fun. Always good to keep up to speed with lovers of fixed gear bicycles and brogues.
  • Kamer Tunes – Rich Kamerman likes to review an artist’s entire output in one go over a series of posts. Good stuff.
  • Heavy Metal Overload – One man’s fight not to spend all his cash on records. He’s losing the battle.

So for these bloggers it is my turn to ask the questions (some of which I have asked a few of my interviewees in the past) – and for you to answer if you want to accept the award:

  1. Who is the worst dressed rock star and why?
  2. What is the most embarrassing record you own and why?
  3. What is the most disastrous gig you ever saw or played?
  4. Replace one of The Beatles with another rock or pop star (of any era) of your choice and comment on what would have happened. For example: what if Britney Spears had replaced Ringo…?

Congratulations to the winners – do check out their blogs people…

Record #122: Queen – We Are The Champions



Categories: Music

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60 replies

  1. So I’m reading along and then come across my own name! Thanks man. Much appreciated.

    My fave Dr. Who is Tom Baker as well, with Pertwee as a second. My experience with the good doctor is very limited to hazy 1970’s memories but I did catch the first Matt Smith episode and thought it was pretty good. So was his companion! 🙂

    Your top five lists are cool. Tesla! A forgotten classic. I’ve always liked that first album of theirs, better than the album that followed in fact. Aerosmith, the Crowes, Masters of Reality…I only own the one CD, Sunrise on the Sufferbus, but I’ll have to check out Blue Garden.

    And as for your lists. Here are my off-the-cuff answers:

    1. Blackie Lawless – W.A.S.P. (any era) Why? I can’t articulate that. But I think any photos speak for themselves. Certainly, flabby butt-cheeks come to mind.
    2. Puff Daddy – Come With Me single. I’ll be covering that one on my blog soon. I should hope it’s obvious why it’s embarrassing. It’s Puff Daddy. And I still have it. (Two versions!)
    3. I suffer from a mild case of Agoraphobia (and this is my first public admission of that) so I don’t go to many concerts. I did see a Barenaked Ladies gig in the late 90’s where Steven Page was clearly upset about something and it was visible in his stage presence. He seemed angry and barely spoke. I wasn’t surprised that he was the one with personal issues and eventually left the band. Not a disastrous gig, but uncomfortable from the front row.
    4. If George left the Beatles, wouldn’t it have been neat if he was replaced by Jimi Hendrix? Jimi would have taught the band how to REALLY do drugs. And they would have been much more prolific, too.

    Thanks again!

    Like

  2. congrats on award! yes, deffo something on Masters of Reality please! Blue Garden is an album i will never tire of listening to, alongside Southern Harmony and Gretchen.

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  3. Wow…thanks SO much for the award! I’m really happy to know that someone actually reads my blog. (Sometimes I wonder. People don’t really comment much…)
    Thanks again.

    And now your questions:

    1. Who is the worst dressed rock star and why?

    That has got to be Lady Gaga, right? I mean have you seen her? She even blew Bjork’s swan dress out of the water with most of her ‘get-ups’. I saw Gaga’s ‘meat dress’ at the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame last year…and it had turned to beef jerky. I kid-you-not. I took a picture…
    I did hear Lady Gaga is teaming up with the Goo Goo Dolls for a side project…they’re going to be called Goo Goo Gaga. jk

    2. What is the most embarrassing record you own and why?

    I own a CD called ’70s Heavy Hitters: Summer Love’.
    Some of it’s tracks are; Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You, Eric Carmen – All By Myself, Seals & Crofts – Get Closer, Ambrosia – How Much I Feel…you get the idea…
    Why do I own it? Not sure really…haven’t played it in years. Reminds me of my childhood, I guess.

    3. What is the most disastrous gig you ever saw or played?

    When I was still in the Navy in the late 80s, I took some leave with a buddy of mine and we went to my parent’s home in Columbus, Ohio. We hooked-up with some delinquent friends of mine, and got some ‘mind-altering’ substance and went to see Jethro Tull. (crappy seats)
    Turns out they weren’t going to play any of their ‘hits’ that night, and were into more ‘performance art’. We just couldn’t sit there and watch it. We had to go! (I’ve seen Tull since then, and they were great!)

    4. Replace one of The Beatles with another rock or pop star?

    It’s hard for me to mess with the Beatles…even in my head….because they’re like Gods. You know?
    I guess I’d like to see what would happen if John insisted that Yoko be an official band member? Would the band just break up? Would only Paul leave, and Yoko would try to learn bass and replace him and continue on as the Beatles? Releasing a disastrous record?

    It reminds me of when Yoko joined John (and others) to play the Beatles song ‘Yer Blues’ from the White Album at the Rolling Stones Rock n Roll Circus in the 60s…She climbs in a black bag at the beginning of the song and stays curled-up in there for the whole song. I guess that’s better than the audio version, where she starts wailing like a monkey toward the end. I guess being in a bag has it’s limitations.

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on HipsterApproved.net and commented:
    Congrats’ and THANKS to ‘Every Record Tells a Story’ for the award!

    Like

  5. Congrats! You do good, consistent work that’s always worth reading.

    Like

  6. Thanks for succeeding in making the world a nicer place with all these great posts (and references to other people who do the same)!

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  7. Thanks so much for the award! Hugely appreciated and it’s especially flattering to receive it from such an illustrious organ as this.

    I have been agonising over these questions but here goes…

    Who is the worst dressed rock star and why?
    I’m gonna go for Bruce Dickinson here. Some of his stage outfits have been absolutely atrocious. His flouncy Samson-era attire, his Somewhere in Time-era codpiece, those trousers that made him look like he’s been in the Crystal Dome too long with sweaty legs! The list goes on…

    What is the most embarrassing record you own and why?
    I’m proud of all the music I own but I have a Heart Box set called “With Love From Heart” which is as cheesy as it sounds, has a hilariously dated calendar and letters from Ann and Nancy. It’s just thunderously naff and would take some explaining if discovered. I like the music though…

    What is the most disastrous gig you ever saw or played?
    UFO on the “Sharks” tour, having a meltdown on stage. My favourite moment was Pete Way sidling up to Michael Schenker for a “Rock Star Pose” moment only for Michael to kick him in the legs and mouth “fuck off” at him. They split up a day or two later.

    Replace one of The Beatles with another rock or pop star (of any era) of your choice and comment on what would have happened. For example: what if Britney Spears had replaced Ringo…?
    Oooh, great question! I’m going to have to just throw Ritchie Blackmore into the mix. Just to see what would happen, you know? He’d probably fire McCartney for not being quite what he wanted and get Joe Lynn Turner in instead. Then he’d go off to do minstrelsy with Yoko, who had left John Lennon for him.

    And the Jelly Bean video is absolutely priceless fun.

    Thanks again!

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  8. And just to add… all three of your Top 5’s are great. I’d love to know more about Masters of Reality, they are a glaring omission in my collection. Having to do a Top 5 is a pretty impossible challenge. And kudos for the Kings X and trying to separate Mariah’s parents. I LOL’d at that!

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  9. Super-stoked that you dig my blog and what I attempt to do over at Defending Axl Rose! We’re coming up on our one year, and I’d say by far the best part of having a music blog has been the fantastic rock-blog community.

    “Who is the worst dressed rock star and why?”

    All the dudes in Stryper, back when they were dressed like evil bumble-bees.

    “What is the most disastrous gig you ever saw or played?”

    So I saw this band Bang Camero (of Rock Band the video game fame) a few years ago. The show was on a Sunday night…and the band was furious because they out numbered the audience (there were like 13 guys in the band, look them up). It was a total Spinal Tap moment.

    They had a roadie/manager with them who fumed about how small the audience was, I distinctly recall him saying “They’re having an off night, they’re used to large County Fair crowds.” That cracked me up because here in the States the County Fair concerts are like where rock bands go to die. Anyway, it was weird because they were hostile to us who were in the crowd because the crowd was so small. They played for like 30 minutes and then packed it up and left.

    “Replace one of The Beatles with another rock or pop star?”

    Look, I know it’s not cool to like him but: Robbie Williams. Put that guy in any band and watch the fireworks. He’s turning into a puffy twat, but I can’t help but like him. I guess take out Ringo and let Paul play drums so Robbie can sing.

    As for my most embarrassing record that I own, I wrote it up over at my blog:

    http://defendingaxlrose.com/2012/12/01/the-most-embarrassing-record-i-own/

    Cheers!

    Like

    • Hey – thanks for that – Stryper is a good call. Looking ridiculous in bee-uniforms does make them stand out. Like the idea of replacing Ringo with Macca on drums! Harsh…
      As for your most embarrassing record: I have still to see the film just to see how bad it is. It seems extraordinary that a film with Steve Martin (’70s Steve Martin) and Aerosmith (’70s Aerosmith) could stink, but stink it certainly does – or so I am told.
      Thanks for the kind words too – much appreciated!

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  10. Awesome work, congrats! Really enjoyed reading your records lists. I am pleased to say that I have the latter three on your present day list and they are all worthy of their place. 🙂

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  11. I loved this post (and not just because I was mentioned in it…although thanks for the link). I’m glad those questions weren’t directed towards me, since I’ve never seen a single episode of Dr. Who (it never went beyond cult status here in the States), and I refuse to state my political opinions in a public forum. Also, I could never narrow down a list of Top 5 albums. I couldn’t even name my 5 favorite Zeppelin or Rush or Pink Floyd or Johnny Cash or Bob Marley albums, let along Top 5 of all time. I think my brain might explode (if it hasn’t already done so).

    As for the questions you’ve posed to us, here are my answers off the top of my head, which is better than thinking about them too long:
    Who is the worst dressed rock star and why? Bono when he dressed up as MacPhisto during the Zooropa tour. I can handle the rest of his pretensions, but that one went too far.
    What is the most embarrassing record you own and why?
    What is the most disastrous gig you ever saw or played?
    Replace one of The Beatles with another rock or pop star (of any era) of your choice and comment on what would have happened. For example: what if Britney Spears had replaced Ringo…?

    Like

    • continuing:
      What is the most embarrassing record you own and why? I own a Taylor Dayne CD because she does a great version of Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love Babe.” Can’t listen to the rest of the album, though.
      What is the most disastrous gig you ever saw or played? Terry Reid at BB King’s Blues Club in NYC several years ago. In his prime he was a monster performer (there’s a reason why Jimmy Page asked him to join The New Yardbirds before Robert Plant), but he was a drunken lounge singer that night. Truly awful.
      Replace one of The Beatles with another rock or pop star (of any era) of your choice and comment on what would have happened. For example: what if Britney Spears had replaced Ringo…? Ginger Baker replacing Ringo. His ego would require that every album have an extended drum solo. Much as I love his playing with Cream, Blind Faith and Masters Of Reality, among many others, he would’ve broken them up within weeks.

      By the way, I forgot to mention that I added you to my blogroll. Not sure how much traffic that will get you, but I like your blog a lot and hopefully some of my readers will stop by here.

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      • Rich, call me a masochist, but I kind of like the idea of the Beatles with an extended drum solo!

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      • It certainly would’ve been a different approach for The Beatles, Mike. I’m sure if I thought about it I could’ve come up with something clever, but that was the best I could do off the top of my head.

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      • I think Ginger would be good in any group – but I read an interview with him in Rolling Stone magazine and he came across as highly cantankerous.

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      • Ginger’s always been a grumpy old man, even when he was a young man. I’ve read many interviews where he puts down other musicians, mostly the ones who were more successful or who get rated higher in “best musician” polls. I seem to remember him claiming that John Bonham wasn’t any special. Bonham admittedly was inspired by Ginger, and even used some of his tricks, but that’s what all great musicians do.

        I think my favorite Ginger performance is T.U.S.A. by Masters of Reality. There’s a British restaurant in New York City that posted the lyrics handwritten by Ginger on their wall.

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      • By the way, I love that there’s a restaurant in New York that has (presumably) “Pour boiling water over the tea / How simple and clear can instructions be…” on the wall. Do you know which restaurant?

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      • I believe it’s called Tea & Sympathy. I haven’t been there in at least 7-8 years, so I can’t confirm that Ginger’s quote is still on the wall…or if the place is even still there. I used to go there with an Anglophile friend who didn’t care about Cream or Masters Of Reality, but he loved Ginger’s song and still quotes it any time he drinks tea.

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      • No idea who Taylor Dane is. Sounds like I need to keep it that way.
        Love Ginger Baker. Heard his work with Fela Kuti?
        You’re on my blogroll too – thanks for doing the same.

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      • Taylor Dayne had some huge dance hits in the US in the late 80s. I was never a fan, although she did have an impressive voice, but I immediately loved her cover of that Barry White song (which came out in ’93). I think it was her last hit. You’re definitely not missing much, unless you’re into that sort of music (think a female Rick Astley).

        I have heard some of Ginger Baker’s work with Fela Kuti although I don’t own it. I do have several Fela albums and they’re all amazing. I’m glad Ginger helped bring him some recognition.

        Thanks for including me on your blogroll. It’s nice to have such a supportive blogging community here.

        Like

      • THE ROCK is the tie that binds us all together, Rich! Hopefully we have helped each other discover some albums missing in our collections.

        Now if you’ll excuse me, the local mall has all the Frank Zappa albums on sale, two for $18, and at that price (and with a gift card in my pocket) I think I need to go buy four!

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      • You’re right about THE ROCK, Mike (and I assume we’re not talking about the wrestler/actor, or the Nicolas Cage/Sean Connery movie).

        Ooh, that’s a great deal on the Zappa CDs. I already own about 40 Zappa CDs, mostly the Ryko versions that were released in the ’80s. I know the majority of the reissues are supposed to sound significantly better, but I can’t bring myself to spend more money on stuff I already own. I try to do that only with my favorite artists, and Zappa is right on the outskirts of that list. Most people would find it hard to imagine owning 40+ albums by someone who’s not a favorite artist, but that’s the life of a music obsessive. I know you guys understand.

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      • I only own 6 or 7, and none of the You Can’t Do That On Stage series. So this is a perfect opportunity to get great music at a cheap price. We used to sell the Ryko albums for $12.99 each, USED, in our stores. Now I can get them two for $18, brand new! Unreal. How times have changed.

        I already bought Live In New York yesterday as a Christmas gift for my sister. Her band used to perform The Black Page live, so I figured it was a great gift idea. But as soon as I walked out, I thought, “I should have got some for myself too.”

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      • Which ones are you starting with? I always found Zappa to be the most difficult artist to recommend to other people, since he covered so many different styles over his career, and he doesn’t have one or two defining albums like most other popular artists. Of course, we all have our favorites, and mine are mostly from the ’70s (with one earlier): Hot Rats, Fillmore East, Waka/Jawaka, Zoot Allures, Roxy & Elsewhere, Joe’s Garage and the Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar series.

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      • I’ll let you know when I get home! They didn’t have Joe’s Garage yesterday, but I am definitely going to get a You Can’t Do That On Stage.

        I already have Sheik Yerbouti and Ship Arriving Too Late as well as some compilations.

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      • I’ve always been puzzled by Zappa compilations, as they must be completely schizophrenic. They’re good for people who already know the music, but I imagine someone just getting into him wouldn’t know what hit them. I have digital copies of the You Can’t Do That On Stage series which I copied from a friend’s CDs, and every one of them is worth hearing. Whatever you end up with, enjoy them.

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      • I decided on Shut Up & Play Yer Guitar, and Guitar, as well as the new Steve Harris album. Why not.

        The compilations I have are interesting. I have one that is a “celebrity” compilation. It’s from a series, tracks chosen by musicians who are fans. I have the one by Larry Lalonde of Primus.

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      • Shut Up N Play Yer Guitar is awesome. I haven’t heard many good things about the Steve Harris album, and the clips I heard didn’t impress me. I’ll be curious to hear what you think.

        As for Zappa compilations, I’m sure they’re interesting & listenable, but it’s still hard for me to imagine a lot of his songs taken out of the context of their original albums.

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      • One cool thing Rich: These new remasters are all numbered along the spine with the official release number. So Shut Up n’ Play Yer Guitar (actually three albums) is #31, 32 and 33. Guitar is #50. I like that touch. Makes for easy filing!

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      • It also makes for a lot of purchases for the completist. Not that we know anyone like that. Haha. The Maiden CDs I own form an image of Eddie on the spines, and there’s a fiery image when all of my Priest CDs are lined up. When I got the Marillion 2-CD reissues, they spell out MARILLION on the spines. I don’t think I have any others like that.

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      • The crummy thing about the Marillions is that albums such as The Thieving Magpie and Real To Reel break up the word! I have the Priest ones, in a nice big box set in fact. I’ll have to post about it later, because it was very limited. It came with the first four remasters but you had to buy the next eight on their own. It took me a while to fill the box, but fill it I did!

        Like

      • In that case, I decided to put The Thieving Magpie immediately after those CDs. I only have Real To Reel on vinyl, so that wasn’t a problem.

        An issue with the Maiden CDs is that they have to be placed in reverse order to form the Eddie picture. It was a great design idea, but they didn’t lay it out correctly.

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      • That was because of how they stacked in the Eddie’s Head Box. They stacked on top of each other from the debut down. Bit rubbish.

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      • I love when CDs do that! The ELP remasters had a spin picture of their logo but that meant you were tempted to venture further into their career than strictly necessesary!

        The Gillan and Ian Gillan Band reissues over here have a picture of the great man. The recent Carcass reissues have a hilariously drab picture of the band. One of the members is carrying a plastic bag!?

        The Saxon reissues have a cool Saxon eagle…

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    • Thanks Rich – and keep up the great work!
      Bono is a decent call. Irony or not, he looked pretty ridiculous.

      Like

  12. Random comment: Try “One size fits all” by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention – tremendous entry point; great album, great lineup, holds up extremely well over time, Musicianship out the wazoo over vocal pontificating, and so on. Check it out!

    Like

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