Friday, October 27, 2006


grown up all wrong

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the group in the photo is the rolling stones. if you lived in england in the early 60s practically the only chance you got to hear the cool blues and soul stuff from america was in the stones covers.

they had one of their first hits with this willie dixon song:

Willie Dixon: Little Red Rooster

here's willie:

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they also covered a few otis redding songs. here's one of them:

Otis Redding: That's How Strong my Love Is

otis didn't write that one. it was written by a guy called Roosevelt Jamison (but that's another story).

here's otis:

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i won't bother posting the stones versions. it's not like they need the publicity or anything, right?

Thursday, October 26, 2006


you can't judge right from looking at the wrong

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bo diddley released this song in 1962: You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover, but if you lived in england at the time you were never going to hear it.

if, however, you lived in a big city and there were cool groups playing in local clubs you might just get to hear a decent facsimile.

the bo diddley number - it was actually written by willie dixon, but that's another story - was covered by every group worth its salt in newcastle, belfast and london. and if you lived in liverpool you may have caught these guys:

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doing this version: The Merseybeats, 1963, You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover

if you listen carefully you'll hear them having problems with the cane/man rhyme.

some things you just cain't copy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


i hate the white man and the man who turned him loose

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so much great stuff came out of this house before they painted it blue and white. it was all black back then. listen to this, for example:

Stevie Wonder, 1965: Uptight

there's so much going on in this song. that motown bass, the cool drums, the raucous brass, the lead guitar chunkle. then you have that amazing vocal, and the lyrics giving you a frisson-inducing invitation to partake in black jive talk.

of course the white trash guys got it all wrong as usual, and "uptight" became a negative word instead of a positive one.

those honkeys, right? bad drugs, bad grasp of language. makes you wonder how they ever ended up with that sense of superiority.

i guess if you're a white trash loser with a soul-destroying job it makes you feel good to see a black guy bumming on the corner.

Monday, October 23, 2006


i looked around but i noticed there wasn't a chair

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the guy in the funny hat is norwegian. his name is Eyolf Ostrem (pronounced Ralph Eustrheum). he has one of the best sites on the whole internet.

as there's absolutely nothing to do in norway - the winter lasts for 8 months and they have that 24 hour a day night thing - people just stay home, concentrate on their hobbies, and publish the results on their websites. which is great if their hobby is also your hobby. eyolf's hobby is bob dylan. but also john lennon. and paul and george, too (you can also find their songs on the site).

what eyolf does is work out all the chords and the actual words for all the different versions of dylan's songs and post them on his site, so if you want to play a song on your guitar you just click on the appropriate page and bob's your uncle.

here's the link: Dylanchords

i guess you're wondering why eyolf's chords and words are better than the chords and words you find on other sites, right? well, they're better because he gets them right.

dylan's official lyrics, for example, are nothing like the actual words he sings. he sort of polishes them up a bit, turning the ain'ts into isn'ts, and correcting his spelling mistakes and stuff. so it looks better on the page, i guess.

anyway, eyolf nails the lyrics usually, and if he doesn't know something he tells you instead of just making it up like crap sites do.

he also gets the chords right, too. and if you notice something wrong you can email him and if he thinks you're right, he'll change it.

as i said there's absolutely nothing to do in norway.

eyolf also writes long, intellectual articles about dylan - there's a selection of them on the site - but that's not the sort of stuff the manho blog is interested in, right?

keep it simple, keep it funny. that's the manho motto.

photo of viking helmet:

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here's a cool song for eyolf to thank him for the great service he offers to us lesser musical mortals:

The Spencer Davis Group, Live 1997: Norwegian Wood

Saturday, October 21, 2006


rollin' and tumblin'

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in 1911, when he recorded this song:

Harry Champion: I'm Henery the Eighth

harry champion was one of the most famous performers in england. music hall. these guys were the equivalent of the blues performers in america at the time. entertainers for the working class. just that the working class in 1911 in england happened to be white.

and, just like their black brothers in america, when the 60s came along there were young guys with no original ideas of their own looking to rip off their songs. just like they did with the black blues guys.

here's herman's hermits:

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in 1965, doing their version of champion's classic:

Herman's Hermits: I'm Henry V111, I Am

i could have found a better photo of the hermits but they don't deserve it, right?

Friday, October 20, 2006


i don't believe illusions too much is a real

like all cultural movements punk was both good and bad. bad because it created thousands of sex pistol clones. good because it created the pistols. or was it created by the pistols?

i remember reading about this guy at the time:

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imagine it: his career's down the pan, he's over in california hustling his ass around the studios for a record deal, and he gets this phone call saying, hey willie, hitch a ride back to new york city, man, there's something happening here and you don't know what it is but you could well make a few quick bucks out of it. so willie jets back to nyc and cuts the record of his life. like, the guy throws everything in, kitchen sink and velvet curtains included. great song though if you don't get too deconstructivist about the lyrics:

Mink DeVille: Spanish Stroll

yeah, willie got his big break thanks to johnny and syd but he never made much of it. spanish stroll was his swan song. other guys like willie got in on the punk bandwagon, too. some good , some bad, as usual. iggy got his second wind but creeps like elvis costello sneaked in through the cool guy window instead of pop-charting it as his nature intended.

lots of bad acts got cheap attitude from the punk explosion.

and was punk english or american? well, 70s punk was english (in fact, it was just one group), but the roots - as always - go back to america.

where did punk start? check out this guy. he got a new lease of life thanks to the pistols, too. but he'd been doing it 20 years earlier. and he'd influenced the who. and if the who didn't create the pistols then who did?

here's yer man, as the irish say:

Link Ray, 1977

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


charlie's good tonight, innee?

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chuck is 80 today.

i remember cooler kids than me in my school talking about him and buddy holly in what must have been 1960. i was too young to appreciate chuck's mid 50s string of classics. none of those songs were big hits in england, though i do have vague memories of hearing sweet little sixteen and memphis tennessee on radio luxembourg. the great chuck era for me was 1964. in one year he released, no particular place to go, nadine, you never can tell, and promised land.

there were also the covers coming out in that period: beatles, stones, buddy holly's version of brown eyed handsome man. the early to mid 60s was pretty much chuck's golden age. not for the songs, necessarily - the mid 50s probably saw more great songs - but he was finally getting the recognition. he was everywhere you looked or listened.

been listening now for 45 years. chuck is just about the only guy who makes me want to get up and dance.

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thanks for the ride, man, it was great.

Chuck Berry, 1957, Chess Records: Rock and Roll Music

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


hi ho silver lining and away we go

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"Come on, Silver, it's only a fuckin' broken leg"

here's a great western web resource: Cowboys We Loved

and here's a cool cowboy song:

Roy Rogers: A Four Legged Friend

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Laurel & Hardy--The Music Box Steps: Then & Now

by Glenn Cripes

In December of 1931 in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles Laurel & Hardy made The Music Box. It went on to win the Oscar for Best Short Subject in 1932. Despite Stan and Ollie both being in the midst of painful divorces, the men were at the peak of their artistry.

Watch The Music Box here on Google Video.

Susie the horse pulls up on Del Monte St

The same corner in 2006

The location of these steps was a mystery for quite a while. In 1955 a fan wrote Stan Laurel a letter asking about their location. Laurel wrote back: '"Yes, they Hollywood Boulevard. They would be hard to find now I imagine, due to so many houses being built around them, and also many of those sections have been cleared to make way for new freeways. I really don't think I would know where they are -- things have changed so much in recent years."

In 1969, actor Billy Gilbert offered to help.
Billy Gilbert
Mr. Gilbert, a very nice man by all accounts, took a group of fans to an outdoor staircase in Silver Lake. Problem was, it wasn't the right one. Memories are like that. In the late '70s sharp eyed fan Richard Bann noticed a street sign in this scene:

See street sign in upper right corner--mystery solved

The view in 2006

So Stan was close. The staircase was just off Sunset Boulevard at 923 Vendome Street. In 1994 a sign and a plaque were placed at this location.

Other reports on the internet about The Music Box Steps have mentioned things like gang graffiti and snarling dogs behind fences along the steps, but I found the neighborhood to be quite pleasant, except for the guy working on his car who kept me from getting the precise angle I wanted to take this 'then and now' shot:

Up the steps:

Excuse me Mr. Cripes...what about this house behind me? How about a picture of that?

In the above pic, Stan & Ollie are almost at the top of the steps. This is the front of that house today:

You can see the back porch archway of the house in this side view

It looks like an ok place to live. LA kicks ass.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


you and i have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead

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it's sicily. it's 2006. it's 7 o'clock in the evening. almost prime time tv. it's stan and ollie (or stanlio e olio as they're called here). they're still makin em laff. and how.

chaplin didn't make the cut so you can imagine what happened to keaton and lloyd and the keystone kops. forgotten. only auteur film bullshitters praise chaplin today. like, who the fuck wants pathos? kids don't laugh at pathos. even chaplin's knockabout stuff is a bit dated. slow. and as for his talkie stuff... well, none of those guys really made the leap from silents to talkies.

apart from stan and ollie.

none of the big producer and distributor names behind stan and ollie's stuff are pushing for cult status, or hall of fame entry. they're too busy selling them all around the world as a modern product. they've even colourised them. generation after generation love laurel and hardy. they're the beatles of comedy.

they could do everything, too. sing and dance, slapstick, verbal comedy, surreal sketches. no limits.

here's ollie singing. it doesn't get any better than this:

Laurel & Hardy: Shine On Harvest Moon

someone should check out stan and ollie. go back to the roots or something. do a bit of research. but who do we know who is crazy enough to do it?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


history is written by the rca victors

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i first heard the name tommy johnson reading some book or other by robert crumb. he had tommy down as the guy who made the pact with the devil at the crossroads. but surely that was robert johnson? that's what i grew up believing.

i wasn't gonna pick no fight with crumb, though. he is the boss.

anyway, robert's fame didn't stop tommy from having his own convoluted influence on the blues scene, even though you'd have to go digging to find out about him. he wrote a song called canned heat blues and a bunch of revivalist geeks in california ripped off the name for their group. they also ripped off all his musical ideas.

canned heat were pretty cool, too, though.

i guess tommy was also ripping somebody off back in the day. could even have been someone white because those slaves sure weren't speaking english and singing gospel when they were herded off the ships and dragged to the market.

you got to give a little, take a little...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


the city that never sleeps

if you live in london you're gonna get to see bruce when he's touring europe and if you live in milan you'll get to see bruce too, and probably madonna.

if you live in berlin you might get to see bruce or you might not. but you'll get to see madonna. whatever, you'll get to see someone big.

if you live in a big city you'll get to see stuff that you won't get to see if you live in sac city, idaho. let's face it the only act you're gonna get to see in sac city is bob dylan, cos he plays everywhere, every few weeks.

anyway, if you live in those big cities you get good stuff sometimes, but only if you live in one place in the world will you ever get to see something like this:

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like, you're strolling past carnegie hall and you hear something's going on inside so you go in and there's a impromptu performance of the greatest pop song ever written with a cool guest star doing a bit of harmony.

you only get stuff like this in one place.

cos it's the capital of the world.

Ray Davies (with David Bowie): Waterloo Sunset. Carnegie Hall, 2003

Sunday, October 08, 2006


the garbage and the flowers

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you come out of the tube station and there he is... the scruffy useless dork playing suzanne on a cheap guitar, right?

and you get to thinking, what a crap song. but it's not the song it's because you've heard it sung badly so many times.

check out this version:

Nina Simone: Suzanne

so good you'd almost think about throwing her a tanner.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


tu sus?

ok, the aussie leg of manho's cool crooning from the colonies series is over. next stop, the royal protectorate of canada.

if you asked the average canadian musician the question in the title of today's blog entry the answer would almost certainly be, oui, certamente. innit. but here's one canadian act who recorded a song that didn't wear out your gums:

Kate & Anna McGarrigle: Complainte pour Ste Catherine

whereas ruby & the romantics were one hit wonders, kate and anna were one song wonders. it's a great track but don't make the mistake of listening to any more of their music. it's strictly slashing your veins stuff. makes leonard cohen sound like arthur askey.

here's a photo of the girls trying to commit suicide:

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Friday, October 06, 2006


you can't judge a sister by looking at the brother

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you take a chick like cyndi lauper and to look at her you'd think she's just some superficial dance-a-rama type, right? but then she wrote this song and next thing you know miles davis is playing it.

doesn't get any better than that.

Miles Davis: Time After Time

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


our day will come

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ruby & the romantics, remember them? not many people do. their number one smash hit Our Day Will Come was released in america in february, 1963.

the song sort of summed up the feel of the time. that cool bossa nova beat, great production, ruby could sure carry a tune, top of the charts for six weeks or something.

they never had another hit.

another single was released in america the same month. february, 1963. it was a flop.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006


sleepin' with the fishes

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chill out time here at the manho blog. here's two cool cats takin' a break...

Satchmo & Bing: Gone Fishin'

Monday, October 02, 2006


great shaving moments in history: #1

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Sunday, October 01, 2006


let them eat cake

this just arrived at the manho foreign desk from reuters:

Dog owners warned over sugar-free items
Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:46 AM BST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Keep those sugarless treats out of Fido's reach. Veterinarians warned on Friday that a commonly used sweetener might cause liver failure in dogs, and perhaps even kill them.

Their report in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association appears to strengthen the suspected link between the sugar substitute xylitol, thought to make dogs sick, and possible liver failure.

Xylitol, a naturally occurring product, is found in many sugar-free chewing gums, candies, baked goods and toothpastes.

Researchers Sharon Gwaltney-Brant and Eric Dunayer with staff at a poison unit of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Urbana, Illinois, gathered information on eight dogs treated between 2003 and 2005 after eating products containing xylitol.

Each dog became ill, and five died or had to be put down because of liver failure, possibly from ingesting xylitol.

One dog who had to be euthanized had eaten four large, chocolate-frosted muffins containing about 1 pound (0.45 kg) of xylitol.

"People don't think sugar-free gum can kill their dog. I didn't before I got into this. But this is something people should be aware of," Gwaltney-Brant, who co-authored the study with Dunayer, said in a statement.

Gwaltney-Brant said for dogs, ingesting even a small amount of xylitol can trigger significant insulin release, which drops their blood sugar and can be fatal.

"A 22-pound (10-kg) dog who consumes one gram (0.03 ounces) of xylitol should be treated," she said, adding that further studies were needed to definitely establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

like, is it just me, or is this serious proof that once respected news agencies like reuters and the bbc have lost the plot?

check it out:

5 dogs dead over a 2 year period from eating sugarless chewing gum? is this worth reporting?

euthanized? is this a real word?

people don't think sugar-free gum can kill their dog. i didn't before i got into this? like, got into what?

here's the australian song of the week:

Rambling Syd Rumpo: Song of the Australian Outlaw

and here's a photo of rambling syd:

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