The Chain #51

“Just one week off, please, one week where nothing happens to get my goat, one week where I can post something nice and positive of a Saturday morning. That’s all I ask,” I wrote last week.

A tap on the shoulder from my alter ego.

“There’s always The Chain, which you moved to a Saturday morning…”

Ohhhh yes. Totally forgot about that!

And so I revisited the last post I did in The Chain, and find it was so long ago – December 2020 – that I had the audacity to mention Spurs winning a game of kickball, which hasn’t aged at all well.

So, let’s pick up where we left off all those months ago, with the next record in The Chain that I invited suggestions for. This record:

The Coasters – Charlie Brown

OK, so you can probably guess where most of the suggestions stem from, but we’ll start off with a suggestion by George (not of ASDA).

“Two members of The Coasters used to be in The Robins, who’s best song, and this will undoubtedly be the best song on the next Chain, was Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Which was written by Leiber and Stoller.”

Undoubtedly (we’ll see….):

The Robins – Smokey Joe’s Cafe

So, slightly obscure link dispensed with, let’s address the elephant in the room. There are at least two Charlie Browns, the one in the Coasters song of the same name, and the one that we’re probably all more familiar with, from the Peanuts cartoon.

So let’s kick off properly with songs which reference Charlie Brown, and I’ll hand over to Hal, who explains and suggests thusly: Thirty years ago (30 years FFS…) Jim Bob & Fruit Bat released 101 Damnations which featured…:

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Good Grief Charlie Brown

Hal’s “FFS” is of course Young People Speak for “For Flip’s Sake” [Are you sure about this?- Ed], and is often used when one encounters an anniversary of an event considered to have occurred relatively recently, but which transpires to have actually been much earlier, thereby adding to our feelings of old age and past-it-ness. Don’t be fooled by Hal’s use of Young People Speak, for he is as old as we are, which is why he can conjure up such selections from hitherto forgotten bands such as Carter USM (as I believe the “kids” on “the” “street” refer to them these days, if they do at all).

Hal is to be celebrated for refusing to accept that thirty years have passed since that monumental occasion, oft referred to in history books, as the year of Our Lord 19 Hundred and Ninety, the year Carter USM released their debut album.

And he’s right to refuse to accept this, because as the album came out in January 1990, it’s actually 31 years now. Sorry, Hal!

Staying on the Charlie Brown link, here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area who not only suggests a song linked to our favourite wibble-mouthed cartoon character, he also introduces a much needed touch of class:

Echo and the Bunnymen’s Bring On The Dancing Horses covers Charlie Brown in its first 2 lines via Jimmy Brown and Charlie Clown…

Jimmy Brown Made Of Stone

Charlie Clown No Way Home

Echo & The Bunnymen – Bring On The Dancing Horses

But here’s Rigid Digit, dragging us back into Carter USM territory:

Carter USM’s Falling On A Bruise includes the line: “You win some and you lose some, you save nothing, nothing for a rainy day, You need your nutra-sweet daddy or some Peppermint Patty”

Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Falling on a Bruise

Perhaps I should explain. Charlie Brown, as well as being the hapless character in The Coasters records, shares his name with a character in a cartoon written by Shultz called Peanuts.

Cue the next suggestion from Rigid Digit:

Ok, maybe not that Peanuts…

…or this one, suggested by Phonic Pat:

Warmduscher – Disco Peanuts

…but within the cartoon strip known as Peanuts, there are many characters who do have their names crop up in songs. Peppermint Patty is one of them, and here she is again, courtesy of TheRobster:

And then there’s Nobody Speak by DJ Shadow & Run The Jewels which includes the line “I walk Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Linus and Lucy / Put coke in the doobie roll moodies to smoke with Snoopy'”

DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels – Nobody Speak

Who else? Well, The Robster doesn’t stop there, trotting out a litany of characters:

Joni Mitchell – Woodstock

Lou Reed – Sally Can’t Dance

Incredibly, since they only made (if you’re feeling generous) two decent records ever, this lot appear for the second edition on the trot:

Hole – Violet

The Beatles – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Thank you and good luck with your auditions, indeed.

The Royal Guardsmen – Snoopy vs. The Red Baron

There was also a band called Linus, continues TheRobster, but I don’t know much about them. Me neither, and I’m not going to do your research for you.

Another Peanuts character, picks up the Devonian, is Lucy Van Pelt, whose name was taken for a Japanese indiepop band, and then they had a trademark issue with whoever owned Peanuts after Charles Schultz died, so they changed it to Advantage Lucy instead. But from their days as Lucy Van Pelt, I’ll suggest:

Lucy Van Pelt – Hammock Waltz

Now when somebody describes a band as being “Japanese indiepop“, I had a pre-conceived idea of what they might sound like, but it was nothing like that. And that’s a good thing – my favourite “never heard of this lot before, must explore” record of the month.

And then there’s the eponymous Charlie Brown himself, or, as Phonic Pat deliberately mis-spells it to get it fit his next suggestion, Charly:

The Prodigy – Charly

Along with his already aired suggestion Rigid Digit also laid claim to some other records being linked, which weren’t (unless I were to allow pun-related tunes, which I might be minded to if we were a little short on the ground of suggestions, which we’re not), so I’m afraid Hang on Snoopy (because it’s Sloopy, not Snoopy) and Oasis’ Don’t Look Back in Anger (because he admits to making up that the line “And so Sally can wait” was written after Noel Gallagher had been watching an episode of Charlie Brown), are both disqualified.

However, nothing wrong with his two Brown suggestions, even if he does claim that they are both related to Charlie’s non-existent siblings:

Jim Croce – Bad, Bad Leroy Brown


Frank Zappa – Bobby Brown Goes Down

Maybe Whitney would still be alive if that were true.

And here’s another Brown suggestion, courtesy of Phonic Pat:

The Pogues – A Pair Of Brown Eyes

Devonian is back, with this suggestion: As nobody’s said it yet, “Charlie Brown” is not the only hit song to make use of the hookline “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?”. There’s also

Bloodhound Gang – Why’s Everybody Always Pickin’ on Me?

I imagine nobody else had suggested that because of the “impression” of a disabled person at the start of it.

Fortuitously, here’s The Great Gog to save us: The phrase “Why’s Everybody Always Picking On Me?” that features in Charlie Brown also appears in this:

The Rainmakers – Let My People Go-Go

I bloody love that record.

Finally, says Phonic Pat, somewhat presumptuously, but I like this suggestion a lot, so I’ll let it slide, linking the trombone sound the adults make in the Peanuts films, how about a trombone take on the Pixies?

Alice Donut – Where Is My Mind

Over to Stevie from Charity Chic now, who has two suggestions for us:

Best Coast – Boyfriend


Coast to Coast – (Do) The Hucklebuck

Although I get the impression he’s not proud of the second choice, as he signs off with the words “I’ll get my coat.” No need, Stevie, really: all of those rock’n’roll and doo-wop records of the late 70s and early 80s were my introduction to pop music, and I have a soft spot for them all, from Shakin’ Stevens to The Stray Cats, from Coast to Coast to Rocky Sharpe and The Replays.

What Stevie has inadvertently done there is lead us seamlessly into those suggestions which consider the Coast aspect of the source record, and here’s The Great Gog with another couple:

I also wonder what type of Coaster the band were named after. A mat on which one places a drink, a person that lives by the sea or a fairground ride? Assuming the latter, we could have:

The Jesus and Mary Chain – Rollercoaster

I personally wouldn’t, GG continues, but you may want to include:

Ronan Keating – Life Is A Rollercoaster

God, that’s nauseating. Let’s cleanse the palate, sharpish:

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Love Rollercoaster


Belle & Sebastian – The Rollercoaster Ride

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Crikey, he’s been a bit quiet with his own suggestions this time. And you’d be right. Those last two were mine, and so are all of the rest left to go, all of which are Coast-related. To say I picked up on that and ran with it would be an understatement. So strap yourselves in, here we go:

Broken Social Scene – 7/4 (Shoreline)

Laura Cantrell – Queen of the Coast

Maximo Park – The Coast Is Always Changing

Midfield General – Coastnoise (Dave Clarke remix)

Blood Orange – Champagne Coast

If I was still giving out points, I’d have to consider giving myself one for that double coast link as a double pointer.

Now, some parts of the coast have a beach, some have other geographical characteristics. Where there’s a beach, they tend to fall into two general categories: ones made up of pebbles:

Pebbles – Girlfriend

or stones, if you prefer:

The Rolling Stones – The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man

Seriously, if I was still giving out points, I’d have to consider giving myself one for that Stones/coast link as a double pointer.

And the second type of beach, after pebbles/stones? Why, a sandy shore, of course!

Sandie Shaw – Long Live Love

And close to some coast lines, you’ll find the occasional Cliff:

Cliff Richard and The Young Ones – Living Doll

Now, earlier this week it would have been the comic genius Rik Mayall’s birthday, so indulge me for a minute will you?

Thank you.

Here’s the moment from the final episode of The Young Ones where it all goes utterly utterly wrong:

Here’s the video for the song:

And here’s the gang performing it live for Comic Relief:

And best of all, here’s the speech Rik gave when he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. If you’ve never seen this before, I’d heartily recommend you take ten minutes to watch it:

All that leaves me to do is to announce the source record for next time’s edition, and to express some sympathy to The Robster, who picked the wrong version of the right song:

Matthews Southern Comfort – Woodstock

Suggestions via the Comments section below please!

More soon.

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24 thoughts on “The Chain #51”

  1. I got a bit confused – you listed my suggestions, then quoted Devonian who I didn’t immediately realise wasn’t you referring to me also (being a Devonian myself, as you know). I thought “I really don’t remember suggesting that, I’ve never heard of it…”

    I’m going to kick off using the band’s name. Seeing as Southern Comfort is an alcoholic drink, I thought of Cerys Matthews ‘Chardonnay’. Then there’s the fact Woodstock was a festival so another song about a festival is ‘Glastonbury Song by the Waterboys.

    Finally, Glastonbury Festival was originally called Glastonbury Fayre. The Ian Matthews of Matthews Southern Comfort was originally the co-vocalist in Fairport Convention. So how a bout the Fairport’s version of ‘She Moves Through The Fair’?

    (By the way, your Rik Mayall clip isn’t working…)

    1. Ah, I realise you misread, rather than me fecking up. And the Rik link seems to work fine – anyone else having an issue with it…?

  2. Taking “Comfort” from the band name leads me to Comfort & Joy, the film by Bill Forsyth, about ice-cream wars on Glasgow, which leads me to Ice Cream For Crow, the Captain Beefheart album, which has some great song titles (and songs) one of which is Hey Garland I dig your tweed coat.

  3. I was going to take Southern from the band name, but it led me to Southern Death Cult. SO I’m not doing that

  4. I’m going to focus on Woodstock. My first thought was ‘Isn’t A Forest basically a Woodstock?’ so I’ll suggest that one, do I need to say it was by The Cure?
    Then I thought, a Lumber Yard would also be a Woodstock, which took me to my next one, but in the meantime I was then reminded of Monty Python’s I’m a Lumberjack.
    The one that I thought about after the Cure track was Canada’s own The Dave Howard Singers & his repetitive Yon Yonson so I’ll suggest that (Though now I think of repetitive songs O Superman has entered my head…)

  5. Ian Matthews real surname is McDonald.
    Another Ian McDonald was active at the same time, playing with King Crimson.
    As a result of that, I nominate one of Robert Fripp’s and Toyah’s Sunday Lunch Lockdown Cover Versions.

    Or maybe just the absolutely brilliant 21st Century Schizoid Man

  6. Another one, Jez? From Woodstock to those 1970s popsters with the hats……Taking the Matthews from the band, leads to Stanley Matthews, the footballer. And Stanley Matthews was re-signed to Stoke City in 1961 by Tony Waddington. And Tony Waddington is also the name of one of the writers of….Sugar Baby Love, sung by The Ruibettes (the popsters with hats).

  7. There’s a pub (a building that used to sell beer and snacks to the public) in Didsbury (a suburb of south Manchester) called The Woodstock. I’m pretty sure that it was in this pub that Shaun Ryder and Kermit are filmed in a Black Grape documentary drinking and writing the chorus to Kelly’s Heroes

    Jesus was a black man
    No Jesus was Batman
    No, no, that was Bruce Wayne.

    So, Kelly’s Heroes.

    Less tenuously but still a link CSN and Y released a song called Woodstock about the festival which was written by Joni Mitchell in which she articulates the hippy dream (just before it died)

    We are stardust, we are golden
    We are billion-year-old carbon
    And we got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden

  8. Woodstock inspired the name of Madness’s very own occasional festival Madstock, and therefore also of the live album they recorded at the first such event. Unsurprisingly it’s mostly a greatest hits set but it concludes with a cover of “The Harder They Come”. It’s not a particularly amazing version but I’ll nominate it nevertheless.

  9. My youngest son is a Matthew so I feel duty bound to follow that route. One which I’d play to him when he was younger was Cat Stevens’ “Matthew & Son” – although it is my older son who is actually the one with the Cat / Yusuf tracks on his playlist.
    One I didn’t bother him with at the time, as I didn’t have it, was the rather odd “Hey Matthew” by Karel Fialka. One of those records that leaves you scratching your head as to how on earth it was a hit.
    The only other song I have with Matthew in the title may have featured previously as it’s Half Man Half Biscuit and “Tonight Matthew I’m Going To Be With Jesus”. Neither of my lads gets HMHB – apart from “National Shite Day” and the mallet, mullet, Milletts line.

    1. It is a short hop from Comfort to Comforter and from there an even shorter hop to the Grandaddy album The Broken Down Comforter Collection which in turn leads to The Broken Family Band with Queen of the Sea

  10. cracking work as always jez. lucy van pelt well worth checking out. picking up on half man half biscuit (they have a song for every occasion) how about running order squabble fest from this leaden pall, a frequent festival dilemma. woodstock, a festival and a song, as is velvet undergrounds, all tomorrows parties and the ramonoes, rockaway beach (although, admittedly the festivals came several years after the songs). also, thinking about cartoon birds, how about kowalski, a penguin from madagascar and fine song by primal scream. cheers. pat

  11. Woodstock was the name of a song by Joni Mitchell, later covered by John Otway who is perhaps remembered more fondly for his 1977 song with ‘Wild Willy’ Barrett ‘Cor Baby, That’s Really Free’. Which brings to mind Really Free Band, a ‘Christian rock’ band. Rock is of course the Devil’s music, and therefore the very term ‘Christian Rock’ sits uneasily with me. So, let’s run with Free, a band that didn’t play at Woodstock but did play the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. Which was a bit like a British Woodstock (No it wasn’t – ed). On the same bill on the night that they played was Joan Baez, who did perform at Woodstock. She and Bob Dylan had a bit of a thing going and after that went south reputed wrote ‘Diamonds and Rust’ alluding to the relationship. Dylan’s own ‘It’s all Over Now, Baby Blue’ may also relate to the relationship and indeed was covered by Baez herself (Doubtful and get to the point – ed). Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Echo & the Bunnymen and ‘It’s all Over Now Baby Blue.’

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