Blimey is that the time?
Alright, alright, alright, already, we’re back, a week later than intended, but restored back to our rightful place on a Wednesday night. This was of course always the plan come 2017, and has absolutely nothing to do with Spurs getting knocked out of the Champions League and into the UEFA Europa League, where they’ll be playing their games on Thursday nights.
So those of you with exceptionally long memories will recall that at the end of The Chain #34,we were left with Malcom McLaren’s “Buffalo Gals” as the record to link to, and as usual the suggestions were many, varied and fell into on of a couple of different categories. They also include a veritable menagerie of different animals; not just buffalos, but cows, crawfish, ducklings, swans, an elk, a moose (and probably a mouse), an ostrich, and cartoon cats, canaries and flying squirrels. We’ll hear from (or mention in passing) all of these, whilst also visiting a sex shop and engaging in some Morris Dancing. Now that’s what I call fulfilling my diversity quota.
And before we go any further, I should point out that one of you gets very close indeed to guessing what the next record in The Chain – right act, wrong song, as is (apparently) so often muttered from the judges’ chairs on The X Factor.
So let’s kick things off by working through the more obvious bunch first – those that linked to “Buffalo”, and even these can be split down into two further sub-categories: those that link to Buffalo (the animal) and those that link to Buffalo (the place).
First up, is Jules from Music From Magazines who, bless him, doesn’t seem to want to let the Christmas feeling go just yet:
“…just one last go at a Christmas/NYE drunk sing along…”
Jules, you sent me this on January 3rd, mate.
“…’Go Buffalo’ is a cracking number by Like Swimming…”
“Someone who doesn’t like swimming is Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk as featured in ‘Aqua Boogie’ by Parliament, the 12″ version of which was only pressed on one side (no B side to enjoy once and then ignore ).”
Hold on, he’s not done yet:
“Now this is memory based, but a famous artist, entrepreneur and kiddy fiddler (hell he tried to entice my kid brother into his Roller on the Kings Road I later found out) wanted to release only single sided 45s on his UK label.”
It’s usually at about this point that I would start glancing round the bus to see if I have any chance of escape from the conversation.
“Jonathan King discovered Genesis with Peter Gabriel as a member which can only go to one place…”
I dunno about you lot, but the suspense is killing me.
“The The’s ‘Angel Of Deception’
I do the jokes. And I love the album that’s from, although some of the songs haven’t really aged all that well:
So where’s the one other place that we can go to……?
“Robbie Williams – ‘Angels'”
I can’t really scoff at this. Sitting in the bar at a family wedding around twenty years ago, I led the gathering in a heart-felt rendition of this. About seven times. What little hair I have left still bristles at the memory.
My favourite Robbie moment, however, was this, when he made a guest appearance in the BBC studios at the football World Cup 1998, and was ceremoniously taken down a peg or two by Martin O’Neill:
Anyway, let’s rewind, and start back at the beginning. Here, providing not only the first suggestion I received, but getting us going with a Double Linker, it’s The Great Gog:
“Buffalo is an animal that is farmed for its milk, as is a cow. The Wonder Stuff had a sizeable hit with ‘Size Of A Cow’. It just so happens that their lead singer is [popular rhyming slang] Miles Hunt who shares a surname with a racing driver who (rather tidily for this link) won the F1 Drivers Championship driving for McLaren in 1976.”
Next up is The Robster from Is This The Life? who suggests:
“I’m going for a very easy (and slightly obvious) one – ‘Guilty Girls’ by Buffalo Tom. No cryptic, convoluted link needed. They’re one of my favourite bands and that’s good enough for me!”
Mine too, Rob, though I have to admit to kinda losing track of them after the double-whammy of “Let Me Come Over” and “Big Red Letter Day”, so a nod towards some of their later stuff is much appreciated. (It’s as I add their name to the Tags and find their name doesn’t auto-enter that I find myself thinking: how the hell have I never featured anything from them before? I know I was going to post “Tailights Fade” a couple of months ago, but was beaten to it by the When You Can’t Remember Anything boys nicking in first. They’ll nick anything those two; you watch, they’ll be starting up a thread where they invite people to suggest records next.) (Psst! – you know I’m kidding, right chaps? And you know that because I’ve already suggested a couple over at your place.)
Speaking of obvious choices, as The Robster was, and since I mentioned When You Can’t Remember Anything, here’s Badger from the very same blog, with one of the three suggestions that I suspected we’d get this week:
“The obvious route is to ‘Buffalo Stance’ by Neneh Cherry.”
And here’s the second one that I expected, from Alyson over at What’s It All About, Alfie?
“From Buffalo Gals to…. “
The third other one that I was expecting to get mentioned, wasn’t, although babylotti came pretty close, as you’ll see in the fullness of time. So I guess, I’d better suggest it:
That song has had various segments of it lifted, quoted, or sampled on many different records over the years, one of my favourites is this, which I seem to associate with a break-dancing Transformer and I’m not sure why: was it in the video? Or used in an advert? Or did I eat far too much cheese before bed one night….?
A change of pace now. No great explanation from Rol of My Top Ten this week:
“Just two suggestions this week. I was going to try for just one, but I can’t decide between the two below:”
In fact, many of the suggestions were pretty brief, once you take out all of the most welcome Christmas and New Year messages, along with all of the very kind things many of you said about this place which I’m far too modest to post here. For example, here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:
“In ‘Burning Lights’, Joe Strummer sings ‘…you are the last of the buffalo…’ and it’s a wilderness years highlight so I’ll nominate that please.”
Over to George now, with a suggestion which comes pretty close to winning the Comment Showboat Award of the week:
“Buffalos have horns, a bony structure on the top of their heads. Another animal with a bony structure on its head is the elk (although they have antlers, but they are still bony), and the elk is also known as a moose. And from my childhood I can recall a lyric featuring the word “moose”, namely “there’s a moose loose aboot this hoose”, which is one of the few lyrics in a song by Lord Rockingham ‘s X1. I think the song is called ‘Hoots Mon’. And I bet everyone will recognise the tune once they play it.”
There’s only one way to find out:
Could I ask my friends North of the Border to clarify something for us, he’s actually saying ‘mouse’ isn’t he….? Not that I’m going to disqualify George’s suggestion, because it definitely sounds like ‘moose’.
George included a link to a video clip to his suggestion, something which made him smile. You know where to go to find that. Instead, in case any of you in the UK were wondering quite where you recognise that song from, I would think it’s maybe from this:
Look out. Jules is back:
“Thanks George for the moose link! Casting my mind back to the cartoon series ‘Rocky and Bullwinkle’ about a flying squirrel and a moose (yes, I know) takes one inevitability to ROCKY with some great tunes. Let’s move on to the star Sylvester Stallone.
Sylvester’s work makes me feel mighty real but I preferred his work with Tweety Pie.”
Over now to Martin, who I think has posted here before, but forgive me Martin, I’m a little rusty. If this is your first time, then we’d all like to offer you a warm Chain Gang welcome, if not, then we’d all like to offer you a warm Chain Gang welcome back.
Anyway, here’s Martin’s suggestion:
“…On the basis that ‘Buffalo Gals’ is a perfect anagram of ‘Bagful of Las’ [and it is, I’ve checked], can I pitch for the ‘There She Goes’ by The La’s, please? Especially if I promise not to resort to anagrams to often…”
Just one more obvious-ish Buffalo link, and it’s another from me. I was about to write that this was one of my favourite records from the past couple of years, until I checked and found out it was released in 2010, and so now I just feel very, very old indeed:
Okay, here comes Dirk from Sexyloser and he’s gonna get all geographic on your asses:
“Loads of great musicians come from Buffalo in the state of New York, located on the eastern shores of Lake Erie at the head of the Niagara River: I trust it’s a fantastic place to go … I mean, I’ve never been there and certainly don’t want to go, but either way …! Where was I? Ah yes, musicians include John Lombardo and Mary Ramsey out of 10,000 Maniacs, so their ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ should be fitting, right?”
“Also Buffalo is a twin town to Dortmund, Germany and I’m sure you all know that Phillip Boa out of Phillip Boa and The Voodoo Club come from Dortmund. If memory serves correctly, he was featured before, but not with ‘Ostrich’, my favourite song of theirs: does that count? I hope it does….”
He has featured here before, Dirk, but you’re right, not with that song, so here you go:
Okay, something a little more…erm…traditional next. This suggestion comes from Jonny, who is definitely a first time poster here, so please all offer him a warm Chain Gang welcome.
The reason I know this is Jonny’s first time posting here, is because he’s an old mate of mine; we went to the same school although, inevitably, I’m a few years older than him so we didn’t know each other then, but we used to work together in the kitchen of a greasy motorway café masquerading as a family restaurant back in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I worked there every holiday throughout college, and ultimately for a year after I graduated, and it Jonny and I forged a great friendship. He was into photography and I enjoyed writing; together we cobbled together a spoof corporate newsletter called “The Crappy Eater” (which gives you a pretty good clue as to the identity of the place we worked in), where we basically took the piss out of and made up shit about our work colleagues. We “accidentally” left it laying around in the staff room one day and…well, some people found it funny, but some of the old dears who worked there were definitely not impressed. Somewhere, buried in a box, somewhere in my flat, I think I have a couple of the articles we wrote. I doubt many of you will be interested as you won’t know the people we’re winding up, but Jonny: if I can find them, I’ll email you copies.
Anyway, one of the reasons that Jonny and I got on so well, apart from the fact that we were amazingly cool gods of the burger griddle, was that we both shared similar music tastes of an indie-ish nature, and it was with Jonny that I ventured to London’s Brixton Academy back in 1992 to see Sonic Youth play promoting their “Dirty” album, ably supported by Pavement and Huggy Bear. Long term readers may recall me writing about it here a long time ago.
So when Jonny sent me a suggestion, I was expecting it would be a really cool blast from the past. I was half right: it was definitely a blast from the past, but also most definitely not really cool.
Over to you Jonny (and I should add, I have had to edit this because I’m not all that familiar with the libel laws so I thought it best I erred on the side of caution):
“So ‘Buffalo Gals’ takes me here (I know the connection is loose and somewhat obscure, but hear me out)” [S’okay, Jonny, I like my connections like I like my women: loose and obscure]
“…back to being a 13 year old, purple legged, lanky piece of shit who was forced on a yearly basis to take part in the school’s Country Dancing display…” [He was quite lanky. I suspect he may have played the part of the Maypole]
“Those Buffalo Gals going round the outside, for me, conjured up images of a scantily clad maths teacher I quite liked the look of prancing round my bed wooing me in for my first sexual experience. Sadly for me, that never happened.
My brief day/wet dream would then be shattered by my then form tutor kicking out the jams with his ‘Molly Dance’. Terrible song. Terrible timing.
But somehow that fucking ‘Molly Dance’ found its way into my record collection and remained there for many a year until in a moment of skint madness I flogged the entire collection of over 700 pieces of carefully chosen vinyl masterpieces for about the amount of a gas bill.”
Anyway, crowbar that in your chain and pull it.”
700 pieces of carefully chosen vinyl masterpieces…and this:
If I may fill in a couple of the blanks: the eponymous Ramblin’ Rod was in fact the Morris Dancing alter-ego of Jonny’s form tutor. And the Morris Van bit is “…a joke, that’s short for ‘vanguard'”, said Ramblin’ Rod in what was probably his only ever interview, which apparently took place at a party where “where Rod and friends were wassailing by dipping buttered toast in cider, then sticking the resulting “soldiers” in every tree trunk they could find.” Sounds like one hell of a party, right?
Before we get into the other big category – links to Malcom McLaren – let’s round up the other suggestions.
Here’s Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense:
“Taking the ‘Girls’ theme [actually, it’s Gals, but since I made the same error in The Chain #34 I’ll let it slide] – a celebration of Girls everywhere; a wonderful piece of late 70s, possibly un-PC, Music Hall-esque nonsense:”
Yeh, it’s definitely not PC, but it’s no (previously featured) “Some Girls” by Racey is it?
There, that didn’t take long, did it?
Time for some Malcolm McLaren links, I think. Here’s Alyson, back for another go:
“Malcolm McLaren also released Double Dutch from the same album and that led me to think of Ray and Anita, that Dutch duo who were ’90s dance outfit 2 Unlimited. How about a bit of ‘No Limit’…?”
Given how many times the word “No” features in that song, I’ve always found it a little weird that it begins with Ray (I assume it’s not Anita) pleading to hear us say “Yeah!”.
Always reminds me of Jim Trott, that song. You know, Jim Trott, right?
Hold on, I feel a catchphrase coming on. Cue fanfare.
Well, if you’re going to suggest that (a record which features the word “No” many, many times), then I’m going to suggest this lot, back for a second airing this week:
Back to McLaren links, and back to George:
“From Malcolm McLaren to Malcolm McDowell, he of Clockwork Orange, to The Fall and their 6 min 20 second masterpiece ‘Kurious Oranj'”
Readers of a certain age will remember (a different) Curious Orange from Lee and Herring’s “This Morning with Richard Not Judy” show; this was the best (quality, if not necessarily the funniest) clip I could find:
Anyway. Where were we? Ah yes: McLaren and his numerous links. Here to add to them is The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow:
“I know that for a while Malcolm McLaren managed quite a famous band, though for the life of me I can’t remember their name Instead I’ll go down the producer route. Trevor Horn produced ‘Buffalo Gals’ and among his many (and varied) other credits is Belle and Sebastian’s ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’, from which I’d like to suggest ‘ Step Into My Office, Baby’.”
Tailgating on the back of that suggestion, here’s Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music with another short but sweet entry:
“The band that The Swede was referring to was clearly Bow Wow Wow so ‘I Want Candy’ please”
Much as I love that version (and I really do), this – the original, I think – shades it for me:
As I’m writing this on Wednesday evening, after Trump’s first speech, and after a load of new salacious rumours began circulating about him, I wondered if I’d be able to get through this post without making reference to it. I reckon if I can get passed a band called The Strangeloves without making a joke, I’ll have done well.
Ah well. Guess I blew it.
Back to McLaren, and here’s babylotti, who’s taking us on a trip over to New York:
“From Malcolm Mclaren, manager of New York Dolls for a minimal time, leads me to David Johansen. I’ll suggest Wreckless Crazy from him…”
“…which links me to Johnny Thunders. I’m going to suggest his version of Crawfish with Patti Palladin…”
“…and my last link, after the disastrous year for celebrity deaths I feel I have to go for ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory’ by Ronnie Spector with Joey Ramone.”
Of course, the McLaren-managed band that you’ve all done exceptionally well not to mention, but which my brother would never speak to me again if I didn’t, are the Sex Pistols, so here’s one which is by no means one of their finest moments, but it’s one which we’ve both got a bit of a soft spot for:
But undoubtedly, the best suggestion of the week, the Comment Showboat of choice, came from Alex G from We Will Have Salad:
“About ten years ago, there was an ITV reality show called “The Baron”, the premise being that three celebrities attempted to curry favour in a little coastal village in Aberdeenshire in order to be elected as the new Baron of Troup. The show was a complete damp squib and buried in a late night slot, so there’s no reason for anyone to recall it, really. The only reason *I* remember it is that I happen to live close to the village where it was filmed, and a few of my friends appeared in it.
Getting to the point, the three celebrities flown in were Mike “Runaround” Reid (who won, and then almost immediately snuffed it), Suzanne Shaw from Hear’Say, and… Malcolm McLaren. See, there was some relevance to all of this. On those grounds I would have suggested Mike Reid’s reading (or reiding) of “The Ugly Duckling”, but I think that should really have linked to the last record in the chain rather than the current on, so…”
Whoa there cowboy! That’s a good enough reason for me to post what is not only the Comment Showboat of the Week, but is also the Cheesiest Record of the Week (and since we’ve already featured 2 Unlimited, that’s no mean feat):
That bit in brackets on the record label is a bit harsh, isn’t it?
Anyway, as you were Alex; you were about to proffer your actual suggestion:
“… so bearing in mind there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure [there isn’t, there really isn’t, though sometimes you lot really test that theory], let’s have Hear’Say’s Betty Boo-penned signature hit ‘Pure And Simple’ instead.”
Otherwise known as “The song where it looks like someone’s lighting their farts in the video”:
And in case you think that’s the cheesiest record of the week, you’re wrong: as Alex G says, it was written by Betty Boo which automatically makes it one of the best records of the week. So there.
Anyway, the aforementioned Miss Shaw was at one time the latest squeeze of serial philanderer and chicken in a basket entertainer Darren Day, which leads me to this:
Uh oh. Jules has climbed back on board. Quick everybody, avoid eye contact, stare at your copy of the Metro, pretend to make a phone call:
“Malcolm McLaren used to run a boutique on the King’s Road with Vivienne Westwood it was called SEX, most of the sex shops I used to frequent [Jules – have you ever heard the term “over-sharing”…?] mostly sold gentlemen’s magazines and ‘marital aids’ aka vibrators. Not the punk band but the American slang for a vibrator Steely Dan…”Deacon Blues”:
“…which as it happens contains the line ‘they call Alabama the crimson tide’. Crimson Tide of course is a fine film about a Russian/USA standoff… [no comparisons to be made with anything going on in world news there then…] …so:”
Mention of Vivienne got me thinking of other famous Westwood’s, and the first one that sprang to mind was former Radio 1 and 1Xtra hip-hop DJ and host of the UK version of Pimp My Ride, Tim Westwood, who happens to be the son of the former Bishop of Peterborough, the Right Reverend Bill Westwood. And since I grew up in and around that fine cathedral city, this seems appropriate:
Which should be the end, but George suggested this which, following a year of so many celebrity deaths, seemed an apt way to finish things off this week:
“Buffalo Gals was released in 1982. As was ‘Wham Rap!’ by Wham. (I find myself very ,very sad at George Michael’s death). I bought this in 1982, still have it, and still think it’s a toptastic pop song, it’s impossible to sit still when this plays.”
Time to wrap things up then, and let’s find out what the next record in The Official Chain was:
“Produced by Malcolm McLaren were…”
Oh go on then, half a bonus point to Charity Chic for guessing the band, if not the song.
So, your suggestions please, via the Comments section below, for records that you can link to Bow Wow Wow’s “C30 C60 C90”, and don’t forget to explain the link in your suggestion.
See you next week (more soon).