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MORRISSEY-Piccadilly-Palare

Morrissey – Get Off The Stage

That is all.

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Keep Your Hands To Yourself

Blimey. Unsolicited actions are everywhere at the moment.

The exposure of bloated sex wart-hog Harvey Weinstein seems to have been the cork in the bottle; now he’s been popped out of the way, all of the other stories of impropriety, knee and buttock fondling, and much, much worse are pouring out.

First, Kevin Spacey, who when faced with allegations of attempting to shag a fourteen-year old boy years ago (Kevin: it doesn’t matter how long ago it was, or how drunk you say you were, he was still fourteen – and you weren’t) decided, in perhaps the least savvy bit of PR since Gerald Ratner described the jewellery he sold as “total crap…cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long”, to try and take control of the story by declaring that he now chooses to “live life as a gay man”, thus linking homosexuality with paedophilia in a way that many thought we had passed a long time ago, and thereby setting the gay movement back by at least ten years.

To try and use his homosexuality as a shield is unforgiveable, pathetic. Plus, his homosexuality came as a surprise to precisely nobody; it’s been the worst kept secret in Hollywood for years now – even I knew, and I’ve never met the man, or anyone who knows him, nor have I been to Hollywood. But, it’s been a running joke for a long time about him having to pay glamorous women to accompany him to premiers and red carpet events. Had you Googled the words “Kevin Spacey escorts” about three weeks ago, you’d have seen what I meant; do it now and you’d probably have to scroll a long way down to find the gossip I’m talking about.

There will be more of these, mark my words. We all know what the phrase “casting couch” means.

I really hope the stuff about Hoffman isn’t true, though. Every Christmas I rue the fact that I can’t listen to Gary Glitter’s “Another Rock’n’Roll Christmas” (he is vile, the song is not) anymore and so the idea of never again being able to watch The Graduate, or Marathon Man, or All The President’s Men, or Midnight Cowboy, or Little Big Man, or Lenny, or Straw Dogs, or Papillon, or Stranger Than Fiction…I’d rather not lose that huge slice of my life. But lose it I must if what is alleged is true. (I realise I’m not the victim here, by the way)

And now the sleaze focus has shifted to Westminster and our own Parliament, where Michael Fallon has had to quit his position as Defence Secretary not because of his knee groping with a female journalist (I do begrudge having to describe Julia Hartley-Brewer as a journalist, by the way. Katie Hopkins with a thesaurus seems more apt) but because his conduct, in his own words, had “fallen short” of the high standards he should be setting. This was after a further allegation, made by Andrea “Still a Mother, but with Cold Hands” Leadsom, that he had suggested that he knew “somewhere you can put them [her hands] to warm up”, came out.

There’s a whole dossier on Tory MPs’ inappropriate behaviour, naming 36 different cases, including the queasy tale of Mark Garnier who got his former assistant Caroline Edmondson – who he charmingly insisted on calling “Sugar Tits” – to purchase some sex toys from a shop in Soho whilst he waited outside. Because standing outside a sex-shop whilst somebody else goes in to get your wish-list is a much better look than actually buying it yourself.

Much as I’d love to, I’d be foolish to think this is just limited to the Conservative Party; for now, just as sure as eggs are eggs and perverts are perverts, allegations have emerged against Labour MPs too; Clive Lewis has been accused of groping a woman at this year’s Labour Party Conference (he denies it), and Kelvin Hopkins, has been suspended after allegations that he sent “inappropriate” text messages and rubbed himself up against a young woman after a political event. Presumably not at the same time, unless he was on PAYG and could claim the 10p per text message tariff back on expenses.

But, most repulsively, there’s Labour campaigner Bex Bailey’s allegation that not only was she raped by a senior Labour party figure (not an MP) at a Labour Party event in 2011 (my money’s on….no, I’d better not), but that when she found the courage to report the matter, she was advised by senior officials not to take it further because it may damage her career to do so.

Before all the readers on the other side of the pond start crowing about the turmoil in UK politics, just remember that we’re just finding out about this now; prior to last year’s election you had Donald Trump, on tape, boasting about how he gropes women, and you still went ahead and voted him in.

And what do all of these men have in common? They’re all, to varying degrees, in positions of power. Power which they – allegedly in some cases, admittedly in some – used to satisfy their pathetic urges.

Oh, and don’t think that this will end here. For just as we all know the meaning of the term “casting couch”, we also all know the phrase “groupies”; and do you really think that every rock star, presented with an adoring, willing, pliable and vulnerable young girl stopped to check their ID before doing whatever they did with them? Think again: a rock star you love is going to get taken down by this (and rightly so if true).

And we will hear again and again, as we already have, the defence that the accused is “a dinosaur”, that their behaviour was acceptable “back in the day”. No. No, it really wasn’t. It’s the power thing again; back then it was even harder for women to speak out than it is now, and you only have to look at the abhorrent backlash against some of the victims happening now to see how tough it is now. (I follow Labour MP Stella Creasey on Twitter – partly because I generally agree with her politics, but in all honesty mostly because she likes The Wedding Present – and this morning I have read, with increasing bewilderment, sadness and dejection, men criticise her for having the audacity to suggest that men should be held to account for their pervy actions.)

Without wishing to sound like I’m trivialising this matter (as much as I know some of you enjoy me having a rant, this is primarily a music blog), it’s pretty simple. Here’s a rule of thumb for men in power – no, scrub that, for men everywhere – to live their life by.

If the Georgia Satellites – who, let’s face it, don’t look the sharpest tools in the box – could get their heads round it back in 1986, then there’s no reason that actors, movie moguls, politicians and (probably) rock stars and any other pork sword bearer hasn’t got it by now:

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Georgia Satellites – Keep Your Hands To Yourself

Oh, and of course Morrissey knows best:

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Morrissey – Such a Little Thing Makes Such a Big Difference

More, possibly less ranty, soon.

(Im)Peaches

From Saturday’s Grauniad:

“The first charges have been issued in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion by members of the Trump campaign and arrests could be imminent, according to several reports.

I’ll just leave this here:

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The Presidents of the United States of America – Peaches

Oh, and this:

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Morrissey – The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get

Not forgetting this, included simply because I don’t have a song which references “It’s Mueller Time”:

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Flight of the Conchords – Business Time

Sit back with the popcorn, this could be amazing.

More soon.

The Last of the Famous International Playboys

In the early hours of this morning, I was woken by the death knell that is the BBC app news flash.

Expecting it to foretell imminent Trump-inspired apocalyptical oblivion, I read it, only to find some dirty old man wearing a dressing gown in a big house had died, surrounded by women at not even half his age, who he had enticed into his world with a set of clip-on rabbit ears.

That man was Playboy magazine founder, Hugh Hefner.

*Insert joke about tossing and turning myself back to sleep here*

So, as I imagine you’ll be hearing this record accompanying the news updates a lot today, I figured I’d get in first:

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Morrissey – The Last Of The Famous International Playboys

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

And so this is where we’ve been heading all day, unbeknownst to any of us, least of all me.

Earlier, I mentioned Morrissey. Just now I mentioned Girls Aloud and a tune with a vaguely Rockabilly sound.

And so to this:

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Morrissey – Pregnant For The Last Time

Wedding party DJs of the world rejoice, for if you play that and the Girls Aloud tune next to each other, you will see which fills the floor more and work out where to go from there.

(PS – It’ll be the Girls Aloud one. Nobody likes the mention of a pregnancy at a wedding.)

More soon!

A Load of Blowing Fetlocks

So by now you’ll have heard the devastating news.

Tonight is the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest, and multiple winners Ireland will not be represented.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but think of that episode of “Father Ted”, where Ted and Dougal against all odds are selected to represent Ireland, for the country has won it so many times it can’t afford to do so again.

The song in question was composed (and shhh…! performed) by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy – as was the theme tune (Pulp were asked, but turned it down), which was performed on one of William Reid of The Jesus & Mary Chain’s guitars (factoid!) – and saw the light of day as an extra track on the “Gin Soaked Boy” CD single.

Oh, and here:

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The Divine Comedy – My Lovely Horse

I guess you may as well have the “video” for it too:

The UK have qualified though, with former X-Factor contestant Lucie Jones (she was beaten by Jedward, so you can insert your own joke here if you like) flying the flag where such luminaries as Blue and Scooch have failed before. And, without wanting to go all political on you, this will be the first Eurovision since the Brexit referendum; we’ve done really badly for the last few years, so just imagine how badly we’ll do now we’ve told all those we want to vote for us to fuck off. Maybe if the Remain campaign had written “We Will Never Win Eurovision Again!” on the side of a bus this time last year…

Perhaps it’s time we took stock of our involvement in this competition, and instead of using unknowns, wannabes, hopefuls, and failed TV singing contestants, we wheeled out the old guard.

I read an interview with Paul Weller the other day where he said he’d be interested in writing the song at the very least, and a few years ago Morrissey said he’d happily represent the UK. In fact, his announcement, by sheer coincidence, came at much the same time as he released this as a single:

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Morrissey – You Have Killed Me

…a song which featured a video which was pretty much a dry-run for an appearance at the finals:

I dunno. Personally, I’d prefer it if we didn’t enter a ballad every year. Maybe cranked up the kitsch a little.

I’ve written before how I was obsessed with Bucks Fizz’s “Making Your Mind Up” when I was a young ‘un, but, as I’ve said before (and yes, I am going to post this next song every year)  my favourite UK Eurovision entry isn’t by them.

It’s from the year after The Fizz only went and won the bloody thing back in 1981 with their skirt-ripping and hand-jive combo: a tough act to follow, indeed.

This song came seventh on the night, but it did recently crop up, to my absolute delight, in the first episode of the second (and not as good as the first, in my opinion) series of “Peter Kay’s Car Share”. A song which Hel and I on many occasions attempted to recreate the dance moves to, but only when we were far too pissed to be able to stand, let along shimmy up and down each others backs.

This:

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Bardo – One Step Further

Just in case the dance routine reference goes above your head, here:

Seriously, if I ever had to list my favourite fifty singles – and, since I’m rapidly approaching the age of fifty (two and a bit years to go), and making such lists seems to be what bloggers do when reaching a landmark age, it seems entirely likely that I will – I guarantee that song would not only be in it, but in the upper reaches of it.

Anyway, if you’re watching Eurovision tonight, enjoy it and, much as Graham Norton will make a fine fist of the commentary, raise a glass to Sir Terry with me, won’t you?

More soon.

On A Positive Note…

So, today’s the day we get to say the words that twelve months ago we thought we never would, so ridiculous, so implausible did they sound when put in the same sentence together in this order:

Today is the day that Donald J. Trump becomes the President of the United States of America.

Some of my blogging peers have said that, depressing and scary though this is, we need to stay positive, and this is a position I want to buy into. For unless he happens to drive past one too many grassy knolls during his Presidency (and given he owns that golf course in Scotland which has loads of them, it’s got to be a possibility. Come on Scotland, you know what to do!) we’ve got him for at least the next four years (he couldn’t win a second term, could he…?)

So, something positive. Hmmmm.

*Rummages around the shelves in Dubious Towers*

Ok, this seems perfect. One could take the title as an endorsement, but you can wipe that thought from your mind: listen to the lyrics and that’s not where the artist (or me) is coming from. This is a song of hope, of faith, of determination in the face of adversity:

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Joe Smooth  – Promised Land

So I’ll try to stay positive, and to send positive vibes out to you all. We can get through this.

Appropriate records are my weapon of choice though, so I may get weak and falter every now and then. For example, when I’m watching his inauguration later today, I may find myself getting the urge to post something uncomplimentary. Like this:

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The B-52’s – Wig

Or maybe I’ll need to show restraint after he is sworn in and gives his first speech as your actual President (I’m not sure “speech” is the right description. The phrase rather implies someone had actually written it in advance; however Trump’s delivery gives the impression that what he says has been completely made up on the spot), and I find my finger hovering over the Publish button after I’ve written a scathing diatribe which ends with this record:

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Morrissey – Get Off The Stage

I’ll try to resist, but I can’t promise anything.

Besides, nothing I can write or post will be as succinct as this, made all the more dead-eye accurate by the sight of his private helicopter parked up in the background:

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More soon.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering where this week’s edition of The Chain is, it’s on it’s way.