The Chain #12

Evening all.

Apologies that your weekly dose of Chain-ness is a little tardy this week; I got a little too preoccupied with the sport (watching, not playing, obviously) on Sunday to find time to write this up for the usual time. Sorry ’bout that.

So, I  left you last week with “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie and asked for your suggestions for songs to link to that record. I didn’t bother to ask for your ideas about what linked that to the official choice by The Rembrandts from the week before, since pretty much every suggestion we had pointed out that Rembrandt was an artist and I would hope that you know that Andy Warhol was one too.

As is starting to become traditional, I’ll post the suggestions in the order that I received them, so to start off, here’s Charity Chic, who said:

“Andy Warhol famously painted a picture of Campbell’s Soup tins. Ali, Robin and Duncan Campbell were members of UB40 who have been famous for more than 15 minutes but were only good for about that period when they recorded songs such as Madam Medusa”

Personally, I’d have added the word “unfortunately” after the word “minutes”, but since a discussion ensued in the Comments which pretty much sums up my feelings towards UB40 and which includes a wonderfully accurate description courtesy of The Swede of any act that flatters to deceive in their early years then proceeds to make utter bilge for the rest of their careers, I’ll not bother, just let you go read it for yourselves.

Anyway, here, from 1980 (when they were still, y’know, alright) and their “Signing Off” album, is “Madam Medusa”:

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UB40 – Madam Medusa

Next up, The Great Gog’s suggestion, which…well, shall we say stole my thunder a little:

“After a serious piece of showboating last time, I’ll calm down a bit this time. Warhol was known for his “fifteen minutes of fame” line. That quarter of an hour time period is mentioned in The Smiths’ “Reel Around The Fountain”, a song I like a lot, but which I’m sure will annoy someone.”

You know Johnny Marr chastised David Cameron a while ago for saying he liked The Smiths, and telling him he’s not allowed to like them? Well, the same goes for anyone annoyed by “Reel Around The Fountain” getting played. You’re not welcome round these parts.

Here’s the digitally remastered version that came out a couple of years ago:

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The Smiths – Reel Around The Fountain

As I say, The Great Gog has suggested the very song I was going to propose, albeit for a different reason. My suggestion was going to be “Reel Around the Fountain” as it’s the opening track from The Smiths debut album, the cover of which features American actor Joe Dallesandro – yes, that bare chested chap up there – in a cropped still from Andy Warhol’s 1968 film “Flesh”. And it needed to be cropped, for the scene the still is taken from features young Joe….erm…let’s call it “enjoying his own company”, shall we…?

So that’s my suggestion blown out of the water (which, coincidentally is something that happens to Joe in a different scene from the same film). So instead, I’m going to give you two songs: one is a great record but for an obvious reason, the other a great record for a much cleverer reason, even if I do say so myself.

Firstly, referencing the very same “fifteen minutes” quote The Great Gog refers to, here’s Kirsty MacColl, with a scathing attack on celebrity culture and commercialism which you can find on her brilliant 1989 album “Kite”:

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Kirsty MacColl – Fifteen Minutes

Not much has changed since 1989, has it?

As for my other choice: well, having got to “Reel Around the Fountain” I was going to quote this NME interview with Morrissey in 1986:

“Obviously most people who write do borrow from other sources. They steal from other’s clothes lines. I mentioned the line ‘I dreamt about you last night and I fell out of bed twice’ in ‘Reel Around The Fountain,’ which comes directly from A Taste Of Honey, and to this day I’m whipped persistently for the use of that line. I’ve never made any secret of the fact that at least 50 percent of my reason for writing can be blamed on Shelagh Delaney who wrote A Taste Of Honey.”

Shelagh Delaney featured on two Smith’s sleeves, the “Girlfriend in a Coma” single, and the US Imported compilation album “Louder Than Bombs”. But it’s to A Taste of Honey that I want to go for my second choice, and to this, the theme tune to the film adaptation of Delaney’s working-class masterpiece:

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Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass – A Taste Of Honey

That could have been a lot worse; it could very easily have been “Boogie Ooogie Oogie” by A Taste of Honey. Count yourself lucky.

And now, as they say, for something completely different, courtesy of George:

“…no Comment Showboating here either. Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, and The Vibes made a song called I’m In Pittsburgh (And It’s Rainin’).”

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The Vibes – I’m in Pittsburgh (And It’s Rainin’)

Which just leaves us with The Swede’s suggestion:

“Andy Warhol made in excess of 150 films, including ‘Chelsea Girls’ in 1966. Nico appeared in the film, while the soundtrack was provided by The Velvet Underground . The following year, VU’s Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison wrote the dark ballad, ‘Chelsea Girls’, for Nico’s debut solo LP.

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Nico – Chelsea Girls

Nothing like a cheerful one to round things off, eh?

So, instead, here’s the “official” selection:

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12. Bob Dylan – Song to Woody

So, your suggestions please for:

a) what the official reason to connect “Andy Warhol” by David Bowie to “Song to Woody” by Bob Dylan is, and

b) your suggestions as to what you’d like to hear next that links to “Song to Woody” by Bob Dylan, and your explanation of the link, via the Comments section at the bottom of the page.

More soon.

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