The Chain #5

Afternoon, link fans!

Happy to report that a steady number of suggestions to follow Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” were received this week (by which I mean the same as last week: two), both of which take us in directions I anticipated, albeit not the tunes I expected.

But first, some admin. I had a message from Dave a.k.a. The Great Gog who said:

“The original reasons for links are available online (or at least they were around eighteen months ago when I last looked) on an archived Radio 2 page from when Radcliffe and Maconie were on that station, but I guess that would be cheating.”

Well, Dave, yes it would, but it would also help us clarify why the official suggestion was made. So, I’ve had a peek – and I swear, I have resisted the temptation to look at the next record in the chain or how they got there – and can confirm the following:

  1. I was right about the link between Booker T and Otis Redding
  2. George was right about the link between Otis Redding and Lynyrd Skynyrd, which for those of you who haven’t read the comments is that Otis Redding died in a plane crash, as did several members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

The other bit of admin I need to sort was prompted by George who asked:

“Am I allowed to make another chain suggestion?”

So, let’s clear this up. I’m always happy to get messages from any of you, especially when it’s suggesting songs that you think I might like, or a suggestion for something to post, or hopefully both (Cath – I’ll be getting to that one you sent me months ago soon, honest!). Plus, since George no longer blogs (unless I’m missing something…) it’s a delight to hear from him; as I’ve mentioned before, I used to absolutely love his old blog and the blogosphere (I hate that term, by the way) is a poorer place without him contributing to it, so I’m proud that he reads this and wants to chip in. I kinda feel like his surrogate blogger…!

Anyway, this is starting to sound like I’ve had  few too many drinks and am about to verge into slurry “You’re my best mate, you are” territory, so I’ll delay no further.

Here’s George’s suggestion:

“Lynyrd Skynyrd were named after a PE teacher; track 2 on Elton John’s album Don’t Shoot Me I’m only The Piano Player (an album I have, by the way) is “Teacher I Need You”.”

Not a song I was familiar with, as it goes, but that shouldn’t stop me, in fact one of the things I’m enjoying about this thread – and, for that matter, the actual Chain feature on Radcliffe & Maconie’s show – is that it introduces me to “new” stuff ( can I legitimately refer to a song released in 1973 as “new”, I wonder? Yes, if it’s new to me, I unwonder.), so here it is:

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Elton John – Teacher, I Need You

S’alright, that, innit? I mean, it could’ve been worse, it could’ve been Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher”, and then I’d have had all sorts of editorial issues to address…

Anyway, cheers for that George, keep those suggestions coming.

(Yes, checked. Nothing litigious or injunction breaking there. Continue – Legal Ed.)

The other suggestion was from the aforementioned Dave/The Great Gog who wrote:

“My suggestion would be linking the Len from the group name to a Len in a song title and an excuse to listen to The Auteurs’ “Lenny Valentino”.”

Oh Dave, what a great choice.

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The Auteurs – Lenny Valentino

I have two recommendations on the back of that:

  1. If you haven’t already, then go read Auteurs main man Luke Haines’ brilliant book “Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in its Downfall”. Essential reading. Buy it here. (Actually, if you can buy it anywhere other than Amazon, like from someone who pays their taxes, please do.)
  2. Follow him on Twitter to see what an entertainingly cantankerous old sod he is: @LukeHaines_News

It occurred to me that other than tracking down and posting the suggested songs, I haven’t really contributed much to this thread myself so far, and that’s not what you all pay your money for (You have all paid your Dubious Taste Subscription Fees, right…?)

So during the week I thought of a couple of songs which could link to the Lynyrd Skynyrd one, and funnily enough, they’re along the same lines as both George and Dave’s suggestions.

First, going with Dave’s “Len” suggestion, here’s one hit wonders and butter tart (whatever they are) enthusiasts Len:

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Len – Steal My Sunshine

Dunno what it is about that tune, but it always raises a smile on these old grizzle-chops.

The other suggestion I had was by a band that long-term readers will remember I enthused about some time ago as the act that guided me away from listening to Shakin’ Stevens when I was a nipper.

As you will probably know, former great record writer, terrible actor, commendable environmentalist and all-round pretentious prick Sting (your name’s Gordon, Sting, admit it!) used to be a teacher, amongst other things: less famously, he was also a bus conductor, a building labourer,  a tantric lover (not a fighter) and a tax officer, which gives us another well founded reason to hate him.

He also wrote this, one of the greatest break-up records ever:

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 The Police – Can’t Stand Losing You

Which leads me, finally, to the next record in the official Chain:

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5. Ash – Girl from Mars

So, ladies and gentleman, your suggestions via the Comments function (at the bottom of the page) please for a) the reason the official Chain went from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” to Ash’s “Girl From Mars”, and b) any record you’d like me to post which you can link to “Girl From Mars” by Ash, along with the explanation of the connection.

Same time next week?

S’not as catchy as “More soon” that, is it?

More soon.

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