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