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Relax, everyone: A disco version of Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ is here to save us all


The cover of Rosetta Stone’s single featuring their version of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.”
 
I’m going to do something I love doing here on Dangerous Minds—taking you back to the 1970s when everything was cool. Today’s time machine post concerns Irish band and sort of one-hit-wonders, Rosetta Stone (not be confused with UK goth-rock outfit Rosetta Stone, naturally).

Formed by three brothers, Damian, Terry, and Colin McKee, the lineup of what would later become Rosetta Stone also included the trio’s pal, future Bay City Rollers guitarist Ian Mitchell. After going through a few different names for the band like Bang and the poorly chosen moniker Albatross, they started calling themselves Young City Stars sometime in the mid-70s. Young City Stars opened a gig for the Bay City Rollers in Belfast in 1975, and Mitchell would leave his school friends to join them in 1976. The rigor of non-stop touring and media attention was a bit much for Mitchell, and he would return to his roots with Young City Stars bringing with him the support of the machinery behind the Rollers. After changing their name to Rosetta Stone they would sign with Private Stock (Blondie, Stevie Wonder, Nancy Sinatra)—a label formed by Larry Uttal after getting ousted by Clive Davis from his role with Bell Records.
 

Rosetta Stone.
 
In 1977 Rosetta Stone released a 7’ single with Private Stock—a disco-pop version of Cream’s 1967 psychedelic smash “Sunshine of your Love.” The band got some pretty good traction from their boogie-worthy interpretation of the song and got to perform it on Marc Bolan’s short-lived television show, Marc. Rosetta Stone would follow up with a full-length, Rock Pictures later in 1978 (which included “Sunshine of Your Love” as well as a cover of The Kinks “You Really Got Me”) and a second album in 1979, Caught in the Act. Shortly after the release of Caught in the Act, Mitchell would split from the band again, this time for good.

I have to tell you, Rosetta Stone’s cover of “Sunshine of Your Love” is really out there, and I’m sure some of you will think it’s utter trash.

Watch and listen to Rosetta Stone, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.14.2018
05:00 pm
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Hawkwind go symphonic on ‘Road to Utopia’
08.14.2018
03:35 pm
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If you are a longtime reader of this blog, follow me on Twitter or happen to be married to me (or a neighbor within earshot of my open window), then you know that I am a big Hawkwind fan. I listen to them—LOUD—all the damn time. Morning, noon or night, anytime is the right time for some ear-splitting Hawkwind as far as I am concerned. But to be honest, it’s only really the Lemmy-era Hawkwind that I’m interested in. Don’t get me wrong, I like Robert Calvert just fine, but I’m a bigger fan of his mid-70s solo album Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters (with Lemmy on bass) than of Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music or Quark, Strangeness and Charm. They just aren’t the albums that I pull out when I want to listen to Hawkwind. I want a pulverising spacerock mantra from the band; a sonic bludgeoning, not some angular smartypants New Wave pop.

Last week—after nearly 50 years as a band—Hawkwind signaled yet another change in their signature sound by releasing a double digital single of two of their classics in acoustic “unplugged” versions augmented by the slick pop orchestration of Mike Batt (yes, Mike Batt, he of The Wombles fame, and this). Normally I’d scoff at something like this, but I found it to be a toe-tapping delight. It shouldn’t work but it does. In September the band and Batt will release the 31st Hawkwind studio album, Road to Utopia.

Fan favorites and deep cuts such as “We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago,” “Psychic Power,” “Down Through the Night” and many others (including three songs from the Hawklords album 25 Years On) are re-tooled acoustically on Road to Utopia by the current Hawkwind line-up of Dave Brock, Richard Chadwick, Mr Dibs, Haz Wheaton and Magnus Martin and then embellished by Batt’s symphonic arrangements. Eric Clapton, who has known Dave Brock since the early 60s contributed some guitar to a new version of “The Watcher.” It’s exactly what you’d expect of Eric Clapton, frankly, and the least of what Road To Utopia has to offer and its weakest track.

Hawkwind will be touring with Mike Batt and his orchestra during October and November, including already sold-out dates at the Palladium in London. Not sure if Road to Utopia will join the Lemmy-era albums in my top-tier Hawkwind albums, but I would most definitely like to see this particular show live.
 
Have a listen after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.14.2018
03:35 pm
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Rollercoaster Tour: The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Blur, and Dino Jr together in ‘92
08.14.2018
08:40 am
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Back before there was a festival for every city, a booking agent for every band, and a service charge for every ticket, live music was a little less… predictable. Remember the good old days?
 
We all know the monster that it became, but Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza festival was at one point, pretty cool! So influential in fact, that it inspired an entire industry to effectively dismantle it. Or maybe we’re just getting old…
 
One thing is for certain, however, if the Lollapalooza tour had not begun in 1991, then there certainly would have been no Rollercoaster Tour. Spread across eleven dates throughout the United Kingdom in 1992, the tour was the product of a buzz surrounding the newfound Lolla. With FOUR rotating co-headliners playing full, 45-minute sets each night, the Rollercoaster Tour intended to “give the recession-bitten public value for money with four bands for the price of one.” And that’s exactly what they achieved by assembling some of the most celebrated alternative rock bands at the time (and of all time): the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr, and Blur.
 

 
Similar to Farrell’s involvement with ‘Palooza, the Rollercoaster Tour was dreamt up by members of the Jesus and Mary Chain. The Scottish noise-pop group was supporting their record Honey’s Dead, but decided it would be better for the fan if they were to split the bill with three other like-minded bands. Dinosaur Jr, the only Americans on the lineup, had been around for a number of years by this point, their classic record Bug had been released in 1987. Shoegaze pioneers My Bloody Valentine were at their peak in 1992 - their seminal distortion record Loveless had come out just a year prior. Also, this would be the last time MBV would play the UK until their 2008 reunion tour. The greatest outlier of them all was the youngest and most energetic of the bunch, Blur. With just a debut record under their belt, the English band was just moments away from taking rest of the world by storm with the colossal explosion of [the dreaded] Britpop. Woo-hoo!
 

Ticket Stub from the Rollercoaster Tour, London
 
Jim Reid, singer of the Jesus and Mary Chain spoke about the Rollercoaster Tour in the April 2013 issue of ‘MOJO’:
 

That year, everyone was talking about [Perry Farrell’s touring alt-rock package fest] Lollapalooza, which to us was pretty crap. We did it, playing at 2pm after Pearl Jam, and it was fairly disastrous. So we thought, Why not do a good version of it? We were just trying to shake things up, to make it not like a bunch of boring blokes standing around with pints of beer. We were sick to death of plodding up and down the UK on our own, playing the same shitholes. The venues we playing on Rollercoaster, like Whitley Bay Ice Rink and Glasgow SECC, we could never have done on our own. Instead of a fucking cold Friday night in Nottingham Rock City, it felt a bit more like being a rock star - more a Bowie/Bolan thing. The idea was to have bands from different corners of the indie scene. It was pre-Britpop, so Blur were there to cover the Manchester/baggy thing, the grunge thing was covered by Dinosaur Jr., and then it was the Valentines doing freak-out noise, and we were doing something similar, but more poppy.

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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08.14.2018
08:40 am
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Music maps: Take a peek at the best-selling music artists in the USA and England by state and county
08.13.2018
07:51 am
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Brilliant Maps compiles maps of interesting things like countries that ban the corporal punishment of children or US State Route Marker Shields or (like the one above) the best-selling music artist or band from each US State.

In this particular map (created by reddit user famicon3) shows the best-selling American artist by state—click on the maps to get a better look. While there are the expected names (Elvis, Madonna, and Johnny Cash) there are a few surprises:

Alabama – Lionel Richie
Alaska – Portugal, The Man
Arizona – Linda Ronstadt
Arkansas – Johnny Cash
California – Eagles
Colorado – The Fray
Connecticut – Michael Bolton
Delaware – George Thorogood
Florida – Backstreet Boys
Georgia – Kanye West
Hawaii – Bruno Mars
Idaho – Paul Revere & the Raiders
Illinois – Chicago
Indiana – Michael Jackson
Iowa – Andy Williams
Kansas – Kansas
Kentucky – Dwight Yoakam
Louisiana – Lil Wayne
Maine – Howie Day
Maryland – Toni Braxton
Massachusetts – James Taylor
Michigan – Madonna
Minnesota – Prince
Mississippi – Elvis Presley
Missouri – Eminem
Montana – Nicolette Larson
Nebraska – Mannheim Steamroller
Nevada – The Killers
New Hampshire – Aerosmith
New Jersey – Whitney Houston
New Mexico – John Denver
New York – Mariah Carey
North Carolina – Randy Travis
North Dakota – Wiz Khalifa
Ohio – Rascal Flatts
Oklahoma – Garth Brooks
Oregon – Everclear
Pennsylvania – Taylor Swift
Rhode Island – Billy Gilman
South Carolina – Hootie & the Blowfish
South Dakota – Shawn Colvin
Tennessee – Tina Turner
Texas – George Strait
Utah – Jewel
Vermont – Phish
Virginia – Dave Matthews Band
Washington – Kenny G
West Virginia – Brad Paisley
Wisconsin – Steve Miller
Wyoming – Spencer Bohren

If this kinda thing tickles the old ukulele strings then take a peek at Best Selling Musical Artists By English County of Origin (created by reddit user uvbseventysix), which throws up a few more unexpected names.
 
More maps, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.13.2018
07:51 am
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Acid Ranch: The wild and secret pre-Guided By Voices project that was never meant to be heard
08.09.2018
08:22 am
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GBV
Photo shoot for the Guided By Voices album ‘Sandbox,’ 1987. (Courtesy: Robert Pollard)

Robert Pollard, majordomo for Guided By Voices and a host of other projects, isn’t just a prolific songwriter, with over 2,000 published tunes; he’s also one of the best. Pollard’s greatest songs are up there with the finest rock-n-roll ever committed to wax. I’m convinced the Dayton, Ohio, native will one day be called an “national treasure,” but for now, he’s a cult artist with a fanatical following that gobbles up everything he produces—which includes over 100 albums. But it was a long road to respectability and success for Pollard. It would be years before very many people heard Guided By Voices, and along the way, nearly everyone close to him said he should quit fooling around with this music thing.

One of Bob’s early, pre-Guided By Voices undertakings was dubbed Acid Ranch, an endeavor that also included future GBV members Mitch Mitchell and Bob’s younger brother, Jimmy. The trio recorded stealthily in Bob’s basement studio, which he named “the Snakepit.” They had the freedom to do whatever they wanted—both musically and otherwise—and shit did get wild.

Acid Ranch is a key element in Robert Pollard’s development as a songwriter, but it hasn’t been recounted in much detail. That’s about to change with the upcoming biography, Closer You Are: The Story of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices. Dangerous Minds is happy to have the Acid Ranch section of the book to share with you.

“The most interesting, spontaneously creative, and psychotic, moronic thing we did, we labeled Acid Ranch,” Bob recalls. “You know, secretly. In the lab.” It was the secret part that allowed them to experiment so freely. “Acid Ranch was fearless and ridiculous, because we knew no one would ever hear any of it.”

Recording sessions in the Snakepit circa 1981–1982 were extemporaneous, marathon affairs accompanied by copious amounts of beer, pot, and coke. “We’d go to the point of semi-exhaustion.”

They turned on all the amps, started the tape rolling, and recorded everything—song, interview, or fart. The plan was total creativity, and beyond that there were no further rules. Bob experimented with vocal delivery, falsetto, harmonies, wordplay, and accents ranging from British to a carnival barker’s brassy tone.

 
Pollard brothers
Jimmy Pollard (left) and Bob Pollard (right), 1982. (Courtesy: Robert Pollard)

They got the name Acid Ranch from Spahn Ranch, the Manson’s Family’s hideout, but it was also a play on acid rain. It was only one of the band names Bob and Mitch—and Jimmy once he was back home—recorded under, but it was a favorite. (They were Mailbox when a drum machine was included. “Mailbox was a little bit more refined,” Bob says. “We were influenced by the Smiths and shit.”)

They played whatever was at hand: someone would bang out a rhythm on the clothes dryer or a plastic bucket, Bob played an acoustic guitar or Mitch played bass, they warbled a cappella barbershop harmonies, or even used squeaking squeeze toys—as in the song “Mongoose Orgasm,” a frantic blood relative to the Residents’ Duck Stab and Pink Floyd’s “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.”

 
Continue reading after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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08.09.2018
08:22 am
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Fun in the Sun: Pop culture icons catching some waves and a tan
08.08.2018
10:43 am
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Marilyn Monroe after a swim in the sea.
 
Since the 18th-century, doctors have prescribed a trip to the beach or seaside and bathing in (or even drinking) seawater as a restorative cure for good health. This was at first mainly something the wealthier classes only could afford but when Niels Ryberg Finsen won the Nobel Prize in 1903 for pointing out that the sun’s rays (or “radiation”) could help treat lupus vulgaris and rickets, the general public started taking a greater interest in sunbathing and even in sun worship.

Spool forward a few years to 1911, when William Tyler Olcott wrote a popular book Sun Lore of All Ages which told a brief history of sun-worship explaining it had long existed but had become unfashionable, or rather suppressed, with the rise of religion. This idea of sun worship and sunbathing as a valid ancient culture became more important after the end First World War when there was a massive rise in holidays and rest cures at the seaside.

This all became tied-in with the fashionable ideas of youth, vigor, vitality, etc, etc, which a few years later would become utterly warped by the Germans under Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists which promoted a mythical belief in racial purity not appreciating they were in fact the offspring of sex with a monkey’s butt. Still, the Nazis aside, holidaying on the beach and mucking about on the water never lost its appeal because of the strong belief that the sun is good for you (which it is—in moderation) and the seaside revitalizes the body (which according to scientists it does, something to do with the sound of the sea’s waves altering the rhythms of your brain). Moreover, when getting a tan became the in-thing, sometime around the 1920s, no one wanted to be pale and interesting anymore as it signified being of a lower class—the inverse of what it once had been. This didn’t really catch-on until after World War II, sometime during the 1950s and 1960s, when suddenly everyone wanted to catch a few rays.

Celebrities always use the beach as a place to show off their beauty, their latest look, or to promote a new record or film. For many a youngster catching snaps in supermarket mags was once the only way they would get a glimpse of some famous hotshot movie star without their clothes on. The following is a selection of some of our more iconic stars showing off whatever they’ve got to offer on the beach.
 
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The Beatles never missed a photo opportunity.
 
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Surf’s up for The Beach Boys.
 
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Madonna strikes a pose but it’s hardly beachwear.
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Elizabeth Taylor.
 
More fashionable beachwear, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.08.2018
10:43 am
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Total Thrash & Whiplash: A sick collection of heavy & black metal fanzines from around the globe
08.08.2018
08:53 am
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The cover of Finnish black metal fanzine Hammer of Damnation, February 1993. Read it in its entirety here.
 
After being inspired by coming across the cover of a 1986 edition of Danish metal fanzine Metallic Beast, I went on a long vision quest in search of other fanzines in the black metal and heavy metal arena. Fanzines were the custodians and keepers of artifacts produced by counter-culture heroes and artists on the fringe before the Internet showed up. Bands would often create their own, but the true heroes behind this pop-culture staple are, of course, the fans who tirelessly self-published the zines because they lived and breathed (in this case) all things heavy and metal.

Heavy metal fanzines were incredibly popular in Portugal during the 80s and 90s. Beautifully cataloged here, you can see the grim covers of many of the zines published there such as Abismo, and one referred to as the “most prestigious” metal fanzine in the country, Renascimento Do Metal, or Metal’s Rebirth. Some fanzines have been painstakingly scanned and posted online such as Finnish black metal magazine Hammer of Damnation (pictured at the top of this post), and early-80s napalm nugget, The Headbanger. Launched in Los Angeles by then-teenager Bob Nalbandian, the first issue of The Headbanger came to be in 1982. Nalbandian witnessed the birth of heavy metal in that city, and his fanzine, one of the first dedicated to getting the good word about LA bands like Armored Saint and Malice, was an instant hit. In 2012, Nalbandian and Japanime Publishing (Tokyo) joined forces to create an ebook for The Headbanger in all its DIY glory. Early 80s Brazilian fanzine Rock Brigade would go on to become a fully-realized metal publication by the mid-80s and has since earned the distinction of being the longest-running music magazine in Brazil’s history.

Was it possible for me to post images from all the great fanzines out there praising all things metal and darker? Nope. Not by a long shot. Nonetheless, what follows is a pretty deep dive into the world of metal fanzines from across the globe, some of which you’ve likely never seen before.

Devil horns OUT.
 

Issue #2 of Bob Nalbandian’s The Headbanger fanzine. The table of contents is pictured below.
 

 
More metal mayhem after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.08.2018
08:53 am
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Behold the voluptuous horror of these absolutely, positively NSFW crocheted dolls of Kembra Pfahler


Kembra Pfahler
 
If you are a regular reader of Dangerous Minds, then nothing in the title of this post should surprise you, because we know our readers a) appreciate our dedication to the celebration of high weirdness (and outsider knitting) and b) also appreciate the boundary-smashing performance artist, filmmaker, anti-naturalist actress (and more), Kembra Pfahler.  Pfahler is best known as the vocalist for her band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. For today I’m going to bring to you a version of Kembra done by another talented rule-breaker, crochet artist Shove Mink of Croshame.

We’ve featured Mink’s work here on DM before—but this time I can say without hesitation “you ain’t never seen anything” like Mink’s crocheted Kembras.

They’re even endorsed by their colorful muse:

“I love and support the works of Croshame and her visual generosity and extreme attention to detail. I encourage the collection of these dolls and I hope to include Croshame in shows I’m having in London next year.”

—Kembra Pfahler, 2018

I posted one of the most safe-for-work photos of Pfahler I could find at the top of this, as I can’t really post any of the images of Mink’s adorably naughty—one of them is posed masturbating with a crucifix—crocheted Kembras before warning you first. But let’s be honest, this is precisely one of the reasons you like DM, isn’t it? I take my job of discovering things you can never ever unsee very seriously, and this is about as NSFW as knitted shit gets. Mink also sells some of her creations on Etsy, in case you’re interested (PS: I know you are).
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.07.2018
11:48 am
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Freddie Mercury breaks free onstage with The Royal Ballet in 1979
08.06.2018
07:29 am
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A photo of Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury (pictured center) training with members of The Royal Ballet (London) in 1979.
 

“They (The Royal Ballet) asked me. They actually thought I could dance. So they asked me to do this charity concert. Then I realized, how I could dance.  I appreciate their discipline and dedication a hell of a lot. I mean, it’s a different kind of dedication than you have to apply to what I’m doing. I don’t think I could ever do it because it’s like learning someone else’s steps. I do things that I want to do and it’s all very free-form.”

—Freddie Mercury on his collaboration with The Royal Ballet in 1979.

In 1979, encouraged by his friend Wayne Eagling a choreographer and principal dancer for The Royal Ballet, Freddie Mercury began training with members of the company for a charity performance to be held at the London Coliseum to raise money for mentally handicapped children. But before we get to the details on this bit of Freddie Mercury mythology, there is yet another fascinating bit of backstory to how this all came to be. Laura Jackson, author of Freddie Mercury: The Biography, met with Wayne Eagling to discuss Mercury’s epic performance with TRB. In the book, Eagling recalls going to the treasurer of the ballet, Joseph Lockwood, as he once held a high ranking job at EMI in the hope he might be able to persuade Kate Bush to guest star in the charity performance. Bush, still in her teens, had just been signed by the label by one of the music industry’s biggest titans, Bob Mercer. According to Mercer, he was “almost certain” Bush had been asked to don a pair of ballerina slippers before Mercury was. Kate’s manager put the kibosh on the idea, and Lockwood told Eagling to talk to his friend Freddie instead.

What isn’t up for dispute is the undeniable energy which exuded from Freddie Mercury like some sort of sonic communication from another planet. Queen’s live shows required high levels of physical endurance by its members, and this was especially true for Mercury. But could he dance? As unbelievable as it sounds, not really. However, there is no denying the man had moves for days and, allegedly, he had always wanted to “try” to dance ballet. Mercury took his training and rehearsals seriously, though he described the experience as “agonizing.” Here’s more from Freddie on becoming a ballet dancer:

“They had me practicing at the barre and all that, stretching my legs… trying to do things in a week that they’d been doing for years. It was murder. After two days I was in agony. It was hurting me in places I didn’t know I had, dear.”

As I’m sure you can imagine, Mercury’s performance was highly praised and even impressed the stuffy ballet regulars at the sold-out event. Of course, Mercury didn’t just dance with the members of The Royal Ballet, he also sang adapted versions of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” while he was being hurled around the stage never missing a note, beat, or pose. Queen drummer Roger Taylor bore witness to Freddie’s debut calling it “brave and hilarious.” The experience made an impact on Mercury, and he, Eagling and other TRB dancers would collaborate once again for the “I Want To Break Free” video in 1984, which Eagling helped to choreograph. In part, the video is based on the ballet L’après-midi d’un faune (Afternoon of a Faun) with an un-mustachioed Mercury mimicking the star of the original 1912 production, famous dancer/choreographer Vaslav Nijinsky. Zowie.

So, with yet another Queen history lesson under our belts, let’s take a look at some of the remarkable photos captured during Mercury’s time with The Royal Ballet as well as video footage of Freddy live on stage for one night with The Royal Ballet on October 7th, 1979.
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.06.2018
07:29 am
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The story of the great Sex Pistols soundalikes swindle
08.02.2018
08:36 am
Topics:
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Poster
 
Dave Goodman was a record producer, sound engineer, musician, and songwriter. He’s best known for his work with the Sex Pistols. Goodman first caught the band on April 3, 1976. That night, the Pistols opened for the 101ers, Joe Strummer’s pre-Clash group, at the Nashville, a pub in London. After the show, Goodman went backstage and offered to rent the band his PA. From that point on, Goodman mixed their live sound, right up until the Pistols left for their American tour in January 1978.

He also produced demo sessions for the group in July and October 1976, as well as January 1977. A couple of tracks Goodman was behind the board for ended up as B-sides, including “I Wanna Be Me,” which was the flip of “Anarchy in the U.K.” When it came time to choose who’d produce the Sex Pistols’ debut album, Goodman was passed over for Chris Thomas.
 
I Wanna Be Me
 
The 1977 Sex Pistols bootleg Spunk, consisting of Goodman’s studio recordings, surfaced just prior to the October 1977 release of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. Many preferred Goodman’s raw production over the glossy Bollocks. It’s still a mystery as to who provided the tapes for Spunk, though Goodman has always been a suspect.
 
Spunk
 
In July 1978, the Dave Goodman and Friends 7-inch came out on Goodman’s own label (christened “The Label”). Both Paul Cook and Steve Jones—drummer and guitarist for the Sex Pistols—play on the A-Side, “Justifiable Homicide,” though they couldn’t be listed in the credits due to contractual reasons.
 
Just H
 
Cook and Jones also had a hand in writing the tune, which is sung by Goodman. Unsurprisingly, parts of the song sound very much like the Sex Pistols.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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08.02.2018
08:36 am
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