Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Next (1972)


Alex Harvey (February 5, 1935 - February 4, 1982) was a Scottish rock and roll recording artist. With his Sensational Alex Harvey Band, he built a strong reputation as a live performer during the 1970s glam rock era. The band was renowned for its eclecticism and energetic live performance, Harvey for his charismatic persona and daredevil stage antics.

Harvey formed the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, composed of himself, guitarist Zal Cleminson, bassist Chris Glen, and his cousins Ted and Hugh McKenna on drums and keyboards respectively. All four were former members of a progressive rock band called Tear Gas.

In 1972 Alex Harvey had reached the grand old age of 38, way too old in those hedonistic days of music to consider becoming a Pop Star. But tragically, Alex's younger brother by some ten years, Leslie, had been killed in an electrical accident during a sound check with his group "Stone the Crows" at the Top Rank in Swansea. The cause was an unearthed microphone. This tragic event spurred Alex on to have one more go at cracking the big time. At the time Alex was earning a crust in the orchestra of James Rado's iconoclastic musical 'Hair', but was persuaded by his manager, friend, and mentor Bill Fehilly, to go up to his native Glasgow, Scotland, to check out a gritty Progressive outfit called Tear Gas. The band was in the throws of giving up all dreams of stardom and going back to 'normal jobs'. They were so broke that in true Scottish tradition they had resorted to haggis hunting up the side of mountains to find sufficient nutrition to survive.

However, Alex, recognizing talent when he saw it, coerced the band to stick together and plant him in as lead singer and inspirational genius. Putting "Sensational" into the title of the band, they went into the studio and in six days had recorded their first album, released in early 1973, before starting to play live anywhere that would have them. Not surprisingly, they quickly built up a reputation of one of the hottest acts on the live circuit.

Out front was Alex himself, skin tight jeans, dirty red handkerchief hanging from his back pocket, black and white looped T-shirt, with Alex's huge head sticking out the neck (with all the creativity going on in this head, it needed to be a big one), topped off by an unruly mop of unruly jet black hair, the perfect leader.

Next to him was Zal Cleminson in a green rubber jumpsuit with cake white clown's make-up, which exaggerated his gurning face as he cut loose during the solos, and becoming a complete maniac, the perfect foil.

On the other side of the stage on bass was a man who could of made a living as an Elvis impersonator, or at least one of Elvis' bouncers Mr. Chris Glen, the perfect man to have on your side if the chips were down.

On Keyboards, as befitting this lot, was Hugh McKenna, who looked more like a university music teacher than a Rock 'n' Roll star, the perfect musical director. And keeping it in the family, on drums you had Hugh's brother, Ted, the perfect rock onto which to hoist your Rock 'n' Roll flag.

The first album was a reasonable commercial success, but for once the record company saw the potential in this group. Later that year they booked a full month for the band to record their follow up album and brought in top Glam Rock producer Phil Wainman. The results were 'Sensational'. Alex sung with such pathos you cannot help but love him. Nobody else at the time could of gotten away with singing the title track, the J. Brel tribute to European Brothels, or `Gang Bang' poking fun, of an unmentionable subject. Zal Cleminson's guitar playing throughout is nothing short of brilliant, and the band supports them note for note. All of the songs here were to stay in the band's stage act in one way or another until the end, especially 'The Faith Healer' with its throbbing Tooltelbug drone opening, which was to become the band's standard bearer and opening song. (The sight of Alex staggering to the front of the stage screaming "can I put my hands on you" used to send the audience into raptures.)

`Vambo Marble Eye' became a saga that Alex was going to take to higher plains on the live stage. Final number 'The Last Of The Teenage Idols' was inspired by an event way back in 1957, when Alex Harvey won a Daily Record organized competition to find the Scottish Tommy Steele (true - I promise!), which brings the album to a fitting rocking climax before we are lulled away by a final burst of do-wop.

In another year, "The Sensational Alex Harvey Band" was the biggest touring band in Europe, quite a turn around from Haggis chasing. Unfortunately, the work load was just too much and after suffering declining health, Alex left the band in 1978, after which the band imploded. Later in 1982, Alex would die of a heart attack while on tour in Europe, a day before his 47th Birthday. Although Alex's career did not really catch fire until late, but when it finally did, it sure burned bright. If "The Sensational Alex Harvey Band" is a mystery to you, pay attention. Alex Harvey was one of the greatest ring masters to have ever strode across the field of Rock 'n' Roll.

On February 4, 1982 while waiting to take a ferry back to shore after performing his last concert with his new band, the Electric Cowboys, Harvey suffered a massive heart attack. In an ambulance on the way to the hospital, he suffered a second heart attack, this one fatal. It occurred on the day before his 47th birthday, in Zeebrugge, Belgium.

Pawed by Mott the Dog
Re-Whipped by Ella Crew


pass: mud



The Muggs (promo songs)

Man these dudes haven't come out of my player in the last three days. Calling the Motor City home... these cats ROCK!... ala Cactus meets Humble Pie. They are blowin off to Spain very soon on a tour. Tonymuggs tells me. When they come back, they start kickin out their second album. Visit their site. Here is a pull of 5 promo songs from their first release.

visit: www.themuggs.com or www.myspace.com/themuggs

pass: mud

The Muggs
by Gary Blackwell

Anyone who's seen The Muggs play out knows the trio's music is essentially a rock guitar clinic backed by a solid rhythm section. The band's forthcoming full-length CD isn't much different from the live sets (both in theory and in overall sound), serving as a Godsend for fans of blues-tinged nuggets in the vein of late 60's/early 70's stalwarts such as Bloodrock, Humble Pie and Free.

It's not a lie to say that Danny Methric's guitar chops are the focal point of the album, though drummer Matt Rost and keybassist Tony DeNardo serve up impressively thick slabs of rhythm to back him up. The band's at its best during the three-minute riff-fest "Gonna Need My Help," which couples a nasty riff with thumping bass and drums, Zeppelin-esque vocal wails and a goose-bump raising solo. "Rollin' B-Side Blues," "If You Please" and "White Boy Blues" show a dirtier, grooving side of The Muggs, proving that the band's got a sultry swagger to go with its guitar throttling bravado, as well.


The Small Faces - BBC Sessions 1965-1968

Steve Marriott was born and raised in the east end of London (Bow) 30 January 1947. He is best remembered for his musical work in the groups Small Faces (1965-1969) and Humble Pie (1969-1975). he became a noted child actor and appeared as The Artful Dodger in an early London stage production of Oliver! and appeared in two films in his early teens, one with Peter Sellers. Despite his small stature and slight build, Marriott possessed a thrilling and powerful voice; he was (and remains) widely admired as one of the best British rock and soul singers of his generation.

Lane and Marriott met in 1965 while Marriott was working at the J60 Music Bar in Manor Park; Lane came in with his father Stan to buy a bass guitar, struck up a conversation with Marriott, bought the bass and went back to Marriott's house after work to listen to records. The core of the band was born that afternoon and evening.
Recruiting friends Kenny Jones and Jimmy Winston (born Jimmy Langwith, April 20, 1945 in Stratford, London), who had to switch from guitar and learn to play the organ, they rapidly progressed from rehearsals to ramshackle pub gigs to semi-pro club dates, and while not yet the crack live outfit they became -- Marriott was still learning guitar -- his explosive, sandpapery soul-belter voice attracted rising attention. They were spotted by singer Elkie Brooks who was struck by Stevie's vocal prowess and recommended them to a local club owner, Maurice King. Impressed, he began finding them work in London and beyond.

They were kicked out of their first out-of-town gig -- a workingmen's club in Sheffield -- after only three songs. Despondent, they literally walked into the mod-oriented Mojo Club nearby, offered to perform for free and played a blistering set that had the locals screaming for more and started a strong buzz. During a crucial residency at Leicester Square Cavern, they were strongly supported by Sonny & Cher, who were living in London at the time and had first spotted them in Sheffield.
The band appeared in a 1965 adventure movie crime musical, called Dateline Diamonds, about their manager (Kenneth Cope) smuggling diamonds out of the country with the help of a former Army man (William Lucas).

Marriott abruptly quit the band at the beginning of 1969, frustrated at their failure to break out of their pop image and their inability to reproduce the more sophisticated material properly on stage, and already looking ahead to a new band, Humble Pie, with Peter Frampton. The last song released during the band's career was the folksy "The Universal" in the summer of 1968, recorded by adding studio overdubs to a basic track Marriott cut live in his back garden with acoustic guitar, taped on a home cassette recorder, complete with barking dog.

Marriott died in a house fire in his home on 20 April 1991. The accident was caused by his falling asleep while intoxicated and leaving a cigarette burning, after arriving home jet-lagged from an overseas trip. Just prior to his death, Marriott and Peter Frampton had begun writing songs together again, but the project was never completed.

pass: mud

GLENN HUGHES - Music For The Divide (2006)

Hailing from Cannock, England, Glenn Hughes is a vocalist/bass player/songwriter who has a long and distinguished career to his credit. He's best-known for his work with the bands Trapeze and Deep Purple in the early to mid 1970s, both of which were true pioneers in the hard rock genre. Trapeze enjoyed some success in America, and with Deep Purple, Glenn achieved worldwide superstardom and earned a place in rock history.

After leaving Deep Purple in 1976, Glenn based himself in Los Angeles and released his first solo album, PLAY ME OUT. That album blended a mix of funk, soul, jazz, and pop with rock to create a unique sound which, along with Glenn's incredible vocal aptitude, set the stage for the diverse path his career would take in subsequent years and the singular, alluring style he would bring to all of his future work.

pass: mud




OVER 100,000 visits. WOW!!!!!


Bill Bryson
A Short History of Nearly Everything

Thanks to " Bastet" for this up. Here's an audio book for the brain. Bill Bryson's -
A Short History of Nearly Everything. This should keep the mind spinning for another 365 days. Enjoy!

Editorial Review:
From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out. To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit, Bryson succeeds admirably. Though A Short History clocks in at a daunting 500-plus pages and covers the same material as every science book before it, it reads something like a particularly detailed novel (albeit without a plot). Each longish chapter is devoted to a topic like the age of our planet or how cells work, and these chapters are grouped into larger sections such as "The Size of the Earth" and "Life Itself." Bryson chats with experts like Richard Fortey (author of Life and Trilobite) and these interviews are charming. But it's when Bryson dives into some of science's best and most embarrassing fights--Cope vs. Marsh, Conway Morris vs. Gould--that he finds literary gold.


Mott The Hoople - Mad Shadows (1970)

I want to thank Liam over at "8 days in April" for this pull. This recording (their 2nd) is before Bowie tried to glam up these English rockers. A respectable sounding album for 1970 too. This is one of those "listening" albums. It needs your attention from the first song to the last. Pure reachable rock songs to be inhaled all together. No stand outs. No hits. Just one complete peice. (Although...I really liked the first cut). This record makes you want to lay on the rug of your livingroom floor, twist a mary, all the while, observing the album's cover art and liner notes. (Listening to wax, the way it was meant too). Now if I could only find the original wax. Nice straight up piano...enjoy! - wino


In 1968, Mick Ralphs, Verden Allen, Pete "Overend" Watts and Dale "Buffin" Griffin formed a band called Silence, playing near Hereford, England. Adding then lead singer Stan Tippens in 1969, the band recorded early tracks at a studio in Monmouth, later dominated by Love Sculpture and Dave Edmunds. Stan was injured soon after joining the band and was unable to continue singing, but the band rallied and eventually signed with Island Records, moving to London to record with Guy Stevens as producer.

Stevens changed the band's name to "Mott the Hoople" from a novel of the same name by Willard Manus; the book is about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show. The band also recruited a new singer and boogie piano player, Ian Hunter. Hunter had replied to a music magazine advertisement which read "Singer wanted, must be image-minded and hungry." Tippens became the road manager for the band. Their debut album, Mott the Hoople (1969), was a cult success, and their repertoire included memorable cover versions of "Laugh at Me" (Sonny Bono), and an instrumental version of "You Really Got Me" (The Kinks).

The second album, Mad Shadows (1970), sold poorly and received generally negative reviews; as did Wildlife (1971). Even though the group was building a decent following, Brain Capers (1971) failed to sell well, and the band was close to breaking up.

David Bowie had long been a fan of the band, and heard that they were about to split. Bowie convinced them to stay together, and offered them "Suffragette City" from his then yet-to-be-released Ziggy Stardust album. They refused the song so Bowie wrote "All the Young Dudes" for them instead. Released as a single in July 1972, it was a major success in the UK, with the band using Tippens - who by this time was the band's tour manager - to sing backing vocals during live gigs. A Bowie-produced album, also called All the Young Dudes, sold well. Late in 1972 the band was going to record another Bowie song, "Drive-In Saturday", but their intended arrangement dissatisfied the composer, and their professional relationship effectively ended. Another casualty in the wake of All the Young Dudes was Verden Allen, who departed before the release of their next album, Mott.

Mott climbed into the Top Ten of the UK album charts, and became the band's best seller to date in the US. It yielded two UK hits, "Honaloochie Boogie", and "All the Way from Memphis", both featuring Andy Mackay of Roxy Music on saxophone. "All the Way From Memphis" is also featured in the movie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

Mott the Hoople's new-found popularity ultimately helped lead to the band's break-up, perhaps helped along by an exposé in New Musical Express of Tippens' role in singing the chorus of "All the Young Dudes", from a hidden microphone backstage. Ralphs left in 1973 to form Bad Company and was replaced by former Spooky Tooth guitarist Luther Grosvenor. For contractual reasons, he changed his name to Ariel Bender for his stint with the band. At the same time, former Love Affair member Morgan Fisher joined as keyboardist.

In the afterglow of The Hoople (1974), a live album was quickly released, after which Mick Ronson replaced Bender. The end was nigh when both Ronson and Hunter left the group to form a duo. Ray Major and Nigel Benjamin were added to continue the group, which abbreviated its name to "Mott".

No Mott the Hoople reunion has ever occurred, though negotiations for one were attempted in 1985; all parties have shown some interest at various times in the idea over the last 25 years or so, though recently Hunter has ruled out a full Mott reunion. A full reunion currently seems unlikely, although in 2002 and 2004, Mick Ralphs toured with Ian Hunter, as part of Hunter's backing band.