Sunday, April 30, 2006


When it comes to music, you can generally trust any band name or song using the word monkey or a derivative thereof.

Monkeys by Echo And The Bunnymen.

Bob And Earl's Harlem Shuffle, where they suggest that you to do the Monkey Shine (... I think).

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci ... well, they were good when they were doing those songs where they sang in English about the patio being on fire, then reverted to singing in Welsh (probably advising people to kill English tourists. I don't blame them). Not so sure about those endless pastoral albums they seem to have produced in the past decade though.

The Arctic Monkeys. Sorry, still like them. "Last nayt these two bouncers, and one of 'em's orrayt, the other 'un's the scary 'un". Well I'd rather hear their racket than any of those bands who have a track on the monthly Uncut CD. Willard Grant Conspiracy! Josh Ritter! Jenni Bond And The Thompson Twins! Grant Lubbock! Dear God in Heaven, all those bands with plaintive acoustic guitars and menacing songs about some bint getting murdered by her lover.

Country rock was always bollocks and it always will be. You can even stick bloody Gram Parsons (bored millionaire's son) in this category. Why couldn't he just call himself Graham?

Then obviously there's the Monkees. Like a lot of people of my generation, the Monkees were the first pop band I ever encountered. I don't give a stuff if they played on their own records. The songs are great of course. Fair enough, that Mexican bloke was quite irritating.

Anyway, the Monkees' Daydream Believer has been adapted for the Cheer Up Evergreen advert on the telly.

An animated frog with legs like Sophie Ellis Bextor encourages us to buy a lawn feed while accompanied by a band which features a hedgehog, a toad and some other beast that I can't remember, and 3 ladybirds as backing singers.

My older reader (the one with the cumbersome bi-focals and the print set at Really Large) may remember the backing vocalists The Ladybirds, 3 biddies who looked like librarians and accompanied popular music acts of the day such as, erm, the Love Affair or Malcolm Roberts.

With all of those musicians in tow, you'd think the song would have a fuller sound - why didn't the animators go the whole hog and get some badgers playing brass as an approximation of the Memphis Horns?

Maybe the full on soul review will be on show for next year's Evergreen campaign.

I'm off to put some bedding plants in.

I've never heard of any of these turns. You're very lucky in having a garden in which to deposit bedding plants. The sheer sides of the Valleys here in Sootfield, make gardening the Yorkshire equivalent of shinning your way up Everest.
And , of course, one cannot fail to love the classic "Funky Gibbon". Brings a tear to my eye as I remember peaking out from behind the sofa, sipping a stolen glass of Creme de Cacao, during many a parents' ( mine, not lots of other kids') party to see Dad and Glynn Riby bonding on the cushion flooring.

BW Jones - bet you can tell us a thing or two about alpines though
B-b-b-b-but I've just been getting into the whole Country Rock thing! (In a moment of freudian genius, I initially mispelt that at the start... Oops.)

That said Jenni Bond and The Thompson Twins is a great title. I just like Country Rock because it's so bloody miserable most of the time. And hearing someone elses misery is always great fun. With the possible exception of Morrissey, when it just feels laboured.
Outside now! Country rock is great! And miserable! And great! Also, 'Monkey' is far and away the best song on Low's 'Great Destroyer' album, so you might well be on to something there, Betty.
Monkey Man by the Maytals! Ai-ai-ai!!!
You called, Milady?
Yes, I am that older reader who remembers The Ladybirds. They used to be on the Morecombe & Wise Show as well, in lovely frocks. I thought they were rather alluring, in a Nana Maskouri kind of way.
Speaking as a pre-Monkee (without the zimmer frame though...) I don't have it in for monkeys either - but what's wrong with librarians..?
Blind-Winger - I'm surprised you haven't heard of the Arctic Monkeys as they're a West Riding turn. What, are you dead or something? Oh, I forgot, you are.

Cherrypie - I'm disturbed by thoughts of your parents' swingers parties now. Blimey, you find out about all sorts on the internet.

Del, Patroclus - no, I just can't summon up the powers of concentration needed to listen to country rock. I went onto Jenni Bond & The Thompson Twins' site and listened to 3 songs and I'd had enough. Sorry.

Mind you, Jenni & The Twins are on Much Later With Jooooolls Holland on Friday night, so I'll attempt to watch that but will fall asleep during Corinne Bailey Rae's first song.

Tim - well, I suppose being an orangutan you're biased, aren't you.

Arabella - I've done a Google search on the Ladybirds and can't find much - no pictures, and a few mentions of the fact that they were on the Benny Hill Show and that's about it.

Come on! They were Britain's first feminist manifesto ballbreaking girl band, years before the Slits! They at least deserve their own Myspace.

Granny-P - didn't say there was anything wrong with librarians. I dreamt of being one myself when I was young. I think this means I was setting my sights too low but I don't care.
Mike Naysmith's (the guitarist with the stoopid hat) mother invented Tipex.

Not a lot of people know that.
The Ladybirds were on the Benny Hill show?
Blast it. That man used to freak me out in a way one can't quite understand when one's small. Trust your instincts, I always say.
I must have been thinking of the lovely Marion Montgomery who sang on the M&W show - floating chiffon and a deep-south accent - didn't get more exotic than that for me. I saw her at Ronnie Scott's and nothing much had changed.
Hark at me, going on.
now, i remember the monkees-had a crush on mike nesbitt-but i'll be damned if i can recall any mexican guy.
then again, i am getting on a bit...
oo, oo, remember in the movie 12 monkeys, you get to see brad pitts ass, too. the monkey seal of quality assurance even applies to the silver screen!
...oh hell, mike NAYSMITH. anyway he was glorious.
his mom did invent witeout, friend in need to secretarial huffers everywhere. thats right, garfy!!
I think the Mexican guy might be drummer Mickey Dolenz, who was Latino, I think, but not in a moustachioed way.
I liked Mike Nesmith too; in fact he got me into country music.
Mickey Dolenz was a legendary pisshead.

He used to go on benders with Keith Moon.
Arabella - the Ladybirds were indeed on the Morecambe and Wise Show, but I don't remember them appearing on it. I can remember some woman called Selina something or other with enormous breasts and a big voice who had a residency on one of their series.

First Nations - Mike Nesmith was a bit country rock, wasn't he? But in a good way (I reserve the right to change my opinions at the drop of a hat).

Garfer - Micky Dolenz probably needed to drink a lot to calm himself down (well, he probably seemed like a sloth compared to Keith Moon anyway). I put all that hyperactivity down to e-numbers.
i liked peter tork best.

that is all.
oh, and don't say "feminist". you'll anger the feminists. probably.

*runs away*
feminist, feminist, feminist!!!!
In one of Tim Buckley's greater moments, it was described as the 'Monkey Rub'. Still have no idea what he means.

I'll explain about country some other time. You're a lost cause. Though you might be interested in Gillian Welch's 'One Monkey'. Seeing as you're interested in monkeys in the first place.

Errr yes. Mike Nesmith. Or 'Papa Nes' as he become known after he ditched all that Monkees drivel and hired himself a country band. I remember him being interviewed by Cliff Michelmore (on the Tonight show?) round about that time. He'd just quit, and they played a little bit of his new music. He cried.

I must be very old, to remember that.
Surly - yeah, when I was 6 I used to spend whole afternoons dreaming about how I was going to get off with David Jones AND Peter Tork. Truly sick.

Kyahgirl - come on laydeez! We're all feminists now, whether we like it or not, otherwise we'd all still be churning out babies every year, leading the grating and taking in washing to earn a few bob for the rest of our lives. Bollocks to all that for a way of life!

Mark - I'm not opposed to country as done by beardy old blokes, alcoholics and peroxided women who grew up in a family of 15 and have been divorced 8 times. I can't stand country rock and I am a lost cause because I generally like music for very shallow reasons. Don't bother about the lyrics or listen out for "useful" guitar work I'm afraid.

Judging by what Tim Buckley tended to sing about, I'm pretty sure what a monkey rub would be. It will probably turn up on a Google search now.

Anyway, I'm off for a bit of feminist banter about Virginia Woolf with me feminist mates now. That, and a smoke of me pipe. Tally ho, what?

*strides orff manfully*
I was quite obsessed by the Ladybirds at one point - I remember there was one called Val with big Nana Mouskouriesque specs and flicked up hair and another one called Binty or something, who was a late addition, but went on to do some other stuff. They smiled a lot but they never looked as if they were having much fun, bless 'em. Rather like the New Seekers. re: the Monkees, I was a Peter Tork man, through and through. Blonde and dorky, that's how I like 'em. grrr
Sad news just in...

"Grant Lubbock 1969 - 2006. Grant Lubbock, former frontman of grizzled Americana band The Novotels, has been found dead in a hotel room in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Grant was halfway through a tour of the UK and was due to play a prestigious London gig with Jenni Bond And The Thompson Twins at the London Astoria in June. It is thought that Grant choked on his own vomit as he caught himself in the mirror at 3 a.m. G.M.T. Tributes are thought to be pouring in."

Rest in Peace, Grant.
rhino75 - the one in the glasses is called Maggie Stredder and she used to be in the Vernon Girls, where she was known as The Girl In The Glasses. Blimey, the marketing department really came up with a zippy name there, didn't they? There was even an autobiography - see http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0954058712/202-9857083-6578216 although sadly it's not in stock.

Blond and dorky ... mmm.

Geoff - It's a shame about Grant's death I suppose. Is it one of those sinister, mystery deaths like Gene Pitney? I know you're not supposed to speak ill of the dead but his music bored the arse off me.
Thank you. Thank you for simply mentioning the Vernon Girls.
Ever noticed how Gene Pitney and Peter Tork have/had the same bottom lip? Always a bit moist...bleueueughg.
Grant's not really dead, I was just trying to get some publicity for him. He's a damn sight better than Bonnie Prince Charlie but just hasn't got the breaks as yet.

When he does die though, he'll be buried in his Nudie suit, covered in yellow rose petals.
I remember the Ladybirds on the Benny Hill show! and I remember Benny honking the spectacled girl's tit!
I swear to God, I saw this.

I worry about myself.
Arabella - The Vernon Girls? Find out all you ever needed to know, such as the fact that one of them married Joe Brown and one of them is the mother of Kim Wilde at http://www.45-rpm.org.uk/dirv/vernonsg.htm

Geoff - so you invented Grant's death just for a bit of publicity? You are cheap. And there's no way that he'd fit into that nudie suit after all that booze.

First Nations - wasn't allowed to watch Benny Hill as my parents had designs on me becoming nice and middle class for some reason.

Right, anyone who mentions the Beverley Sisters, I'm going to send them all my spam e-mails from that bloke who assures me that I don't want to be the little guy in the locker room.
I posted a comment. I did. I did.

Anyway driving along thinking of you (as I do so often) it came to me how many sucessful songs and bands have the word Doctor in them. So, all you budding singer/song writers out there, just call your band/song 'Dr Monkey'.
Mind you, I have horrible memories of Dr and the Medics. Dr Love by Tina Charles was fairly ordinary, wasn't it?
Dr Hook! : bleeerugh.


Doctor Feel Good! : hurrah.
Does Ape Man by the Kinks count? I too remember The Ladybirds. And Clodagh Rogers. And Mary Hopkin. And Terry Wogan fighting the flab and doing Wogan's Winner. Those were the days. Or not. My friend Ian went to see Val Doonican at the London Palladium and he was the first person I knew who'd ever seen anyone off the telly.

Doctor and the Medics are still at it I do believe.
Richard - I've got a Val Doonican anecdote but I won't share it here (well, not for another 6 months) because having read this post and the comments so far anyone under the age of 40 will be wanting to thump somebody.
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