I was sitting around the other evening (I can do that with the TV relegated to some dusty corner of an upstairs room), when I suddenly remembered the first time I heard ‘Pretty Thing’ by Bo Diddley. It must have been in about 1963 as that was when it was released in the UK. He was performing the song on TV with his oblong Gretsch guitar.
I was very excited, especially by the intro, which I still think is one of the greats. Anyway, as result of this reminiscing I thought it might be fun to do a post, or maybe more, on my favourite song intros of all time. So here goes.By the way, these aren’t in any order except as I think of them.First in the list, of course, is:
Pretty Thing – Bo Diddley.
I love the way he uses tremolo to get that pulsating effect and how it then goes into the characteristic bo diddley beat before the vocal comes in.
Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles
Again, a song I first heard on TV. This was on Juke Box Jury in 1967. It was actually released on my 18th birthday. Again I was blown away and the intro is still mysterious and evocative. It’s a mellotron playing a flute sound but as it plays loops of tape with the sound recorded on them it doesn’t really sound that much like a flute.
Steve used to have a mellotron in the studio, a white one. But they are difficult to keep tuned and we didn’t really do anything with it.
Shot by Both Sides – Magazine
I remember buying the single, around the same time as ‘Orgasm Addict’ by Buzzcocks. I think the intro is just thrilling.
So that’s three to be going on with. I’ve got plenty more and I’ll no doubt put some more in a future post. In the meantime, what are your favourites? I’m sure they’ll be different to mine. I love to know what music turns people on. No doubt some of the songs you love I will never have heard, just as you might not have heard some of mine.
At the beginning of my first post on addiction which you can read here, I posed some questions about addiction that I want to start to answer, tentatively. Why tentatively? Because addiction, it seems to me, is a complex and subtle beast about which there are many conflicting theories and opinions.
I am also aware that, when one writes about something based on one’s own experience, it is incredibly easy to be too categorical, to say “that’s the way things are”, rather than, “that’s how it seemed to me”. I’ll try to avoid that, first by clearly indicating when I’m writing about my own experiences and what they mean to me and also, without I hope making the whole thing too ‘heavy’ (there’s an early 70s word), mention some of the various theories about addiction which either support or contradict my views. I’ll put links to these as I go on so you can, if you wish, read them in more detail. Continue reading →
You can see from my two previous posts on addiction that I wasn’t exactly the most confident, relaxed and honest person around when I was younger, even before I got into active addiction.
My extreme self-consciousness and shyness meant that the best thing to do would be to have kept a low profile, not drawing attention to myself in any way. So what did I do? I grew my hair long (that is long for the mid-sixties, which was anything below collar length) and, by the time I was 18, I was going around in purple or orange satin shirts, red trousers, and a woman’s fur coat, all of this topped off with a flat cap, just the outfit to make you feel invisible! I wish I had a photo of me in this getup, perhaps Steve has one in his vast collection.
Me and Steve on Sandylands Promenade, 1967, with satin shirt and red trousers (honest) but without fur coat and flat cap. I think that’s my Hagstrom 12 string next to me
It’s as though I wanted to be invisible but at the same time I craved attention. Just one of the contradictions which go into making a personality; and I believe I’m not alone in this, I think we all have all sorts of contradictions working away beneath the surface affecting our attitudes, beliefs and the way we interact with the rest of the world.
So what has this got to do with addiction? I’m not sure but I do know that, although I was very shy in interpersonal relations, I loved performing and alcohol in particular helped me to release that side of my personality. It also helped me to be less shy and more relaxed around other people, especially girls, who at the same time attracted me and also scared me to death. Continue reading →