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Les Miserable

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PostSubject: Greg Lake RIP.   Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:19 pm

Made some great music down the years Crying or Very sad
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:21 pm

FFS.Keith Emerson died not so long ago,only Palmer left now.Very versatile singer and musician,under rated in many quarters.His Xmas song is one of my all time favourites and doubtless will be played a lot over the coming weeks as a fitting tribute.

RIP Greg and thanks for the memories
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Rollo Tomasi



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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:42 pm

Pretty sure that their debut performance was in the Plymouth Guildhall. It was just before the Isle of Wight gig.
I missed that one but did see them in the Royal cinema a year later. Possibly the loudest band I ever saw.
Bit pretentious and showy although what else would you expect from Emerson and Palmer. Lake seemed to hold it all together.
I hold them responsible(well,partially) for punk which came about as a sort of antidote to the rock/classical bands like Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Soft Machine, etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:55 pm

Not to forget King Crimson of which Greg was a founder member and played on the excellent first album which featured 21st Century Schizoid Man. He left shortly after to form ELP for reasons anyone that has met Robert Fripp will entirely understand.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Thu Dec 08, 2016 11:30 pm

Another huge talent gone but what is often over-looked is the humour in his lyrics. Some of his songs are genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.

Punk was clearly a reaction to the prog years but I reckon these things are cyclical and every now and then the 2 chord thrash will make a comeback and the whole thing starts all over again and Punk is where the cycle starts and Prog where it ends.

As an example I watched the UB40 documentary on BBC4 recently (highly recommended by the way for all sorts of reasons) and they described how they bought instruments they couldn't play, hyped themselves up locally, practised a bit, winged it and became hugely successful despite, by their own admission, not being able to tune their own instruments or even pretty much even play properly until they got to their 3rd album (by which time they were mega). Obviously they were a reggae band but had they been rock they'd've been Ramoning it like hundreds of others until they figured out how to play.

Two more examples of this are The Beatles and The Clash. Both started as straight-up rock n roll bands who just wanted to get up there and pretend they were Buddy Holly and then they began to master their craft and their music changed as they did leaving The Clash (LP) or Give 'Em Enough Rope miles away, musically, from Sandanista or Combat Rock just like Sgt Pepper is unrecognisable as being made by the band that recorded With The Beatles or Please Please Me (LP).

Greg Lake, Keith Emerson and many others came at the business of making music after a "traditional" musical education and they could read music, tune their instruments etc before they'd hit the public sphere so for them Twist & Shout, Love Me Do or Tommy Gun was never on the radar.

Strangely I think each secretly admires the other (not that they would ever let on): one for their energy and innovation; the other for their technique and their, in a different way, innovation.
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Les Miserable

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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:04 am

Decent post.
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Sir Francis Drake

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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:17 am

Thank you.

Here's a link to that UB40 thing:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

They aren't a band I am especially fond of but this is one of the best band documentaries I have ever seen, tells an astonishing tale that I was largely unaware of and is well worth a watch.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:12 am

It wasn't bad, if you enjoy watching a divided family bitching about money and each other
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Rollo Tomasi



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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:50 am

Punk, in its truest form, was anti music and also a pisstake of Glamrock.

Bowie, Bolan, Gabriel, Ferry, Wakeman etc were in their firing line. Not so much for the music, more for the over the top stage performances.

The Beatles were fast learners and their innovative methods and abilities are/were unique.

Modern music is going nowhere. I consider myself to be most fortunate to have been around during the sixties and seventies.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:22 am

Rollo Tomasi wrote:
Punk, in its truest form, was anti music and also a pisstake of Glamrock.

Bowie, Bolan, Gabriel, Ferry, Wakeman etc were in their firing line. Not so much for the music, more for the over the top stage performances.

The Beatles were fast learners and their innovative methods and abilities are/were unique.

Modern music is going nowhere. I consider myself to be most fortunate to have been around during the sixties and seventies.


Johnny Lydon and Sid Vicious especially were huge fans of Glamrock Bowie in particular because of the clothes he wore and stage presence, like any movement the original excitement soon boiled over and you had Sweet, Mud and Showaddywaddy. If you read Lydons autobiography he was a voracious absorber of music, being a huge fan of Can, Van Der Graaf Generator, Reggae to even Black Sabbath and Status Quo. Certainly some bands were identified as old farts; Zeppelin, ELP, Yes and Floyd but if they were railing against anything, it was the sheer boredom of being a young adult with not much money in the mid 70's and revulsion at the so called counter-culture.

In reality punk was far less of a thing in the mid 70's than it is now, it was initially centred purely around certain suburbs of London (like Glam) and small pockets of Manchester and by the time it broke into the mainstream, which can be pinpointed to the Grundy incident, under its own defining terms it was over. Then instead of inconsequential pap like Mud, things turned somewhat nastier with Sham 69.

Sleaford Mods are an outfit doing something a little different but I would expect the politics not to be to your liking.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:41 am

Hugh Watt wrote:
It wasn't bad, if you enjoy watching a divided family bitching about money and each other

There was lots of that but it was the way they got started that floated my boat.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:02 am

Punk was all sorts of things but what it wasn't was coherently one thing to everybody.

Mostly it was about shocking and rebelling. That was pretty much it. The clothes, music, politics (such as there were any) came from that: it was just kids winding their elders up and why shouldn't they?

The whole "Anarchy" thing was just kids kicking against rules they didn't like rather than a properly robust political ethos but, then again, Anarchy can never be a political ethos by definition because it is different for everybody.

And it all happened at a time when mass youth unemployment dominated the wider economy. It really did seem like there was "no future" for many at the time so having been to school and got your qualifications you emerged into a world where there were no jobs to be had. It's no wonder they wanted to destroy the system.

The Pistols/Grundy debacle erupted partly because Grundy was a bit pissed but mostly because he was leering at one of the girls that was tagging along with them. Basically they just thought he was a dirty old man and told him so. He egged them on and they were happy to oblige. If you watch that footage again the Pistols are a bit like naughty schoolboys who know they are being naughty and can't believe that they are getting away with it.

Probably the most constructive thing to emerge from the nihilism was the DIY ethos. Punks realised early on that nobody was going to do it for them so they did it for themselves whether that meant playing the gigs, promoting them, reportage about them, recording the songs etc.

As Hugh says once it took off there was money to be made, others did start "helping" (aka exploiting), the Pistols signing to a major record label is a good example, and it all imploded pretty quickly.

Back to the music itself which was classic rock n roll as played by skinny white kids in black leather jackets since time immemorial and that will always sound roughly similar across the ages because the same chords will always be the easiest to play and the transition between them will always be easier one way than another and nobody is ever going to want to go on stage and try to perform a song which exists beyond their ability to play it.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:41 am

Sir Francis Drake wrote:
Punk was all sorts of things but what it wasn't was coherently one thing to everybody.

Mostly it was about shocking and rebelling. That was pretty much it. The clothes, music, politics (such as there were any) came from that: it was just kids winding their elders up and why shouldn't they?

The whole "Anarchy" thing was just kids kicking against rules they didn't like rather than a properly robust political ethos but, then again, Anarchy can never be a political ethos by definition because it is different for everybody.

And it all happened at a time when mass youth unemployment dominated the wider economy. It really did seem like there was "no future" for many at the time so having been to school and got your qualifications you emerged into a world where there were no jobs to be had. It's no wonder they wanted to destroy the system.

The Pistols/Grundy debacle erupted partly because Grundy was a bit pissed but mostly because he was leering at one of the girls that was tagging along with them. Basically they just thought he was a dirty old man and told him so. He egged them on and they were happy to oblige. If you watch that footage again the Pistols are a bit like naughty schoolboys who know they are being naughty and can't believe that they are getting away with it.

Probably the most constructive thing to emerge from the nihilism was the DIY ethos. Punks realised early on that nobody was going to do it for them so they did it for themselves whether that meant playing the gigs, promoting them, reportage about them, recording the songs etc.

As Hugh says once it took off there was money to be made, others did start "helping" (aka exploiting), the Pistols signing to a major record label is a good example, and it all imploded pretty quickly.

Back to the music itself which was classic rock n roll as played by skinny white kids in black leather jackets since time immemorial and that will always sound roughly similar across the ages because the same chords will always be the easiest to play and the transition between them will always be easier one way than another and nobody is ever going to want to go on stage and try to perform a song which exists beyond their ability to play it.

The DIY ethos was as much part of the Skiffle scene that the Beatles emerged from as punk.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:19 am

Hugh Watt wrote:
Sir Francis Drake wrote:
Punk was all sorts of things but what it wasn't was coherently one thing to everybody.

Mostly it was about shocking and rebelling. That was pretty much it. The clothes, music, politics (such as there were any) came from that: it was just kids winding their elders up and why shouldn't they?

The whole "Anarchy" thing was just kids kicking against rules they didn't like rather than a properly robust political ethos but, then again, Anarchy can never be a political ethos by definition because it is different for everybody.

And it all happened at a time when mass youth unemployment dominated the wider economy. It really did seem like there was "no future" for many at the time so having been to school and got your qualifications you emerged into a world where there were no jobs to be had. It's no wonder they wanted to destroy the system.

The Pistols/Grundy debacle erupted partly because Grundy was a bit pissed but mostly because he was leering at one of the girls that was tagging along with them. Basically they just thought he was a dirty old man and told him so. He egged them on and they were happy to oblige. If you watch that footage again the Pistols are a bit like naughty schoolboys who know they are being naughty and can't believe that they are getting away with it.

Probably the most constructive thing to emerge from the nihilism was the DIY ethos. Punks realised early on that nobody was going to do it for them so they did it for themselves whether that meant playing the gigs, promoting them, reportage about them, recording the songs etc.

As Hugh says once it took off there was money to be made, others did start "helping" (aka exploiting), the Pistols signing to a major record label is a good example, and it all imploded pretty quickly.

Back to the music itself which was classic rock n roll as played by skinny white kids in black leather jackets since time immemorial and that will always sound roughly similar across the ages because the same chords will always be the easiest to play and the transition between them will always be easier one way than another and nobody is ever going to want to go on stage and try to perform a song which exists beyond their ability to play it.

The DIY ethos was as much part of the Skiffle scene that the Beatles emerged from as punk.

Exactly.

Like I said there was little difference between The Beatles and Punk in the early days of each: nobody had anything and it was all make do and mend all over the place.

Another similarity is that nobody anywhere thought any of it would last very long. The Beatles kept it together for about 8 years and that amazed themselves about as much as anybody!

They both gave a peg on which other bands could hang their colours too. There were loads of bands who rode the wave of the scene (as they did with The Stone Roses/Madchester thing later) so Punk left us with bands like The Stranglers, Squeeze and Elvis Costello who adopted some of the Punk vibe but who were never really Punks themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:35 am

Hold your horses. You simply cannot compare any punk band with the Beatles. Punk wouldn't know a melody or harmonies if it hit them in the face. And this is why they'll being playing the Beatles in 100 years time. We all attach ourselves to the music of our youth but Punk? Seriously!
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:15 pm

Rollo Tomasi wrote:
Hold your horses. You simply cannot compare any punk band with the Beatles. Punk wouldn't know a melody or harmonies if it hit them in the face. And this is why they'll being playing the Beatles in 100 years time. We all attach ourselves to the music of our youth but Punk? Seriously!


Most punk was loud, shouty, very crude and difficult to decipher but there was some excellent stuff hidden amongst the dross, most notably from the clash that continues and will continue to be played and still sounds fresh and relevant imo.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:12 pm

Rollo Tomasi wrote:
Hold your horses. You simply cannot compare any punk band with the Beatles. Punk wouldn't know a melody or harmonies if it hit them in the face. And this is why they'll being playing the Beatles in 100 years time. We all attach ourselves to the music of our youth but Punk? Seriously!

By the time the Beatles released their first LP they had been gigging constantly for the last 5 years. The Pistols were thrown together in late 1975 as a loose collection of layabouts hanging around McClaren and Westwoods shop. They were poor to begin with but Never Mind The bollocks stands up on its own merits, London Calling by the Clash is regularly cited as one of the greatest Rock albums of all time.

The Skiffle scene from the Beatles emerged is very similar to the punk era in many respects, the instruments were home made all you needed was a tea chest, a washboard and a broom handle for the bass. Before the Teds arrived on the scene, most youths dressed like their parents, this was the first time they created an identity and said bollocks to rationing, austerity and the war. There was gratuitious violence in the dance halls and at the pictures where rock around the clock kicked it all off.

But as I say the only difference was The Beatles played together for years and years before getting anywhere (But I prefered the Who!)
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:38 pm

I would say that most 60's bands played together for a number of years before being discovered. Unless you came from a major city then you had little chance of succeeding. The Betterdays from Plymouth were a brilliant Rolling Stones type group but could not make the breakthrough.
And there were some great pub bands in the seventies but none of them proceeded to the next level.
Never understood why.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:40 pm

Rollo Tomasi wrote:
Hold your horses. You simply cannot compare any punk band with the Beatles. Punk wouldn't know a melody or harmonies if it hit them in the face. And this is why they'll being playing the Beatles in 100 years time. We all attach ourselves to the music of our youth but Punk? Seriously!

Seriously.

Everybody starts off being unable to play anything other than the most basic stuff. Luckily that basic stuff lends itself perfectly to the two chord thrash that rock n roll is based on. That's exactly where The Beatles started as they emerged from skiffle and headed to Hamburg. That's pretty much exactly where Punk started. Where each ended up was very different but they were all different animals altogether to the ones that started off then.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:48 pm

Rollo Tomasi wrote:
I would say that most 60's bands played together for a number of years before being discovered. Unless you came from a major city then you had little chance of succeeding. The Betterdays from Plymouth were a brilliant Rolling Stones type group but could not make the breakthrough.
And there were some great pub bands in the seventies but none of them proceeded to the next level.
Never understood why.

Waaaaaaaaaay back I used to know the daughter of Pete Spearing. He was a leading light in Plymouth's music scene back in the day. I don't recall which bands he played with apart from Stonehouse Creek though.

Anyway here's what he did back in 1971:



I can't for the life of me hear much difference between that and the stuff that became popular in that era.

Another damned fine local band was The Retreat. They put out a couple of CDs as I recall but never really hit the heights like they could (should?) have.

It's always been tough for bands from down here to get noticed. The only other ones I can think of that even nearly hit the radar were Baby Jane.

Muse have proven that it is possible but maybe they are the exception? (Unless Coldplay and Joss Stone count.)
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:09 pm

I remember him playing along with a talented drummer, Ian Snow, in a band called Asgard. Saw them perform in the Camels Head and came away wondering why were they playing in pubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:13 pm

There will be a tribute from Carl Palmer to Greg Lake on Last Word BBC R4 at 4 pm.
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PostSubject: Re: Greg Lake RIP.   Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:22 pm

Sir Francis Drake wrote:
Waaaaaaaaaay back I used to know the daughter of Pete Spearing. He was a leading light in Plymouth's music scene back in the day. I don't recall which bands he played with apart from Stonehouse Creek though.


I can't for the life of me hear much difference between that and the stuff that became popular in that era.

Another damned fine local band was The Retreat. They put out a couple of CDs as I recall but never really hit the heights like they could (should?) have.

It's always been tough for bands from down here to get noticed. The only other ones I can think of that even nearly hit the radar were Baby Jane.

Muse have proven that it is possible but maybe they are the exception? (Unless Coldplay and Joss Stone count.)

Pete Spearing used to play in Earth with the Greg VanDike of local fame on keyboards. I have a great photo taken by my brother of them playing on the Hoe.
Retreat got a contract to move on,  but to be honest, some of them just didn't want to know, they were just happy musicians in a scene. Not everyone wants the crap. The singer wanted the big time, but failed miserably on his own. Rick certainly didn't want it and was still around in Plymouth up til recently. At the time, the Levellers, I think they were called with the obvious reference, cornered the celtic rock/folk/pop fusion thing. Many were in to the folk music aspect and the lifestyle, not the  pop thing.
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