Well hello 2016 and welcome back readers, listeners, commenters and stalkers.
It seems silly to keep calling these entries "Song of the Week". Whilst I started back in the early days with a song a week it's developed (or maybe mutated) into a lot more and so the name has changed.
The New Year's Eve Beatles show that we played was sold out and ended up being a real ripsnorter. I remain a very casual Beatles fan at best but the song choices made by H really hit the spot. My habit of playing gigs with musicians who are much better than me continued and I learned quite a bit. But the real art of being in a band is knowing that you're part of a team. Understanding when NOT to play is as important as getting all your pieces played perfectly. It was pretty cool having DJ Z-Boots along to help as roadcrew, drinks supplier and quiz mistress. I guess she knows a lot more Beatles songs now and if we ever play any more then I'll insist on playing her favourite one! Here's a track I really didn't know and one that I ended up really enjoying playing. Having a chance to sing background vocals was also a real treat for me.
The Beatles - Hey Bulldog - https://youtu.be/VeDOSHzK4jk
I've given up watching free to air TV these days so have been spared the interminable 2015 year in review montages of woe that commercial networks seem to love. It's really easy to reflect on 2015 as a particularly challenging year at HQ World Wide Woozle, and one that I'd rather not repeat. Our year was defined by a few major events; a cyclone, a knee replacement and a new job.
David Bowie - Changes (live) - https://youtu.be/chUolMjZyHc?t=1m57s
I've written a lot about the cyclone and whilst it was a terrible experience for so many people, in the end it changed my life in a positive way. I gained a whole new family, learned a new language (well, I'm still learning) and understood so much more about life, the universe and everything than I thought I would.
Ray Charles - I Can See Clearly Now - https://youtu.be/Nu0N8mhry0s
Alison's knee replacement should've been the first step in her regaining mobility and a better quality of life with no pain but it hasn't happened that way...it's been a debacle of epic proportions that really isn't anyone's fault. So, if you're reading this and then talking to Alison here's what you need to know...no, it isn't going to "get better" any time soon...yes, the drugs are horrible...no, she can't "just have one drink". But there are positives. Alison's garden has been a revelation and there is nothing like home grown veggies. And all you doubters should get into kale...it's a lot more versatile and tasty than you think!
Arlo Guthrie - The Garden Song (live) - https://youtu.be/9QTj45cTB4U
Work was interesting. As you all know I gave up my career in teaching for a move into something else. Sadly it wasn't really what I had expected and to be brutally honest, it was quite frustrating. Fortunately a new opportunity with a young charity aiding those affected by military service came up and I made the move....and then a few weeks into the job was promoted. It's a fantastic place to be with enthusiastic staff who are passionate about the work. I won't lie to you; I took a hefty pay cut to move jobs but there's no doubt in my mind that it's been worth it in terms of actually feeling like I am doing something worthwhile.
Midnight Oil - Best of Both Worlds (live) - https://youtu.be/1dV6vbb1YqI
Angus has made a cautious entry to the world of cycling. I sold my mountain bike to help fund a road bike for him and he's been out a few times now. Building a new kind of fitness is hard work and I hope he sticks with it. He's good fun to ride with.
There were a couple of deaths in the rock world which certainly made me pause for thought. Firstly, Stevie Wright the legendary Australian singer passed away. Well known for his work with The Easybeats and then a solo career. A band I was once in played this next song a lot....great fun. RIP Stevie. Too young.
Stevie Wright - Evie - https://youtu.be/In1VeSjsBT8
Also passing was John Bradbury, drummer for English ska band "The Specials". If you've never listened to Ska then The Specials are a great place to start. Toe tapping stuff indeed!
The Specials - The Selecter - https://youtu.be/ujMDOYZt6QY?t=2m49s
Of course, the other notable death was that of Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead. For me personally, Motorhead are a very important band and a big influence in some ways. They were the first "big" band that I saw live and other than being deafened, I was blown away by the visual effect of a wall of Marshall amps and four men (Phil and Wurzel were on guitars on that tour) who were obviously on a mission to play loud, fast and hard for their adoring fans. Neither Lemmy nor Stevie Wright did themselves any favours health wise but that doesn't detract from their status as artists who made a huge impact.
Motorhead - 1916 - https://youtu.be/IuRxjjcPgOo
Motorhead - Angel City - https://youtu.be/K5wmVXQ3V9s
Speaking of bicycles as we were...I eclipsed my goal for 2015 which was to average 1000km a month and therefore get to 12,000km. Early in December I ticked over the 12k mark and, in a a fit of madness decided to go for 13,000km. I won't kid you, that made December my biggest month ever and it hurt a lot in the last few days but I made it. As for this year, I'm not sure how I'll get on. Certainly the 1000km a month goal will remain but anything else remains a bonus very much dependent on weather, motivation and remaining healthy!
Judas Priest - Heading Out To The Highway (live)- https://youtu.be/QdQuEpYK3as
Eat your veggies...
This week's extra special surprise song is here .