Archive for the before they were famous Category

Funky Friday – A Crash Course For The Ravers

Posted in 60's, before they were famous, books, bowie, Funky Friday, mod on November 7, 2008 by planetmondo
“Your flashy clothes are your pride and joy ” David Bowie – The London Boys

Bowie, Bolan, Bryan Ferry, Eno (and Rod Stewart) all made the breakthough from cult undergrounders to interstellar superstars as variants on the star-spangled glitterkid theme. They may have had stars in/on their eyes, but those platform boots were firmly grounded in Mod roots. The look sharp and look ahead apprenticeship of Mod, with it’s made to measure mix of American soul and Italian style, Ivy League look meets British dandyism – and an eye for the detail and an ear for a tune, was probably why Bowie (and the other moonage mods mentioned) endured beyond the best-before date and lipstick-brickie chic of their patent leather peers.

The sixties scene was an era Bowie referenced from his earliest recordings (London Boys) and one of the motifs and influences that’s remained a constant throughout his peacock career – mentions of Lennon, Beatles and Stones on various singles. Twiggy and Jagger getting name checked on Aladdin Sane (along with a Stones cover), Pin Up’s set of swinging London standards and Young Americans (covering classics like ‘Knock On Wood’ and ‘Footstomping’ during live shows), and pitching in with ‘Pictures of Lily’ on The Who tribute album through to the slim-fit suit on ‘Reality’ being almost a homecoming to the Lord John look pictured above…

David Bowie and The Lower ThirdCan’t Help Thinking About Me

(There’s a clip of Bowie on his mod days, Steve Marriot and a 1999 version of ‘CHTAM’here)

David BowieIn The Heat Of The Morning – (BBC version)

(The Last Shadow Puppets made a healthy go of ‘INTHOTM’)


Davie Jones and the King Bees
Louie Louie Go Home

(LLGH was the B-side of Bowie’s first single “Liza Jane”)

Ziggy Stardust – The Mod Who Fell To Earth

A note on the tunes….and a Bowie Bonus

Can’t Help Thinking About Me (1965)

The first recording to feature the newly named David ‘Bowie’, and almost a blueprint of Bowieness the outsider lyrics and ambiguous angst of “my head’s bowed in shame” “blackened the family name” to the set piece template of semi-spoken verse and Bowie-bellow on the chorus, it’s a tune that wouldn’t seem out of place on any album since Scary Monsters.

In The Heat Of The Morning (1970)
For my earth pounds the BBC take of this tune is superior to the official album version, and benefits from being enhanced by the extra bounce of Alan Hawkshaw’s fantastically funky keyboard coda.

The Beatstalkers (touted as the Scottish Beatles), were under Ken Pitt’s management at the same time as Bowie (and also signed to Decca). They were offered first refusal on any unused Bowie compositions or offcuts, ‘Silver Tree Top School For Boys’ is one of these, and Bowie penned ‘Penny Lane-alike‘ from 1967.

The Beatstalkers (1967)- Silver Tree Top School For Boys

I am on something of a Bowie buzz lately (two Bo’ posts in two weeks) brought on by reading the Fantistico Dave Thompson book To Major Tom – a gem and a joy of a read if you’re into any type of music or movement from Bowie’s catchment era

Grotbags A-Go-Go

Posted in 70's, before they were famous, charity shop classics, cream cheese, Funky Friday, northern soul, pop quiz on October 25, 2008 by planetmondo

So, the musical mysteron was …..Carol Lee Scott

Better know as ‘Grotbags’ from the Rod Hull and Emu show.

Carol was something of a cabaret legend before crossing over to TV, working with stars like Max Wall, Arthur Askey, Morecambe & Wise, Ella Fitzgerald and Tommy Cooper – there’s an cabtastic interview with her here – on the Licorice Soul website. I first picked up on this tune via the mighty Licorice Soul Working Mans Soul album, a cracking comp’ of classic cabaret turns.

The final rundown looks like this…

1) Kiki Dee – The Day Will Come Between Sunday And Monday

2) Brotherhood Of Man – Reach Out Your Hand

3) Carol Lee Scott – That Little Bit Of Love

As young Mr Grace used to say “You’ve all done very well” so here is the Tronik shredit of N.F.Porter’s Keep On Keepin’ On

Orig’ version

Funky Friday – Who The Funk Are You?

Posted in 60's, 70's, before they were famous, Funk, Funky Friday, northern soul, pop quiz, Soul on October 24, 2008 by planetmondo
It’s Pop-O-Matic!

Well Pop pickers – it’s something a bit diff’ for this week’s Funky Friday..

Can you work out who’s who on this tricky trio of mystery tunes? Can You do it? Of course you can. The prize of an exclusive ‘Tronik Youth’ shredit of a Northern Soul Classic will go to first past the post(ish)

I ran these three nugg’s past Marmite when I bumped into him on the Fenchurch Flyer earlier this week – he managed a healthy crack at it and was certainly in the right territory for all tracks…so I reckon it’s doable, but will give one clue for starters.

All artists are British

Mystery Track 1

Mystery Track 2

Mystery Track 3

Now, you could go a’Googling for clues – but do you really want to live with the head-a’hanging shame of knowing you’ve had a dodgy ace up your internetty.

Funky Friday – The Groover

Posted in before they were famous, Funky Friday, glam, Marc Bolan, mod, pop-lifting, T.Rex on September 11, 2008 by planetmondo
He ain’t no square, ‘without’ his corkscrew hair either – Marc Bolan joins John’s Children

Marc Bolan is the archetypal UK rock star – a pop pace setter always several stealthy steps and styles ahead of the rest of rock’s runners and riders, including an untimely death 31 years ago – early doors East End proto mod, pre-hippy days Tolkien folksy bloke, gone glam before all other gang bangers and one of the only old wavers inclusive of and included by the new wavers.So, how do you pop, skip and jump from Mod Bolan to Modfather? Like this…

John’s Children – Hot Rod Mama (BBC Session)



Which was covered by Marsha Hunt as…

Hot Rod Poppa

Which was sampled by Paul Weller for…

Always There To Fool You


Which is the instrumental version of…

There’s also a couple of more up to date, but down tempo T Rex pieces on the other side – including an interview with Marc Bolan just before he died.

Funky Friday – Before They Were Famous

Posted in before they were famous, Funky Friday, guest blogging, mini mix, mixes, mod, northern soul on March 14, 2008 by planetmondo


It’s a Mod Mod Mod world on Funky Friday this week, and a celebration of the first steps of all things swishy, swinging and sixties…In the red Mini – there’s a fistful of early doors appearances from proto popsters performing soul stompers here on Planet Mondo

In the white Mini – ‘Cool Britannia’ a bespoke ‘Funky Mod Mix’ – 45 minutes of 45s, rarities, obscurities and cinematic tracks is available for download by way of Fu Fu Stew

And in the blue Mini – a selection of blues boom guitar a go-go goodies and my big bang theory of rock are up for grabs in more guest blogging over on The Axe Victim

So the pre fame fruggery and funkiness comes in the form of light entertainers and lungbusters like…

David Essex – yes him from ‘Rock On’ ‘Tahiti’and ‘Nightclubbing’ getting all Northern Souly

David Essex – So-Called Loving.mp3

Elkie Brooks – yes her from ‘Pearl’s A Singer’ and ‘Lilac Wine’ sounding just like a proper Ronette.

Elkie Brooks – The Way You Do.mp3

And the atomic Tom Jones huffing, puffing and bellowing the house down on his first single ‘Chills and Fever’

‘Chills and Fever’ is part of the ‘‘Cool Britannia‘ mix (available at )Fu Fu Stew which continues the ‘Before They Were Famous’ theme, with appearances from Quincy Jones, Lulu, Tony Newman (later working with Bolan and Bowie), Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker as the rhythm section of The Graham Bond Organisation.

Here’s the full menu and a two minute taste test

Michael Caine on Swinging London
The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band – Cool Britannia
The Small Faces – Grow Your Own
Georgie Fame – Somebody Stole My Thunder
Graham Bond Organisation – Long Tall Shorty
Tom Jones – Chills And Fever
Loose Ends – Taxman
Bo Street Runners – Drive My Car
Lulu – Feelin’ Alright
Jack Bruce – The Ministry Of Bag
Shotgun Express – Curtains
The Shadows – Scotch On The Socks
The Kinks – Brainwashed
Quincy Jones – It’s Caper Time
Lord Sitar – I Can See For Miles
The Who – Heatwave
Zoot Money – Uncle Willie
Tony Newman – Let The Good Times Roll
Keith Mansfield – Young Scene (Theme from The Big Match)
The Italian Job -Getta Bloomin’ Move On! (The Self Preservation Society)

So get on over and fill your Chelsea boots with ‘Cool Britannia’

Jude Rodgers also has some sixties glossy pop amazingness from a very young Gloria Hunniford

Funky Friday – Funky Music, Funky Moves

Posted in bass, before they were famous, Funky Friday, Have a Go Heroes, northern soul on February 1, 2008 by planetmondo

Blimey O’Riley, it seems like a lifetime since we got on the good foot here on Planet Mondo, but there’s plenty of tasty treats on offer today.

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings franticly funky rework of – ‘I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)’ – orginally a Psych Rock groover by the First Edition featuring Kenny Rogers – set to a display of spectacular fruggery.

A crazy ace clip of the First Edition, performing ‘Condition’ with Kenny Rogers looking for all the world like a gripping hands Action Man.

And a stunning bass masterclass, with a home made vid’ of a ‘have a go hero’ playing the bassline along to MVP’s Northern Soul stomper ‘Turning My Heartbeat Up. If you don’t know ‘Heartbeat’, it’s a simmering starter that goes through the gears to an eventual giddy tizz and fireworks finale. I’d never noticed the bass run on ‘Heartbeat’ until watching this clip, seeing it in almost isolation is stunning.

If you’ve only got time for one clip, to quote James Brown “please, please, please” watch the bass vid.

In the mood to bust some moves like these? Then get on over James Brown dance class here at the marvellous Landcroft House blog.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).mp3

Doesn’t Kenny Rogers looking like one of these ?.

The First Edition – I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).mp3

I really could watch this all day.

The MVP’s – Turning My Heartbeat Up.mp3

There’s also some footage of a Northern Soul dancer set to ‘Heartbeat’
here but I find the over use of slo-mo doesn’t really suit the mood.