Rolling Stones – Heartbreaker – a song of social importance.

Rolling Stones – Heartbreaker – a song of social importance.

 

The Stones don’t do a great number of songs with any social or political importance but this is one.

I thought it was particularly pertinent given the current concern regarding the gunning down of black youths by white police officers. The debate is whether there is an element of racism in the actions.

This song is concerned with the violence in the cities and the terrible drug situation. Heroin, Crystal Meth, Cocaine and many other drugs have taken a terrible toll on people. When are we going to get unbiased information and a responsible drugs law.

It is obvious to me that the war on drugs is lost and was wrong from the start. Drugs are a health issue and should have been an education issue. Prohibition has put money into organised crime and made the situation worse by glamourizing it.

The gun laws in the States are fuelling crime, murder and death. Look at the statistics.

Rolling Stones – Heartbreaker Lyrics

The police in New York City
They chased a boy right through the park
In a case of mistaken identity
They put a bullet through his heart

Heartbreakers with your forty four
I wanna tear your world apart
You heart breaker with your forty four
I wanna tear your world a part

A ten year old girl on a street corner
Sticking needles in her arm
She died in the dirt of an alleyway
Her mother said she had no chance, no chance
Heartbreaker, heartbreaker
She stuck the pins right in her heart
Heartbreaker, a pain maker
Stole the love right out of you heart

Oh yeah
doo, doo doo doo doo
Oh yeah
doo doo doo, doo doo
I wanna tear that word apart

Oh yeah
doo, doo doo doo doo
Oh yeah
doo doo doo doo doo
I wanna tear that word apart

Heartbreaker, heart breaker
You stole the love right out of my heart
Heartbreaker, heartbreaker
I wanna tear your world apart

Heartbreaker, heartbreaker
Stole the love right out, stole the love right out

Doo, doo doo doo doo doo
Ah yeah, you shot the kid, he had no chance
Doo doo, doo doo do
Ah yeah, Ah yeah, you stuck pins right in her heart
Doo doo, doo doo do
You heartbreaker, I wanna tear your world apart
Doo doo, doo doo do……..

Songwriters: JAGGER, MICK / RICHARDS, KEITH
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More and more about Opher’s World.

More and more about Opher’s World.

This blog celebrates Love, Humour, Kindness and Awe.
It is a howl of creativity – A feast of ideas – A source of controversy.
A thing of beauty – A delight of wonder – A splurge of passion.
I preach Tolerance – Empathy – Equality – Freedom – Respect –
Responsibility and Passionate Argument.
I will post some of my photos from round the world, examples of my poetry, extracts from my books, my views, ideas and dreams. I will tell you what I stand for and against and argue my case.
It would be great it you told me your views. Perhaps we could have a good argument about it!! There’s nothing better than a good passionate exchange of deeply held views.
This will be the marmite of blogs!
I want a fair, just world, life in harmony, a sustainable future and a positive Zeitgeist!

A Divine Wind – Poetry

A Divine Wind

 

A divine wind blew the young man to oblivion

In pursuit of a dream,

A promise,

An ideal;

A sense of nationalism,

To protect the homeland.

 

A divine mission blew the young man to oblivion

In pursuit of a dogma,

A promise,

An archaic text,

A wish for eternal life,

A paradise with sex on tap.

 

A mission, a wind, a promise

Based on fear of oblivion,

As desperate young men dream

And sacrifice themselves

For ideals,

For desire,

For fake promises

And impossible dreams.

 

Opher – 29.9.2019

 

 

Kamikaze means divine wind. It seems that idealism can do terrible things. Nationalism, religious fanaticism and political extremism are often the cause of great misery.

Poetry – Not Knowing – I Don’t Know What to Make of it? – a poem about wonder and awe.

Poetry – Not Knowing – I Don’t Know What to Make of it? – a poem about wonder and awe.

You get so caught up in life that you don’t have time to think. What is the aesthetic? Why do some things look so brilliant and others so drab? What makes a good poem or a crap writer?

What are those feelings that you have inside?

What is that makes the essential person that is you?

What is interesting, pertinent and wise?

You spent so much of your time chasing a pay slip that you don’t have time to think.

As knowledge increases we find there’s so much more we don’t know. It’s wonderful!

NOT KNOWING

I just don’t know

What it’s all about.

The older I get

The less I know.

Why a twig looks so right iced in frost

And a cloud can glow.

What it is you feel inside aching with love?

What makes a book read well?

A painting looks right?

And the beauty in the purple and orange glowing above?

Why an eye twinkles

When a person is OK?

When a man has a view

Worth listening to

And you desperately want someone to stay.

There has to be more than a pay slip

But I just don’t know what to make of it.

 

Opher 18.7.96

Poetry – Without me – a surreal night of icy moon and reptilian clouds.

Poetry – Without me – a surreal night of icy moon and reptilian clouds.

Sometimes the world is unreal, like a stage-set. The lighting is too surreal. It bathes everything in its frigid glow and freezes it.
The moon was casting a bright, hard blue glow, creating sharp shadows and inky pools. It transformed the countryside into ice.
It seemed to rush across the sky yet it was the clouds streaming by. Those clouds were high and wispy and formed into the scales of some huge celestial fish that glowed with life; the life that the moon was sucking from the land.
I did not know what to look at;
The wondrous rushing panorama of the sky or the frozen ocean of the land. They were both as magnificent and unreal.
It was a story of vastness and mystique. The eye and mind were held by the spectacle. It felt like a performance, a living piece of Art, yet it was so cold and devoid of warmth. It was a tableau of beauty yet without life.
I felt as if I was the only person in the whole universe who was witnessing it. It was exhilarating yet it sent a tremor of fear through my spine.
I knew one day it would perform its similar tricks and no eyes would be there to marvel.

WITHOUT ME

The large Moon gliding through
The illuminated scales
Of some giant surreal fish
With icy-blue bitter light
Bathing the fields
With stark clarity.
As the fields rolled in eerie relief
Like a crystalline sea
I found it hard to imagine
That the scene could exist
Without me.

10.10.95

Bob Dylan – Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues – lyrics that satirise an unpleasant right-wing bunch of fanatics.

Bob Dylan – Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues – lyrics that satirise an unpleasant right-wing bunch of fanatics.

john birch John Birch jesus_saves_kkk

The John Birch society are a right-wing organisation that is paranoid about a commie take-over. They hunt out un-American activity.

I thought it was hilarious when John Lennon was asked about the Beatles being a danger to American youth. The presenter said to him that they had been called ‘UnAmerican’, to which Lennon replied – ‘That’s very observant of them. We’re not American.’

This was Bob in his humorous, Chaplinesque manner, with a Woody Guthrie inspired talking blues and a bit of barbed wit. Instead of an all-out attack on the right-wingers paranoid rabidity he chose to deploy humour and satirise their stupidity.

It went down brilliantly live. He recorded it for the first album but the powers-that-be thought it too political and risky. They thought it might elicit a backlash that would hit sales.
There was controversy at the time but in the end it was left off. That’s a shame as it is a great song.

I love the humour and can’t think of a better way to lampoon fanatics. Perhaps that’s what we should be doing with ISIS and the Creationists?

Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues Lyrics

  • Well, I was feelin’ sad and kind of blue
    I didn’t know what I was gonna do
    The Communists were comin’ around
    They was in the air, they were on the ground
    They were all over

So I ran down most hurriedly
And joined the John Birch Society
I got me a secret membership card
Went back to my backyard
And started looking on the sidewalk
‘Neath the rose bush

Well, I was lookin’ everywhere for them gold darned Reds
I got up in the mornin’ and looked under my bed
Looked behind the kitchen, behind the door
Even tore loose the kitchen floor, couldn’t find any

I looked beneath the sofa, beneath the chair
Looking for them Reds everywhere
I looked way up my chimney hole
Even looked deep inside my toilet bowl
They got away

I heard some footsteps by the front porch door
So I grabbed my shotgun from the floor
I snuck around the house with a huff and hiss and
“Hands up, you Communist” it was a mail man
He punched me out

Well, I quit my job so I could work alone
I got a magnifying glass like Sherlock Holmes
Followed some clues from my detective bag
And discovered they was red stripes on the American flag
Did you know about Betsy Ross

Well, I was sittin’ home alone and I started to sweat
I figured they was in my television set
I peeked behind the picture frame
And got a shock from my feet that hit my brain
Them Reds did it, no one’s on the hootin’ nanny

Well, I finally started thinkin’ straight
When I run outta things to investigate
I couldn’t imagine doin’ anything else
So now I’m at home investigatin’ myself
Hope, I don’t find out too much, good God

Poetry – Wining to the End – a poem about experiencing life to the full and evaluating the worth.

Poetry – Wining to the End – a poem about experiencing life to the full and evaluating the worth.

It is good to reach an age when you can look back over a life and feel the wonder. There are many things that you might have done differently but then you would not have been where you are.
Experience gives you perspective and appreciation.
I have been fortunate to have lived through such times, times of peace, freedom and plenty, and to have found so much love and fulfilment.
There are not many times in history or places in the world that have offered such sanctuary, liberty and lack of mind control. It has enabled me to blossom.
There are many mountains I have not climbed and many more I hope to scale. I expect the views to be magnificent.
I hope my grandchildren will experience a world full of challenge but with opportunity and without the fetters that can narrow a young mind.
An imprisoned mind cannot savour the taste of such heady liquor as life brings.
Wining to the End
Last night I sat alone with my bottle of wine
And sipped the tiniest sip of the very last drops.
I swirled the red liquid around the bottom
And saw my reflection in the bottle.
I have loved the most beautiful women
Loved until nothing else mattered;
Wondered at the moon,
Fallen through the stars
Travelled to the worlds of new ideas,
And seen the best that men can do.
I have tried to make sense of galaxies and cathedrals,
Listened to men whose eyes glinted with passion
And experienced the greatest lusts.
I have read the most considered words
And wrestled with majestic ideas,
Found causes and ideals I would die for,
And seen the worst results
From men whose eyes were hard and selfish
Yet glowed with excitement.
I have considered heaven
And imagined hell,
The greatest minds
And the most depraved,
Drunk myself unconscious,
Opened my mind to wonder
Art, poems and stories,
Written, daubed and waffled.
I have despaired at fun
And empty lives
And sought meaning and fulfilment.
I discovered it in family, friends and sharing
And a thousand kind words.
I have travelled and marvelled
And taken so many sips and gulps
And now I am at peace savouring these
Last few,
For only in them is the flavour fully distilled.

Opher 24.3.01

More about Opher’s World

More about Opher’s World

You will find lots of life, sex, love and ideas in this blog – (Ideas such as – there is no god, no purpose, no great scheme, no after-life – we need to look after our world – we have too many people – overpopulation is threatening our existence – Rock Music addresses social ills – inequality is at the heart of all the evils) – but I do not set out to be offensive, merely to argue my passionately held point of view.

This blog is a celebration of Life – not Death.

What is obscene is not sex.

Obscenity is:
– The destruction of the environment
– War
– The indoctrination of children
– Overpopulation
– Cynical exploitation
– Cruelty to animals and people
– Grotesque disparity of wealth
– Deforestation
– Fanaticism in politics and religion
– Pollution

These are the things I stand against.
These are the obscenities.

 

I want to address the world’s problems and look for a positive way forward.

I want a positive Zeitgeist

Radio Show – Sixties Psychedelia – The MP3 of the show

Radio Show – Sixties Psychedelia – The MP3 of the show

 

OK – I think this MP3 of the radio show has loaded up. I’ve played a bit of it. It seems to have recorded alright.

Audio Player

I would greatly like to know what you think of it. It’s taken us a lot of doing but it was fun.

What did you think? Hope you enjoyed it!

What should be our next one?

Excerpt from my book – ‘Rock Routes’ to show the standard of writing and style.

Excerpt from my book – ‘Rock Routes’ to show the standard of writing and style.

If you like Rock Music you’ll love this!

New Wave and the Stiff Label

The Stiff label was the home of the largest stable of New Wave artists in Britain. It was a small independent label set up by Jake Riviera and Dave Robinson in 1976 with a £400 loan from Lee Brilleaux of Dr Feelgood. Its premise was to sign up the reservoir of talent neglected by the major labels, give them a good production inspired by the Punk bands, and try to make a success out of it. They claimed they were ‘Undertakers to the industry – if they’re dead – we’ll sign ‘em’.
They became famous and successful for two reasons. Firstly there was the reputation they got for discovering great talent – Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric and Madness etc. Secondly there were the brilliant publicity campaigns including the notorious ‘If it ain’t Stiff it ain’t worth a Fuck!’ buttons.
By the end of 1980 they had a £3,500,000 turnover.
The idea for the label was almost entirely Jakes. He had thought it up in 1975 when he was tour manager for Dr Feelgood on their big US Tour. He had noticed that each town seemed to have its own independent label that promoted local talent and got it aired on local radio. If an act was successful locally it then got picked up by the big national companies. By the end of his tour he had formed his own idea of a similar independent label in Britain. He had worked out the logistics and already thought up a number of the publicity stunts that were to capture the public’s attention. All he required was someone with a little experience and money to get it off the ground. He found that man in Dave Robinson.
Dave Robinson had started out as tour manager for Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s. He went on to form the ill-fated Fame pushers promotion company who crashed after their over-hype of Brinsley Swartz. After the collapse of this venture Dave set about creating a studio and recording local talent from the London club scene. He discovered Graham Parker & the Rumour and became so impressed with them that he took over their management. By the time Jake happened upon him he had built up a vast knowledge of local talent and was in a good position, having already recorded most of them, to advise Jake on who was available, what they were like, what their potential was and who to contact.
At the time the London Pub scene was thundering along with the Pub Rock groups – Brinsley Swartz, Dr Feelgood, Chilli-Willi, Graham Parker & Rumours, Eddie & Hotrods and Kilburn & the Highroad. They were exciting and talented but almost completely passed over by the major companies.
Dave and Jake got together and compiled a list of artists that they considered neglected and set about forming a label to promote them. They aptly called it the Stiff label.
Their aim was laudable.
They set out with the intention of treating people as people and not products; to try to show a profit on each release; to avoid paying huge advances that could not be recouped; to promote their artists, give them favourable production, and record them when they were at their peak, It was to pay off. In six years they had released 150 singles and 30% of them had made the charts.
The early work of the label featured a range of work and artists including old-timers like the Pink Fairies and Dave Edmunds, heavy sounds like New Wave Hard Rockers Motorhead, pub rockers recycled such as Ian Dury from Kilburn & the Highroads, Graham Parker & the Rumour, Wreckless Eric, Two-Tone Ska with Madness and newcomers like Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Kirsty McColl and Lene Lovitch, along with a lot of old-timers such as Larry Wallis, Magic Michael, Nick Lowe, Jona Lewie and Mickey Jupp, and US imports such as Rachel Sweet.
At first the label was a small concern with the first singles being released by mail order or off the back of Lorries with only a few independent outlets. But their wise choice of acts soon brought them to attention and they handed over their distribution to Island Records in 1977. It had hit just right – emerging with the rise of Punk. Although none of the acts were strictly Punk they all fed off the energy that was generated by it. It reflected in their production techniques. A good New Wave sound was produced that was more than acceptable to the kids despite the age of some of the artists.
An essential part of the Stiff promotion, apart from the slogans, buttons and T-shirts, was the tremendous Stiff Tours. These ran along the lines of the old package tours of the 1960s. They put all the artists on a bus and set off round the country. The 1977 tour had the amazing line-up of Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe and Larry Wallis. Apart from the sheer strength of the acts was the importance of the family feeling generated between the bands. It was a feeling that manifested itself to the audiences. There was a great camaraderie between the groups, not only did they travel on the same bus, but stayed in the same hotels, shared the P.A.s, had the same length sets, alternated the billing from night to night and ended the night by jamming together. It was to prove incredibly successful catapulting Ian Dury and Elvis Costello to super-stardom and establishing all the others. It was followed in 1978 with another successful tour featuring Lene Lovitch, Wreckless Eric, Rachel Sweet, Jona Lewie and Mickey Jupp. However a similar type of tour in 1980 – called the Son of Stiff Tour – failed to achieve the same standard of acts or degree of success.
The label survived its first crisis in 1978 when Jake left to form his own Radar Record Label taking Elvis Costello, Yachts and record producer and artist Nick Lowe with him. The label bounced back with Madness, Ian Dury and the Belle Stars and the hits continued.
Stiff will be remembered for the adventurous music it has produced with novel arrangements on numbers such as ‘Lucky Number’ by Lene Lovitch and ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll’ by Ian Dury.
Ian Dury had been crippled by polio at the age of seven and ended up in an institution for severely handicapped children, an experience that was to traumatise him. His personality carried him through art school and teaching as well as performing with Kilburn & the Highroad. The Kilburns went on to become one of the top Pub Rock bands. They broke up in 1976 and Ian and Chas Jankel took a year off to work on ideas. They signed to Stiff in 1977 and their first release was ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll’ which set the pace. It was a step up from anything with the Kilburns and the production was in a different class. It would have been a hit, despite lack of airplay, except that the fact that Stiff had not pressed enough copies. Success came following the first Stiff tour where audiences were won over to his highly original stage act. He used a lot of theatrical props, producing lots of scarves from various pockets like a conjuror, chains, jujus and assorted clothing and paraphernalia. He had shaved his head and used manic stares and gestures. It was a Chaplinesque routine tinged with vaudeville, clowning and theatre, all backed up with a highly proficient funky Rock band. His songs and lyrics were unique. The single ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’, a homage to his idol Gene Vincent who also had a gammy leg, just failed to take off but ‘What a waste’ hit the charts and ‘Hit me with your rhythm stick’ got to number one. The album ‘New Boots and Panties’ was one of the classic albums of that era. Many of his songs were cockney based sex ditties but others were perceptive insights and idealistic wishes. Together they created a lexicon of quality and originality both in lyric and sound.
Elvis Costello was the other major new talent discovered by the label. His real name was Declan Patrick Macmanus. He holds the distinction of being one of the very first acts to be signed by the label in 1976. That came about when he turned up at the label’s office with a demo and his talents were instantly recognised. His strengths lay in the novel arrangements of his songs coupled with his distinctive vocals and imaginative lyrics. He released a number of singles ‘Less than zero’, ‘Alison’ and ‘The angels want to wear my red shoes’ without success. Then he scored with the album ‘My aim is true’. Following the success of that album and the media attention lavished on the Stiff tour he hit the charts with ‘Watching the detectives’. His diminutive size and Buddy Holly looks became a household fixture. He left Stiff with Jake Riviera and proceeded to have a number of big hits with ‘(I don’t want to go to) Chelsea’, ‘Pump it up’ and ‘Oliver’s Army’. He tried his hand at production with the Specials first album. Since then he has broken America, set up his own label and recorded albums in a range of styles including Country.
Of the other Stiff artists many of them had successful singles and albums but none were as unlucky as Wreckless Eric. Despite a string of brilliantly original songs – ‘Whole wide world’, ‘Pop song’, ‘Semaphore message from the graveyard’, and ‘Reconnez Cherie’ – failed to establish himself and take off into a long term success. Even so his nasally tinged Hull accent and crazy stage act has made him a cult figure with a big following. Besides it is impossible to imagine anyone like Eric becoming a super-star.
Mickey Jupp came out of the Southend Rock scene in 1963 in the Orioles and then Legend before emerging on Stiff for a short run with a ten piece band and then disappearing again.
Jona Lewie, who has a Bsc in Sociology, went out to the USA in the 1960s and played with many of the old Blues singers such as Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup. On returning to England he played with Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts and then had a minor hit with ‘Seaside Shuffle’ under the name Terry Dactyl & the Dinosaurs. He joined Stiff in 1978 and immediately had hits with ‘In the Kitchen at parties’ and ‘Stop the cavalry’.
Lene Lovitch was born in the USA with the name of Mariene Premilovich. They moved to Hull and she grew up in Hull where she had the distinction of going to school with Sue Goodall. At eighteen she moved to London and tried to get involved with the theatre but ended up busking and Go-Go Dancing. She joined Stiff in 1977 following an introduction from Charlie Gillet and hit with ‘Lucky Number’ and ‘Say when’. On tour she impressed with her elaborate costumes, weird hairstyles, theatrical movements and distinctive vocal style. She then toured on the continent and returned to find the weird theatrical niche she had occupied taken over by the likes of Toyah, Hazel O’Connor and Kate Bush.
Kirsty MacColl was the daughter of the Folk singer Ewan. She left a couple of times and returned and had a number of hits as well as writing songs for Tracey Ullman and doing a lot of backing vocals. She went on to have more success with Polydor. She was tragically killed in a boating accident in Mexico.
Rachel Sweet was born in Akron Ohio and entered Show-Biz at the age of eight when she starred in a commercial. She went on to record a minor Country hit when she was twelve and while she was still a young girl, dragging her Mum round as chaperone, she signed to Stiff and straight away set off on the British tour following that up with the hit ‘B-A-B-Y’.
Nick Lowe started out in the 1960s with Kippington Lodge and then Brinsley Schwartz, which although it failed as a Progressive Rock Band did well as a Pub Rock band. He split from them in 1975 and joined Stiff as both a recording producer and artist. He has the distinction of recording Stiff’s first single ‘So it goes’. Nick also produced records by non-Stiff artists such as Dr Feelgood and Graham Parker & the Rumour. He left Stiff with Jake in 1977 to set up Radar Records and had success with ‘Breaking Glass’.
Stiff records had an exuberance and energy about them. It was a rougher sound with more artistic licence and clear sound production. Like most independent labels it allowed a more radical approach to music and a greater degree of individuality through not censoring or restricting extremes. At times this approach can come across as amateurish but this is compensated for by the energy and commitment of the performance. The ‘feel’ of the label comes across on the ‘Be Stiff’ album. Every artist produced their own version of the Devo number ‘Be Stiff’ in their own individual style.
Whenever there is a boom in independent labels there is a burst of creativity as the undiscovered grassroots find expression and their ideas are allowed to develop rather than being stifled in the middle-of-the-road, ultra-safe policies of the major record labels that prevents individuality and ends up with a bland product.
Stiff were not the only source of British New Wave music but they dominated the market.
The retrospective box set of Stiff records was very interesting. The first disc is vibrant and as you progress you can almost feel the energy drain away. You don’t play the fourth disc.