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Bachelor No. 2                                                                                                                                                      

So if no one out there is going to ask the question, then I will.....

Thanks for that question, Curious from Stokely Charmichaels.
The music that gets played in the interval is Aimee Mann's "Bachelor No.2 - (or the last remains of the dodo)" album.
Actually, it starts playing at track number two, with a song called "Nothing is Good Enough".  The first show we did last year that this music was used on was...erm... Swansea Grand I think.  I'd given Ade the disc to play and told him to just bang it on and let it run.  So there we were in the dressing room and I hear the sound of "How Am I Different" (track one) start up.

"Oh Christ!" I screamed...
"What!" said Dirk
"Have you heard the Middle 8 of this song?.. I totally forgot about it"

To explain:-  Aimee Mann writes fantastic songs about relationships, but she ain't scared to use the odd expletive.  In this particular middle 8, she does just that with great aplomb.  Now I don't mind, and dear reader, you also probably wouldn't be that bothered.....  but heckerty heck, it just ain't done in some of these places.
We usually return to the stage after track 6 "Deathly"  (20 mins).
Most of the songs on this record feature in the Paul Thomas Anderson movie "Magnolia" starring; Julianne Moore, William H. Macey, Tom Cruise and heaps of other major talents.  In fact the movie was written around Aimee's songs.

The obvious question is "Why Aimee Mann?"  Well, in 1993 I was watching The Danny Baker Show and each week he had a musical guest.  Each guest played one song of their own material and were required also to perform their choice of Beatle song.  hmm.. good idea huh?  So on strode this quite odd looking but certainly not unattractive woman (bit of a babe actually if not in an orthodox way), with a lovely old Gibson J-160E strapped on. ( For the uninitiated... this is the acoustic guitar that you see John and George playing up to '66).  She launched into a rendition of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" on her own.  I could tell instinctively that she was 'one of us', and rushed out the following day to buy the album that she was promoting on the show, "Whatever".  

"Whatever" is Aimee's first solo album since she broke up from her 80's pop group "Till Tuesday". I fell in love with it at the first play, the Beatle influences don't always jump out at you... but they are there, perhaps most obviously on "Mr Harris".  A tune that reeks melodically of "For No One", this according to Aimee, is the only track on the album that is not in some way biographical.  Lyrically, this album is stunning for anyone who has been in a relationship.  She just sums stuff up in one line where most of us would struggle using a few pages.  It's one of my all time favourite records!

Checking out the album credits, I came across the name "Jon Brion" as producer and co-writer on some tracks.  This name sounded very familiar.  I wondered if it could have been the Jon Brion that I had met in Japan in 1983, whilst touring with Mojo Filter and May Pang.  Jon was in a Beatle group from Connecticut called "The Excepts", they were part of the tour and we all got on really well.  At the end of the tour, Jon was staying in Japan to try and secure some sort of deal for his own music, and that was the last I heard of him except a couple of postcards.  At the next Liverpool Beatle Convention I asked Charles F. Rosenay!!!  (those !'s make me howl Charles....  hope someone knows what I'm talking about here) if it WAS Jon, as he was the one who had taken the Excepts to Japan.  "sure is" he confirmed.

Wow!!  I've just realised how un-interesting that story is...  accept my apologies dear reader. Oh but the point is.. yes that's it... Beatle fans... you can't keep 'em down.  And as for the Fabs themselves, well, their shockwaves are STILL circulating round the world, inspiring new music all over the place in each new generation.  See....  I knew that I would make a point eventually.

Back to Ms. Mann and moving on to her second LP.  This one is called "I'm With Stupid", released in 1996.  By now Aimee was fast picking up critical acclaim from her peers if still not getting much success with the record buying public. She had already collaborated with Elvis Costello back in her Till Tuesday days and got Roger McGuinn to provide the famous "Tambourine Man" lick on "Could've Been Anyone" from "Whatever" .This album has contributions from Ron Nasty, Barry Wom, Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford.  I have to say, that this is not my favourite Aimee album, but it's got some pearlers on there, they just take a bit more listening to.

1999's "Bachelor No.2", I've dealt with,- her latest offering "Lost in Space" came out a couple of years back and is the natural progression from "No.2".  Again, this record was a little more difficult to get into, but matures like a rare old cheese!  (Jeeze.. I hope she never reads  I'm supposed to be a fan)

You tend to find Aimee's songs cropping up in all sorts of movies.  There are a couple in Peter Howitts "Sliding Doors".  Now there is another unashamed Beatlemaniac....  who got all the Beatle references in THAT film?.. 
Oooh that gives me an idea.. send in your favourite Beatle cover versions...  lets see what ya like.  My fav. has to be Fiona Apple's "Across The Universe".
I tend not to be too keen on people doing covers, they hardly ever do them any justice (some statement coming from someone who performs in a Beatle cover but ya know what I mean!)

The message is folks....  Have a crack at some Aimee Mann stuff, you know it makes sense.

I found these great deals below at Amazon...  My No.2 cost 15 nicker, Amazon £4.99 
I think they have some clips on there so you can try before you buy.

www.aimeemann .com

Thursday 28th February 04                                                                                                                              

Theatre Brycheiniog, Brecon.

OK, so back-trackin' a bit to last week, Thursday actually.  We set off on the long and wind (that's enough of that corny stuff already!!!!)ing road to Brecon.  For those of you without an atlas, it's buried in the middle of Wales accessible only by driving through some of the most beautiful countryside.  We stopped off in Newtown do devour the local Haré Ramsdens.  Well... three of us did, Eddie has now got into the habit of bringing sandwiches and a banana on all gigs.  Derek always smells them first, either that, or his ears twitch at the gentle sound of tin foil unwrapping.  Rick complained to the staff that Roy had been given more chips than he was due, and complained to Roy for nicking half his bread and butter.  Dirk was too busy spilling his cod down his kecks to notice anything. The call came....It was the venue asking where we were.  Apparently, Brecon was under some sort of snow siege and they were worried that we wouldn't be able to make the gig.  We reassured them that it was fine.  The crew were 5 miles away and had had no problem.
So we got back on the road and it had indeed started snowing.  The scenery from here to Brecon was breathtaking and it was one of those really pleasant drives that seem so rare these days.
The Theatre Brycheiniog was really nice, set on a canal on the edge of the town.  Shame that the weather kept a lot of people wrapped up warm and cosy at home, but we had a good gig anyway and I .... think the audience liked it.

Saturday 28th February 04                                                                                                                               

Assembly Rooms, Tamworth.

Tamworth Assembly Rooms on Saturday, was different barrel of grapes (whatever that means)  oh yeah.... we knew in advance that this one was a sell out, and that kinda gave us a good feeling about it.  Dirk arrived with a really bad allergy attack. He was a bit worried about being able to sing.  He shouldn't have worried... he didn't miss a note, but we could all tell that he had had to work harder than usual to get through it.....  such troopers!!!  Apologies to the woman in the front row who got really scared when one of Roy's drum sticks broke and went flying towards her.  Now I know why we have to have that public liability insurance -  "Woman maimed in freak drum-stick accident"  They could send us to prison!!

So back to now... and what's on the cards for this week?  Well.. no theatres.. its down to "That London" on Saturday and Sunday for a corporate and a wedding,... Oh!! non of us is getting married.. we are playing at one.. sorry... was that mis-leading?

Saturday 6th March 04                                                                                                                                       

Saturday, we traveled down to the smoke for a gig for the London Lions Charity at the The Tower Thistle Hotel.  Nothing particularly unusual about this, we've done hundreds of these types of functions.  Well actually, there was something a little bit special about this one....  An award was being given in the afternoon to Heather Mills McCartney!....  and yes....  HE was there!
But, before y'all get excited... no, we didn't see him, although we did sign the next page in the guestbook.  Check out the article in "Hello" or one of them other daft celeb. mags!!!


Sunday 7th March 04                                                                                                                                          

Mandarin Oriental Hotel,

Spent day kicking round London.  Roy and the crew decided on a tramp around HMS Belfast, whilst the other three settled for endless cups of Seattle coffee.  
RAC to the rescue when car wouldn't start and we needed to get over to Knightsbridge for the next gig.  The guest list at the wedding included Sir Roger & Lady Moore, Joan & Jackie Collins and Michael Winner.  There is simply nothing like being on a stage and having James Bond dancing and singing to "Ticket To Ride" in front of you.  Towards the end of the set, the band were joined on stage by American singer Polvka, who delivered her own raunchy version of Come Together.  Think it was our favourite part of the set!!
PS.....  Roy recalled the incident on the stairs:   We had kept all the guitars downstairs while the wedding guests were moving from room to room.  When it was time for us to eat and get changed, they had to be moved upstairs to the room that had just been vacated by the revelers.  Roy was carrying the large case with the Rickenbacker 4001 in it.  Clearly not paying enough attention to where he was going, the  rather over-sized object came about 2 inches from being wedged up the arse of Hollywood icon, Joan Collins.  She gave him a look as though she had just stepped in a lawn sausage and moved gracefully back one pace to let him pass.

Friday 12th March 04                                                                                                                                          

Travel up to Scotland for show at Wellbank Village Hall.  Just like "The Who", we get split up into separate Guest Houses.

Saturday 13th March 04                                                                                                                                     

Short jaunt over to Perth for show at Perth Theatre.  Eddie made everyone howl with his fully costumed impressions at the sound check.  The whole of this concert was recorded from the desk, so hopefully soon we will have some nice little giveaways for ya!!!
The sell out crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show.

Tuesday 16th March 04                                                                                                                                      

Radio interview with Radio Lite FM, to promote show at Broadway Theatre, Peterborough.
Finally got a video copy of Bill Oddie's History Hunt, which the BBC filmed in October last year.  The show was broadcast in December and featured us performing "Please Please Me" in The Cavern.

Thursday 18th March 04                                                                                                                                    

Eddie & Rick go down to Radio Merseyside to do a live broadcast on BBC Radio Cambridge to promote show at Broadway Theatre, Peterborough.  Of course, no one was banking on Eddie having a broken hand!!!!  Soft ollies has once again been up to his tricks and fell down the stairs causing a break in that precious right hand.  Being the trooper that he is - the mighty chap didn't let such problems get the better of him and he performed his solo version of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away".

Friday 26th March 04                                                                                                                                          

Back down to Wales today.... we are getting used to this journey, and it takes forever.  A little disconcerted that we turned up to the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven BEFORE the crew.  Pretty gobsmacked that this concert was a sell out, we weren't really expecting that as this was our first time this far west.
After the show we faced a long drive to get out of Wales so that we wouldn't have too far to go for the next show in Peterborough.

Saturday 27th March 04                                                                                                                                     

Oh good grief.....well its certainly up and down in this band.  Last night.. a sell out..  tonight certainly not!  Well at least there were a few hundred in but the Broadway, Peterborough is a pretty big theatre so it didn't really look all that clever.  We would like to thank those that came along to the show and hope you had a good time... judging from the response, it seems you did!

photos © Clare Ellis


© Fab Productions 2004