To me, one of the most wonderful pop stars ever is celebrating her 70th birthday. I’ve been a fan since I first heard Sam in around the summer of 1977 with her beautiful looks and sensual voice I was unable to prevent myself from having her picture on my bedroom wall (oddly next to the Boomtown Rats). I sat through Grease twice in the cinema and when I was invited to a private premier showing of Xanadu in 1980 I actually sat two rows behind her. For those who have ever seen the film, you’ll know it doesn’t have any plot but the music is fantastic throughout. Fortunately I didn’t see much of the film as I spent the entire time looking at the back of her head.
Anyway, the Cambridge-born, Melbourne-raised singer has had more than her share of life’s tragedies with various health problems and husband issues, but her determination is outstanding much like her music.
It was impossible to pick a favourite clip this week, but this is one of my favourite songs and how she looks in this video is…..well, stunning. Enough from me, see for yourself, I know you’ll agree!!!!!
In the 1970s she was a founding member of the all-girl group The Runaways and in 1976, whilst on tour of the UK, she saw a TV which featured a band called the Arrows performing the song I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll. After The Runaways split in 1979, she attempted a solo career and came, once again, to the UK and recorded some songs with a couple of members of the Sex Pistols. One of the was a cover of I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.
She formed The Blackhearts in 1981 and re-recorded the song and this time, with the backing of a major label, it became a massive hit spending seven weeks at number one in America and number four in the UK where it spend 10 weeks on the chart.
It was 15 years ago this week that Johnny Cash died. So many of his songs are so well known including his Rick Rubin-produced come back album American IV: The Man Comes Around which included the hit single Hurt / Personal Jesus. One of his songs that isn’t too well known was Chicken in Black, a song, which at the time was claimed he wrote as a joke so that his record company at the time, CBS, would release him, but it turned out that the song was presented to him by the record company itself. He appeared in the video for it, but after country colleague Waylon Jennings said he ‘looked like a buffoon’ he tried to have it withdrawn but failed. Enjoy…
The legend that was Keith Moon died 40 years ago this week.
Roger once said, “Keith never played the drums, he drove them.” Which clip to pick – I had trouble choosing, but this is an interesting one from Top of the Pops in 1973 and my favourite Who track, it’s 5.15. The track featured in the film Quadrophenia and on this clip Roger is singing live, but you can tell at the end that it’s a backing track he was singing to. Watch and enjoy as we remember the Dear Boy, Keith.
This week Jet Black, drummer with the Stranglers is 80.
Brian John Duffy, as he was born, for many years faked his age. Many reference books had him being born anything between 1942 and 1950, but he was actually born in 1938 which means at the time of their first UK hit, Peaches, in 1977 he was 38 years old – quite old for a punk!
He got the job in the Stranglers after reading an advert in Melody Maker. They amassed 36 UK hits between 1977 and 2006, but due to several health issues, Black has taken several breaks from the band before finally retring in 2015. He and Hugh Cornwell from the band fell out and haven’t spoken since 1990.
Black now lives in Gloucestershire and is now concentrating on building wooden furniture.
This is a TopPop performance of their 1977 hit No More Heroes. Spot the bad miming and have you ever seen a band looking so bored?!