The legend that is Robert Plant is 70 this week. I came across this live performance of Rock ‘N’ Roll at the o2 Arena from 2007 and all I can say is, “Wow!” Watch Jason Bonham go for it at the end, he did his father proud.
The Undertones’ former lead singer is 60 this week.
He was born in Derry, Northern Ireland and was famously the lead singer of the Undertones between their formation in 1975 and their split in 1983. Following their split and before he embarked on a solo career, he was invited by Vince Clarke (post Yazoo and pre-Erasure) to be a guest vocalist on a project which Clarke called The Assembly. The original idea was to release a number of single with different guest lead vocalist, but after their only hit, Never Never, Sharkey pursued a solo career which culminated with A Good Heart reaching number one in 1985.
In 1992, he moved into the business side of the music industry, initially as an A&R man and then in 2008 became the CEO of British Music Rights and the head of UK Music. Such was his success that when the Undertones reunited in 1999 he turned down the offer of lead singer again.
Let’s enjoy and remember this number 11 hit from 1980.
This is a recent tune I came across. Northern Soul fans will love it. It’s by Magnus Carlson featuring Fay Hallam and it’s called Now That It’s Over.
It was this week in 1981 that Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. There were 3,500 guests and it was watched on television by around 750 millon people worldwide. The song that was number one in the UK chart was Green Door by Shakin’ Stevens, in America it was the more appropriatly titled The One That You Love by Air Supply. Let’s enjoy that song.
This week’s song is a one-hit-wonder from 1970 and comes from the Ides of March, a band formed by Jim Peterik in 1965 who was the band’s lead guitarist, vocalist and primary song-writer. It also ties in with trumpet player John Larson’s 70th birthday this week.
Vehicle was written about a girl called Karen who Jim met at a Turtles gig in Chicago. He spotted her and tried to pluck up the courage to say hi, but instead she came over to him and said, “Aren’t you Peterik?” and the conversation was up and running. They dated for about six months but then she broke it off. A while later, out of the blue, he received a call from her asking if he would give her a lift to her modelling school, he jumped at the chance. Jim had a ’64 Valiant car with mag wheel covers and she probably wanted to be seen in it. He agreed and continued ferrying her around. One day he said to her ‘I’m just your vehicle’. He recalled, “Just then the light bulb popped up on top of my head and I thought about all the guys like me who don’t mind being taken for a ride by a beautiful girl. I said ‘see you later’ and started writing the song.”
The song became a hit in 1970 and just after Karen and Jim got back together and, to this day, are married and still together. The band split in 1973 and five years later Jim formed Survivor and co-write their biggest hit, Eye of the Tiger, when Sylvester Stallone commisionned the band to write the theme to Rocky III. Jim was the guitarist and keyboard player, but not the vocalist.
Let’s enjoy the mighty Vehicle.