We’ve been a big fan of Uncut here at Musical Tears for awhile; good band bio’s, interviews, wide breadth of reviews and a passion for uncovering forgotten gems.
John Mulvey is one of their writers. He works intrepidly hard to find esoteric, little-known nuggets of joy, that we have appreciated greatly. He truly is one of the old school – no doubt devouring endless record stores for those rare oddities, and now of course with the advent of the internet, such mining can be done online. Just as with record store mining, the process is slow and arduous, taking lots of patience and the ability to sift through much crap – but the feeling of finding a rare beauty just as rewarding.
John turned us on to aquariumdrunkard – fantastic name, fantastic blog. Straight out of L.A it has great articles and a backbone of gorgeous sumptuous tunes, many of the funk/soul styling. Check out the mixtapes.
Recently, John has written a best of 2015 so far. Makes for a great read. We especially dug Aye Aye, who we’d never heard of. The song below is a screeching mesh of over-amped guitars and a spiralling harmonica line. Its ferocious – of those that have seen the new Mad Max, imagine if the guy chained to the amps with the flame-thrower also had a high-powered harmonica…
Enjoy the song and keep on keepin’ turned on… (also check out Uncut)
By Tom Proctor
Part 1: Dartford
Some of the most endearing parts of Keith Richard’s autobiography are his reminiscences about his childhood in Dartford. Here we learn the experiences that shaped the man and how music seeped into his consciousness from an early age.
Chief among his musical heroes is his grandfather Gus, of whom Keith says “I owe so much of my love of music to him.”
Without divulging too much of the book, here’s a little info on Keith’s fantastically absurd grandad:
The memories of his grandfather are very fond, and the man himself sounds like a true bohemian. He was surrounded by women; he had 7 daughters, and Keith was a much-needed male presence in his life. The man is an enigma; rumours abound that he was once a great saxophone player that lost the power of his lungs because he was gassed in the war. True or not, in the fifties he had started playing with various dance and swing bands, playing American Air bases and Jewish Weddings.
Gus would use Keith as an excuse to get out of the house-chores. They’d walk for miles, all day. Once, they slept under the stars, by a tree in Primrose Hill with the dog, the excellently titled Mr. Thompson Wooft. On other walks, Gus would mysteriously disappear into the back of shops for hours at a time and come back out smiling serenely. But Keith’s fondest memories of his grandfather are of when he takes him to music stores. Gus knew everyone and would take Keith to meet the manufacturers, his grandfather propping him up on a shelf while great vats of glue were used for putting all manner of string instruments together.
Gus was a violin virtuoso, and this love informed his music. He introduced Keith & his mother, Doris, to the great violinst Stephane Grappelli. Doris was also a big music lover and made sure the Richard’s house was full of music 24/7.
Gus and his whole family had the bohemian gene. A scandal rippled through the family; it was whispered two of his sisters were “on the game”. Keith talks fondly of his auntie Joanna, whom was an actress. He remembers the whole family would dance & sing around the radio, harmonizing together. They’d sing ‘When will I be loved’ by The Everly Brothers. In the middle of a drab 1950’s Britain, Gus and his family were something out of the ordinary.
It was these experiences and staying up all night listening to Radio Luxembourg, that really informed young Keith. It introduced him to Elvis, amongst others.
These last two are described by The Stones man as ” forgotten jewels”.
We’ll revisit Keith’s work again soon, and see how his musical influences changed as he grew older. Enjoy the music folks.
By Tom Proctor