NZ Music Month

May 1st marks the beginning of NZ Music Month 2017.  

The theme for this year is finding something new – a new band, new tracks or a new album by a New Zealand artist.

I haven’t got time to find anything new at the moment, so here’s an oldie.


Green Light

Impressions on this?

George Michael dead thread

Another well known musician has died in 2016 – Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, aka George Michael. Unlike most of the other big names to die this year he was from a later generation, aged 53.He was big in the 80s and 90s in the duo Wham, and went solo in 1987.

In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004.

He has had illness problems – in 2011 he suffered from pneumonia and ended up in intensive care, and a month later when he was discharged he said hospital staff saved his life.

In 2013 sustained a head injury when he fell from a moving car on the M1 motorway in England.

Unconfirmed reports claim he died of heart failure.

I wasn’t a fan but some of his songs were ok.

One of his songs. ‘I want your sex’, was toned down for radio as ‘I want your love’.

Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go

Yeah, not my thing.

Careless Whisper:


I remember both those songs but couldn’t have named them, I needed to go looking.

The Little Drummer Boy

I’m not much into Christmas music, but one song has attracted my attention lately. It was sung at a recent end of year primary school performance – nicely done for five and six year olds – and then I say someone asking if there was any dummer lyrics that ‘pa ra pa pum pum’.

That made me think about the lyrics, in fact I realised that apart from the onomatopoeic parts I had no idea what the song was about.

So I delved into the song’s past and what I found was interesting – and when meaningless bits are removed to unclutter the lyrics there’s a nice message in there that’s appropriate for Christmas in different ways.

The song was written in 1941 by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941, and was originally called ‘Carol of the Drum’. Davis said it was based on a traditional Czech carol.

It was first recorded by the Austrian Trapp Family Singers (they have a connection the The Sound of Music) in 1951 and popularised in 1958 by the Harry Simeon Chorale – this is quite a nice version.

It has since been recorded many times with different arrangements.

The stripped out lyrics:

The Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me,
A new born King to see,
Our finest gifts we bring,
To lay before the King,

So to honor Him,
When we come.

Little Baby,
I am a poor boy too,
I have no gift to bring,
That’s fit to give the King,

Shall I play for you,
On my drum?

Mary nodded,
The ox and lamb kept time,
I played my drum for Him,
I played my best for Him,

Then He smiled at me,
Me and my drum.

– Katherine Kennicott Davis

There’s many versions, even Jimi Hendrix has done it (very distorted). Here’s Richie Petrie:


Hey Jimi

It’s fifty years since Jimi Hendrix released his first single, Hey Joe. It was laid back guitar compared to some of what Hendrix would later play but it was a good version of the song regardless.

And Hendrix  went on to make his mark as one of the most influential guitarists of  the music revolution.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”.

After hearing him play for the first time Eric Clapton is reported to have said “You never told me he was that fucking good.”

Jimi Page: “The best guitarist any of us ever had”.

The Economist: Fifty years of Jimi Hendrix

That’s fifty years since releasing Hey Joe in 1966, he had played for quite a while before that, starting with an old ukulele with one string in 1957.

THERE WAS no wailing “wah-wah” pedal, no rasping distortion, no shrieking feedback from an oversized speaker. The opening bluesy licks of “Hey Joe”, the first single recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, which was released on December 16th 1966, could have been played on an acoustic guitar. They gave little indication that the band’s front man would quickly become a sonorous sensation.

“Hey Joe” was a lively rendition of a folk standard and rose to sixth place in the British charts.

And a live version: