More of Hollywood’s Finest Redheads

Andy Royston continues his appreciation of Hollywood’s redheads. “It is observed that the red-haired of both sexes are more libidinous and mischievous than the rest, whom yet they much exceed in strength and activity” –  Jonathan Swift, Gullivers Travels “You’d find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair, people who haven’t red hair don’t know what trouble is” – Anne of Green Gables In Part One...

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Under The Covers : Heartbeats

The greatest cover versions and the stories behind them – by Andy Royston It would seem at first that this song owes its popularity to a TV ad. The presence of the song as soundtrack to an eye-catching commercial for a Sony television set has played a part in the careers of two entirely different Gothenburg musical acts. But the song has reaching into the furthest corners of the music world, with artists as diverse as The Gossip...

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Under The Covers – Take Me To The River

Sometimes songs from one generation can be covered in quite a different way by musicians and singers from the next. One such song is Take Me To The River first released in 1974, written by Al Green. Here was a singer who moved freely between soul and gospel styles, and at his best was writing songs full of nuance – perfectly capturing both body and soul. Take me to the river, drop me in the water Push me in the river, dip me in...

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Songs from the Heart : Landslide

A highlight of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks shows has always been Landslide, which is a song that seems to get stronger with age. In later live performances its clear that the song is almost a cathartic singalong, with Stevie; once the great Californian sex symbol, now fairy godmother to the classic rock generation, rising to the occasion. Her audience comes dressed in homage – top hats, shawls, feathers, long long hair and...

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Electric Guitar Kit Review

Electric Guitar Kit Review. I was given an electric guitar kit for my birthday, which was in February. The fact that I finished in June gives you an idea of how many difficulties I had making it. I don’t want to put anyone off making a guitar from a kit, because it’s been great fun to do and I have learned so much. I’m just pointing out that how much you already know about woodwork, finishes, and electronics, will determine how long...

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Songs about Cities – Manchester

I must confess I knew little of Manchester before I arrived there to study in the late 1970s. Thanks to my cricket fanatic father I was a little wary of the place. The red rose of Lancashire were the enemy of any self respecting Yorkshireman and not to be trusted. Yorkshire Vs Lancashire? Think ‘Game of Thrones’ with cricket bats. For them as don’t know, cotton was the making of Manchester. It was imported through...

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Songs about Cities : Chicago (Encore)

When it comes to Chicago music it all boils down to one thing. A cultural moment that overshadows all else. A watershed experience, not just for the city, but everyone else on the planet that witnessed the car crashes, the celebrity cameos, the flamethrower attacks, the shopping mall destructions, and the relentless car chase carnage that was The Blues Brothers. This is the second of two articles about music inspired by the great city...

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Songs about Cities : Chicago

Chicago is where I first set foot in America. I arrived at O’Hare International Airport and entered the city via an airport shuttle. The sun was just breaking through the morning rain and I was dropped right in the center of town, close to the Wrigley Building. I walked around like a chump for days just gawping at the place. It was so fitting that Chicago was my first experience of an American city. I’d been a follower of...

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Re-inventing Key Largo

By the time that Maxwell Anderson wrote his prose play Key Largo, the drama’s island setting on the southern tip of Florida had almost erased the name. Anderson’s self-important drama was actually focused on the Spanish Civil war and was written in the form of a Shakesperean tragedy. The trip to Florida by the plays protagonist King McCloud (Key West is his destination) was one of atonement as he seeks out a fallen...

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Once: The Musical

Toronto has been host city to a number of world class musical productions and it just doesn’t stop! The musical “Once” was also filmed in Toronto and that is where I was introduced to it. The story is one of music and the meeting of talented people trying to forage out a living on the corners and streets of many cities the world over. Hoping of course, that enough people will drop some change into your bag while you play your...

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Songs about cities : Miami

Some cities have elegantly created meditative pieces written about them, that are played in ornate halls by string quartets.  Some cities are honored in symphonic jazz arrangements that are premiered by orchestras and conducted by legends. Miami on the other hand has good time party songs performed by dudes with moustaches, wearing wife-beaters, gold chains and sunshades. I looked long and hard for songs that might inspire the mind,...

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My Parisian Soundtracks

If Paris was turning out hit songs, well I certainly didn’t notice. I had my ears glued to the radio for around half a century but very few French-flavored records made it across the English Channel much less the Atlantic Ocean. Trust me I would have heard them. In France a generation grew up on chanson – where surrealism, jazz and Gershwin met French music hall in the form of Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf and a host of...

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Song for Sunrise – New York Morning by Elbow

  There’s this wonderful description of a New York morning hidden in an F Scott Fitzgerald short story, May Day, which he published in a long lost magazine. Smart Set. “Dawn had come up in Columbus Circle, magical, breathless dawn, silhouetting the great statue of the immortal Christopher, and mingling in a curious and uncanny manner with the fading yellow electric light inside.” F. SCOTT FITZGERALD The...

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Quiz: Pin-up Girls

Do you recognise these wartime pin-up girls? When we think of pin-up girls, we tend to think about the days of the Second World War. Hundreds and thousands of glamour shots were sent around the world and adorned the lockers, bunks, cabins and walls of servicemen everywhere. The girls in the photographs were often actresses – or were in the fringes of Hollywood and stardom. Many went on to be huge stars. There are eight examples...

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America’s Band: The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys and California Girls Is there anyone out there who hasn’t heard the Beach Boys sing? They’ve been around so long, and are still popular. Often called “America’s band,” they were one of the biggest in America in their day. Over 80 songs on the charts worldwide, and over 35 in the United States. One of the most popular still is California Girls. California Girls takes me way back to the...

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Ten hits that were live recordings

It’s one of those perennial pub quiz questions isn’t it. How many songs were hits as a live recording, in front of an audience. I don’t mean those ‘as live’ jams, like the sort that the Beatles used to specialize in. I mean a full on live show, with an audience yelling, screaming, or heckling. Live recording was – and still is – quite difficult to get right, so it’s something that...

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James May leaves Top Gear

Is this the end of Top Gear? It’s certainly the end of the show as far as many of us are concerned. To recap, in case you don’t know what I’m blathering about, Top Gear is one of the BBC’s most popular television programmes. Or was. Probably. You see, in March 2015, the BBC in its ‘wisdom’ decided that they wouldn’t renew the contract of one of the presenters, Jeremy Clarkson. (And you can...

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Review: Meinl Cajon Kit

Review: Meinl Cajon Kit I’m very happy to say that I’ve just finished building my own Cajon. I didn’t have room for a drum kit so I got a Cajon instead. The Cajon is a percussion instrument that comes from Peru. It is a simple box with a hole in the back. The front of is made of slightly thinner wood than the other sides and inside there is a mettle grill that creates the sound of a snare drum when you hit the Cajon at a certain...

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Will you still watch Top Gear?

Will you still watch Top Gear? You have probably heard that  Top Gear presenter, ‘bad lad’ Jeremy Clarkson, has been fired by the BBC. Or, as they put it, they are ‘not renewing his contract’. If you missed the original story, I wrote about it here. This popular and controversial presenter was in what was described as ‘fracas’ in a pub (not at work) with another BBC employee. The latest reports say...

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De Havilland aircraft & the film Rebecca

What’s the connection between the de Havilland aircraft & the film Rebecca?   Movie trivia: Here’s  little piece of trivia with which to bore your friends. There is a strong connection between the aircraft company that made, amongst other things, the World War Two Mosquito bomber and the fabulous Alfred Hitchcock movie, Rebecca. Rebecca, one of the best films ever, starred Joan Fontaine in the leading female role....

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Finding Nemo, A Review

Finding Nemo, a Movie You Can Watch Over and Over I couldn’t resist watching this again once I chose it to review. Just finished, so I am writing this with a smile on my face. With the holidays here now, movies will be needed for some relax time for kids and adults both. This is still my first choice! Finding Nemo is a new classic in my opinion, and a movie every family should have for their own. A great gift for kids and...

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How Many Movies can They Remake?

 How Many Movies can They Remake? Recently I heard they were going to do a sequel of Mrs. Doubtfire.  I’m still shaking my head over that one.  Why would be the first question, especially with the death of the wonderful Robin Williams. It seems almost disrespectful to take the role he played and hand if off to someone else. How would be the next question.  Where can you go from the ending in the first?  Yet they are considering a...

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Masterpieces – Five Songs about Art

There was a bit of a fad for singing songs about film stars and artists back in the early seventies, and once or twice such songs burst onto the radio. As a kid I found this fascinating, even when the songs were a little bit saccharine. There was Elton’s Candle in the Wind, an ode to Marilyn Monroe  long before the late Lady Di got her posthumous hands on it. There was You’re So Vain, Carly Simon’s beautifully...

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The Endless River by Pink Floyd

The Endless River by Pink Floyd Every Christmas I’m given a surprise CD and this year it was Pink Floyd’s new album, which is called ‘The Endless River’. It was released late in October 2014 and quickly shot to number one in the charts around the world. The album was put together in Dave Gilmour’s amazing home studio on the river Thames just outside London. It has eighteen tracks, which are all instrumental, apart from the last track,...

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Movie Review: The Book Thief

Movie Review: The Book Thief Have I ever told you that neither I or my other half pay too much attention to movie ratings? I guess for many years we have and been so disappointed in what was considered 5 stars and enchanted with some that only rated 2 or 3…. The Book Thief is based on a novel written in French “La Voleuse de Livres” , and takes place in Germany before and during the Second World War. This movie though is unlike...

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The Piano Guys

The Piano Guys The word ‘fusion’ is something I’m familiar with when speaking of the arts. Belly dance is the platform with which I associate fusion. That’s no the only artistic arena in which fusion is possible, and I’m not thinking of cold fusion. The Piano Guys (TPG), with their exquisite blend of classical and contemporary music, is who I have in mind. I was first introduced to TPG just before the beginning of a meeting a few...

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Selling out – rock music in car advertising

Ever since I was a kid, and had an earful of Coca-cola’s hillside singers teaching the world to sing, I’ve been more than a little cynical about the use of music in advertising. A good song had great meaning and resonance and to use it in a commercial can seriously undermine the love and loyalty that the music has built up over the years. Take Renault’s use of Cream’s ‘I Feel Free’ to sell a...

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Ruby Ruby Ruby Rooobeee

Ruby Ruby Ruby Rooobeee Had a tune stuck in your head lately that you just cannot shift? For me, these past few days, it has been ‘Ruby’ by The Kaiser Chiefs. At Christmas while stuck in the queue at the supermarket, I was behind an elderly gentlemen that was whistling a tune familiar to me, yet I didn’t get it until hours later, and once I did, it was with me for days. It was Dean Martin’s ‘Everybody...

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Rogues Gallery – Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys

I’ve always been one for the eclectic, off-beat and downright wild compilation albums. It’s all because I grew up with a transistor radio glued to my ear late at night; listening to the shows of British radio legend John Peel, making and sharing mixtapes and slowly becoming a curator of all kinds of musical styles. As a consequence I like a wide variety in my music. Sitting down to listen to an entire album by one artist...

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If you like Fleetwood Mac you’ll like… Haim

If you like Fleetwood Mac you’ll like… Haim In these days of TV talent show contestants hogging the airwaves one can be forgiven for getting the impression that teens are growing up ignorant of real music. But it’s also clear that playing a musical instrument hasn’t gone out of fashion. I think that we can thank our schools for this happy turn of events, and the growing amount of twenty-something musicians with...

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Why I Chose a Korg padKontrol MIDI Studio Controller & Drum Machine

Why I Chose a Korg padKontrol MIDI Studio Controller & Drum Machine I chose to buy a Korg padKontrol MIDI Studio Controller because it is made by Korg and they are a company that produce quality. I knew it would be an excellent device. I was looking for a drum machine that would make my life easier and I can say that I have found just that because this machine makes programming drum patterns into software easy. Here’s what I love...

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Happy Birthday Elvis! – A Precious Tribute to Elvis

 Happy Birthday Elvis! –A Precious Tribute to Elvis Ella Mae Sings “American Trilogy” We celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday today.  Born on the 8th of January in 1935, “The King of Rock and Roll’ lives on 80 years later. I can’t think of a better gift for Elvis and his fans than to share little Miss Ella singing “An American Trilogy.”  She’ll brighten your day, and no doubt, Elvis’ spirit must be looking upon her fondly.   Ella...

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Can Anyone Say SWOON!

Can Anyone Say SWOON! Having grown up on the early 60’s and 70’s bands, I can honestly say that one of my favorite singers had to be Elvis Presley. If I close my eyes, and listen to him sing “Love me tender, Love me true, all my dreams fulfilled” I still get that soft woozy feeling in the pit of my stomach and the soft sway of the music subtracts all the years that have since passed. I am a teenager again, and...

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Join Jaquo on Facebook

JAQUO Magazine on Facebook Join us! According to Alexa, Facebook is the second most popular website in the United States. Do you check Facebook every day? I know so many people who do. So by popular demand,we have started a Facebook page for your favourite lifestyle magazine. As every new article appears on the site, it will be posted to our Facebook page too – so you’ll never miss a single thing. Watch out for special...

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Review: The Legend of 1900

Review: The Legend of 1900 This is a film I have watched over and over again – and it’s due for another airing very soon. It’s the most wonderful story; both heart-warming and heart-breaking at the same time. But if that sounds too maudlin, please don’t be put off. It’s immensely entertaining, hugely funny and has the most fabulous music. Our narrator throughout the film,and one of its leading...

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Freaks: The movie with so many questions

Freaks: The film that asks so many questions Freaks is a movie made in 1932.  Could such a film be made today? Probably not. When the film was first issued, it was banned in the UK for over thirty years.There are reports of cinemagoers fainting, screaming or running from the theatres. And this wasn’t because of any chilling special effects. Yet the version that was released had been extensively cut – with the worst parts...

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Bowling for Soup

Bowling for Soup ‘Bowling for Soup’ is an American rock band with a punk influence. They are from Texas. The band members are: Jaret Reddik lead vocalist and lead guitarist, Chris Burney who plays guitar and is a backing vocalist, Erik Chandler who plays bass guitar, and Gary Wiseman on drums. The guys met in high school where they eventually formed the band in 1986. Since then they have made 9 albums. They didn’t have much success at...

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