I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling

Jesus saves Paul McCartney with a glove puppet

katabillupsjesusmccartney1katabillupsjesusmccartney2This has to be one of the oddest music-related items to ever appear on eBay. It’s a painting called (and the title is just so perfect) Jesus Broke Out The Lamb Chop Puppet And Hired An Angel To Try And Cheer Up A Clinically Depressed Paul McCartney by US artist Kata Billups. Kata seems to have a bit of a thing about painting Jesus with The Beatles (and also various combinations of Jesus, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger and pin-up queen Bettie Page) and her work is apparently owned by the likes of Julia Roberts, Sting, Tim Burton and Willie Nelson, as well as all four former members of REM.

Jesus Broke Out The Lamb Chop Puppet has been on eBay for around three years – that might be something to do with its Buy It Now price tag of $177,000 (roughly £110,000) – so you may have already seen it. If you haven’t, click here for the full listing and read Kata’s comments about the symbolism in the painting and her explanation of the cause of Paul McCartney’s suffering. There’s a clue in the fact that he has taken a red marker pen to the three pictures of Yoko Ono on the walls of his room, putting a big cross on one and drawing devil’s horns on the other two.

Kata doesn’t say much about Lamb Chop in her listing, which is a pity. But seeing the painting did make me Google Lamb Chop and I’m very pleased to report that, although the glove puppet’s creator Shari Lewis sadly died in 1998, her daughter Mallory Lewis continues to perform with the puppet to this day. Mallory and Lamb Chop’s website is here.

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Lennon, Rich, Jagger

John Lennon Rickenbacker advert (1965)

Buddy Rich Slingerland advert (1974)Mick Jagger Shure advert (1975)

John Lennon has a mountain of love for the Rickenbacker 1996, aka “The Beatle Backer”, and you can have one for a mere 159 guineas (advert from 1965), Buddy Rich shows off his effortlessly smooth and speedy sticks skills on his Slingerland kit (1974), and Mick Jagger is pretty damn sure about Shure (1975). Click each image for a bigger version.


Pod gave rock ‘n’ roll to you

Congratulations to the guys at Podrophenia, who have just aired the 50th edition of their tasty radio show/podcast. Recorded in a bunker hidden beneath the golden streets of sunny Southend in Essex, Podrophenia is hosted by two dons of the UK music blogging world – Mondo from Planet Mondo and Piley from Start The Revolution Without Me. Each programme has a different theme (Charity Shop Classics and Ghosts, Ghoulies, Gremlins are among the memorable recent offerings) and Podrophenia 50 is a film special handily called, err, The Film Special. Tune in for Jackie Mittoo’s reggae version of “From Russia With Love”, Sigue Sigue Sputnik frontman Martin Degville covering “The Streets Of London”, and a pre-Small Faces Steve Marriott kicking up “Consider Yourself” from the original stage production of “Oliver!”, plus tales of the six-fingered man in “Get Carter” and how The Beatles talked about buying the film rights to “The Lord Of The Rings” back in the Sixties.

You can hear Podrophenia live on Tuesdays at 9pm on Chance Radio or click here to access the Podrophenia library at Planet Mondo and listen to the pods of your choosing at your leisure.

While Mondo and Piley are old hands at this podding thing, Steve Worrall from the Retro Man blog isn’t too familiar with the world of microphones and jingles, although you’d never guess that from his debut Retro Sonic pod. It’s a confident start and no mistake. The Retro Sonic 1 playlist takes in American psychedelic soulsters The Chambers Brothers, Aussie punk pioneers The Saints and Mancunian powerpopsters Fast Cars, and Steve’s got some quality guests with him in the studio as well – rock photographer Paul Slattery, who is maybe best known for his shots of The Smiths and Oasis, and the walking punk encyclopedia that is Adam Donovan from The Jetsonics. Well, when I say ‘studio’, I’m not sure they are actually in a studio, because there’s a big log fire crackling away in the background. “Think of it like the crackles on a nice bit of worn vinyl,” says Steve.

Click here for Retro Sonic 1 and here for a special bonus Retro Sonic interview with Paul Slattery.


New stuff on my website

I’ve just uploaded a few more bits and bobs to Pushstuff, my archive website. Follow the links to read interviews with Flowered Up, Digital Underground, Bandulu, Nagamatzu and Terry Edwards, live reviews of My Bloody Valentine, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and US:UK, and album reviews of The Grid and Vagtazo Halottkemek, my all-time favourite Hungarian psychedelic rockers. I’ve also put up pieces about The Beatles and their 1960s merchandising items and the legal actions brought against 2 Live Crew over their notorious “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” album. Goodness, I do spoil you people, don’t I?