12 Jun 2006
'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' and Happy Mondays' 'Desmond' 
MOJO #152 features a piece on the top 101 Beatles tracks of all time. Leading it all off at #101 (p62), Shaun Ryder explains the enduring fascination and inspiration behind 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da':

"I was born in 1962, and when you're a six, seven year old and you've got a Lieutenant Pigeon piano and you're running about with your spliff and your massive mushrooms it sounded brilliant. It sounded like Pendlebury Market in Salford - the vibe, everything. And Molly Jones is outside the pub door at 10 past 10 waiting for them to open at half past, just watching the men. I thought the lyric was 'Desmond takes a trolley to the Durex store' till I was about 12. It's so descriptive. You can have the imagination of a brick and still see pictures in your head. You can smell the streets!

People go on about Sgt. Pepper, and it's brilliant and everything, but it's all on the same train on the same track on the same railway line. The White Album us off on tramlines, fuckin' buses and bicycles, and planes and saddling up sheepdogs and pigs, it's incredible. I mean, they probably had to put a big chain round the studio so they couldn't get out!

Did I rip this off for Desmond [track on Happy Mondays' debut album, withdrawn after complaints from Apple]? Well, we gave the game away calling it Desmond. On Lazyitis [Bummed album track strongly reminiscent of Ticket To Ride] we eventually had to give the credits to David Essex, Sly Stone, Lennon & McCartney, and the fuckin' Wombles, I think!"




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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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