Archive for March, 2015


Beatles take top 5 positions in Billboard 100 chart

Beatles take top 5 positions in Billboard 100 chart

It was fifty-one years ago today, give or take a few days. In the week of 4 April 1964, The Beatles  were solidly encamped at the top of the US Billboard Hot 100. They occupied slots #1 – #5 with a further seven songs scattered lower down the chart. Can’t Buy Me Love was their third consecutive US No. 1,  a feat which remains unique in the history of the chart. The following week, two more Beatles singles entered the list.

On April 5th Billboard   ran a story “Chart  crawls with Beatles”. Written  by Jack Maher and Tom Noonan (who  had launched the Hot 100 six years earlier) its opening words were “Just about everyone. is tired of the Beatles.” 

crawling with beatles

“Disk jockeys are tired of playing the hit group. The writers of trade and consumer publication articles are tired of writing about them and the manufacturers of product other than the Beatles are tired of hearing about them. Everyone’s tired of the Beatles – except the listening and buying public.”

I remember that time very well. Like many another Beatle-inspired teenager I’d been given a guitar for my fourteenth birthday and was learning to play it. It was an old acoustic finished in shiny red lacquer. Its metal strings cut my fingertips to pieces, but the pain was nothing compared to the pleasure of being able, after laborious   practice, to shape chords, change from one to another without long pauses in between and hold each in turn   down long enough to strum a semblance of a Beatles song.  

Here are the songs that so delighted us half a century ago.  Click the labels to hear them.

beatles-can-t-buy-me-love-7-vinyl-record_5031140

#1

the-beatles-twist-and-shout-parlophone-microgroove-test-pressing-7tce-762-2n_9510267

#2

the-beatles-she-loves-you-rare-uk-1963-first-press-parlophone-r-5055_7221645

#3

rare-beatles-single-please-please-me-400

#4

i want to hold your hand

#5


Hats off to Sir Terry

Hats off to Sir Terry

 

 

 

 

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”

 

“Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”

 

“Books must be treated with respect, we feel that in our bones, because words have power. Bring enough words together they can bend space and time.”

 

“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”

 

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

 

“People aren’t just people, they are people surrounded by circumstances.”

 

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”

 

“I meant,” said Ipslore bitterly, “what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?”
Death thought about it.
CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”

 

“Night poured over the desert. It came suddenly, in purple. In the clear air, the stars drilled down out of the sky, reminding any thoughtful watcher that it is in the deserts and high places that religions are generated. When men see nothing but bottomless infinity over their heads they have always had a driving and desperate urge to find someone to put in the way.”

 

“It was like being in a Jane Austen novel, but one with far less clothing.”

 

“He’d been wrong, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and it was a flamethrower.”

 

“Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.”

 

“It’s not worth doing something unless someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing it.”

 

“The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.”

 

“A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

 

“Nanny Ogg knew how to start spelling ‘banana’, but didn’t know how you stopped.”

 

“You’re not allowed to call them dinosaurs any more,” said Yo-less. “It’s speciesist. You have to call them pre-petroleum persons.”

 

“Mind you, the Elizabethans had so many words for the female genitals that it is quite hard to speak a sentence of modern English without inadvertently mentioning at least three of them.”

 

“People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.”

 

“I don’t hold with paddlin’ with the occult,” said Granny firmly. “Once you start paddlin’ with the occult you start believing in spirits, and when you start believing in spirits you start believing in demons, and then before you know where you are you’re believing in gods. And then you’re in trouble.”
“But all them things exist,” said Nanny Ogg.
“That’s no call to go around believing in them. It only encourages ’em.”

 

“Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.”

 

“His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools — the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans — and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, ‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.”

 

“It’s going to look pretty good, then, isn’t it,” said War testily, “the One Horseman and Three Pedestrians of the Apocalypse.”

 

“You can’t map a sense of humour. Anyway, what is a fantasy map but a space beyond which There Be Dragons? On the Discworld we know that There Be Dragons Everywhere. They might not all have scales and forked tongues, but they Be Here all right, grinning and jostling and trying to sell you souvenirs. ”

 

“The trouble was that he was talking in philosophy but they were listening in gibberish.”

 

“The trouble is you can shut your eyes but you can’t shut your mind.”

 

“The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.”

 

“The purpose of this lectchoor is to let you know where we are. We are in the deep cack. It couldn’t be worse if it was raining arseholes. Any questions?”

 

“Using a metaphor in front of a man as unimaginative as Ridcully was like a  red flag to a bu… was like putting something very annoying in front of  someone who was annoyed by it.”

 

“Let’s just say that if complete and utter chaos were lightning, then he’d be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting ‘All Gods are bastards.”

 

“Everywhere I look, I see something holy.”

 

“The gods of the Disc have never bothered much about judging the souls of the dead, and so people only go to hell if that’s where they believe, in their deepest heart, that they deserve to go. Which they won’t do if they don’t know about it. This explains why it is so important to shoot missionaries on sight.”

 

“Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off.”

 

“Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water! A mere quantum-mechanistic tunnel effect, that’d happen anyway if you were prepared to wait zillions of years. As if the turning of sunlight into wine, by means of vines and grapes and time and enzymes, wasn’t a thousand times more impressive and happened all the time…”

 

“Few religions are definite about the size of Heaven, but on the planet Earth the Book of Revelation (ch. XXI, v.16) gives it as a cube 12,000 furlongs on a side. This is somewhat less than 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Even allowing that the Heavenly Host and other essential services take up at least two thirds of this space, this leaves about one million cubic feet of space for each human occupant- assuming that every creature that could be called ‘human’ is allowed in, and the the human race eventually totals a thousand times the numbers of humans alive up until now. This is such a generous amount of space that it suggests that room has also been provided for some alien races or – a happy thought – that pets are allowed.”

 

“This is very similar to the suggestion put forward by the Quirmian philosopher Ventre, who said, “Possibly the gods exist, and possibly they do not. So why not believe in them in any case? If it’s all true you’ll go to a lovely place when you die, and if it isn’t then you’ve lost nothing, right?” When he died he woke up in a circle of gods holding nasty-looking sticks and one of them said, “We’re going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts…”

 

“I’m not the world’s greatest expert, but I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, … broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?’ – when J.K. Rowling insisted she wasn’t writing fantasy.”

 

“It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.”

 

“This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.”

 

“Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.”

 

“I commend my soul to any god that can find it.”

 

“Do you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”

 

“It is at this point that normal language gives up, and goes and has a drink.”

 

These quotations from Terry Pratchett are chosen from the enormous collection contributed by grateful readers at Goodreads.com

 

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