No Thinking CD goes to Athens on steroids - and wins! See Mike's Pith & Wind for a typically specious discussion on drug cheats (Pictured is a typical No Thinking brain - note there are no signs of degeneration, even though this example is 58 years old).

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Roots - Vanilla Fudge
I was cruising moodily through Borders on Sunday, feeling more out of place than Homer Simpson with the profusion of Beyoncés and the Brandys et al pouting from every poster, when I came across a copy of the Vanilla Fudge album. Some of you will be unfamiliar with Vanilla Fudge, but I'm sure that some at least will remember them as being the band that covered the Supremes You Keep Me Hanging On back in the '60s. I keep on forgetting to mention them as an influence when I'm routinely asked that question, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to set the record straight.
The Fudge were seminal in so many ways. Theirs was the first album to chart without single success, YKMHO not being released until a couple of years after the album. The album is composed entirely of covers, yet all the songs are indelibly stamped as Vanilla Fudge, and stand up as singular interpretations - even the Beatles' Ticket To Ride and Eleanour Rigby are given the Fudge makeover,

the latter leavng the Zoot version sounding thin and, well, pink.
Vanilla Fudge sound as if they recorded live, the recording itself is refreshingly lo fi, with the over-the-top campish vocals - and the way they were recorded - probably the being the take-it-or-leave-it factor for most tastes. Think Frank Zappa with the Turtles and you'll get the picture.
The playing is accomplished and nonchalant, and the arrangements suggest a classical background and are delightfully high camp and melodramatic - ideal stadium fodder in fact.

But I think their treating the organ as the central instrument probably gave Spectrum the incentive to pursue the course it did. When I listen to Spectrum's early recordings - especially some of the unreleased live recordings which I've accumulated over the years - Lee Neale's instrumental dominance is absolute. Mind you, Lee was a very individual player, and it's doubtful that he sounded like anybody or anybody sounded quite like him, but if I was to nominate a band we most sounded like in those days, it would be Vanilla Fudge. Vanilla Fudge website

Issue #10
  Drug Cheats
I wasn’t intending to watch the opening ceremony this time, but I was at our manager’s place and the girls were watching, and eventually I just had to see what was provoking all the ‘What the hell?’ comments from Dassi, Jenny’s 11 year old.
I enjoyed what I saw too, although I presume the body shorts were in deference to the prurient US market. The Americans can’t get over their fixation that nudity equates to sex quick enough for me – in fact, I’m sure I will have well and truly passed on before the obsessive pixilation of private parts has become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, I think it’s even becoming de rigueur on Aussie television broadcasts these days. Sigh!
The Athens’ opening ceremony’s beautifully rendered tableaux reminded us of the origins and history of the games, but even a casual comparison of footage from the
Melbourne games in 1956 to any of the subsequent games would speak far more eloquently of how the principles of the games have been subverted, mostly, it has to be said, by the acceptance of professionalism and the consequent phenomenon of the drug cheat.
The reaction of society to drug cheats, as reflected in the media, is one of horror, and an affectation of surprise that anybody could stoop so low to tilt the overwrought playing field. But, I suspect that there’s also a gnawing feeling in even the most avid sports’ followers, that the Games today are simply an accurate reflection of modern society, with all its imperfections.
In 1956, quite a number of things were different about the society in which we lived, and not just in Melbourne. Sport was important to Australians then, but sport as the national culture was the province of the ‘bloody commies’ in scary countries like East Germany, who were beginning to experiment with performance enhancing drugs to produce Hitler’s dream of a race of Aryan supermen and women for their new masters in the Kremlin.
Not that anybody knew about that in 1956. Sport in those days was for amateurs, and, in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, an amateur was somebody who was nutty enough to do a lot of training for his favourite sport in his or her spare time. Nobody paid them for doing this. Sometimes they didn’t even get time off work to perform at the Olympics. Can you believe it?
It was the bloody commies who changed everything. Their State-sponsored athletes, with or without drugs, were undeniably professionals, and they left their Capitalist-lackey amateur opposition floundering in their wakes, in the process scoring valuable political points in the Third World, where the West was also floundering.
So, here we are with the professional Olympic Games. Instead of tackling the hard issue, and keeping the Games amateur, the West folded, and now we’re reaping the whirlwind.
Hypocrisy, bless its rotten, cheating heart, is at the root of this moral equivocation we now confront. To be utterly facile, caffeine is verboten in the Olympics – but how would society function without a morning cup of tea or coffee?
Bob Marley, universally revered as a musician, pop philosopher and the father of reggae, saw his direct line to God in consuming massive amounts of the ‘herb’. Does this make him a ‘bad’ man? Should we ban reggae music?
Some very famous 18th and 19th century poets and writers, (Keats and Coleridge), and even politicians, (William Wilberforce), partook of opiates – does this make them drug cheats?
And so on. There’s a dilemma here all right. But the argument has to be balanced and reasonable, otherwise we descend to the level of the fundamentalist terrorists, and risk throwing out the baby - the one with the enormous pectorals - along with the (Evian) bathwater.
- catch the latest goss!
  The Games continue..
Yeah, drug cheats. I remember them. They were the guys who sold you a quarter, and it was two grams light, or had lots of seeds and sticks in it, or they sold you a load of crap, while telling you it was dyno-mite. Then there's the sad cheats - the guys who ended up in hospital with a doctor leaning over them.saying, 'Stop now or die!' (Some did, some didn't). Let's not forget the cheats who use legal drugs i.e. alcohol, prescription drugs etc. who manage to do their daily thing and mask their cheating so we can't see it, while leading seemingly normal lives. How many caffeine fiends do you know? And then there's smoking, of which I am still guilty. I'm down to the occasional cigarette, and still trying to whittle them out all together. Haven't had one this week - and counting. So, who's a drug cheat.? Probably just about all of us, at sometime or other. So, let's make tomorrow a NO CHEATING DAY. Good luck to you - and good luck to me!
  At last! The PJ Proby Show!
So the old married couple (that’s Lisa and I, Mr. and Mrs. Robbo) had a night out at the Crown Showroom at the scarey Casino complex recently. I must admit it was the most hassle free time I’ve had there. Parking was easy and because it was mid week the walk through the complex to the venue was a lot more relaxed and the Doorman at the Showroom had our comp tickets on him. Brilliant! Thanks to Wally Bishop (tour mgr and all round nice guy) for the tickets. THANKS WALLY!
The show was titled “Sixties Gold” and featured Cotton, Keays and Morris, P.J.Proby and Gerry and the Pacemakers. I had found out about this show through my friend Stewart MacFarlane, a very passionate P.J fan. It was thanks to my brother Jack that I’m a P.J fan, as it was his record collection that influenced me as a teen (also Stones, Easybeats, Animals…etc). THANKS BRO!
We caught the last six songs of Cotton, Keays and Morris, and it looked like there
was a vibe on stage, but the blanket mix killed that out front. The highlight for me was during Turn up your Radio when Jim Keays grabbed for his microphone after a solo and dropped it with a big bang before he could get his line in. He then apologised to the soundman and continued his vocal. Meanwhile Russell Morris was in stitches, hiding under his hat and trying to keep it together for the rest of the song. FUNNY STUFF!
It seemed as though P.J was the big draw card and crowd fave for this gig. Apparently it’s been 40 years since he’s toured Australia and for this one his backing band was The Pacemakers with an added female back up vocalist. The band came on first, started up and then there was the announcement,” Ladies and Gentlemen. P.J.Proby” and after a little wait P.J hit the stage. He’s bigger, slower and grayer than we all remembered him but he still has that big, rich voice (most of the time) and a strong presence on stage. After the first song he told us all in his big Texan accent that there would be a little bit of time in-between songs as he caught his breath and I must tell you I’ve never heard wheezing like that through a mike before. PRETTY SCARY!
He had a stool set up in front of the drum riser and after almost every song he went back to it, wiping his brow, having a drink of water, then reading his set list to see what was next, all done with a wonderfully eccentric sense of humour. He complained about the lights in his eyes and not being able to see his fans, he worked the stage and the band (getting a little spark from the cabaret backing) and treated us all to some Elvis like Vegas moves. There were shouts from the crowd to split his pants.
Included in his set were his hits Hold me, Maria, Somewhere and Niki Hoeke (a song about marijuana using New Orleans lingo) and he finished with a stirring version of American Trilogy (although he.. read more
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