In the latest edition of LifeElsewhere, Norman B looks back at the music that changed his life. He tells of buying his first album at Woolworths, not knowing anything about the music. He was captivated by the brooding Greek-god like visage on the cover. It was the Memphis Flash, Elvis Presley. From there Norman discovered the Blues and Elmore James which led to the new R & B sounds coming out of the USA, including early Tamla Motown and Marvin Gaye.It was no coincidence that fledgling London bands were also being inspired by the same music. The Rolling Stones being no exception, fronted at that time by Blues aficionado and masterful musician, Brian Jones. Van Morrison with his R & B and Irish Show-band roots were all but absent when he released his landmark album, Astral Weeks, a momentous life-changing release, says Norman B. Reggae has been another important part of Mr. B’s life and he cites Cornell Campbell and Gregory Isaacs as fine examples. The consistently adventurous music of David Bowieis included in the story as are the The Smiths, The Only Ones are acknowledged for their timeless ode to addiction and Killing Joke with their formidable melding of rock, dub and even metal in their debut release. A.R. Kane, remain still relatively unknown but their music caused Norman B to reevaluate his thinking in some areas. Finally, Canadian musician and poet Barzinis singled out because his beguiling lyrics and enchanting arrangements signify another change in life and a new way forward.
Also in the program our regular contributor on film and media BobRoss, pays tribute to a unique, genius performer, Robin Williams. Plus the Hit That Never Was features a high-school friend of Norman B, the legendary virtuoso guitar player and singer-songwriter, Peter Green.
Life Elsewhere air every Monday at 9.00am EST (1400 GMT)
Julie Langford, Associate Professor of Roman History at the University of South Florida, joined the Birthday edition of Life Elsewhere. Ms Langford described in explicit detail how the ancient Romans celebrated birthdays and rites of passage, “Romans marked out children from adults by their dress, in particular by an amulet that citizen children would wear around their neck. Very often, this had a phallus and testicles…it was in the shape of a cock and balls” the Professor cooly announced, causing Norman B’s producer to have an instant deer-in-the-headlights moment as she readied herself to hit the “bleep” button. Julie Langford went on to describe how a phallus was the symbol of life and crucial in averting the Evil Eye. The Professor continued with stories about sacrifices, honey cakes, the age girls became women and much more.
The Podcast of “What’s Your Name?”, the latest edition of Life Elsewhere is available now. Hear the story of how a family name began as Wind, changed to Wynn and now, centuries later, the family have chosen to revert to the original form. We also explore family names and genealogy with Debbie Kennett, an expert on the history and meaning of surnames and Drew Smith a specialist in genealogy. Author Richard Hill talks about how he unraveled the secrets of his family’s past with DNA testing. Plus this week’s Hit That Never Was, features The Smiths with Cemetery Gates.