29.3.22

JUST BACKDATED - ANOTHER ROLLING (MILE)STONE


While I was posting those memoirs last week I failed to notice that Just Backdated had notched up 1,250,000 hits, another milestone which – like other big round numbers along the way – I will comment on with a bit of analysis.

        JB reached one million hits in October 2020, at which point I’d notched up 828 posts which averaged 1,207 hits per post. There are now 908 posts which means that figure has risen to 1,377 hits per post, so it seems more people have discovered Just Backdated in the past 18 months, probably as a result of lockdown and folk spending more time surfing the internet.

        With one notable exception, the top 20 of posts with most views hasn’t changed much. The surprise is that my rejected proposal for ghost-writing the autobiography of Mandy Moon, Keith’s daughter, has leapt into second place with 20.3k hits, easily dislodging the story about Moonie with John and Paul Beatle in Santa Monica in 1974 which slips to fourth place, with the post about Jimmy Page’s houses sneaking in at number three on 14.7k. In the last survey I did the Mandy post had 6.07k kits, so over 14,000 hits in the last 18 months makes it the most popular recent post. Quite why is anybody’s guess.  

        Equally oddly, while the synopsis post has had over 20k hits now, the actual sample chapter I wrote (and posted three days later) has had only 797 hits, which implies that less than 5% of those who read the synopsis went on to read the actual chapter. Explanations on a postcard please… 

        With 6,000 fewer hits, Jimmy’s impressive real estate is unlikely to challenge Mandy, who’s obviously on a roll, for second place, let alone top spot which, as ever, is my review of the CD of The Who at the Fillmore East in 1968, with a still magnificent 49.7k hits, the same evened-up number as 18 months ago though it’s probably a bit more now, just that the computer doesn’t register increases of less than 1,000 hits at this level. Whatever… almost 50k hits is still well more than twice its nearest rival, a massive lead unlikely ever to be contested. 

        The remainder of the entries in the top ten are pretty much as before, with 16 Who related, two Led Zep, one Deep Purple and the wild card, my story about the North of England Beer Drinking Contest in 1968. I’m well pleased that this tale of gross intemperance still holds on to fifteenth spot. The top 20 now reads: 

1) The Who Live At Fillmore East CD review – 47.7k hits

2) Mandy Moon book treatment – 20.3k

3) Jimmy Page’s residences – 14.7k

4) John, Paul & Keith Moon at Santa Monica – 14k

5) Jimmy Page meeting Robert Plant – 6.6k

6) Palazzo Dario, Kit Lambert’s Venice Palace – 5.59k

7) News of Who UK tour (2014) – 5.16k

8) Keith Moon & The Pythons – 4.29k

9) Launching Dear Boy – 4.15k

10) The Who, My Hidden Gems CD – 4.15k

11) Deep Purple in Jakarta – 3.91k

12) The Who in Hyde Park, 2015 – 3.59k

13) Keith Moon’s residences – 3.01k

14) John Entwistle Tribute – 3.22k

15) The North of England Beer Drinking Contest – 3.14k

16) The Ox (John Entwistle) book review – 2.91k

17) Pretend You’re In A War (Who) book review 2.83k

18) ‘Underture’, Keith’s Great Triumph – 2.82k

19) Pete Townshend Interview (1974) – 2.75k

20) The Who at Stafford in 1975 – 2.7k

        No change in where the hits come from either, USA followed by the UK followed by Russia, and while hits from Russia (on 123k) have tailed off in the last few weeks for obvious reasons, Canada, in fourth place with 37k, has a long way to go to challenge for the bronze medal. I’m mildly suspicious about all those hits from Russia, especially as they have fluctuated wildly in the past two years, like 5,000 one week and zilch the next. 

        Anyway, thanks once again to all who visit Just Backdated and I’ll try to keep it up for as long as I can. 


11.3.22

ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME, 2022


As is usual around this time of the year, I have received my ballot form for nominating those from a list of names that I wish to see inducted into America’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This is not a particularly onerous chore but it becomes trickier for me each year because more and more names on the list seem to me to be less deserving of the honour as each year passes.

        This, as I have noted before, is due largely to the R&RHoF’s insistence on inducting five acts every year, year in, year out, in order to perpetuate interest in the institution itself and satisfy the commercial interests that regard the induction ceremony as a nice little earner, this due to the exorbitant cost of tickets. The downside, as I have also noted, is that this philosophy brings the eligibility of many of more recent inductees into question. 

        But enough carping and on with the show. This year we have no fewer than 17 nominees, many more than usual. They are Beck, Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Devo, Duran Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, MC5, New York Dolls, Dolly Parton, Rage Against The Machine, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest and Dionne Warwick. 

        Several of the artists (Benatar, Bush, Devo, Kuti, Dolls, MC5, Rage, Warwick among them), have been nominated before but not inducted. It is unusually varied in terms of their music, but to my mind it brings into question the definition of Rock & Roll. 

        Without casting any aspersions on the quality of their art, I would question the inclusion of Kate Bush, Fela Kuti, Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest and Dionne Warwick on the grounds that they are not Rock & Roll. Dolly, for example, is a great performer who brought the house down (or up) at Glastonbury in 2014 but she’s Country with a capital C, and was no doubt inducted into the Country & Western Hall of Fame eons ago. So, if she’s eligible for the R&RHoF, then The Who should be eligible for the C&WHoF – but they aren’t, of course, and neither ought they to be. Ditto Tribe Called Quest into a RAPHoF, if there is one. Similarly, I find myself wondering where the line should be drawn between Popular Music and Rock, and this is why I question the inclusion of Kate Bush, Lionel Richie and Carly Simon. Surely, if Kate Bush can be nominated then why not Tomes Jones, who although not to my taste is far rock’n’roll than her and Carly Simon? With this in mind I will therefore eliminate these seven acts, not on the grounds that they’re undeserving of recognition somewhere or other but that they don’t belong here. 

        Which leaves me with Beck, Benatar, Devo, Duran, Eminem, Eurythmics, Judas P, MC5, the Dolls, and Rage, so it now comes down to personal choice. I was never of a Heavy Metal fan so I’ll rule out Judas P, and Devo always seemed a bit too artsy-clever for me; Duran too, and a bit too clothes-horsey as well, if you get my drift, and I was never convinced by Pat Benatar. So I’m now down to Beck, Eminem, Eurythmics, MC5, the Dolls and Rage. Eminem is Rap, so my final five are the others. 

        To a certain extent I’m voting for the Dolls and MC5 (both of whom I've voted for before) on political grounds insofar as they held true to the spirit of Rock as being something rebellious, old fashioned and clich├ęd as that may sound in 2002. I’m voting for Eurythmics because I liked them, saw them twice and still play their music (even though Annie Lennox once tried to sue Omnibus Press on questionable grounds, but thats another story). Tom Morello seems like a good guy and he’s a pal of Bruce, which makes him OK in my book. I’ve got a couple of Beck CDs and liked them, although I haven’t listened to them in ages. 

        As ever, I’m willing to be swayed if any Just Backdated readers can direct me to a truer path. And, by the way, when I do send in my nomination I will yet again make a plea for Richard Thompson and Slade to be on the list next year, and the next, and the next.