My Stories

F1

I watched the Dutch Grand Prix last night. Max Verstappen won and moves to first on the Championship standing. And Lewis Hamilton came second, got the fastest lap, which means he also gets a bonus point.

And Verstappen has a deal with Red Bull that if they don’t deliver a car that places him in the top three at the end of the year, he can terminate the deal and find a team which can support him.

I haven’t watched an F1 race from start to finish since the mid 90’s. And then it wasn’t on free to air anymore and I had no desire to pay for it, then young kids and other life events moved me further away from it. But I still followed the sport by seeing highlights or checking the standings or reading an article on a race or a team.

And it’s the Netflix series “Formula1: Drive to Survive.” which made me a fan again. It actually made my whole family fans of F1. We are not car lovers or motor enthusiasts by any means, but goddamn I couldn’t turn it off. The racers are all characters, the teams are trying their best and strategizing, there is always a driver within the team who is given the shortest straw in the hope that the other driver performs better.

And of course there is Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo who is a character and gets a lot of screen time.

I probably wouldn’t go to watch a race as the best seat is in your living room. You get to watch the race and you know who is winning and who is battling it out for other spots.

And the teams get excited when they come tenth, which means they get a point for their efforts.

While the drivers are racing, the car needs to function, the pit stops need to be fast and without issue and the team must have a plan as to how many tire changes they would do, what kind of tires to start with, soft, medium or hard. And the tires they bring to the race are the tires they qualify with and race with. They need to make those tires usable for the Friday practice session, the Saturday qualifying and the Sunday Race.

And if you don’t know F1, there are ten teams who are allowed to have two drivers. In total 20 drivers. But only three can get a podium. And if you place between fourth and tenth you get points, which all add up.

It goes around the world, like a travelling circus. And the show isn’t just about the racing.

It’s the amazing stories of the drivers and the team principals and team owners.

Speaking of team principles, Cyril from Renault is emotional and passionate, Gunter from Haas is doing it tough, as if the car is good, the drivers crash or the mechanics stuff up a pit change and on some days the car is just bad. Toto from Mercedes is the strategist while Christian Horner from Red Bull won four straight titles but the last seven have been won by Mercedes. So he’s working hard to get the crown back and in the process landed himself a pop star wife in Geri Halliwell.

No one can forget of the images of Grosjean in the burning car for close to 3 minutes while the track crew tried to extinguish the flames and he managed to jump out eventually.

And in the first season of the show, Ferrari and Mercedes don’t get any screen time because they didn’t participate as they wanted to protect their image. But when the first season ended up being so successful, suddenly they wanted to be part of it.

Season 3 is the best one, with Season 4 being filmed right now.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – AC/DC

Summer is a few days away in the Southern Hemisphere, but since we are experiencing a heatwave write now with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s Celsius (between 100 and 107 Fahrenheit), so it’s time to start the Summertime Series.

So how did this come about?

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August. Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

And all the acts will be Australian acts.

So based on the high temperatures we are experiencing, lets kick off with a dynamite of an album.

AC/DC – TNT

Released 1 December 1975.

In the 80’s this became my go to record and because of its December release in the 70’s, it was played a fair bit on the various radio stations in the 80s.

It was originally released by Albert Productions in Australia and in some other parts of the world. It was also released in the same year as “High Voltage” the Australian version.

However when Atlantic Records signed the band, they more or less killed the “TNT” and “High Voltage” Australian albums. From “TNT”, they took all the songs they wanted except for “Rocker” and “School Days” and released them on “High Voltage”, which is AC/DC’s first international release on Atlantic Records in May 1976.

From the Australian, “High Voltage” album, the label, took “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover”. The other tracks like “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” were later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984 much to the disgust of Malcolm Young. “Stick Around” and “Love Song” got an international release on “Backtracks”

Producing the”TNT” album is George Young and Harry Vanda from The Easybeats. George of course is the older brother of guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young and he also played a large part in constructing the songs. An uncredited co-writer with his bro’s.

The bass player on the album is Mark Evans. He did his own concert tribute series to his time with AC/DC in Australia in the early 2000’s with guest vocalists from Australian rock bands. It was probably the next best thing to watching AC/DC live.

The three big ones are “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”, “High Voltage” and “TNT”. “High Voltage” has that A – C – D – C chord progression for the Chorus. A cool little Angus Young nugget. And “TNT” has a similar progression but in E – G – A – G.

But it’s those other derivative album tracks that hooked me.

Like “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer”. Musically it’s a derivative version of “Long Way To The Top”. Even the story line in the lyrics is derivative of “Long Way To The Top”.

My daddy was working nine to five when my momma was having me.

By the time I was half alive I knew what I was gonna be.

I left school and grew my hair, they didn’t understand, they wanted me to be respected as a doctor or a lawyer man, but I had other plans.

Gonna be a rock and roll singer.

And then it changes with “The Jack”. A foot stomping dirgey 12 bar blues romp, about a sexually transmitted disease told like a card game. Because how was Bon Scott to know that his lady friend had been dealt with before, as she said to him she never had a full house. I guess that was all lies, because she had the card that would bring him down.

It’s brilliant.

“Live Wire” has all the bits and pieces of songs that would come later. “Who Made Who” is there. “Touch Too Much” is there. “You Shook Me All Night Long” is there. “Whole Lotta Rosie” is there. And of course, “Dirty Deeds” is there.

The lead break from Angus, is one of my favourites here. It has so many different techniques and styles all in one cohesive solo.

And Bon Scott was rivalling Gene Simmons in the lyrical department, with “like a hot rod baby, stick this in your fuse box”.

“Rocker” is a 3 minute “Baby Please Don’t Go” on steroids.

“Can I Sit Next to You Girl” has this groove that I call the “Status Quo” groove.

And those little riff fills in the verses.

How good are they?

“School Days” is a Chuck Berry cover. And when you hear the riff, you can appreciate how the Young brothers took all of their different influences and created their Aussie Pub Rock song. Because the main riff in “School Days” can be interchanged with “Long Way To The Top” and it wouldn’t be out of place.

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