From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 11th April):
1956. Neville Staples (The Specials / Fun Boy Three) born Christiana, Jamaica.
1961. After playing for free for two weeks in March, Bob Dylan plays his first professional gig at Gerde’s Folk City, New York where he’ll support John Lee Hooker for the next two weeks. As he was under age when he was hired, the club’s owner, Mike Porco became his temporary guardian to enable a contract to be drawn up.
1988. Cher files a $ 15 million lawsuit against the “National Enquirer” over an article alleging a dispute with actor Eddie Murphy.
1995. Genesis P. Orridge (Psychic TV) suffers broken ribs, wrist and elbow when he climbs out of a window at Rick Rubin‘s Laurel Canyon home to escape a fire. He is there as a guest of Love & Rockets who are staying at the producer’s house while they record their new album. The fire is later found to have been an accident.
1966. Hullabaloo (NBC, U.S.A.) Host: Paul Anka. Guests: Lesley Gore, Paul Anka, The Cyrkle, Peter and Gordon.
1988. Dave Prater (Sam & Dave) dies in a car crash on Interstate 75 near Sycamore, Georgia.
I’m away from the office again! So I’m leaving the almanac extract until I get back. I’m just going to do my babble for now, while things are still in my head.
I came north to Elgin with two tasks in mind. One was to look at an autographed postcard that John Lennon and Yoko Ono had signed whilst on holiday in Scotland in 1969. Although I thought I might end up selling it on commission for the owner, it didn’t happen. He’s planning an extension to his house and wanted £ 4,500 for the autograph to cover the costs. C’est la vie!
The other task was to go and visit one of the hallowed halls of Scottish rock music. A venue that has over the years played host to The Beatles, Pink Floyd and almost anyone else worth mentioning. It used to be called the Two Red Shoes and reopened last year as The Red Shoes. It’s a small, intimate arts centre now offering everything from tuition, through theatre to live gigs and even on a dreich spring night was well attended.
I went, still smarting from my exhibition visit in Edinburgh, vaguely wondering if there was scope for an exhibition of rock memorabilia there. By the time I left, we had largely agreed we’d do it. All that needs to be settled is when and which of the hanging spaces we use.
The idea is so simple and yet it really excites me. To have images hanging on walls where the greats have played. Walls that have echoed to the guitars of John Lennon and Syd Barrett and the voices of Dusty Springfield and scores of others who plied their trade around the gig circuit of the 1960s. What better place to stage an exhibition?
One of the current owners pointed out this was where “Love Me Do” was launched. A fact that I can’t confirm but will follow up. Maybe this is where Beatlemania first began, out in the real world, away from the security of The Cavern and the Liverpool Scene the band had dominated for years.
I was talking about blue sky thinking yesterday and one idea I’ve had for years but never done anything about is a “Rockmine Plaque” for places of great historical import in rock music. I was trying to think, where the other seminal Scottish venues are. Glasgow’s great Apollo has long since gone. Would King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut deserve a plaque. Or should the fact that Oasis were “discovered” there be forgotten?
Then there are the birth places of stars and companies. Should a plaque be affixed to the building that housed Postcard Records, or the flat’s front door, or even the actual bedroom where the label was based in a wardrobe. There’s certainly lots to think about. Your comments would be appreciated.