From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday, 11th January):
1958. Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) born in Los Angeles.
1963. The Rolling Stones sack their drummer, Tony Chapman, after tonight’s gig at the Ricky Tick Club at The Star & Garter in Windsor. The incensed Chapman goes to Bill Wyman and tries to pursuade him to leave with him and start their own goup but Bill refuses.
1972. John Lee (singer with New World) is fined £ 10 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to assaulting Mrs. Lillian Zoeller, a traffic warden, on December 29th by throwing a bucket of water over her. The singer had arrived at the Alexanda Theatre, Birmingham where he was appearing in the pantomime, Robinson Crusoe. He was late for a curtain call and parked in a suspended parking bay. Explaining his situation to the traffic warden who was nearby, he was warned to move his car or she would issue a ticket for illegal parking but he rushed into the theatre. A few minutes later as she was reaching to place the ticket on the car she was hit by a volume of cold water and looked up to see a window in the theatre being closed.
1985. Eric Clapton‘s first child, Ruth Kelly, is born in Doncaster maternity Hospital. Clapton met her mother, Yvonne, on the island of Montserrat in 1984. Within a week of meeting, the couple were conducting an affair. Since Ruth’s birth, he has lavished presents on mother and child as well as ensuring maintenance payments are regularly made.
1977. Rockpalast (WDR, WestGermany) Leo Kottke (WDR Studio-L Köln). Here are the first 8 minutes of the gig – “Up Tempo”, “Hear The Wind Howl” and “Busted Bicycle”.
2003. Mickey Finn, percussionist with T. Rex, dies in Mayday Hospital, Croydon, London. He had been suffering from kidney and liver problems, aged 55,
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday, 6th January):
1948. “Sandy” Denny (Fairport Convention; Fotheringay) born Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny in Wimbledon, London.
1977. The Sex Pistols are playing Rotterdam Art Centre but back in London, EMI Records chairman Sir John Read decides that press coverage of the band’s behaviour at Heathrow Airport is the last straw. As of today, the band’s contract is terminated. Pressing plants are instructed to cease production of “Anarchy In The UK” and the single is deleted from catalogue.
1998. Paula Cole‘s tour manager, Phillip Sullivan appears in a Kentucky court charged with attempted rape, assault and burglary. He pleads not-guilty to the charges and is released on $ 10,000 bail. Sullivan had been arrested at Boston’s Logan International Airport on December 24th following an incident in Kentucky on December 17th. His lawyers say it’s a case of mistaken identity and believe they have a “rock solid alibi” as he was on tour at the time.
1997. Frank Sinatra is rushed to the Cedars of Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles suffering from an irregular heartbeat. Barbara Sinatra, the star’s fourth wife is at his bedside and children Frank Jnr., Nancy and Tina are on their way. The 81 year old singer spent ten days in hospital at the end of last year after suffering from a heart attack and pneumonia.
On The Web.
2008. Rockmine‘s first blog appears on WordPress!
1971. The Johnny Cash Show (ABC, U.S.A.) 46. Guests include Erik Anderson, Derek & The Dominos, Connie Smith, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Homer & Jethro. Here are Derek & The Dominoes with “It’s Too Late”
1987. Folk singer Alex Campbell dies in hospital in Tonder, Denmark, aged 63. He had suffered from throat cancer since 1983.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday, 1st January):
1942. Country Joe McDonald born in El Monte, California.
1960. Johnny Cash plays his first concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison. In the audience is Merle Haggard who is serving a three year sentence for burglary. Cash’s visit inspires him to join the prison band. The rest, as they say, is history…
2002. Eric Clapton, his 25 year-old girlfriend, Melia McEnery and a handful of close family friends are at the Church Of St. Mary Magdalen in Ripley, Surrey for the baptism of their 6 month-old daughter, Julie Rose and Clapton’s 16 year-old daughter, Ruth Patricia (the result of an affair in 1983 with her mother Yvonne Kellyn). After the baptisms are finished the vicar, The Reverend Christopher Elson, surprises the congregation by inviting Eric and Melia to step forward to be joined in marriage, much to the delight of everyone there.
2000. George Harrison is discharged from Harefield Hospital earlier than expected after making what a hospital spokesman described as “such a good recovery”. He slips out of the hospital late in the evening and is driven home to his estate in Henley by Mercedes. Surgeons said that although his lung had collapsed during the attack at his home on December 30th, the knife had missed any major blood vessels. As a result, the ex-Beatle is expected to make a full recovery within a few weeks.
Top Of The Pops (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Bo Flyers – Do The Buster, Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas, Pan’s People dancing to Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo (Pans People); Billy Howard – King Of The Cops, Slik – Forever And Ever; Abba – Mamma Mia, Glyder – Pick Up And Go; Dana – Its Gonna Be A Cold Cold Christmas; Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Promo). Here’s the first part of the whole show, which you should find on around this page.
1953. Hank Williams dies in the back of a car on his way to a gig in West Virginia. Although the death certificate gives the cause of death as a heart attack, it was more probably the result of too much booze and too many pills.
Here we are, it’s 2009. Another year gone and a new one just beginning. I hope your New Year, like mine, will be better than last year. I’m tempted to say it can’t be worse!
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 15th August):
1951. Hard rocker (Captain Beyond, Armaggedon) turned one-hit balladeer (“What You Can’t Do For Love”) turned million selling songwriter (“The Next Time I Fall”) turned musical actor (“The Rat Pack”) Bobby Caldwell born in Manhattan, New York.
On The Road
1970. Derek McEwen, 32 year-old co-promoter of the Yorkshire Pop, Blues & Jazz Festival goes missing only hours after the event is abandoned because of bad weather. His car is spotted later in the morning on a Yorkshire/Lancashire motorway. Along with the other promoter, Brian Highley, it’s thought that McEwen shares a loss of £ 12,000 on the event. A police search is later mounted of the moors near Scammonden Bridge close to his last sighting.
1967. 19 year old telephonist, Deirdre Meehan, arrives outside Buckingham Palace at 3.30 p.m. and proceeds to chain herself to the railings. She then tells onlookers that she doesn’t have a key for the set of handcuffs that she’s used. After 20 minutes standing in the rain, a police van pulls up and she’s quickly released before being ordered home. Deirdre and her 20 year old flat mate, Pat Cameron, have just returned from delivering a letter of protest to Prime Minister Harold Wilson while he was holidaying on the Isles Of Scilly. The girls are protesting at the order to deport two Australian members of The Bee Gees from the U.K.
1997. Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian Rosenfield is arrested after breaking into the New York Yankees’ training camp at Legend’s Field in Tampa, Florida. He and his girlfriend, 23 year old Angela Roberts, are charged with burglary and grand theft after being caught on video trying to carry a large foam mat bearing the team’s logo to their car. The couple are released on bail of $ 7,500 each after spending 6 hours in jail. Rosenfield later explains that he’s been a life-long Yankees fan and while he’s sorry he did have a great time running around the bases. He blamed the prank on too much wine.
1984. Norman Petty, Buddy Holly‘s manager and record producer dies in Lubbock Texas, aged 57. He ceased to be Holly’s manager in 1958 after disagreements over songwriting royalties (Petty claimed a percentage of all Holly’s royalties) and Buddy’s marriage. That didn’t stop him continuing to re-release material and milk the legend of his client up to his death.
It’s finally over! I gave up! After another fruitless day in Nairn trying to find last minute premises for my rock memorabilia exhibition, I realised it was turning into a waste of time.
By the time I’d got back to the office in the evening, I’d decided to get a new blog up. One for the Ballerina Ballroom and all the bands that played there. So far I’ve got a full listing for 1966 and half of 1967 along with period clips of some of the biggest names that played there. I say some because the real gem I discovered was a clip of The Poets from Shindig! A must-see if you’re even vaguely interested in the British Beat Boom of the mid sixties.
I’m hoping to add a selection of adverts and pics of the Scottish bands that gigged there. All I’ve got to do is get them scanned and up. What I really want though is feedback from the folk that went to the ballroom. That’s where the real social history in this lies. The blog’s late up today as I’ve been working on that and also flyers to get in the Ballerina during the film festival which starts this afternoon.
I’d like to think of the blog as a virtual fringe event. You can check it out for yourselves here.
Strangely, the highlight yesterday was probably sitting in a wine bar in Nairn with a guy who was giving the gossip on what REALLY goes on in this sleepy wee town in the North of Scotland. Trouble is, I’m not sure I believe any of it. Think I’ll stick to what I know – sex and dogs and rock ‘n’ roll.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 8th August):
1958. Chris “Chrissie Boy” Foreman (Madness) born in London.
1992. Metallica‘s James Hetfield is seriously injured by a pyrotechnic on stage at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. He is rushed to hospital where he is found to be suffering from second and third degree burns on the back of his left hand, and first degree burns on his right arm. Although he continues the tour as lead vocalist, he is unable to play guitar and a temporary replacement, Metal Church‘s John Marshall is brought in.
The concert later ends in a riot when Axl Rose walks off after only twenty minutes suffering from throat trouble. Fans set fire to parts of the stadium, destroy seating, and ransack shops before leaving. Outside, they overturn cars and uproot street lights. Police regain control using tear gas. Two police officers are taken to hospital, 20 people are injured and 25 arrested.
1983. Harold Melvin and three members of The Blue Notes are arrested on charges of possessiong cocaine in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They are bailed for $ 100,000.
1991. Eric Clapton is banned from driving and fined £ 200 at Guildford Magistrates Court. Clapton admitted speeding on the A3 near Wisley in Surrey in April. He had been driving his silver Ferrari at 103 miles an hour after visiting a friend to talk about the death of his son, Connor.
1994. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #0210. Musical guest: Celine Dion with “River Deep, Mountain High”. 4m 33s.
1975. Jazz great Julian “Canonball” Adderley dies of a stroke, aged 46.
As I said yesterday, I thought I’d give you a taste of what the exhibition space/cafe at the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams will look like. Here’s how it looked when I left on Wednesday:
I spent yesterday afternoon in Edinburgh grabbing some culture at the Festival and had a wonderful time at the city’s Fruitmarket Gallery. They were staging an exhibition called “The House Of Books Has No Windows” by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. There were six installations, each in their own room and it really was a delight. The highlight for me was “Opera For A Small Room”, a mixed media installation involving 8 record players, 24 loudspeakers and 2,000 records.
It was a celebration of the joy of being alone with a record collection and merged opera, the sounds of rain and a train, the footsteps of the mysterious inhabitant of the room and rock music. Set in a darkened space where often it was too dark to see where to move, it was a voyeuristic fantasy, constantly drawing you closer when the lights erupted. A doorway, several small windows and a large opening reminiscent of a recording studio window, allowed the viewer to glimpse the world of the inhabitant. Each viewing position revealed more quirky things illustrating the moods of the mysterious owner.
For any collector who struggles with piles and chaos it was a heartwarming evocation of life as we’d like to live it. Immersed, maybe even submerged within our collections, how much do we long to live our lives in the sounds we can manipulate? Definitely a must see.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 7th August):
1949. Tim Renwick (Quiver, Mike & The Mechanics) born in Cambridge, England.
1984. Death threats have been received by The Knoxville News Sentinel against Michael Jackson who is performing the first of two shows in the city tonight. The threats are taken seriously enough that the F.B.I. are called in. The F.B.I. think the threats are unfounded but organisers step up security all the same. Both tonight’s concert and another on the 9th pass off without incident.
1998. Bernard Ortiz, a homeless man who has been stalking Linda Ronstadt for three years, is sentenced to ten months in jail. It was his second time in court over the singer. He had previously been given three years probation and ordered not to contact Ronstadt or her family. He violated the probation after only three months, sending his “victim” a watch, candles and a letter on her birthday.
1997. Richard Marsh (Bentley Rhythm Ace) breaks his back during a parachute jump at Langar Airfield, Nottinghamshire. The jump was being filmed for the video of the band’s next single, “Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out” but Marsh was caught by a gust of wind during landing and thrown heavily onto his back. He was taken to Nottingham General Hospital where doctors said he would make a full recovery but need three months rest.
1957. American Bandstand (ABC, U.S.A.) 3. Paul Anka; The Tassels. This was Paul Anka’s first network TV appearance in the U.S.A. Aged only 16, he performed his soon to be massive international number 1 hit, “Diana”. While I can’t guarantee this is the correct clip, it is the correct period and I’m a bit short of time today. 2m 13s.
1978. Les Perrin, publicist for The Rolling Stones and others, dies.
There’s not a huge amount to report since yesterday. I spent another three hours in the Heritage Centre in Elgin digging through microfiche copies of the Northern Scot newspaper. So far I’ve compiled a list from 1966 to 1970 of the bands that played the Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn.
Here’s a sample from July – December 1967:
July07 – Cream plus Newton’s Theory with its Go-Go Girls. The gig was cancelled when the van carrying the band’s equipment failed to turn up.
July10 – Cream return to play their concert.
July21 – Pink Floyd
July28 – Gino Washington and The Ram Jam Band plus The Copy Cats
August18 – The Small Faces – concert cancelled.
August31 – Zoot Money and his new group Dantalion’s Chariot plus The T-Set
September08 – The Freddie Mack Show
September15 – The Throb plus The Life N’ Soul
September22 – Tony Merrick plus The T-Set
October06 – The Who plus Gideon’s Few
October 13 – The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sound
October20 – The Four Shades Of Blue plus The T-Set
October27 – The Tamala Express plus The Beatroute
November03 – The Rhubarb plus The Barons
November10 –Clock-work Orange plus Last Chapter
November17 – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
December01 – The Delroy Williams Show plus Keith Taylor
December08 – The Troggs plus The Throb
December15 – Symon Dupree
December22 – Cash Boutique Queen For 1967. Grand Final
December25 – Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign present Their Xmas Beatnik Ball with The Circle plus The T-Set
December29 – The 1967 Last Fling with The Middle Earth plus The T-Set
I have to say it’s been a bit disappointing. While I wasn’t expecting a weekly or monthly catalogue of household names, they’ve so far been few and far between apart from the period above. That said, it paints an incredible picture of the constant touring of small to medium sized bands. The names that have stood out are the likes of Writing On The Wall, My Dear Watson, Spiggy Topes and Archemedes Principle. Now what i’m trying to do is find photos and adverts for some of them.
I went back to the Ballerina and found that John Byrne had more or less completed the area that will serve as exhibition space and festival cafe. I’ll get up some images either later today or tomorrow.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 6th August):
1952. Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) born in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
1970. The “Popanalia” Festival in Nice, France becomes the second one in a week to be abandoned. It should have lasted 36 hours and featured Derek & The Dominoes, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine as headliners but turned into a riot when fans discovered that Soft Machine were refusing to play after being told they wouldn’t get their agreed fee. Only Joan Baez, Country Joe and Rare Bird actually performed before disgruntled fans stormed the stage. As well as throwing a grand piano off the stage, the mob also set fire to two mobile recording studios belonging to the broadcaster RTL.
1999. Following an incident at the city’s Music Hall on July 31st, misdemeanour assault charges are filed against Art Alexakis and Brian Lehfeldt of Everclear in Austin, Texas. Alexakis stormed off stage during the show after being hit by a plastic water cup. Security guards pulled a 17 year old girl to the front of the stage, claiming she was responsible. On his return, Alexakis is said to have thrown a plastic water bottle at the girl calling her, “a f***ing redneck bitch” while Lehfeldt kicked her.
1990. Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) is fined £ 50 and ordered to pay £ 25 costs at Marlborough Magistrates Court after admitting threatening behaviour. He was stopped by police in London’s Soho in the early hours of the morning with two others. Rowland and pal David Philips (Earth) had obviously been fighting as both had blood on their faces. Initially police just spoke to the men but shortly after being allowed to go, they started fighting again and were arrested. Another friend, Lawrence Coles was arrested for shouting and swearing.
1987. Late Night With Letterman (U.S.A.) Musical guest: Patty Smyth – “Isn’t It Enough” 4m 52s.
1973. Chicago Blues singer Memphis Minnie dies in a nursing home in Memphis, Tennessee.
A trip back to the Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn gave me a pleasant surprise. I was taking some memorabilia up to let John Byrne see the sort of stuff I planned to hang and walked in to discover he’d painted one wall with the wording “Rock Dreams”. It’s reproduced below but he said it would be “Improved on”. I can’t wait to see how it develops.
Yesterday, I gave a link to the myspace site for the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams but the “official site” can be found here. As I said, I spent a few happy hours trawling through microfiche reels looking for a complete listing of gigs at the Ballerina. I got a couple of years done but one of the things confusing me is that it originally seems to have been in a different venue but I need to check that out. Needless to say, I’ll keep you posted with any developments.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 5th August):
1959. Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive) born Pete Jozeppi in Port Sunlight, Merseyside.
1980. David Bowie starts a three week run as “The Elephant Man” at Chicago’s Blackstone Theater.
1973. The Rolling Stones‘ producer, Jimmy Miller suffers the loss of at least £ 75,000 of studio gear when the Mercer Arts Center in New York (which houses Jimmy Miller Productions) collapses into a pile of rubble. The hotel next door collapses at the same time and although two people are killed, recent Rolling Stones Records signing, Kracker, who are staying there, escape unhurt.
1983. David Crosby is sentenced to five years in jail by Judge Pat McDowell in Dallas, Texas after being found guilty of possessing cocaine and carrying a gun into a bar. His lawyers lodge an instant appeal and he is released on bail.
1965. Where The Action Is (U.S.A.) The Byrds; Jewel Akens; Linda Scott; Steve Alaimo. Here are The Byrds with “All I Really Want To Do”. 2m 02s. The quality of this clip is probably the poorest I’ve ever included but its a real rarity.
1978. Pete Meadon, The Who‘s first manager and writer of “Zoot Suit” dies of barbiturate poisoning at his parents’ home in London.
Regular readers will know I’ve been struggling since April to stage a rock and pop memorabilia exhibition at the Red Shoes Theatre in Elgin. In the 1960s it was one of Scotland’s busiest and best known venues for the hundreds of bands who constantly toured the U.K. The Beatles, The Who and Pink Floyd were among the star names that played there. I was in Elgin yesterday, fully intending to have one last go at rescuing the exhibition but ended up driving another half hour west to Nairn.
Nairn was home to another venue run by Albert Bonici, the Elgin promoter who’d put The Fabs and all the others on. The Ballerina Ballroom (as it was then called), which played host to The Who, Cream, Pink Floyd et al., has lain empty for years until recently when Nairn based Hollywood actress, Tilda Swinton decided to re-open the venue and stage a film festival there. The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams festival lasts 8 1/2 days, starting August 15th.
It was easy to find, driving off the main road to Edinburgh, turning left for the town centre and straight into the High Street. A few hundred yards later, I passed it. I found a parking space and walked back. The doors weren’t locked, so I just walked in. There I found Tilda’s husband, the artist and playwright, John Byrne. I explained my troubles with the Ballerina’s sister venue and he instantly showed me a huge ante-room off the main ballroom with large unobstructed walls and agreed it was a great idea and a perfect adjunct to the film festival.
So, now I’ve got 10 days to promote and create the exhibition. I’m heading back to the ballroom this morning with some of the pieces I’m planning to hang and get some images for tomorrow’s blog. My plan is to replicate the real exhibition with a virtual version online. Sadly, I’d spent a lot of time researching the bands who played the Two Red Shoes and now I’m going to have to redo that for the Ballerina. I loved the idea of boards with gig adverts, reviews and listings to spark the memories of those who’d attended them.
Anyway, enough of what’s to be done. I love ferreting through old newspapers, so I can’t complain. Click on the film festival link above for full details. For some background to the festival, there’s a really great article from The Independent dated July 23rd here.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 24th July):
1935. Songwriter Les Reed (“It’s Not Unusual”, “There’s A Kind Of Hush” and many more) born in Woking, Surrey.
1964. Britain’s biggest rock riot takes place during The Rolling Stones concert in Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom. Blackpool is besieged by drunken Glaswegians, in the city for their annual holiday. Unfortunately hundreds of them are amongst the audience of 9,000. Things turn sour when Keith Richards objects to Brian Jones being spat at by youths at the front of the stage. He retaliates with his boot, first standing on someone’s hands and then kicking another in the face. Within moments, the band are running for their lives.
It takes several hours for calm to be restored. By that time more than £ 2,000 worth of Stones’ equipment has been smashed, curtains in the hall are pulled down, seating is destroyed and the ballroom’s chandelier damaged. Two policemen and thirty members of the audience require treatment at Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital.
The band are booked in to spend the night at a hotel in Preston, twenty miles away and hastily arrange a round the clock police guard in case they’ve been followed.
1996. Rapper Warren G is arrested at the Los Angeles gay and lesbian nightclub Peanuts following the discovery of a loaded 9mm assault weapon in his trunk. Police are called to a disturbance outside the club and notice the truck which matches the description of one used in an armed robbery last week.
The rapper later holds a press conference to admit that he was arrested at the club but insists he was there on a lesbian only night (?). He is released on $ 10,000 bail and will appear in court on August 16th to face charges of possessing a concealed loaded weapon.
In Church (well, almost)
1999. Following their civil marriage yesterday, Phil Collins, 48, and his new bride Orianne Cevey, 27, have a religious blessing at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. After the ceremony, a lavish reception is held in the hotel with guests including Eric Clapton.
During their stay at the hotel, Phil arranged for Jack (his Jack Russell Terrier) to have his own suite at a cost of £ 220 a night. Jack got a double bed, minibar, sunken bath and balcony. If that wasn’t enough, a dog-sitter was booked to take Jack walkies, whenever the need arose. Orianne’s mother didn’t fare so well. While Jack was living it up in a suite, she had to make do with a standard room!
1968. Kraft Music Hall (NBC, U.S.A.) 84. The Turtles – “Elenore”. 2m 33s.
1972. Bobby Ramirez (drummer with Edgar Winter’s White Trash) dies in a knife fight in a back alley off Rush Street, Chicago aged 23.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thurssday 12th June):
1943. Reg Presley (The Troggs) born Reginald Ball in Andover, Hampshire.
1998. Three Appeal Court judges dismiss Kirk Brandon‘s appeal to overturn the judgement of Justice Douglas Brown on 29th April 1997. Brandon had originally brought an action of malicious falsehood against Boy George, publishers Sidgwick And Jackson Limited, Virigin Records Limited and EMI Music Limited. The suit related to a claim in Boy George’s autobiography that he had a homosexual affair with Brandon, a charge which the latter has always denied.
2001. Eric Clapton‘s girlfriend, Melia McEnery gives birth to the couple’s first child, at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The baby, Julie Rose, weighed in at 7lb 1oz. The 57 year-old father was on hand throughout the delivery.
2002. The first ever debate on the U.K. music industry is held in the House Of Commons. It was brought to The House by Pete Wishart M.P. (North Tayside), who was keyboard player with Runrig from 1986 – 2001. Dr. Kim Howells, Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting spoke during the 90 minutes alloocated to the debate and revealed that despite the problems of piracy and falling numbers of live concerts, the U.K. music industry had grown by 5.3% last year, in face of a global showdown.
2003. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Musical guests – Sugar Ray.
1957. Jazz-band leader Jimmy Dorsey dies of cancer in New York.