My rake through the archive is continuing apace. It’s a major weeding, deciding what to keep, what to digitise and what to sell. The latter is hugely important as this behemoth of a thing I created 32 years ago is a veritable money pit.
I will get back to having useful information on here in the not too distant future but for now I’m on a bit of a self-publicity kick. Not my self but Rockmine. Three decades has left me with more memorabilia, music papers, audio, video and ephemera than I can possible use myself, so it’s time to put on my sales cap and act like your favourite used car salesman.
Having trawled eBay and the greater web, it’s clear I’m sitting on loads of stuff that just isn’t available and it’s about time I got rid of it. Just looking at The Beatles items I have, there’s something for every fan.
There’s some original 60’s memorabilia – Fan Club membership cards with envelope and renewal form, bubblegum cards, Beatles stockings (!), a John Lennon signed EP and much more. More recent memorabilia includes rare PR photos of John & Yoko, a full press pack for the Red & Blue albums and a Dark Horse publicity pack for George. There are also promo posters for George’s solo albums and The Beatles Anthology albums.
Finally, there are music papers and other magazines. There’s a New Musical Express going online very soon that has full page adverts on front and back pages for “Abbey Road”. Needless to say, there are also colour supplements and a selection of magazines and comics, including a rare British edition of the Dell’s 1964 “The Beatles”.
It would be nice to think I could get it all online instantly but it takes time as we are talking about thousands of items. You’ll find updates to recent additions on Rockmine’s front page: http://www.rockmine.com.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday, 28th January):
1946. Rick Allen (The Box Tops) born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1995. Elton John, Ray Cooper and Sting perform at the first benefit for The Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. The performance along with dinner and an auction raises $ 1 million.
1980. All five original members of Guys And Dolls appear in court for the first day of a legal case brought by their former managers, Ammo Productions Ltd., for £ 12,900 in unpaid commission. The group have issued a counter suit claiming £ 3,418 in unpaid royalties.
1987. Elton John‘s wife, Renate, flies into London after working for the last month in Los Angeles. She has not travelled to Australia, where Elton is still recovering in hospital but did say she has spoken to him on the ‘phone “at least once a day”.
1971. Top Of The Pops. (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Badfinger; Elvis Presley (Promo); Frankie Valli; George Harrison/Pan’s People; Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon; Martha & The Vandellas; Stevie Wonder; The Equals; The Mixtures; The Supremes/Pan’s People; The Weathermen. Here are Badfinger with “No Matter What”
2000. Motown saxophonist Thomas “Beans” Bowles dies in Detroit after a ten year battle with prostate cancer, aged 71. Bowles was best known as a baritone sax player and arranger but was also tour manager for the early Motown Revues that toured the U.S.A. His career with Motown was far from smooth. He claimed to have written “Fingertips” for Stevie Wonder but never received a credit. On leaving the company, he was even forced to negotiate for the rights to his own name, which he’d unwittingly given to Motown when he signed his contract in 1962.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday, 3rd January):
1964. Raymond McGinley (Teenage Fanclub) born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1963. The Beatles first ever tour starts with a gig at The Two Red Shoes in Elgin. Last night’s show at the Longmore Hall in Keith was cancelled due to bad weather. Paul McCartney filled in the wasted evening by flying home to Liverpool and returning this morning. Check out the Two Red Shoes blog here.
1996. After the jury is selected to try her stalker’s case, Madonna appears at the Superior Court in Los Angeles. Before the jury take their places, the singer asks for a motion to seal court documents to stop them being made public and also asks that her alleged stalker, Robert Dewey Hoskins a.k.a. Herbert Hoskins, be excluded during her testimony to the court. Hoskins is the subject of an order prohibiting him from being in close proximity to Madonna and has admitted that his “not guilty” plea was a planned action to ensure he would be in the same room as her. After arguments for both sides, the motions are denied. Once the jury take their places Madonna, obviously shaken, gives her testimony for the prosecution. The judge then adjourns the case until the next day. The court minutes for today’s proceedings.
2001. Moby is walking down a street in New York’s Chinatown when he stops to stroke a cat. The feline is obviously no fan as it bites deep into the ambient star’s hand. Despite the hand becoming more and more swollen throughout the day, Moby leaves it until the next morning when the pain becomes unbearable and he heads for the local E.R. He’s rushed into an urgent care ward, given a tetanus shot and dosed up with anti-biotics.
1964. NBC’s “The Jack Paar Show” becomes the first U.S. TV show to feature The Beatles playing live. Despite Brian Epstein having an exclusive contract with “The Ed Sullivan Show”, NBC licensed the live footage of “She Loves You”, shot for the documentary “The Mersey Sound”, direct from the BBC. Epstein’s fury was short lived and although he tried to block the screening, he accepted the £ 225 fee received from the BBC. Without this piece of advance publicity it’s doubtful that the ground-breaking “Ed Sullivan Show” would have had quite the same impact in sparking Beatlemania in the States. Here’s the original clip!
2002. Zac Foley, bass player with EMF dies aged 31. The circumstances surrounding his death are not revealed at the time of the announcement.
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 (Tuesday, 7th October):
1943. Dino Valenti (Quicksilver Messenger Service) born in New York.
1969. 2,000 East German Rolling Stones fans clash with police near the Berlin Wall. The fans gathered expecting to see The Stones play a concert on top of a building at the western-most section of the Wall but there was no performance. 200 police chase the fans into the centre of the city where they clash with some of the 250,000 members of the Free German Youth organisation who had gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the communist state. More than 50 of the fans are detained in custody by police.
1975. The U.S. Court Of Appeals overturns the Immigration Departments deportation order on John Lennon. This opens the way for him to apply for resident status.
1995. Simon Gilbert (Suede) is knocked unconscious when he and a friend are attacked by 12 queer-bashers after leaving a pub in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Both men are taken to Warwick Hospital where they are treated before being discharged. The un-named friend has six stiches for a head wound and later returns to the hospital suffering from concussion.
1970. The Johnny Cash Show (ABC, U.S.A.) Johnny with George Lindsey & June Carter, The Statler Brothers, The Carter Family. Here are Johnny and Joni Mitchell dueting on “Girl From The North County”.
1966. Overton Amos Lemons, better known as R+B singer Smiley Lewis, dies of cancer in New Orleans.
Well, here I am once again in the north. I was told yesterday that the memorabilia exhibition couldn’t go ahead and yet everyone seems to want it to be staged. Just how and when are the two big questions. I’m going to give it until tomorrow and then I’ll have to make the decision to consign it to the fantasy world within the wardrobe and just imagine I’ve staged the show or get it sorted once and for all.
I was offered a date in November but that’s meant to tie in with a book launch that should have been held on June 21st. The book, on growing up in Liverpool in the sixties, was seemingly available back in May so I’m not sure why a launch is being held six months on. My biggest worry is that the launch is meant to be run by Waterstone’s local branch but the company’s web site has no information regarding ANY events in Elgin or Inverness in either October or November. I have found one book that fits the description but it was launched at the Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre back in April. Its author, Nicholas Murray is giving a poetry reading on October 13th in Venice. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t then see what he’d be doing in Elgin. Obviously it may not be him and as there’s nothing on the Elgin venue’s website mentioning anything that fits the bill.
I hope from this you’ll get some sense of my frustration. I know I’m dealing with a theatre but it surely doesn’t need to involve suspending all disbelief. I found a fascinating description of the concept here. The world of Narnia really has been moved to Moray. I just hope that I can find my way back out of the wardrobe. Despite the frustration, I’m going to give it one last shot. If I can’t get an agreement to use the venue we’d agreed on (which I’ve decided not to name because it will just give them free publicity) from Thursday to Saturday or another space to stage it, then I give up.
Strangely, the link to my Two Red Shoes Ballroom blog from the Northern Scot is proving nowhere near as successful as flyers were in Nairn back in August. 1,400 flyers and a dozen A4 posters pulled in 180 people a day and all this one’s getting is 55! Before I leave here, I think I’ll get flyers into the local library and other places. Then I’ll just forget these eerily unreal place.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 29th August):
1944. Sterling Morrison (Velvet Underground) born in Long Island, New York.
1958. George Harrison joins John Lennon and Paul McCartney in The Quarrymen as they play at the opening night of The Casbah Club in Liverpool.
1991. UB40 front-man, Ali Campbell, is served with a paternity suit at his home in Birmingham. The action has been raised by 22 year old Tiffany Crow who claims that she got pregnant after two nights of sex with the star during UB40’s last US tour. Campbell has previously denied he is the father. A court will probably demand blood tests to settle the matter.
1977. Three men are arrested and charged with trying to steal Elvis Presley‘s body from Forest Hill cemetery in Memphis. It’s thought they were planning to hold the corpse for ransom. As a result Elvis soon moves to Graceland.
1981. Rockpalast (WDR, West Germany) Thin Lizzy; Nine Below Zero; Outlaws; .38 Special (Loreley St. Goarshausen). Here are Thin Lizzy with “Are You Ready”. 3m 44s.
1998. Country singer Johnny Rodriguez is charged with murder after shooting a friend at his home in Texas this morning. He has been troubled with burglars over the past months and when he heard a noise at the door and saw a figure he fired. Unfortunately it was Israel Borrego, an unemployed labourer he met several months ago. The singer is being held until a bail bond of $ 250,000 can be raised.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 22nd August):
1945. Ron Dante (The Cuff-Links) born Carmine Granito on Staten Island, New York.
1978. Sid Vicious stages his farewell party at The Electric Circus. He and girlfriend Nancy Spungeon are moving to New York. The party-cum-gig features Sid with a scartch band of Rat Scabies on drums, Glen Matlock on bass, Steve New on guitar and Nancy on backing vocals. Also there are Blondie, Captain Sensible, Elvis Costello, Joan Jett, The Rich Kids, The Slits among others.
1966. Two teenage girls threaten to throw themselves off a ledge on the 21st floor of a New York hotel unless they are allowed to hand a letter to Paul McCartney. Eventually, Patrolman Richard Powers manages to convince 16 year old Susan Richmond and her 17 year old friend Carol Hopkins to return inside the building after he and a colleague promise to see the letter is delivered. Afterwards the girls are taken to hospital for observation. An eye-witness said they just seemed to want attention. Strangely, The Beatles weren’t even in the hotel but were in another a block away and unaware of any problems.
1992. Sting and Trudie Styler make up for their low key wedding by holding a major bash for their blessing at St. Andrew’s Church, Great Dunford, Wilts. 150 guests are invited and The Police reform to play at the reception.
1998. Rockpalast (WDR, Germany) The Cure; Goldie; Guano Apes; The Deftones; The Afghan Whigs; The Notwist; Soul Coughing; The Toaster; Core; Funf Sterne Deluxe; Headcrash; Gautsch; Turbonegro; Mad Sin; Junkie XI (Bizarre Festival, Butzweiller Hof, Koln).
1979. Bluesman John Lee Granderson dies of cancer in Chicago, Illinois.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 19th August):
1943. Billy J. Kramer born William Howard Ashton in Bootle, Lancashire.
1965. As The Beatles arrive at Houston Airport in Texas, 5,000 fans break through police lines and rush towards their chartered plane. Luckily, a catering truck is backed up to the aircraft and the boys are ferried to safety. Promoter Bill Weaver said that the security force assembled to ensure the group’s safety was larger than that used by President Johnson when he was in the city. Sell out audiences of 12,000 at each of tonight’s shows will earn The Beatles £ 30,050. The city authories, who own the Coliseum where the concerts are taking place, have demanded a $ 10,000 (£ 3,500) damage bond from the promoter.
1981. Neil Tennant meets Chris Lowe for the first time in an electronics shop in London’s Kings Road. Finding a common interest in dance music, the pair start writing together, eventually forming a duo called West End. That name soon gets dropped in favour of Pet Shop Boys, a name they had jokingly used to refer to some friends who worked in an Ealing pet shop.
In The Press
1976. Glasgow’s Evening Times runs a headline, “Ramones In Teenage Glue Death Outrage”. The paper claims that the band advocates the habit of sniffing glue. A local member of parliament, James Dempsey, tries to have the band’s first album banned from Scottish stores.
1972. The Midnight Special (NBC, U.S.A.) Pilot show. Host: John Denver. Guests: Argent; Harry Chapin; David Clayton Thomas; ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot; The Everly Brothers; The Isley Brothers. Here’s Argent with “Hold Your Head Up”.
1996. Gospel-rock drummer Steve Marsh (Elim Hall, One Hundred Days) dies of liver cancer, first diagnosed in June.
Music Paper From Today
Record Mirror from 19th August 1972. A copy taken from Rockmine’s almost complete run of U.K. music papers from the last 45 years.
The first thing I have to do today, is apologize. Somehow, I managed to put today’s blog (i.e. Tuesday 19th August) up in place of yesterday’s. I didn’t realise until late last night and decided to leave it for the morning. So, here I am correcting a rather idiotic mistake.
Apart from that, there’s little to report today. The Ballerina Ballroom Blog is getting a lot of interest. Whether that’s as a result of my flyer and poster blitz of Nairn remains to be seen. I have started to feature the regular bands that played there and have reworked it so it’s easier to navigate. The trouble is it just keeps giving me more work! All the video clips I’ve added to it will now have to be added to the index of clips on the Rockmine TV pages. No rest for the wicked. Oh well, I better get on…
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.
1965. Slash born Saul Hudson in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire. His father, Anthony designed album covers (Joni Mitchell‘s “Court & Spark” amongst others) and his mother, Ola was a costume designer for “The Man Who Fell To Earth”.
1971. John Maus, better known as John Walker (The Walker Brothers) marries Julie Parker Cann at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church in Norwich. The event is kept secret to avoid an invasion of fans, and is only seen by a few passers-by. Miss Cann was formerly secretary to DJ Simon Dee.
1977. Led Zeppelin run into trouble after their concert at the Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. John Bonham, manager Peter Grant and crew members Richard Cole and John Bindon are arrested and charged with battery following a number of minor arguments with members of Bill Graham’s staff.
1976. George Harrison and Ringo Starr fail in their attempt to get a court injunction stopping Polydor Records from releasing “The Beatles Tapes”. The album is a compilation of interviews gathered by David Wigg from 1968 to 1973 for the London Evening News. The Fabs tried to stop the release claiming that the interviews didn’t reflect their current views and it might be construed as a genuine “Beatles” album. The judge refused the injunction saying such claims were “ridiculous”.
1980. Rockpalast (WDR, Germany) The Beat (WDR Studio-B Koln)
1995. Two men die during R.E.M.‘s concert at Dublin’s Slane Castle. One drowns while swimming across the River Boyne to get in for free. The other is accidentally pushed from a bridge into the river. The drownings happen despite a special river rescue team patrolling all weekend.