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To say the blog’s been neglected is an understatement! Hopefully, with the start of the New Year tomorrow, that will all change.

While I may not have been posting anything, I haven’t been idle. The Almanac, the albatross round my neck for the last 23 years, finally seems to be working as a database although the task of updating it is becoming enormous. 

I’ll be posting a daily slice again from midnight and the plan is to ensure that publication time from now on. For those that can make use of the information on a commercial basis, I’ll be offering it one week in advance for a small subscription fee.

February will see the publication of The Rockmine Almanac as a hard copy book which will be available via Lulu but published by Rockmine. Needless to say, it will be completely different to the daily blog version.

Rockmine’s ballroom blogs will also be getting brought up to date and work will continue on the big ones, like the Marquee Club. I’m glad to report (and somewhat surprised) that despite my inactivity, all the blogs are still being read which must mean I’m doing something right!

To all those who get it before midnight GMT, Have A Happy New Year!

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 22nd August):

Birth

1945. Ron Dante (The Cuff-Links) born Carmine Granito on Staten Island, New York.

On Stage

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.

In Hospital

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.

In Church

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.

On Television

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).

Death

1979. Bluesman John Lee Granderson dies of cancer in Chicago, Illinois.

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 12th August):

Birth

1951. August Darnell (Kid Creole) born Thomas August Darnell Browder in Montreal, Canada.

On Tour

1971. The Edgar Broughton Band who had planned to give a free concert in Brighton today, are escorted by police to the edge of town. The town’s corporation had refused to allow the event to take place but the band and a crowd of 400 turned up, hoping it would go ahead. When they reached the town limit, the group asked police if they could play on the downs but their request was refused. The group and some fans then became abusive. Lorry driver Keith George Landells refused to drive his lorry away. It had been intended as the stage on which the group would play. He was arrested and charged with obstruction. He’ll appear in court tomorrow along with eight others arrested on similar charges.

In Court

1998. Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) is sentenced to three months in a drug treatment programme at the Impact Drug And Alcohol Treatment Center in Port Hueneme after pleading guilty to felony heroin possession. Superior Court Judge Paul Fidler also placed the singer on three years probation during which time he will have random drug tests.

In Hospital

1988. Edinburgh rockers The Cateran have a near fatal crash on their way to London for a gig at the Fulham Greyhound. A tyre blows, flipping their van three times and off the road. Drummer Andy Milne and roadie Alec McLeod are admitted to hospital after being thrown out the back of the van. They are later released having only suffered broken arms. The van and all the band’s gear is a write-off. Guitarist Cameron Fraser is charged by police with carrying too many passengers.

On Television

2002. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (NBC, U.S.A.) Show #2320. David Bowie and Moby. Here they are with “Cactus”. 2m 56s.

Death

1990. Roy Williamson, half of The Corries folk duo and writer of “Flower Of Scotland”, dies at his home in Forres. He had undergone emergency surgery earlier in the year to remove a brain tumour but treatment was unable to hold back the cancer which killed him.

Babble

Yesterday was spent trying to find premises in Nairn to stage the memorabilia exhibition that’s been bumped from “The Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams”. It was very much a case of following every lead and tapping the local knowledge of Steve who seems to be general handyman at the ballroom. There’s a wonderful shop literally across from the Ballerina that would be ideal but its though the owner is in hospital and trying to find someone who could make a decision as to whether it could be used was a real problem.

A chance remark about The Beatles playing the ballroom by a local gift shop owner to someone working there led me to him and then on to a pub which shares the same cleaner as the shop. My phone number was passed on but I’m still waiting for “Margaret” (which is the only name I have) to get back to me.

Today, I think I’ll work the phone and see if I can find a local solicitor who may help. I did manage an hour in the local library sifting through the microfiches of The Nairnshire Telegraph which was a mine of information and gig adverts. I came away contented, with a complete listing for 1966 which had eluded me so far. 

Whatever happens, I think I’ll be hosting a virtual exhibition/memorabilia sale on Rockmine’s site. As a back up, I got back to the Red Shoes Theatre in Elgin and asked if they were still interested in the idea of exhibiting there. Despite there being a problem with insurance, it seemed there was an obvious solution – I sit in during opening hours. They said “Yes”. 

It seems there’s a variety of possibilities and with Nairn’s festival swinging into life on Friday, I don’t have much time to make up my mind. I will, however, keep you posted.

As I mentioned above, The Beatles did play Nairn. It was May 27th, 1960 and they were backing Johnny Gentle. For some of the gigs on this small tour, they were advertised as The Silver Beetles but for Nairn they were only described as Johnny Gentle’s band as you’ll see from the advert above.

This advert has puzzled me for a while. The Regal was at the other end of Nairn from the Balllerina Ballroom. Its site is now a Somerfield supermarket. Somehow, I’ve got it into my head that the Regal may have been the first home to promoter Albert Bonici’s events in Nairn and possibly the original site for the Ballerina but no-one I’ve spoken to can confirm this. I was given the name of a contact at the local planning office who was a musician back then and would be able to confirm the story.

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday 27th July):

Birth

1944. Bobby Gentry born Bobby Lee Street in Chickasaw County, Mississippi.

On Tour

1969. Scott Walker is playing Blackpool’s ABC Theatre. Unfortunately, his audience aren’t happy. More than 200 demand their money back complaining that the singer was confused and sang one song twice. His publicist, Mr Chris Williams, later says that the confusion arose after taking tablets for headaches he has been suffering from since his car accident two weeks ago. The publicist goes on to say that Walker was “not aware of any discontent among his audience” but he will not be undertaking any other bookings for the immediate future.

In Custody

1997. Two Primal Scream roadies are arrested and charged with possessing marijuana and an “unidentified white powder” at the Lollipop Festival in Sweden. Initial press reports claimed that it was two members of the band who were arrested but the only band member to be searched was Throb who dropped his trousers to prove he wasn’t hiding anything. The roadies are released the next morning after paying a £ 500 deposit toward possible fines.

In Hospital

1986. Ella Fitzgerald collapses after a concert in Lewiston, New York. The 68 year old singer is taken to the Niagra Falls Medical Centre where an initial examination indicates the singer has congestive heart failure. Further tests will be carried out over the next feew days to see if she really did have a heart attack. Her manager, Pete Cavello, says she suffers from respiratory problems.

On Television

1999. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #1260. Musical guests: Los Lobos with “This Time”. 4m 19s.

Death

1974. Bluesman Lightnin’ Slim (born Otis Hicks) dies from a stomach tumour in Pontiac, Michigan aged 61.

Apology

It’s not unusual for the blog to be up late morning. In some ways it’s never seemed to matter. After all, the Eastern seaboard of North America is 5 hours behind. A mid-day publishing time in the U.K. is 7 a.m. Eastern and 5 a.m. Pacific. Unfortunately it’s now nearly 16.00 GMT and here I am, adding my babble.

I know everyone has off days but this has turned into an off week with a complete absence of anything on Friday. I did manage to resurrect my eBay “Garage Sale” on Friday, getting 28 items online but that’s where it stopped. I thought it would be good to clear out some of the original 1970’s Dragon’s World/Dragon’s Dream/Paper Tiger art cards I’ve had taking up crate space for decades. No sooner had I put up a set of wonderful Bob Carlos Clarke cards than eight of them were bought. No big deal but it does mean I need to put more stuff online! Maybe I should take time for a blatant plug here and say if you’re a fan of Bob Carlos Clarke’s photography or the science fantasy art of Roger Dean, Patrick Woodroffe or Bruce Pennington then point your browser at the Rockmine Garage Sale.

The other big issue for me at the moment is getting a new front page for Rockmine’s site. It’s been really hard to find a simple and clear way of navigating round everything. At long last I think I’ve got it but I’m getting bogged down by the fact I can’t quite match the drop shadow section titles I’ve got on the old version. Seems crazy to get stuck on something so simple, so I think I’ll get the page up and add the images later when I’ve sorted the problem. Let’s see if I can get it done for tomorrow. Oh, and maybe Friday’s blog up as well!

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 12th July):

Birth

On Tour

1969. Blind Faith begin their first tour of the U.S.A. with a concert at New York’s Madison Square Gardens. Despite opening to a standing ovation before they’d even played a note, things would later turn sour. During one of Ginger Baker‘s drum solos a fan ran onstage to grab a discarded drumstick. He was knocked to the ground by two policemen using three foot batons. Baker was so upset that he jumped from his kit to stop them beating the fan senseless. Police then formed a circle around the stage but that enraged the 23,000 strong crowd. Coins, bottles, handbags and seats were thrown onto the stage area. At the end of their set, the band decided there would be no encore but the crowd screamed for ten minutes and in the end they relented. Even then, police had to use their batons to clear a path for the group to reach the stage. After the band had finished, fans invaded the stage, fighting with roadies for souvenirs. Steve Winwood‘s organ was smashed in the frenzy.

In Custody

2000. Yusuf Islam, who was formerly the pop star, Cat Stevens is detained on arrival in Israel, held for several hours and then deported. He was stopped on arrival at 3.30 a.m., when his name showed up on a register of people banned from entering. The banning order came from Israel’s government and was based on information provided by the country’s internal intelligence service, Shin Bet. They have evidence that, on his last visit in 1988, Islam gave tens of thousands of dollars to Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group.

In Court

1997. Despite being a Saturday evening, the 6 man jury in the John Denver drink-driving trial return to court to say they can’t break their 3-3 impass. Denver will now have to re-appear in court on August 19th to hear whether the judge will dismiss the case or order a re-trial. He was charged with being under the influence while driving after crashing his Porsche into a tree near Aspen in August 1994. Expert witnesses for the defence argued that the singer has a thyroid complaint that affects the way his body metabolizes alcohol. In theory he can be legally drunk without knowing he is or feeling any effects. Still doesn’t explain how the Porsche got totalled!

On Television

1979. Musikladen (ZDF, West Germany) 47. Blondie – Sunday girl; First Choice – Great expectations; Edwin Starr – H.A.P.P.Y. radio; Ironhorse – Sweet Lui-Louise; Tata Vega – I just keep thinking about you; Blonde on Blonde – Whole lotta love; Kevin Keegan – Head over heels in love; Gaby – I’m a lover not a fighter; Dolly Dots – (Tell it all about) Boys; Theo Vaness – As long as it’s love; A la Carte – When the boys come home; Tina Turner – Root, toot, undisputable Rock ‘n’ Roller; New Riders of the Purple Sage – Hello Mary Lou (Oldie from 1972); Boney M – Gotta go home

Death

1996. Jonathan Melvoin (The Smashing Pumpkins) is found dead from a heroin overdose in his New York hotel room, aged 34. His father, Mike Melvoin, has been at the forefront of the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ call for random drug testing of musicians and is due to give a major address on the subject later today.

Police take other members of the band in for questioning and arrest Jimmy Chamberlain. It seems he and Melvoin had both shot up heroin yesterday but when Chamberlain woke up he found Melvoin dead. It’s rumoured that Billy Corgan may also have been in the hotel room at the time but he’s released after questioning. The band announce that all remaing dates of their U.S. tour are cancelled.

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2008 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.