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Pete Townshend

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday 14th September):

Birth

1950. Paul Kossoff (Free, Back Street Crawler) born in Hampstead, London, England.

In Court

1972. The inquest into the death of George Dew, 25 year old road manager with the Storm pop group, hears that he died as a result of overloading a stage cannon. An explosives expert from Scotland Yard told the inquest, at Romford in Essex, that the cannon, which was used to round off the group’s shows, was so weak it could only take an explosive charge of two or three ounces. He said the damage caused was probably the result of three pounds of explosives being used. The cannon killed Dew when it exploded on stage at Albermarle Youth Centre in May.

In Hospital

1965. French singer Juliet Greco is found unconscious in her Paris apartment in the early morning and rushed to hospital. The 38 year old star had overdosed on sleeping pills.

On The Street

1997. English Heritage honour Jimi Hendrix with the unveiling of a “Blue Plaque” on the wall outside his old flat at 23 Brook Street in London. Pulling the string was Pete Townshend flanked by Jimi’s old girlfriend Kathy Etchingham and Noel Redding.

The convivial atmosphere is ruined when Jimi’s father Al Hendrix and step-daughter Janie Wright turn up in a blatant attempt to grab publicity. Although they were sent invitations they claimed to know nothing of the event. Strange then that both the official Hendrix magazine and web-site announced they would be attending.

On Television

1968. Beat Club (WDR, West Germany) 35: Amen Corner, John Walker, Equals, Ben E. King, Nice, Status Quo, Dave Dee & Co, Canned Heat, Arthur Conley, Leapy Lee, Hollies. Here are The Nice with “America”. 4m 32s.

Death

1968. Fire destroys the lakeside home of Roy Orbison near Hendersonville, Tennessee. Two of his sons, 11 year old Duane and 6 year old Tony are killed in the blaze although 3 year old Wesley escapes without injury. Orbison is believed to be returning home after concerts in the U.K. The children were being cared for by their grandparents, their mother having been killed in a motorcycle crash two years ago. The fire also destroyed an adjoining garage housing the singer’s collection of vintage cars.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 16th August):

Birth

1945. Kevin Ayers born in Herne Bay, Kent.

On Tour

1997. The Prodigy stop their gig at Leeds V97 Festival when they see fans being crushed in front of the stage. Keith Flint and Maxim jump into the pit to help security pull fans to safety. Two fans are hospitalised but Leeds City Council praise the actions of the band in helping to avert a major tragedy.

In Court

1999. Thides Leasing Corporation file a $ 158,000 lawsuit against The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, claiming that the purple one has yet to pay for a tour bus used by him between May and October 1998. The leasing company also claims that the bus was booked for another 7 months but unused. During that time, they were unable to use the bus for any other clients. $ 42,000 is being sought for touring time and a further $ 116,000 for unpaid fees and lost revenue for the 7 months idle time.

In Hospital

1989. Pete Townshend impales his hand on the tremolo arm of his guitar during the final song of The Who‘s gig at the Tacomadome in Tacoma, Washington. He is rushed to hospital but surgeons find he has escaped any damage.

On Television

Sorry, there’s no TV clip today. I’ve been trying to search YouTube on a laptop with mobile broadband and there’s just not enough bandwidth. I’ll have something online tomorrow.

Death

1938. “King Of The Delta Blues”, Robert Johnson dies “outside” Greenwood, Mississippi, aged 27. On August 13th, Johnson played his last recorded gig at the “Three Forks” juke joint. Many believe that after playing the owner gave Johnson a glass of poisoned whiskey for having seduced his wife. Here’s a copy of the death certificate obtained in 1996:

Babble.

I hate pipe bands! Normally I manage to keep clear of them but I think every one of them in the North East of Scotland tried to torment me this afternoon. About 5 p.m., Nairn was invaded by dozens of them, skirling and drumming. What the Hell am I doing here.

I reckon there are only two people up here who could cope with the cacophony. One of the workmen in last week had left his tobacco tin on a ledge in the ballroom. His cigarettes didn’t just contain tobacco but some herbal remedy or other. Anyway, two kids rode their bicycles into the ballroom to ask what was going on and while one was asking all sorts of sensible question, the other nicked the tin. Some teenagers are having fun this week! 

Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’m meant to be watching a film. I’ll be back to normal tomorrow. One good thing is that I won’t be driving up here all the time any more. I will, of course, keep the Ballerina Ballroom Blog going. 

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 7th August):

Birth

1949. Tim Renwick (Quiver, Mike & The Mechanics) born in Cambridge, England.

On Tour

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.

In Court

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.

In Hospital

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.

On Television

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.

Death

1978. Les Perrin, publicist for The Rolling Stones and others, dies.

Babble

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:

July 07 – 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.

July 10 – Cream return to play their concert.

July 21 – Pink Floyd

July 28 – Gino Washington and The Ram Jam Band plus The Copy Cats

August 18 – The Small Faces – concert cancelled.

August 31 – Zoot Money and his new group Dantalion’s Chariot plus The T-Set

September 08 – The Freddie Mack Show

September 15 – The Throb plus The Life N’ Soul

September 22 – Tony Merrick plus The T-Set

October 06 – The Who plus Gideon’s Few

October 13 – The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sound

October 20 – The Four Shades Of Blue plus The T-Set

October 27 – The Tamala Express plus The Beatroute

November 03 – The Rhubarb plus The Barons

November 10 – Clock-work Orange plus Last Chapter

November 17 – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

December 01 – The Delroy Williams Show plus Keith Taylor

December 08 – The Troggs plus The Throb

December 15 – Symon Dupree

December 22 – Cash Boutique Queen For 1967. Grand Final

December 25 – Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign present Their Xmas Beatnik Ball with The Circle plus The T-Set

December 29 – 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.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 5th August):

Birth

1959. Pete Burns (Dead Or Alive) born Pete Jozeppi in Port Sunlight, Merseyside.

On Tour

1980. David Bowie starts a three week run as “The Elephant Man” at Chicago’s Blackstone Theater.

In Rubble

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.

In Court

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.

On Television

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.
Death

1978. Pete Meadon, The Who‘s first manager and writer of “Zoot Suit” dies of barbiturate poisoning at his parents’ home in London.

Babble

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.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 30th July):

Birth

1949. Andy Scott (The Sweet) born in Wrexham, Wales.

On Tour

1971. A security guard is stabbed to death outside Forest Hills Tennis Stadium where The Who are playing. The guard, 22 year old George Etheridge, died after an announcement was made that the show was a sell-out and no tickets remained to be sold. A 21 year old man pulled a knife and shouted, “I’ll kill him”. The man suffered concussion and head wounds, in the scuffle that followed, and is in hospital in a “critical” condition. He has been charged with criminally negligent homicide.

In Custody

1993. Dickey Betts (Allman Brothers Band) is arrested in Saratoga Springs, New York, and charged with resisting arrest and obstructing govenmental administration. The arrest follows a post-gig argument with his wife, Donna, in the couple’s hotel room. She got so worried that she called the police. When they arrived, Betts agreed she could move to another room until things calmed down but just as she was about to leave, he changed his mind. A scuffle broke out and the guitarist pushed one of the cops. Betts was jailed overnight and released in the morning having posted $ 1,000 bail.

In Court

1997. Boys Don’t Cry file a $ 7 million lawsuit against Paula Cole, Warner Brothers Records and Imago Records alleging that Cole’s song “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” is in part a copy of their 1986 hit, “I Wanna Be A Cowboy”.

On Television

1976. Midnight Special (NBC, U.S.A.) Host: David Brenner. Guests: George Benson; Hot Chocolate; Phoebe Snow; The Sylvers; Gary Wright. Here’s Gary with, “Dream Weaver”. 4m 30s.

Death

1999. The Grateful Dead‘s archivist, Dick Latvala, dies two days after suffering a heart attack. He was taken to hospital in a coma on July 28th and never regained consciousness. The Dead hired him in the early eighties and in 1993 he released the first of a series of thirteen personally selected live recordings under the title, “Dicks Picks”.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 14th July):

Birth

1952. Chris Cross (Ultravox) born Christopher St. John in London, England.

On Stage

1964. Film-maker Kit Lambert is at The Railway Hotel in Harrow to see The High Numbers play their Tuesday residency. He and his business partner, Chris Stamp have been keen to make a film about the new pop music scene but couldn’t afford to pay any established band. So, they hit upon the idea of discovering their own group and filming its rise to stardom. Before the month is out, Lambert and Stamp will become the group’s manager. By November, The High Numbers will have reverted to one of their previous names, The Who (they were also The Detours).

In Custody

1978. Mick Jones (The Clash), Clash sound-man Dave Jacobs and two members of Suicide are arrested after the local Drugs Squad raid their rooms at the Saxon Motor Inn, Blackburn, Lancashire in the early hours of the morning. Both bands had played at the town’s St. George’s Hall last night. All four men were taken to a local police station for questioning but released after a few hours. Various substances, found on or about the four, were retained for analysis.
Suicide’s luck continued in a downward path later in the day when they were dumped from their gig at Bury St. Edmunds. Despite rumours that this related to their arrest, organisers insisted that their exclusion was due to a late running order. The Clash, of course, played as planned.

Talking of which, it was much rumoured that Bob Dylan would be in Bury to see The Clash strut their stuff. In reality, he opted for the musical, “Evita” in London.

In Court

1989. In Manhattan Family Court, Tom Jones (49) loses a paternity suit brought against him by Katherine Berkery (26) who had a four day sex romp with him at a New York hotel in 1987. She hasn’t seen the singer since he left her in 1987, despite trying to contact him over the birth of the baby.

A blood test ordered by the court proved that Jones, who was not in court, was the father of the baby and the judge ordered him to make immediate payments of £ 200 a month to care for one year old Jonathan. The lawyers will be back in court in September to finalise the level of support. Berkery’s attorney, Raoul Felder (who handled Robin Givens’ divorce from Mike Tyson last year) will be seeking £ 2,000 a week. After the case was over, Katherine revealed that the singer’s lawyers had offered her $ 50,000 to drop the case.

On Television

1982. Late Night With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guest: Pete Best

Death

1980. Malcolm Owen lead singer of The Ruts dies from a heroin overdose in the bath at his mother’s house.

 

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 27th June):

Birth

1961. Margo Timmins (The Cowboy Junkies) born in Montreal, Canada.

Opening Night

2002. Britney Spears opens in Manhattan, not onstage but in her new business venture – NYLA, a Cajun styled restaurant inside the Dylan Hotel. Among the A-List celebrities were New York Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, Donald Trump and illusionist David Copperfield. Britney’s former boyfriend, Justin Timberlake was not in attendance. The 20-year-old pop princess tld the press, “My dad is my date tonight”.

In Custody

1980. Three members of The Stranglers are freed on £ 10,000 bail after a week in a French jail. The three had been charged with inciting violence when a riot broke out after a power failure at their concert in Nice. Dave Greenfield was released earlier in the week when charges were not pressed against him.

In Hospital

2002. Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, front man with Overkill, collapses onstage half an hour into the band’s performance in Nurnberg, Germany. He’s taken by paramedics to hospital where it’s discovered he’s suffered a “minor stroke”. Ellsworth stays in hospital for two days of tests before being discharged.

On Television

1970. Beat Club (WDR, West Germany) 56: Van der Graaf Generator, Brinsley Schwarz, Family, Santana, Mungo Jerry. Here are Family with their classic, “Weaver’s Answer”.

Death

2002. John Entwistle, bass player with The Who is found dead in a Las Vegas hotel room. It’s believed that he suffered a heart attack. The band were scheduled to begin their U.S. tour at the hotel, The Hard Rock, tomorrow night.

Babble

I’ve updated Rockmine’s Archive page which finally gives a comprehensive overview of the depth of the archive’s written word collection. It’s a crazy concept as even in the course of putting the lists online, I’ve found or added more. None of these listings may ever be complete!

Regardless of whether you’re a casual rock fan or a hardened rock journalist, you need to take a look at these lists.

The Music Paper Archive – These are the music papers currently in stock, from the late 1950s to date. Obviously, if you have something that’s not listed here, then let me know. I’m always happy to swap and have thousands of muisc papers from the late 1970s to mid 1990s for trade.

The Library – This covers most of the seminal books on rock and pop and nearly every related genre and style. This would be a big library on its own but as part of a one-stop resource it shows just how HUGE Rockmine is.

The Magazine And Cuttings Collections – Rock music is the soundtrack to our lives and the people who make it shape our thoughts and even our world. The Magazine Colection takes rock and pop away from the analytical view of music journalists and shows how “real” magazines deal with our heroes. It can be a fascinating and sometimes different angle.

As for the cuttings, everything you could ever want is there: the gossip, the interviews, reviews and news coverage as well as changing styles and even partners. An essential part of Rockmine, the events cuttings are the basis to Rockmine’s Almanac – part of which is published here every day.

The Legal Document Archive – It’s amazing what’s hidden in the stuffy pages of legal filings. Autopsy reports, police files, court transcripts, judgements, F.B.I. files, divorce petitions and wills, they’re all here. For the stories behind events and the reality of rock stars’ lives – and deaths, these are a treasure trove of information.

 

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