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Pop Festivals

The last week should have seen me working in the house. There’s painting, plastering and varnishing to do but with Friday’s daytime temperature a chilly -8 C, it will have to wait.

It’s meant I’ve been huddled over a heater in front of the computer and working on my various blogs that haven’t had any attention paid to them for ages. The Rockmine Television one is very nearly finished. I’ve only got 2009 and the start of this year to do and that will be every U.K. number one up. At the moment, along with the Eurovision Winners, it amounts to 1157 videos.

I would have completed it had I not been distracted looking for festival footage. I started collecting rock video in 1982 and have cupboards full of video tapes that would take me years to digitize and as a result, I’ve become rather bored by the whole thing, or so I thought. A casual trawl through YouTube once again got me excited about video.

You mention festivals and everyone will say Woodstock, Isle Of Wight, Glastonbury, Reading, Knebworth, Phoenix, T In The Park, the Hyde Park Free Festivals and many more. Material from all of them is available but I discovered was there was footage of Fehmarn Isle, Bilzen Jazz ’67, ’68 & ’69, Windsor ’67, Copenhagen Jazz ’68, Rome ’68 and even Kastival ’68!

I know it’s rather sad to say it but I got rather excited by that. I went looking for footage of the Sunbury Festival in England and found another of the same name in Australia that I’d never even heard of. And I call myself a rock music archivist! There is just SO MUCH stuff out there! It really is a video collector’s dream. So, while I haven’t yet finished one listing, I’m adding masses of stuff for the next one. There are people who would say that sums me up perfectly but, hey! what the hell…

Having put a posting up several days ago, I was completely taken aback when my stats rocketed. It’s very strange to discover that the key to the blogs is just to be me. When I started www.rockmine.com back in 1995, I shut myself in my office for several days while I got to grips with HTML and then just put up the stuff that interested me. Somehow, over the years, I forgot that.

Many years ago, Radio One’s “Newsround” did a piece on me. I was the last article on it and it went straight back into Nicky Campbell, who described me as “anally retentive”. Fine praise from a James Bond collector! I prefer to remember Mick Wall who, when he was editor of Classic Rock, came to visit the archive with the board of directors of Future Publishing and called me “the real deal”. The editor of Total Guitar said I was “the God of anoraks”. Oh, happy days!

Yet here I am snowed in, wondering what on earth I’m doing in the wilds of Perthshire with a garage and a house full of books and papers when all I really need is in my head. Mid-life crisis is really no excuse for the amount of time I’ve taken to remember that! Back in 1975, I was working on a college project that needed a slogan or dictum. Being a pretentious sod, I came up with “If religion is the opiate of the people, then rock music is marijuana for the masses”. Somehow, I forgot that myself.

If you want to get up, or get down, get maudlin or melancholic, energized or ecstatic, music can get you there. Since I was a kid, I’ve known that and yet it’s so easy to lose track of the simple constants and truths we hold dear. Oddly, in amongst more than 1,000 number ones, I found songs to do all of those things and songs that took me back to so many moments in my past. There are even songs I hated that had other memories attached that give them significance way beyond their artistic value.

That’s what makes rock and pop wonderful. There are tracks today that don’t do anything for me and yet they’ll be no less significant for someone twenty or thirty years from now than the music that I still listen to. The secret may just to be open to everything. That’s what made John Peel such a great DJ, he listened to everything with an open mind and an open heart.

If music touches you, it doesn’t matter who it’s by, or what it is. All you can say is that you feel it.

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday, 2nd October):

Birth

1949. Richard Hell (Voidoids/Dim Stars) born Richard Myers in Lexington, Kentucky.

On Stage

1998. Michael Stipe, Patti Smith and composer Philip Glass stage a one-off performance in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. The event, seen by a crowd of 4,000, honoured the memory of poet Allen Ginsberg and raised funds for Jewel Heart, the Tibetan Buddhist organization.

In Custody

1967. Narcotics agents raid the Grateful Dead‘s communal house in San Francisco, arresting eleven people including Bob Weir and Pigpen. They then had to let everyone go as no-one had thought to get a warrant before smashing the front door in!

In Court

2000. The inspiration for Paul Anka‘s 1970’s hit, “Having My Baby” filed for separation from the singer. Anne Anka’s petition cited irreconcilable differences for the decision to leave the man she married in 1963.

Paul Bloch, a spokesman for Paul Anka said the couple are slitting on amicable terms and remain the best of friends. He said the couple would be together for Thanksgiving with their five daughters.

On Television

1978. Disco (ZDF, West Germany) Boomtown Rats; Andrea Jurgens; Clout; Klaus Zufall; Melanie; Suzi Quatro; Peter Orloff and Smokie, seen here with “Mexican Girl”

Death

1990. Blues saxophonist Evelyn Young dies in Memphis’ Methodist Hospital from heart failure.

Babble

It’s been an odd couple of weeks. The blog, as you’ll has seen, hasn’t been up. This is mainly due to problems that I’m not going to go into. Suffice it to say that I think these are now over. 

I’ve used some of that time to concentrate on another blog, this time for the Two Red Shoes Ballroom in Elgin. I’m in Elgin as I type this although I’m starting to feel that it’s rather like Narnia (as someone else described it). I’m hoping to complete my research on the bands that played there today but I’m almost wondering why.

Although I’ve never finished my Ballerina Ballroom blog, it had (and still seems to have) a buzz about it that is sadly missing with Elgin’s venue. The local Nairn blog, the “Gurn From Nurn” described my Ballerina blog as an “exciting project” but there seems to be none of that here. There seems to be a real apathy about the concept. Maybe as an archivist and compulsive list maker, I assumed that others would share my interest but by and large that doesn’t seem to have happened.

It was pointed out to me that with my Nairn blog I had undertaken a fairly impressive but very cheap publicity campaign that saw flyers distributed around the town and posters put in most of the shops. While that was done at the time of the “Ballerina ballroom Cinema Of Dreams Festival” and the Highland Games, it still brought people flocking to the site. 

Maybe with Elgin, the struggle is that there are no other things happening, that the audience is much larger and more sophisticated and the financial woes of the country have given people something more important to think about that the history of one of Scotland’s old ballrooms.

I suppose only time will tell how wrong I got this.

One other thing, I am in part here to decide on whether or not to stage my memorabilia exhibition. The last agreed date for it was next week but there seems to be no response to my press releases and my desire to do it seems to fade with the last warmth of summer. Part of me refuses to give up on an idea that was great but what is the point of flogging a dead horse?

Who knows, things may improve before the end of the day.

 

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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 (Wednesday 10th September):

Birth

1957. Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama, Shakespeare’s Sister) born.

On Tour

1997. Master P is number one in the U.S. album chart with “Ghetto D”, so it’s no surprise that his show at the Doraville International Ballroom in Atlanta will be popular. Unfortunately 12,000 people manage to squeeze into the club which only holds 5,000. The police get a report of overcrowding and head down for a look. First, they try to evacuate the building. Then they spot some fans trying to get in through a side door and hit them with pepper sprays. Police plan number 2: clear half the fans and run two shows. Master P agrees. The first gig starts. The support act finishes its set and just before the rapper hits the stage, a fight breaks out. A shot is heard and Master P cancels the show instantly. The fans, left with nothing else to do trash the stage and P.A. before heading outside to clash with police. Only five arrests are made but thousands of dollars worth of damage is caused to the venue.

In Court

2002. Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is ordered to pay $ 2.45 million to a limo driver who alleges he was injured by the rapper’s bodyguards during a concert in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1995. Judge William Z. Wood, presiding, ordered the payment after Combs failed to answer the lawsuit brought by driver Cedric Bobby Lemon within 30 days as laid down in state law.

Records of the Civil Superior Court for Forsyth County, North Carolina show that Combs refused to accept a summons from a County deputy when the rap star appeared in concert in Greensboro Coliseum on June 21. In a brief statement to the media a spokesperson for Combs later announced they would be seeking to dismiss the judgment.

In Hospital

1966. French pop star, Johnny Halliday, is taken to hospital after suffering an overdose of sleeping pills. The 23 year old singer was visited later in the day by his estranged wife, singer Sylvie Vartan. She was described as looking stunned by those who saw her leave after a short while

On Television

1993. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) David Sanborn becomes the first musician to sit in with The CBS Orchestra. Musical guest: Robert Plant with “29 Palms” plus brief interview. 6m 40s.

Death

2005. Blues guitarist and singer Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown dies of cancer in Vinton, Louisiana, U.S.A.

Babble

The never ending saga continues and I’m heading back up to Elgin with hopes of putting this exhibition to rest or on display this month. As ever, publicity is being left to the last minute but that may be no bad thing. Who can tell how it will go ahead, if it does! It would have been great to try and link in with Bootstock the intimate little rock festival being held just a short distance along the coast this weekend but no-one ever thinks of these things.

The only good thing (if there is one) is it gives me a chance to get all the listings for The Two Red Shoes Ballroom. I should have them by now but lost three whole years when I left the papers in the footwell of the car. they got soaked, either by a leak or rainwater, and when I went to get them the ink had all run. There’s a moral in there somewhere.

My plan is simple: to put a Two Red Shoes blog up with complete listings of everyone who played, YouTube clips of the major bands, adverts, photos and cuttings. It’s what I’ve done with The Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn, the sister venue also run by promoter Albert Bonici. While the new blog does exist at the moment, I’m not going to link to it until all the years are online. I think it will have far more impact and certainly get local publicity if it’s complete.

Talking of The Ballerina, I put an advert in the Nairnshire Telegraph which came out yesterday but as yet have had no response. I was looking for paper items and photographs relating to the bands that played there. I know that when the ballroom was being painted prior to the “Cinema Of Dreams” festival someone walked in and told John Byrne they’d found a Syd Barrett autograph they’d obtained in 1967. Why don’t people like that contact me?

 

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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 6th September):

Birth

1946. Eric Hine (Simon Dupree And The Big Sound) born in Portsmouth, England.

On Tour

1979. Just hours before Siouxsie And The Banshees are due on stage in Aberdeen, drummer Kenny Morris and guitarist John McKay quit the band without warning. Their departure is as a result of arguements during the afternoon at a record signing in a local shop. Polydor underestimated local interest in the band and only sent 50 copies of the album to the store. Those were eagerly grabbed by some of the hundreds of fans that turned out. Luckily, the band’s manager had a stock in the back of his car which he agreed to sell to the shop’s owner. Before the deal was complete, Morris and Mckay were handing the albums out for free to the fans.

Both the manager and the shop owner complained and that sparked a refusal from the pair to continue the signing. Then, the row intensified and the two stormed off. By the time the rest of the band returned to their hotel, they had caught atrain to London and left their tour passes pinned to their pillows. That night, the support band (The Cure) extended their set and sat in with Siouxsie and Steve Severin for several Banshees numbers. The rest of the tour is cancelled.

In Court

1972. Paul Pawlowski and William Dwyer, joint promoters of the pop and sex festival staged at Windsor Great Park, two weeks ago, appear at South West London Magistrates Court charged with cultivating cannabis at their south London home. Pawlowski, head of the free-love Church of Aphrodite, based in Tooting, refused to plead and stood in the dock with his back to the judge. The court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. In his evidence, a police officer said that Pawlowski admitted the plants were cannabis but said they were sacred and could not be interfered with as they had religious uses. He was found guilty and remanded in custody until September 19th for reports. Dwyer was found not guilty and released.

Under The Hammer

1988. The three day auction at Sotheby’s of Elton John‘s personal collection of memorabilia and antiques starts in London. Estimated to make at best £ 3 million, the auction actually makes £ 4,838,022. Even the banners hung outside the auction rooms are sold for £ 550 each. The lavish catalogues, available for £ 60 soon become collector’s items themselves. All this for a sale that was prompted when Elton started to clear rooms out for redecorating!

On Television

1974. The Midnight Special (NBC, U.S.A.) 82. Host and only guest: Marvin Gaye. Here he is with, “Let’s Get It On” 4m 39s.

Death

1990. Tom Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) dies in Scottsdale, Arizona from tuberculosis, aged 48.

 

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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 (Monday 1st September):

Birth

1955. Bruce Foxton (The Jam) born in Woking, England.

On Stage

1979. It’s revealed that the stage for tonight’s performance at Edinburgh’s Rock Festival had to be specially designed as the headlining act, Van Morrison, suffers from Vertigo if the stage is more than six feet high. Promoters for the festival, at Ingleston Showgrounds, said both the singer and the audience would be happy with the stage. Morrison’s problem came to light earlier in the year when he played Glasgow’s Apollo Theatre. During the show he never left the safety of the piano as the only other microphone was too close to the edge of one of Britain’s tallest stages!

In Court

1999. An acrimonious three year legal battle between George Clinton and his former talent agent comes to an end in Los Angeles Superior Court. Clinton had originally been sued by the agent, Earl Ciccel, who claimed wrongful termination of his services. Clinton counter sued when he discovered Ciccel was not properly licensed as an agent and claimed back all monies collected on his behalf. Although Clinton won that suit, Ciccel was today succesful in getting a motion barring its enforcement on the basis that the court had already ruled in his favour regarding the original suit. Both parties will now have to share the legal expenses for the past three years.

In Politics

1967. The House Of Keys, the lower house of the Manx (Isle Of Man) Parliament is forced to accept the British government’s ban on pirate radio stations. Mr. Charles Keruish, Speaker of The House Of Keys, said the British government may have the legal right to impose its will but lacked any moral justification. He said, “It’s the first time that the mother country has forced unwanted legislation on the island, and that makes it the blackest day in the history of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Isle Of Man”. As a result of the legislation, residents of the island have been banned from assisting Radio Caroline International which is moored 4 miles off Ramsay. Ronan O’Rahilly, head of the Radio Caroline organisation, said the station would get its supplies from the continent and would not be leaving the area.

On Television

1980. Disco (ZDF, West Germany) 113. Eruption; Chris Roberts; Spider Murphy Gang; Ingrid Peters; Secret Service; Gitte; Oliver Onions; Olivia Pascal; Stefan Waggershausen; Village People. Here are Secret Service with “10 O’Clock Postman”. 3m 38s.

Death

2008. Country singer, songwriter and actor Jerry Reed (born Jerry Reed Hubbard) died in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications from emphysema, aged 71.

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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 30th August):

Birth

1951. Eurovision winner and one-time Irish presidential candidate, Dana born Rosemarie Brown.

On Stage

1969. The Isle of Wight Festival opens. Today’s line-up features The Who, The Moody Blues, Fat Mattress, Joe Cocker, Bonzo Dog Band, Family, Free, Pretty Things, Marsha Hunt and White Trash; Battered Ornaments; Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation; Blodwyn Pig; Gypsy; Blonde On Blonde; Edgar Broughton Band; King Crimson. Moody Blues performing “Night’s in White Satin”:

In Court

1994. Rapper Dr. Dre is sentenced to five months in jail at Los Angeles Municipal Court. He appeared on a charge of drunk driving but that was found to be in breach of a 1992 probation order placed on him after a conviction for assault. He’s also fined $ 1,053 and ordered to attend a 90 day alcoholism programme.

In Hospital

1979. Lulu is taken to hospital unconscious with multiple head injuries after her car was in collision with another at Brooks End, Birchington, near Margate where she’s been the star of a summer season. The singer’s husband, hairdresser John Frida, rushed to be at her bedside. Her agent, Pat Lake-Smith, said she would be cancelling all engagements until the end of September. Her top slot in Margate will now be taken by Rod Hull & Emu. The driver of the other car was treated for cuts.

On Television

1975. Musikladen (ZDF, West Germany) 21. Tumbleweeds; Alexis Korner; Bill Clifton & The Echo Mountain Band; Bill Clifton & Alexis Korner. Here’s Alexis with Steve Marriott performing “One Scotch, One Burbon, One Beer”

Death

1988. Thomas Sylvester better known as “Papa” Dee Allen (War) dies. The 57 year old drummer suffered an aneurysm whilst onstage at the Talk Of The Town nightclub in Vallejo, California and died soon after.

Babble

The long-running saga of the memorabilia exhibition seemed to get a new lease of life yesterday. A visit to the Red Shoes Theatre in Elgin ended up with an agreement that it would be staged the week after next. It will be tied in with a charity fund-raiser but exactly how long it will run remains to be seen. It also seems likely that I’ll get a Two Red Shoes ballroom blog up as I did for the sister venue, The Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn.

You’ll see I’ve included the handbill for the 1969 Isle Of Wight Festival which started on this day. I’ll now do a blatant plug and tell you that I’m selling it on the Handbills and Flyers section of Rockmine. Another new addition to that page is a 1967 handbill for Cliff Richard and The Shadows in Cinderella!

 

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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 (Friday 29th August):

Birth

1944. Sterling Morrison (Velvet Underground) born in Long Island, New York.

On Stage

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.

In Service

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.

In Custody

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.

On Television

rockminer

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.

Death

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.

 

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