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I found myself in Aberdeen last night, in the middle of a blizzard of snow, wondering if it were possible to be further away from the Canvey Island of Dr. Feelgood. Not that odd a thought, as I was there to see “Oil City Confidential” at one of only four cinemas in Scotland showing this hybrid rock/cinema event.

Sitting at the start of the second decade of the 21st Century, watching a paean to proto punk, pub rock is probably pretty weird as evidenced by the almost embarrassing smattering of people that left probably 90% of the seats vacant. Director, Julian Temple had melded a strange amalgam of home movies, film noir clips, reconstructions, live footage and talking heads into a fatally flawed film. That isn’t to say it wasn’t a good film, or an interesting one. It was, but it didn’t gel as a film about Dr. Feelgood. Far more, it seemed to be an homage to Wilko Johnson.

If Wilko was dead, not Lee Brilleaux, I could see the point and how it would work; friends and band-mates recounting anecdotes and tall tales but this didn’t work for me – because of Wilko. His stage persona was lithe, frenetic, focussed but as narrator of his own story he seemed largely lost. It didn’t help that I seemed incapable of accepting that the old shambling figure before me seemed nothing more than a detached observer of his own life. This really couldn’t be Wilko.

From time to time, we’d see this narrator play something to illustrate part of the story but the playing, like his words, was all over the place. I met him once. Dr. Feelgood were in the middle of their first U.S. tour but during a few days off, Wilko flew back to London. I was at United Artists offices in the city, sitting in reception when he walked in. The exact details are somewhat clouded by the passage of time but the trip home had been prompted by the non-appearance of a bag of white powder in The States.

The receptionist greeted him warmly and having ascertained why he wasn’t on the other side of the pond, found the missing bag. Wilko then asked for a room with a typewriter and disappeared. On my way out from seeing the press officer, I was walking past an open door when the, by then wired, guitarist called out to me. He’d been busy battering out lyrics on a portable and asked me if I’d listen to some of them and give my opinion. I remember being impressed both with the occasion and words but that’s all the information I’ve retained.

That’s the crux of my problem. I remember the Wilko that I met and yet I seem unprepared to accept that I have aged as much as he has. Somehow, the juxtaposition of the 1970’s high-energy performances seen in the captured live footage, with the guitarist as he is now seemed all the sadder. I wanted an unsullied celebration of this all too English amphetamine fuelled, electric, delta blues. I wanted the snapshot in time.

Canvey Island was itself a major player in the film. The faded fifties glamour of the casinos and holiday camp were a powerful backdrop to the evolution of the band. Even seeing it now, it offered far less pathos than inspiration as we followed one of the regular 2 hour tours that takes fans round all the important Feelgood landmarks.

The fact that fans still take those tours is testament to something hugely important that was sidestepped to a large degree: there was a Dr. Feelgood after Wilko left the band. It might not have been as exciting an era as when he was part of it but it saw the band continue to grow as a group of musicians and Lee Brilleaux take his rightful place as one of Britain’s best blues men. They may never again have had the startling effect that their early years made on the music industry but it can easily be argued that without Feelgood, there would never have been Punk. Unlike Punk, of course, Feelgood weathered the changing musical tastes of several decades and stayed true to their roots. They also remained in the hearts and minds of fans of basic rhythm and blues.

For me, the most poignant part of the film was Wilko sitting with his life in cuttings and pictures spread out before him. I had a deep sense of intruding on a private moment, watching someone access personal memories that should never be lightly shared. That, more than anything else troubled me. It seemed that he had lost his own connection with those events; was seeing them as a third party and yet I understand the reasoning (if there is one).

Despite that pathos there was one real sense of emotion in the film. It came from Shirley Brilleaux, Lee’s widow. She was filled with such feeling for this man that saw her smile, laugh and cry whilst thinking of him. Such simple emotions that were obviously heartfelt left me hungering for more knowledge of her husband. In many ways, Shirley was the unexpected star of this film. She did Lee proud.

When the film petered out there was a break before the video feed was turned on again. It was just enough time to hit the bar and hope for better things to come. I wasn’t expecting much, based on what I’d seen of Wilko and the announcement that Alison Moyet was going to be a guest did not bode well for me. “Alf” from Yazoo with Wilko Johnson? No way!

Strangely, that was the unexpected highlight of the evening. She looked great and sounded amazing! As for the shambolic narrator, a simple truth became self evident – all he needed was an audience. Not a film crew but a real audience that he could strut his stuff in front of – and boy, did he strut! The moves, the energy and, of course, the licks were all there. I just wanted someone to put a “Wilko” wig on him and take me back 35 years. The video feed was stunning. To see every chop of his fingers on those strings, every chord change, was incredible. I just didn’t want to see the bushiness of his eyebrows or the lines on his face that the high definition picked out in minute detail.

Playing counterpoint to Wilko’s machine-gun like guitar was Norman Watt-Roy on bass. Watt-Roy goes back to 1968 with The Greatest Show On Earth, an early signing to the Harvest label. From there he joined Glencoe, then Loving Awareness and finally Ian Dury & The Blockheads. It was an odd sight. He seemed unaware of his guitarist but somehow, as is the case with all great bass players, totally attuned to him. Odd isn’t really the word. More outlandish. Part gargoyle let loose; part Orang Utang; part octopus. A figure dancing to his own tune yet producing the most incredible runs far beyond the reach of many. His dexterity on the fretboard and his obvious skill with picking and slapping the strings between the bridge and first pick-up was totally breathtaking.

There was one other guest onstage. A leather-jacketed harmonica player that looked totally familiar and yet I couldn’t believe I was seeing. Charles Shaar Murray, one of the greatest music journalists ever, showed he really knew how to blow a blues harp and paid a fine tribute to the one man missing from the stage – Lee Brilleaux. Somehow, that tied it all together. Wilko’s guitar was as good as it ever was but his singing was weak and reedy.

Alison Moyet lifted the event, as did C S M but really all it did was point out that Dr. Feelgood was at its best when the original line-up was together. A stunning guitarist capable of great lyrics and a wonderful vocalist who could make a harmonica wail unlike anyone outside the American blues elite. One thing is certain, Lee and the Feelgoods are missing from today’s music and that’s sad.

I am, as they say, a tad frustrated. Having exceeded a certain age, I should be past my mid-life crisis but it seems to continue unabated.

Back in the mists of iTime, I effectively shut myself away in my office for about five days. I did venture out for meals and shagging but the rest of the time was spent trying to master HTML. The mission was a success, I sort of got the hang of it and hand coded a site that went online on July 18th, 1995. Fuck! Is it really that long ago? It feels like yesterday and yet, it also feels like another lifetime.

Now, here I am with a web-site and a blog – but am I doing either? The answer is simple. No, I’m not.

What you get comes straight from my head. Sometimes, I will accept, I have no idea what’s going to present itself on the screen in front of me. It’s stream of consciousness, or drivel (whichever you might think). The one thing that’s been a constant, since that very first day, is it came out of my head. It wasn’t checked with someone or edited and yet the blog has ground to a halt.

Someone has been very sweet and was checking it for me on a daily basis but I realised that it was screwing me up beyond belief. Since I was in my teens, I’ve written, poetry, porn, crap of all sorts but it just came from my fingers. I didn’t need to think about it and I didn’t. I typed it out, posted it – and waited for a cheque or a rejection note (and in some cases, come-ons from the editors of top-shelf magazines). It was a laugh, a job, something to do but I always took it seriously. It was me. Just as this is.

My head has always been so fucked that it’s a wonder I could ever function on anything resembling a normal state. I come from a dysfunctional family but then, who doesn’t. I hate confrontation but am incredibly confrontational. I always have been but who really cares. We’re all like that. It’s year upon year of suppressed anger that eventually takes over. You lose sense of yourself and yet somewhere in the back of your mind you can often find the key. One moment, one situation, where rather than face a confrontation, you simply give in. That moment, where you want to say “no” more than anything and don’t, is where it all goes wrong.

Is this a semantic debate or a rock blog? It’s both, believe me. For me at least, it is. I have to take ownership of what I have done and continue to do. The mistakes I’ve made are numerous but as long as I take responsibility for them, it’s fine. They’re in the past and gone but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to learn from them.  I have a vivid memory of sitting on the floor as a small child playing with a construction set and a friend of my mother’s asking why I wasn’t out on a bright summer’s day playing with friends. Before I could answer, my mother did. “He’s happier playing on his own in here”, she said.

Needless to say, I didn’t want to be stuck in the corner of a room listening to two women bitch about everything and everyone they knew but I didn’t open my mouth and say anything. Here we are, four and a half decades on and not much has changed, except for one thing. I know where I fucked up and it makes me desperately unhappy. It’s amazing how satisfying even saying, “No, I don’t want coffee tonight” can be.

The archive; the almanac; the memorabilia – all of them are, in some ways, extensions of myself but they’re not me. Now, all I want to do is do something with them. In the case of the garage and the huge piles of newspapers I’ve found a solution I’m comfortable with. I’m burning them! A one-inch pile of tabloids will easily make two paper “logs” more than 3 inches in diameter. They burn for at least an hour and make very little ash. Carefully positioned at night, they’ll even keep a fire going until the next morning. Ripping up things – and creating warmth – what could be more satisfying?

In amongst this upheaval, I’m trying to rebuild my iTunes library. In the last few years, it’s quadrupled in size but I look at it with deep sadness. Everything that ever gave me joy is there but the artists that created those works are pale shadows of their former selves. They no longer inspire me. I want someone to do that again. I want to hear something new and exciting but I struggle, I really do.

If it wasn’t for the wealth of sites on blogspot.com providing links from everything from the most obscure 60’s releases to albums that will hit the shops in a month or so, I would go nuts! The music industry whinges on and on about illegal downloads but it’s all crap. Back in the “good old days” you could go into a record shop and while away an hour or two in listening booths, or in later years at “listening stations” but you could listen to new releases by anyone and everyone. That doesn’t happen anymore. back in the ’60s and ’70s the amount of music on mainstream TV channels was vast in comparison to today. From “Crackerjack” to “The Black & White Mistrel Show” and even “Tonight”, you could see and hear what was happening in music.

We’re not talking about the latest project from Simon Cowell here, we’re talking about real music, written and performed by real bands who had slogged for years paying their dues in flea-pits and bars across the land. I really miss that.

At one point, I thought my problem was that I didn’t care anymore but it’s really the opposite. I care too much. I hope I never, ever stop caring but I need new, exciting music and I’m not getting it. If you know of anything exciting, send it to me. I AM SERIOUS! And don’t worry what it is. My tastes are extremely eclectic but one thing remains constant. The best single ever recorded – “London Calling” by The Clash.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday, 8th February):

Birth

1946. Alfredo Fito (Canned Heat) born Adolpho De La Parra in Mexico City, Mexico.

On Stage

1963. Shane Fenton is pelted with eggs when he appears at a lunchtime rock ‘n’ roll session at the Lyceum Ballroom in The Strand, London. Fenton was a last minute replacement for Jess Conrad and was miming when the eggs started to fly.

In Court

1980. David Bowie‘s marriage to Angie ends as their divorce is finalised today. David gets custody of their son, Zowie (now calling himself Joe). Angie gets a cash settlement of £ 30,000. She’s also telling the world that she expects to make another £ 100,000 by writing her memoirs!

In Hospital

1997. The New Edition reunion tour runs into problems in Los Angeles. Bobby Brown fails to show for the gig claiming he has flu and couldn’t perform. If that wasn’t enough, Ronnie Devoe walked off stage during the set after seeing his uncle, the group’s manager Brooke Payne, collapse with chest pains in the wings. Devoe accompanied his uncle to hospital where he was checked over before being discharged to rest at home.

On Television

2008. Later… With Jools Holand. (BBC-2, U.K.) Mayra Andrade; Morrissey; Ida Maria; British Sea Power and Joe Brown. Morrissey performs four tracks. Here he is with one of them, “All You Need Is Me”.

Death

1973. Max Yasgur, the farmer on whose land Woodstock was staged, dies of a heart attack in a Florida hospital.

 

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© Copyright 1995 – 2009 Rockmine Archives. Use of this content is prohibited unless licensed by Rockmine Archives.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday, 24th January):

Birth

1941. Neil Diamond born Noah Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York.

On Stage

1969. Lonnie Donegan takes over from Judy Garland in the middle of her 5-week season at London’s Talk Of The Town. The Hollywood star is described as “resting” in her suite at the Ritz Hotel with a nurse in attendance. Yesterday, she had walked off stage after cigarette packets were thrown at her following her late arrival.

In Custody

1980. Paul McCartney has his first meeting with the British Consul since being detained by Japanese authorities on January 16th. The meeting with D.W.F. Warren-Knott lasted about 15 minutes. During that time, the 37 year old singer said he had no complaints about the way he was being treated.

In Court

1978. The case involving Rod Stewart‘s tour band continues at Glasgow Sheriff Court. Two road managers with the group, Patrick Logue (27) and Malcolm Culmore (31), charged with possessing cannabis are found not guilty. Unfortunately, the tour secretary, 29 year old Doris Tyler, is found guilty of perverting the course of justice and is fined £ 130. Police giving evidence against her said that officers answering three different telephones heard her say, “It’s Doris. The drug squad are in the hotel. Ditch everything you’ve got”. Mrs. Tyler was unable to attend the court in person as she’s in Hollywood and unable to travel on health grounds.

On Television

1980. Top Of The Pops. (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Mike Read. Barbara Dickson; Boomtown Rats; Buggles; Dollar; Joe Jackson; Legs & Co / Bee Gees; Matchbox; Nolans; PretendersRegents; Sheila & B.Devotion; The Specials; Suzi Quatro. Here are the Regents with “7-Teen”.

Death

1970. James “Shep” Sheppard, leader of Shep And The Limelites, is found battered to death in his car on the Long Island Expressway.

Babble

For those of you who thought I’d gone AWOL the last few days, I do apologise. My New Year resolution to get the blog up in the wee small hours may seem to have been abandoned but that’s not really the case.

As you may know, I’m planning to publish a concise version of the Rockmine Almanac through Lulu next month. This has meant making sure it was up-to-date and working properly – which it wasn’t. So, come Monday morning, I decided to get things in order, going through each of my databases and rebuilding them line by line. Two hard-drive failures in the last year had seen me lose numerous source files. I’d tried everything from freezing them to dropping them but somehow, last weekend managed to rescue the last of what I thought was too important to lose.

This week, I’ve been totally focused on my TV database which had 13, 052 shows. That figure is now 19,176 and I still have probably another 5,000 shows on text files I need to check and rebuild.  I’ve spent ages sifting through daily TV listings in various libraries and trawling through Rockmine’s vast store of music papers for something approaching a definitive listing of pop and rock on U.K. TV but those files are the most corrupted. As a result, it’s going to take some time to add those.

That said, I’m relatively happy. What I do have, even now, is a wonderful snap-shot of what we were watching across the years. Here’s what the database throws up (so far) for January 24th:

 

1958 American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers – “Goody-Goody”

1959. The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show. (ABC, U.S.A.) Bill Parsons – “All-American Boy”; Joni James – “There Must Be a Way” & “Sorry for Myself”; The Wild Cats – “Gazachstahagen”

1961. American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) Johnny Burnette – “Little Boy Sad”

1964. Ready, Steady, Go! (Associated-Redifussion (ITV),U.K.) The Searchers – “Needles & Pins”; The Bachelors; Cloe; Susan Maughan; Tony Sheridan; Phil Spector

1964. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Louis Armstrong co-hosts and performs.

1965. The Ed Sullivan Show. (CBS, U.S.A.) The Animals – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

1966. Hullabaloo. (NBC, U.S.A.) Host: Dean Jones. Guests: The Bitter End Singers, Peter Nero, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Bruce Scott

1966. Where The Action Is. (ABC, U.S.A.) Ben E. King: “Spanish Harlem; Dick and DeeDee: “The Mountain’s High; Paul Revere and the Raiders: “Searchin'”

1967. Where The Action Is. (ABC, U.S.A.) J.J. Jackson: “But It’s Alright” & “I Dig Girls; The Outsiders: “Time Won’t Let Me” & “Help Me Girl”.

1968. The Johnathan Winters Show. (CBS, U.S.A.) Guests include Nancy Sinatra – “Cryin’ Time”. The Young Saints – “Feelin’ Good”, “I Know a Place”.

1970. American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) Joe South – “Walk A Mile In My Shoes”; Biff Rose 

1971. Omnibus (BBC-1, U.K.) Chicago Blues

1971. The Barbara McNair Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Hagood Hardy performs, “Eli’s Coming” Barbara sings “Softly, as I Leave You.”

1971. The Ed Sullivan Show. (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guests: B.J. Thomas, Nancy Ames

1973. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Mike’s guests are The Corneilus Brothers.

1974. Top Of The Pops. (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Andy Williams – Solitaire (Repeat); Golden Earring – Radar Love; Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes – The Love I Lost (Disc); Lulu – The Man Who Sold The World; Medicine Head – Slip & Slide; Mud – Tiger Feet; Stevie Wonder – Living For The City (Disc); Suzi Quatro – Devil Gate Drive; The Stylistics – Rockin’ Roll Baby (Disc); The Sweet – Teenage Rampage.

1975. The Midnight Special (NBC, U.S.A.) Hosts: The Marshall Tucker Band. Guests: Charlie Daniels; Charlie Daniels Band; Olivia Newton-John; Poco

1975. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests include singer-songwriter Paul Williams – “Family of Man”, “You and Me Against the World”.

1976. Hee-Haw. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests: Cal Smith, The Statler Brothers and LaWanda Lindsey.

1976. Saturday Night Live (NBC, U.S.A.) Neil Sedaka

1976. Soul Train. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) The Jackson Five

1978. Rockpalast. (WDR, West Germany) Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias (WDR Studio-L Köln)

1978. The Mike Douglas Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Paul Anka co-hosts and sings “Nights on Broadway.”

1980. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (NBC, U.S.A.) Sarah Vaughan; Jim Stafford

1980. Top Of The Pops (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Mike Read. Barbara Dickson – Caravan Song; Boomtown Rats – Someones Looking At You; Buggles – The Plastic Age; Dollar – I Want To Hold Your Hand; Joe Jackson – Its Different For Girls (Repeat);  Legs & Co / Bee Gees – Spirits Having Flown; Matchbox – Buzz-Buzz-A-Diddle It; Nolans – Im In The Mood For Dancing; Pretenders – Brass It Pocket (Repeat);  Regents – 7 Teen; Sheila & B.Devotion – Spacer (Promo); The Specials – Too Much Too Young (Promo); Suzi Quatro – Mamas Boy.

1981. Hee-Haw. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Bruce Jenner; Reba McEntire – “Up In Heaven”; T.G. Sheppard – “I Feel Like Loving You Again”.

1981. Rockpalast. (WDR, West Germany) Michael Schenker Group (Markthalle Hamburg)

1981. Saturday Night Live. (NBC, U.S.A. Joe “King” Carrasco & The Crowns; 14 Karat Soul

1981. Soul Train. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Bar-Kays; Yarbrough & Peoples; Robert Winters

1985. Top Of The Pops. (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Mike Smith, Steve Wright. Ashford & Simpson – Solid (Promo); Chaka Khan – This Is The Night; Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is (Promo); James Ingram – Yah Mo B There; King – Love & Pride; Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday.

1987. American Bandstand. (ABC, U.S.A.) The Beastie Boys – “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)!”

1987. Hee-Haw. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) John Schneider (co-host). Guests: Louise Mandrell; The New Grass Revival.

1987. Saturday Night Live. (NBC, U.S.A.) Debbie Harry

1990. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. (NBC, U.S.A.) Hoyt Axton

1991. The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. (NBC, U.S.A.) Garth Brooks

1991 Top Of The Pops BBC U.K. Presented by Simon Mayo. 2 In A Room – Wiggle It (Promo); A Tribe Called Quest – I Can Kick It (Promo); Off-Shore – I Cant Take The Power; Queen – Innuendo (Promo); Rick Astley – Cry For Help; Robert Palmer – Mercy Mercy Me-I Want You (Repeat);  The Simpsons – Do The Bartman (Promo); Tongue N Cheek – Forget Me Nots.

1992. The Word. (Channel 4, U.K.) Musical guests:  Boy George, Jah Wobble, Sinead O’Connor, Ride, Jagdeep.

1993. Taratata. (France 4, France) Recorded 21 janvier 1993. Solos: Véronique Sanson; Kezia Jones; Les Négresses Vertes; Jocelyne Beroard. Duos: Véronique Sanson & William Sheller; Véronique Sanson & Dany Brillant

1996. Late Show With David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guest: Joe Ely

1997. Never Mind The Buzzcocks. (BBC-2, U.K.) Peter Hook, Ace, Clare Grogan, Alan Davies

1997. TFI Friday. (Channel 4, U.K.) Musical guests: Gabrielle, Candyskins, Audioweb

1997. The Rosie O’Donnell Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests include Tori Amos.

1997. Top Of The Pops (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Phil Daniels. Byron Stingily – Get Up (Everybody); En Vogue – Don’t Let Go (Love) (Promo); Ginuwine – Pony; Outhere Brothers – Let Me Hear You Say Ole’ Ole’; Reef – Come Back Brighter; Suede – Saturday Night; U2 (Disc);otheque (Promo); White Town – Your Woman (Promo).

1998. Soul Train. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) H-Town; Kimberly Scott; Mic Geronimo

2002. Last Call with Carson Daly. (NBC, U.S.A.) Guests include JaRule.

2002. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A.) Guests include Chuck Berry; Little Richard 

2003. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A.) Guests include Sheryl Crow 

2003. Top Of The Pops (BBC, U.K.) Presented by Richard Bacon.  – Year 3000; Daniel Bedingfield – If You’re Not The One; David Sneddon – Stop Living The Lie; Feeder – Just The Way I’m Feeling; Jaimeson ft Angel Blu – TRUE; Libertines – Time For Heroes; Panjabi MC – Mundian To Bach KE; The Everly Brothers – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots.

2004. Austin City Limits. (PBS, U.S.A.) Keith Urban followed by Rodney Crowell  

2005. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. (CBS, U.S.A.) Guests include: Population One

2006. Last Call with Carson Daly. (NBC, U.S.A. ) Guests include The Constantines.

2006. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A. Jamie Foxx performs “Unpredictable” from album Unpredictable

2007. Late Show With David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Rosanne Cash performing “Black Cadillac.”

2007. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A. Branford Marsalis performs “Fate” from his CD Braggtown

2008. Late Show With David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Super Furry Animals perform “Neo-Consumerism.”

2008. Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC-2, U.K. ) Sophie Ellis Bextor, Yannis, Tim Minchin, James Lance

2008. The Ellen DeGeneres Show. (Syndicated, U.S.A.) Guests include Natasha Bedingfield

2008. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. (CBS, U.S.A.) Guests include:  Ringo Starr

2008. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (NBC, U.S.A. Buckcherry performs from the CD “15”

 

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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, 17th January):

Birth

1962. Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) born in Newport Beach, California.

On The Road

1972. Highway 51 South in Memphis, Tennessee is renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard.

In Custody

1974. Singer Dino Martin (son of Dean) is arrested on suspicion of possession and sale of machine guns. He spends the night in custody before being released the next morning on $ 5,000 bail.

In Court

1980. Clarence Baker, manager of Misty appears at Barnet Magistrates Court charged with assaulting a policeman on the day of the Southall riots in April 1979. The incident is alleged to have taken place when police raided the People Unite Movement musicians co-operative after which Baker was left with a fractured skull and in a coma. The magistrate dismissed the case for lack of identification evidence.

After a suggestion published in “Sounds” dated January 19th (which hit the streets yesterday), the magistrate was inundated with telegrams from fans and campaigners expressing their views on the matter.

On Television

1980. Musikladen (ZDF, West Germany) 51. Citizen Band; Emily Woods; Gibson Brothers; Madness; Babe; Monotones; Sugarhill Gang; Rachel Sweet; Specials; Fiddler’s Delight; Marianne Faithfull; A La Carte; Citizen Gang; Matchbox. Here’s Marianne with “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan”.

Death

1970. R&B singer Billy Stewart (“Sitting In The Park”) and three of his band, The Soul Kings, die when the car they’re travelling in hits a bridge support and tumbles into the Neuse River in North Carolina. The car was a one-week old Ford Thunderbird that Stewart had planned to have serviced at their next stop, Columbia, South Carolina where they were booked for a gig.

The wheels were seen to wobble by the band’s manager who was travelling in a second car behind the others. It’s believed they locked up pulling the car into a bridge support. Stewart’s family later sued the Ford Motor Company, who settled before the case reached court.

Babble

Well, there goes the New Year resolution already. I went to bed this morning convinced I’d uploaded today’s blog. It seems that although I’d hit the “Publish” button, I’d shut down my browser before it uploaded or saved the contents. Anyway, better late than never – as they say!

Those of you who read this on a regular basis will know that I’ve been trying to clear out the Rockmine garage for some time now. This started with me listing stuff on eBay and then I moved things to Rockmine itself. Of late, I’ve been letting a dealer come and cherry-pick albums. Last week, he hit the singles and pulled out piles of interesting and obscure stuff.

I got a text from him today telling me he’s spent all the money he allocated for me, a situation we’ve all been in I suppose. One of the real gems he was going to take was a rare Scottish beat single from 1964 – The Boston Dexters – “You’ve Been Talking About Me” bw/ “Nothing’s Gonna Change Me”. It was released on Contemporary Recording CR 102. The copy is Excellent condition and I’m putting it up for sale later today on Rockmine. Strangely, I found the b-side on YouTube. Here it is:

 

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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, 16th January):

Birth

1970. Brendan O’Hare (Teenage Fanclub) born in Belshill, Scotland.

In Custody

1970. Police raid the exhibition of John Lennon‘s lithographs which opened yesterday. They confiscate eight of the lithographs claiming they are erotic and obscene.

In Court

1989. 26 year old pub “bouncer”, Kenneth Simmons, is fined £ 200 and ordered to pay £ 300 compensation at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after an assault on Fish and his friend Robbie The Pict. The trial follows an incident at the Kasbar pub in the city’s Cowgate on August 14th last year. Fish told the court that he was knocked unconscious by a single blow from Simmon’s plaster cast arm, complete with aluminium fingers. When he came to he had been badly cut; there was “a lot of blood”.

In Hospital

1998. James Brown is admitted to hospital in South carolina suffering from the effects of addiction to painkillers. A report in the Augusta Chronicle says the “Godfather Of Soul” was served with court papers ordering his hospitalisation. Brown’s agent, Jeff Allen, declined to comment but confirmed that sheriff’s deputies had taken guns from the singer’s house.

On Television

2004. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #2108. Musical guest: Christina Aguilera sings “Walk Away.”

Death

1973. Gospel singer Clara Ward (The Ward Sisters) dies in Los Angeles a week after suffering a stroke and falling into a coma. She was 48.

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday, 9th January):

Birth

1944. Scott Walker born Noel Scott Engel in Hamilton, Ohio.

On Tour

1979. The “Music For Unicef” concert takes place in the General Assembly Hall at The United Nations in New York. Among those taking part is Abba who announce they are donating all royalties from the song “Chiquitita” to the charity.

In Court

2002. Thanks to plea bargaining, rapper DMX avoids prison when he appears in court in Bergen County, New Jersey today. The rapper, who appeared under his real name of Earl Simmons faced thirteen counts of animal cruelty, two counts of maintaining a nuisance, one count of disorderly conduct and one count of possessing drug paraphenalia. Other weapons and child endangerment charges against Simmons and his wife Tashera were dropped as part of the deal although they seemed unlikely to succeed as the prosecution’s main witness for them, Tashera’s mother, Marcia Tate had refused to co-operate.

The charges stem from June 1999 when police called on the Simmons’ home in Teaneck, New Jersey after finding Tashera’s purse near the spot where DMX’s business manager (who’s also his uncle) had been shot in the foot at the Fort Lee Hilton. Marcia Tate, who was at the house told the police her son-in-law had been smoking crack cocaine all week and at one point pulled out a pistol in front of her. A search by the officers uncovered a loaded 9mm pistol, hollow-nosed bullets and six used glass cocaine smoking pipes in a bedroom vanity unit. Also in the house were thirteen Pit Bull dogs, the Simmons’ six year old son and a fifteen year old cousin, hence the animal cruelty and child endangerment charges.

In return for keeping his freedom DMX has agreed to record a number of public safety announcements for children relating to the dangers of weapons and the need to care for animals. State Superior Court Judge, Donald R. Venezia has asked prosecutors to establish the number and content of the announcements in time for sentencing on March 15th. The rapper will then learn if he’ll face the maximum $ 1,000 fine for each count of animal cruelty and if he’ll be put on probation as well.

In Sickness And In Health

1978. Leonid Bortkevich, leader of Russia’s top pop group, Pesniary, marries the former Olympic gymnast, Olga Korbut.

On Television

1994. Taratata (France 4, France) No. 35. Recorded 7 décembre 1993. Solos: Stephan EICHER; Texas; Grant Lee Buffalo; Jil Caplan; Arno. Duos: Stephan Eicher & Texas. Here they are with “I Shall Be Released”

Death

2003. Music journalist Penny Valentine (Penelope Ann Valentine) dies of cancer in London, England. She wrote for Disc, Sounds and Street Life magazines.

 

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