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.
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 (Wednesday, 28th January):
1946. Rick Allen (The Box Tops) born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1995. Elton John, Ray Cooper and Sting perform at the first benefit for The Elton John AIDS Foundation in New York. The performance along with dinner and an auction raises $ 1 million.
1980. All five original members of Guys And Dolls appear in court for the first day of a legal case brought by their former managers, Ammo Productions Ltd., for £ 12,900 in unpaid commission. The group have issued a counter suit claiming £ 3,418 in unpaid royalties.
1987. Elton John‘s wife, Renate, flies into London after working for the last month in Los Angeles. She has not travelled to Australia, where Elton is still recovering in hospital but did say she has spoken to him on the ‘phone “at least once a day”.
1971. Top Of The Pops. (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Badfinger; Elvis Presley (Promo); Frankie Valli; George Harrison/Pan’s People; Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon; Martha & The Vandellas; Stevie Wonder; The Equals; The Mixtures; The Supremes/Pan’s People; The Weathermen. Here are Badfinger with “No Matter What”
2000. Motown saxophonist Thomas “Beans” Bowles dies in Detroit after a ten year battle with prostate cancer, aged 71. Bowles was best known as a baritone sax player and arranger but was also tour manager for the early Motown Revues that toured the U.S.A. His career with Motown was far from smooth. He claimed to have written “Fingertips” for Stevie Wonder but never received a credit. On leaving the company, he was even forced to negotiate for the rights to his own name, which he’d unwittingly given to Motown when he signed his contract in 1962.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday, 24th January):
1941. Neil Diamond born Noah Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York.
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.
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.
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.
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; Pretenders; Regents; Sheila & B.Devotion; The Specials; Suzi Quatro. Here are the Regents with “7-Teen”.
1970. James “Shep” Sheppard, leader of Shep And The Limelites, is found battered to death in his car on the Long Island Expressway.
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:
1958American 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
1991Top Of The PopsBBCU.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.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”
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday, 18th January):
1941. Bobby Goldsboro born in Marianna, Florida.
1973. The Rolling Stones play a concert at the Los Angeles Forum to aid victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake. The gig grosses $ 516,810 the largest box office receipt for a charity show until that time.
1985. Jerry Garcia is bust by cops while he freebases cocaine in his car in Golden Gate Park. He will be ordered into a rehab programme and instructed to play a benefit concert for the Haight-Ashbury Free Food Programme.
1980. Japanese prosecutors obtain a court order to detain Paul McCartney for another 10 days shortly before the 48 hours they have to charge a subject was due to run out. They have still not decided whether to charge the ex-Beatle or deport him. Despite being in handcuffs whenever he’s moved around Tokyo, Paul’s local lawyer, Tasuku Matsuo, said that he’s being treated quite well but is not being allowed visitors apart from a brief meeting with his wife on January 16th. According to promoter Harvey Goldsmith, Linda is “rather distraught, completely frustrated and confused”. It’s also been said that Paul will willingly perform for free for the 100,000 people who have tickets for the now cancelled Japanese tour.
1976. Rockpalast (WDR, West Germany) Climax Blues Band (WDR, Studio A, Köln). Here they are with “All The Time In The World”
1990. Mel Appleby (Mel And Kim) dies in London’s Cromwell Hospital. Although she had struggled for five years against a rare form of spinal cancer, she died from pneumonia which developed after she caught the common cold.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday, 11th January):
1958. Vicki Peterson (The Bangles) born in Los Angeles.
1963. The Rolling Stones sack their drummer, Tony Chapman, after tonight’s gig at the Ricky Tick Club at The Star & Garter in Windsor. The incensed Chapman goes to Bill Wyman and tries to pursuade him to leave with him and start their own goup but Bill refuses.
1972. John Lee (singer with New World) is fined £ 10 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to assaulting Mrs. Lillian Zoeller, a traffic warden, on December 29th by throwing a bucket of water over her. The singer had arrived at the Alexanda Theatre, Birmingham where he was appearing in the pantomime, Robinson Crusoe. He was late for a curtain call and parked in a suspended parking bay. Explaining his situation to the traffic warden who was nearby, he was warned to move his car or she would issue a ticket for illegal parking but he rushed into the theatre. A few minutes later as she was reaching to place the ticket on the car she was hit by a volume of cold water and looked up to see a window in the theatre being closed.
1985. Eric Clapton‘s first child, Ruth Kelly, is born in Doncaster maternity Hospital. Clapton met her mother, Yvonne, on the island of Montserrat in 1984. Within a week of meeting, the couple were conducting an affair. Since Ruth’s birth, he has lavished presents on mother and child as well as ensuring maintenance payments are regularly made.
1977. Rockpalast (WDR, WestGermany) Leo Kottke (WDR Studio-L Köln). Here are the first 8 minutes of the gig – “Up Tempo”, “Hear The Wind Howl” and “Busted Bicycle”.
2003. Mickey Finn, percussionist with T. Rex, dies in Mayday Hospital, Croydon, London. He had been suffering from kidney and liver problems, aged 55,
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday, 8th January):
1943. Lee Jackson (The Nice) born in Newcastle, England.
1997. David Bowie celebrates his 50th birthday by making five previously unheard tracks available to fans via 50 hand-picked internet web sites. Rockmine was one of the 50.
Not content with celebrating on the internet, Bowie stages a birthday bash at New York’s Madison Square Gardens where he is joined onstage by Lou Reed and Billy Corgan. The post gig party has one minor interuption when the smoke alarms are triggered by the amount of smoke coming from party goers. It takes 15 minutes to kill the noise but no-one seems to care.
1994. Rapper D.O.C. (real name Tracy L. Curry) and Solar Records boss Dick Griffey file a lawsuit against the executives of Death Row Records including Dr. Dre in Los Angeles. The suit claims that Death Row was founded after a previous partnership involving all the parties was illegally disolved.
2000. Billy Ray Cyrus‘ wife, Tish, gives birth to a baby girl – Noah Lindsey Cyrus. Noah weighed in at 6lb 2oz at Nashville’s Baptist Hospital. The country star was later quoted as saying, “A brand new baby girl on Elvis’ birthday … What a perfect way for me and Tish to begin the new millennium together. The couple already have six children.
1977. Rockpalast (WDR, West Germany) Todd Rundgren‘s Utopia seen here with “Sunburst Finish” (WDR Studio-L Köln)
2003. Film score composer, arranger and conductor, Ron Goodwin dies in Brampton Common, Berkshire, aged 77. Among the 60 plus films he scored were: Village of the Damned (1960); The Day of the Triffids (1962); 633 Squadron (1964); Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines (1965); Where Eagles Dare (1969); One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing (1975); Force Ten from Navarone (1978).
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday, 4th January):
1956. Bernard Albrecht or Sumner (Joy Division and New Order) born Bernard Dicken in Salford, Manchester.
1968. Police are called to an incident at the luxury Opalen Hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden. As a result Jimi Hendrix has his passport seized by police and is taken to the city’s hospital for stitches in his right hand. He will have to report to police for the next two days the group will spend on tour in the country. Criminal charges for damage are dropped by hotel management after they receive adequate financial compensation from the group’s road manager, Gerry Stickles. It’s thought that more than £ 200 worth of damage was done while Hendix and his colleagues partied. In the evening Jimi plays at the Lorensbergs Cirkus with his hand in bandages.
1970. Keith Moon, his wife, “Legs” Larry Smith and Moon’s chaffeur, Cornelius Borland attend the opening of a new discotheque at The Red Lion public house in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. As they’re leaving at approx. 10.45 their Bentley is approached by a group of 20 skinheads. Borland moves towards the gang of youths and is soon involved in a scuffle. As Moon starts to drive away from the scene, Borland is knocked to the ground and falls under the wheels of the moving car where he is trapped, receiving fatal injuries. The fire brigade was called to the scene to free Borland’s body.
Moon spends three hours helping police with their inquiry but is not cautioned or charged. Several of the youths are also interviewed resulting in David Paul Holden, 18, appearing in Hatfield Court and an un-named boy appearing at Hatfield Juvenile Court on Monday January 5th, both charged with causing an affray. At their hearings, they are both remanded in custody for a week. On both occasions, Detective Sergeant R.G. Beveridge explains in his statement to the court that a man died during the incident.
1985. Doctors at Sheffield’s Royal hallamshire Hospital take the unfortunate decision to amputate the Def Leppard drummer, Rick Allen‘s arm only days after they had sewn it back on after being severed in a car crash on December 31st. They said that a serious infection had built up where it had been sewn on and they had no alternative but to remove it.
1979. Rockpalast (WDR, West Germany) Kevin Coyne (WDR Studio-L Köln). Here he is with “Having A Party”.
1986. Phil Lynott dies in the intensive care unit of Salisbury Infirmary eleven days after being transferred from a rehabilitation clinic in Wiltshire. Initially it isn’t clear what caused his death but a post mortem shows that years of drug abuse had finally caught up with him. He suffered kidney, liver and heart failure as a result of blood poisoning and multiple internal abcesses.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday, 1st January):
1942. Country Joe McDonald born in El Monte, California.
1960. Johnny Cash plays his first concert for the inmates of San Quentin Prison. In the audience is Merle Haggard who is serving a three year sentence for burglary. Cash’s visit inspires him to join the prison band. The rest, as they say, is history…
2002. Eric Clapton, his 25 year-old girlfriend, Melia McEnery and a handful of close family friends are at the Church Of St. Mary Magdalen in Ripley, Surrey for the baptism of their 6 month-old daughter, Julie Rose and Clapton’s 16 year-old daughter, Ruth Patricia (the result of an affair in 1983 with her mother Yvonne Kellyn). After the baptisms are finished the vicar, The Reverend Christopher Elson, surprises the congregation by inviting Eric and Melia to step forward to be joined in marriage, much to the delight of everyone there.
2000. George Harrison is discharged from Harefield Hospital earlier than expected after making what a hospital spokesman described as “such a good recovery”. He slips out of the hospital late in the evening and is driven home to his estate in Henley by Mercedes. Surgeons said that although his lung had collapsed during the attack at his home on December 30th, the knife had missed any major blood vessels. As a result, the ex-Beatle is expected to make a full recovery within a few weeks.
Top Of The Pops (BBC-1, U.K.) Presented by Jimmy Savile. Bo Flyers – Do The Buster, Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas, Pan’s People dancing to Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo (Pans People); Billy Howard – King Of The Cops, Slik – Forever And Ever; Abba – Mamma Mia, Glyder – Pick Up And Go; Dana – Its Gonna Be A Cold Cold Christmas; Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Promo). Here’s the first part of the whole show, which you should find on around this page.
1953. Hank Williams dies in the back of a car on his way to a gig in West Virginia. Although the death certificate gives the cause of death as a heart attack, it was more probably the result of too much booze and too many pills.
Here we are, it’s 2009. Another year gone and a new one just beginning. I hope your New Year, like mine, will be better than last year. I’m tempted to say it can’t be worse!
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 10th November):
1947. Glen Buxton (Alice Cooper) born in Akron, Ohio.
1965. Bill Graham stages his first promotion at the Fillmore Auditorium featuring The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.
1978. Johhny Rotten starts legal proceedings in the High Court in London to wind-up The Sex Pistols. His lawyers are granted special leave to serve notice of the action on Sid Vicious who is currently on bail in a New York hospital accused of murdering his girlfriend, Nancy Spungeon. Vicious was admitted to hospital after slashing his wrists in an abortive suicide attempt. Further action is adjourned for a hearing date to be set.
In The Studio
1966. Brian Wilson is hard at work in Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles on the new Beach Boys album, “Smile”. The track “Fire” doesn’t seem to be coming together so he sends an aide out to a toy store to buy plastic red fire helmets for the orchestra, studio crew and friends assembled there. Even that doesn’t quite capture the feeling he’s trying to create so he gets the studio’s janitor, Brother Julius, to start a fire in a bucket in the middle of the studio. On the 24th take he is finally satisfied. Later in the evening, Brian is told that the studio was nearly burned down. A wave of fires had been sweeping the city during the week and Brian decides they’ve been caused by his recording of the track. He tries to set light to the master tape but it won’t ignite. Convinced that he’s imbued the track with magical properties he has the tape locked in a vault where it can do no harm.
1972. The Partridge Family (ABC, U.S.A.) Swiss Family Partridge. Here’s the complete episode. The first clip links to the other two parts.
2006. Gerald Levert (LeVert) dies in Newbury, Ohio, U.S. from an accidental mix of prescription drugs and over the counter medications.