Sixties TV

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 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 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 (Saturday, 24th January):


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”.


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:


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 (Thursday, 15th January):


1949. Ronnie Van Zandt (Lynyrd Skynyrd) born in Jacksonville, Florida.

On Tour

1998. Oasis are donating the proceeds from tonight’s show in Toronto and next week’s show in Vancouver to the Canadian Red Cross Disaster Appeal Fund to help families devastated by the recent ice storm. The band saw the storm’s effects for themselves when they were forced to cancel last night’s gig in Montreal because of extreme weather conditions.

In Custody

1970. The jailing of Welsh language pop singer Dafydd Iwan sparks a wave of protest by members of the Welsh Language Society – 40 people stage a sit-down protest in the foyer of Cardiff Police Station; in Carmarthen 40 students barricade themselves in a hall near the courthouse and in Aberystwyth, 25 people stage a sit-down protest at the Magistrates’ Court. Other protests are not succesful – an attempt to storm the police station in Penarth fails and the protesters are escorted away.

In Court

1964. Vee Jay Records files lawsuits against Capitol Records and Swan Records over the manufacturing and distribution of The Beatles records. At the same time, in Chicago, Capitol Records is granted an injunction restraining Vee Jay from making, advertising or selling any Beatles product.

On Television

1967. The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS, U.S.A.) 902. Rolling Stones, Petula Clark. Here are the Stones with “Let’s Spent The Night Together”. The record received a wide-spread ban on American radio for its controversial lyrics. Both the TV and record companies pleaded with the band to sing “Let’s Spend Some Time Together”. The first chorus sees Mick Jagger just appearing to mumble but his facial expression gives everything away. During the second chorus, the camera catches Bill Wyman raise his eyes at what’s going on around him!


1994. Harry Nilsson dies at his home in Los Angeles from a heart attack, aged 52.

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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, 3rd January):


1964. Raymond McGinley (Teenage Fanclub) born in Glasgow, Scotland.

On Tour

1963. The Beatles first ever tour starts with a gig at The Two Red Shoes in Elgin. Last night’s show at the Longmore Hall in Keith was cancelled due to bad weather. Paul McCartney filled in the wasted evening by flying home to Liverpool and returning this morning. Check out the Two Red Shoes blog here.

In Court

1996. After the jury is selected to try her stalker’s case, Madonna appears at the Superior Court in Los Angeles. Before the jury take their places, the singer asks for a motion to seal court documents to stop them being made public and also asks that her alleged stalker, Robert Dewey Hoskins a.k.a. Herbert Hoskins, be excluded during her testimony to the court. Hoskins is the subject of an order prohibiting him from being in close proximity to Madonna and has admitted that his “not guilty” plea was a planned action to ensure he would be in the same room as her. After arguments for both sides, the motions are denied. Once the jury take their places Madonna, obviously shaken, gives her testimony for the prosecution. The judge then adjourns the case until the next day. The court minutes for today’s proceedings.

In Hospital

2001. Moby is walking down a street in New York’s Chinatown when he stops to stroke a cat. The feline is obviously no fan as it bites deep into the ambient star’s hand. Despite the hand becoming more and more swollen throughout the day, Moby leaves it until the next morning when the pain becomes unbearable and he heads for the local E.R. He’s rushed into an urgent care ward, given a tetanus shot and dosed up with anti-biotics.

On Television

1964. NBC’s “The Jack Paar Show” becomes the first U.S. TV show to feature The Beatles playing live. Despite Brian Epstein having an exclusive contract with “The Ed Sullivan Show”, NBC licensed the live footage of “She Loves You”, shot for the documentary “The Mersey Sound”, direct from the BBC. Epstein’s fury was short lived and although he tried to block the screening, he accepted the £ 225 fee received from the BBC. Without this piece of advance publicity it’s doubtful that the ground-breaking “Ed Sullivan Show” would have had quite the same impact in sparking Beatlemania in the States. Here’s the original clip!


2002. Zac Foley, bass player with EMF dies aged 31. The circumstances surrounding his death are not revealed at the time of the announcement.

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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 29th October):


1944. Denny Laine (Moody Blues/Wings) born Brian Arthur Haynes on the island of Jersey.

On Stage

1997. Adam Yauch (The Beastie Boys) joins a rally in Washington D.C. to protest against China’s human rights abuses in Tibet during the first visit of the Chinese president, Jiang Zemin.

In Court

1999. David Lee Roth files a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court against his former personal manager, Ed Anderson. Anderson had, with the singer’s agreement, set up a web site to sell Roth merchandise but had been asked to remove it in February. Dave’s lawyer, Jeff Bernice said the suit was, “Roth attempting to clean up the bootlegging and piracy of his image off the internet”.

In Hospital

1981. Ten years on from the day of Duane Allman‘s death, Allman Brothers’ Band bassist, Lamar Williams undergoes surgery, at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Los Angeles, to remove part of his lung and two ribs. Two years ago he was diagnosed as suffering from lung cancer which doctors speculate may have been caused by contact with Agent Orange in Vietnam.

On Television

1967. The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (ABC, U.S.A.) The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – “The Teddy Bears’ Picnic”


1963. Michael Holiday dies in Croydon General Hospital aged 35 after suffering a drug overdose.


My comments about Future Publishing yesterday really did bring back some memories. It was a rather insane period between 1999 and 2002. I had heard about First Tuesday, a networking event held around the country that brought together entrepreneurs with accountants, solicitors, advisors and most importantly, angels and venture capitalists. Within six months, I’d gathered a team of people who should have been far too sensible to hang around with me and was pitching for money.

If you’ve ever watched “Dragon’s Den”, you’ll have an idea of what it’s like. First Tuesday was great because it encouraged the concept of the “elevator pitch”. Imagine you’ve walked into an elevator (or lift for those of us on this side of the pond) and there’s a wealthy venture capitalist or investor. You’ve literally got the time between floors to interest or excite them.

I did the elevator pitch to a number of companies and one bit. So much so that I ended up pitching to the European board of a major international science and technology company for £ 32 million! Yes, really. That much! At one point, we (there were two of us there) even had the board up on their feet playing air guitar though one board member asked if he could play air sax! Unbelievably they said yes and passed it to their board in the States when the bubble burst.

Back at First Tuesday, I was approached by a fund manager who’d been head-hunted by Future looking to expand their business into radio and TV. They thought Rockmine was a one-stop facility that could power these and more. The buy-out never happened. The day before they were due to make their offer for the archive, Future’s share price was more than £ 9. Within weeks, it had fallen to 19 pence!

Luckily for me, no-one knew how bad it was going to get. Fully anticipating a turn-around and the ability to come back with an offer at a later time, I was put in golden handcuffs. The company paid me an editor’s salary not to work for their competitors and to give them first option on the Rockmine Almanac.

From time to time, Classic Rock would phone up and ask for info assuming they could access whatever they wanted. When it was pointed out to them that under the terms of my contract they had to pay me for anything, the phone calls soon stopped.

One day, about seven months into my contract, I got a call from Scott Rowley, the editor of Total Guitar. He wanted to know who I was and why I was on the payroll without providing anything for Future. It seemed anyone who knew of the offer to buy Rockmine or my golden handcuffs had left and although they found my contract, it didn’t say why I’d been given it. Scott was sent north to interview me and prepare an internal report to explain what I was being paid for.

The report was done and apart from getting a copy, I never heard anything more. When I contacted the company at the end of the year to let them see the almanac, there was little interest in it as such but they did ask if I’d consider pitching to start a new magazine with it as the basis!

I came home, thought about that for a few days and figured it was a non-starter. First Tuesday slowly fell apart. The glory days of free bars and serious drinking were gone. I did some diligence work for investors but gradually lost touch with everyone and just buried my head in the archive. 


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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 16th September):


1944. Betty Kelly (Martha And The Vandellas) born in Detroit, Michigan.

On Tour

1979. Passing through London’s Heathrow Airport enroute for the United States, Elton John reveals what he’s been keeping under his hat until now – a new head of hair! Speaking of the hair transplant, Elton said, “I had the operation done in Paris and I have another two operations to go before it’s completely finished”. He refused to reveal how much the treatment cost but did say, “Looking at it now, I think it was absolutely worthwhile”.

In Court

1970. Robbie Krieger and John Densmore are called to give evidence at Jim Morrison‘s obscenity trial in The Circuit Court for Dade County, Miami, Florida. Judge Murray Goodman, presiding.

In Hospital

1970. Sandie Shaw announces that she’s preganant. The news came after the singer had collapsed in her car on the way to Heathrow Airport where she was due to leave for the Venice Festival. Doctors today revealed the reason for her exhaustion. Sandie’s been married to the fashion designer Jeff Banks for the last two years. The baby, which is due early next year, will be the couple’s first. Sandie’s performance in Venice has been cancelled and she’ll be resting for the next few days.

On Television

1965. Shindig! (ABC, U.S.A.) Opening medley (song excerpts): The McCoys, The Byrds, Jerry Naylor, The Everly Brothers and Chad & Jill; The Everly Brothers; The Byrds; Billy Preston; Jerry Naylor; Ketty Lester; The Byrds; The McCoys; Chad and Jill (Chad Stuart of Chad and Jeremy, and his wife Jill); Chad Stuart; The Rolling Stones; Finale: Everly Brothers. Here’s the first segment of the show which will link to the other two parts to give you the complete programme. 8m 57s.


1977. Marc Bolan dies when the Mini in which he is travelling skids and hits a tree on Barnes Common in London. The car is being driven by Marc’s girlfriend, Gloria Jones, who survives.

And on this day in 1997, the Performing Rights Society erects a marker at the site of Marc’s fatal crash. On hand to assist in the proceedings is his son, Rolan.


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


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.

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


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 (Monday 4th August):


1927. Ralph Peer, a producer working for The Victor Talking Machine Company cuts the first “Country” records when he records Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family in a hotel room in Bristol, Tennessee. Rodgers is paid $ 50 a song for the session.

On Tour

1979. Fairport Convention play their last gig as a working band at Cropredy, Oxfordshire. The village will become the site of an annual reunion concert.

In Custody

1970. Jim Morrison is arrested after falling asleep on an old lady’s porch after drinking too much. He is charged with public drunkenness.

In Court

1965. South African singing star Eve Boswell is granted a divorce from her estranged husband Trevor Garfield McIntosh at a Johannesburg divorce court. The 41 year old singer was awarded a restitution order against Mr. McIntosh in June after telling the court that he had left and would not return after 23 years of marriage.

On Television

1965. Shindig! (U.S.A.) 47. Opening medley (song excerpts): Jerry Naylor/Billy Preston/Jackie & Gayle, Bobby Sherman/Righteous Brothers; Nooney Rickett Four; Billy Preston; Marianne Faithfull; Jerry Naylor; Bobby Sherman; The Righteous Brothers; Linda Clark; Jackie and Gayle; The Great Scots; Bobby Sherman; Bobby Hatfield; Dixie Cups; Nooney Rickett Four; Linda Clark with Jackie and Gayle; Billy Preston; Terry Allen; The Great Scots; Dixie Cups; Jerry Naylor; -Marianne Faithfull; The Righteous Brothers; Linda Clark; Finale: Nooney Rickett Four (with the Righteous Brothers, Jackie and Gayle, and other guests). The clip above will link to another 7 which build to give you the whole show. A great slice of mid sixties pop TV.


1992. Ralph Cooper Snr. (Master of Ceremonies at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre) dies in Manhattan, New York, aged 80.


Another week and another blog. The last couple of weeks have seen the blog getting forgotten till late in the day and sometimes missed out altogether. Friends and family assure me it’s a midlife crisis but who knows. I know you all expect me to regale you with tales of my rock and roll lifestyle and excesses but I’ll probably disappoint when I say the highlight of my weekend was a visit on Saturday by the archive Puli’s brother. The archive Puli – Loki, was put to shame when brother Hu turned up sporting the world’s most incredible coat carefully draped around the frame of a small tank. Even his owners thought he was three times the weight of the archive dog.

Anyway, I know I’m sad but I thought I’d share a couple of pics of the visit with you. I’ll also drop in a vaguely rock and roll anecdote: About 7 years ago, I had a very well known rock journalist and his employers visiting as they were considering buying the archive. One of the directors of the company pointed at a single dreadlock hanging on my notice board and asked what it was. He’d been in the house for at least an hour and had met all three of the Pulis that were in the house. Needless to say, I looked him in the eye and honestly told him it was one of Bob Marley’s locks. There were gasps of awe from the assembled throng and I never had the heart to own up to the fact that it was a memento from my first Puli, Emma whose adventures have been on Rockmine since its earliest days. You’ll find them at The Archive Dogs Pages. Here’s a shot of Hu, in all his glory.


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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 2nd August):


1941. Doris Coley Kenner (The Shirelles) born in Passaic, New Jersey.

In Politics

1963. Lord Sutch (real name David Edward Sutch) is officially nominated as a candidate for the Stratford-Upon-Avon bi-election on August 15th. The nomination wasn’t without problems. When he first arrived he had only £ 125 of the required £ 150 deposit. On his return it was discovered his proposer, a local taxi driver, wasn’t on the electoral roll. After his successful third trip with the correct money and a valid proposer, Sutch took sherry with the Town Clerk.

In Custody

1976. Keith Richards arrives at Newport Pagnell police station to be charged with possession of cannabis and cocaine. The charges date back to May when Keith drove his Bentley off the M1 motorway into a field. After the crash he was searched at Newport Pagnell police station where the drugs were found. At the time he asked for 10 weeks police bail so he could complete The Rolling Stones‘ tours of Europe and America. He is once again bailed and will appear in court next month.

In Court

1988. Nick Cave appears at Great Marlborough Street Magistrates Court in London charged with possession of heroin. Cave pleads guilty to possessing 884 milligrammes of the drug. Although it is his second offence he is given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £ 15 court costs. The condition of his discharge is that Cave enters a rehabilitation clinic in two days time.

On Television

1969. Beat Club (WDR, West Germany) 45: Dave Clark Five, Steppenwolf, Marmalade, Rainbow People, Robin Gibb, Zager & Evans, Clodagh Rodgers, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Thunderclap Newman, Plastic Ono Band, Paul Revere & the Raiders. Here’s Thunderclap Newman with, “Something In The Air”.


1976. Ex-Pink Floyd road manager, Peter “Puddy” Watts, dies of a heroin overdose in a house owned by the band in Notting Hill, London. He is one of the voices that can be heard on “Dark Side Of The Moon”. Although he was living in a house belonging to the group, he hadn’t worked for them for over a year following an argument.


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