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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 27th October):

Birth

1942. Philip Catherine (Focus, Larry Coryell) born in London, England.

In Sickness And In Health

1970. Peter Asher, 26, (Peter & Gordon) marries former Rolling Stones publicist Betsy Doster, 27, at Marylebone Register Office in London.

In Court

1997. Following toy company Mattel’s lawsuit against MCA Records and Danish pop group Aqua, alleging trademark violation in the hit single, “Barbie Girl”, MCA today file a countersuit. The label claims that it has been defamed by the toy maker which has subjected it to “hatred, contempt and ridicule”. It goes on to allege that Mattel’s suit has caused a loss of reputation as well as an unspecified sum of money.

In Hospital

1979. The Specials/Selector/Madness gig at Hatfield Polytechnic is disrupted when 30 banner carrying members of the Hatfield Anti-Fascist League gatecrash the venue. They make several random attacks on members of the audience with razors and knives and at least one of the gang is knocked unconscious after being caught by skinheads. Some members of the audience are taken to the local hospital where they are detained overnight for treatment. It seems likely that the gang, also known as the Cockney Reds, is responsible for a recent attack on an Upstarts gig at the Nashville in London.

On Television

1973. Disco (ZDF, West Germany) 34. Cherrie Vangelder-Smith; Tony Marshall; Sweet; Christian Anders; Mungo Jerry; Adamo; John Kincade; Bobbie McGee; Udo Jürgens. Here are Mungo Jerry with “Alright, Alright, Alright”.

Death

1980. Steve Peregrine-Took (real name Steve Ross Porter) dies when he chokes on a cocktail cherry at his flat in London.

Babble

There’s a new addition to the ballroom blogs. The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco is now online with 1966. It includes a number of posters for the gigs and a dozen YouTube clips with some great bands like Sopwith Camel, Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs, The Turtles and The Wildflower. There’s even Jefferson Airplane from the night of the listing!

Here’s the direct link to it.

There is one band that links the Fillmore to the Two Red Shoes and Ballerina ballrooms, they played all three venues in 1966 – The Mindbenders! It’s fascinating to compare the acts playing the different ballrooms at the same period. In the U.K., we were dancing to beat groups and chart acts but in San Francisco it was a more underground scene that seemed to develop out of the jug band and folk cultures. That said, there’s blues, psychedelia and pop all thrown in for good measure.  

One thing’s sure, the Fillmore has a treasure trove of rare rock video to plunder. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, there’s no need for standards conversion which was long the bane of collectors. I remember the days of optical copies of NTSC video tapes. A multi-standard VCR and TV would have a video camera set up in front of them and the show would be recorded to PAL that way. Digital conversions in the 1980s were expensive and often no better quality. 

 

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

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From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 20th October):

Birth

1945. Ric Lee (Ten Years After) born in Cannock, Staffordshire.

On Tour

1964. The Beatles tight schedule means they have to turn down an invitation to take tea with the Countess Of Strathmore at Glamis Castle before they play Dundee’s Caird Hall. Instead, they ask if she’ll join them for tea at the hall before they go onstage. She takes up the invitation accompanied by her Lady-In-Waiting and her private secretary before taking her seat in the audience to watch the show.

In Court

1999. At the inquest into the death of Blues Traveller bassist Bobby Sheehan in New Orleans, Coroner Frank Minyard rules that death was caused by an accidental overdose.

To The Rescue

2000. Two ten year old boys in Oklahoma are saved from a scrub fire moving towards their house when Garth Brooks drives up to their door and rescues them. One of the brothers said that Brooks hammered on their door and yelled at them to get into his truck. They had no idea who he was until a neighbour said, “You just got saved by Garth Brooks”. The singer’s in-laws live a few minutes drive from the scene of the fire and he’s said to be building a home nearby.

On Television

1977. Rockpalast (WDR, West Germany) Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow; Kingfish (Olympiahalle München). Here are Rainbow with “Mistreated”

Death

1977. Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zandt, Steve Gaines and his wife Cassie plus roadie Dean Kilpatrick die in a plane crash. The other members of the band all sustain injuries.

Babble

The blog’s been a bit neglected this last ten days. Blame holidays and decorating. Anyway, it’s back now. I hope you did miss it. 

As you know, the long heralded, never to be memorabilia exhibition in Elgin has been consigned to the bin and I’m slowly moving some of the stuff that should have been in it along with some great memorabilia on to my main site. For those of you who don’t want to be burdened with info about that I’ll be adding a separate posting for a while.

On the blog front, I’ve now got a number of  ballroom blogs although only a couple of them are online properly. The idea was to link some of the best ballrooms and clubs of the 1960s (and 70s) together. Each follows a similar pattern with listings, images and YouTube clips that really do evoke the exact period. The ones for the Avalon Ballroom and Fillmores will also include some of the iconic posters which advertised the dances there.

So, there’s quite a lot happening. If you feel like a blatant blast of nostalgia, why not check out the three that are up: Ballerina Ballroom, Marquee Club or Two Red Shoes Ballroom.

 

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

Today’s a weird one. The almanac based blog is giving way to the babble. I know it’s unusual but it’s been a weird few days here in Elgin. The week had started with the intention of staging a rock and pop memorabilia exhibition  that I’ve been trying to put on here since April. All it needed was a venue, which I thought I had and some publicity which I lined up but then things started to fall apart.

So, I can now say once and for all there will be no rock and pop memorabilia exhibition at the Red Shoes Theatre in Elgin. I’m going to leave it at that as you really don’t want pages filled with the bile I might dump here. I also don’t see why I should even contemplate mentioning that place again as it will just give them publicity. Bearing in mind one of the owners effectively demanded I remove references to the water ingress problems, I really have no desire to be in the least bit positive towards them. 

It was made clear to me that they don’t “do negative”, so it will be intriguing to see how they react when I publish the e-mails that seemed to me to be full of fantasy and fabrication that they sent me. Anyway, enough! 

What am I left with? The exhibition is off but there’s still the blog. The Two Red Shoes Ballroom blog that is. It’s one of two I have up on local ballrooms. Its sister venue, less than 30 miles away is the Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn. Launched, very much by accident, in August it has been hugely successful. The Elgin one, however, seems to have been much slower to take off.

I’ve got the publicity for that sorted at last but here’s the oddest thing, I now have two opportunities. One is to expand the Two Red Shoes Ballroom and the Ballerina blogs into a book and the other is even stranger. As many of you will know, I’ve been a compulsive writer of lists for decades. What really surprises me is that I manage to forget what lists I’ve made over the years. The almanac listings include thousands of live gigs. That includes all the dates played at London’s Marquee Club. 

If people in a town of 6,800 residents will flock to a blog on their local ballroom – The Ballerina, just what will happen if I do the same with the Marquee? The main Rockmine web site even has Marquee flyers for sale – here.

With both the Marquee and the Ballerina, I have the advantage of the venues now being closed. I hung out at the Marquee on numerous occasions and one of my best friends was offered gigs there. It always had a good feel about it. The owners and addresses may have changed over the years but it held on to the magic. Wherever its physical presence was seemed like hallowed ground. Derek Dick even managed to get the beer pumps from the bar installed at home after the club closed.

I’ve put  gigs on, in seedy club/bar venues. I know what it’s like. The guys who do it are special. Part optimist, part bastard but they all have great stories to tell. I have to say that the promoter of both ballrooms in Nairn and Elgin, Albert Bonici, was the one exception. Maybe we just didn’t get on but I found him to be less than friendly. He expected me to be in awe because he promoted The Beatles on their first real tour but a few years later he was putting strippers out on the stage that The Fabs had trod. And as for stories, he had nothing. Maybe he just didn’t want to give anything away. How would I know, he’s been dead for years. Maybe that’s the case with everyone here!

Oddly, I had one minor success today. The Heritage Centre in Elgin MUST have the world’s laziest librarian/curator running it. Today, he actually came up with all that I could ever have wanted, adverts for the Two Red Shoes from 1960 to 1969, showing the dancehall, the restaurant and the resident band for each year. In 1960, a three-course meal there would cost 4/- and by 1967, inflation had taken that to a massive 5/-! He found plans for the conversion to a dancehall in 1956, although it had been a ballroom from the latter part of the previous century.

The photos showing the stage, as it was in 1963, show a tiny space that the resident sextet filled totally. It actually made The Cavern stage seem massive!

Okay, back to the original point, that I seem to have lost a bit along the way. I have complete listings for The Two Red Shoes, The Ballerina, The Marquee Club, The Apollo Theatre in Glasgow and the Fillmore auditoriums. What has worked with the Ballerina should easily work with The Marquee and Fillmores! I just have to assume that the Elgin venue is the anomaly.

So, tomorrow, I’m sending out a press release that links all of these venues. The idea is to expand the blogs and if I get good feedback I’ll work on a couple of “Books On Demand”. The main thing is that if the Ballerina blog has pulled in 1,600 visitors in two months, just how many will the Fillmore or Marquee blogs?

In the morning, I’m heading for Nairn to fill out the last years of that blog and then home to work on the house. I hate it when I waste time, there’s always a desire to try and salvage something. That’s where I went wrong here, desperate to prove that I could stage an exhibition here I totally mishandled things.

Finally though I feel I can wash my hands of this place and head back, out of “Narnia”, to reality. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

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

Birth

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

On Stage

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

In Custody

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

In Court

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

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

On Television

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

Death

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

Babble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 10th September):

Birth

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

On Tour

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

In Court

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

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

In Hospital

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

On Television

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

Death

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

Babble

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

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

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

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

 

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

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 30th August):

Birth

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

On Stage

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

In Court

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

In Hospital

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

On Television

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

Death

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

Babble

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

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

 

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

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 21st August):

Birth

1957. Budgie (Siouxsie And The Banshees) born Pete Clark in Lancashire.

On Tour

1976. The Mont De Marsan Festival is staged in a bullring south of Bordeaux by Marc Zermati, owner of Skydog Records. It is the first punk rock festival to be held in Europe and features The Count Bishops, The Damned, Nick Lowe, The Pink Fairies, Little Bob Story and The Tyla Gang.

En-route to the festival, Ray Burns of The Damned buys a trendy shirt with epaulettes. Later, when he’s wearing it, he fools around pretending to be an airline pilot saving his plane from certain doom. One of his colleagues shouts out, “It’s fucking Captain Sensible“. The name sticks.

In Court

1998. Jim Kerr‘s brother Paul is jailed for two years at the High Court in Edinburgh follwing an arson attack on the home of Radio Tay DJ John Darroch on July 18th 1997. The former Simple Minds tour manager had originally been charged with the attempted murder of 18 year old Karen Darroch and other occupants of the house in Broughty Ferry but this was later reduced to wilfully setting fire to a settee and attempting to set fire to the house to the danger of the occupants. The attack was the culmination of a two year dispute over a shop bought from Darroch in Blairmore, Argyll. Paul Kerr had bought the property with the intention of settling down after years on the road. Unfortunately, the business didn’t take off for him and he claimed that he had been conned by Darroch.

In Hospital

1994. According to The News Of The World, Sinead O’Connor has been having treatment at the London Priory psychiatric hospital. In an article published today entitled, “Sinead Cracks Up”, the paper alleges that she has being undergoing intensive therapy at the £ 350 a day clinic.

On Television

1998. Rockpalast (WDR, Germany) Portishead; Tindersticks; P.J. Harvey; Fun Lovin’ Criminals; The Bluetones; Chumbawumba; The Jesus And Mary Chain; H-Blockx; Such A Surge; Thumb (Bizarre Festival, Butzweiler Hof, Koln). Here’s P.J. with “Electric Light”. 4m 50s.

Death

1975. Country guitarist Sam McGee dies in Franklin, Tennessee.

 

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