From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 13th September):
1977. Fiona Apple born Fiona Apple Maggart in New York City.
1999. Marcelo Rodriguez, the Beverly Hills cop who arrested George Michael for committing a lewd act in a public toilet, files a $ 10 million lawsuit against the singer. The policeman claims he’s been slandered in interviews and made mockery of a music videos.
All At Sea
1993. An R.A.F. helicopter and the local lifeboat are scrambled when Paul McCartney‘s 16 year old son, James, disappears in heavy seas while surfing with friends after school. He’s swept out to sea from a dangerous sandbar off Camber Sands near Rye in Kent but washed ashore three-quarters of a mile down the coast unhurt but exhausted.
1965. Ringo Starr‘s wife, Maureen, gives birth to the couple’s first child at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London. The baby boy will be called Zak. After visiting his wife and child, Ringo told reporters, “We’ve chosen the name because it’s short”. It’s also said they picked the name because the couple liked Westerns.
1975. Disco (ZDF, West Germany) 57. Hank The Knife + The Jets; Adam + Eve; Sweet; Olga Garcia; Roland Kaiser; Albert Hammond; Vicky Leandros; Rubettes. Here’s Albert Hammond with “Down By The River”. 3m 17s.
1996. Tupac Amaru Shakur (aka Makaveli) dies from a drive-by shooting in New York.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 1st September):
1955. Bruce Foxton (The Jam) born in Woking, England.
1979. It’s revealed that the stage for tonight’s performance at Edinburgh’s Rock Festival had to be specially designed as the headlining act, Van Morrison, suffers from Vertigo if the stage is more than six feet high. Promoters for the festival, at Ingleston Showgrounds, said both the singer and the audience would be happy with the stage. Morrison’s problem came to light earlier in the year when he played Glasgow’s Apollo Theatre. During the show he never left the safety of the piano as the only other microphone was too close to the edge of one of Britain’s tallest stages!
1999. An acrimonious three year legal battle between George Clinton and his former talent agent comes to an end in Los Angeles Superior Court. Clinton had originally been sued by the agent, Earl Ciccel, who claimed wrongful termination of his services. Clinton counter sued when he discovered Ciccel was not properly licensed as an agent and claimed back all monies collected on his behalf. Although Clinton won that suit, Ciccel was today succesful in getting a motion barring its enforcement on the basis that the court had already ruled in his favour regarding the original suit. Both parties will now have to share the legal expenses for the past three years.
1967. The House Of Keys, the lower house of the Manx (Isle Of Man) Parliament is forced to accept the British government’s ban on pirate radio stations. Mr. Charles Keruish, Speaker of The House Of Keys, said the British government may have the legal right to impose its will but lacked any moral justification. He said, “It’s the first time that the mother country has forced unwanted legislation on the island, and that makes it the blackest day in the history of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Isle Of Man”. As a result of the legislation, residents of the island have been banned from assisting Radio Caroline International which is moored 4 miles off Ramsay. Ronan O’Rahilly, head of the Radio Caroline organisation, said the station would get its supplies from the continent and would not be leaving the area.
1980. Disco (ZDF, West Germany) 113. Eruption; Chris Roberts; Spider Murphy Gang; Ingrid Peters; Secret Service; Gitte; Oliver Onions; Olivia Pascal; Stefan Waggershausen; Village People. Here are Secret Service with “10 O’Clock Postman”. 3m 38s.
2008. Country singer, songwriter and actor Jerry Reed (born Jerry Reed Hubbard) died in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications from emphysema, aged 71.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Tuesday 19th August):
1943. Billy J. Kramer born William Howard Ashton in Bootle, Lancashire.
1965. As The Beatles arrive at Houston Airport in Texas, 5,000 fans break through police lines and rush towards their chartered plane. Luckily, a catering truck is backed up to the aircraft and the boys are ferried to safety. Promoter Bill Weaver said that the security force assembled to ensure the group’s safety was larger than that used by President Johnson when he was in the city. Sell out audiences of 12,000 at each of tonight’s shows will earn The Beatles £ 30,050. The city authories, who own the Coliseum where the concerts are taking place, have demanded a $ 10,000 (£ 3,500) damage bond from the promoter.
1981. Neil Tennant meets Chris Lowe for the first time in an electronics shop in London’s Kings Road. Finding a common interest in dance music, the pair start writing together, eventually forming a duo called West End. That name soon gets dropped in favour of Pet Shop Boys, a name they had jokingly used to refer to some friends who worked in an Ealing pet shop.
In The Press
1976. Glasgow’s Evening Times runs a headline, “Ramones In Teenage Glue Death Outrage”. The paper claims that the band advocates the habit of sniffing glue. A local member of parliament, James Dempsey, tries to have the band’s first album banned from Scottish stores.
1972. The Midnight Special (NBC, U.S.A.) Pilot show. Host: John Denver. Guests: Argent; Harry Chapin; David Clayton Thomas; ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot; The Everly Brothers; The Isley Brothers. Here’s Argent with “Hold Your Head Up”.
1996. Gospel-rock drummer Steve Marsh (Elim Hall, One Hundred Days) dies of liver cancer, first diagnosed in June.
Music Paper From Today
Record Mirror from 19th August 1972. A copy taken from Rockmine’s almost complete run of U.K. music papers from the last 45 years.
The first thing I have to do today, is apologize. Somehow, I managed to put today’s blog (i.e. Tuesday 19th August) up in place of yesterday’s. I didn’t realise until late last night and decided to leave it for the morning. So, here I am correcting a rather idiotic mistake.
Apart from that, there’s little to report today. The Ballerina Ballroom Blog is getting a lot of interest. Whether that’s as a result of my flyer and poster blitz of Nairn remains to be seen. I have started to feature the regular bands that played there and have reworked it so it’s easier to navigate. The trouble is it just keeps giving me more work! All the video clips I’ve added to it will now have to be added to the index of clips on the Rockmine TV pages. No rest for the wicked. Oh well, I better get on…
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 18th August):
1941. Johnny Preston (singer of “Running Bear”) born John Preston Courville in Port Arthur, Texas.
1980. Half an hour before The Police are due onstage at the Parc des Sports d’Aguilerra in Biarritz, France, Stewart Copeland is hit with a severe attack of food poisoning. His place at the drum stool is taken by his drum roadie, Jeff Seitz. No-one in the audience seems to notice.
1965. Three members of Herman’s Hermits are delayed at Manchester Airport on their return from a U.S. tour. The three were held for two hours by customs men who confiscated the gold watches they’d been given by their American agent. Derek Leckenby, Karl Green and Keith Hopwood said they didn’t realise that they had to declare gifts. The watches were valued at £ 50 each.
1967. Mr. Washa Ngwanamashala, an official with the Tanzanian national dance troupe, claims that the music of The Beatles is taken from the rhythms of the Wasukuma tribe in the Lake Victoria region of northern Tanzania. He said Beatles music was so popular in Tanzania because people recognised the “twang beat” as their own.
1966. Top Of The Pops (BBC-1, U.K.) Introduced by Pete Murray. Chris Andrews, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers; Ken Dodd (promo film); Manfred Mann; Napoleon XIV; The Alan Price Set; The Beatles (on disc) The Mamas & The Papas (promo film); The Small Faces. Here are The Mamas and the Papas with the promo film for “I Saw Her Again” which was screened tonight.
2007. Recording engineer Roy Wallace dies in London, aged 80. He developed stereophonic sound for the Decca Recording Company in the fifties.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday 17th August):
1939. Ed Sanders (The Fugs) born in Kansas.
1999. Alan Longmuir (ex Bay City Rollers) appears at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. The former drummer, now aged 48, faced two charges of possessing indecent material of children, one of making indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs and two charges of possessing cannabis at his Edinburgh home. Longmuir denied all charges. The hearing was adjourned.
1995. Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode) slashes his wrists at his home in Los Angeles. He is taken to the Cedars Sinai Hospital in the city where he is treated and his mental condition is evaluated. He is kept in the hospital to assess his mental competence before being discharged on August 22nd.
1969. King Curtis is buried. The funeral is conducted by the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Among the mourners are Duane Allman, Brook Benton, Aretha Franklin, Cissy Houston and Stevie Wonder.
1969. Hee-Haw (CBS, U.S.A.) 9. Jerry Lee Lewis; Conway Twitty; Buck Owens and the Buckaroos; Roy Clark; Susan Raye. Here’s “The Killer” with “What Made Milwakee Famous”. 2m 29s.
1973. Paul Williams of The Temptations is found wearing only swimming trunks in his car with a bullet through his head. He’s dead and although there’s no note, it’s probably suicide. He’d suffered from serious depression and drug abuse for many years.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 16th August):
1945. Kevin Ayers born in Herne Bay, Kent.
1997. The Prodigy stop their gig at Leeds V97 Festival when they see fans being crushed in front of the stage. Keith Flint and Maxim jump into the pit to help security pull fans to safety. Two fans are hospitalised but Leeds City Council praise the actions of the band in helping to avert a major tragedy.
1999. Thides Leasing Corporation file a $ 158,000 lawsuit against The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, claiming that the purple one has yet to pay for a tour bus used by him between May and October 1998. The leasing company also claims that the bus was booked for another 7 months but unused. During that time, they were unable to use the bus for any other clients. $ 42,000 is being sought for touring time and a further $ 116,000 for unpaid fees and lost revenue for the 7 months idle time.
1989. Pete Townshend impales his hand on the tremolo arm of his guitar during the final song of The Who‘s gig at the Tacomadome in Tacoma, Washington. He is rushed to hospital but surgeons find he has escaped any damage.
Sorry, there’s no TV clip today. I’ve been trying to search YouTube on a laptop with mobile broadband and there’s just not enough bandwidth. I’ll have something online tomorrow.
1938. “King Of The Delta Blues”, Robert Johnson dies “outside” Greenwood, Mississippi, aged 27. On August 13th, Johnson played his last recorded gig at the “Three Forks” juke joint. Many believe that after playing the owner gave Johnson a glass of poisoned whiskey for having seduced his wife. Here’s a copy of the death certificate obtained in 1996:
I hate pipe bands! Normally I manage to keep clear of them but I think every one of them in the North East of Scotland tried to torment me this afternoon. About 5 p.m., Nairn was invaded by dozens of them, skirling and drumming. What the Hell am I doing here.
I reckon there are only two people up here who could cope with the cacophony. One of the workmen in last week had left his tobacco tin on a ledge in the ballroom. His cigarettes didn’t just contain tobacco but some herbal remedy or other. Anyway, two kids rode their bicycles into the ballroom to ask what was going on and while one was asking all sorts of sensible question, the other nicked the tin. Some teenagers are having fun this week!
Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’m meant to be watching a film. I’ll be back to normal tomorrow. One good thing is that I won’t be driving up here all the time any more. I will, of course, keep the Ballerina Ballroom Blog going.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 15th August):
1951. Hard rocker (Captain Beyond, Armaggedon) turned one-hit balladeer (“What You Can’t Do For Love”) turned million selling songwriter (“The Next Time I Fall”) turned musical actor (“The Rat Pack”) Bobby Caldwell born in Manhattan, New York.
On The Road
1970. Derek McEwen, 32 year-old co-promoter of the Yorkshire Pop, Blues & Jazz Festival goes missing only hours after the event is abandoned because of bad weather. His car is spotted later in the morning on a Yorkshire/Lancashire motorway. Along with the other promoter, Brian Highley, it’s thought that McEwen shares a loss of £ 12,000 on the event. A police search is later mounted of the moors near Scammonden Bridge close to his last sighting.
1967. 19 year old telephonist, Deirdre Meehan, arrives outside Buckingham Palace at 3.30 p.m. and proceeds to chain herself to the railings. She then tells onlookers that she doesn’t have a key for the set of handcuffs that she’s used. After 20 minutes standing in the rain, a police van pulls up and she’s quickly released before being ordered home. Deirdre and her 20 year old flat mate, Pat Cameron, have just returned from delivering a letter of protest to Prime Minister Harold Wilson while he was holidaying on the Isles Of Scilly. The girls are protesting at the order to deport two Australian members of The Bee Gees from the U.K.
1997. Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian Rosenfield is arrested after breaking into the New York Yankees’ training camp at Legend’s Field in Tampa, Florida. He and his girlfriend, 23 year old Angela Roberts, are charged with burglary and grand theft after being caught on video trying to carry a large foam mat bearing the team’s logo to their car. The couple are released on bail of $ 7,500 each after spending 6 hours in jail. Rosenfield later explains that he’s been a life-long Yankees fan and while he’s sorry he did have a great time running around the bases. He blamed the prank on too much wine.
1984. Norman Petty, Buddy Holly‘s manager and record producer dies in Lubbock Texas, aged 57. He ceased to be Holly’s manager in 1958 after disagreements over songwriting royalties (Petty claimed a percentage of all Holly’s royalties) and Buddy’s marriage. That didn’t stop him continuing to re-release material and milk the legend of his client up to his death.
It’s finally over! I gave up! After another fruitless day in Nairn trying to find last minute premises for my rock memorabilia exhibition, I realised it was turning into a waste of time.
By the time I’d got back to the office in the evening, I’d decided to get a new blog up. One for the Ballerina Ballroom and all the bands that played there. So far I’ve got a full listing for 1966 and half of 1967 along with period clips of some of the biggest names that played there. I say some because the real gem I discovered was a clip of The Poets from Shindig! A must-see if you’re even vaguely interested in the British Beat Boom of the mid sixties.
I’m hoping to add a selection of adverts and pics of the Scottish bands that gigged there. All I’ve got to do is get them scanned and up. What I really want though is feedback from the folk that went to the ballroom. That’s where the real social history in this lies. The blog’s late up today as I’ve been working on that and also flyers to get in the Ballerina during the film festival which starts this afternoon.
I’d like to think of the blog as a virtual fringe event. You can check it out for yourselves here.
Strangely, the highlight yesterday was probably sitting in a wine bar in Nairn with a guy who was giving the gossip on what REALLY goes on in this sleepy wee town in the North of Scotland. Trouble is, I’m not sure I believe any of it. Think I’ll stick to what I know – sex and dogs and rock ‘n’ roll.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 14th August):
1941. David Crosby born David Van Cortland in Los Angeles.
1965. Composer Leonard Bernstein takes his two children to see The Beatles rehearse for tonight’s “Ed Sullivan Show”. The moment the group walked onstage the fans erupted and it was impossible to hear any of the songs. Bernstein later told reporters, “I think it’s shocking because they’re so good and I didn’t have a chance to hear them”.
1970. Stephen Stills is arrested after being found crawling through a San Diego motel in an incoherent state. He is later released on $ 2,500 bail.
1983. Joey Ramone requires emergency brain surgery after being viciously kicked in a New York street fight by Seth Micklaw, member of punk band Sub Zero Construction. The fight, outside Johnny’s house, was over his girlfriend Cynthia “Roxy” Whitney. Arriving back at his house in a limo, Ramone saw his girlfriend and confronted them both. A brief fist fight followed before Micklaw got Ramone on the ground and started kicking him with his steel toe-capped boots. Police attending the scene tell Johnny to seek urgent medical help but he refuses. He collapses soon after and is rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital where he undergoes four hours of surgery to remove blood clots from the brain.
1971. Disco (ZDF, West Germany) 6. Midlle Of The Road; Susan Shirley; Mungo Jerry; Frumpy; J. Bastos; Status Quo; Ireen Sheer; McGuiness Flint; The Who; Drafi Deutscher. I decided to go for two clips today. The first is Status Quo’s, “Tune To The Music” in which Francis Rossi makes absolutely no attempt to get near the mic when miming. The other is Frumpy with “Life Without Pain”.
1988. Robert Calvert (Hawkwind) dies of a heart attack at his home in Margate.
It’s an early start today. Well, the blog’s not usually up this early. I’m heading north again to Nairn. Having found the solicitor that handles the shop across from the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams Festival, I did expect to hear from him yesterday. As I didn’t, I think the best thing is to go see the man in person.
If I can get something sorted, I’ll have to go into hyperdrive to get back up and hung for tomorrow but I’ll just have to see what happens. I think if I could get open for Saturday that would be fine as it’s the Highland Games in Nairn and the town should be mobbed. Whether any of those attending are even interested in rock memorabilia is another matter. As usual, I’ll keep you posted.