After Christmas, I started to think about my blogs and my website. I’d lost my direction with them and couldn’t get a handle on how to find one again. My website, Rockmine had been huge at one time but it became so big that it took up all my time. Knowing that was my dilemma. Did I invest more time in it or let it just stagnate in cyberspace, much like I’d been doing.
Rockmine had worked because it was me. I took my interests and compulsive list making and turned it into a website that other people liked. Trying to jump on bandwagons or follow trends wouldn’t work for me, so I had to get back to basics. I had to get back to what interests me and do something serious for a change.
On New Years Day, I knew what I wanted to do. I’ve had the Rockmine.TV domain for years but never used it and yet I would happily sit watching video on my computer than wile away hours in front of a television. The only problem I’ve ever had is that YouTube is full of stuff and finding what you want can be as frustrating as it is exciting.
The solution is a solution for me. I’ll take all my lists and add video to them. I find the clips once, and then I never need to bookmark anything again or go searching. It all just sits in one place. Being rather sad, I thought I’d start with two things I always get asked about – Eurovision Winners and U.K. Number One Singles. I once had all the number ones as singles but that was in another lifetime. Now, I can get rid of all the records and keep the website which is my latest blog – Rockmine Television.
At the time of writing this, there are 866 videos there. Every Eurovision Winner and all the U.K. Number One Singles from 1960 – 2000. While I’d really have loved to get more up by now, I don’t think that’s a bad job in 6 days. I would have done more but it is so easy to just sit and watch things you haven’t seen, sometimes for decades and remember how good or bad they were! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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 (Monday, 5th January):
1923. Sam Phillips, founder of Sun Records, born in Florence, Alabama.
1982. The Addicts are scheduled to be part of the line-up at London’s 100 Club tonight but are forced to drop out at the last minute after drummer Kid Dee (real name Michael Davison) breaks his collar bone while pogo-ing in the snow before the gig.
2000. One of Sean “Puffy” Combs entourage is indicted with attempted murder following a nightclub shooting in New York’s Times Square on December 27th. 21 year old Jamail “Shyne” Barrow is alleged to have shot and injured three people after a dispute. Barrow is also charged with assault, recless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. His lawyer, Murray Richman, sad the indictment had been expected and they would be defending the charges.
1987. Elton John is admitted to a hospital in Sydney, Australia for treatment of a non-malignent leison on his vocal chords. He is ordered not to speak for a while and cancels all remaining concerts of his world tour.
2006. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS, U.S.A.) 219. Guests include: Aimee Mann singing “She Really Wants You”.
1998. Congressman Sonny Bono dies aged 62 in a skiing accident at the Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, California. Cher‘s one-time partner in Sonny & Cher was reported missing at 5 p.m. and was found by a ski patrol two hours later.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 4th September):
1946. Greg Elmore (Quicksilver Messenger Service) born in San Diego, California.
2003. Aerosmith headlines the bill for a kick-off event before the first game of the American National Football League at the National Mall in Washington D.C. The concert is broadcast live by ABC and also features Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige and Aretha Franklin. The game that follows it is between the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets.
1989. Ozzy Osbourne appears at Beaconsfield Magistrates’ Court charged with threatening to kill his wife, Sharon. The rocker, who recently returned from a world tour was arrested on Saturday night (September 2nd) at his home and detained overnight in a cell at Amersham Police Station. At his hearing, Ozzy was remanded on bail on condition that he stay at a rehab clinic and neither contacts his wife or tries to go home.
1997. Paul Smith (Silver Sun) is taken to hospital after suffering blackouts and blurred vision. He’s treated for concussion (sustained when he fell from a lampost on London’s Blackfriars Bridge on September 2nd) and released later in the day.
2004. Parkinson (ITV, U.K.) 1. First show of the season. Razorlight perform “Golden Touch”. 4m 40s.
1991. Country singer Dottie West dies from injuries she suffered in a car crash five days ago. She was 58.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday 11th August):
1942. Mike Hugg (Manfred Mann) born in Andover, Hampshire.
1966. The Beatles arrive in Boston en route for Chicago, the first date of their US tour. A crowd of 500 teenagers is at the airport to greet them but didn’t see anything as they changed airplanes under close security.
Meanwhile, Representative Charles Iannello (Democrat), a member of the Massachusetts State House Of Representatives, tries to introduce a petition revoking The Beatles permit to play Boston during the tour. He asks the House, “Who are these four creeps to put themselves above the High and Almighty? Do you think they’ll do anything for the morals of our teenagers? We’ve got enough problems”. The motion is dismissed.
Later in the day, at a press conference in Chicago, John Lennon apologises for his “Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ” remark. After the statement, Tommy Charles, the disc jockey from Birmingham, Alabama, who started the Beatles ban, said his station accepted the apology and was cancelling a planned record burning. The South African Broadcasting Corporation said it would continue its ban, although Dr. Piet Meyer, chairman of the board of governers, said they would consider the apology.
1959. The four male members of The Platters are arrested and charged with lewdness and aiding and abetting prostitution after being found in a Cincinnati hotel with semi-naked women. They are later aquitted.
1978. P.J. Proby is cleared of causing actual bodily harm to his wife, when he appears at Hemel Hempstead Magistrate’s Court. The charge stemmed from an incident at the couple’s home in Northchurch, Herts., on April 29th when his wife alleged he shot her with an air pistol. The 39 year old pop singer was said to have committed the offence only a few days after being sacked from the starring role in the play, “Elvis”. Proby, appearing under his real name of James Marcus Smith, said that his wife had been “paralytic drunk” and had made up the story out of spite after he had discovered she was having an affair with a married man in Blackpool. When the verdict was announced, a handfull of female fans in the court started cheering.
2000. Late Show with David Letterman. (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guests: The Eels with “Flyswatter”. 4m 12s.
1984. Bluesman Percy Mayfield dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles, aged 64.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Sunday 10th August):
1967. The Bee Gees announce they are cancelling nightclub bookings in Germany this weekend. Two Australian members of the group have been ordered to leave Britain by the middle of September. If they were to leave the country before then it seems certain they would be barred from re-entering. Until the matter is settled, the group will not undertake any overseas concerts.
All At Sea
1965. An air-sea search is launched after a crewman goes missing overboard from a yacht chartered by Frank Sinatra. The singer is cruising the waters off New England with actresses Rosalind Russell and Claudette Colbert, their husbands and other guests. Among them is Mia Farrow, the 19 year old actress whose name has been romantically linked with Sinatra. The missing man, 23 year old Robert Goldfarb, is thought to have been lost when the boat’s dingy overturned.
1964. Mick Jagger is fined £ 32, and given two endorsements to his license, at Liverpool Magistrate’s Court for driving without insurance, being unable to produce a valid drivers’ license and driving at 48-50 m.p.h. in a 30 m.p.h. limit.
2003. The South Bank Show (ITV, U.K.) Tonight’s show features Nick Cave. Today’s clip will link to the other parts to give you the whole show. 10m 04s.
2002. Guitarist Michael Houser (Widespread Panic) dies at his home in Athens, Georgia as a result of complications related to his pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Barbette and son, Walker. Houser (40) last played with the band on July 2nd. Since leaving due to his worsening condition, guitar duties have been taken on by George McConnell a longtime friend of Michael and the rest of the group. With the announcement of his death comes news that his family are setting up the Michael Hauser Music Fund “as a living memorial to Michael and his love of music”.
I’m back in Elgin today and heading to Nairn soon. The plan to stage a memorabilia exhibition seems to have run into problems. With entrance to the cafe area being open to ticket holders only, public access is the main concern. Needless to say with strict fire safety laws, the number of people allowed in the venue at any time must be strictly adhered to.
With that in mind, I’m hoping either to find a compromise solution or see if one of the vacant shops near the Ballerina Ballroom can be used to house the show as a “fringe” event. I will, of course, keep you updated.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Saturday 9th August):
1954. Pete Thomas (The Attractions) born in Sheffield, Yorkshire.
1967. Drummer Colin Petersen and guitarist Vince Melouney of The Bee Gees have been ordered to leave Britain. The group’s personal manager, speaking today, said that the two men had been refused extensions to their visitor’s permits earlier this year. A spokesman for The Home Office said the men “came as visitors and were only given a visitor’s permit. If they had wanted to settle here permanently, they should have applied for a work voucher before they left Australia.
1967. The supply vessel for the Radio Scotland pirate ship is boarded by Sheriff’s Officers at Methil harbour and “arrested”. The action follows a legal claim by a Belfast company who say they have not been paid for repair work on the vessel. A spokesman for Radio Scotland said the payment had been delayed as it was the subject of an insurance claim. A notice attached to the ship’s mast barrs it from being moved from the harbour.
1973. Stevie Wonder regains consciousness at North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He was admitted on Monday, 6th August after the car he was travelling in collided with a logging truck. Doctors say he’s now recovering from bruising to the brain and no surgery will now be required.
1996. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #0639. Musical guest: Sex Pistols with “Pretty Vacant”. 3m 50s.
1995. Jerry Garcia (The Grateful Dead) dies at the Serenity Knolls drug treatment center in Forest Knolls, California. Frank Jordan, Mayor of San Francisco orders all city flags to be flown at half mast and a tie-dyed Dead flag flown above City Hall.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Friday 8th August):
1958. Chris “Chrissie Boy” Foreman (Madness) born in London.
1992. Metallica‘s James Hetfield is seriously injured by a pyrotechnic on stage at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. He is rushed to hospital where he is found to be suffering from second and third degree burns on the back of his left hand, and first degree burns on his right arm. Although he continues the tour as lead vocalist, he is unable to play guitar and a temporary replacement, Metal Church‘s John Marshall is brought in.
The concert later ends in a riot when Axl Rose walks off after only twenty minutes suffering from throat trouble. Fans set fire to parts of the stadium, destroy seating, and ransack shops before leaving. Outside, they overturn cars and uproot street lights. Police regain control using tear gas. Two police officers are taken to hospital, 20 people are injured and 25 arrested.
1983. Harold Melvin and three members of The Blue Notes are arrested on charges of possessiong cocaine in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They are bailed for $ 100,000.
1991. Eric Clapton is banned from driving and fined £ 200 at Guildford Magistrates Court. Clapton admitted speeding on the A3 near Wisley in Surrey in April. He had been driving his silver Ferrari at 103 miles an hour after visiting a friend to talk about the death of his son, Connor.
1994. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #0210. Musical guest: Celine Dion with “River Deep, Mountain High”. 4m 33s.
1975. Jazz great Julian “Canonball” Adderley dies of a stroke, aged 46.
As I said yesterday, I thought I’d give you a taste of what the exhibition space/cafe at the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams will look like. Here’s how it looked when I left on Wednesday:
I spent yesterday afternoon in Edinburgh grabbing some culture at the Festival and had a wonderful time at the city’s Fruitmarket Gallery. They were staging an exhibition called “The House Of Books Has No Windows” by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. There were six installations, each in their own room and it really was a delight. The highlight for me was “Opera For A Small Room”, a mixed media installation involving 8 record players, 24 loudspeakers and 2,000 records.
It was a celebration of the joy of being alone with a record collection and merged opera, the sounds of rain and a train, the footsteps of the mysterious inhabitant of the room and rock music. Set in a darkened space where often it was too dark to see where to move, it was a voyeuristic fantasy, constantly drawing you closer when the lights erupted. A doorway, several small windows and a large opening reminiscent of a recording studio window, allowed the viewer to glimpse the world of the inhabitant. Each viewing position revealed more quirky things illustrating the moods of the mysterious owner.
For any collector who struggles with piles and chaos it was a heartwarming evocation of life as we’d like to live it. Immersed, maybe even submerged within our collections, how much do we long to live our lives in the sounds we can manipulate? Definitely a must see.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Thursday 7th August):
1949. Tim Renwick (Quiver, Mike & The Mechanics) born in Cambridge, England.
1984. Death threats have been received by The Knoxville News Sentinel against Michael Jackson who is performing the first of two shows in the city tonight. The threats are taken seriously enough that the F.B.I. are called in. The F.B.I. think the threats are unfounded but organisers step up security all the same. Both tonight’s concert and another on the 9th pass off without incident.
1998. Bernard Ortiz, a homeless man who has been stalking Linda Ronstadt for three years, is sentenced to ten months in jail. It was his second time in court over the singer. He had previously been given three years probation and ordered not to contact Ronstadt or her family. He violated the probation after only three months, sending his “victim” a watch, candles and a letter on her birthday.
1997. Richard Marsh (Bentley Rhythm Ace) breaks his back during a parachute jump at Langar Airfield, Nottinghamshire. The jump was being filmed for the video of the band’s next single, “Bentley’s Gonna Sort You Out” but Marsh was caught by a gust of wind during landing and thrown heavily onto his back. He was taken to Nottingham General Hospital where doctors said he would make a full recovery but need three months rest.
1957. American Bandstand (ABC, U.S.A.) 3. Paul Anka; The Tassels. This was Paul Anka’s first network TV appearance in the U.S.A. Aged only 16, he performed his soon to be massive international number 1 hit, “Diana”. While I can’t guarantee this is the correct clip, it is the correct period and I’m a bit short of time today. 2m 13s.
1978. Les Perrin, publicist for The Rolling Stones and others, dies.
There’s not a huge amount to report since yesterday. I spent another three hours in the Heritage Centre in Elgin digging through microfiche copies of the Northern Scot newspaper. So far I’ve compiled a list from 1966 to 1970 of the bands that played the Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn.
Here’s a sample from July – December 1967:
July07 – Cream plus Newton’s Theory with its Go-Go Girls. The gig was cancelled when the van carrying the band’s equipment failed to turn up.
July10 – Cream return to play their concert.
July21 – Pink Floyd
July28 – Gino Washington and The Ram Jam Band plus The Copy Cats
August18 – The Small Faces – concert cancelled.
August31 – Zoot Money and his new group Dantalion’s Chariot plus The T-Set
September08 – The Freddie Mack Show
September15 – The Throb plus The Life N’ Soul
September22 – Tony Merrick plus The T-Set
October06 – The Who plus Gideon’s Few
October 13 – The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sound
October20 – The Four Shades Of Blue plus The T-Set
October27 – The Tamala Express plus The Beatroute
November03 – The Rhubarb plus The Barons
November10 –Clock-work Orange plus Last Chapter
November17 – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
December01 – The Delroy Williams Show plus Keith Taylor
December08 – The Troggs plus The Throb
December15 – Symon Dupree
December22 – Cash Boutique Queen For 1967. Grand Final
December25 – Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign present Their Xmas Beatnik Ball with The Circle plus The T-Set
December29 – The 1967 Last Fling with The Middle Earth plus The T-Set
I have to say it’s been a bit disappointing. While I wasn’t expecting a weekly or monthly catalogue of household names, they’ve so far been few and far between apart from the period above. That said, it paints an incredible picture of the constant touring of small to medium sized bands. The names that have stood out are the likes of Writing On The Wall, My Dear Watson, Spiggy Topes and Archemedes Principle. Now what i’m trying to do is find photos and adverts for some of them.
I went back to the Ballerina and found that John Byrne had more or less completed the area that will serve as exhibition space and festival cafe. I’ll get up some images either later today or tomorrow.
From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Wednesday 6th August):
1952. Pat MacDonald (Timbuk 3) born in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
1970. The “Popanalia” Festival in Nice, France becomes the second one in a week to be abandoned. It should have lasted 36 hours and featured Derek & The Dominoes, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine as headliners but turned into a riot when fans discovered that Soft Machine were refusing to play after being told they wouldn’t get their agreed fee. Only Joan Baez, Country Joe and Rare Bird actually performed before disgruntled fans stormed the stage. As well as throwing a grand piano off the stage, the mob also set fire to two mobile recording studios belonging to the broadcaster RTL.
1999. Following an incident at the city’s Music Hall on July 31st, misdemeanour assault charges are filed against Art Alexakis and Brian Lehfeldt of Everclear in Austin, Texas. Alexakis stormed off stage during the show after being hit by a plastic water cup. Security guards pulled a 17 year old girl to the front of the stage, claiming she was responsible. On his return, Alexakis is said to have thrown a plastic water bottle at the girl calling her, “a f***ing redneck bitch” while Lehfeldt kicked her.
1990. Kevin Rowland (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) is fined £ 50 and ordered to pay £ 25 costs at Marlborough Magistrates Court after admitting threatening behaviour. He was stopped by police in London’s Soho in the early hours of the morning with two others. Rowland and pal David Philips (Earth) had obviously been fighting as both had blood on their faces. Initially police just spoke to the men but shortly after being allowed to go, they started fighting again and were arrested. Another friend, Lawrence Coles was arrested for shouting and swearing.
1987. Late Night With Letterman (U.S.A.) Musical guest: Patty Smyth – “Isn’t It Enough” 4m 52s.
1973. Chicago Blues singer Memphis Minnie dies in a nursing home in Memphis, Tennessee.
A trip back to the Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn gave me a pleasant surprise. I was taking some memorabilia up to let John Byrne see the sort of stuff I planned to hang and walked in to discover he’d painted one wall with the wording “Rock Dreams”. It’s reproduced below but he said it would be “Improved on”. I can’t wait to see how it develops.
Yesterday, I gave a link to the myspace site for the Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams but the “official site” can be found here. As I said, I spent a few happy hours trawling through microfiche reels looking for a complete listing of gigs at the Ballerina. I got a couple of years done but one of the things confusing me is that it originally seems to have been in a different venue but I need to check that out. Needless to say, I’ll keep you posted with any developments.