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The last week should have seen me working in the house. There’s painting, plastering and varnishing to do but with Friday’s daytime temperature a chilly -8 C, it will have to wait.

It’s meant I’ve been huddled over a heater in front of the computer and working on my various blogs that haven’t had any attention paid to them for ages. The Rockmine Television one is very nearly finished. I’ve only got 2009 and the start of this year to do and that will be every U.K. number one up. At the moment, along with the Eurovision Winners, it amounts to 1157 videos.

I would have completed it had I not been distracted looking for festival footage. I started collecting rock video in 1982 and have cupboards full of video tapes that would take me years to digitize and as a result, I’ve become rather bored by the whole thing, or so I thought. A casual trawl through YouTube once again got me excited about video.

You mention festivals and everyone will say Woodstock, Isle Of Wight, Glastonbury, Reading, Knebworth, Phoenix, T In The Park, the Hyde Park Free Festivals and many more. Material from all of them is available but I discovered was there was footage of Fehmarn Isle, Bilzen Jazz ’67, ’68 & ’69, Windsor ’67, Copenhagen Jazz ’68, Rome ’68 and even Kastival ’68!

I know it’s rather sad to say it but I got rather excited by that. I went looking for footage of the Sunbury Festival in England and found another of the same name in Australia that I’d never even heard of. And I call myself a rock music archivist! There is just SO MUCH stuff out there! It really is a video collector’s dream. So, while I haven’t yet finished one listing, I’m adding masses of stuff for the next one. There are people who would say that sums me up perfectly but, hey! what the hell…

Having put a posting up several days ago, I was completely taken aback when my stats rocketed. It’s very strange to discover that the key to the blogs is just to be me. When I started www.rockmine.com back in 1995, I shut myself in my office for several days while I got to grips with HTML and then just put up the stuff that interested me. Somehow, over the years, I forgot that.

Many years ago, Radio One’s “Newsround” did a piece on me. I was the last article on it and it went straight back into Nicky Campbell, who described me as “anally retentive”. Fine praise from a James Bond collector! I prefer to remember Mick Wall who, when he was editor of Classic Rock, came to visit the archive with the board of directors of Future Publishing and called me “the real deal”. The editor of Total Guitar said I was “the God of anoraks”. Oh, happy days!

Yet here I am snowed in, wondering what on earth I’m doing in the wilds of Perthshire with a garage and a house full of books and papers when all I really need is in my head. Mid-life crisis is really no excuse for the amount of time I’ve taken to remember that! Back in 1975, I was working on a college project that needed a slogan or dictum. Being a pretentious sod, I came up with “If religion is the opiate of the people, then rock music is marijuana for the masses”. Somehow, I forgot that myself.

If you want to get up, or get down, get maudlin or melancholic, energized or ecstatic, music can get you there. Since I was a kid, I’ve known that and yet it’s so easy to lose track of the simple constants and truths we hold dear. Oddly, in amongst more than 1,000 number ones, I found songs to do all of those things and songs that took me back to so many moments in my past. There are even songs I hated that had other memories attached that give them significance way beyond their artistic value.

That’s what makes rock and pop wonderful. There are tracks today that don’t do anything for me and yet they’ll be no less significant for someone twenty or thirty years from now than the music that I still listen to. The secret may just to be open to everything. That’s what made John Peel such a great DJ, he listened to everything with an open mind and an open heart.

If music touches you, it doesn’t matter who it’s by, or what it is. All you can say is that you feel it.

From the Rockmine Almanac for today (Monday, 19th January):

Birth

1949. Robert Palmer born in Batley, Yorkshire.

On Stage

1994. The Animals, The Band, Duane Eddy, The Grateful Dead, Elton John, John Lennon, Bob Marley and Rod Stewart are inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at a ceremony in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Jerry Garcia can’t make it, so the rest of The Grateful Dead take along a cardboard cut-out of him instead. John Lennon was inducted by Paul McCartney who made a public display of reconciliation when he hugged Yoko Ono.

In Court

1999. Rapper Bizzy Bone‘s assault trial opens in Columbus, Ohio. The Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member (real name Byron McCane) is charged with assault and disorderly conduct and could face up to six months in prison and a fine of $ 1,000. It’s alleged that Bone , accompanied by two bodyguards, confronted student barber Terrance Harden and accused him of slandering him. In the course of a heated discussion Harden is said to have lunged at the rapper but been restrained by the bodyguards. Harden’s story, which the City Prosecutor believes, says that he was dragged down a flight of stairs sustaining “visible injuries”. Neither of the bodyguards has been charged in connection with the assault.

In Hospital

1978. An unconscious Sid Vicious is carried off a flight from Los Angeles to New York on a stretcher after taking pills and alcohol during the flight. He is taken to New York’s Jamaica Hospital where, after being given oxygen and an intravenous drug antidote, he recovers to semi-consciousness. A spokesman for the hospital says, “He said he was feeling fine but his eyes were rolling about in his head”. Its thought that Sid may have travelled to New York to see Johnny Rotten who arrived in the city on January 18th claiming he had left the band.

On Television

2005. The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Syndicated, U.S.A.) 255. Guests include Wyclef John who performs with the African Children’s Choir, singing their Golden Globe-nominated theme song, “Million Voices” from the movie “Hotel Rwanda.”

Death

2008. Singer-songwriter John Stewart dies in San Diego, California. He was a member of The Kingston Trio, wrote “Daydream Believer” for The Monkees and produced a collection of highly regarded solo albums through his career. Check out “Fire In The Wind” for a taste of the man at his best.

Bbabble

I’ve spent the last couple of days listening to Bruce Springsteen‘s new album, “Working On A Dream”. It has all the feel of a “real” E-Street Band album and the clips available on Amazon show The Boss enjoying himself in the studio, trading chops with old friends. 

It’s got a feel-good feeling to it and the more I listen to it, the more I warm to it but something rankles me about it. I don’t know if it’s a cynicism that’s dogging me over it. I’d like to be listening to it when a new president wasn’t just about to take power in America. It seems laden with hope, from its title onwards.

In interviews, Springsteen has said that The American Dream had been lost but now with Obama, we see that it can be achieved. I worry that even more than with “Born In The USA”, this work will be misunderstood or misinterpreted. My basic distrust of politics has always seen me believe that rockers should be protesting, not encouraging us to believe in anything.

Newsclips last night showed Bruce on the steps of The Capitol singing “The Rising”. I hope the coming days and weeks see his faith in America strengthened and not shattered as politicians have so often done before.

His finest work charted growing up in America’s industrial heartland. He now faces his greatest challenge, to give voice to the millions affected by economic hardship and job losses. Rich, secure middle America has seen its world shattered. Regardless of what happens in The White House, it certainly needs hope in the future.  

As for the album itself, I’ll be back with a review tomorrow.

 

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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 (Sunday, 18th January):

Birth

1941. Bobby Goldsboro born in Marianna, Florida.

On Stage

1973. The Rolling Stones play a concert at the Los Angeles Forum to aid victims of the Nicaraguan earthquake. The gig grosses $ 516,810 the largest box office receipt for a charity show until that time.

In Custody

1985. Jerry Garcia is bust by cops while he freebases cocaine in his car in Golden Gate Park. He will be ordered into a rehab programme and instructed to play a benefit concert for the Haight-Ashbury Free Food Programme.

In Court

1980. Japanese prosecutors obtain a court order to detain Paul McCartney for another 10 days shortly before the 48 hours they have to charge a subject was due to run out. They have still not decided whether to charge the ex-Beatle or deport him. Despite being in handcuffs whenever he’s moved around Tokyo, Paul’s local lawyer, Tasuku Matsuo, said that he’s being treated quite well but is not being allowed visitors apart from a brief meeting with his wife on January 16th. According to promoter Harvey Goldsmith, Linda is “rather distraught, completely frustrated and confused”. It’s also been said that Paul will willingly perform for free for the 100,000 people who have tickets for the now cancelled Japanese tour.

On Television

1976. Rockpalast (WDR, West Germany) Climax Blues Band (WDR, Studio A, Köln). Here they are with “All The Time In The World”

Death

1990. Mel Appleby (Mel And Kim) dies in London’s Cromwell Hospital. Although she had struggled for five years against a rare form of spinal cancer, she died from pneumonia which developed after she caught the common cold.

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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 (Friday, 16th January):

Birth

1970. Brendan O’Hare (Teenage Fanclub) born in Belshill, Scotland.

In Custody

1970. Police raid the exhibition of John Lennon‘s lithographs which opened yesterday. They confiscate eight of the lithographs claiming they are erotic and obscene.

In Court

1989. 26 year old pub “bouncer”, Kenneth Simmons, is fined £ 200 and ordered to pay £ 300 compensation at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after an assault on Fish and his friend Robbie The Pict. The trial follows an incident at the Kasbar pub in the city’s Cowgate on August 14th last year. Fish told the court that he was knocked unconscious by a single blow from Simmon’s plaster cast arm, complete with aluminium fingers. When he came to he had been badly cut; there was “a lot of blood”.

In Hospital

1998. James Brown is admitted to hospital in South carolina suffering from the effects of addiction to painkillers. A report in the Augusta Chronicle says the “Godfather Of Soul” was served with court papers ordering his hospitalisation. Brown’s agent, Jeff Allen, declined to comment but confirmed that sheriff’s deputies had taken guns from the singer’s house.

On Television

2004. Late Show With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Show #2108. Musical guest: Christina Aguilera sings “Walk Away.”

Death

1973. Gospel singer Clara Ward (The Ward Sisters) dies in Los Angeles a week after suffering a stroke and falling into a coma. She was 48.

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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):

Birth

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!

Death

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 (Wednesday, 14th January):

Birth

1938. Allen Toussaint born in New Orleans, Louisiana.

On Stage

1963. Charlie Watts takes the drum-stool for the first time with The Rolling Stones at the Flamingo Jazz Club in London’s Wardour Street. He had been approached by Mick Jagger to join the band the week before but hadn’t been sure. Charlie was used to working for money, which the stones didn’t have – but as he didn’t have anything else lined up, he took the job.

In Court

1981. Marianne Faithfull fails to appear at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court in London to answer charges (in her married name of Brierley) of possessing 15 milligrammes of heroin and 900 milligrammes of cannabis at her flat in Danvers Street, Chelsea. Her solicitor told the court she had been admitted to hospital for the removal of a wisdom tooth. The case is continued until February 17th.

In Hospital

1994. Tammy Wynette performs with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in Arizona despite the fact she had to leave hospital for the performance. She was struck by a life-threatening bile duct infection in the new year and was on a life support machine for four days remaining in a critical condition until recently.

On Television

1987. Late Night With David Letterman (CBS, U.S.A.) Musical guest: Joan Jett

Death

1970. Songwriter Harry Woods (“When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin’ Along”) dies after a car crash in Phoenix, Arizona aged 73.

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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 (Tuesday, 13th January):

Birth

1952. Cornelius Bumpus (The Doobie Brothers) born.

On Tour

1989. Much to the annoyance of local police, Duran Duran end their concert at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia by asking the 10,000 fans to sing along with their newly-penned song, “Free James Brown“. They’re the latest stars to join the campaign to obtain a pardon for the 55 year old “Godfather Of Soul” who was given a six year prison sentence last month for assault and failing to stop during a car chase.

In Custody

1993. Bobby Brown is arrested in Augusta, Georgia for simulating a sex act onstage. This is the second time the Georgia police department have arrested the singer for the same offence.

In Court

2000. Puff Daddy (a.k.a. Sean “Puffy” Combs) and Anthony “Wolf” Jones are indicted by a Manhattan grand jury. Both men are charged with “criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree”. The charges relate to their arrest (along with Jennifer Lopez and rapper Jamail “Shyne” Barrow) on December 27th following a nightclub shooting in New York’s Times Square. Barrow has already been indicted with several offences, including attempted murder. Later in the day, Combs releases a statement declaring his innocence and announcing that he will be defended by Johnnie Cochran (one of the O.J. Simpson defence team).

On Television

1995. The Word (Channel 4, U.K.) Musical guests: Veruca Salt, MN8, Tricky. Here are Veruca Salt with “Number One Blind”.

Death

2007. Saxophonist Michael Brecker (The Brecker Brothers) dies in New York from leukemia, aged 59. He worked with Dire Straits, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor and Frank Zappa amongst others.

 

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