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Riffs welcomes constant info on gigs, line-up changes and general band associated news.
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Here is a slice of Hartlepool’s one and only punky power pop group DisGuise from 1977 with a song inspired by seeing The Rezillos at Middlesbrough Rock Garden. This recording is by the mk2 line-up in which Jimmy McKenna on bass/vocal and Peter Scott on guitar/vocals are joined by Newcastle’s John Miller on drums, and was recorded by Steve Thompson at Impulse Studios, Wallsend in January 1979.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUxnuQ6B--Q&feature=youtu.be


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Interesting feedback from a highly-respected North-East guy who books bands for venues - if you're a band and someone leaves you a message to get back to him, it may just be a good idea to do so. Apparently, many bands lose the chance of a gig cos they just don't bother to return his call. Go figure...

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THE RED LION, MOORCOCK AND BOOKING BANDS...

Just heard from Ray, late of The Red Lion in Norton, Stockton, just to clarify some points as there has been some ch..ch...ch...changes to what we said originally; Ray is likely to be seen in the Moorcock in Peterlee on Friday nights - for no better reason than it's a bloody good night there. Ian from the Moorcock is still booking the bands for that venue, so no sweat any band that has a gig there, there is NO changes there. Secondly, although Ray is leaving the Red Lion, he may still be booking bands for the new tenants cos, well basically, he's bloody good at it, so why wouldn't he?!! Hope that clears things up and for those who suspect that Riffs got it wrong originally - just how very dare you?!! You know we never make misteaks.

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If you haven't yet got a ticket for the gig on 14th April to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of FREE, featuring no less than four superb bands, then panic no longer, as there will now be entry on door - and still at the bargain price of just £20. This is an annual event and is always memorable, but this special 50th anniversary gig at Wallsend Memorial Hall will be one for the history books.

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COME ON
PEEPS, PLAY THE GAME

It takes some doing keeping everything up to date here at Riffs and we do our very best and we know that a lot of you appreciate it. BUT, we are getting a growing number of bands/venues changing their gigs once added and uploaded and not letting us know. This does no-one any favours - in fact it harms your venue, your gig and our reputation - and that, as they say 'boils our piss'. If you are down for playing a venue on a certain date and then it is cancelled (for whatever reason) then LET US KNOW. Do not wait for the replacement band to inform us  - because then, in effect, we have TWO bands down for playing the same venue on the same date. When this happens we used to show both bands, but we decided that was not helpful at all so now we show neither. Checking your gig listing helps but it's surprising how many bands/venues just don't bother. Riffs strives to be as accurate as humanly possible but if we have a query concerning a gig listing then I'm afraid we have no option but to ignore that listing. We'd rather not host it than to mislead our readers.
Not so long ago, Lara, from American Girl was messed about by various venues one apocalyptical weekend and had a string of alterations, amendments and cancellations and apologised profusely to Riffs for messing us about. As we said to Lara and we say to you: 'You never mess us about by letting us know, no matter how many times, of alterations. You only mess us about when you don't'.


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'IN 1968 FOUR YOUNG MEN AGREED TO MEET UP FOR A JAM SESSION . . .'
The saying, 'Doesn't time fly by as you get older' really does seem to ring true for many of us and particularly when looking back to 50 years.
Some  news making the headlines in 1968: Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4th April 1968. London bridge was sold to the US for £1million on the 18th April 1968 and The Beatles set up their own record label in Abbey Road Studios.
Whilst only 6 miles away from The Beatles coming and goings, unannounced, on Friday 19th April 1968  at a pub in Battersea in a small corner of London, four young men had arranged to meet for a jam session, the names of those individuals;
Andy Fraser, Bass player (15years of age), Paul Kossoff,  Guitarist (17)  Paul Rodgers Vocalist and Simon Kirke Drummer (both 18). After a blistering evening of playing blues, they decided there and then to form a band and soon after settled on the name FREE. And by November 1968 they had recorded their first album: 'Tons of Sobs'. 
They went on to become one of the biggest-selling British blues rock groups; by the time the band split in 1973, they had sold more than 20 million albums and had played more than 700 arena and festival concerts. Their most famous song "All Right Now"  topped a 2010 online fan poll by UK radio station Planet Rock for the "Greatest Rock single". Rolling Stone has referred to the band as "British hard rock pioneers".The magazine ranked Rodgers No. 55 in its list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time", while Kossoff was ranked No. 51 in its list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Bill Flynn has been organising 'The Annual Free Convention' since 1986 which is a live music event honouring his heroes. 'Thirty two years ago it was impossible to find a Free tribute band' explained Bill. Since that first event Bill has seen a gradual rise in bands playing Free's music, and these days he is inundated with requests to play at the annual event; 'There is nothing quite like the atmosphere of  a Free Convention where both musicians and fans share an evening of such affection for the band's music' said Bill. Recent Highlights have seen original member Simon Kirke playing at the 2014 Convention and particularly poignantly for Bill was Andy Fraser who came in 2013 to play in the North East for the first time in 38 years, this turned out to be a  record attendance for any Free Convention and as a result many fans got their one and only chance to meet and see their hero up close. Sadly Andy passed away in 2015.
This year's show is being held at
Wallsend Memorial Hall on Saturday 14th April (doors open 6pm) and will feature 4 live bands. Bill explained: 'This year will be extra special as a very fine band is making the long and arduous journey from Japan specially to play the 'Tons of Sobs' album in its entirety'. - which to Bill's knowledge has never been attempted before in a live setting.
Bill is in contact with the surviving members of
Free; namely Simon Kirke and Paul Rodgers and they regularly support the event with merchandise to help with a charity raffle and both have gone on record to thank Bill for his loyal support over so many years.
Tickets are available priced £20 directly from Bill and he can be contacted on 01282 868352 /07948 017380 or email freeconvention@aol.com.
Riffs would like to remind our very generous readers that not only is this an intimate evening soaking up an atmosphere of Free music and vibes - but Bill is, as always, donating all profits to The Northern Brainwave Appeal. So make an effort to creep along and listen to some songs of yesterday.....

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Well, the 28th has come and gone and not one support band for Soulville at the Golden Fleece has come forward! I don't know; some bands just don't want publicity..so we'll hand over to someone who needs and deserves it - over to you Bill....

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WE DOFF OUR HATS TO YOU

Apparently, some bads just don't like publicity! Local guys
Soulville are headlining an evening of music to raise badly-needed funds for cystic fibrosis [Wednesday 28th at The Golden Fleece in Silksworth] - but the support acts remain elusive. We raise our musical hats to all bands who give so freely of their time and skills to support charities so please - let us know who you are and you can have our heartfelt appreciation . . .

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THE NORTON LION ROARS NO MORE

Bit of sad news concerning the Red Lion in Norton. They are one of the few (if the only) pubs that put on midweek gigs but, sadly, the tenancy is being taken over on the 16th of April and the new tenant is ceasing all live bands. So the last three gigs in April will be

Monday April .2nd....THE PHAT TYRTLES.

April ..9th....AUDIO SOULS.

April..16th..GRAHAM RUSSELL HUNTER.
Ray, from the Lion, is moving to The Moorcock in Peterlee and Riffs understand he may be arranging their Friday nights live gigs. It is interesting to note what Ray had to say about booking midweek bands: 'I'm sure if the bands of today halved their fee for Monday to Thursday gigs instead of saying "we never go out for less than £250" (because they have never done a midweek gig), then a few pub managers would give it a go. I tell them midweeks are different to weekend gigs, people come out to sit and listen to bands during the week, and the pubs don't get full like weekends are, but they don't seem to take it in.'
So, after 20 years at the Lion, Ray is shutting up shop. Our own rock legend Russ Tippins got one of his very first gigs twenty years ago at the Lion - from Ray's daughter who had just took over the venue.
I think pub landlords/owners/tenants are like car mechanics - when you find a good, fair and honest one you stick by them like glue. Riffs wishes Ray all the luck in the world at the Moorcock, and will always give him our full and continued support.


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How chuffed is Riffs that an owner of one of the most popular and prestigious pubs in the North-East has responded to our article on how a new band goes about getting a gig. So we hand over the next few paragraphs to Paul Smith from The Three Tuns in Gateshead . . .
I read with interest the article on how to get a gig and I have to say the editor pretty much nails it for me. 
The truth is very simple, there are few pubs providing live music who have great crowds irrespective of which band is on. Speaking from The Tuns we are more or less guaranteed a good night with 10/12 bands that I know of. Another 15/20 will get us a crowd of between 40 and 60 every time and make the night worthwhile financially. 
I can think of no unknown covers band that has ever in my 16 years of putting on live music filled my room. In fact on the odd occasion I take a risk, I'm persuaded by friends or colleagues, or I'm in desperate need to cover a late cancellation it's invariably, inevitably almost a tiny crowd. 
This is not a reflection on our promotion or the band's appeal or professionalism it's simply that with so much live music to choose from the dwindling audience will not give us the benefit of the doubt preferring instead to go see Blue Diamond at The Fox or Russ Tippins at The Schooner or The Emerald Thieves at The Stone Trough, all within a mile and a half radius and I understand them entirely. 
It's the proverbial chicken and egg for new bands and venues alike but there are ways - as Riffs hints at - that can get our attention. 
From my perspective I'm not interested in Demo CDs or YouTube footage or the guitarist's CV. These things have zero impact for me but for what it's worth here is how to guarantee your band an opportunity to join our regular twice a year rota of quality local bands. 
I'm not trying to pick fights so any musician feeling hard done to reading this ought to understand that it's just my view, my experience and talking about one pub. 
1.. Be a tribute to a band that have a wide appeal but are not duplicated by lots of other local bands. Within the last two weeks I've booked a Rush Tribute at £600, a Dire Straits tribute from Newcastle who I've not seen on a cash guarantee plus 100% of the door fee and a Marillion tribute on a similar deal because I know my customers and others will support these shows. 
2..Like Riffs speculates below, I would indeed be swayed by an offer to play a show on a Thursday night, Sunday evening for a reduced fee or expenses plus door take if appropriate to see whether :
A) People would come along and 
B) whether the band had something unique that I felt I could sell to our audience for a weekend or 
C) the obvious is where a band can guarantee to get a new crowd into my room in the manner of a La Villa Strangiato or Skinny Molly who are just so good you can't ignore the opportunity or a band made up of locals playing their first gig who will bring friends and family to fill the place (it happens).
We have lots of festivals, celebrations, events at The Tuns like our Pie Festival weekend or St Patrick's Day or Halloween or too many others to mention. I'd love to hear from any new band wanting to come along and entertain us perhaps earlier in the evening before the main band when you'd play to a large enthusiastic crowd but you'd have to be prepared to take a more speculative approach to payment as I simply wouldn't pay £300 to a new band [to me] to play at 6pm. 
I've heard all the arguments a million times about how over worked and under paid musicians are but that's not the point this time. Nige is asking how do new bands get gigs and I'm more than happy to pass on what works for me. 
No offence meant to anyone at all.  
Paul.

SO HOW DO YOU GET A GIG?
I was prompted to write this article after contact from a very reputable venue owner who, when contacted by bands wanting a gig, requested a demo of their material, and a list of gigs they had done, and also a list of gigs booked for the future. He said that, more often than not, he never heard from the band again.
Now, this puts me in mind of Zeppelin in their early days. We all know they must have had masses of potential and played bloody well, but as they were unknown they never rang up a venue out of the blue, asking for a gig and expecting payment. No - they, invariably, played for free. All over the place. And, as they were understandably brilliant, it was not long before venues were ringing them.
It seems to me that three things are paramount in getting a gig: 1, the venue needs to make a profit from the night. 2; the band needs to make a profit from the night. 3; the punters need to be kept happy.
So, it seems to me that everyone is on the same side - so what's going wrong?
If I was in a band and I was truly convinced we were amazing I would get in touch with this venue owner (preferably a face to face visit - at least show you are sincere), and explain that we were new, we thought we were good and we thought we would eventually pull in a lot of punters. But we realised that HE could not take us at face value. So, I would put it to him that we played for our expenses - obviously give him a rough figure of what that would be - so we wouldn't actually lose money on the gig. I would hope (forever the optimist I) that this would be acceptable and that, if he made oodles from the night he would be fair enough to share some of those oodles with the band. Also, if we were good, we would gladly take a further booking at the venue for a full fee. I am also presuming, by the way, that the band members behave properly and respectfuly at all times. Call me old school, but you are never, just never, going to get a repeat gig if any member of the band shows himself (or herself) to be an arse!! And, also a bit of respect for the band from the venue staff may not go amiss, too. (I well remember when Val ran a pub that she went out of her way to make sure the band for the night was welcomed, shown where everything was, offered a drink and told that any query they had they were to come to her immediately and it would be sorted. To me, this is quite obvious but so many bands complained to her they were virtually ignored when arriving at the majority of venues. Come on, if you have invited a band to play at your venue and you are going to pay them, you are going to get a helluva lot more from the band if they are happy and appreciated - yes?).
Call me naive, but why wouldn't this work? Answers on a postcard..............
no, seriously, we welcome feedback............

OBY REMEMBERS . . .
(all as supplied with no editing or corrections - and all pics supplied by Oby)
Jan 1996 started with  Sticky  fingers  at  the heaton  buffs (great  band ),,,  then with Alligators  at , Alexandria,,,,,,  Kings Head at Allendale .,,Swarland again ,,,Grindon Broadway on wednesday 24th for willie  Newton`s  farewell party b4  he  moved  to  Australia !  He  was  lead  guitarist  in Howard Bakers,  BBFaith ...wonder how  he  is  doing  now `...Did  Thornhill club  at  Stockton with Razzle ...meanwhile Big Brother,  and Alexanders  Palace .were  going  down  well in Newcastle ..Feb,,,was  down  at  Barnsley. with FM,,, at  Wath  and West  club ..then Shieldfield club .....Did  the  heaton buffs  with Crossroads ..at  last ... they  play  on  a BIG  stage !   End  of  Feb worked  with The  Force at Porters S/S....March  had  some  interesting  club  bands  doing  the `rounds`  Guns & Oatcakes ...New  Jersey....Deek  the Juice (wor  lass`s fav  band )....Steve Graham band ....Strongheart ....Grand  Slam ...The  Strand ..and  the Medicine band ...Also  worked  for   the `bikers` at 81 club in S/land most  Saturday  nights ..  The  Alligators  were  the  first  band  on.......`..April  and May..worked  with The Force at Pelaw Broadway   and Stanley Civic  Centre (live  recordings )  got  me name  on  the credits !!
July ,,did  Europa  Lodge with  the Animals 11....High Pit  club ...Haltwhistle W.M.C,,,and Belle  View ..with  the Force......
Slippery  Dick  were  playing  the 81club at Murton St ...August with Benwell  Floyd and  then Terry   Slesser  plus Graham Russell  also  the 81 club ..Dec was  busy  with various bands ,,Wallsend Companions  club  with benwell  floyd ..Sticky  Fingers  did a private  party at Newcastlle  Station  Hotel ,,,Steels  club with Big Brother ..At  the `Arts Centre ` in  the toon  with Sticky  fingers,,and  the usual Xmas  party  gigs  at  the Buffs,with Deek  the Juice..Alexanders Palace....Bon Geordie ,,,and  Steve Graham band ..finishing  up  with Erik  and  the vikings at  81 club ........97 started with a very  good  band at  the  Royal Archer  ,,Jesmond  ...called Nobody1s  Fool who ,,did  all  their  own material ..,,,Feb, with Stone  the Crows  at  the buffs,,Stanley Civic Centre with  the Force & Disregard ,,,,awsome ``....and  the`Sticky`s at 81 club ...
March,,,Strongheart at  the buffs..Wow !!  Steels  club with Powerage ......Then Whitelease club S/s   with Matt Vynal and  the decorators (honestly !)   ,,,,Trillians  with powerband Powerage ,,,, finishing up  at  the buffs with F.M for 2 nights !,,,Rest of  the year .all  over ,,including Beamish  Mary.....Ivy  Leaf...Maltby progeressive club,,, 81 club  with the Force ,,,Rocktop , Usher  Moor..Navy club Blackhall,,Cross  keys Barnsley ....Civic  hall  Stanley ,,,Loftus,,Scarbro.pavillion Vaults ..etc...Other great bands i  saw  during this  year were ,,,Grand Slam ,,,Whizzkid...The  Piggies,,,Hit  the Deck  ,,,Kleen sheet ,,,The  Boyz,,,Renegade ..up  next  1998 ....
(Pics from top: Nighthawks gig list; The Force, Rob Tunbull and band)


1994 and Animals  11 rehearsing   for  their  new  tour !   ...   meanwhile ,,, in  Jan`,,,did the Pheasant  with  Crossroads  ......Seaton  Carew  and H/pool  supporters with Nighthawks ,,,and  hollyhill  social  club  in G/heed with Powerage ..Feb...Feb  Nighthawks were  playing Parkers ..Stanley /Barmston W/ton ..Westerhope  Comrades / station  hotel W/bay ..  and Powerage did Parkers  . Stanley ..
So  ..from Jan 94 till  June 95 the  animals11,,,were  touring all  ower .,, but  ,,,coming  back  to  england to  play  as Alligators ...  including .. Bergan .Norway...(3 nights  in March )  then in June with  the Troggs ( Reg  Pressley)  as  supporting  band ..they  did ,,Leisure  Centre  .Mansfield ...Chesterfield ....Brentwood ,,,the Powerhouse in london ..The  Dome ..Doncaster..and in july ...Chatham and Hastings   also  with  the Troggs  in  support ..Went  down  to Scunthorpe with  Animals  11 at the Redburn  club ..  sold  lots  of  t.shirts !followed  by Ritz  ballroon at  Leeds..October  saw  the Animals at Colchester ..Norwich ,,Butlin`s  Bogner  Regis Ronnie Scotts in london ,b4 travelling  to denmark  for  a 6day  tour ..then holland for 7gigs...then Scotland  at  Bannockburn for  2 nights ...Then finally on  march 2nd  /3rd a working  trip   trip to  Dubai ....allreet  for  some !!!  Meanwhile  back  yem  ..worked with Big  Clocks / Crossroads/ Powerage /Barking  Billy and King Snakes ....Scandalous Batchelors /Cuban Eels /Lemon  / Sticky  fingers ..brilliant  band ...Brendon  Healey ...Jackson  at  the Alexandria ...Six  of  the best ,,,After midnight ..Fastbuck ..and ALLIGATORS   when they  were  not  `on  the road `..that  takes  us  up to  the end of 94,,,with ,  one  or  2  notible  exceptions in  between ...In March  did  trillians  with Powerage ,,which  was  `jam packed `..also Kings  Head  Stanley (again  , sold  out )   another  great `rocking night`  was Harveys  at  Stockton and Queen Vic S/shields  also  with  the ac/dc  band ...Went  to  see Bryan adams at Gates head  Stadium in july .. In  December ,the ANIMALS did the Pheasant and Park hotel  with Crossroads in  support ..///////    95 saw a couple  of `new  bands  hitting  the clubs`  Eye to  eye...The boys///and  McKenzie ..Unsung  Heroes...Big  Brother  to  name  5,,,In March  did The  Moathoos in  Wallsend with Animals for  2  nights  (Barclays  bank  do`.).....Ashington  central /Shotton  colliery and Haltwhistle club  with Powerage ,,,and  Crossroads plus Beggers  Banquet at  the Pheasant ..June 1st  with Sticky  fingers and later Nissan Sports  lounge ...then South Gosforth  club .July back  withAnimals at lots  of  clubs /pubs...inc,,Grand  Hotel ..Toll  bar / Maggy` bank...Parkers// Cellar  club  S/S//    Seahorse  at blyth ....etc  ...all the way to  December ///

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RUSS SAVES THE DAY FOR THE LION
Late change at the Red Lion in Norton this coming Monday (12th) when anybody expecting the Picaroons on one hand may be disappointed, but on the other may be rather elated as they are being replaced by our own legend that is Russ Tippins. Apparently the Picaroons are "not ready" for their gig at the Red Lion and, even though booked for over six months have only just let Raymond know, so he has had to rather urgently find a replacement. He told Riffs: 'It was rather annoying to be let down so late in the day; building up regular clientele to see good quality acts is not an overnight job, but thankfully my old mate Russ was available and agreed to do the gig. Whether he is belting out Rock classics or strumming away acoustically he always pulls in the crowds.'

GOV. TO CRACK DOWN ON
BOOKING FEES

Watching the News today it seems we're getting there - little by little. Riffs has always baulked at unfair 'booking fees' and any excuse to add more fees to a ticket, but it seems the Government is now cracking down and they reckon that, within 12 months, the price the ticket is advertised for should be the price you pay. No doubt, though, the ticket sellers will still find a way to add fees - but we have ourselves to blame a lot of the time.  Even in our own Listings there is a choice of getting the ticket direct from the venue - or going through an entertainment site for the same ticket and paying a booking fee. Just don't give your heard-earned to the company - go direct to the venue. Derrr.....

'Well, it's one louder, isn't it?'
And talking of Hartlepool Supporters Club; a cracker of a gig coming up on Saturday 10th when you can expect not only a reliably rockin' set from headliners The Russ Tippins Electric Band but also a very special one-off performance from This One Goes Up To Eleven. Aaron from the band told Riffs; 'Yeah a reunion gig. After a 3 year hiatus, the band are getting back together for a one-off gig in Hartlepool supporting the mighty Russ Tippins Electric Band! And we are delighted that the incredible Ian Halford will be joining us on drums. Tickets available from the promoter Thomas Alan Wormald. Excited? Just a bit!!! Road trip anyone?' Needless to say the lads are focused on a truly memorable performance as they will need to be on full throttle to have even a vestige of a chance to steal the limelight from Mr Tippins and co.!! (tickets are available £8, and feel free to turn up on the night but be expected to part with a still-acceptable tenner).

The Big River lads wish to apologise as, due to unforeseen circumstances, and illness, Big River Trio have had to cancell their show at Hartlepool Supporters Club on Sunday 4th March.

We are getting in cancellations due to the bad weather and mark the gigs on the Listings page as such as soon as we get the info so make sure you check - right up to the last few minutes - before you set off. And if in any doubt - RING THE VENUE.



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OBY REMEMBERS . . .
(all as supplied with no editing or corrections - and all pics supplied by Oby)

So..in  july ,,,93,,,just got  back  from Cyprus  hols ` straight back  with `mans  music`    at  Castle  Farm tennis  club ,again ...stanley  Central .. The  Pheasnt N/sheilds ,,  then  an `all nighter  `  at Millfield Aerodrome ,,,In  August did  a `double  bill `  with Powerage  at  the heaton buffs ..brilliant !  On monday 23rd  Aug ,,,started  rehearsals at  the pheasant ..with  the  `Gators`  who  were preparing  to form Animals  11..tribute ... next  night played, same venue ...with  Crossroads  as support....Did  the Beamish  Mary (no place)  Heaton  buffs and  Benidictine social club Cramlington ...and  the ~animals were  going  down  well ...End  of  Aug  did Colne R@B festival .Lancashire ..with Jools  Holland ..my  old  mate ..Alvin  Lee,, and the Hamsters ...   Sept was with a few  different  bands ,,, Hartepool Belle  View with  F.M.   and  heaton  buffs ...High pit with Powerage ,,,Pheasant  with  the `Gators, and Nighhawks ...Also Pheasant ..
October the Park  Hotel did  a tribute  to  the Anmals .plus  Alive  and  Kicking ...Next  night at  the Mayfair  with Powerage (ac.dc)  Alexandra Ballroom Sland .with Nighhawks  and  the Big  clocks ,,sat 9th ...Westerhope  Comrades with Powerage ,,while  Six  of the best did  heaton buffs  Sat and Sun ..  Battle Hill  club  with Trevor  Sewell  (  where is  he  now?)   Sat  16th  Belle  View with  Gary  Witton  and  Messanger , and  back  in H/pool  the next  night  at United  supporters club  with Nighthawks ..End  of  Oct..doon Bogner  Regis  with  the Alligators ..November  was  busy ..Mayfair  again  ,,with The  Force  and  Powerage ,,the pheasant with  the last  appearance  of  the Nighhawks ...shame! ..Dunston Fed  breweries  with Big Ray ,,,and Slippery  dick ...really !!  Travellers  Rest Whickam  with  Powerage ......Hamburg for  2 days with alligators (7th /8th ).....  Mayfair  ,,,with  Alligators and my  old  marra  Brendon Healy ...Trillians  with Bad  Influence ..  Heaton Buffs  with powerage .to  finish  of  october , doon  at Belle  view  H/pool  with Nighhawks  (reformed )  and Mean Mr  Mustard .. Cold  december we travelled  up  to the `Dug  Out`` in Greenock Glasgow ..and  then  to  the G/head  leisure  Centre to  see 6 of thr best ,,,Did  the Pelaw Social Xmas  party for British Telecom ..then onto  the corner  house  . Heaton with Bad influence ..The  annual Xmas  party was  mega with The  Junco  partners ,,,Jan 94  saw  the Animals 11 were  `playing all over Europe ...Wil  list  gigs next ....

(pics, from top: Lemon, Powerage, Quebec)


In July 92 was  at the Park  hotel  with Mc callum ( wonder  what  he  is doing now ) meanwhile back  in sunderland Steels club , it  was  Davy Ditchburn`s last  gig  with Talisman ,,,Six  of  the best  were rocking the clubs ,as were Big Brother ...August  saw  us back  at the Moathouse with Bessie and  his  buckets .plus Crossroads,  an  excellent  `up  and coming  ` band from Tynemouth...  October saw the Alligators doing  a charity show  at  the Park  hotel with Steve Gibbons  band and  the moat  brothers .. then   did  the Harrogate Moat  house Hotel .(private  party)  stayed overnight ..  followed  by the Nissan sports  club // December was  busy ..The  Royal York  Hotel, Redcar ,,it  was the M/boro Poly students Xmas bash ..(literally )  ..then M/boro  town  hall supporting Dr  Feelgood ,,Sands  club W/bay ...Pelaw club ..Xmas  party  for British .Telecom ,,,,Newcastle  Poly for..Scottish/Newcastle breweries ball` ,,Heaton buffs . plus  Crossroads,,,and  last  one of  the  year ,,,Park  hotel with `Bessie` .....93  January ,, the gators  were in the  recording .studios....
Then  in April did  a private  wedding do up  at Bamburgh ,,the Moat  house in Wallsend next  with Crossroads ...and  again in May  with support Bessie  and  the buckets !  plus  Crossroads ...brilliant  neets`   Also  did Castle  farm tennis  club ,, (again  in july )June ..were at battle  Hill club (well named ) South  gosforth ...River Wear  club (still  there ?) then Ashington  Central where they  all  talk  funny !!!  ..Its  only a few  miles up north  of  the toon ,,but ye  cannot  understand  them ...!  pit  yackkers ! 
Also  in June supported  the Commitments  at  the Mayfair ..Went  to  Leeds Irish  Centre and  supported Paul Jones blues  band.
Then  Peterlee R&B  festival with Alvin  Lee plus  the Hamsters.next day....travelled  up  to Newland farm  in  Belford ....
(pics, from top: Dance Class, Geordie, Brian Johnson)

April 91 ..was up in Glasgow  to  see AC/DC  with Hylton ..and  back  stage  passes..
At  south Gosforth club  saw  Double Trouble (ex Jynx)  and Dougie  small..then the Gators  did `swaziland `  club  again , before doing  a show  at Jesmond lawn tennis  club   .cracking  neet ! followed by  the Coatham Bowl  ..Redcar...In July got  a
gig at Riverside in Newcastle , after being on the telly````  t.t.t.v. `  Northern Life .. (going  back  in time now)  Saw  Gary  Whittons  beer money (band ) at Blackhall Navy  club ....whatever happened to  Gary?     Then  the BIGGEEEE.!!!...Travelled down  to Donnington ..Monsters  of  rock  with Hylton Valentine @ Johnnas  brother ,..but had to detour to  a swish nottingham hotel  to  pick  up  wa tickets  and back stage  passes  which  Johnna  had left  us  in reception   Ac/Dc  headlined this  show  and it  was  awsome ...woora day..i  will never forget !
Other  notable club bands doing the rounds  were Tattood tears (ex babysitter) Shooting  party..Riff Raff..7 to midnight ..Legacy..
Saw Riff raff at the Fed  breweries ..very  good ... and F.M  who  are  still going now ..great rock  stuff!..((over  the` KILLS`  and  far  away).....End  of  October  went  to  see Bryan Adams at  whitley  bay  ice  rink ..the night after did Park  hotel  with after  Midnight   (tribute  to Free) In  November    worked  with Salamander Joe and Cairo  at newcastle  Irish club   ..then the  Moat house hotel 
with support ..The  Buffs  Xmas  extravaganza   was  with Talisman and Alligators...
1992,,,did some good  gigs  with  the Gators,,,,Porters  S/Shields ...Irish  centre Toon...Riverside ..for the pelaw  bikers,,Nissan Social  club ,,good night ...The  old Assembly  rooms in Newcastle ..Croft sports  and  social  club .. Belle View h/pool  with Talisman ,,,Mayfair...
Moat  house  with Bessie  and the Zinc  buckets .(..really  enjoyed these  lads)  Also  saw  the `Big  Clocks ` at  the Borough in S/land ,,
At the end  of  June Alligators got  a gig down  Scarboro ,,remember stopping  at a b@B  guest  house  just  outside the railway  station ..the  next  day We  set up  at the Mere social  club for  the miners  convention ...It  was  hillarious !!  the smoke  machine  `jammed  ` on  stage ,  and half  the club  was covered  in smoke  ,,a quick dash  down  to  unplug the machine ,,but ,Scargill and the , miners all  thought it  was part  of  the act !  happy  days `` next  day  off to Harvey`s  wine  bar  at  darlington  followed by Mount Pleasant in  G/head ,,and Gosforth  and Coxlodge ...Not  coxlodge  and  Gosforth ...!!!  another  story !  `



cont,,,
    That `Young  farmers gig was amazing ...we  had  bailes  of  compacted straw for  the stage ,  and  generators for  the power ,,what  a brilliant  night ..right in  the middle of  Haltwhistle hills .. then it  was Houghton Le  Skerne Darlington ..one  of my  favourite clubs... .D,R,S,M   Darlington rolling  steel  mills... was  a good gig followed by another  in ~Darlo`  Cockerton band S.C   with Rudie West ...
Then  at  the  beginning  of July at Guidepost  club   Debbie anounced  she  was leaving the band to  go  solo  !!!  and  by  end  of  Sept did  the last  gig at Farringdon club S/land ...!!  Meanwhile, the Alligators (left) ...Robert and hylton valentine (below right)  were emerging ...the very  first  gig was at  Silkswoth club ..and  i  know  you `were  there` cos  it  was packed to  rafters `!!!   A brilliant blues  band had hit  the clubs ...(not  forgetting  all  the pub  gigs )  Rose  Inn .Wallsend ..Dun Cow (New York N/Shields)  High point Cullercoats..Beamish  Mary No Place..Corner  House  ..Heaton .The  Vic W/bay..Butlers bar in  the tooon  !   Sloans  wine  bar ..3mile Inn..Gosforth ..not  forgetting te Pheasant N/Shields ..a  great gig for  many  up  and coming  bands ...  The first  3gigs for  the ` gators were Percy  main club,,then  Heaton  buffs.then Steels S/land ..... the washington Whitehouse on  sat  night and  sunday morning !  We  did all  the popular clubs and in december ,,the Newcastle  Playhouse..followed  by  the `Crypt` at  Boro town hall . Thenup  to Alnwick Northumberland  Hall ..plus  xmas party time with After  midnight at Percy Main club .......Buffs  xmas do` was Talisman and Pirahna  bros (below left) ..always  a sell  oot!
In  91`   I  wonder how  many  bands  did  this gig ?   It  was  a tiny  club in Swarland near  Alnwick...but,, you never  find  it easily ..tucked  away amongst a forest ,,had  some excellent night`  s in there ...with `Smokey` !!   local  guy ...
Did the Park  hotel..Tynemouth ..  (with lots  of bands)  then Shieldfield club,,,which  is not  a club anymore.....Heaton Meadowfield (my local) and the Alletsa Ballroom ...no  not  for dancing !!....In Feb did Whitehoos  club Sat  neet  and  sunday morning  again... and Whitley  bay  residents  club.... In March Did Newcastle University students party ...It  was  an all nighter with champagne breakfast at 5am!  ...May, saw the Fish  Quay  festival  at  North sheilds with the Alligators ..Alive  and  kicking ..After Midnight and  Joe  Brown ..wonderful  enterrtainment ...must  have seen  YOU  THERE!!



Once again ,  i  want  to thank Nige` ,,for  printing  all these great memories and stories of my  life  on  the road with  some  of  the best bands ..that  never achieved stardom  ... You look  on  t.v now and  see all  these (c) rap posers..girl/boy bands all  miming ..and  all  the rubbish in  the charts !  sorry ..rant  over ...
In 1989 i  was  working  with Centrefold   pictured ....Did  some memorable shows plus  support ..the  likes  of  Bob Ritchie.. Al Meechie   3times.... ( where  are they now ? ) On  the 25th Jan we  all  helped in  a charity show at Forest  Hall  club  for  Danny..taxi  driver and  friend  who  died  in North  Shields ...bands  included 3D,,,Talisman ..Messanger and  Little Mo  ..Alot  of money  was  raised  for  Dannys widow ,,,and  a brilliant night  was  had  by all  ,,were  you  there ? In  March  Centrefold got  part  time resideny  in Zoots  Newcastle every  Friday , sometimes  Saturday..until  end of april ,,including one gig at  Zoots  felling ..Some  interesting `new` bands  were doing  the rounds inc`  Vancouver..The Action ..Twylight Zone ,,Mainstreet,,Invision ,,Playboys...Officers  Club..Boogyhoppers....Buster..New Invision ..Anthill  Mob ...,,,,,,,.In May Paul Defty (drummer) left  Centrefold...but not  b4 we  had  an interesting gig at Acklington Prison !!!!   No ..not  for the inmates ...but  the warders ,,,! A new  lineup in June saw  the new  drummer ,  and Peter Harrison join  the band ,,,and  first gig  was at  Victoria Park   .It  was a   red hot July and  we  did 20 gigs! In August we did Rosyth (H,M.S cochrane..lion  club) Edinburgh ...for  2nights ...Also Crimdon Dene clubhouse al  day ..September we  did Strangs riding  school (ponderosa)  at Washington ..Is  it  still  there ?...In oct..i  did 3 clubs  i  had never  done b4 !!!  the No1 Amalgamated club in Boro,,,Mardi  Gras..Darlington...and M/boro  buffs ...Also in November we did a great  show  for the Officers Mess 8thsignal regiment . at  Catterick Camp ..but ...in  the second  set ..there  was a bomb  scare ,,and we  were all  evacuated from  the camp , leaving  all  the gear !!...Went back  the next day  to  pick up ...then straight to the  Ivy Leaf  ...its a hell  of  a hump into the club!  December was very  busy ...including ....Cheers...old East end club s/land ...(still  there ?)  Catterick  camp  again at  Gazza  barracks (no  bomb scare)...I,C,I.  Wilton works private  party ...Pennywell with Perfect match and Bobby Knoxall  ...The  Heaton  Buffs  Xmas  party  was with Talisman and Prism ...  1990.....Saw Alibi,,,  with Alan roadhouse and  Dogg (ex Cirkus)   ...than it  was back  up to Scotland at Hellenburgh navel  base .Glasgow   and Heaton Buffs with Bob Ritchie   Charity  do` Other  notable shows were at Cleater Moor in Whitehaven ...Pegswood S,C ,,for footballers do....` and Chesters farm` reet  oot in the wllds !!!!...It  was for  the  young farmers.



1987 started  badly ..Idle  Hands  broke  up !   Then  Jynx came  along ,,,Dave  and Carol from ~Eshington ```..a  formidable duo with a great band behind  them ,thay got plenty of work  Ncle .Gateshead.S/land Hartlepool...Durham  and Darlington ..Then in March good news....Hands Down  were  hitting the road after  rehearsing at Campbells (freezer)  club in  Jarrow ..i  remember  it  was perishing  in there...memorable early  gig was  at  Thomas wilson  club g/head with Powerhouse  and Pirahnas ..Meanwhile ..Cirkus ..Becket / Talisman ..Six  of  the best   After  midnight .. were getting  plenty of  work ..  In  April I went  up  to  Kinloss and  Lossiemouth in  the wilds`  of  scotland with  Jynx...did  2  `officers mess `  gigs..We  were  supposed  to be supporting the Batchelors...but  all  the airmen came  to  see the band ...We  all  stayed on  camp ..had lots  of  excellent  food and  drink Next  day we  were dashing  down Early to Billingham  cons`  club for  the next gig !  Early June Jynx  were  in  the recording studio ...thats  when yet  another  new music  show  started up in  the t.t.t.v. studios ...It  was  ... ROXY    ..It  `ran` until April 88..with notable  groups  like Chris Rea...Ultravox...Echo  and  the bunnymen...The  Cure..Hew@Cry..Def Leppard...Wet wet wet ..Squeez/ House  Martins ..Steve Winwood Bryan Adams... ( see me picture  with Bryan in  the `last instalment `)......  TPau and  carol  Decker ...Brian Ferry ..Joe  Cocker ..Climey Fisher ..Stranglers..Billy  Ocean..Belinda  Carlisle .and ,,.Vanessa Paradis  she  was  gorgeous !   Meanwhile when  all  that was  going  on  new club ...bands were appearing  on the scene   remember these ?   French  Curves ,,.Yankee  rose.... Playboys....Miarage ...   Tony  Liddle  and  the Law.....(did some  shows  with Tony )  and Quebec...also  worked with these guys ...In December i  got  a call from Carol  Johnson{Johnna`s  ex wife) invited me to  a party at  their `swish` house oposite  the corner  house pub  in  heaton ...but  ,,there  was  no  beer !!  just  champagne !   ..This  was  after  we all went to  to the city  hall  to  see Shake  the Tree`(ex  jogging  waiters),,,who  she  was managing `...They  were  supposed  to  be  supporting Wet wet wet ...but they  got  held  up in London  after  doing `top  of the pops`   and  they  were fogbound ...Anyway  the band  went  on  and entertained all  the `teeny  boppers` and  their parents ..it  was  a good night ...Then  i  was down in Blackburn with Quebec...another  goodun `The  Heaton  buffs  had Talisman and the Pirahnas on  for  their annual  xmas  party ..
The begining of  88  saw Whitesnake  at  city hall ...awsome !..then in Feb..Quebec  split  up ..Got  called   up for `rent  a roadie ` to work  at the Mayfair in  the toon ..working  with  the  Cross....(Roger Taylor .Queen ) plus Ya ya supporting ...  what  a brilliant  voice  this  guy has ..and  he  playing  2 different drum  kits ....March saw Ac/dc doon  at Wembley with  Hylton Valentine and Johnna`s brother   backstage ,,got  some great  pics of  Angus  a nd  theboys` ,,but  they  were  all drinking  tea....! NO BOOZE  allowed on  tour ! Angus  said to me `there is  a baby`s  bath full of  ice  over  there` ...roll  ya  sleeves up  dip  both  hands in and  what ever  you bring  out ,ye  gotta drink ,,,,bottle  of  Jack  Daniels and  a can of lager ,,,happy  days ,,...Saw  Wishbone  Ash  at  Mayfair...wow ... ....In  April did  a gig with Jynx at  the newcastle Boat Club ,,right  on the Quayside ..dont  know if  its  still  there ,,but  had a brillnight In May South  Gosforth stopped the rock  bands on Tuesday nights ,,very sad ~     In May  `The  Magnificent Bimbo  Brothers  were `born` )  Ex  hands ,,,one of  the first  gigs was upstairs   at Co-op Rainbow rooms in the toon   ,,they  went  down  a storm`  I  always  remember  the night  we  done Peterlee  Labour club ,,Peter  was  singing  that  classic ,,dancing  in  the dark , by  springsteen , when one  of  my pyrotechnics set  fire to  my backdrops when  he  was  singing ``cant start  a fire ``..  hahahah  ...July saw  the bands  back  on  `Gossy  club` by public  demand ..And  in Sept..Peter  Harrison left the `bimbos `  after the Ryton  social  club!....Come  October . had  a spell  with `Mind  over  Matter`..while Caffrey Bros were  in red  nose studios Shieldfield ..then in November was  with Centrefold ..and  the brilliant  Debbie ...In dec...we did 22gigs  including Allenbrook army  barracks ,Thirsk ,,but  i still  got  to see Talisman and  the Amazing  squibs at  the buffs  xmas  party ...more  to follow from  89..


In  Jan 84.`  Geordie were playing the White  Swan down Billingham ..great  night `s...,and  the Junco partners  were doing  `rock  at the heaton  buffs`  ..Also  saw Lone  Wolf and  Arizona at  `the Swan`  in feb ..Hylton Valentine formed Brown Jack..which turned  into Byker `which  played  at Wallsend  Labour  club and R.A.F.A,  club ..Hartlepool ..In April Idle Hands were  formed .they  were  brilliant ! Also  ,  the  same month .  i  was  off to Paris with  B.B.Faith for  6days . played  in  a huge  football stadium with 5  other  bands ,all  from  Europe ...Back  home  i  was with Pauline  Gillan band (Ian Gillan`s sister) } at Middleton club At  M/boro ..also atS/s Legion ...
Then back  to  the  ~swan `  with Geordie and Black  Rose ..Meanwhile Alan Roadhouse  exCIrkus.. joined  `Harlequin` resident  band at Westerhope  club..And ...At  the R,A,F,A club Hartepool The  Shine` (Ex  Saigon ?) went  doon  a `storm` ..In  October the `Force` and  Idle hands  were getting  plenty  exposure ...It  was  another  sell  out showow at  the Mead` with the `faith  and  chubby`  !!
At  the start of 85 Hellsinki rocked  the Pheasant pub doon, Preston  Grange ,  North Shields...this  was to  be a great  venue for loads  of bands ,,  Saw the Groundhogs and Bombay  at  Newbottle club   ...did  a `fashion show  ``yes ,,,at  Seaham Hall ..,,,,Back  at  t.t.t.v. one  day  we  had  a long flat  loader  wagon with Rebel  Run playing  live out  side  the studios ,,trying  to  get  `noticed` by the `Tube ` 
In  June ,, Me  and Mr  Mo ,, the Flakes and Punishment  of  Luxury ..played Tiffany`s ...remember it  well ..Idle  hands did  the Washington Whitehoos with  Tramp and  Swank plus Bobby  Knoxall   ,,were  you  there?....In Sept the french band (B.Zadar)  we met  in Paris, supported B,B.Faith at Brandon club ..Also  in this  year  we had  Geordie Aid at  the Mayfair.
By the  end  of  85 B,B,Faiith  played  their  last  gig  at Ivy Leaf  club S/land ...then along  came  `Asleep  at  the wheel `  great  name for  a band ,,did  some good  shows  with  these  guys ...what  they doing  now ? ,,,,, December saw  the Razzamatz christmas party  at  t,t,t,v,  studios ,,,  with Phil Lynott...Roy  wood...Jenifer  Rush ..Kim  Wild,,John Parr,,Fergal  Sharkey,,,   and  then it  was  back to Idle Hands,,,, at Usworth and  district....Coatsworth  G/head ...Washington  white hoos /Thornley ...Newton  Aycliff  and  Hetton  b4  Xmas  ..
January  1986  started  great ...went to Playhouse in  Edinburgh.to  see AC/DC  with  Hylton Valentine and  Johnna `s  brother ...it  was  muckin  fagic!  ....In early Feb  did Beechwood  and Easterhouse  club Darlington...with  the `hands`,,,There  were lots of  north  east bands  appearing down here at  the time ..and  ,, if they  recall  beers/lager were 40p  a PINT....  unbelievable !!!   did  the Swan Billingham  with Powerhouse..and  got  lock  in at  birtley Rex club with  the Pirahna  Bros ....Saw Ronnie  James  Dio on  the Tube ..In  April  a new show  came  about  at t.t.t.v.  called TX45,,,,it  featured lots  of  local  talent ,,including Well  well  well ...Zoot  and  the roots..Flaming  Musolinis...my  old  friend Pauline  Gillan ,,Death  wish and  the Edge ,,,May  saw  a new Iveco truck  for  the `hands` loadsa  room  ...and on 28th  May ..Cirkus  were back on  the road ...first  2 gigs  were  Coatsworth and forest  Hall clubs ..Did Walker  social  club  with Talisman on  the Sunday morning and  then went to  downhill club  in  the afternoon !  hell  of  a place Dooonhill` the little kids  from  the estate used to  say ...```look  after ya van Mr.` for 50pence...We  used  to  say `nar ,,we  got  a big dog in  the back ..Kids  reply ..```Aye  . but  does  it  like  fire`  !!!  ye gotta  laugh !!!      In June/July  Razzamataz was  back in the studio `s with Midge Ure..Taxas..INXS...BAngles..Jim Diamond ..Dr  and  the medics...Steve  Harley ......End  of  July did Dryburn Hospital  with Rhythm Method ...lots  of nice  nurses ..then  following  day  (friday)did Steels club ...Saturday  with Talisman at Usworth  ...Sept  at  theMayfair N/cle saw  Mad Jacks  travelling  circus..747,,,Foxy ..Villa  Latina ,  Wallop  ,and  the Pirahna  Bros....   In  oct saw  that `fateful` ZZtop sham on  the  Tube special !  ...but ,we  also  had  `live  bands ` on  in December  with John Bon Jovie,,Suzie  Quatro Heaven  17 ..It  Bites ,,,etc...Doctor Feelgood..the  Blues  burglars,,and  After Midnight did Tiffany`s ...Got  tickets  for  the City Hall to  see `Chubby` ,,and  the Xmas party at  the buffs were Talisman and Pirahnas..brilliant ...


pic: Oby and Bryan Adams
Before  i  go  any  further ..i  just  want  to mention,,the reason i wanted Nige` , (and  its  thanks  to  him ..who put  all  this stuff  up  on  the `news page) `...was to leave  some kind  of  documented history of  what was  happening in  the social club/pub scene  back  in early 80`s........When ` i  peg it ` .( not  for  awhile  yet  i  hope )..wor  lass is  gonna  chuck  all  my Diaries`.band  posters ,  pictures , parafinaylia in  the bin..!!!  So... Who  remembers  all  these  bands from nearly  40yrs ago ???    In  March 1980..Chris Cool  band formed ,  and  were  an instant hit in  the  clubs ,  what  a great  singer , ..The  Pirahna Bros  , from Blyth  ..Showbiz  kids .Once  bitten (Ex  Tyson)..747   Ex  Goldie ...Dance  Class,,who  were  awsome ...The News,,Geordie ,  with  Rob turnbull replacing Johnna ,  who  joined  AC/DC///Rhamm ...In  82 ,,Armagedon and Davy  Ditchburn ..Baby sitter , from Teesside........Micky  Hutton joined  the King  Crabs .....
Howard Baker formed Blueprint !...In October  this  year Roy  `Chubby  Brown ` did my  `house  warming  party,,` worra  hoot !!  Also  saw Armageddon ,Dance  Class ..John Miles,, Eric  Burdon.. and  Johnna  at  the Heaton Buffe  Xmas  show ...Blueprint ..then became B.B Faith ..The  Caffrey Bros started  doing  the clubs ..and Raven made it  big doon  London .......In 83,,Paul  .  the original singer from Cirkus , joined  Easy  Touch .. while  The Toy  Dolls  (Olga) stormed the Shieldfield club   I  remember B.B .Faith  did  a gig at Murton Victoria club ( and in June 84)  ,,and  all the hells angels wanted them to  do  a show in S/land ..after  the gig ... we  found  our  selves in the  middle  of  a long street  of  terraced  houses..and some one  had  knocked  2  or   3houses  into  ONE !    Well.. the sun  was  coming up when  we  packed  the wagon to go  home ! great times ...and ,,there  was  not  a pick  of  botha !  Did  a show at  the Grey  Hen in s/shields with with Next ...and  the Crabs ...dont  know  what  happened  to  those  lads ,,,,or ,,even  these bands  which  you  will  all  have heard  of ....The  Business,,Black  Rose ...B.15,,,,Legend  ....Teaser....Slinky ...the Cast....French  Curves ,,,Digital  Dog...Boxer  ...Shanghai...E.S.P... Powerhouse ...23 Skidu..Rythm Sticks ....Becket..Rocky ....Cruella  de  Ville Mad  Jacks  travelling  circus etc  etc  ...About  this  time  there were  rumours  that Pete  Barclay was  gonna  join the Caffrey  Bros?.....I  put the `Faith`  on  the heaton meadowfield for  the Xmas  party with chubby brown ... charged  50p  for the  tickets , plus  pie  `n` peas ...Tickets  were always  sold  b4 they  were  printed ...  you could do  a lot  for 50p  in  thise days !!....more  to  follow ..




Fancy a `rocking  ` holiday  in  the sun in October? ...Why  dont  you e,mail  Cyprus  Rocks `  and  see if  you  can get  yourselves a gig  right on the beach in sunny  Cyprus ..We  witnessed  some  incredible tribute   bands .. including Ac/Dc   at  theyr very best .the Who .. Led Zepplin Deep purple etc  ..  Click  onto Cyprus Rocks , or  the  facebook  page ..See if  you  can get   the band  on  an unforgetable trip   ..its  mega ,,,,,good luck,,,,,,  Oby


MORE FROM OBY . . .
''While  working  with Cirkus..  got  a great  job at  T.T.TV.    on  City  road ...I  thought i  was  made  for life ...I  had  the pleasure  of  seeing  some brilliant  pro` bands and  artists on  television ..(.and  i  saw many  `up  and coming new  local  bands that  were  `doing  the  rounds`)        Who  remembers Alright Now? ..it  was  the first of  some great  programmes for  well  known  pro` groups  who were  playing  live  in  the studios ...including  Rory  Gallager .Dr  Feelgood ...long before Robert  Kane from the Animals  joined  ...Saw  the  Tourists ...Squeez..Nick  Lowe... Mike  Oldfield..etc...that  was  in  1980....Then  in  81  Razzamataz  exploded  onto your  t.v. ..We  had  Kim Wild   .Elton John   Bad  Manners...Stu Copeland ..Toyah ..Stray cats..Kate  Bush..Kiki Dee...Gary  Newman  The  Shadows ,,,I  remember  in April  of  this  year i booked  Roy  Chubby  brown for  the club  bar one  friday  night ..It  was  a sell out ..He  did  a 2hour show ..well. the tears were  rolling  down our faces  laughing..Even  Cathy  Secker who  was the  contimuity anouncer was   there  on  her  break ...Roy  and  i  became very  good  friends ,,even had  him for  my  new house  `warming  party `   he  stole  the show ..He  used  to  ring  me  up  from Teeside ,  where  he lived and would  ask  me ..do you know  where Morpeth  Comrades / Ashington Central / and  other clubs up  north  were ..Yes  i  said...O.k i  will  pick  you up  at  the Tyne  Tunnel.
i  have pie  and  peas  suppers /strippers private  shows  to  do ...had  some  brilliant  nights  with  him ...sold  loads of  t.shirts,cassettes etc  at half  time ......
In Jan 82  Razz returned ..and  we had Depeche Mode /Haircut 100/Godley  and  Creme .Boomtown  Rats..ABC..Toyah...Phil Lynott/ John Sykes..A flock  of  seagulls... and more ,,,Then  we  had  the BIGGEE!   ..In  November     Tyne  Tees Tele ..produced the TUBE  LIVE`  on  friday nights  for  channel 4   ..Met  some real  supa stars `  on  this  show   the  tickets  to  get  in  were  like GOLD...!  Opened  up  with The  Jam.(.Toy  Dolls... Remember them ?)Sting  and  Pete  TownshendDuran  Duran ,,Simple  minds ..Robert  Palmer ..Robert  Plant ..Twisted  Sister..Blancmange ..U.2 ..Dance  Class ( brilliant  band ...after  the  show  they  performed at  Henderson Hall College ,,,we  `blagged  our  way  in ` showing  our  t.t.tv passes )  then next  up  were Pat  Benatar / Thin lizzy.
Paul Young .Madness..Eurythmics ...`In  november  83 Tube  returned with ,,ZZ TOP...this was  one  off special ...I  got  all  of  Idle  Hands in  for  this  one ..Me  and  Peter  Harrison  were  amazed  when we  noticed  they  were `Miming !!!!   bloody  disgrace ,,! Then  it was  up to R.E,M  ..Style  Council ...Pretenders ...Echo  and  the Bunnymen /Judas  Priest..The  alarm ..Sade  (who  tyne   tees discovered !) Thompson  twins ..Siouxsie`...Gary  Moore ..Big  Country ..China  crisis ,,Howard  Jones / Ultravox ..The  Cure / Joe  jackson Big  country ..UB40          ...Motorhead (Toooo  loud.. everyone had  cotton  wool  in  the lugs )  Tom  Robinson band ..Stranglers ..Toy  dolls  (again) ..Water  boys....Frankie goes  to  Hollywood ....this  band  went  down  to  the Quayside  after  the  show and  tried  to  get on  the Tuxedo Princess..( floating  nightclub)  The  bouncers  threw  them oot ...then  they  were then  called `Frankie  goes  to  gateshead ,and  got  beat  up `.........Clit  Pilchard ...Meatloaf..Bangles ...Bryan Adams was  brilliant ..they  were  on  tour  with  T.pau  at  the  time ,  and  Carol  Decker actually  took me  and   Bryans  pic ( 2nd  picture ) in  the dressing  room ..Met  Bryan again on tour  in Limassol . Cyprus in 2013    ...other  notable bands  on  the  Tube  were .  Chris  Rea ..Dead  or  alive ...Robert  Palmer  Level  42 ...Tom  Waites ..INXS...Ronnie  James  Dio ,,Jon Bon Jovie ...It  Bites ...All  of  who  SANG LIVE!!''



Oby has just sent Riffs some interesting old pics of
Cirkus and rare pics of LucasTyson . . .(bottom pic shows the bass player next to Oby's sister).




REMINISCENSES OF 'OBY'

[As received - no editing whatsoever]
''Remember Friday  evenings in  the  70s...when you  would  buy  the Evening Chronicle .Go..straight to  club  pages...There  were  2 full pages  of  club`s All  of  Newcastle /Gateshead.area.and  even  further  affield ;;You  could  plan  the whole  weekend with  your favourite groups....Now  .  i believe,  in  the  same  paper (half  the size) you  get one  or  two clubs telling  you  about  the bingo nights /go  as  you  please and single  artists ...There  were  hundreds of  `working  mens clubs in  the  North  East .  all  putting  on great  entertainment ...Now  .  sadlly ,,,  they  have  either closed  down turned  into  care  homes ` etc ,,,or  just  hiring out concert  rooms  for  private bookings .. Hi,  my  name is John , but  everybody  called me  Oby ..I  have been living  in Cyprus  for  the last 13 yrs.I  came across  this old  diary of  all  the bands..for  30yrs  i  used  to  follow  , and  work  with ..back  in  the `good  old  days`.. I  would  like  to  share my  experiences with  you  all ,,maybe ,  jog  your  memory ..You may  recall..i  remember that  club/band .................I will  never  forget queing up  to  see the  `turns`  at  the  heaton  Buffs ..South  gosforth  Forest  Hall ..Byker ,  bottom and  middle  clubs ...then  there  were  all  those  clubs  in  Gateshead ..great  nights ,,,excellent  bands ..cheap beer ,,and  always a chinese  takeaway on  the  way  `yem` !  Fast forward 50  odd  yrs ,and if  you  want  see a good  band now ..i  hear....,,,the pubs  are  the  place  to  be ..I  first started going  to  watch  groups in 76`  and  i  was  hooked`...bands like Lucas  Tyson,, [below right]  Geordie ..Cirkus ,,Brass  Alley etc...I followed Tyson  around  all  over ,especially when  they  played  the `old Labour  club next  to  st james`s .park..on  a sunday  morning ,,( incidently  ..can  anyone  tell  what happened  to Peter  Barclay .last  i  heard  the lead  guitarist was  unwell )..What  a  place  that  was ...you  had  to  to get there early  ( 11.30 ) ..when they  opened  up  the  bar  upstairs  was full  of  already poured pints  of  beer ..exhibition  / scotch.  lager ...ready for  you  pick  up  and  grab  a table ..the  strippers  were on first ,  followed  by  the longest  game  of  bingo you  will  ever  play (  they  had  a song  for almost  every  number)  then  the bands would  come  on and  rock  the hoos   doon !   Just  what  you needed,,,a few  pints,  great band  , then home  for  ya  sunday  dinner ..I  started  keeping a  diary of  all  the bands i  was following ,Next ,,  i  got   a job  `roadying `  for  Cirkus ,,,what  brilliant entertainers .. but that  `melatron `  (keyboards) of  Dereks was  a swine to  hump  upstairs  .,,that  was one band  that  definatly should  have made  it to  the top !  I  have got signed pictures of  them all ,,and  a signed..copy  of  Cirkus  One [check out: https://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2451] ...plus  pics  of  the  band playing  live ...I  believe Alan the  singer still sings locally ..
In the middle 70s Cirkus [left] were  playing at least 20  gigs a month !  venues like ...huntington  hotel.Stanley..Anfield  Plain democratic club..Shildon Civic hall..Sunderland  boilermakers/ Gates head  Central... Wallsend  miners...Thornley,,,Doxford  park ...Thornley...Great  Lumley..West  Denton... Birds  nest club  Walker....Wallsend East end   ...Hebburn  trades &labour ..Nova  Castria //
Windy  Nook G/head...Wingate..Shiney  Row.....Gypsies Green,,afternoon ..GatesheadBritish  legion at  night ....etc  etc.How  many  of  these  clubs  are  still  putting  on bands??.....In April 1980 Cirkus travelled to Guernsey for  a 3 week  residency..and  in July they toured the  shetland island rigs with Sweet  Sensation ( a name from  the past)......Sadly ...Cirkus  last  gig was at Westbourne club in  Walker...on 9th Jan 1983...   A typical `setlist` was  Wall  street (10cc)  Baker  street ..Bat  oota  hell .,,Space  oddity. Echo  beach...Rat trap.......Sabre  Dance(Dogg).....Ohhh  Vienna ...with  my  pyrotechnics at  the end .!..
well  i  hope i  briough tback a few memories for some  of  you older rockers....Thanks  to  Nige  for  letting  me reminisce with  you  all ....Maybe ,,,if  i  get  any  feedback .....i  will  send  more  memories ...''
Oby's email: ybo1948@yahoo.co.uk

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Metal On Metal OR
What Is And What Should Never Be
(Anvil - Trillians, Newcastle, Thursday, Feb 8)

Growing up (some say I didn't) there was hardly a Friday or Saturday night I didn't travel to Newcastle for Rock and/or Metal. City Hall, Mayfair . . . er . . . was that it? - but it was enough. Brilliant memories:
Mott the Hoople turning up at 1am to play the Mayfair; Nutz and Heavy Metal Kids double bill at the City Hall for 50p!! AC/DC walking off the Mayfair stage after one hour (still never found why); Mayfair breaking every fire safety rule in the book to squeeze people in for The Choirboys. Even the unforgettable memories are getting forgotten now. But I still can't believe the Mayfair has shut down (I still can't believe Lemmy has gone either) so God bless Trillians - as I believe he has and is still doing so (well he will have nothing else to do as the world is just peachy).
No matter what your taste in Rock or Metal I defy you to look at Trillians extensive gig list and not be tempted by a plethora of bands - and yes, I AM going to get to the point!!!
ANVIL.
There is, surely, no better example of how being competent musicians is not enough to ensure success. On paper I just couldn't tell you why I like Anvil, but they are that infectious, whacky, intriguing bunch of misbegotten souls that demand your attention; listening to their music is less than half the satisfaction; if you haven't seen them live then you just don't know Anvil.
Nothing excites a band more than taking to the stage and seeing an ocean of faces from wall to wall. So there was no reason for Steve, Robb and Chris not to be mega-excited tonight - Trillians was bursting at the seams.
If you weren't there then you misssed out big time, but support your Rock and Metal bands.
The headlines? Oh, well Metal On Metal speaks for itself; and as for What Is And What Should Never Be:
Trillians Rock Bar
Trillians Country and Western Bar
It's up to you................




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Looks like the Pemberton Arms bites the dust on the 25th of this month. Thanks to Norman Force for this. (I mean for the info - I really don't think the closing down is his fault).

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TRILLIANS SECURE ONE-OFF
GIG BY CANADIAN ROCKERS ANVIL

Great coup for our very own Trillians in Newcastle on Thursday the 8th when those incredible Canadian nutters Anvil take the city by storm. If anybody remembers what a stunning set they did supporting gritty Rockers Accept at Newcaste Riverside 2016 they will know what value for money these guys give. Get along and give your metal head a treat. What a night. What a band. What a cheesy grin!!
£10 / £12. Buy a ticket, pay at door - just go!



Creator Of RONNIE JAMES DIO Hologram Says 'Dio Returns' Concerts Are 'Unforgettable Experiences'

The CEO of the company behind the hologram of Ronnie James Dio says that the first leg of the "Dio Returns" tour was a resounding success, with "thousands" of fans coming out every night to take part in "an unforgettable experience."
Dio
died in 2010 at the age of 67 from stomach cancer. His hologram was created by a company called Eyeillusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
The production uses audio of Ronnie's live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens and LYNCH MOB's Oni Logan.
Seems it hasn't gone down very well with Rock fans. Check it out on youtube here.
Check out the full story with comments here

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I'm sure there's not many amongst us who don't have fond memories of Maiden England. Anyone living in the North East who appreciates quality Rock must surely have attended at least one of their concerts. And who can forget their momentous gig at Stormin'? Well, they're getting back together and are now seeking a Paul Dianno style singer for their set which will feature the very first two Maiden albums. If you are interested, or you know someone who may fit the bill, then contact 07800791447 666markcraig@gmail.com





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THE EARLY BIRD . . .

Riffs will always try and be as accurate and transparent with everything we do and to this end we have asked venues (and bands) to inform us of accurate start times at gigs - not a time they wish punters to arrive so they drink more and put more pennies in the till!! But Dave from High Howden Social Club has pointed out that it is sometimes beneficial for punters to arrive early, as sometimes their 'headline' gig nights fill up fast. So, take note of the start times, but if you really want to make sure you are there in good time for your fave band then yes, by all means, get there early.

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Update on the Rising Sun in Crawcrook - looks like the staff have been telling porkies as the management has left the pub and it looks extremely unlikely that any booked gigs will go ahead.....

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Just heard (thanks Jeff) that The Riverside Morpeth is shut. They have, apparently, informed relevant bands of the situation, which is greatly appreciated.

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Hmmm, strange things afoot at The Rising Sun, apparently it has not closed and none of the staff seem aware of any closure - but we also have it on good authority that two bands have been told their gigs have been cancelled due to imminent closure. If anyone can shine any light on these curious goings-on we will be most grateful....

Rising Sun Crawcrook pub now closed so, needless to say, all gigs cancelled.

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Mainsforth Music Fest (Raising funds for Motor Neurone and Parkinson's disease), Mainsforth Community Centre, Ferryhill. feat. George Shovlin & George Lamb, Russ Tippins, Bernie and the Bluenotes, Gary Grainger, Zoe Green. Tickets £10. Doors open from noon.
SUNDAY 26TH NOVEMBER

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Looking for covers band for Friday Dec 8th at Seaton Carew Social Club. This is a annual Charity event (budget is max £250 or less if ur feeling generous!!!) arranged by Ambulance Service for local charities. After a wide range of good time material...it's a Xmas Party. Been let down twice already. Anyone interested, call Kevin 07734449033.
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Livewire AC/DC Show supported by Strangers in The Night a tribute to UFO, Blackhall Community Centre Sat 17th feb 2018 , tickets on sale now; 07841033579 or online @ENTS24 £15.

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A special memorial concert is to take place at the Newcastle O2 Academy on Wednesday the 10th of January. It's being titled 'RODFEST', and it's to commemorate and celebrate local rock vocalist Rodrigo BVevino, who unfortunately passed away in early October this year. Known to his friends as Roddy B, this Brazilian born singer came to this country to follow his dream of performing in the UK. His distinctive power-house vocal style got him the attention of local musicians and eventually landed him the lead singer in Maiden England, which he held for the last few years of the band's existence. Since then he had been involved with several bands, some covers acts, some doing original material, yet always done to high standard with his trademark Brazilian passion stamped all over it. He was involved with so many various rock musicians in our region, and his passing has been deeply felt by so many people that he worked with, those he entertained, or even those he called friends. 
Local promoter (and good friend of Roddy), Gary Melling, has organised the Rodfest event to mark what would have been the singer's 43rd birthday. And to celebrate the evening he has amassed a line-up of some of this region's top rock acts, with the aim to raise money for the Roddy B Foundation which has been put together by Gary in association with Roddy's wife Eli. The line-up includes Deep Purple in Rock (featuring former members of Maiden England), Alcatraz House Band (who completely wowed the audience at this year's Stormin' The Castle bike rally), The Dirty South (highly popular southern rock ambassadors), Sticky Fingers (the band that's been bringing metal to the pubs for quarter of a century), The Force (one of the most respected rock acts in this region and beyond), and finally The Kill (probably the hardest working and partying rock band, who also perform as Bon Jovi Forever).

It's a fabulous billing of some amazing local talent. With tickets priced at a very reasonable £10 (for the main stage of the Academy), this is an opportunity not to be missed. Not only to see some of this region's giants of rock, but also to raise money for a very good cause, and to pay respect to a much-loved great entertainer. Anyone who ever met or knew Roddy, instantly recognised this man's passion for rock music. He really did live and breathe it. This is a fantastic moment for people to come together and show their support, as he'll be so sorely missed from the stages of the North East. All proceeds going to ‘The Roddy B Fund’ to be distributed as bursaries to young musicians.
O2 Priority Pre-sale – Tuesday 24th October 2017 at 9am
General sale – Thursday 26th October 2017 at 9am 
(Riffs is obliged to Colin Smoult for the above. As with most media, we rely on people 'in the know' to let US know).
Heavy rockers The Force (pictured above at the Penny Gill) are well-known in the North-East for their professionalism and attention to detail - indeed, their covers are superceded only by their superb self-penned numbers. And we understand they dropped everything to be free for this night. As spokesman Norm told Riffs: 'The Force are more than happy to support this cause. Rodrigo played with Phil and Geordie in Lovedrive, their Scorpions tribute band, and they both loved his talent and his personality.' It's always sad when someone who is so deeply into Rock leaves us, but so comforting to know that there are always those who will celebrate their life in the way that they would love - a night of solid Rock.
This week in . . .
1971, The Rolling Stones released their classic album Sticky Fingers in the UK. The band's first release on their own label via Atlantic Records, the cover was designed by Andy Warhol, who was paid $15,000 for his efforts. The LP sleeve featured a close-up of a pair of jeans with a working zip. Widely assumed to be that of Mick Jagger, the crotch photographed for the cover was actually that of actor Joe Dallesandro.

1976, Ramones released their eponymous debut album. The front cover depicts the band members standing in a line leaning against a brick wall, taken by Roberta Bayley. The cover was ranked No.58 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Album Covers.

1977, Adam And The Ants made their debut at the Roxy Club, London.

1988, Iron Maiden went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son', their second No.1 album.

1991, Founder member of The New York Dolls Johnny Thunders (John Anthony Genzale, Jr), died of a drug overdose. He renamed himself Johnny Thunders after a comic book of the same name. The influential New York Dolls formed in 1972 and made just two albums. A teenage Morrissey acted as president of the UK branch of the New York Dolls fan club. Formed The Heartbreakers with Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan, and Television bassist Richard Hell.

2012, Thomas "Tommy" Marth, the touring and studio saxophonist for the Killers, died after shooting himself in the head at his Las Vegas home. The 33-year-old musician joined the band in 2005 and played on the live tours with Brandon Flowers and co between 2008 and 2010. Tommy also performed on 2006 release Sam's Town and 2008's Day & Age.


Week commencing April 16 . . .
1968, Pink Floyd released their fourth UK single 'It Would Be So Nice', written by Richard Wright with Roger Waters' 'Julia Dream' on the B-side. Pink Floyd were on tour in Europe on this day, and played their second night at the Piper Club, in Rome.

1974, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band appeared at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The gig was unadvertised by its promoter who gambled that word-of-mouth would be enough to fill the 550-seat venue, only 250 people attended. Tickets cost $4.50 and $5.50 in advance.

1980, 32 year old English singer Brian Johnson joined Australian group AC/DC, replacing the iconic Bon Scott who had died after a drinks binge in February 1980. Johnson's first band was the Gobi Desert Canoe Club. He was also in a band called Fresh. From 1970, Johnson played with cabaret/club band The Jasper Hart Band, performing songs from the musical Hair. He and other members of the band went on to form Geordie.


2012, Levon Helm died of throat cancer aged 71. A drummer, singer and multi-instrumentalist, Helm formed his own high school band, the Jungle Bush Beaters, at 17, he later joined The Hawks (who became Bob Dylan's backing group) who then became known as The Band. He sang on Band classics such as 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,' 'Up on Cripple Creek,' 'Rag Mama Rag,' and 'The Weight.'

2012, Leonard Cohen's former manager was jailed for 18 months for harassing the singer-songwriter. Kelley Lynch was found guilty by a Los Angeles court after a sending a torrent of expletive-strewn emails and letters to the star. She was also sentenced to five months probation and ordered to attend anger-management courses. Cohen thanked the court for the "even-handed and elegant manner in which these proceedings have unfolded".


1960, Touring in the UK, 21-year-old US singer Eddie Cochran was killed when the taxi he was travelling in crashed into a lamppost on Rowden Hill, Chippenham (where a plaque now commemorates the event). Songwriter Sharon Sheeley and singer Gene Vincent survived the crash, Cochran's current hit at the time was 'Three Steps to Heaven'. The taxi driver, George Martin, was convicted of dangerous driving, fined £50, disqualified from driving for 15 years, and sent to prison for six months.


1973, Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of The Moon went gold in the US. The LP went on to stay in the US chart for more than ten years and became the longest charting rock record of all time.

1974, Vinnie Taylor, guitarist with US rock 'n roll revival band Sha Na Na was found dead in a Holiday Inn hotel room in Charlottesville, Virginia from a drug overdose. Sha Na Na played at the Woodstock Festival; their 90-second appearance in the Woodstock film brought the group national attention. The group appeared in the movie Grease as Johnny Casino & The Gamblers.


1983, Felix Pappalardi, producer and bass player with American rock band Mountain, was shot dead by his wife Gail Collins during a jealous rage. Collins was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to four years in prison. Pappalardi, who was 43, had produced the Cream albums 'Disraeli Gears' and 'Wheels of Fire.'

1987, Reggae drummer and percussion player Carlton Barrett of The Wailers was shot dead outside his house in Kingston, Jamaica. Joined Bob Marley and The Wailers in 1970, wrote the Marley song 'War'. Barrett was the originator of the one-drop rhythm, a percussive drumming style.

1998, Linda McCartney died after a long battle against cancer. Married Paul McCartney in 1969 when she was working as a photographer. As well as a being a member of Wings, she became an animal rights campaigner and launched her own brand of vegetarian food.

2008, Danny Federici, the longtime keyboard player for Bruce Springsteen and a member of The E Street Band, died of cancer at the age of 58. Federici had worked with Springsteen for over 40 years, starting with Steel Mill and Child with Springsteen.


Week commencing April 9 . . .
1971, The Rolling Stones released 'Brown Sugar' taken from their latest album Sticky Fingers, the first record on their own label, Rolling Stones Records, which introduced the infamous licking- tongue and lips logo.

1973, Bob Marley and the Wailers released Catch a Fire their first album on Island Records and which is now regarded as one of the greatest reggae albums of all time. The album was also groundbreaking as its singles were released as long-playing records as against to the early reggae songs coupled with two sides.

1979, Thin Lizzy released their ninth studio album Black Rose: A Rock Legend. The album, which featured guitarist Gary Moore, contained the hits 'Do Anything You Want To', 'Waiting For An Alibi' and 'Sarah', which was written with Moore about Lynott's newborn daughter.

2002, Thieves broke in to a house in Bexhill, Sussex and stole a hi-fi system and several CDs. They left albums by Madonna, Robbie Williams and Oasis but took the owners entire Showaddywaddy collection.


2008, Producer and drummer Clifford Davies was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his home in Atlanta, aged 59. Davies had worked with Ted Nugent from 1979-1982. It was reported that Davies was "extremely distraught" over outstanding medical bills.

2009, Procol Harum's 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' was the most played song in public places in the past 75 years, according to a chart compiled for BBC Radio 2. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was at number two followed by 'All I Have To Do Is Dream' by the Everly Brothers. Wet Wet Wet's 1994 hit, 'Love Is All Around', was at number four followed by Bryan Adams's 1991 hit '(Everything I Do), I Do It For You.'

2011, A portrait of Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett was returned to the London art gallery it had been stolen from the previous week. The late singer's former girlfriend, Libby Gausden, pleaded for its safe return and offered a reward of £2,000, and following an appeal, the image was returned undamaged and intact to the gallery by post.

2012, Five of Tom Petty's guitars were stolen from a soundstage in Culver City, California, where Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, were rehearsing for their upcoming worldwide tour. The stolen gear included a 1967 Blonde Rickenbacker, a 1967 Epiphone Sheridan, a 1965 Gibson SG TV Jr., a Fender Broadcaster and a Dusenberg Mike Campbell Model, which belonged to Campbell himself. Petty was offering a "no questions asked" reward bounty of $7,500 to anyone with information leading to the guitars' recovery.


1962, The Beatles original bass player Stuart Sutcliff died (bassist for eighteen months; January 1960 - June 1961). Sutcliff had stayed in Hamburg Germany after leaving the group. He died of a brain haemorrhage in an ambulance on the way to hospital, aged 22.

1970, Doors singer Jim Morrison was dragged off stage by keyboardist Ray Manzarek during a concert in Boston, after Morrison asked the audience, 'Would you like to see my genitals?'. Theater management quickly switched off the power. Morrison had been arrested in Miami a year earlier for "lewd and lascivious behavior" during a performance.

1970, 27 year-old Paul McCartney issued a press statement, announcing that The Beatles had split (one week before the release of his solo album). McCartney said, "I have no future plans to record or appear with The Beatles again, or to write any music with John". John Lennon, who had kept his much-earlier decision to leave The Beatles quiet for the sake of the others, was furious. When a reporter called Lennon to comment upon McCartney's resignation, Lennon said, "Paul hasn't left. I sacked him."


1984, Nate Nelson (born today Tuesday in 1959), lead vocalist for The Flamingos on their 1959 hit 'I Only Have Eyes For You', died of heart disease aged 52, a day after his wife had made a plea to his fans to find a heart for her ailing husband.

1967, The Doors and The Jefferson Airplane appeared at Cheetah, Santa Monica Pier, Venice, California. This was the largest show The Doors had played to date with a crowd of over 3,000.

1969, Bob Dylan released his ninth studio album Nashville Skyline, which embraced country music. With liner notes by Johnny Cash (who also appeared on the record), at the time of release it was dismissed by some critics as lightweight, but included 'Lay, Lady, Lay', a major hit single for Dylan. The album also gave Dylan his fourth No.1 album.

1988, Dave Prater of soul duo Sam & Dave was killed when his car left the road and hit a tree in Syracuse, Georgia, on his way to his mother's house in Ocilla. He was 50. Recorded for Stax Records from 1965 - 1968, hits included 'Soul Man' and 'Hold On, I'm Coming.'

1991, Record producer Martin Hannett died. He worked with many Manchester acts including The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, Magazine, as well as U2 and The Psychedelic Furs.

1946, Born on this day (Monday), Les Gray, singer with glam rock band Mud who had the 1974 No.1 single 'Tiger Feet' which was the best-selling single of 1974 plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles. Gray died from throat cancer on 21 Feb 2004 aged 57.

Week commencing April 2 . . .
1979, Siouxsie And The Banshees played a charity gig for MENCAP, but after crowd trouble were latter faced with a £2,000 bill for seat damage.

1981, Producer and manager Kit Lambert died of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs at his mother's home in London, England. Lambert managed The Who from 1964-1967 and produced the 'Tommy' album. Also produced Arthur Brown's 1968 hit 'Fire'.

1988, During a European tour, Alice Cooper accidentally hung himself in a rehearsal when a safety rope snapped; he dangled for several seconds before a roadie saved him.


1994, Lee Brilleaux, singer, harmonica player and founding member of Dr Feelgood died of throat cancer aged 41. They had the 1979 UK No.9 single 'Milk And Alcohol' and the 1976 UK No.1 live album, 'Stupidity'. In 1976, Brilleaux helped fund Stiff Records one of the driving forces of the “New Wave” of the mid- to late-1970s, with a loan from singer-songwriter John Hiatt.

2000, Heinz, bass player and singer with The Tornados died aged 57. The group had the Joe Meek produced 1962 UK & US No.1 single 'Telstar', making them the first UK group to score a US No.1 single. Heinz had the 1963 solo hit 'Just Like Eddie', a tribute to Eddie Cochran (which featured future Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore).

2013, Andy Johns, the veteran producer and engineer who worked on classic albums by Led Zeppelin (Led Zeppelin II and all albums through to Physical Graffiti), the Rolling Stones (Sticky Fingers, Exile On Main Street); Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen and many others, died at the age of 61.

2016, American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimmie Van Zant died in a hospice in Florida after several years of treatment for liver cancer. He began playing guitar and piano as a child, mentored by his cousin Ronnie Van Zant, but largely gave up music until the 1977 plane crash in which Ronnie, the founder and lead singer of Lynyrd Skynyrd, was killed. He then then took up a career playing Southern rock music.

1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Walker Brothers, Engelbert Humperdink and Cat Stevens played two shows at Bournemouth Winter Gardens.


1970, Brinsley Schwarz's promotion company sent 133 UK journalists by plane to New York to see the band supporting Van Morrison at the Fillmore East, at a cost of £120,000. The event turned into a disaster. The group planned to leave a few days before the show to rehearse, but were denied visas on a technicality. They were finally given visas on the morning of the show, and arrived hours before the concert. The plane carrying the journalists developed a mechanical fault, delaying the flight and when the journalists arrived In New York 18 hours later, they were all hung over. Brinsley Schwarz gave a underwhelming live performance, resulting in a flood of scathing reviews.

1982, ‘Layla’ was on the UK singles chart. The re-released track originally featured on the Derek and the Dominos album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (November 1970). Inspired by Clapton's then unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend George Harrison, ‘Layla’ is considered one of rock music's definitive love songs, and features an unmistakable guitar figure played by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman.

2013, Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman turned himself in to British police after reports emerged suggesting he began a sexual relationship with his second wife, Mandy Smith, when she was 14 years old. After a brief meeting, the authorities decided not to pursue charges.

2016, It was reported that David Bowie had dominated the album charts for the first quarter of 2016. Bowie had the most entries to the chart with six albums in the top 40, after fans sought out his music in the wake of his death in January with his final album Blackstar becoming the second best selling album of the year so far.

1971, The Temptations scored their second US No.1 with 'Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)'. The track is considered one of the Temptations' signature songs, and is notable for recalling the sound of the group's 1960s recordings. It is also the final Temptations single to feature founding members Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams.


1975, Steve Miller was charged with setting fire to the clothes of a friend, Benita Diorio. When police arrived at Miller's house, Diorio was putting out the flames, Miller then got into a fight with some of the policemen and was charged with resisting arrest.

2006, Founder member and original drummer for The Wonder Stuff, Martin Gilks died aged 41, after losing control of his motorbike in London. Gilks was voted the best drummer on the planet in an NME poll in 1989.

2015, Bob Burns, the American drummer who was in the original line-up of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd died in a car crash in Georgia when his car struck a mailbox and a tree with the front of the vehicle. Burns was the only occupant of the car and was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. He appeared on the band's 'Sweet Home Alabama,' 'Gimme Three Steps' and 'Free Bird.'

Week commencing March 26 . . .
1963, The Chiffons started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘He’s So Fine’, which was a No.16 UK hit. In 1971 George Harrison was taken to court accused of copying the song on his 1970 ‘My Sweet Lord’ and ordered to pay £345,000 to the writers.

1963, 16 year-old Lesley Gore recorded her breakthrough hit, 'It's My Party'. The song produced by Quincy Jones went on to be a US No.1.

1976, The Sex Pistols played their first show at The 100 club, London. They begin a weekly residency at the club in June.

2000, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger made a nostalgic visit to his old school. He opened the new arts centre that had been named after him at Dartford Grammar. The singer said he had spent the worst years of his life at the school.

2000, Mungo Jerry singer Ray Dorset was ordered to pay a former employee £620  in back wages after a tribunal heard he had harassed her after she left his company. Dorset told the court he had paid her double pay by mistake for ten months.

1950, Born on this day (Friday), Dave Ball, Procol Harum, 1967 UK No.1 & US No.5 single 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' (one of the few singles to have sold over 10 million copies) and scored the hits 'Homburg', 'Conquistador'.

1966, Rolling Stone Mick Jagger was injured during a gig in Marseilles, Southern France after a fan threw a chair at the stage. Jagger required eight stitches in the cut.

1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Black Sabbath, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Curved Air, J.J. Jackson's Dilemma, Shy Limbs, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Sunflower Brass Band and Toe Fat all appeared at the London Free Easter Festival in Bethnal Green.


1973, Dr Hook And The Medicine Show got their picture on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine after their hit, 'The Cover of Rolling Stone' reached No. 6 on the US singles chart. According to members of the group, they really did buy five copies for their mothers, just like the song said.

1975, Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.

1980, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of The Moon album spent its 303rd week on the US album chart, beating the record set by Carole King's 1971 No.1 album Tapestry. The album remained in the US Billboard charts for 741 discontinuous weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in chart history. After moving to the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Chart, the album notched up a further 759 weeks, and had reached a total of over 1,500 weeks on the combined charts by May 2006.

1996, Two former members of the 1950s group, The Teddy Bears filed suit in Los Angeles, California, against producer Phil Spector and several labels. Carol Connors and Marshall Lieb alleged they had not received royalties from re-issues of their 1958 No.1 hit 'To Know Him Is To Love Him'.

2000, Phil Collins took out a high court action against two former members of Earth, Wind And Fire. Collins claimed his company had overpaid the musicians by £50,000 in royalties on tracks including 'Sussudio' and 'Easy Lover'.

1968, Pink Floyd recorded a performance for the BBC 2 TV Omnibus - The Sound of Change show from Barnes Common, London. The special, which was produced by Tony Palmer, also featured performances by The Who, Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The show was later broadcast in September of this year.

1973, Led Zeppelin released their fifth studio album Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed 'Houses of the Holy'. The cover is a collage of several photographs which were taken at the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland, by Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis. The two children who modelled for the cover were siblings Stefan and Samantha Gates.

1982, David Crosby was arrested after crashing his car on the San Diego Highway. Police also found cocaine and a pistol in the Crosby Stills & Nash star's car. When the police asked Crosby why he carried the gun, his reply was, "John Lennon".

2013, American rock guitarist and session musician Hugh McCracken died of leukemia in New York City at the age of 70. He appeared on many recordings by Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Billy Joel, Roland Kirk, Roberta Flack, B. B. King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Graham Parker, Eric Carmen, Loudon Wainwright III, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, The Four Seasons, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Gary Wright and Andy Gibb. Because of such high demand for his work, McCracken declined Paul McCartney's invitation to help form his new band, Wings, after appearing on his 1971 album Ram.

1949, Born on this day (Wednesday), Sally Carr, singer from Scottish pop group Middle Of The Road, who had the 1971 No.1 single 'Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep', which is one of only a few singles to have sold in excess of 10 million physical copies.

Week commencing March 19 . . .
1973, During a Lou Reed show in Buffalo, New York, a fan jumped on stage and bit Lou on the bottom. The man was thrown out of the theatre and Reed completed the show.


1976, Transvestite singer Wayne County appeared in court charged with assault after an incident at New York club CBGBs. County had attacked Dictators singer Handsome Dick Manitobe with a mike stand fracturing his collarbone.

2001, A stretch of road on Highway 19 in Macon, Georgia, was named Duane Allman Boulevard, near where The Allman Brothers Band guitarist died aged 24 in a motorcycle crash on October 29, 1971.

2013, Pictures of The Beatles' 1965 Shea Stadium concert, taken by an amateur photographer who bluffed his way backstage, sold for £30,000 at auction. Marc Weinstein used a fake press pass to get next to the stage for the historic New York show. His 61 black and white images with copyright fetched £30,680, the successful bidder was a South American gentleman currently living in Washington who is a huge collector of Beatles memorabilia.

1962, Bob Dylan's debut album Bob Dylan was released in the Untied States. Initially poor sales led the record to be known around Columbia Records as ‘Hammond's Folly’ (John Hammond was producer of Dylan’s early recordings and the man responsible for signing Dylan). The album was praised by the New York City weekly newspaper Village Voice as an ‘explosive country blues debut’, but featured only two Dylan original compositions, Talkin' New York and Song To Woody, the rest being old folk standards.

1965, The Tailor And Cutter Magazine ran an article asking The Rolling Stones to start wearing ties. The current fashion did not include wearing ties with shirts and many tie-makers were facing financial disaster. Mick Jagger said of the appeal, "The trouble with a tie is that it could dangle in the soup. It is also something extra to which a fan can hang when you are trying to get in and out of a theatre."

1976, Paul Kossof, guitarist with Free and Back Street Crawler died aged 25, of heart failure during a flight from Los Angeles to New York. Kossof had a long history of drug abuse. Free had the 1970 No.2 & US No.4 single 'All Right Now'. His first band was Black Cat Bones alongside drummer Simon Kirke (later of Free), and then he formed Back Street Crawler after leaving Free.


1982, Guitarist and former Quiet Riot member Randy Rhoads was killed when the plane he was riding in crashed. After driving much of the night, the band had stopped near a small airstrip. The tour bus driver, Andrew Aycock, talked the band's keyboardist, Don Airey, into taking a test flight in a '55 Beechcraft Bonanza, the joyride ended and the plane landed safely. Then Aycock took Rhoads and Rachel Youngblood on another flight and attempts were made to "buzz" the tour bus. The left wing clipped the bus, which sent the plane spiralling into a nearby house and bursting into flames. All three bodies were burned beyond recognition, and were identified by dental records.

1946, Born on this day (Monday), Paul Atkinson, guitarist with The Zombies who had four US hits, 'She's Not There', 'Tell Her No', 'She's Coming Home', and 'Time of the Season'. He later became an A&R executive, working for Columbia and RCA, discovering and signing such bands as ABBA, Bruce Hornsby, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest, and Michael Penn. Atkinson died on 1st April 2004 aged 58.

1953, Born on this day (Monday), Ricky Wilson, guitarist, with the American new wave band The B-52s. Best known for their 1978 debut single 'Rock Lobster and the 1990 UK No.2 & US No.3 single 'Love Shack'. Wilson died on October 12th 1985 aged 32.

Week commencing March 12 . . .
1965, The groundbreaking Motortown Revue landed at the Finsbury Park Astoria, London, on the first night of a package tour that took them around the UK visiting 21 theatres for two shows a night, plus a live TV special. Topping the bill was Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas, and 14 year-old Little Stevie Wonder all backed by the legendary Funk Brothers.

1967, The New Musical Express announced that former Spence Davis Group member Steve Winwood was planning to form a new group with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason. The ensemble would choose the name Traffic.


1972, T Rex played the first of two sold out nights at Wembley's Empire Pool; Ringo Starr filmed the shows for the 'Born To Boogie' Apple documentary.

1977, The Clash released their debut single 'White Riot.' The song is in the typical punk style of three chords played very fast. Mick Jones counts off "1-2-3-4" at the start of the album version while the single version begins with the sound of a police siren instead.

2001, American singer, guitarist, and songwriter John Phillips of Mamas and The Papas died of heart failure aged 65. His first band, The Journeymen, were a folk trio, Mamas and The Papas had the US No.1 'Monday, Monday'. Phillips was married to Michelle Gilliam, they had one child together, Chynna Phillips, vocalist of the 1990s pop trio Wilson Phillips. His second solo album was released on Rolling Stones records and featured Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood.

2002, Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam and close friend of the Ramones. The ceremony took place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

2011, Organisers of an attempt to reunite 19 people who watched The Beatles play in a town hall in 1963 had claims from 24 people who said they were there. Billy Shanks was helping to lead the search for the audience members of the gig in Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland in 1963. He said some who turned up thought the music was rubbish and left to join an audience of 1,200 watching a local band in nearby Strathpeffer.

2017, Chuck Berry died aged 90. The American guitarist, singer and songwriter was one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as 'Maybellene' (1955), 'Roll Over Beethoven' (1956), 'Rock and Roll Music' (1957) and 'Johnny B. Goode' (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive.

1970, Motown singer Tammi Terrell died of a brain tumour at the age of 24. She had collapsed onstage on October 14, 1967 into Marvin Gaye's arms during a concert in Hampton, Virginia. Initially Terrell recorded solo, but from 1967 onwards she recorded a series of duets with Marvin Gaye, including the 1967 US No.5 'Your Precious Love' and the 1968, ‘Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing’. Marvin Gaye reacted to her death by taking a four year hiatus from concert performance and went into self-isolation.

1977, After being with the label for just six days the Sex Pistols were fired from A&M due to pressure from other label artists and its Los Angeles head office. 25,000 copies of 'God Save The Queen' were pressed and the band made £75,000 from the deal.

2010, A rare Led Zeppelin recording from the group's 1971 gig at St Matthew's Baths Hall in Ipswich, was unearthed at a car boot sale. The bootleg copy of the audio from the group's gig on November 16th 1971 was picked up for just "two or three pounds" by music fan Vic Kemp. "I was going through a stand of CDs at the car boot at Portman Road and the guy who was selling them said, 'You might be interested in this,'" Vic Kemp told the Evening Star. "It must have been recorded by someone standing at the front with a microphone. You can hear Robert Plant talking to the audience quite clearly."


2015, Andy Fraser, songwriter and bass guitarist with Free, died of a heart attack caused by Atherosclerosis, in California aged 62. The London-born musician became a founding member of the British group when he was just 15 and went on to write most of the material with lead singer Paul Rodgers, including Free's 1970 hit 'All Right Now', 'My Brother Jake' and 'The Stealer'. Fraser also penned 'Every Kinda People', a hit for Robert Palmer as well as songs for Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart and Paul Young.

1964, For the first time in British recording history, all Top Ten singles in the UK were by British acts. No.1 was 'Anyone Who Had A Heart' by Cilla Black, No.2 - 'Bits and Pieces' by The Dave Clark Five, No.3 - 'Little Children' by Billy J Kramer, No.4 - 'Diane' by The Bachelors, No.5 - 'Not Fade Away' by The Rolling Stones, No.6 - 'Just One Look' by The Hollies, No.7 - 'Needles and Pins' by The Searchers, No.8 - 'I Think Of You' by The Merseybeats, No.9 - 'Boys Cry' by Eden Kane, and No. 10 - 'Let Me Go Lover' by Kathy Kirby.

1982, Metallica made their live debut when they appeared at Radio City in Anaheim, California. Metallica formed in Los Angeles, California, in late 1981 when Danish-born drummer Lars Ulrich placed an advertisement in a Los Angeles newspaper, The Recycler, which read, "Drummer looking for other metal musicians to jam with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden." Guitarists James Hetfield and Hugh Tanner of Leather Charm answered the advertisement.

2001, Peter Blake, who designed The Beatles classic Sgt. Pepper album cover sued the group's record company for more money. Blake was paid £200 for the famous figures in 1967, but was now 'cheesed off' that EMI had never offered to pay more money.

2008, Peter MacBeth, a member of The Foundations who had the 1968 UK hit with 'Build Me Up Buttercup', was jailed for child sex offences. MacBeth sexually assaulted a young girl on four occasions over the course of six years and downloaded child porn from the internet. The 71-year-old was suffering from cancer and had had he a tracheotomy which meant he lost his voice. Doctors had said he had between three and five years to live.

2010, Phil Blake of indie band Redtrack returned to his career as the bassist with the band after he underwent a pioneering operation to reattach his hand after it was hacked to the bone in a machete attack. Blake thought he would never play guitar again after a teenage robber hacked through his arm when he refused to hand over a mobile phone.

1978, The debut single from Kate Bush, 'Wuthering Heights' a song inspired by the Emily Bronte novel, started a four-week run at No.1 on the singles chart. EMI had originally chosen another track, 'James and the Cold Gun' as the lead single, but Bush was determined that 'Wuthering Heights' would be the first release from the album.

2005, The front door of Ozzy Osbourne's childhood home in Birmingham went up for sale because the current owner was fed up with fans defacing it. Ali Mubarrat, who now owned the house in Lodge Road, Aston, said over the years it had become a pilgrimage destination. He was now auctioning the door on eBay and giving the money to charity.


2009, Iron Maiden's tour manager criticised people who were arrested for trying to gatecrash a concert in Bogota. Colombian police arrested more than 100 people after stones were thrown hours before the group were due to perform. In a statement posted on the band's website, Rod Smallwood said: "We abhor the inane behaviour of a small minority of people outside." Riot police fired tear gas canisters at those who tried to enter the concert without tickets.

2011, The former singer with Iron Maiden was jailed for nine months for fraudulently claiming benefits. Paul Andrews, fronted the band between 1978 and 1981, under the stage name Paul Di'Anno. Andrews, 52, was jailed at the city's crown court after earlier admitting falsely claiming more than £45,000. Fraud investigators had viewed online videos and read about gigs on the performer's website.

2015, Jimmy Greenspoon, keyboardist with Three Dog Night died after a long battle with cancer at the age of 67. During the course of their career, Three Dog Night had 21 top 40 hits, including three No.1 singles.

2016, English musician Keith Emerson died in Santa Monica, California, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he had become "depressed, nervous and anxious" because nerve damage in his hands had hampered his playing. Emerson found his first commercial success with the Nice, in the late 1960s and was a founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), one of the early progressive rock supergroups.


Week commencing March 5 . . .
1965, During a Rolling Stones gig at The Palace Theatre in Manchester, a female fan fell from the circle while the group were playing. The crowd below broke her fall and the girl escaped serious injury just breaking a few teeth.


1966, Mike Millward guitarist from The Fourmost died, aged 23. The Liverpool group, who were managed by Brian Epstein, had the 1964 No.6 single 'A Little Loving'.

1966, Tina Turner recorded her vocal on the Phil Spector produced 'River Deep Mountain High'. It went on to make No.3 in the UK but only No.88 on the US chart. Spector was well aware of Ike Turner's controlling attitude in the studio, and therefore he drafted an unusual contract: the River Deep, Mountain High album and single would be credited to Ike & Tina Turner, but Ike was paid $20,000 to stay away from the studio, and only Tina Turner's vocals would be used on the record. Session musicians who played on the track included Leon Russell (keyboards), Glen Campbell (guitar), and Hal Blaine (drums).

1969, Led Zeppelin appeared at the Bluesville 69 Club at the Hornsey Wood Tavern, Finsbury Park, London. The venue was a function room at the back of the pub, and was so small that the stage was only just big enough for John Bonham's drums, and the rest of the group had to stand on the floor at the same level as the crowd.

2001, The man who discovered Blur, David Balfe won a high court battle to earn £250,000 in back royalties. Balfe had waged a legal battle for over two years to regain the royalties after selling his Food Records label to EMI in 1994.

2012, Sales of albums by The Monkees soared following the death of singer Davy Jones. 'Best Of The Monkees' re-entered the Billboard album chart at No.20 with sales of over 17,000 units.

1970, Charles Manson released an album called 'Lie' to help raise money for his defence in the Tate-LeBianca murder trial. The album jacket was made to look like a cover of Life magazine with the letter f removed from the word Life. In the mid sixties, Manson had been a wanna-be musician who befriended The Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, eventually talking the group into recording one of his songs, 'Cease To Exist'. The title was changed to 'Never Learn Not To Love' and was released as the B side of the single 'Bluebirds Over The Mountain', which eventually climbed to number 61 in the US in early 1969.

1970, David Bowie released the single 'The Prettiest Star' in the UK as a follow-up single to 'Space Oddity'. The track featured Marc Bolan on guitar, with whom Bowie would spend the next few years as a rival for the crown of the king of glam rock. Despite receiving good reviews, the single reportedly sold fewer than 800 copies, a major disappointment on the back of the success of 'Space Oddity'.

1971, Led Zeppelin appeared at the National Boxing Stadium, Dublin, the group's first show in Dublin, where they played 'Stairway To Heaven' live for only the second time.

1973, Slade scored their fourth No.1 single with 'Cum On Feel The Noize', the first single to enter the charts at No.1 since The Beatles 'Get Back' in 1969. Elton John had the No.1 album with 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player'.


2010, Mark Linkous, frontman with US band Sparklehorse committed suicide by shooting himself in the heart outside a friend's house in Knoxville, Tennessee. In 1996 Linkous "died" for two minutes after ingesting a mix of Valium and antidepressants while supporting Radiohead on tour in the UK. He recovered, but the incident left him paralysed, after lying unconscious for 14 hours, with circulation to his legs cut off. He suffered a heart attack when doctors tried to straighten the limbs, and had surgery seven times to save his legs.

1965, The Mannish Boys released their second single 'I Pity The Fool', featuring a young David Bowie. Produced by Shel Talmy (who was also producing the early singles and albums by The Who and The Kinks). Jimmy Page was Talmy's regular session musician and played the guitar solo on 'I Pity the Fool'.

1971, Led Zeppelin started a 12-date 'Thank You' tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at The Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of 'Black Dog', 'Stairway To Heaven', 'Going To California' and 'Rock And Roll'.

1995, Viv Stanshall of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band was killed in a house fire. The English singer-songwriter, painter, musician, author, and poet is best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his surreal exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for narrating Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.


2004, Guitarist John McGeoch died in his sleep aged 49. He had been a member of Magazine, who had the 1978 No.41 single 'Shot By Both Sides', and also worked with Siouxsie And The Banshees, Armoury Show and Public Image Ltd.

2005, A commemorative plaque for the The Jimi Hendrix Experience was unveiled in Loisin-sous-Lens. Hendrix had appeared at The Twenty Club when it opened in 1967. It was his first European tour where he was totally unknown. Club owner Rikki Stein stated: "The place was packed and at the end of ’Wild Thing’, his first number, there was total silence. The entire audience just stood there, open-mouthed. They’d never seen or heard anything like it in their life."

Week commencing February 26 . . .
1968, 25 year old Frankie Lymon, lead singer of The Teenagers, died of a heroin overdose in his grandmother's New York home. Lymon was on leave from a Georgia Army post at the time and was scheduled to record for Roulette Records the next day. He first hit the national charts in 1956 when he was just 13 with 'Why Do Fools Fall in Love'.

1970, In an interview with the New Musical Express, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green talked about his plans to give all his money away. The following year Green confronted his accountant with a gun after he sent him an unwanted royalty check. The guitarist went to jail briefly before being transferred to an asylum and was committed to a mental hospital in 1973. He re- launched his career in the 90s.

1970, Led Zeppelin played a gig in Copenhagen as The Nobs after Eva Von Zeppelin, a relative of the airship designer, threatened to sue if the family name was used in Denmark.

1974, Singer songwriter Bobby Bloom shot himself dead at his Hollywood apartment aged 28. Bloom had the 1970 US No.8 & UK No.3 single 'Montego Bay'.


1985, David Byron, singer with Uriah Heep died from an epileptic fit and liver disease aged 38. Had a hit with 'Easy Livin' from the 1972 album Demons and Wizards.

2006, Two stewards were shot during a concert by rapper Kanye West at the NEC in Birmingham. Police said the shootings took place after people who tried to gain entrance without tickets were escorted from the arena. A man, who had no ticket, entered the foyer and was ejected, he then returned and shot at the stewards, one was in a serious condition after being shot in the face.

2010, Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, who played bass for nearly 30 years with Daryl Hall And John Oates died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 58. He had also recorded with Carly Simon, Jellyfish, Squeeze, Elvis Costello, Shawn Colvin and Billy Joel over the course of his career.

1965, Jimmy Page released a solo single called 'She Just Satisfies' in the UK. Page played all the instruments on it except for the drums, and produced the track, as well as singing lead vocals.

1969, Peter Sarstedt started a four week run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Where Do You Go To My Lovely?' Some say the song was written about the Italian star Sophia Loren, but Peter Sarstedt has stated he wrote the song about a girl he fell madly in love with in Vienna in 1965, who later died in a hotel fire.

1979, During a court case between the Sex Pistols and their manager Malcolm McLaren it was revealed that only £30,000  was left of the £800,000 the band had earned.

1997, American songwriter Ben Raleigh died in a fire in his kitchen after setting fire to his bath robe while cooking. He co-wrote 'Scooby Doo Where Are You' and 'Tell Laura I Love Her.'

2009, A 10-minute version of The Beatles 'Revolution 1' was leaked onto the internet, giving fans a never-before-heard listen of what The White Album sessions must have been like. Only two copies of the take were made when the song was completed on June 4th, 1968. One copy left the studio with Lennon that day and the other remained behind. It was unclear which copy appeared on the bootleg, nor how anyone acquired it.

Week commencing February 19 . . .
1974, Suzi Quatro was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Devil Gate Drive', the singers second UK No.1 and fourth No.1 for the songs writers Chinn & Chapman.

1974, 'Rebel Rebel' by David Bowie entered the chart, the single reached No.5 the following month. Originally written for an aborted Ziggy Stardust musical in late 1973, 'Rebel Rebel' was Bowie's last single in the glam rock style that had been his trademark. It was also his first hit since 1969 not to feature lead guitarist Mick Ronson; Bowie himself played guitar on this track.

1976, AC/DC shot the video clip for "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" for the Australian music television program Countdown. It featured the band's then-current lineup, along with members of the Rats of Tobruk Pipe Band, on the back of a flat-bed truck travelling on Swanston Street in Melbourne. In May 2001, Australasian Performing Rights Association celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best Australian Songs of all time, as decided by a 100-member industry panel. "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" was ranked as the ninth song on the list.

2003, Howie Epstein bassist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died of a suspected drug overdose in New Mexico. He had replaced The Heartbreakers original bassist Ron Blair, Epstein also worked with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Linda Ronstadt and Del Shannon.

1967, Pink Floyd started their first sessions at the EMI Studios, St. John's Wood, London on their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, working on the song 'Matilda Mother'. While Pink Floyd were recording their album with former Beatles engineer Norman Smith, The Beatles themselves were working in the studio next door, recording 'Fixing A Hole' for their Sgt. Pepper album. Micky Dolenz from The Monkees attended the mixing session during the day.

1972, Led Zeppelin released 'Rock And Roll / Four Sticks' as a 7 inch single in the US, peaking at No.47 on the chart. The song was written as a spontaneous jam session, whilst the band were trying to finish 'Four Sticks'. Drummer John Bonham played the introduction to Little Richard's 'You Keep A-Knockin' and Page added a guitar riff; with the tapes rolling the basic song was finished fifteen minutes later.

1986, Metallica released their third album, the highly influential album, Master of Puppets, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time. This was the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton who was killed when the group's tour bus over-turned in southern Sweden while touring to promote the album.

2004, Mud singer Les Gray died of a heart attack, whilst fighting throat cancer, aged 57 (1974 UK No.1 single 'Tiger Feet' plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles').

2014, A statue of a weeping Kurt Cobain was unveiled in Aberdeen, Washington - the hometown of the late Nirvana frontman. The statue, which sees Cobain crying a single tear, is situated in the Aberdeen Museum of History. Kurt Cobain Day would now be celebrated annually in the city of Aberdeen. Of the day, Mayor Bill Simpson recently read a proclamation, which stated: "Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain and the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Kurt Cobain and his artistic achievements."

2014, A crew member working on a biopic about Gregg Allman died after being hit by a train during filming. Police in south Georgia said the woman was struck after the crew for Midnight Rider placed a bed on the railway tracks in Doctortown. Wayne County Sheriff John Carter said several other people had been injured, two of them seriously.



1965, The Kinks were at No.1 with 'Tired Of Waiting For You', the group's second No.1. According to Ray Davies, the music for 'Tired of Waiting for You' was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session.

1972, On their first Australian tour, Led Zeppelin rescheduled to the following night their concert at the Memorial Drive, Adelaide, after heavy rain left the stage and equipment unsafe. Zeppelin had brought to Adelaide the largest PA system seen in Australia to produce what was expected to be the loudest rock show ever heard.

2000, An American court ordered the release of FBI files relating to John Lennon's interests and activities including his support for the Irish Republican cause and the Workers Revolutionary Party. The British Government told the US that it wanted the files to remain secret. MI5 also had files on Lennon, which they had passed on the FBI during the 70s.

Week commencing February 12 . . .
1970, On this day, Friday the 13th, Black Sabbath released their debut self-titled studio album on Vertigo records in the UK. Peaking at No.8 on the charts, the album has been recognised as the first main album to be credited with the development of the heavy metal genre.


1972, The Greasy Truckers concert took place at the Roundhouse in London, featuring Man, Brinsley Schwarz and Hawkwind. The eveining was recorded and released as a double vinyl album, in a limited edition of 20,000 which sold at just £1.50. The release rapidly sold out, becoming a collector's item.

1980, Police raided the home of former Sex Pistols John Lydon, who greeted them waving a ceremonial sword. The only illegal item they found was a canister of tear gas, which Lydon claimed to be for defence against intruders.

2005, Readers of The Sun voted George Michael’s ‘Careless Whisper’ as the greatest British pop single of the past 25 years. Oasis came second with ‘Wonderwall’ and Kate Bush third with ‘Wuthering Heights’. The rest of the Top 10: No.4, Robbie Williams ‘Angels’, No.5, The Jam ‘Going Underground’, in equal 6th, Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’ and Joy Division ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, 7th was Queen ‘We Are The Champions’, 9th, The Stone Roses ‘Fool’s Gold’ and 10th The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’.

2016, All four members of English indie rock group Viola Beach; Kris Leonard (guitar and vocals), River Reeves (guitar), Tomas Lowe (bass guitar), and Jack Dakin (drums) along with their manager Craig Tarry, died in a car crash in Södertälje, Sweden. Witnesses said they saw the car fall through a gap on the E4 motorway bridge, which was open to let a boat pass. The band had played at the Where's the Music? festival in Norrköping the previous day. The band had been scheduled to support Blossoms on a tour of the UK and Ireland during February and March 2016. The following year Arriva Buses launched five buses in the home town of Viola Beach in Warrington. Each vehicle had a picture of one of the band members and their manager.

1968, Hal Cone former manager of The Monkees and Head of Jones Records was found guilty of theft, forgery, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

1981, American singer and musician Bill Haley who became known as the first Rock 'n' Roll star, was found dead, fully clothed on his bed at his home in Harlingen, Texas from a heart attack, aged 55. He scored the 1955 UK & US No.1 single 'Rock Around the Clock' as well as 'See You Later, Alligator’, ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’, ‘Rocket 88’, ‘Skinny Minnie’, and ‘Razzle Dazzle’. Haley was blinded in his left eye as a child due to a botched operation and later adopted his distinctive spit-curl hairstyle to distract attention from his blind eye.

1997, Scottish singer Brian Connolly with the Seventies Glam rock group Sweet died of kidney and liver failure aged 51. Connolly replaced Ian Gillan (later of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath ) in Wainwright's Gentlemen who became Sweetshop and then shortened to Sweet. The group scored 15 UK top 40 hits including the 1973 No.1 hit ‘Blockbuster’.

Week commencing February 5 . . .
1971, Led Zeppelin announced a small club tour which would see the group playing Universities and small venues with ticket prices at 12 shillings (60p). Zeppelin manager Peter Grant said 'We decided to do the clubs and forget about the bread and the big concert halls'.


1982, Kraftwerk were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'The Model / Computer Love', the first German act to score a No.1 single. The single spent 21 weeks on the chart.

1990, Billy Idol suffered serious injuries when he failed to pull up at a stop sign and crashed from his Harley-Davidson motorbike into a car.

1996, Former Jam members Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler reached a high court settlement with Paul Weller after suing him for more than £100,000, after claiming they were owed royalties and group assets.

1998, American singer and guitarist Carl Wilson from The Beach Boys died aged 51 after a long battle with lung cancer (Wilson was diagnosed with brain and lung cancer in early 1997). He sang lead vocal on 'God Only Knows', 'Good Vibrations,' and 'I Can Hear Music.' Wilson also sang backing vocals on Elton John's 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.'

1998, Austrian singer Falco (Johann Holzel) was killed in a road accident after his car collided with a bus. He scored the 1986 UK & US No.1 single 'Rock Me Amadeus' making him the first-ever Austrian act to score a UK and US No.1 hit single.

2001, Guitarist Don Felder was fired from The Eagles. He would later launch a $50 million law suit against drummer Don Henley and guitarist Glen Frey, alleging wrongful termination and breach of implied-in-fact contract. Henley and Frey then countersued Felder for breach of contract, alleging that Felder had written and attempted to sell the rights to a "tell-all" book. Both parties settled out-of-court for an undisclosed amount.

2011, Irish guitarist and singer Gary Moore died aged 58 in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room while on holiday in Estepona, Spain. Moore had been a member of Skid Row, Thin Lizzy, and Colosseum II, before going solo, scoring the 1979 UK No.8 single 'Parisienne Walkways'. Moore's greatest influence in the early days was guitarist Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, who was a mentor to Moore when performing in Dublin. His 1990 album Still Got the Blues featured contributions from Albert King, Albert Collins, and George Harrison.

Week commencing January 29 . . .
1967, Pink Floyd spent the day recording parts for the Syd Barrett songs 'Arnold Layne' and 'Candy And A Current Bun' at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. Floyd also turned professional on this day after signing a deal with EMI Records.

1972, Chuck Berry had his first UK No.1 single with a live recording of a song he'd been playing live for over 20 years 'My Ding-a-Ling'. UK public morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse attempted to have the song banned due to its innuendo-laden lyrics. The Average White Band members guitarist Onnie McIntyre and drummer Robbie McIntosh played on the single.

1979, Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was released on bail after attacking Todd Smith, singer Patti Smith's brother, at a Skafish concert. John Lydon has since stated that Mick Jagger stepped in and paid for the lawyers for Vicious.

1995, Richey Edwards guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers vanished leaving no clues to his whereabouts. He left The Embassy Hotel in London at 7am, leaving behind his packed suitcase. His car was found on the Severn Bridge outside Bristol sixteen days later. Edwards has never been found, despite constant searching, and in November 2008 he was declared officially dead.

Week commencing January 22 . . .
1968, Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University. They were supported by Tyrannosaurus Rex (later to be renamed T Rex) featuring Marc Bolan and percussionist Steve Peregrine Took.

1973, Sweet were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Blockbuster'. The glam rockers only No.1 of 15 Top 40 hits.

1975, The BBC 'Omnibus' documentary 'Cracked Actor' a film about David Bowie was shown on TV. Filmed in 1974 when Bowie was was a cocaine addict, the documentary has become notorious for showing Bowie's fragile mental state during this period.

1977, Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green was committed to a mental hospital following an incident when he threatened his accountant Clifford Adams with an air rifle when he was trying to deliver a £30,000 royalty cheque to him.

1986, Allen Collins, guitarist from Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed his car, paralysing him from the waist down and killing his girlfriend Debra Jean Watts. Collins had survived a plane crash in 1977 that killed two other band members.

1989, American soul singer Donnie Elbert died of a stroke aged 52. In 1955 he formed a doo-wop group, the Vibraharps making his recording debut on their single ‘Walk Beside Me’ but it wasn’t until the Seventies when he had major success with the solo hit 1972 US No. 22 & UK No.11 single 'I Can't Help Myself', Sugar Pie Honey Bunch', as well as the hits 'Where Did Our Love Go?' and 'A Little Piece of Leather'.

1948, Born on this day (Friday), Corky Laing, drummer with heavy rock group Mountain who had the 1971 album 'Nantucket Sleighride'. Also worked with Jack Bruce.


1969, Pink Floyd appeared at the Sixty Nine Club, Royal York Hotel, Ryde, Isle of Wight. Support band was The Cherokees, who had had a minor hit single in 1964 with Seven Golden Daffodils produced by Mickie Most. They later changed their name to New York Public Library.

1975, The last Sunbury Rock Festival in Victoria Australia was held. The promoters who had made heavy losses only paid Deep Purple. AC/DC were scheduled to play after Deep Purple but a fight started on stage between road crews after Purple's set when they began packing up the lights and PA and denied AC/DC use of them, who then left the festival site without playing at all.

1986, US manager Albert Grossman died of a heart attack while flying on Concorde from New York to London. He managed Bob Dylan (between 1962 and 1970), Peter, Paul and Mary, The Band, Janis Joplin and Todd Rundgren. Grossman built the Bearsville Recording Studio near Woodstock in 1969 and in 1970 he founded Bearsville Records.

1992, The inaugural Big Day Out festival took place at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. Acts appearing included, Nirvana, Beasts of Bourbon, Box The Jesuits, Celibate Rifles, Cosmic Psychos, The Clouds, Club Hoy, Died Pretty, Falling Joys, The Hard Ons with Henry Rollins Hellmen, Massappeal, The Meanies, Smudge, Sound Unlimited Posse, Ratcat, The Village Idiots, Violent Femmes and Yothu Yindi.

1949, Born on this day (Thursday), John Cooper Clarke, 'Bard of Salford', Manchester, poet laureate. Well known for 'Kung Fu International', 'I Married A Monster From Outer Space', 'The Day My Pad Went Mad'.

1967, Pink Floyd spent the second of three days recording the Syd Barrett songs 'Arnold Layne' and 'Candy And A Current Bun' at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea, London. 'Candy And A Current Bun' was first known as 'Let's Roll Another One' and contained the line 'I'm high - Don't try to spoil my fun', but it was decided that Syd Barrett should rewrite it without the drug references.

1969, New Jersey state prosecutors issue a warning to US record dealers that they would be charged with distributing pornography if they were caught selling the John Lennon / Yoko Ono LP 'Two Virgins'. The front cover of the album showed the pair frontally nude, while the back cover showed them from behind. The album still managed to reach No.124 on the US, but failed to chart at all in the UK, where only 5,000 copies were ever pressed.


1970, James Sheppard, the lead singer from the Heartbeats and Shep and the Limelites, was found murdered in his car on the Long Island Expressway. The US singer had been beaten and robbed. The Limelites reached No.2 in the US in 1961 with 'Daddy's Home'.

1970, Led Zeppelin appeared at Leeds University. It was at this show when Zeppelin had a meeting with fine arts lecturer Zacron to discuss their ideas for the album sleeve of the band's next album, Led Zeppelin III. Zacron, born Richard Drew, had studied at Kingston College of Art with members of the Yardbirds.

1977, The Buzzcocks appeared at the Roxy, in London, supported by Chelsea. Also appearing at the venue over the last week; The Damned, The Boys, The Adverts, Slaughter And The Dogs and Squeeze.

1981, Adam And The Ants started a 10-week run at No.1 on the chart with their debut album 'Kings Of The Wild Frontier'.

2017, American drummer Butch Trucks from The Allman Brothers Band died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 69. He played in various groups before forming the 31st of February while at Florida State University in the mid 1960s. He joined the Allman Brothers Band in 1969. Their 1971 live release, At Fillmore East, represented an artistic and commercial breakthrough.

1967, The Monkees performed live for the very first time at The Cow Palace, San Francisco to a sell-out crowd.

1994, American musician Rhett Forrester was shot and killed at a Northwest Atlanta intersection after he refused to give up his vehicle in an attempted carjacking, he was 37 years old. He was best known as the lead singer for New York-based band Riot from 1981 until 1984.

2002, English keyboardist Peter Bardens died from lung cancer aged 57. He was a founder member of the British progressive rock group Camel and also worked alongside Rod Stewart, Mick Fleetwood and Van Morrison, and recorded solo albums.


2017, English bass guitar player Pete Overend Watts and founding member of the 1970s rock band, Mott the Hoople died from throat cancer aged 69. Watts helped start the Buddies with guitarist Mick Ralphs, a band that evolved into Mott the Hoople after periods in which it was known as the Doc Thomas Group, the Shakedown Sound, then Silence. They became Mott the Hoople after Ian Hunter joined in 1969. Watts continued with Dale Griffin, Morgan Fisher and Ray Major in the Mott successor British Lions. He later became a record producer, producing albums for artists including Hanoi Rocks and Dumb Blondes.