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NEWS . . NEWS . . NEWS . . NEWS . . NEWS
Riffs welcomes constant info on gigs, line-up changes and general band associated news.
(Please note that the further down the page, the older the News)

No one tells us what to write, so we'll never tell you what to think





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GIROSCOPE ROCK 4 EMILY
After a blistering review on Riffs from our resident reviewer - The Seaham Silverback - of astounding new band Giroscope (right), ["I'd walk barefoot over broken glass to see them again" was one of his quotes] we are pleased to announce that the lads not only turn out some brilliant toons but have hearts the size of Rainbow's band members' list. Along with Michael Lavery from Groovetrain, they are giving of their time and talents totally and completely FREE to play at a fundraising event at Gateshead Rugby Club on Friday April 3. At only £4 to see a sensational band, a great compere and acoustic support, and to help a brave young lady with Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy, you'd need a heart of stone to not support this event. But enough from me, this is an extract from an email from her father Ian with some background to the event:
"My daughter Emily is a disabled athlete who competes nationally for Gateshead Harriers and hopes to compete for Team GB at a future Paralympic Games. Emily has Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy.
We are holding a fundraising evening to raise funds for travel and accommodation costs as well as entry fees to national competitions for the forthcoming outdoor and indoor season for 2019/20.
In 2018 Emily competed at the CPISRA WORLD GAMES in Barcelona coming home as a 5 time world champion. Later that year Emily was invited to become part of the British Athletics Paralympic development squad with the intention of producing Para athletes for Paris 2024.
We have the fantastic GIROSCOPE playing as our band for the evening. Tickets are available from the Rugby Club bar or directly from me Ian on 07711415820. This event is a ticket event but any unsold tickets will be sold on the door. .Please take a look at Emily’s website
www.emilystewart-t38.com"


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STEVESTOCK WEEKEND 2020
in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support


FRIDAY 31st

Ground Floor and FREE:
7 SINS 10.15 / ELENBAK 8.40 / MONKS IN AN EGGCUP 7.15 / BRANDON PROCTOR 6.30
First Floor £5 door (strictly limited capacity):
THE BREAKFAST CLUB 11.00 / RIGID DIGITS 9.25 / THIS MACHINE 7.55

SATURDAY 1st

Ground Floor and FREE:
FM 10.15 / TINY AFRO 8.40 / LOU ROSS BAND 7.15
First Floor £5 door (strictly limited capacity):
LITTLE DEVIL midnight / DIAMOND DOGS 11.00 / DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK 9.25 / TIN SOLDIERS 7.55
SUNDAY 2nd
Ground Floor and FREE:
NUTOPIANS 7.15 / THE WHODLUMS 5.30 / DEJA VU 3.45
First Floor £5 door (strictly limited capacity):
THE FORCE 8.00 / BIG TED 6.30 / VINTAGE EDITION 4.30

Please note that ALL tickets have now been sold, but £5 door is available - first come first served.

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GOODBYE TO BB's MARGE
The highly-respected landlady of the Bell and Bucket in North Shields bids a farwell to bands and punters alike this weekend (17, 18, 19) when she goes out with a bang - well, hopefully not literally - as three excellent bands intend to raise the roof in honour of this much talked about lady. Riffs has had no personal contact with Marge but, by all accounts, she is much admired and treats the bands with the respect they deserve. A rare flower indeed. Norman Force says about her "a lovely landlady who will be a big miss").
Her three last gigs are ROCK SOLID on the 17th, FM on the 18th, and STICKY FINGERS on the 19th.
Please go along and make Marge's last three gigs ones she will never forget. Pictures welcome . . .
Also, we have just heard (cheers Norm) that no less than Tony Liddle is to be the new vocalist for FM.




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MERCURY AND MAY - THE ULTIMATE QUEEN TRIBUTE

Queen fans must feel like all their Christmas and birthdays have come at once at the moment. Not only two excellent Queen tributes gracing our venues, but now an act that highlights the incredible vocal talents of Freddie Mercury and the outstanding guitar playing of Brian May.
The gig,
Mercury & May live at Boldon Community Association, New Road, Boldon Colliery NE35 9DS is on Friday January 31st and the performance commences at 8.30pm. Tickets are just £5 and the venue contact is 0191 5368085.

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DIABLO - Happy New Year Everyone!

2019 saw some great gigs for Diablo with fab crowds culminating with a cracking headlining slot at Tynedale’s annual Music and Beer Festival in Corbridge. The big success of the year,  without doubt, was the new album “Screaming Out” (still available) which eclipsed sales and triumphs of all previous Diablo recordings – so nearly achieving a hit record! Rave reviews kept pouring in such as Andy Jennings at GigItNorthEast; Harvey Smith of The Bastards of Eclectic Music Taste; Crack magazine Newcastle among many, and the track “I’m Unknown” became BBC2 Music North East Introducing Show’s Record of The Week in January. Tracks “Screaming Out” and “Crawl” have been played on local Nova Radio and “I’m Unknown” played at Gateshead FC International Stadium’s PA! Diablo’s original songs have been played on social media and YouTube over 77,000 times and those are just the plays we’ve managed to track! And with streaming the new album there have been literally thousands of plays and downloads. Thank you EVERYONE for supporting the album and us, for so long – we love you all. And Davy has just announced that the next album has already been written and is slated for 2021 release. Onwards & Upwards through 2020 – Diablo’s 16th year of continued success!
Dave Drums Diablo xxx



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Blackhall Community Centre is to host an AC/DC show featuring Livewire, with support from local lads Sticky Fingers. It's on Saturday February 22nd and tickets are £15, from ents24, seetickets or from the venue itself. Doors 6.30 and you'll be fully Rocked out by 11.30. By all accounts Livewire put on a fantastic show; but with the outrageous guitar of Phil Martin, I think if there is a band that can give Livewire a run for their money then it's the Stickies. Be prepared for a battle of the guitars!!!!!





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FILTHY RICH AND STARZ


I think it was only this year (still in 2019 - oh yeah) that
Starz took the North-East music scene by storm [well, okay that might be a slight exaggeration, but certainly a breath of fresh Rockin' air at the very least] and no other three guys looked more as though they belonged together than guitarist Kenny, drummer Mark and singer/guitarist Kiko. So, to hear that they had pulled in a dedicated singer and formed a second band did crease my brow a tad (although that could be just age).
But as Kenny explained: "American Girl is now finished and we wanted to replace that band - when we heard singer Rich Myers (hence Filthy Rich, yeah?) audition we just went 'WOW' as he is such a powerful vocalist."

Kenny told Riffs exclusively: "
Filthy Rich will be doing one set of the American Girl songs that Rich wants to do and one set of all new Rock cover songs that we think people will love and will be different to the usual covers."
I can recommend Starz unreservedly as all three members have their own charisma, style and musical skills; and if you're gonna add a dedicated frontman to the mix and gig as Filthy Rich then 'scuse me while I kiss the sky! Kenny continued: "
We start gigging as Filthy Rich in February and have gigs booked for the whole of 2020 but not as many as we'd like because Starz has taken off and is soooooo busy."
A website for the band is under construction and we will announce it as soon as it is up and running.



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FM
at The Turf in Consett today (Boxing Day) 4pm. Unless my memory serves me incorrectly, you're in for a heavy dose of AC/DC and Zeppelin. And personally, I can't think of many things that would do it for me at this time of year. Get along and RAWK.


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PB update: Firefox is being a bit of an arse with connecting. However, Google Chrome connects without a problem. Weird, but that's how it is.
I download all my albums from PB without a problem; I've paid for them in vinyl, then paid again on DAT, then again on CD, I'm buggered if I'm gonna pay again for mp3 files!


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Just heard from Dirty Dogz Phil with some bad news - the trial run gig a the Cluny this Sunday 22nd is now OFF due to flu. Needless to say, Phil is gutted, but hopes to re-arrange the gig for February. Any news concerning the gig and we guarantee to be the first to let you know............

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Apologies to the few peeps who have emailed to say the current PB address is not working. More and more ISPs are blocking it, but the address that is currently showing (top right, under page links) is fully working as of Wednesday 18th. I will try and keep it up to date. Appreciate you letting me know.

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The Three Tuns in Gateshead is now booking for January and February 2020. Anyone interested text me (Paul) 07940715824.

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The below article we originally put together a few weeks ago and things have come together nicely and Phil has now not only a got a date for the gig, but also has sold over fifty tickets for this Rockin' event. Phil is understandably cagey concerning the event and explains: "Me and the boys have booked a trial run at The Cluny on Sunday 22nd December, but this is to get a taster for next year." The gig is £10 a ticket (in excess of fifty sold to date) and kicks off at 6pm and runs till 9. Expect a night of surprises.....................

DIRTY DOGZ PHIL PROPOSES A NIGHT OF
'PANACHE, POWER, PRECISION AND PASSION'

And talking of 'no-nonsense', Riffs is excited at an email from Phil from Dirty Dogz fame who, after the demise of aforesaid band, has been pining for some quality, down-to-earth Rock done by mature, experienced musicians - or in his own words 'A tasty selection of highly regarded and seasoned pros' (I'm hearing people standing and clapping at the back . . .) and with the adage 'if you want something doing properly do it yourself' resounding around his thinking organ, Phil has decided to do just that.
Putting his money where his mouth is, Phil is arranging a 'little' soiree where he expects to showcase some incredible Rock talent. He told me: 'There’s still some cracking nights to be had out there I’m sure but, as most bands are finding, it's often hard chuffin work playing to 2 men, a whippet and a crazy couple in the corner who are adamant they want a bit of Britney! However, the frustration and disappointment seems to have wained a tad over the noted period of inactivity and I am dipping my arthritic toes (some may say foolishly) into the local, unpredictable rock'n'roll waters again.'
At the moment he has got his main band together: Joe Hope-Bass/Vox (“The Boy”), Ray Johns-Hammond (“The Man”), Sid White-Drums (“The Business”), Phil Caisley-Gtr/Vox (“The Dreamer”) but Phil promises some 'special guests' not to mention support band(s).
Still in its early stages, Phil is wanting to gauge support before he goes full tilt. He continued: 'Looking for definite feedback from real fans of live music who like nothing more than to immerse themselves in a night of quality sounds delivered with panache, power, precision and passion'. Expectations are high and Phil hopes the setlist to include 'interpretations/improvisations of classic rock, blues and psychedelia from Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, Stones, Beatles, Free, Neil Young, Peter Green, Bob Dylan...plus the odd original and a few surprises.' Phil has emphasised that this will happen only with enough prior interest. He welcomes texts on 07803 640235. I have promised Phil, Riffs' full involvement and when anything happens - we wanna know!
LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN.


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The Schooner in Gateshead is looking for bands for Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Call Paul 07940 715824


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The Schooner in Gateshead is looking for a band or artist to play This Saturday 7th December.
 0191 477 7404.   NOW SORTED   NOW SORTED   NOW SORTED


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A heads up............ Hearing little birdies talking about The Black Horse in Monkseaton stopping bands as the manager is close to leaving.

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BUFFALO FOUR SECRET NO LONGER

It seems only a brief five minutes ago that I popped along to Bishop Auckland's Bay Horse to catch the excellent Four Letter Word (review way, way down this very page). I also remember drummer Andy - not only for his steady and rhythmic playing - but also for the fact that I never got a picture of him! And I can well understand his disappointment when everyone in the band gets a photo - but not him. Even more so, considering he was doing the band a favour, standing in for their regular drummer. Andy plays in Buffalo Four who go down extremely well in the Blacksmiths in Gosforth but, he explained: "we have played there quite a few times and had some great nights with many compliments but apart from that venue we are unknown around Newcastle." It seems that Four Letter Word did quite well from Riffs mensh and Andy goes on to say: "they got a rave review and plenty of interest and some gigs from your article so thought we [Buffalo Four] are maybe due some attention. We have been going for 6 years and play to some pretty appreciative audiences but we are almost a secret in some places." Whoops, think I may have blown your secret Andy. Buffalo Four are at the Blacksmiths this Friday (6th).
Pic linked to the band playing 'I Won't Back Down'.      Metallica? AC/DC? C'mon lads, practice what you wear!!


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Air4ce at Cluny 2, Newcastle, 21st January 2020
Celebrating the life and music of Ginger Baker, featuring some of the north east's finest musicians - PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS...music from Ginger's work with Cream, Blind Faith, Graham Bond, Airforce, Billy Preston, and more.
Tickets (£8adv): click on poster.
And more information as it is announced here -https://www.facebook.com/Air4ce2020/

Apparently the first words that St. Peter said to Ginger, upon his arrival, were "look, I don't want any trouble".

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Those Queen tribute guys did it again - this time at Darlington's Hopetown & Whessoe Club on Saturday 23rd of this month when they wowed a packed house with Queen and Freddie's record-breaking and memorable songs covering over forty years. Qween's next gig is this Friday (29th) at Newcastle's Heaton Buffs but unfortunately there will be a lot of dissatisfied punters as the gig is strictly a private function so, unless you hold that special ticket, no entry. But keep your eye on Riffs Listings page as the lads will be playing in 2020.
If you just can't wait that long then We Are Champion, who do a superb tribute to Queen, have several gigs running up to Christmas. Also, on Sunday December 1 with a start time of 6pm at the Isabella in Blyth you can catch a Freddie Mercury tribute. Spoilt for choice!


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SHOT DOWN IN FLAMES
"Interesting idea, the tips for the band idea…..but here’s where my cynicism kicks in;
We have to be careful of the law of unintended consequence, it’s only a kick in the arse from there to playing for tips only, or used as an excuse not to pay a band or reduce their fee. Who would do such a thing I hear you say? Well there are plenty of reasons why a struggling venue may take that approach even before you factor in any exploitative reasons.
Yes it would sort some wheat from the chaff, but overall the standard would diminish because who would layout all that cash on gear without a fair chance of paid gigs?
But that dismisses the nous of even the most cynical of band bookers, theres not many that book bad bands, safe bands perhaps, and safe isn’t what brings in the punters, it may well entertain the ones already there however?"
Alan Fizzyfish
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Just heard from Patrick from the excellent Obsession and UK/DC that the Market Tavern in Chester-le-Street has ceased all bands for the forseeable future.

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What marvellous peeps there are out at Usworth and Washington.
Some of those fine punters piled into The Gardeners Club recently for Help for Heroes night when FOXX and Jay J Stevens waived their fee to make the night one to remember. Altogether the Club managed to make a very healthy £1400. Michelle from the club told Riffs:
"I had a lot of support ftom those who attended, also a big thankyou for those local businesses who donated prizes for our raffle in aid of Help For Heroes." The generosity of all those involved will make such a difference for our brave men and women.
And thanks to Michelle from Usworth and Washington Gardeners Club for letting Riffs know.

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HAD A GOOD NIGHT? - THEN FILL MY BOX
Well, our articles on dwindling punters for live gigs have been read by many, many people. The majority of whom do seem to agree that it is something that is happening now, and that it is affecting venues and bands alike. The only thing that is thin on the ground is solutions. I have heard one (from soneone who wishes anonymity), and as I have heard nothing better I will mention it here: A DONATION BOX ON THE BAR.
If you have had a great night at your local, seen a brilliant band playing stuff you like and recognise and the band have totally given their all, what do you do at the end of the night? Well, you just go home. And what if you haven't had that good a night, the band have been mediocre, stared at their feet all night and left you wanting? Well, you just go home. Now that seems rather unfair, the landlord doesn't know if you have had a good night or a bad one; that poor barmaid who has been smiling all night and serving all and sundry doesn't know, and the band who have lost at least a stone amongst them and played their collective kahunas off just see you leaving at the end of the night and have no idea if you loved them or hated them. SO - pop a few quid in the box on the bar. To be shared out equally between the band and the venue. One of the best night's ever? Bung a fiver/tenner in the pot and shout to the landlord "they were crackin' - I'll see that band again any time!" Now, to me, that seems feasible, but I am neither in a band, nor run a venue, so what do YOU think? Will it work - is it an A side, or just a terrible demo that won't make it onto the album? 

riffsonline@gmail.com

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An online station are taking music from signed/unsigned bands to be played for free.
No pop, just rock etc. no adverts.   http://www.marlab.dk
Thanks to Tony (former drummer with Cue) for this info.


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A late booking for these outrageous funsters. Friday night (22nd) at The Isabella in Blyth. Totally free entry and a wild night is guaranteed. Get along and let your Fez down!

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We have a straggler. By his own admission, the writer of the following article does not read the News page much, which does explain a lot. I know the Gig Listings is the most viewed page on Riffs but a lot of stuff on this page does tie in to the gigs so perhaps a glance now and then may prove beneficial. Any road up, here is Richie's thoughts on our main topic . . .

"I humped gear for a club band in the 70s then a pub band for 12 years after that, booked bands for 8 years for 3 pubs until quite recently but never for financial gain, still help out now and then when asked, so know a little bit about the music scene and how it works...
I have been watching bands since the 70s when clubs in my area that put bands on - solos and comedians, albeit on dedicated nights for each - used to be packed out but, one by one, they ended up dying a slow death, partly i think due to the loss of heavy industry. Pits, ship building and the like was to blame for some of it as shift workers could go out on a Thursday night and a Sunday night with Friday and Saturday nights taking care of them selves, if that makes sense, these people worked hard and went to clubs for nights out religiously and were not  frightened to spend their money, and not forgetting the earlier closing times where people on permanent days could go out, go home, bite to eat and be up for work no problem; we were all a lot younger then, yes there is Nissan and all of the knock on factories in my area but I am talking about a different age group here.
While talking about age I see some of the same people from that era at pubs now watching bands and, like myself, they are in there 60s with some older, one club is still going, but not as busy as it used to be with another two going down the sports club route and using private functions to survive. In a way what happened to clubs is the same as what is happening to pubs now, there got to be too many, also while for a long time they were a cheap night out, it got to be no longer the case with cover charges going up and all the add ons; bingo, raffles, various draws, it got where every other week there seemed to be something else. All of a sudden some pubs discovered a niche to host live music and were the better option cost-wise, you even ended up seeing some of the same musicians as many were happy to leave the club scene to gig the pubs.
The pubs saw an opportunity for making money by putting bands on after the club scene had died off, and while a lot were not designed to host live bands, they had to go with what they had got, most  got really good turnouts and were well supported, but over the years more and more pubs jumped on the bandwagon (no pun intended) and it watered the attendances down; where you once had a couple of venues you ended up with 5 or 6 and all within a small catchment area, people would go to where they thought they would have the better night. I think a similar thing happened in South Shields, for landlords they need decent turnouts on every gig night or it is no longer viable and becomes a struggle, also pub owners need to listen to the regulars as to what music they like, as all too often a pub will get taken over and book the wrong type of band, punk and acoustic is not going to go down well if people want rock music while, like myself, a lot of people still use Riffs and other music guides to find out what is on at venues, I think an up-to-date website is a must in this day and age. It is no good to anyone if a pub has a page and they do not keep it up to date as advertising plays an important part in letting people know who is playing and when; I think a few pubs are guilty of poor advertising,
I could mention a couple I know of where i never could find out who was playing, no good at all, they need to put it out there. I think with out doubt monthly pay plays a big part in sometimes having a lower turn out, the amount of times I hear people mention their funds are low the week before being paid, whereas back in the day when people were paid weekly they always seemed to manage money better and were able to go out, even the holiday period takes a toll on attendances, as does the run up to Christmas when money gets tighter. Quite often I have heard or read that the smoking ban has made a big difference, I myself think it has been very minimal; I think people have just accepted they have to go out side to smoke. I do not personally know anyone that has stopped going to gigs because of the ban.
Back to age and this has been mentioned various times on a music forum, there just does not seem to be many younger people attending gigs these days, certainly not the venues I go to, with the bulk of the audience being made up of 40s, 50s and 60s, unlike in my day where we were in our late teens. I have no idea the reason why. I might add that I go to watch predominately rock bands, maybe the old classics just do not appeal to the younger generation any more.
I must say that the northeast circuit is blessed with so many great bands and quality musicians; most of the time you are spoilt for choice. Referring to the 5 or 6 pubs in a small catchment area I have already mentioned, the pub with the more fancied band will get the better turnout with the others getting just enough people to break even if they are lucky. Every venue will have their group of regulars but these days they are looking at getting people to travel which we often do to Sunderland, Chester, Shields, ect, 3 or 4 sharing a taxi works out cheaper than the bus fare.
There seems to be a never ending supply of pubs that venture in to putting live music on only to find out that it is a hard slog with many giving up within a short period of time and not realising they need to be prepared to lose money early on until word gets out about their venue. I think the reality is that we will be left with the most well known of venues and those that are prepared to stick it out through this rough period.
"
Richie, Washington


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AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP
Well, you gotta laugh, haven't you! This just dropped into Riffs inbox and I just thought it was so relevant. Then again, I bet nearly all bands and venues have similar stories (I've thought it prudent to edit) . . .

"The guy who books bands in the ----------- has 26 gigs to fill so he books 12 or 13 bands to fill them giving each one 2 gigs a year regardless as to whether they died on their collective arses on the 1st show or not. We have reached the point where we’re getting the second time round for the dregs and I’m not going to go and watch a band that were shite 6 months ago in the vain hope they’ve improved. The fact that neither the band nor the club have bothered to contact your good self, or even to put it on their FB page illustrates their commitment to their craft. The next scheduled band in the --------- is the ---------- and I know it’ll be packed. At that time I'll be in Belfast. During previous visits I/we have tried to find a venue in that city playing Rock and it appears there either ain’t any or they don’t advertise on the web. Imagine a place like Belfast and no live Rock on a regular basis? And we complain about the dearth of decent music!!!!".


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Well, it was fantastic to have such a brilliant response - and so many views from bands and venues across the North-East on what they thought was the reasons for reduction in audience numbers. It was eye-opening to see so many different and interesting viewpoints. And Alan from Fizzyfish, after reading every single one with interest, now gives his views on just who has hit the nail on the head. But are we any closer to rectifying the problem?
"Since I wrote that last piece I have had some conversations, and some of the points raised by the other writers make you think as well.
Our most recent gig is a little case study, when I first started regular gigging, relatively recently in 2003, this place was one of the better venues on the scene, I knew the pub from my youth and actually went to see another band play there as I was auditioning for them a week later.
When I joined Fizzyfish it was somewhere they hadn’t played so I negotiated a gig there and we became favourites - and the venue was one of our favourites, building a relationship with the audience and staff.
After
Fizzyfish split in 2010 we returned in a different guise a few months later, but we lost so much momentum that even with the boost of changing our name back to Fizzyfish we found so many venues had changed, the stability had gone from the scene. The venue I was talking about now had a “manager” in but seemed more invested in food than bands; his attitude was hostile and his partner was one of those who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. They destroyed the pub and within months it had closed, had another false start then closed again and after a lengthy period has opened again.
The new owner is doing everything right, it’s a nicer environment, he’s keen and supportive, but crucially, that little community had moved on, they had to find different things to do. The last few years have seen the venue go from weekly gigs, to fortnightly gigs and 2020 will see one gig on the last Saturday of each month, and I fully support his approach.
Putting bands on was costing him too much, the crowds came back initially, but for all the reasons mentioned before and a few more, the audience is a shadow of its former self! Lost momentum in this game is a killer, it’s taken us best part of a decade to get back to the level of gigs and breadth of geographical coverage we once had, were a better band, but that only counts for so much these days despite our fee being the same as it was 15 years ago!
I don’t think any of us have all the answers, Mike from After Midnight raises a valid point and one we try to avoid, the too high a volume mistake, it means significant investment in quality gear, yet we still get the occasional can you turn it down/up requests (usually to turn it up!).
It’s been the same with our lights, we have had to cut them down as people were complaining about being blinded and most venues don’t allow smoke machines anymore so you have to get creative whilst still putting on a show.
I don’t blame the tribute acts moving up the tree and Paul from We are Champion (genius) just highlighted my point, a tribute to a good band with true mainstream appeal. But I know lads in less mainstream tributes who play less often and sometimes they are going nationwide, some even into Europe to sustain the interest.
Smoulty and I generally agree on stuff still, and I also agree with Dave from FM, his points about over saturation.
We have three venues who have us back 3 times a year, we make sure each return is as different as we can manage within what the punters will accept, but there are so many places that will not even answer any communication with us at all! Closed shops or closed minds.
We generally want one venue in each town, unless two venues will support us doing our different sets,  the Rollercoaster, which is our crowd pleaser all over the place set and the Seabass’tard which is our harder uglier rock set, it’s a lot of work. But some venues distrust that we can make that approach work, they seem to be risk averse, they want defined bands doing what they say on the tin, safety.
We are open to do more clubs in the future. The ones that have turned their backs on the agencies and excessive Bingo are now opening up a new avenue, we found it logistically difficult to be able to arrive at a club at the times they prescribed in the past, but now some are more flexible and we are as well, let’s see how that pans out!"

Alan, Fizzyfish

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Just become aware of a venue in Sunderland - Angels Place - and as was my wont did a quick google search just to get a 'feel', and was rather impressed; a biker's gaff with a great Rock atmosphere and on their Facebook page recently hosted Deep Purple In Rock. That video alone was enough to whet my appetite. Took me back to the good 'ol Seventies at Middlesbrough Rock Garden. If only someone would invent a time machine, that would be the time I'd zip back to........

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Here we go, last one. It's been a lot of hard work for me, but I hope it's made a difference. And if it hasn't, at least I've tried. If we all do one, may even be very small, thing, then at least we've done more than the next guy who has done sod all.........I have extreme respect and admiration not only for the bands who bust a gut getting organised and traipsing to the venue, setting up, belting out quality Rock (or whatever, but it should be Rock, really) and then at the end, stripping down their gear, and going home, but also to the venues who sometimes take a punt on a band and ending up crossing their fingers that the gig isn't marred by, well, any number of things that can go wrong. I have no musical talent whatsoever, and would worry myself into an early grave if I was to host bands on a weekly basis - so I do what I can from this computer. Humungous respect goes out to you all. Really.




Only one more 'Disappearing Audiences' article to go, which I am working on right now. So if you have something to say then now is the time - and by 'now' I don't mean sometime next week, or even in the next day or two or 'yeah, okay I'll probably type something out this weekend' - NO. I mean, like, today, in the next hour or two! It doesn't take that long to type something out so let people know your views. Anonymous is fine, as long as you are honest. And it's no good saying 'Well, there's no point cos I agree with a lot of what's been said'. How does anyone know that unless you say so?!!!! Like I say, last one today. That's it. Finito. Fin. Koniec. Tapitra. Galas. Ende.





I always, but always have on some belting Rock when I'm working on Riffs, and as I am now (11am Friday) half way through what will probably be the penultimate article on Disappearing Audiences, this track came on. I just remember being so disappointed when mega bands 'throw away' a classic track when at a live gig. Like 'this is xxxxx xxxxxx' and then it's done and over in a few minutes. UFO Doctor Doctor and Nazareth Bad Bad Boy come to mind. Waste of a good opportunity.
Now, THIS is an intro...
(Oh, and it really should go without saying - but PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!!!!)

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Your Point of View is No More Or Less Valid Than Anyone Else's
Well, I've got to say I've been knocked out by the eye-opening response concerning the demise of punters coming out to enjoy live music. From agents, bands, venues - you name them - they have been concise, honest, eloquent. And it just goes to prove that people DO care. Okay, there was some that haven't bothered; but that happens in every walk of life. If nothing else - and I sincerely hope there has been considerably more - it has given everyone involved the opportunity to see 'the other side' of life in the live music world. I have been enlightened; and I'm sure I'm not the only one. It highlights the fact that your point of view is no more or less valid than anyone else's.
Probably just one more article to go, hopefully get that done today..........


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With all this talk of the problems of punter numbers, band prices, low turnouts etc, I was brought slap bang back to earth when I was made aware of the problems of a member of local lads Ghostband. It turns out the reason that they have been off the road for quite a while was the necessity for Brian Vasey to undergo a quadruple heart bypass, with other complications that necessitated quite a long layoff ("It was a rough time for him and he says the recovery was far worse than the op as they had to take a vein from his leg to use in his heart and it was his leg that hurt the most"). The good news is that he is on the long, slow, gradual road to recovery and is itching to get back on the road. But as guitarist Baz pointed out: "since April Chris (drums) and myself have either been depping in other bands, separately or together, and ones we had dep guitarsts for we never knew if they were going ahead, so other than a last minute Facebook ad, we thought it better not to advertise our gigs only to have to pull them. But since his op Brian has now bounced back and I now feel safer in advertising our gigs once more." The three gigs booked for December are: Sat 7 Old Ship, Newbiggin;  Sat 14 Acklam Steels Club, Middlesbrough;  Fri 27 Lambton Arms, Chester Le Street. I'm sure we all wish Brian well and for him to be fully recovered and fighting for the Old Ship on the 7th.

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Just this minute heard of a late gig by The Alcatraz House Band for this Friday (November 1st) at Steels Club in Sunderland. Haven't heard of AHB gigging for a very long time so they may just be testing the water so to speak. Let's hope this gig is the first of many as they were a very proficient band. Anyway, quick look in Riffs achives and here is Val's review of the band from way way back if anyone is interested . . .
Oh - and a slap around the chops for both Jenn and Steels Club as it was neither of them that we heard it from - and here we are discussing disappearing audiences!!



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TREAT THE BAND WELL OR PAY THE PRICE

Time for a bit ramble - well, it has been a while - and I am part way through article number four and it always takes longer than I imagine. Feeling my brain going porridgey I need a break so, with reference to the mention of some venues totally ignoring the band for the evening and not giving the band a welcome or whatever, I feel I must mention the time Riffs' Val ran a pub in West Auckland. It wasn't for very long (less than a year I think), but circumstances dictated that that was the way things would be for a short time. She had her licence, name above the door and whatever. She had a live gig night once a week and would have loved to have heavy Rock bands but her punters preferred more laid back music; Whitesnake, Bon Jovi (aaarggh), poppy type stuff - with maybe a little Rock thrown in. Anyway she would always make a point of welcoming the band, each one, by name. Telling them that they were an integral part of the evening and anything at all they wanted, or had any problems, they were to contact her, and only her, and she would sort it.Don't bother anywone else, come straight to her. She never charged the band for drinks, but heaven help any of the band's hangers on trying to get a freebie! (She could be quite formidable when she wanted to be - and sometimes when she didn't!). They were not charged for crisps, bar snacks etc. She had in her mind what she needed to break even, and a figure which would be great to achieve for a modest profit from the evening. On some occasions this figure was exceeded and she gave half to the band as a big thank you. She told me that the look on the guys' faces was pure astonishment that someone would actually give them MORE than they asked for. Needless to say she didn't need to do much searching for bands as the word spread how well (and fairly) the bands were treated. Course a Riffs review usually followed for every band that appeared there. I remember more than one band said they would come and play (Val did do her homeword by the way - she wouldn't book crap) and just take whatever Val decided to pay them!! I bet that doesn't happen that often. And yes, she made sure they got a fair price. Many bands also played longer (well past finish time) to a vibrant and appreciative crowd and she would always make sure they got extra. When she took over the pub it was, how should I put it, slightly below what you would expect. Within just a few weeks the clientele improved and it became a decent pub. I remember one time a couple of Hell's Angel types (over 6ft tall, about 3ft across the shoulders, sleeveless denim jacket, tattoos, bald - you get the image) started squaring up to one another. Val was straight over to them, pulled her top down and said: "I could knock both of you out with these
(Val was about a 38FF by the way), so stop your messing and enjoy the night. Or I'll kick you both out!". They stood there nonplussed and I think they forgot they were fighting and just went shellshocked back to the bar. And yes, I have seen her throw many a drunk guy clean out of the pub, not one of them lifted a finger to her. But anyway, back to how to treat bands. The way Val treated the bands, to me, should be the norm, and I was really surprised to hear that some bands are treated so badly. It doesn't make sense to diss a band - they have mates in other bands and if they are impressed, the venue will benefit by getting a good reputation. It was not that long ago that a new band was struggling to get gigs and asked me here at Riffs how they would go about getting noticed in the region - they wanted me to do them a boxed ad. I said that would be a waste of money. No one is going to book a band just cos they took out an advert. I told them what I would do if I was a competent musician and wanted to get noticed: I would ring up Paul Tuns and tell him I had a great band, and what I played, then say I will play for expenses just to get a gig - even a support slot. I would then email Nige at Riffs (which is me by the way, in case you're losing the will to live) and say come along for some quality Rock, and also send in a blurb about the band accompanied by some wild and quirky pics. I would then ring around local landlords asking them to come along. Blitz social media with some pics of my band looking wild, happy and raucous (who wants to see a 'boring' band). And just hope that Paul Tuns loves us and mentions us to his mates (and of course gives us a return booking at a reasonable price). yeah, well I said most of this and never heard from them again. Anyway, back to article number four, or is it five........and why is my coffee stone cold?

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Really pleased to hear from Paul Tuns regarding Disappearing Audiences, and his contribution will be in the top spot in the next article to be uploaded today (Wednesday).

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And here's the third - probably one more to go if no more emails come in . . .




Just uploaded the second of 'Disappearing Audiences' articles (probably couple more to come as Riffs readers have been marvellous at giving their opinions and views on disappearing audiences [not in a supernatural way you understand]). Brilliant stuff and an absolute banquet for thought.
   

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I just gotta say I've had some brilliant replies to my request for insights into the dwindling crowds at live gigs. Well, here we are, Saturday (it is Saturday isn't it?!) and I still don't have anything ready regarding the upcoming article (now articles) on aforesaid subject. It's not that I'm lazy (although that may go some way) but I have had some frighteningly incisive, not to say interesting and long-winded (but totally relevant) replies. So much so that one article just will not encompass them all. My original idea was to edit them down to bite-size chunks (bullet points if you will) but . . . well, I found that a bit like trying to edit Stairway to Heaven or Rock Bottom down to three minutes. You could - but you'd need to hide away in a dark place for a long time so no-one would know who you are. So, yes, I'm working on it, so bear with me......

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Riffs is gathering info on your views as to what may be the cause of dwindling crowds for live music gigs around the North-East - and what, if anything, can be done about it. We have some great venues, caring landlords/owners and a plethora (that means lots) of top quality (I mean like fuckin' awesome) bands - so why so few punters? If you wish to have your say then just email me here:   riffsonline@gmail.com.   You can even remain anonymous if you wish (but make it clear in your email).

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APATHY RULES! - WHATEVER
Just this very minute (well, coupla days now) heard from an extremely well-known and well-respected North-East pub landlord who has put his heart and soul into live music for many years, that he is close to calling it a day with live bands. Over the past few years his gig crowds have steadly dwindled to a point now that it is hardly feasible to host live music. Considering the quality of musicianship and wide range of excellent bands on offer in our area, this is a total disgrace. Regular readers will have noticed that Riffs (and bands and venues) have mentioned the lack of live music support on many occasions of late but it is now becoming a frightening reality that venues will have to react to. The annoying thing is, the answer is unbelievably simple - fuck the box and get out and watch a band!

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ADRENALINE-FUELLED HEAVY ROCK
I think that any band who openly welcomes a review must be reasonably sure they are musically and visually capable.

Riffs never expects perfection, indeed, so glad we haven't found it 'cos life would then be filled with anti-climaxes. So it was nice to hear from Graham from Adrenaline who boast a night of 'Heavy Rock and Classic Rock' - my musical taste buds are a-rockin' already.

The gig is on November 9th, Saturday, at Darlington's Quakerhouse.

Now all I need to do is try and remember where I have heard the name Graham Forrester from.... An enlightening email will surely be heading my way.......

Oh, and in case you need a taster of what Adrenaline offer. Look no further than HERE.





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There's many amongst us who just can't get enough AC/DC from the good ol' early days of Bon Scott. Well, your lust for Rock and Metal at its best can be well-satiated tonight (Friday 11th) at Gateshead's Three Tuns when UK/DC take to the stage for a blistering Rock set that I can assure you is dynamite. You have been duly notified.

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Whoops. Thought I had mentioned this but apparently not. The Times Inn, Dalton le Dale, has shut its doors. On its Facebook page, it says 'for good', but I don't think the staff and punters would see much good in it! I think they may mean 'permanently' or 'indefinitely'.


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VICTIM OF CHANGES
Without question, Rob Halford is one of Heavy Metal’s all-time great vocalists – as heard through his highly influential and groundbreaking work with Judas Priest. But age must do strange things to people, as he is about to release an all-new album entitled ‘Celestial’ - full of  'Christmas' songs.
‘Celestial’ sees Halford joined by a supporting cast of those very close to him – his brother (Nigel) on drums, his nephew on bass (Alex, son of Priest bassist Ian Hill), has sister (Sue) on bells, and twin guitar tandem of Robert Jones and Jon Blakey.
'Donner and Blitzen,' and 'Protected by the Light,' as well as reworkings of such holiday standards as 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' 'Joy to the World,' and 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,' sit alongside other offerings. 'Donner and Blitzen’ gets the snowball rolling for Celestial – a song full of excitement, love and hope,” says Rob. “You can hear and feel the power of Christmas time – energy roarin’ with rockin’ reindeers haulin’!”
Of course you can Mr Halford. Now where's my copy of Sad Wings of Destiny . . .


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Gonna give a shout to Heart Shaped Stone who, up until today, I thought was a band but, apparently - well not apparently - because she has told me she isn't a band, she is solo, and she ought to know.
I'm giving a shout for two reasons. 1) she's taken out an advert in Riffs, which helps me pay the exorbitant prices for web hosting and domain name; and 2) she was the lead singer in two Rock bands - '99 Clicks', and 'Fallen Angel'. [I could squeeze in a 3) by saying she was very polite - you'd be surprised how many people aren't!].
As she told Riffs quite candidly: "
Everything I play is totally live, no tracks or gizmos, I strive to play well known cover songs that people like to hear on a night out and very often finish up with the audience singing along as the night goes on, mainly great singalong songs from the 80s and 90s from bands such as 3 Non Blondes, Oasis, Allanis Morrisette, Beautiful South, Fleetwood Mac, KT Tunstall, Blondie, Cranberries, plus some older, earlier and more modern songs too to please a wider range of audience."
She has a great following in her home town of North Shields but travels all over the North-East for gigs. She is no stranger to the weird and wonderful venues we have here in the North-East and has hosted buskers nights and mulitplayer live music gigs since 2017, now pushing her solo career.
I'll admit, unless she dives into the odd Priest or Motorhead track ("that really isn't going to happen, Nige") she may leave me a bit by the wayside but, as my niece told me "There's more to life than Heavy Rock". Errrmmmm, sorry Hazel, nope, you've lost me.
But I appreciate there is room for everyone in our thriving music arena and Heart Shaped Stone certainly have the background and professionalism to say "I'm here now, just leave everything to me". And that, surely, is what a lot of landlords are dying to hear. (second only to "there's hundreds of people queued outside for tonight's gig!")
There is a Facebook page showreel:

https://www.facebook.com/heartshapedmusic/videos/3191461814229734/
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Ginger Baker, one of the co-founders of Cream, has died at the age of 80.
Baker is best known for co-founding Cream with Eric Claption and Jack Bruce in 1966. He suffered various health problems in the later years of his life, telling Rolling Stone in 2013 that performing “exhausted” him. The candid interview also saw Baker reveal that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from smoking. In February 2016, he was forced to cancel a tour with Air Force after being diagnosed with “serious heart problems”. He is thought to have undergone open heart surgery in June of that year.


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INTERNATIONAL DATELINE OCTOBER 7 . . .
INTERNATIONAL DATELINE OCTOBER 7 . . . INTE
Direct from Riffs International Overseas Reporter (you better believe it!) comes some AC/DC news; recently opened in Prahran, Melbourne (that's way over in Australia, by the way) is 'Angus and Bon' Steakhouse. Which, co-incidentally or not, is just around the corner from the Station Hotel where the band played one of their first Melbourne gigs back in 1975. Our intrepid Ozzie reported dutifully snapped this pic of the Angus and Bon plaque and I have requested that she wears her 'AC/DC founded 1974' t-shirt in front of the aforementioned establishment while taking a photo of herself (I think the hip amongst us call it a 'selfie') - but of course this all depends on the weather as I was unable to afford the very fastest pigeon. But a big thanks to Franki who, by her own admisssion ended up in Melbourne after missing the Hollywood plane. Don't worry, I told her, relax.








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Another thousand words, this time from Qween, also with a sellout concert on a recent Friday at Hedworth Hall:

Checkout their radio interview here.

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A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

The Bay Horse in Bishop Auckland (on a recent Friday). . .
    
   


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Heard from Maddog - Chairman of the Tyne Wolves - that the Duke of Cumberland in Gateshead reopened fairly recently and is planning live gigs. The management intends to have regular band nights but The Tyne Wolves have got in quick with two gigs there already planned: Red Revival on 28th of this month, and Three Odd Shoes on Oct 4. Start time is 8pm and there will be a charity bucket for welcome contributions.

Val and myself have many happy memories of the Duke, with Thompa vying with Paul Tuns for the most gracious host in the North East. He set the bar extremely high, let's just hope the present management are even half as good.


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The gig arranged for Darlington's Forum for 24th of this month has been put back to next year and this new gig featuring The Tom Atkinson Band and the legendary Russ Tippins Band now takes its place:
 

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Heard from Dave from the Graham Henderson Experience that their gig tonight (Friday) at the Ox and Plough in Washington is off. The venue is closed and boarded so I guess that means no live gigs there for a while............but we'll let you know if anything changes.

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Better late than never - tonight's gig (Fri) at the now iconic Three Tuns in Gateshead is Heavy Metal USURPER. Tried my best to get a pic of the band but no luck. But there are some vids on Youtube taken at Trillans. I mention tonight's gig as it is now getting so damn difficult to get to see some Metal bands - and even more so if they play their own compositions; so good on Usurper. Check out their vids and if you are in the Gateshead area then why not pop along and give these guys some support? master of the wreck   baptism of fire
And good on Paul Tuns for giving these lads an airing.

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TRIBUTE BAND BREAKS PUB ATTENDANCE RECORD
By all accounts Darlo Blues day on Sunday was a rip-roaring success and, although we would have liked to hear from several bands concerning their gig on the day, at least we've been contacted by The Paul Rodgers Story who, apparently, broke an attendance record at a Darlington pub! We hear that there was, wait for it, 110 (that's one hundred and ten) people watching just the band's sound check at Hoskins Bar in the town centre. And when the band kicked off, there had been an unbelievable 553 people in the venue. The previous record was 350. The band, needless to say, fed off the crowd and went down an absolute storm. The Paul Rodgers Story have a new website up and running www.paulrodgersstory.com (I've told them about the Riffs reviews links not working) and also I can link to a video taken on the night of the band playing 'Fire and Water'. Just click here.
(above pic was taken at Darlington Forum earlier this year)


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Has anyone a cure for Fizzyfish? Those adaptable funsters are at it again - raising money for charity. I can't put it much better than singer Alan so I'll quote directly from his email:
"This one's been drawn together really quickly, Sunday 29th Sept at the old B&M store on Harbour Walk, Hartlepool, TS24 0YA. We're helping out the Personal Trainers at The Gym Group in Hartlepool in an event to raise funds for Andy’s Man Club, set up to help people with mental health issues in remembrance of Adam Rutherford, a young lad who sadly took his own life. The event is free, but obviously we would welcome any donations on the day to the cause, there's 3 live music acts; Red Sky, the acoustic duo span off the band Skyran, the wonderful Jades a 4-part glamourous harmony group, and to end the afternoon there’s the ugly buggers that are us, Fizzyfish, with a power hour to end the day with a bang. The event runs from noon until around 4pm, there’s plenty of other stuff going on for those who like to physically exert themselves - and those who like to watch them try. Everyones doing their bit for nowt, from the organisers, Hart tool hire, PA company Soundwaves, Van Hire company and Hartlepool Council; they have all been a great help, all funds raised go straight to the cause."
There's nothing more I can add to enhance the event, except a plea for local people to go along, have a crackin' day out and try and pop a few pennies in the collecting buckets. Anyone who's organised an event knows just how much hard work - not to mention sweat and sleepless nights - goes into it, so to tot it all up at the end of the day to realise a financial reward for Andy's Man Club would put smiles on so many faces . . .
And well done Fizzyfish - Riffs will always have room for you.

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DIRTY DOGZ PHIL PROPOSES A NIGHT OF
'PANACHE, POWER, PRECISION AND PASSION'

And talking of 'no-nonsense', Riffs is excited at an email from Phil from Dirty Dogz fame who, after the demise of aforesaid band, has been pining for some quality, down-to-earth Rock done by mature, experienced musicians - or in his own words 'A tasty selection of highly regarded and seasoned pros' (I'm hearing people standing and clapping at the back . . .) and with the adage 'if you want something doing properly do it yourself' resounding around his thinking organ, Phil has decided to do just that.
Putting his money where his mouth is, Phil is arranging a 'little' soiree where he expects to showcase some incredible Rock talent. He told me: 'There’s still some cracking nights to be had out there I’m sure but, as most bands are finding, it's often hard chuffin work playing to 2 men, a whippet and a crazy couple in the corner who are adamant they want a bit of Britney! However, the frustration and disappointment seems to have wained a tad over the noted period of inactivity and I am dipping my arthritic toes (some may say foolishly) into the local, unpredictable rock'n'roll waters again.'
At the moment he has got his main band together: Joe Hope-Bass/Vox (“The Boy”), Ray Johns-Hammond (“The Man”), Sid White-Drums (“The Business”), Phil Caisley-Gtr/Vox (“The Dreamer”) but Phil promises some 'special guests' not to mention support band(s).
Still in its early stages, Phil is wanting to gauge support before he goes full tilt. He continued: 'Looking for definite feedback from real fans of live music who like nothing more than to immerse themselves in a night of quality sounds delivered with panache, power, precision and passion'. Expectations are high and Phil hopes the setlist to include 'interpretations/improvisations of classic rock, blues and psychedelia from Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, Stones, Beatles, Free, Neil Young, Peter Green, Bob Dylan...plus the odd original and a few surprises.' Phil has emphasised that this will happen only with enough prior interest. He welcomes texts on 07803 640235. I have promised Phil, Riffs' full involvement and when anything happens - we wanna know!
LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

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HEADS DOWN NO-NONSENSE BOOGIE
Nipped out to catch Ma Kelly's Boys last Sunday (15th Sep) at Crook Hotel, co-incidentally about the same time as John Coghlan's Quo were playing in Darlington as part of the annual Blues Festival. Again, Ma Kelly's Boys are seasoned musicians who have done their homework and noticeably love playing Quo's early stuff. Lots on offer, including 'Railroad', 'Roll Over Lay Down', 'Mystery Song' and many of the expected Quo classics - the sound was ballsy, meaty and perfectly balanced. Lead guitarist's feigned move to turn down the volume elicited angry shouts from the crowd. Think so too. Quo fans will not feel short-changed here.
   
     

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My faith in humanity has been partially restored - well, I say humanity; I mean the Rock-going public of the North-East. How? Well, I have just received (and now put together) a review of UK/DC at Glendale Club from last Friday (13th), and it was packed. Chocka. Heaving. And don't take my word for it, The Seaham Silverback was there, sent in his review with pictures of said crowd. Magnifico.
 

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Received a link to the new offering from our local lads Millennium. Coming in at around an ear-battering six minutes this Heavy Rock onslaught - A New World  - is a taster for the full album coming out this month. Seems there's fewer and fewer Rock and Metal heads left, but for the Metal minority this little ditty should satisfy. Paul from the band told me: 'It's tough for all bands but especially those that peddle their own stuff. Hopefully we'll travel a wider road soon.'  We wait with baited breath. Give it a listen, crank your speakers to 11, sit back, and enjoy . . .A NEW WORLD

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Just been sent a link to a great video by the NE STREET BAND. Check it out here

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Three Tuns in Gateshead need band for this Sat (14th). Contact Paul asap 07940715824 (and let me know if you get the gig and I'll post it on the Listings page). NOW SORTED,. FREDDIE PURVIS GOT THE GIG.

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After typing the below para something came to me that Colin Smoult said to me many, many moons ago when he was in Shovelmouth. He told me how much it means when, after a gig, if just one person comes over and says to the band how much they had enjoyed the gig. That, he said, made all the hard work so worthwhile.

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"Can you hear us at the back?"

Riffs is getting emails left, right and centre concerning the lack of support for quality bands playing their hearts out in the area. I do find it sad that bands who have invested not just money, but many, many hundreds of hours of dedicated rehearsals and practice take to the stage and, on so many occasions, see just a handful of punters. Now, I could quite understand this reaction to mediocre bands who get some gear together and tout themselves as a 'band', but I am talking about skilled musicians (and I'm not going to name anyone in particular) who have spent years on the live music circuit and rate as high as you will see anywhere. Riffs even reviews bands so you have a good idea of the best bands to see, so we're doing our bit! I mean, it's not that pubs charge for entry most of the time. All they ask is that you buy a drink or two. I know, if you are reading this I'm probably preaching to the converted, but get some mates, tell your friends, make a night of it - but give these guys some support. There will be a time, maybe not too far in the future when you will actually have one of the most frustrating feelings ever - no choice.

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While writing the review for Obsession yesterday (Sat) I twigged that the brilliant lead guitarist John Footitt was in a band called Riot, way back. So, after a search through Riffs' archives I found a review for Riot done at (you might guess) The Three Tuns, by Val. Again, not sure what year - but I know someone will help out. Here is the review. Plus a couple of pics of John belting out some toons including some Bon J . . .aaah, where's the sick bucket?!!!

       

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Less than a week to go until the Ruf Blues Caravan 2019 take to the stage at Hartlepool Supporters Club on Saturday 14th.
A lot of people may panic thinking they now do not have time to arrange tickets for the gig - but panic not, as Tommy is allowing pay on door to this event if all tickerts are not sold.
If you want to check availability just give him a quick email on thomas.wormald2@ntlworld.com. And he may even hold them on the door for you, I know not, but if you ask very nicely he just may.


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Just heard from
Blistered Molly that their charity Ball at Hexham Mart has been cancelled. It was listed for later this month but it is now not to be. Mike from the band told Riffs "I'm not suprised really, at £50 a ticket!" And I bet he was looking forward to that drum solo too. Such is life. Mike is slightly miffed as the band turned down a couple of bookings for that night so is now trying to fill that slot; it's Saturday September 28; contact
Mike on 07711 006943.

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GOOD OLD-FASHIONED LOVER BOY


And I thought Sunday was a day of rest!!

No sooner had I finished putting together last night's review of
The Codgers by the Seaham Silverback, than in pops an email from Rob of Qween who had another successful gig on Friday (30th Aug) at The Grand in Newcastle.

And he very kindly sent me in a couple of pics taken at that fine establishment.

I also hear that the band even did a meet and greet after the show for their many fans demanding a chat. Nice one guys.

Their next gig is at Hedworth Hall South Shields on Friday 27th Sep and tickets are just £6 from the venue or Qween's Facebook page.





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I notice that The Codgers are playing Houghton Sports and Social Club tonight (Sat) and there's just a chance that the Seaham Silverback may be out and about too. Now I'd hate for anyone to put two and two together . . .  but I've sorted through Riffs archives and dusted off some old pics I took of the young lads when they were Old Codger in 2007. So, without further ado:




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I can agree wholeheartedly with The Seaham Silverback's review of Starz a few weeks ago. I caught them last night (Thursday 29th Aug) at Osbournes in Yarm to get pics of them on stage and was mega-impressed by this versatile power trio. An object lesson in how to - seemingly effortlessly - entertain a crowd with an ultra-tight sound by seasoned and talented musicians and still have a laugh with the punters. To be able to play a bikers gig one night and a wine bar the next will give Starz an enviable edge. Tony from St. Peter's Club in Newcastle told me: "These lads are great. I have had them twice this year and intend to book them again for 2020."
I kidnapped guitarist Kenny between sets: "There is no other place like the North-East," he pointed out, "every weekend there are numerous local bands on offer to go and see - not many people realise this is special to the area." Although he still wouldn't be drawn on whether hardened rockers Black Rose would be publicising their upcoming album with some local gigs.
I have updated the Silverback's review with some pics but have not changed any of his text. Starz are still mid mini-tour and I unashamedly urge you to go see. Kiko, Mark and Kenny's repertoire is all-encompassing and I truly can't see anyone being disappointed.            
http:www.starzrock.co.uk


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FIZZYFISH HAVE DARLINGTON IN THEIR SIGHTS
By jove they're at it again! Fizzy by name and fizzy by nature. Only this time, the band who put the E in Entertainment plan to bring a bit of life to Darlington. They are playing for nopence, not a penny, not a threepenny bit, not a tanner, not a florin so as to help Family Help in Darlington, which specialises in domestic abuse support for women and women with children fleeing domestic abuse. They provide safe temporary accommodation for those that need it, in a purpose built refuge with 8 units.
Alan told Riffs: "We are honoured to be supporting the refuge and will be offering a night of entertainment for the princely sum of £6 a ticket. We will be going full on Rollercoaster set for this one, so nothing esoteric, just a great night of great tunes!"
It's on Friday, October 18. Tickets are available direct from the venue, The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington, 01325 363135. All profits will go direct to the refuge.



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Well, some balls are held for charity and some for fancy dress, but the ball that's held in aid of Tynedale Hospice is the ball that Blistered Molly likes best. Yep, the band has been asked to play at the Hats and Glad Rags Ball in the Function Suite at Hexham Mart. Drummer Mike from the band tells me they are all looking forward to introducing the crowd to some Classic Rock and I note that within their repertoire they include some Free, Zep, AC/DC, Lizzy and . . . Sabbath. Hmmm, best keep clear of War Pigs methinks and probs go for Paranoid. Even Zep may be a push. "Well," said Mike confidently, "we'll suss out the crowd and see what we can get away with. The name of the game, though, is to entertain. And we have no worries on that score." With such a positive attitude the band may just make some converts. Singer Ashleigh is a big Zep fan so hopes are high for some blistering Rock. The event has been put together by Patricia Barnes of Hats and Glad Rags in Hexham and Gofton Wagyu and takes place on Saturday September 28th. It all kicks off at 7pm and you'll get chucked out around midnight.
Not a cheap night mind, coming in at £50. But hey, it is for charity and hospices up and down the country rely on public donations to survive. And if you had a loved one spending time in a hospice you would wish the best for them wouldn't you? If you do wish to treat yourself and partner then call 01434 606 444 or e-mail fundraising@tynedalehospice.com. Mike did say Blistered Molly intend to make it a night to remember. I think when Mike announces: "Hey everybody, this is our twenty-minute version of Moby Dick." That should do the trick.

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Had a little jaunt last night (Fri 23rd)  to Bishop Auckland to see
Four Letter Word do their stuff at the Bay Horse. Review and pics sorted for your delectation. The Seaham Silverback has just submitted to Riffs his review of The Whole Hog at The Glendale and this is now finished and both reviews are here to view.
      

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WELL - THEY HAVEN'T KILLED KENNY

Well, would you credit it? Riffs was opining the lack of music news today and into our lap popped this little gem concerning not only a great Metal band, but also we spy the ruggedly Rock looks of guitarist Kenny Nicholson who is no stranger to Riffs News pages. [And as this info didn't come from Kenny we officially slap him around the face with a wet lettuce].
He is now part of
Millennium, a Billingham-based Heavy Metal band who are due to release their fourth full-length studio album A New World on October 25th, 2019 through Pure Steel Records.
Vocalist Mark Duffy commented: “We try to keep some of our New Wave Of British Heavy Metal roots, but we also try a bit of variation with songs like ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Assassin’ that have a more straight ahead heavy metal feel to them." The band who played on the album consisted of:
Mark Duffy (vocals, Toranaga)
Will Philpot (guitar, Serpents Kiss)
Louis Astbury (guitar)
Paul Simpson (bass)
Darren Moore (drums)
We say 'consisted' as Louis Astbury has been replaced by Kenny, and drummer Darren Moore by Nigel Waterfall-Brown.
I, for one, will be keeping my eye open for a possible local gig - well, there's bound to be one pub that has the balls to unleash some Heavy Metal thunder. Isn't there?


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Further to the mensh for the upcoming
Red Revival gig at Leam Lane, thought some readers may be interested in their take on Whole Lotta Rosie. The lead singer's voice is quite powerful - you could say she's got it aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall. Check out the video here, taken on the 18th of this month at the Smile Festival.


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Bearing in mind I have been a lilfe-long UFO fan, I was looking forward to the
Pete Way Band at Trillians on Monday just gone. But decided to give it a miss. I'll say nothing more, just point you to this Youtube video recorded recently - here. Too bad, too sad.

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TYNE WOLVES INITIATE RED REVIVAL

Now, this one's a month away but I'm rather intrigued with this. Maddog and the Tyne Wolves not only show their worth by putting on some regular Rock/Grunge/Metal offerings at the Deuchars Arms up there in Leam Lane but has Riffs mucho respect as he makes sure proceeds go to a cause close to his heart - the Kayaks charity. News enough you may agree but I've just heard from him of his gig on Sep 15 for: Red Revival. Now I know if I said they have a female singer a lot of you will immediately discount the band or subconciously think less off them - I hold my hands up there. But then think of Warlock, think of Benatar. Roxette even? And what about Harry? No - not Dirty, Debbie! Check out this song (click on image) and see what you think. Massive potential to be a rockin' combo there. And let's face it; if Maddog says to them 'I want you Rockin' tonight'. Would you argue?

.
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Just one day to go and we get info on tomorrow's (SAT 17th) Burning Rock Festival at Stanley. I've added the info to the Listings page but here's a rundown of who's on:
2pm no ordinary Angel; 3pm me mes; 4pm dog in a box; 5pm rigid digits; 6pm ballbreakers; 7pm riverrain; 8pm lock n load. Only a fiver and pay at gate. That's it.

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Gotta give a big shout to
Four Letter Word who are braving Darlington's apathetic Rock scene to be part of the Britannia's Britfest event in aid of St. Theresa's Hospice this Saturday (17th).
Much kudos to Michael and the lads for giving of their time for such a worthwhile cause, who are hoping to take to the stage around 5. It's from 2 to 9pm and other bands on the menu are East Coast Mainline; The Mechanical Capybara and String Edition.
I gotta say, know nothing much about the Britannia except it's seemed to have always been there, overseeing many changes to Darlo including the demise of Handcrafts from directly over the road, the building of the A68/St. Cuthbert's Way roundabout directly outside the pub, not to mention the massive ugly DWP building that it faces.
And they do their bit for the wild birds by always maintaining a fresh supply of num nums via their Britannia tree (not much escapes Riffs' eagle eye!!). So with that attention to detail it's probs a pub worth visiting.
As with Maddog's afternoon gig up there in Leam Lane, we wish for good weather to enhance the event.



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Having a look at Riffs Listings it's nice to see that Paul Tuns' panic at getting his August's gigs sorted is now history and he can look forward to some crackin' bands - culminating in the astounding coup of securing
Skinny Molly; featuring Lynryd Skynyrd's Mike Estes (as this is the ONLY north-east gig [apart from Stormin' biker rally the night before] you get to this gig or you've missed the band for well over a year). Zooming forward to this Friday (16th) he has the ever-popular FM. Have dug out a couple of pics which - according to the photo info. - I took in 2013. AC/DC, Hendrix and many others get an outing with this quality band and - from what I can remember - a stunning lead guitarist.
 


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Must give a shout out to David from High Howdon Social Club which was host to an Abba tribute last weekend. Between you and me he would be happy for them to sneak in 'Thunderstruck'. Well, you never know - the last song the Pistols played at their gig at Midddlesbrough Rock Garden in the Seventies was 'Teenage Kicks' - and who'da thought that? So fingers crossed for ya mate. On the off chance they do, be sure to let Riffs know!


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Isn't it nice - or do I mean 'rare' - when people keep their word? And so it is that Rob from Qween Sold Out (Soz - I mean Qween) sent in some pics - or should I say 'pic' - of his gig last night Saturday 9th at Newcastle Village Hotel.

Although I was expecting more than one, at least it's nice to have an image of the evening. I must apologise for the size though (unfortunately not the first time I've had to say that) but this is exactly as supplied.

Beggars can't be choosers, so I thank Rob and fingers crossed his full houses continue.














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THIS MACHINE CREATES WHEELS OF STEEL
Nice to hear from
This Machine who, I have been reliably informed (cos they told me), have been having some rather pleasing responses regarding their cover versions. Saxon commented 'very cool' when talkin' 'bout Wheels of Steel - praise indeed. Also, their version of the Dead Daisies Long Way To Go got a 'like' on the Daisies' Facebook page. Not bad going for Norman, Tony, Sequel, Paul and The Hamster of Doom (aka Gazza) who I know have been on the circuit long enough to hone their musicianship to deserve such eminent acolades. I just hope this mensh doesn't embarrass the lads - no? Well, if that doesn't, then the following photos just may; taken ten years ago when myself and Val interviewed the band at The Three Tuns in Gateshead.
We were all much older then - we're younger than that now...


 

This Machine playing Wheels of Steel at The Frigate, Marske- here
This Machine playing Long Way To Go at The Penny Gill - here



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New Plough Dipton Music festival confirmed for Sunday 25th August
from 1.15pm through to 10.15pm 
Music all day with 6 live acts from solos to full bands as below:
Scott Kiers solo 
North Road duo
Mitch Laddie band
Jen Stevens Little Moth duo
Ash Humble solo 
Sofi-stication band
And no reason not to pop along as it's completely, totally FREE.

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HSC BACK ON THE CIRCUIT



Just a heads up for any sharp eyed readers - especially around the Hartlepool area - who have noticed that Hartlepool Supporters Club has been missing from our Gig Listings the last few months. Well, just heard from Tommy there and they have had a break from bands but are now back to firing on all six. Their gigs are, of course, now on our Listings and you would do well to check out that fine establishment, which has hosted some really rare out-of-town bands. Highlight for this month just has to be
The Feelgood Band. I think you will be a tad impressed. Check 'em out here


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QWEEN SOLD OUT

Just heard that the
Qween gig (that's a Queen tribute for those of you have just got up or are or well hungover) this Friday 9th at Newcastle is now completely SOLD OUT. That's three gigs in a row for Qween that have sold out. Wonder if they'll be tempted to rename the band 'Qween Sold Out' . . .!!
Rob from the band has promised to send in some pics so I'll pop the best on the this page as soon as I get them.

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"Hey Molly, how you so skinny?"
Bands come and go, venues come and go, but Gateshead's Three Tuns has been one of the most reputable and long-established venues for North-East live gigs for as long as I can remember [many of you will be thinking 'well, that's about a fortnight then'] - indeed, just look at our old reviews and quite a few feature the Tuns, so it's quite fitting that Paul from that Rockin' gaff has the honour to be the ONLY North-East pub to host Lynyrd Skynyrd's Mike Estes and his band Skinny Molly. The band rate the Tuns gig so highly [it states on the Skinny Molly website that The Three Tuns is one of their favourite places to play] that not only did they plead with Paul to have a gig there [I totally imagine] but I understand they are having a warm-up the night before when they headline Stormin' The Castle Bikers Rally at Bishop Auckland. Those bikers appreciate a bit of the ol' Southern hospitality and will no doubt get the Mollies all fired up for a night of propa Rockin' boogie for the Tuns crowd. Just a shame they don't play Freebird anymore as they reckon it's just not called for at any of their gigs..............yeah, right!! - they wouldn't dare not play Freebird!!!! Skinny Molly also play the best of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot and The Outlaws. The Tuns gig is Saturday 31st August and tickets are a tenner. And, although we all know the Tuns is like a massive football arena once you get inside . . . Paul must make it known that when the tickets are gone - they're gone. No door entry wiithout a ticket. No squeezing in the odd punter. And apparently there's quite a few odd punters in Gateshead.

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Paul at the Tuns in now all sorted. All dates filled and up on the Listings page... he's appreciative of all bands who enquired and is full for August - unless someone pulls out!!

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Well, just dug out another Riffs review from way back, by dear ol' Val - and again, no idea when this was penned. Val mentioned it was the week after the 26th. Ah, right, so that's cleared that up........


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C'mon bands - Riffs is updated many times daily and when we say Paul needs bands for The Three Tuns in Gateshead for this month then we are talking now; we will let you know when the slots have been filled - but they haven't been yet. He still has three dates to fill
This Saturday 10th August
Next Friday 16th August
Next Saturday 17th August. So give him a call
07940 715824. WHEN? NOW!!

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AC/DC GB AT THE PENNY GILL
Hello everybody peeps. Well, just got back from The Penny Gill in Spennymoor where I nipped along to try out a new camera - always felt a bit of a wally lugging my large DSLR about, so invested in new technology. Was really pleased with the results; will need some tweaking but I thought I'd post a few pics from its very first use. I'm contemplating undertaking band reviews - just like the old days (but, unfortunately without Val) if there is a demand; and of course a review is no good without pics to illustrate. Anyway, this is from last night's gig (Sun Aug 4th) at The Penny Gill of AC/DC GB . . .   I recorded them playing 'High Voltage' and that is now on Youtube - https://youtu.be/V-0BzWOjMDk.



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The Bessie boys live at the City Hall 2015 (free ads for a whole year for anybody who doesn't chuckle): https://youtu.be/DpcMX4SmeG8
Bessie and the Zinc Buckets Facebook page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/bessieandthezincbuckets/

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I've started experimenting with linking bands names in the Listing page to Youtube videos of themselves - to help readers get an idea of what to expect at a gig. At the moment I've picked a few at random but, if any band wants a link to a particular video then please let me know and I will initiate that. I'm not sure what will happen though when that gig comes and goes; I guess you will need to re-send the link for me to keep it up to date............ I'll see how it goes........

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COME ON AND TOUCH ME

The keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed how many
Starz gigs there are now in August and September. Well, it just happens their popularity seems to know no bounds. I remember guitarist Kenny telling me earlier this year that they went out of their way to pick a set list that was recognisable but yet well away from the 'done-to-death' covers. Well, that has paid off in spades [what's the builders' motto - measure twice and cut once]. Kenny explained to Riffs: 'Starz has gone down really well everywhere; one landlord told us that we were the first band he'd listened to for months cos normally he switches off when he's serving behind the bar because he's sick of hearing the same old songs, he couldnt wait to get us back!' Not only that but Kenny is in The Paul Rodgers Story who had no choice but to reform after constant requests and, by all accounts, played a blinder recently at Darlington's Forum (and yes a re-booking ensued). And, if all that isn't impressive enough, his other band, the heavy Black Rose is on the verge of releasing a new album. Kenny went on: 'Black Rose are almost finished recording a new album which is a lot heavier than anything we have done in the past, it should surprise a few people!'
Couldn't be too heavy for me Kenny - or too loud!  Click pic to hear 'Cure For Your Disease' by Black Rose.
I wouldn't be surprised if Kenny makes himself available on a regular basis, surrounded by railings, for bands who want to just get close and touch him . . . or just stare in awe . . .

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Three Tuns all sorted for weekend - they have Romeo's Pistol for this Friday and Prism for Saturday. Two bands quick off the mark - mind you, neither have been in touch with Riffs. We got the confirmation from Paul Tuns. Y'know, ya try to give bands publicity . . .
Paul is still short for some dates late August so give him a call
07940 715824.

THREE TUNS NEEDS BAND FOR FRIDAY now sorted

Paul Tuns is well on his way to filing his listing for gigs in August but finds himself with a space for THIS FRIDAY 2ND (Three Tuns in Gateshead)- so get in there quick:
call or text 07940 715824. And when you have secured your gig, email me here at Riffs and I will add it to the Listings page - and if you are very polite I will give your band a mensh here on the News page!

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If I'm anything, I'm a man of my word; September's listings is now live and the first entry is for Friday 13th at
The Glendale, Hall Lane, Houghton le Spring DH5 8DA for a gig by UK/DC playing tracks by the legendary Bon Scott.

Angus from that band played with AC/DC GB recently and went down a storm at Steels Club in Sunderland, so a lot is riding on the Glendale gig.

Will they - can they - surpass the Steels Club gig?



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Can I make a clarification concerning the AC/DC GB review below. The Angus on the night of the gig review was from UK/DC, and he was standing in on that night at Steels Club and it is his band - UK/DC who is appearing at Glendale Club on Friday September 13th. UK/DC play the Bon Scott era songs, so that's the first five AC/DC albums; and some would argue undoubtedly the best. But let's not get into that. I should be getting September's list up soon on the Listings page and I will make sure that that will be the first gig entered into it.


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BANDS SOUGHT FOR GATESHEAD GIGS
Looks like landlord Paul Tuns is having a reet rough August suffering numerous cancellations! He has put an urgent shout out for bands for the following dates for his two pubs in Gateshead - no specific style has been mentioned so just give him a ring . . . call or text
07940 715824
SCHOONER
Sat 17th, Fri 23rd
THREE TUNS
Fri 2, Sat 3, Sat 10, Fri 16, Sat 17, Sat 24, Fri 30.


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The band's website:  
https://www.acdcgb.co.uk/
For a taste of the band:   https://youtu.be/QRCIfpYXSC8

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WE'LL HAVE NONE OF YER DEVIL MUSIC
AROUND THESE 'ERE PARTS

Well, ya just gotta feel sorry for those Junkyard Dogz, all set for their debut gig at Ye Old Cross in Ryton Village recently - but just days away from their much-anticipated gig and they are told it's off. Who says they can't go ahead? Environmental Health, that's who. Apparently the pub wants to start up live music nights but have been shot down in flames before they've even got going. Paul from the band told me: 'I wouldn't mind but they haven't even heard us!'

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Sorting through Riffs archives (well, when you wake at 5am you need something to fill in the time!) I noticed another little gem that warrants an airing, so without further ado here's Rough Justice from July 2008 at the Princess Alice in Middlesbrough . . .penned by yours truly.


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ONE VISION
    
By all accounts
Queen tribute Qween knocked 'em dead at Birtley Buffs Club recently. Every single ticket had been sold and the place was, as you can well imagine, rammed to the rafters. Rob from the band told Riffs: 'It was a great responsive audience who really appreciated our live show experience - Billy West, our lead singer, does "Freddie" proud at every gig and sings all Queen songs in copy key!' No doubt all the musos reading this will know exactly what 'copy key' is. Moving on: Rob has been elated at the response his band has been getting since its inception and playing to capacity crowds looks like the norm for this quality ensemble. Their next gig is at Hebburn Iona Social Club on Friday 12th July tickets from the club (£6)-.
Did anyone video the band at the gig that Riffs could link to?

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Twister at the Academy:  https://youtu.be/sh3AEUpWyFQ
Rock Solid: https://youtu.be/U8eBOJAF8_0

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NOW THESE TOWNS
THEY ALL KNOW OUR NAME

Riffs is forever hearing of venues closing and bands splitting so how heartened are we to tell of a band actually reforming?!! Yes, it's true. A big welcome back to . . . THE PAUL RODGERS STORY. It seems only five minutes ago that the lads (well, I say 'lads' but the pedigree of these mature guys is there for all to see/hear) were not only belting out the most memorable tracks from Free, Bad Co., Queen etc but they included Paul Rodgers' foray into solo work too. Not to mention Hendrix. Gaining an envious reputation for reliablility and quality musicianship throughout the North-East, it was a blow to many when the band called it a day.
Guitarist Kenny told me: '
Since the band split up we've had people asking us on a regular basis what happend to the band and the enjoyment they got from our gigs. A chance meeting between a couple of us led to our reform, so by popular demand we are back.'
Kenny continued: '
Because all the members are busy with other bands we can only fit in a very few gigs.'
Very few indeed, you'll be lucky to catch the band once a month - but a trek worth taking.
Needless to say Riffs shows The Paul Rodgers Story gigs on our Listings page but this is the current list up to Christmas (Oh heavens - it's still June and we've mentioned Christmas!!!!).

Thurs 4th July - The Forum, Darlington   cc
Sat 3rd Aug - Richmond Live Festival (on stage at 4pm)    cc
Sun 15th Sept -  Rhythm & Blues Festival, Darlington (Hoskins Bar at 6pm)
Thurs 28th Nov - Trillians, Newcastle
Fri 20th Dec - Cleveland Bay, Eaglescliffe


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HARTLEPOOL CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF
WISHBONE ASH

Another short notice gig just come to Riffs attention is this Sunday (23rd) at
Hartlepool Supporters Club [5pm £4.00]; The venue is celebrating the 50-year anniversay of the great Wishbone Ash. Performed by The Flying Vs, Jeff from the band told Riffs: 'It's one of a series of gigs we will perform this year. We will be joined by Dave Barnes from The Test Pilots as our Ted Turner. Having opened up for Wishbone Ash and their fans in 2014 at Chesterfield Winding Wheel, 2016 at The Grand Clitheroe and 2018 at The Y Theatre Leicester, we're looking forward to playing tracks from the early years Wishbone Ash, Pilgrimage, Argus, Wishbone IV, New England, and Strange Affair.'

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Just found out about this all-dayer today - two days before the event! Looks like their publicity dept. is away on holiday . . . Anyway, thanks to American Girl for keeping Riffs in the loop. Noticed there are no band times on the poster but one time we do know is that American Girl are due at 4.45pm. (and they've missed an 'S' from Assassin!)



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Following on from the unbelievable response I got from the last two recent 'who is this band' pics. And I say 'unbelievable' because no-one - yes no-one - emailed me! But am I saddened? [Well, yeah, just a tad] but am I disheartened? [Well . . .] but not to be deterred here is two more 'who the fuck is this?'  pics.................. any ideas anyone? Anyone . . .?
     



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https://youtu.be/jhUhw_J5ItE

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True to my word I've dug out these two pics of a young band pictured at The Grand in Bishop Auckland (possibly) way back when - so if anyone knows who the band is, or when I took them (or why I never labelled them properly) we can then put a name to the band...
      


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https://youtu.be/DkWRCv5HDjk

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YES, WE TAKE OUR OWN PHOTOS - ALWAYS HAVE
In reply to a recent email we received: ALL photos that accompany Riffs reviews (and indeed reviews by The Seaham Silverback) are taken at the actual gig - without exception. The reviews by myself and Val all contained photographs that I took of the band on that particular night. We do not snaffle pics from other websites, Facebook or whatever to enhance the review. If I ever use a photo in this column (not the column on the right) for illustrative purposes I always mensh that I nicked it from somewhere else (other than if it was sent directly to Riffs by the band/venue themselves). Myself and Val always prided ourselves on reviewing, photographing and writing the whole gig ourselves. In fact, typing this has just reminded me that I have scores (maybe hundreds) of photographs that are unnamed and I may post some on this column soon. Shame to have them gathering dust.... I am trying to persuade Mr Silverback to get armed with a camera so as to illustrate his reviews with some exciting pics... I am working on his review of The 3 Colonels from last night right now and should have it uploaded within a couple of hours....

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Mucho gracias to Alan W from The Grand in Bishop Auckland who recognised the single as 'Watcha Doin' To Me' by The Reds. Just one more to go . . . this catchy little punk ditty from the Seventies has bewildered me  . . . does anyone know who it is?


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HELP - I NEED SOMEBODY

Can anyone help me identify this single . . . ?



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Well, it's that time again - a look though Riffs' archives and see what gems we have hidden away. How about a review of
Freeway from August 2008? You got it.



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Just a brief mensh for an upcoming gig at the Cluny 2 in Newcastle for 26th June when the
Tom Atkinson Band will be performing there. Over a year since the lads performed at the Cluny but they are all fired up for this upcoming gig. Tom Atkinson - Guitar/Vocs; Paul Gowland - Sax/Keys (Strictly Smokin’ Big Band); Stu Dawson - Bass (RJ Thompson, Preach Alaska); Jeff Armstrong - Drums (Flakes, Russ Tippins Band) include some original music in their set along with covers of Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson etc. Tickets are a fiver and available from http://www.thecluny.com
I did try to get a pic from Tom but, even though it would paint a thousand words, words are all I have ('to take your heart away').

..............................................................

BACK IN BUFFS
It's always nice when something works out and goes to plan - cos in life it most often bastard well doesn't (what, me - bitter?). So it was great to get an email from Robert from Heaton Buffs concerning the
BOSS gig from last week. Not only was it a virtual sell-out - just five tickets left unsold [how's that for honesty? He could have quite easily told me it was a sell-out] - but the lads went down the proverbial storm. I remember searching Youtube for a video of the band to highlight the gig but found zilch (punk band from the 70s I think) but we can make up for it now because kind ol' Robert has sent me a link to the very opening of the band's set filmed live as it happenerd at the Buffs! So without further ado here is BOSS just seventeen years since their last visit at the Buffs - c'mon lads let someone else get a look in . . .


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Bit of sadness for me last week - lost a friend, a good supporter of Rock. Introduced me to Rammstein and Airbourne. He was a great lover of German lesser-known bands and I used to meet up with him at Newcastle Arena, or the Academy. A regular at live pub gigs in Redcar and was a regular at Dr. Browns in Middlesbrough. Great guy. He was given the all clear for cancer a few years ago and then it came back suddenly just weeks ago with a vengeance. Anyway Gaz, here's
Rammstein for you.

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Listening to Rock on internet radio today (which supports the age-old question 'Why djs?') and on came Suzie Smiled by Tygers of Pan Tang and something stirred deep inside me, some distant memory of reviewing that band many moons ago.

A quick search of Riffs archives and - bingo! found it.

So, for your delectation . . . (and yet again, I mentioned the date [February 2], but not the year, so if anyone can help out?....)

Wanna hear what you missed?   Suzie Smiled
















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Due to my throat virus causing voice loss, my band Steeler can’t play gig at Redcar Rugby Club tonight Sat 25-May - Classic Rock covers band or similar is needed. Contact Pete 07775922523.

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Riffs has just been informed that the gig at Heaton Buffs this weekend - which we have down as Boss (and I thought was a Springsteen tribute) - is in fact a rather special reunion of a band from the 90s.
As Robert from the club told Riffs: 'They were a big deal on the club scene back in the 90s & early 00s. They are doing a few one-off shows with the original band line up; and of course they are 100% live!
We have already sold 200 tickets, with only 50 left.'
Apparently, back in 2002, Boss did an outstanding sell-out gig there and Robert is keen to duplicate that success.
Check them out - and if you fancy the gig - you've missed it!!




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With regards to the Riffs review of Phil Caisley's Dirty Dogs featured below, Dave from the band has been in touch to shed some light on exactly when the gig took place and some info on what has become of the band . . .

'The date of the review was the 12th February 2010.  The Dirty Dogz were in existence from 2009 until 2013 doing the north east pub scene and the last gig was at Doctor Browns in Middlesbrough on the 2nd November of that year.  Phil, in my  opinion, is a great rock singer and it was a good band although we were certainly very punchy and could test the old ear drums for volume.  Keith John Dean on bass was replaced by Ian Raine (played with DeeeXpus, infinity, and lately, The Rising and many others).  The other guys are either not in bands or between bands whereas I am working with my brother in the ‘Graham Henderson experience’.
To remind yourself of what we were like – here is a link to a Youtube clip of us at the rock 4 All.
https://youtu.be/1LD2ouDwIKU    with keith on bass.
And here is a clip of my current band  - (with Ian Raine on Bass, now replaced by Duncan Sams).
https://youtu.be/u5ghYHhQvI4
Dave'


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Another Riffs rave from the grave is featured below. I know it's from Feb 12th but Val never mentioned which year! Possibly 2008. If anyone has any better suggestions please let me know . . .



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If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Here at Riffs I love to give publicity to live Rock bands - even more so if it happens to be their first gig. Can imagine it's quite a traumatic event and a lot rides on that debut gig. But I am saddened, I must say, that although publicity at Riffs is entirely free and I really don't expect anything back, that this offer is not taken up more readily. On a couple of recent occasions upon hearing of an approaching first gig I have asked for more info - a little blurb about the band and hopefully a pic or two - and I hear nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nought. Nil. Zippo. I'm not losing out, but I suspect that the band and indeed the venue would benefit from a tad of extra publicity . . . just saying.

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I'M ONLY HERE FOR THE BEER

Saturday 11th May was Houghton annual beer festival, a charity event organised by the round table running for several decades now. I’ve been going along for the last 5 years or so; nice venue in Houghton Colliery Welfare club and a decent afternoon out with mates. However, every year there’s what is loosely described as “live music” and without exception it is awful. Last year we offered to pay the organisers whatever they’d paid the “singer” to get him off (they declined). There’s usually about a dozen of us, all guys I know from various venues where we go to see bands who have varied tastes from blues to thrash metal to country, we all agreed this year’s offering was, once again, abysmal. The band was advertised as “an experienced function band” doing stuff from Adele, Ed Sheeran, Kings of Leon, Elvis, Buddy Holly Michael Buble and Pharrell Williams; half the stuff wasn’t recognisable until half way through the song, the instruments were out of tune and the singer couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. If the organisers read this, get artists who can sing and/or play; Russ Tippins or Tempest would bring people in, you’re close to driving people away.
Now, it was a charity event and the band may have agreed to play for free in which case they were worth the money. Do I name and shame them? Houghton Beer Festival 2019 afternoon session, will bring up an answer, but the hope is that the organisers will read this and either not bother with live music on afternoons OR book someone who will attract punters, not alienate them.
The Seaham Silverback


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The NE Street Band, playing iconic songs from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band debuted at The Old Fox in Felling just recently and we have added a link to some footage here (only phone footage).
The band's website: https://www.nestreetband.co.uk
They are at the Amphitheatre in South Shields on Thursday 6th June, 7pm-9pm for an evening of Bruce Springsteen sounds, as part of the Summer Festival.

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THE PRIESTS OF THE TEMPLE OF ROCK

Bank holiday Monday gigs are a gamble for venues, if it’s been a nice day and the punters have been in the garden all day having a few drinks, they tend to stay there, it’s also a school night so folk tend to think better of going out. However,
The Force are one of those bands I’d walk barefoot over broken glass to go and see regardless, they set a standard that other bands in the North East aspire to reach and Monday 6th May was no exception. An early start gave an opportunity for those at work the following day to get their 8 hours kip and it meant the gear was pretty much in and checked by the time the audience started coming in. There was a decent turn out, but I was expecting the place to be rammed – punters eh?
The band opened with a couple of their own tracks before setting off in a set that featured Rush quite extensively with songs from Rainbow, AC/DC, UFO, Montrose, Metallica, Scorpions and Thin Lizzy. It would be wrong to try and pick out tracks that were better than the others, because I didn’t hear a bum note all evening and the sound was absolutely spot on from the word go. The twin lead guitars in Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” were flawless, the guy I was sat next to turned to look at me at the end of the track and we were both thinking the same thing. Phil sat down for “Bad Motor Scooter” with his Strat over his knee and a bottleneck, first time I’ve seen him do this, and it was excellent.
I’m always staggered by the sheer professionalism of The Force, I doubt there can be a Rock fan between the Tees and the Tweed who hasn’t heard these guys, but if you fall into that small number, get out and see them, you’ll thank me.
The Seaham Silverback.


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SWEETS FOR MY SWEET . . .
The Sugar Bs 18-year reunion gig on march 30 at the Park Inn, Hartlepool raised £700, split equally between Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool and The Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Details can be found on Facebook here.




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The Big Jug in Durham have ceased all live bands as of now.

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New Plough Dipton have their annual music festival on Sunday May 5 starting from 1.30pm with finish 10pm; latest line up is as follows. Details here

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LIGHTS, SMOKE, AND ROCK 'N' ROLL

I’ve been following Rock Solid for over ten years now and always look forward to every show, the gig in Houghton Glendale was a welcome spot; right on the doorstep. I saw them about January and since then they’ve invested in a completely new LED lighting rig with fancy rotating spots etc. On a night when the condensation was running down the walls, the lack of a few KW of heat from PAR cans was welcome for all concerned. The Solids have used smoke machines for years but they must have put new batteries in the current model - the stage was like a war zone all night. Our musical tastes are as varied as we are but the Solid’s set-list dovetails in with my predilections perfectly, kicking off with a couple of Priest tracks then running through AC/DC, Saxon, Maiden, Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy and Rush - what’s not to like?
One of the reasons Rock Solid are so well received has got to be their interaction with their audiences, the guys always have time for a few words both on and off the stage. Last night’s gig was their first in the Glendale for 8 years (apparently) and there’s another one in the pipeline for December this year, the room was full and the club was selling beer like it was going out of fashion. The crowd loved them and the band gave every impression they were having a good time. Events like this keep the Rock scene in the North East vibrant, everyone’s coming away from the night happy. Long live Rock`n` Roll!
The Seaham Silverback
On a personal note, myself (Nige) and Val have always rated Rock Solid as one of the best rock acts in the North-East music scene but, alas, have not had the pleasure in quite a few years, so it really pleased me to read the Silverback's review to know not only that the lads are still going strong after so many moons, but also that they actually seem to be improving. But as Val has said on numerous occasions: 'When you've got it, you've got it'.

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You can't beat quality pie
The Three Tuns Gateshead hosts its 14th International Pie Festival between 2nd May and 6th May.
Over 2000 pies, 100 varieties including Veggie and Vegan options all served with creamy mash, mushy peas and special house gravy £3.50.
Live music from Prism Pink Floyd, The Grumpies, Wham Bam Thank You Mam, The Russ Tippins Trio and The Beetles.


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'Probably one of the most entertaining
nights I’d had this year'


It was grab-a-granny night down in Houghton Sports & Social on 20th April with a 60s tribute band called FAB gracing the stage (No, I’d never heard of them either). It had been a scorching day so the wife and I headed down there early to re-hydrate ourselves and the car park was filling rapidly. Walking through the doors at 7.30 we got one of the last tables available, clearly some people knew something we didn’t. Bearing in mind we’re both over 60, our presence lowered the average age of the crowd which rather put me off, but I was thirsty and I’d paid my entrance money, so sod it – we stayed.
The band gave a nod to the appearance of the bands of the 60s era with suits, and even ties in the first set, the Hofner violin bass a salute to Paul McCartney and the numerous Beatles tracks scattered through the set. Now the band weren’t the best musicians or singers I’ve heard (but I’ve heard a LOT worse) but they grabbed the crowd by the scruff of the neck and shook them all night long. Any empty space was filled with folk on their feet and dancing almost from the off, tracks from The Beatles, Roy Orbison, The Searchers, Swinging Blue Jeans, The Hollies and Gerry and the Pacemakers with the obligatory Ferry across the Mersey. It was probably one of the most entertaining nights I’d had this year.
If you’re looking for a band to span a big age group or just for a fun party, I can’t recommend these guys highly enough. [PS, my photos turned out crap. I nicked this shot from the band’s Facebook page, I can’t credit the photographer by name, so please excuse the liberty].
The Seaham Silverback

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CROOKFEST 2019 - MAY 5
Crookfest is a annual may bank holiday rock music festival held in the County Durham market town of Crook with a variety rock styles performed by cover/tribute bands across 3 stages inside large marquees. The event takes place on Sunday 5th May 2019 in the Millfield ground home of Crook Town AFC from noon untill 11pm along with food and beer stalls a-plenty.

www.crookfest.co.uk


Rock Bands... Coda a Tribute to Led Zeppelin, AC/DC-GB, Mane Attraction, Circa69, Tubesnake, Edenthorn.
Punk Reggae Ska... The Marley Experience, The Sex Pistols Experience, Skapones, Panic Report, The Me Mes, The Anarchists. 
Indie Mod 80-90s... Revolver, ZEN, The Baggy Mondays, Deeper Season, The Thieves, Collaborators.

Crook Town AFC  Durham  Tickets £15 @ www.crookfest.co.uk


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Tempest in Houghton

I must confess I’ve never been a big fan of artists who use backing tracks -  with the exception of Russ Tippins -  they all seemed to lack the spontaneity of a full line up. So when some friends recommended I go see a duet called
Tempest featuring a guy on guitar with backing tracks and a lass on vocals I was hesitant to say the least. I couldn’t have been more wrong; Kaz & Ritchie are 2 of the nicest people you could want to meet and deliver a widely varied set that has never failed to impress.
We went to see Tempest at Houghton Sports & Social club 30th March where a decent crowd were treated to a great night with tracks from Patti Smith, Chris Rea, AC/DC, Blondie & Fleetwood Mac among others. For me, the highlight of the evening was their rendition of the Cranberries “Promises” which emphasised Kaz’s vocals as being the most powerful I’ve heard of any performer of either sex in the North East circuit – not a credit I give lightly and without some thought. In any band, the singer tends to be the focal point of the band and a singer as good as Tempest’s holds the attention, but it shouldn’t detract from Ritchie on guitar who played a storming set as well as taking the vocal lead a couple of times.
The sound was spot on, the band mixed with the audience before, during and after the show, the set list was excellent, having a girl on vocals gives a flexibility that a male based band cannot achieve, I cannot recommend Tempest highly enough, if you get a chance to see them, take it with both hands.
The Seaham Silverback.


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Just heard, courtesy of Alan Fizzyfish, that the Ship Inn, Richmond has closed - whether temp or permanent is unknown -  so any bands with a gig there will need to look elsewhere.

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The Glendale Rock nights are going down really well, the place was packed and there was a good friendly atmosphere in the place. I’d guess there was 80-ish in, punters were coming in late and leaving as there were no more seats, so the solution is going to be get there early if you intend to go to a gig there. I’ve been following Lock n Load for a couple of years, I first saw them at beer festival since when the line-up has gone through a couple of changes. Dave, the current singer was originally on drums and they had a girl on vocals with legs up to her armpits, I’ve got to say she was easier on the eye than Dave, but Dave’s vocals suit the current set list down to a tee.
Kicking off with “Tie your mother down” they ran through tracks from Whitesnake, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, ZZ Top and Zeppelin in the first set alone. Journey’s “Separate ways” was always going to stretch the old vocal chords and we’ve all heard it murdered on numerous occasions but the band pulled it off like it was another day in the office.
Now I’m regularly accused of being proper OCD about the sound, balance and levels but I couldn’t find fault with any of that from the word go, I was much impressed with the guitar sound in particular that captured Brian May’s tone for the opening Queen number, to Billy Gibbons choppy fuzz, Bryan Adams jangly intro on “Run to you” and Gary Moore’s mournful sustain on “Still got the blues”. All from 1 guitar. Respect.
The band are a mix of ages, so some of the set was written before they were born; now as an aging rocker I applaud this tribute to the music I love, but feel slightly sad that little of any musical value seems to have risen to the top for young bands to play. The second set picked up where the first had finished with a bit of Bon Jovi then the band threw in “Nellie the elephant” to a rapturous greeting before some more Whitesnake, AC/DC, Billy Idol and G&R before finishing the night with “The Hunter” – always gonna go down well in Houghton. A cracking night all round, the band were happy, everybody I spoke to had a great time and the club sold lots of beer. Next up “The Force” on 29th of this month.
The Seaham SIlverback


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Steve Hutchinson from South Shields has recently re-joined CLASSIC CLAPTON on keyboards & backing vocals.
He was a member of Animals 2 for 6 years during the 1990s alongside original members Hilton Valentine & John Steel.
Currently he performs with heritage band Animals 3 and also UK Legends. He previously played with Classic Clapton from 2003 - 2005.


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Looks like there is yet another change of management and booking agent at The Maggie Bank and all bands booked by the previous team are once again cancelled. If bands think they are playing there they should get in touch with the pub to clarify the situation.

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I AIN'T AFRAID OF NO GHOSTS
That little birdie that told Riffs what a crackin' gig awaited anyone partaking of ghostly goings-on at the Glendale last Friday has, we are cock-a-hoop to say, put his money where his mouth is [or should we say 'beak']. He not only popped in to said establishment with some mates but was good enough to write a quick appraisal of the gig and sent it in to Riffs. So, without further ado . . .
'Last Friday we went to see The Ghost Band at Houghton Glendale WMC. For me this was a much anticipated gig, I’d seen them at Philadelphia beer festival last year playing a brief set and I was much impressed by their choice of Blues/Rock and the level of musicianship. Last night built on that first impression as the band ran through tracks from Hendrix, Gary Moore, Jeff Healey, Tom Petty, John Mayall and Free among others. The guys I’d brought with me hadn’t seen the band before and were captivated by the whole show. In fact the entire evening should have been videoed and distributed to all bands in the region; 3 guys who aren’t exactly in the first flush of youth had all their gear brought in, connected and checked in 20 minutes.
The sound check took literally 5 – 10 minutes and was spot on throughout the night. A far cry from other bands I’ve seen recently who spent 75 minutes on a sound check and the sound was shite when they’d done, it took the “sound engineer” all the first set to get it somewhere near, even walking around with an iPad. What’s the point of all those hours of practice if you sound like you’re playing inside a spin dryer? I’m sure we’ve all sat through 45 minutes of fretboard masturbation turned up to 11. Watch the Ghost Band and see how it’s done.
Climbing off my high horse, I can recommend the Ghost Band to anyone who appreciates good music played well with the minimum distraction and gobshitery between numbers.'
The Seaham Silverback.

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Just heard from Stormy Phil that the Ship Inn at Benton is now closed.

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NURSES TO WALK THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
As someone who has seen first-hand the absolutely wonderful and caring work our beloved Nurses do (and the amount of piss that Hunt Jeremy takes) I have no hesitation in giving a big shout out to the Valentines Night gig at The Alexandra in Grangetown, Sunderland.

The palliative care nurses working in St Benedicts Hospice in Sunderland are walking the Great Wall of China - yes, they are going to walk along the Great Wall of China!!) to raise funds for St Benedicts Hospice Charity.

Tickets are £6 available from The Alex, the Hospice or
just turn up on the night and splash cash on the door.
Please pop along and help these wonderful people - oh, nearly forgot - there's a jam-packed evening of live music too!!!
The Wolcott Band
Exit Left
Joanne Wallace
Steve Ayther



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GHOSTS AT THE GLENDALE
A little birdie tells Riffs what a cracking little venue Glendale Social Club in Houghton le Spring is, and what a great night it should be this Friday when The Ghost Band take to the stage. Birdie Dave goes on to say: 'The club have bands on every 2nd & 4th Friday of the month. Normally no cover charge, cheap beer and a nice clean club with loads of free parking. It’s on the bus route too for those who use public transport although I’m not sure what time the local buses stop running. I’m just an interested punter and have nothing to do with the club, but I like to encourage and support anyone who is prepared to get stuck in.'


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CONSPIRACY TO ROCK

If you like your rock of the hard and heavy variety check out Conspiracy Theory; a new band making inroads into the north east rock and metal scene. If you’re a bit tired of seeing too many rock bands playing the same old stuff, CT’s intention is to do the songs that no-one else does. And that doesn’t mean obscure material you’ve never heard of, if you’re into rock and metal you’ll know everything they do. From Rainbow to Dio, Whitesnake to Purple, Maiden to Priest, Uriah Heep to Rush or the guitar greats such as Schenker or Moore, you won’t forget them in a hurry. With stellar musicianship from highly experienced players having cut their teeth in bands such as PowerAge, Ministry of Rock, Black Rose and On The Rocks you’re bound to have a night to remember. You can catch them at Trillians, Newcastle on Friday 22nd February, The Penny Gill, Spennymoor Sunday 3rd March, Acklam Steelies Club, Middlesbrough Saturday 9th March or the Big Jug, Durham on Friday 15th March.


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BOYS IN ACTION . . .
One of the most enjoyable things I like to do is to announce the birth of a new band, and if they are a Rock band with pedigree then space on Riffs is a must. So without further ado let me announce . . .
STARZ, who are a new rock covers band and include three of the north east's top musicians who have decided to play some songs that were a little different from 'the usual stuff'. The band features members from bands such as Pistoleros, Bryan Adams Experience, Black Rose (not the TL one), The Paul Rodgers Story, Stoneheart, American Girl to name a few and are all well known throughout the north east for putting on a great show. The set list includes classic and modern punk rock (Sex Pistols/Green Day etc), glam rock (T Rex / Bowie etc), heavy rock (Motley Crue / Marilyn Manson etc) soft rock (Van Halen / The Cult etc) pop (Dead or Alive / Kinks etc) plus plenty of great songs for those that want to dance and some surprises including rock versions of songs by Gary Numan and the Bee Gees.
The band start gigging this month and you can check them out here -
Sunday 13th - Vigilant Inn, South Shields (7pm)
Saturday 19th - Holey Molies, Skelton, Teesside
Sunday 20th - Times Inn, Seaham
Thursday 31st - Osbournes, Yarm
The full list of all Starz gigs are on Riffs Gig Listings page, but for more info about the band go to http:www.starzrock.co.uk


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Riding On The Crest Of The New Wave fitted no-one better than Lene Lovich who this year is celebrating the 40th anniversary of ‘Stateless’, her debut album, featuring cult hit 'Lucky Number' by touring the UK in March 2019 and is set to appear at Newcastle Riverside on the 8th of March. The song was originally a 'b' side to 'I Think We're Alone Now' but was reissued as an 'a' side by Stiff in '79. Before joining Stiff Records (The Damned, Devo, Ian Dury, etc), her early work included performing in cabaret clubs as a London go-go dancer, voice-over work recording screams for Hammer Film Productions, and being the lyricist for French disco artist Marc Cerrone (including penning the sci-fi dance hit ‘Supernature’). Riffs has no further details regarding the gig as yet.....
Now let's see if I can still fit into my old 'If It Ain't Stiff . . .' t-shirt....

CELEBRATING ROCK AND METAL: 

Factoid: With Jimmy Page on guitar and The Ivy League on backing vocals, The Who released their first single 'I Can't Explain' in 1965.

This week in . . .
1967 - Pink Floyd and Marmalade played at The Marquee Club, London. Marmalade went on to score a No.1 hit with their version of The Beatles' Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da in 1968.

1967 - The Monkees were at No.1 on the singles with 'I'm A Believer', the group's only No.1. The song, composed by Neil Diamond, had 1,051,280 advance orders, and went gold within two days of release. It is one of fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold more than 10 million physical copies worldwide.

1980 - The Pretenders scored their first No.1 hit with their third single 'Brass In Pocket'. The bands self-titled debut album started a four-week run at No.1 on the chart also on this day. Singer Chrissie Hynde got the idea for the song's title when, during an after-show dinner, she overheard someone enquiring if anyone had "Picked up dry cleaning? Any brass in pocket?"

1988 - Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe manager Doc McGhee pleaded guilty to importing more than 40,000lb of marijuana into the US from Colombia via a shrimp boat. McGhee received a five-year suspended prison sentence, a fine of $15,000, and was ordered to set up an anti-drugs foundation.

1998 - American singer, songwriter Carl Perkins died aged 65 from throat cancer. He wrote the classic rock n roll song 'Blue Suede Shoes', the first record on the Sun label to sell a million copies. His songs were recorded by Elvis Presley, The Beatles Jimi Hendrix and Johnny Cash.  Paul McCartney claimed that "if there were no Carl Perkins, there would be no Beatles."


2006 - American soul singer Wilson Pickett died in hospital near his Ashburn, Virginia home aged 64 of a heart attack. Pickett recorded the soul classics ‘Mustang Sally’, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ and ‘In The Midnight Hour’ plus Pickett scored 15 other US Top 40 singles.

2012 - Jamaican singer, songwriter and record producer Winston Riley died aged 68. He had been shot in the head at his home in Kingston. After being in a coma since the shooting, he died on 19 January. He formed the band The Techniques in 1962. Riley's own song, ‘Double Barrel’, performed by Dave and Ansell Collins under his own production, was one of the first international reggae hits, reaching No.1 in the Dutch and UK Singles Chart.

2019 - Scottish drummer Ted McKenna died aged 68 of a hemorrhage during a routine operation for a hernia. He worked with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rory Gallagher, The Michael Schenker Group and toured with Ian Gillan for a short period in 1990.

1960 - Johnny Preston started a run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Running Bear'. Written by J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), the tune originally entered the chart in October 1959, then quickly vanished, but re-entered in November and slowly climbed to the top.

1964 - The Beatles made their US chart debut when 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' entered the chart at No.45 just ten days after its release, making it the fastest-breaking and the fastest selling single in Capitol Records history. It went on to spend seven weeks at the No.1 position.

1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded an appearance on Top Of The Pops performing a live version of "Hey Joe". They also played a show at the Seven and a Half Club in Mayfair, London during the evening.

1974 - Former members from Free (Paul Rodgers & Simon Kirke), Mott The Hoople (Mick Ralphs), and King Crimson (Boz Burrell) formed Bad Company. The band went on to score a No.1 album with their debut release.


1981 - Wendy O. Williams of The Plasmatics was arrested on stage at Milwaukee and was charged with the offence of simulating sex with a sledgehammer. Williams later filed a multimillion dollar civil suit against the Milwaukee Police, claming they sexually assaulted and beat her during the arrest, but a jury rejected her claims.

2000 - Spencer Goodman was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas. Goodman was convicted of kidnapping and murdering the wife of ZZ Top manager Bill Ham in 1991. Ham was present for the execution.

2007 - Islington Green School in North London was fighting plans to turn it into an academy. The school, which found fame when some of its pupils sang on Pink Floyd's hit 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)' wrote a new version of the song to sing outside Islington Town Hall as part of their protest. They hoped lyrics such as 'We don't need no business control' and 'Hey bankers leave our kids alone' could persuade authorities to reject the proposal.

2010 - Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle died of cancer at home in Montreal at the age of 63. Once married to folk singer Loudon Wainwright lll, Kate was the mother of singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright. She rose to prominence with sister Anna when they recorded together in the 1970s. Other artists who covered the pair's songs included Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Billy Bragg, Kirsty MacColl and Judy Collins.

2015 - American session drummer Dallas Taylor died of complications from viral pneumonia and kidney disease, aged 66. He is best known as the drummer on Crosby, Stills and Nash's debut album, Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) and their follow-up with Neil Young, Déjà Vu (1970) as well as appearing on Stephen Stills' eponymous first solo album in 1970. Taylor was the drummer for Stills' group Manassas in 1972 and 1973. In 1970, Dallas sat in with The Doors accompanying John Densmore on drums. Jim Morrison acknowledges him on The Doors Live in New York album.

2016 - The Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey died at the age of 67 in New York City from complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis, colitis and pneumonia. Frey co-founded the Eagles in 1971 with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. After the breakup of the Eagles in 1980, Frey embarked on a successful solo career and went on to score the Top 40 hits 'The One You Love', 'Smuggler's Blues', 'The Heat Is On', and 'You Belong to the City'.


1966 - NBC-TV in the US bought The Monkees series, placing it on their 1966 autumn schedule. The series centered on the adventures of The Monkees, a struggling rock band from Los Angeles, California and introduced a number of innovative new-wave film techniques to television.

1967 - 40-year-old David Mason recorded the piccolo trumpet solo for The Beatles 'Penny Lane' at Abbey Road Studios in London. He was paid £27 and 10 shillings for his performance. In August, 1987, the trumpet he used was sold at a Sotheby's auction for £10,846.

1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded a session for Radio Luxembourg's Ready Steady Radio. The band ran up a bar bill of £2 and 5 shillings, which they were unable to pay.

1978 - Scottish rock band Simple Minds made their live debut at The Satellite Club, Glasgow.

1981 - Motley Crue formed when bass guitarist Nikki Sixx left the band London and began rehearsing with drummer Tommy Lee and vocalist, guitarist Greg Leon (who later left). Sixx and Lee then added guitarist Bob "Mick Mars" Deal. Vince Neil accepted an offer to join (after turning them down) in April of this year.

1987 - Kate Bush started a two-week run at No.1 on the album chart with The Whole Story'. The compilation album was Bush's third number one album as well as her best selling release.

1996 - David Bowie Tom Donahue, The Jefferson Airplane, Gladys Knight And The Pips, Little Willie John, Pink Floyd, Pete Seeger, The Shirelles and The Velvet Underground were all inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


2003 - A long-lost recording featuring John Lennon and Mick Jagger was set to spark a bidding war at a London auction. The acetate record was recorded in 1974 with Jagger singing the blues song 'Too Many Cooks'.
The track features guitarists Danny Kortchmar and Jesse Ed Davis, keyboardist Al Kooper, bassist Jack Bruce, drummer Jim Keltner and, on backing vocals, singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson. Neither Lennon nor Bill Wyman, who was present at the session, appear on the track. The track had never been released because the two artists were both signed to different record companies.

2016 - English drummer Dale Griffin died aged 67. He was a founder member of Mott the Hoople best known for classic tracks 'Roll Away The Stone' and 'All The Young Dudes'. The band, who made eight albums during their five-and-a-half year existence, reformed to mark their 40th anniversary in 2009 - but Griffin was too ill to take part. Griffin also produced numerous BBC John Peel sessions from 1981 to 1994 including the first professional recording session for Pulp in 1981.


1964 - The Beatles played two shows at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, France, the first of an 18-night engagement. This first show was attended mostly by Paris' 'top society' members (all dressed in formal evening attire). The French press had little good to say about The Beatles in the next day's papers, but The Beatles didn't care because they'd just received news that their single 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' had hit No.1 in the US, selling 10,000 copies an hour in New York City alone.

1973 - Bruce Springsteen appeared at Villanova University, Philadelphia, to an audience of 25 people. Due to a strike at the time by Villanova's school newspaper The Villanovan, this concert went unadvertised, so this is probably the smallest crowd Bruce and The E Street Band have ever played in front of.

1982 - Bucks Fizz were at No.1 on the singles chart with their second No.1 'Land Of Make Believe'. The lyrics to the song were written by ex-King Crimson member Peter Sinfield.

1985 - 1985, David Bowie's schizophrenic half-brother Terry Burnes killed himself aged 47 after laying down on the railway lines at Coulsdon South station, London. He was killed instantly by a passing train. Bowie refers to his half-brother in the line ‘a crack in the sky and a hand pointing down at me’ in his song ‘Oh, You Pretty Things’.

1987 - TV presenter
Jools Holland was suspended from Channel 4's The Tube for 6 weeks, after using the phrase 'groovy fuckers' during a live trailer broadcast in children's hour.

1992 - Eric Clapton recorded his unplugged session for MTV. The set which included his current hit single 'Tears in Heaven' and a reworked acoustic version of 'Layla', earned six Grammy Awards for the album including Record of the Year.

2000 - It was reported that Mick Jagger had lost the chance of a knighthood because of his errant ways, Prime Minister Tony Blair having doubts about the message it would give about family values. This decision was changed and on 12 December 2003, Mick Jagger was made a Knight Bachelor by The Prince of Wales for services to music, as Sir Michael Jagger.

2007 - Bob Dylan and his brother bought Aultmore House a mansion in the Scottish Cairngorms National Park, near Nethybridge, Invernesshire.

2013 - It was announced that Joe Strummer was to have a city square named after him in Spain following a Facebook campaign. More than 2,000 residents of Granada, where The Clash frontman became a frequent visitor, signed a petition calling for him to be honoured. City hall officials agreed to the proposals and a square in the area was set to be renamed 'Plaza de Joe Strummer'.


2019 - American musician Lorna Doom died of cancer age 61. She was the bass guitarist for the punk rock band the Germs. Their music was influential to many later punk rock acts. Germs guitarist Pat Smear went on to achieve greater fame performing with Nirvana and Foo Fighters.


1967 - The Rolling Stones were forced to change the lyrics of 'Let’s Spend The Night Together' to Let’s Spend Some Time Together when appearing on the US TV The Ed Sullivan Show, after the producers objected to the content of the lyrics. Jagger ostentatiously rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing the changed lyrics, resulting in host Ed Sullivan announcing that The Rolling Stones would be banned from performing on his show ever again.

1969 - George Harrison had a five-hour meeting with John, Paul and Ringo where he made it clear that he was fully prepared to quit The Beatles permanently. Harrison wasn't happy with plans for live performances and the current Let It Be film project.

1971 - David Bowie released 'Holy Holy' as a single which failed to chart. A more frantic version of the song was recorded in 1971 for The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars but was dropped from the album but subsequently appeared as the B-side to 'Diamond Dogs' in 1974.

1976 - Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were here was on the album chart. The album's packaging, designed by Storm Thorgerson, featured an opaque black sleeve inside which was hidden the album artwork. Thorgerson had noted that, in the US, Roxy Music's Country Life was sold in an opaque green cellophane sleeve - censoring the cover image - and he adopted the idea, concealing the artwork for Wish You Were Here in a dark-coloured shrink-wrap (making the album art 'absent').

1992 - Bass guitarist Dee Murray died after suffering a stroke aged 45. He is best known as a member of Elton John's band. He first appeared with Elton on the 1970 album Tumbleweed Connection and the milestone albums Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson were also members of the Spencer Davis Group in 1969 and during the Eighties Murray continued working as a session musician.

2002 - 1980s Pop legend Adam Ant was admitted to a mental ward 24 hours after being charged by police with pulling a gun on staff in a London pub.

2016 - Nineteen of David Bowie's albums entered the album charts in the wake of his death. His new album, Blackstar, reached No.1, and in the top 40, Nothing Has Changed - The Very Best Of was at No.5, The Best Of 1969 / 1974 was at No.11, Hunky Dory, No.14, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, No.17, Best of Bowie, No.18, Aladdin Sane, No.23, The Next Day, No.25, Low No.31 and Diamond Dogs, No. 37. Thirteen Bowie tracks also entered the top 100, led by 'Heroes' at No.12. Also his songs were streamed more than 19 million times on services such as Apple Music and Spotify.


1967 - Over 25,000 people attend The Human Be-In-A Gathering Of The Tribes at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The event was a forerunner of major outdoor rock concerts and featured The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother And The Holding Company.

1977 - David Bowie released his eleventh studio album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno termed the "Berlin Trilogy". The track 'Sound and Vision' was released as a single and used by the BBC on trailers at the time, providing much needed exposure as Bowie opted to do nothing to promote the single himself, and helped the song reach No.3 on the charts.

1978 - The Sex Pistols played their last show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco where Johnny Rotten yelled to the crowd at the outset, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated.” It was the last time the band played with bassist Sid Vicious.


1992 - American rock drummer Jerry Nolan from The New York Dolls died from a fatal stroke aged 45. The influential American band formed in 1972 and made just two albums, the 1973 New York Dolls and 1974 Too Much Too Soon. Nolan joined the New York Dolls in the autumn of 1972 to replace Billy Murcia, who had died of asphyxiation as a result of a failed attempt to revive him from a drug overdose while on tour in England, early in the band's career. Nolan left the Dolls together with Johnny Thunders in the spring of 1975. The two then placed a call to bassist Richard Hell, formerly of the Neon Boys and Television, to form The Heartbreakers.

2005 - A $100,000 (£58,823) statue honouring the late punk guitarist Johnny Ramone was unveiled by his widow Linda at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Johnny died from prostate cancer in September 2004 at the age of 55. Hundreds turned out for the ceremony, including Tommy Ramone the only surviving band member. Dee Dee Ramone died of a drugs overdose in 2002 and Joey died in 2001 of lymphatic cancer.

2012 - English drummer, producer, journalist, music educator, and broadcaster Robbie France died aged 52. Born in Sheffield, France moved to Australia where he formed the jazz-fusion group Carnival. He also worked with Stevie Wright of the Easybeats, Marty Rhone, Tim Gaze, and other major Australian artists as well as Skunk Anansie and Diamond Head. He amassed over 1,000 television, radio and advertising credits, including eight documentaries and four film scores, including Band on the Run, one of the most successful surfing films ever made.

Week Commencing January 6 . . .
1965 - The first day of recording sessions for Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home album were held at Studio A, Columbia Recording Studios in New York City. Dylan recorded Subterranean Homesick Blues and 'It's All Over Now, Baby Blue'.

1967 - Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both went to the Bag O'Nails Club, London, to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

1973 - Eric Clapton made his stage comeback at the Rainbow Theatre, London, with Pete Townsend, Ronnie Wood, Stevie Winwood, Rebop, Jim Capaldi and support from The Average White Band. The night's two shows were recorded for the 'Rainbow Concert' album. Pete Townshend from The Who had organised the concert to help Clapton kick his heroin addiction.

1978 - With a budget of only £1,500 borrowed from Stewart Copeland's brother Miles Copeland III, The Police started recording their debut album at Surrey Sound Studios, Surrey, with producer Nigel Gray. The album 'Outlandos d'Amour' which was released in November of this year featured the hits 'So Lonely', 'Roxanne' and 'Can't Stand Losing You'.

1984 - BBC Radio 1 announced a ban on 'Relax' by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, after DJ Mike Read called it 'obscene', a BBC TV ban also followed. The song went on to become No.1 and spent a total of 48 weeks on the chart. It has been revealed since that the band never actually played on the record - it was completed by session musicians.

1986 - Sex Pistols members John Lydon, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, as well as the mother of Sid Vicious, sued former manager Malcom McClaren for £1 million. They later settled out of court.

2003 - Who guitarist Pete Townshend was arrested on suspicion of child porn offences. Police officers impounded seven computers from his £15 million home in Richmond, Surrey.

2016 - The Rolling Stones first manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, passed away at the age of 82. He owned the Crawdaddy Club in London where The Rolling Stones were the house band. After he was replaced by Andrew Loog Oldham in May, 1963, Gomelsky went on to manage The Yardbirds, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger before moving to New York in 1978 and opening The Green Door nightclub.

2017 - Magic Alex (Alexis Mardas) a Greek electronics engineer died aged 74. He is best known for his close association with the Beatles. His nickname was given to him by John Lennon when he was involved with the group between 1965 and 1969, during which time he became head of Apple Electronics. Mardas often said that the Abbey Road studio was "no good", much to producer George Martin's annoyance. He allegedly said that he could build a 72-track tape machine and was then given the job of designing the new Apple Studio in Savile Row, London. His schemes lost Apple at least £300,000 (£3 million in 2017).


1969 - Led Zeppelin's debut album was released. Recorded at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London, the album took only 36 hours of studio time to complete at a cost of just £1,782, most of the tracks being recorded 'live' in the studio with very few overdubs. The album spent a total of 71 weeks on the chart.


1975 - The first night of a UK tour kicked off under the banner of The Warner Brothers Music Show. It featured Little Feat, Montrose, Tower Of Power, The Doobie Brothers and Graham Central Station. Also released was an album sampler featuring all the acts that was priced at 69p.

1977 - The Police had their first rehearsal, held at drummer's Stewart Copeland's London flat, with Henri Padovani on guitar.

1983 - Swedish percussionist with Traffic, Reebop Kwaku Baah died from a brain haemorrhage in Stockholm, Sweden. Also worked with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker's Air Force, Can and The Rolling Stones.

1993 - Van Morrison failed to turn up at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction dinner, making him the first living inductee not to attend.

2003 - Singer-songwriter Maurice Gibb from The Bee Gees died aged 53 in Miami Hospital, Florida following a heart attack during abdominal surgery. The Bee Gees released over 20 albums and had the 1979 world-wide No.1 album 'Spirits Having Flown'. Gibb was married to the Scottish singer Lulu from 1969 to 1973. In 2002, Maurice was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), along with his brothers.

2013 - The 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow used by Freddie Mercury until his death in November 1991, sold at auction for £74,000 to a Russian businessman. The 62,000-mile classic Rolls-Royce which had a guide price of just £9,000-£11,000 featured grey leather, wood trim, electric windows, automatic gearbox, a car phone and radio cassette player and a 6.75-litre V8 engine. It was sold as part of the Coys auction at Autosport International.

2017 - Richard Carpenter said he was owed at least $2m (£1.6m) in royalties for the hits he recorded in The Carpenters. He claimed Universal Music had only paid the band a "minuscule fraction" of the money they were owed from downloads on sites such as iTunes and Amazon. The musician was suing for compensation, according to legal documents filed in Los Angeles.

1958 - The release date for the Elvis Presley single 'Jailhouse Rock' was put back a week after Decca Records pressing plant in the UK were unable to meet the advance orders of 250,000 copies. Some of the characters named in the song are real people. Shifty Henry was a well-known LA musician, not a criminal. The Purple Gang was a real mob. "Sad Sack" was a U.S. Army nickname in World War II for a loser.

1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded 'Purple Haze' at De Lane Lea studios in London. Hendrix later stated 'The Purple Haze,' was about a dream he had and that he was walking under the sea." In concert, Hendrix sometimes substituted lyrics for comic effect; "'scuse me while I kiss the sky" was rendered "'scuse me while I kiss this guy" (while gesturing towards his drummer Mitch Mitchell).

1975 - The Alan Freeman BBC Radio 1 show broadcast a Pink Floyd show recorded at the Empire Pool, Wembley, on 16th Nov 1974. The band had played four nights at Wembley on their The Dark Side of The Moon tour and tapes from these shows have been remixed.

1975 - Led Zeppelin played their first concert in 18 months when they appeared at the Ahoy, Rotterdam, Holland, playing one of two warm-up shows for their forthcoming North American tour. The set list included some new songs: 'Sick Again', 'The Rain Song', 'Kashmir', 'No Quarter' and 'Trampled Under Foot'.

1985 - A Brazilian rock Festival held in Rio claimed to be the biggest ever staged. The festival featured Queen, Rod Stewart, AC/DC, Whitesnake, Yes and Iron Maiden.

2005 - Former Bread guitarist and Academy Award-winning songwriter James Griffin died at his home in Nashville at the age of 61 after suffering from cancer. Bread had the 1970s hits 'Make It With You', 'Baby I'm-a Want You', and 'Everything I Own.'

1953 - Jo Stafford was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'You Belong To Me'. Originally a singer with Tommy Dorsey until 1942, she was the first female to have a No.1 on the singles Chart.


1976 - Blues artist Howlin Wolf (Chester Burnett), died in hospital of cancer aged 66. The guitarist, singer and harmonica player's well known songs included 'Smoke Stack Lightning', 'Little Red Rooster' and 'Spoonful.'

1981 - John Lennon's Imagine started a four-week run at No.1 on the singles chart, 10 years after it was recorded. Lennon had two other songs in the Top 5 this week, 'Happy Christmas (War Is Over') and '(Just Like) Starting Over.' 'Imagine' was voted by the viewers of BBC TV as the best lyrics of all time in a poll broadcast in Oct 1999.

2003 - A haul of 500 Beatles tapes known as the 'Get Back sessions' stolen in the 1970s were found after police cracked a major bootleg operation in London and Amsterdam. Five men were arrested.

2005 - A woman was suing Gene Simmons from Kiss for slander, alleging a documentary made her out to be a "sex-addicted nymphomaniac". Georgeann Walsh Ward, 53, of New York, said during a VH1 documentary her photo was flashed up as Simmons talked about his past sexual encounters. Ms Walsh Ward had dated Simmons for three years when he was a student. In the documentary, Simmons boasted of having sex with over 4,600 women.

2013 - Claude Nobs the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival died aged 76. During a 1971 Frank Zappa concert, at the Montreux Casino the venue caught fire. Nobs saved several young people who had hidden in the casino thinking they would be sheltered from the flames. This act earned him a mention (as Funky Claude in the line "Funky Claude was running in and out pulling kids out the ground") in the Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water, which is about the incident.

2016 - Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, and actor David Bowie died from liver cancer at his New York home two days after releasing the album Blackstar on his 69th birthday. His first Top 40 single was the 1969 'Space Oddity' which became a No.1 in 1975, plus over 50 other Top 40 hits including five No.1s. During his lifetime, his record sales, estimated at 140 million albums worldwide, made him one of the world's best-selling music artists.

1955 - Rosemary Clooney was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Mambo Italiano' the singer's second No.1. The song was banned by all ABC owned stations in the US because it "did not reach standards of good taste".

1963 - Drummer Charlie Watts joined The Rolling Stones after leaving Blues Incorporated and his job working as a graphic designer.

1970 - During a UK tour Led Zeppelin appeared at The Royal Albert Hall, London, the night of Jimmy Page's 26th birthday. (John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were all in the audience). The two and a quarter hour set was recorded and filmed but shelved for several decades, eventually seeing a release on a 2003 official DVD.

1976 - Queen were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The single enjoyed a nine week run on the chart selling more than a million copies by the end of the month. It reached No.1 again in 1991 for five weeks following Mercury's death, eventually becoming the UK's third best selling single of all time.

1981 - Terry Hall and Jerry Dammers from The Specials were both fined £400 after being found guilty of using threatening words during a gig in Cambridge.

1997 - David Bowie performed his 50th Birthday Bash concert (the day after his birthday) at Madison Square Garden, New York with guests Frank Black, Sonic Youth, Robert Smith of The Cure, Dave Grohl, Lou Reed, Billy Corgan and Placebo. Proceeds from the concert went to the Save The Children fund.


2009 - Dave Dee died at the age of 65, following a three-year battle with cancer. The singer had eight top 10 hits, with Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich including a number one single in 1968 with 'The Legend of Xanadu', in which Dee famously cracked a whip. The singer, whose real name was David Harman, was originally a police officer and as a police cadet was called to the scene of the car crash that killed Eddie Cochran during a tour in 1960.

2016 - Stars paid tribute to Motorhead frontman Lemmy at his funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery. Motorhead drummer Mikkey Dee, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl, Slash from Guns N' Roses, Robert Trujillo and Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Judas Priest singer Rob Halford and Anthrax frontman Scott Ian all spoke at the service. Lemmy's bass guitar was plugged in to a stack of amplifiers and the volume turned up, with the congregation applauding as feedback from the speakers filled the chapel.


1958 - The Everly Brothers kicked off a 17 date North American tour at the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Also on the bill, Buddy Holly, The Rays, Royal Teens, Shepherd Sisters, Paul Anka, Margie Rayburn and 
Danny & The Juniors.

1979 - Canadian rock band Rush were named the country's official Ambassadors Of Music by the Canadian government.

1991 - Steve Clark guitarist with Def Leppard, was found dead at his Chelsea flat by his girlfriend, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption combined with prescription drugs. The autopsy revealed he had died from an overdose of codeine and had Valium, morphine and a blood alcohol level three times the legal driving limit. In 2007 Clark was ranked No.11 on Classic Rock Magazine's "100 Wildest Guitar Heroes".

2010 - Jimmy Page launched a new set of stamps which featured classic album covers from the last 40 years including Coldplay, Power, Corruption And Lies, New Order, David Bowie and Parklife by Blur.

2016 - David Bowie released his twenty-fifth and final studio album Blackstar, coinciding with his 69th birthday and two days before his death. At the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, the album won awards for Best Alternative Music Album; Best Engineered Album; Best Recording Package, and the title single won Best Rock Performance, and Best Rock Song. The album was also awarded the British Album of the Year award at the 2017 Brit Awards.

1955 - 'Rock Around the Clock' by Bill Haley and his Comets entered the chart for the first time. The original full title of the song was 'We're Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!' and is often cited as the biggest-selling vinyl rock and roll single of all time with sales over 25m.


1964 - English blues musician Cyril Davies died of leukaemia aged 32. Davies was a driving force in the early Sixties blues movement forming Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner. Davies and Korner opened the London Rhythm and Blues club "England's Firstest and Bestest Skiffle Club", later known as the "London Blues and Barrelhouse Club". Popular with other musicians, the club hosted gigs by blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Memphis Slim.

1970 - Led Zeppelin kicked off an 8-date tour at Birmingham Town Hall. The set list included: I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Thank You, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Whole Lotta Love and Communication Breakdown.

1971 - Black Sabbath released 'Paranoid'. The album features the band's best-known signature songs, including the title track, 'Iron Man' and 'War Pigs'. The album was originally titled War Pigs, but allegedly the record company changed it to Paranoid, fearing backlash from supporters of the ongoing Vietnam War.

1972 - David Bowie released 'Changes' as a single. The track peaked at No.49 on the chart. This was the last song Bowie performed live on stage before his retirement from live performances at the end of 2006 when he joined Alicia Keys at the Black Ball fundraiser at New York's Hammersmith Ballroom.

1980 - Pink Floyd released 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)'. The single peaked at No.1 on both the US and UK charts, giving Pink Floyd their first and only No.1 hit single. The single went to No.1 in many other countries, including Australia, Germany and Italy.

1980 - Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers was found guilty of possession of heroin, cocaine and cannabis. He was fined £300 and sentenced to three months in Pentonville prison.

1981 - The Police played the first night of a North American tour at The University of Montreal, Quebec, Canada during their Zenyatta Mondatta World Tour.


1958 - Gibson guitars launched it' 'Flying V' electric guitar. Guitarists who played a Flying V include Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan and Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top.

1964 - The first night of a 14 date UK tour 'Group Scene 1964', featuring The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, Marty Wilde, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Dave Berry and The Cruisers played at the Granada Theatre, Harrow on The Hill, Middlesex.

1967 - The Who played their first gig of this year when they appeared at Morecambe, Central Pier. The band played over 200 gigs in this year, including their first ever US tour.

1975 - The mayor of Boston cancelled a Led Zeppelin concert after over 2,000 fans rioted trying to buy tickets. The fans caused up to $75,000 damage at Boston Garden. The gig during the bands North American tour was rescheduled for Feb 4th.

1975 - Pink Floyd started sessions start at Abbey Road Studios London for their next album Wish You Were Here. Their ninth studio album was released on 12 September 1975 and features 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' a tribute to Syd Barrett whose mental breakdown had forced him to leave the group seven years earlier.


1977 - EMI Records dropped The Sex Pistols giving the band £40,000 to release them from their contract.

1979 - The Village People scored their only No.1 single with 'Y.M.C.A.' At its peak the single was selling over 150,000 copies a day. In the gay culture from which the group sprang, the song was understood as celebrating the YMCA's reputation as a popular cruising and hookup spot.

1993 - It was reported that David Bowie had lost over £2.5 million in unpaid royalties to an Italian Mafia-linked bootleg fraud.

Week Commencing December 30
1961 - The Beatles played at Litherland Town Hall, Liverpool. In the audience are two members from Rory Storm & the Hurricanes: Johnny Guitar and Ringo Starr who have just returned from Hamburg, Germany.

1967 - Pink Floyd and Eyes of Blue appeared at The Marquee Club London. Queen magazine said: "The two guitarists looked moody, the drummer thrashed wildly about and the lights kept flashing. After about twenty minutes it became very boring and after half an hour I left."

1968 - Jimi Hendrix was jailed for one day in Stockholm, Sweden on drink charges after going berserk and destroying everything in his room at the Goteberg Hotel.

1973 - Bruce Springsteen released his debut album 'Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.' Recorded in a single week the album sold only about 25,000 copies in the first year of its release. Both 'Blinded By The Light' and 'Spirit In The Night' were released as singles but neither made a dent in the charts. Manfred Mann's Earth Band later released a version of 'Blinded By The Light' on their album 'The Roaring Silence,' which reached No.1 on the US charts in 1977.

1976 - Former Beatles roadie Mal Evans was shot dead by police at his Los Angeles apartment. His girlfriend called police when she found Evans upset with a rifle in his hand; he pointed the gun at the police who opened fire. Friends later said that Evans was depressed about his separation from his wife Lil Evans — who had asked for a divorce before Christmas.

1980 - David Bowie appeared on Saturday Night Live Live from New York City performing 'The Man Who Sold the World', 'TVC 15' and 'Boys Keep Swinging' with a specially prepared backing group, including Blondie's Jimmy Destri (keyboards) and Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias (backing vocals).

1991 - Iron Maiden went to No.1 on the singles chart with 'Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter.' The second single from their album No Prayer for the Dying, became the lowest selling No.1 since 1960, with just over 42,000 copies sold in its first week. The song was originally recorded and released by Bruce Dickinson for the soundtrack to A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, but Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris liked it so Iron Maiden re-recorded it.

1998 - American singer, producer, and politician Sonny Bono was killed in a skiing accident at a resort near Lake Tahoe, aged 62. Bono who was one half on Sonny and Cher scored the 1965 No.1 single 'I Got You Babe' and had become a US Congressman. The United States Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which extended the term of copyright by 20 years, was named in honor of Bono when it was passed by Congress nine months after his death.

1998 - Ken Forssi bassist with Love died of brain cancer aged 55. In 1965 he met Arthur Lee, who then had a band called Grass Roots and was greatly impressed. Lee hired Forssi as bassist, and soon officially formed Love. Love scored the 1968 No.24 album Forever Changes.

2001 - Kirsty MacColl was laid to rest at a private funeral ceremony, ahead of a public memorial to pay tribute to her life. The singer songwriter was killed in a boating accident on 18th Dec 2000.

2004 - Kinks singer Ray Davies was shot in the leg while on holiday in New Orleans. The 59-year-old singer-songwriter was shot when running after two men who stole his girlfriend's purse at gunpoint. Davies was admitted to the Medical Centre of Louisiana but his injuries were not considered serious. New Orleans police said one person had been arrested, and police were still searching for the second.

2016 - Donald Fagen, lead singer and founder of Steely Dan, was arrested by New York police and charged with assaulting his wife at their home. Fagen was accused of pushing Libby Titus into a marble window frame, knocking her to the ground, at their Manhattan apartment.


1967 - The Doors released their self-titled debut album The Doors. The album features their breakthrough single 'Light My Fire' and the lengthy song 'The End' with its Oedipal spoken word section. The album was recorded at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, California over six days and unique packaging of the album included each band members bio.

1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience played the first of what would be over 240 gigs in this year when they appeared at the Bromel Club, Bromley. (Many of the concerts were two shows per night).

1970 - Chauffeur Neil Boland was accidentally killed when The Who's drummer Keith Moon ran over him in his Bentley. Moon was trying to escape from a gang of skinheads after a fight broke out at a pub in Hatfield. Boland got out to try to protect the car but left it in gear. He fell under the car and it started moving with Moon at the wheel as he tried to escape the fight. The drummer had never passed his driving test.

1986 - Irish singer, songwriter and bassist Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy died of heart failure and pneumonia after being in a coma for eight days following a drug overdose. With Thin Lizzy he had the 1973 hit 'Whiskey in the Jar' (their version of the traditional Irish song) and hits with ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’, ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Waiting for an Alibi’. The groups 1978 album 'Live and Dangerous' spent 62 weeks on the chart. Lynott fronted several bands as a lead vocalist, including Skid Row alongside Gary Moore. A life-size bronze statue of Phil Lynott was unveiled on Harry Street in Dublin Ireland in 2005.

2009 - Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant was voted the Greatest Voice In Rock by listeners of radio station Planet Rock. Plant beat Queen's Freddie Mercury, Free's Paul Rodgers and Deep Purple's Ian Gillan to the top spot in the poll.

2011 - Scottish singer songwriter Gerry Rafferty died aged 63 after a long illness. Rafferty had been a member of Stealers Wheel, who had the 1973 No.8 single 'Stuck In The Middle With You' and had the solo 1978 single 'Baker Street.'



1969 - Appearing live on The Lulu show, The Jimi Hendrix Experience were booked to perform two songs, 'Voodoo Child' (which was performed in full), then Hendrix stopped performing his new single 'Hey Joe' after a verse and chorus and instead launched into a version of the Cream song 'Sunshine Of Your Love' as a tribute to the band who had split a few days earlier. Hendrix then proceeded to continuing jamming, running over their allocated time slot on the live show, preventing the show's host Lulu from closing the show properly.

1972 - Two weeks of rehearsals for Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of The Moon tour began at the Bermondsey in London (the venue was owned by The Rolling Stones).

1976 - Bob Dylan's song, 'Hurricane', peaked at No.33 on the Billboard singles chart, helping to cause enough publicity to eventually get former boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter released from jail. The song promoted Carter's innocence and a movie about Carter's life, starring Denzel Washington, was released in 2000.

1981 - David Bowie made his final appearance as the Elephant Man at The Booth Theatre, Broadway in New York City.

2002 - Zak Foley bassist with British group EMF died aged 31 of a drug overdose. EMF had the 1990 world wide hit single 'Unbelievable' which reached No.3 on the singles chart. The name EMF is believed to be an abbreviation of Epsom Mad Fuckers.

2017 - Vinyl sales topped three million last year, the highest UK total in 25 years. More than 3.2 million records were sold in 2016, a rise of 53% on the previous year, according to the BPI, which represents the music industry. David Bowie's Blackstar was the most popular album on vinyl, selling more than double the number of copies of 2015's biggest-seller, Adele's 25.

1926 - The first issue of The Melody Maker went on sale priced at 3d. The monthly magazine was for 'all who are interested in the production of popular music'. In the first issue, Dance Band news, a feature on Ukuleles and how to read music by sight. Advertisements in Melody Maker helped assemble the line-ups of a number of major bands, including The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Supertramp and The Stranglers.

1969 - Led Zeppelin played the first of four nights at the Whisky A Go-Go, Los Angeles during the bands first North American tour. Support group was the Alice Cooper band.

1969 - Filming began at Twickenham studios of The Beatles rehearsing for the 'Let It Be' album. The project ran into several problems including George Harrison walking out on the group on January 10th.


1971 - The George Harrison album 'All Things Must Pass' started a seven week run at No.1 on the US album chart, making Harrison the first solo Beatle to score a US No.1 album. The triple album included the hit singles 'My Sweet Lord' and 'What Is Life', as well as songs such as 'Isn't It a Pity' and the title track that were turned down by The Beatles.

1980 - US singer Larry Williams was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head in his Los Angeles, California home aged 45. Williams had the 1957 US No.5 & UK No. 21 single 'Short Fat Fannie.' Also known for 'Bony Moronie' and 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy.' The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dr. Feelgood, Flying Burrito Brothers, Johnny Winter, Little Richard, The Who, Ritchie Valens and Bill Haley & His Comets all covered his songs.

1994 - Meat Loaf started a three-week run at No.1 on the album chart with his sixth studio album Bat Out Of Hell II - Back Into Hell. The LP, which featured the single 'I'd Do Anything for Love', also topped the charts in the US and Australia and has sold more than 14 million copies world-wide.

1997 - Guitarist Randy California from US group Spirit drowned when rescuing his 12-year old son when he was sucked into a riptide in surf off Hawaii.

2007 - Cristin Keleher who once broke into former Beatle George Harrison's Hawaii home was found dead after an apparent murder-suicide in California, aged 34. She made headlines in December 1999 by entering Harrison's Maui estate and then cooking herself a frozen pizza. Police said her body had been found with that of a 48-year-old man in a car, both had gunshot wounds to their heads.

2009 - According to official US sales figures AC/DC were the biggest sellers of 2008 with over 3.4m sales. To promote the groups latest album Black Ice, Columbia Records created "Rock Again AC/DC Stores" as well as "Black Ice" trucks which were dispatched on the streets of New York and Los Angeles playing AC/DC music aloud and making various stops each day to sell merchandise.

1953 - American singer-songwriter and musician singer Hank Williams died of a heart attack aged 29, brought on by a lethal cocktail of pills and alcohol. Williams is regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time.

1962 - The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records in West Hampstead, London. A&R boss at Decca Dick Rowe turned them down in what is considered one of the biggest mistakes in music industry history. Decca decided to reject the band, selecting instead Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.

1967 - The Doors made their first live television appearance lip-synching their first single 'Break on Through' on Shebang, KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles. The single peaked No. 126 on the US chart mainly due to lack of airplay after censors objected to the drug use implied by the line "she gets high", which is repeated in the middle section of the song.

1969 - Marmalade were at No.1 on the singles chart with their version of The Beatles song 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da', which features on The White Album.

1977 - Genesis played the first of three nights at the new-look Rainbow Theatre, London, tickets cost £2.50. The theatre had been completely renovated at a cost of £80,000.

1977 - The Clash played the opening night at punk's first real venue, The Roxy Club in London.

1984 - Alexis Korner died of lung cancer aged 55. Know as "the Founding Father of British Blues", he was a major force behind the early 60s R&B scene. Formed Blues Incorporated; members at various times included Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond and Charlie Watts. Had hits with CCS, including a version of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' which was used as the theme for Top Of The Pops for several years. He became a radio presenter in the Seventies.

1990 - New American radio station WKRL in Florida played the Led Zeppelin track 'Stairway To Heaven' for 24 hours, as a prelude to an all Zeppelin format.

2002 - Eric Clapton married 25-year old Melia McEnery the mother of his baby daughter at a secret ceremony at the 15th Century St Mary Magdalen Church in Ripley, Surrey.

2011 - Chuck Berry cut short a concert at Congress Theater, Chicago, Illinois after collapsing on stage an hour into the show. Berry slumped over a keyboard and did not move for a couple of minutes before being helped off stage, he returned 15 minutes later only to be forced off again almost immediately. The 84 year-old later re-emerged on stage but told fans he had no strength to continue performing.

2013 - Ultravox's 1981 hit 'Vienna' was voted the UK's favourite number two single. The song topped a poll by BBC Radio 2 and the Official Charts Company to find the greatest track to miss out on the number one spot. Vienna was held off by novelty track 'Shaddup You Face' by Joe Dolce. 'Fairytale of New York' by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl was voted into second place. Other songs to feature included The Beatles 'Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever', The Who's 'My Generation' and Don McLean's 'American Pie'.


1962 - During his first visit to the UK Bob Dylan played at the King And Queen pub in London. Dylan had arrived in the UK on 17th Dec after British TV director Philip Saville had heard Dylan perform in Greenwich Village, and had invited him to take part in a BBC television drama: The Madhouse On Castle Street.

1963 - The Kinks made their live debut when they played at the Lotus House Restaurant, London. Now recognised as one of the most important and influential rock acts of the era, brothers Ray Davies and Dave Davies remained members throughout the group's 32-year run.


1967 - American songwriter and producer Bert Berns died of heart failure aged 38. He wrote many classic songs including 'Twist And Shout', 'Hang On Sloopy', ‘Here Comes the Night’, ‘I Want Candy’, ‘Under the Boardwalk’, ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ and 'Brown Eyed Girl'.

1970 - Paul McCartney filed a suit against the rest of The Beatles to dissolve their partnership. According to the court documents, McCartney's main reason for wanting to legally break up the group stemmed from the decision taken by the others to to appoint Rolling Stones manager Allan Klein as their manager. McCartney didn't trust Klein and had wanted his new in-laws, Lee and John Eastman, to look after their affairs. The suit took more than four years of court hearings, with the group officially disbanding in January 1975.

1973 - Australian band AC/DC made their live debut when they appeared at Chequers Bar in Sydney.

1979 - David Bowie performed an acoustic version of 'Space Oddity' on the 'Kenny Everett New Year's Show'. .

1999 - The Manic Street Preachers performed to 57,000 fans at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. The Guinness Book of Records confirmed that the concert set a new record as the biggest indoor show ever staged in Europe, tickets £30.

2003 - Kevin MacMichael, guitarist with Cutting Crew died of lung cancer aged 51 (1987 US No.1 & 1986 UK No.4 single 'I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight'). Also worked with Robert Plant and The Rankin Family.

Week Commencing December 23
1963 - The Rolling Stones performed at Studio 51 in Soho, London, on the same bill as Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions, who featured a young Rod Stewart. The Stones played a regular Sunday afternoon gig at the club from 4pm until 6.30pm and were billed as Rhythm and Blues with The Rolling Stones.

1966 - Pink Floyd and Soft Machine appeared at the Blarney Club, London.

1968 - Led Zeppelin (who were advertised as Len Zefflin), appeared at Gonzaga University Gymnasium, Spokane on their first North American tour supporting Vanilla Fudge.

1969 - Peter Tork quit The Monkees, buying himself out of his contract which left him broke. He went on to form a group called Release and played banjo on George Harrison's soundtrack to the film Wonderwall.

1998 - American rhythm and blues singer Johnny Moore who was lead singer for The Drifters on their 1960s hit 'Under The Boardwalk', died at the age of 64. Moore began as lead singer of the Cleveland based group the Hornets, before being discovered by the Drifters. He joined the group as lead vocalist in New York in 1955, at age 21. Moore also sang lead on the hits ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’, ‘Come On Over To My Place’ and ‘Up In The Streets Of Harlem’.

1999 - George Harrison and his wife Olivia were attacked when an intruder broke into their home in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. Olivia beat off the attacker with a poker and heavy lamp. Harrison who was stabbed in the chest was admitted to hospital and treated for a collapsed lung and various minor stab wounds. His wife, Olivia, was treated for cuts and bruises she had suffered in the struggle with the intruder. Police later arrested Michael Abram from Liverpool who had nursed an irrational obsession with The Beatles.

1999 - In the Queen's Millennium Honours list, former Slade singer Noddy Holder was awarded an MBE and guitarist Mark Knopfler was awarded an OBE.

2002 - The funeral of former Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer took place in London. Strummer had died of a suspected heart attack on 22nd Dec 2002 aged 50.

2014 - The woman who inspired Pulp's hit song 'Disco 2000' died shortly after being appointed an MBE. Deborah Bone, from Hertfordshire was a childhood friend of lead singer Jarvis Cocker in Sheffield. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. The 1995 Britpop hit contains the lyric: "Your name is Deborah. Deborah. It never suited ya."

2016 - Allan Williams the first manager of The Beatles died at the age of 86. Williams worked with The Beatles from 1960 to 1961, getting the band gigs in Britain and Hamburg. Williams personally drove the van to take the Beatles to Hamburg in 1960, which didn't have seats; The Beatles had to sit on their amplifiers in the back of the van.


1966 - Working at Abbey Road studios, Paul McCartney began work on his new song ‘Penny Lane’, recording six takes of keyboard tracks and various percussion effects. The song's title is derived from the name of a street near John Lennon's house, in the band's hometown, Liverpool. McCartney and Lennon would meet at Penny Lane junction in the Mossley Hill area to catch a bus into the centre of the city.

1966 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience made their debut on Top Of The Pops performing 'Hey Joe'.


1967 - British guitarist and singer Dave Mason quit Traffic after differences of musical opinion. Mason wrote 'Hole in My Shoe', a psychedelic pop song that became a hit in for Traffic in 1967.

1973 - Jim Croce scored his second No.1 US single of the year when 'Time In A Bottle' went to the top of the charts. Croce was killed in a plane crash on the way to a concert on September 20th 1973.

1980 - American singer, songwriter Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose. Hardin wrote the songs 'If I Were A Carpenter' (covered by Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash and June Carter, The Four Tops, Leon Russell, Small Faces, Robert Plant and Bob Seger) and 'Reason To Believe' (covered by Rod Stewart). Hardin appeared at Woodstock.

1999 - Three ferrets named Beckham, Posh Spice and Baby Spice were used to lay power cables for a rock concert being held in Greenwich, London, England, (workers were not allowed to dig up the turf at the Royal Park). Organizers found that rods could not push the cables through the tiny tunnels, which frequently bend and dog-leg. The ferrets were eased into tiny nylon harnesses with wires which where then attached to a rope, the animals ran into a series of ducts which were under the stage like rabbit runs, leading the cables with them. The ferrets instinctively make for any hole in the ground and are enticed to the end of the duct by a slab of smelly meat. The New Years Eve concert featured Simply Red, Eurythmics and Bryan Ferry.

2013 - American guitarist, drummer, and songwriter Benjamin Curtis died age 35. He was a founding member of the bands Secret Machines, School of Seven Bells, and UFOFU. He was also drummer for the band Tripping Daisy from 1997 to 1999. It was announced in late February 2013 that he had been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma.

1963 - The music critics from The Times named John Lennon and Paul McCartney as The Outstanding Composers of 1963. Two days later, the Sunday Times' music critic Richard Buckle proclaims the same two songwriters "the greatest composers since Beethoven."

1969 - Led Zeppelin II was at No.1 on the album charts (the band's first album to reach No.1 on charts in the UK and the US), it went on to sell over six million copies in the US alone. The album's cover designer David Juniper was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package.

1975 - Queen started a two-week run at No.1 with A Night At The Opera, the group's first No.1 album.


1975 - The Faces split became official. Rod Stewart had severed all connections with the group to work as a solo artist, Ronnie Wood was on permanent loan to the Stones, Ronnie Lane went on to form Slim Chance and drummer Kenny Jones joined The Who.

1978 - American singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Bell from Big Star was killed after his car crashed into a telephone pole, he was 27. Bell inspired the likes of Beck, R.E.M., Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream, Wilco, The Posies and The Replacements, all of which have covered his music or name-dropped Big Star in the press.

1983 - Walter Scott lead singer of Bob Kuban & The In-Men, who scored a 1966 US hit with ‘The Cheater’, went missing this year. On April 10th, 1987, his badly decomposed, bound body was found floating face down in a cistern, he’d been shot in the back. Scott's second wife, Jo Ann Calceterra, pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution in his murder and received a five-year sentence. Her boyfriend (whom she married in 1986), James H. Williams Sr. was found guilty of two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Walter Scott as well as his previous wife, Sharon Williams. James Williams received two life terms.


1965 - While spending Christmas at his father's home in Cheshire, Paul McCartney crashed from the moped he was riding and suffered a five-inch cut to his mouth.


1966 - John Lennon appeared as a men's room attendant in Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's show 'Not only... But also'.

1966 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience played an afternoon show at The Uppercut Club, London (where he was billed as “The American Top soul Singer - Jimi Hendrix”). Hendrix also wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze in the dressing room on the same day.

1967 - BBC Television broadcast The Beatles movie ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ in black and white. The next day, the British press and the viewing public pronounce the film an utter disaster. The negative reaction was so strong that a US television deal for broadcasting the movie was cancelled.

1968 - Led Zeppelin started their first North American tour supporting Vanilla Fudge and Spirit at Denver Auditorium, Colorado, tickets for this Sunday night gig cost $5.

1970 - George Harrison started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'My Sweet Lord', making him the first Beatle to score a No.1 US hit. The song was originally intended for Billy Preston.

1976 - The Sex Pistols recorded 'God Save The Queen' at Wessex Studios London. The song was released during Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee in 1977. The record's lyrics, as well as the cover, were controversial at the time, and both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refused to play the song. The song reached No.1 on the NME charts. It is also widely believed that the BBC erroneously claimed that Rod Stewart was No.1 on their own charts so they could get out of playing God Save the Queen on Top of The Pops.

1979 - The first night of a series of concerts were held at The Hammersmith Odeon in London for the People of Kampuchea, featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists. The events which were organised by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim were aimed to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia.

1979 - Pink Floyd’s The Wall was at No.1 on the album chart.

1981 - AC/DC started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'For Those About To Rock We Salute You' the follow-up to their highly successful album 'Back In Black'. The name of the album was inspired by a book Angus Young read, entitled 'For Those About to Die, We Salute You', about Roman gladiators.

2017 - Jim Burns, the co-creator of MTV's iconic MTV Unplugged series, famous for hosting shows by artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Jay-Z died at the age of 65. He was struck by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue in Manhattan three days earlier walking with his seeing-eye dog near his Upper East Side home.



1954 - Johnny Ace shot himself dead backstage at the City Auditorium in Houston, Texas. The R&B singer was playing with a revolver during a break between sets, someone in the room said "Be careful with that thing’’ and he said "It’s OK the gun’s not loaded, see" and pointed it at himself with a smile on his face.

1978 - John Lydon's new group Public Image Ltd played their first live gig at the Rainbow Theatre, London.

1998 - Bryan MacLean, guitarist with Love, died of a heart attack aged 62 while having Christmas dinner with a young fan who was researching a book about the band. Love had the 1966 US No.33 single '7 And 7 Is', and the 1968 album Forever Changes.

2006 - James Brown the ‘Godfather of Soul’, died at the age of 73 after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Brown went to his dentist in Atlanta the previous day who told him something was wrong, and sent him to a doctor immediately. His hits included ‘Papa's Got a Brand New Bag’, ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’, and ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Pt. 1’. Brown was married four times. At the age of 16 was arrested for theft and served 3 years in prison. In 1988 Brown was arrested following a high-speed car chase along the Georgia-South Carolina state border.

2009 - Tony Bellamy guitarist, pianist and vocalist for the Native American rock band Redbone died of liver failure. Redbone had the 1971 No.2 single 'The Witch Queen Of New Orleans' and the 1974 US No. 4 hit single, 'Come and Get Your Love.' Redbone are accredited in the NY Smithsonian as the first Native American rock/Cajun group to have a No.1 single in the United States and internationally. Bellamy had performed with Dobie Gray, and was a member of Peter and the Wolves (a band from San Francisco that evolved into the psychedelic band Moby Grape).

2016 - George Michael died at his home aged 53. Thames Valley Police said South Central Ambulance Service attended a property in Goring in Oxfordshire at 13:42 GMT. The singer who launched his career with Wham! in the 1980s and later continued his success as a solo performer, was said to have "passed away peacefully at home". Up to the time of his death, Michael sold more than 115 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

1972 - On the second UK leg of his 182 date Ziggy Stardust Tour, David Bowie played the second of two nights at the Rainbow Theatre, London. This tour had the classic Spiders From Mars line up of Mick Ronson on guitar, vocals, Trevor Bolder, bass and Mick "Woody" Woodmansey on drums.

1977 - The Sex Pistols played their last ever UK gig (until 1996), before splitting, at Ivanhoes in Huddersfield. It was a charity performance before an audience of mainly children.

1988 - American glam metal band Poison started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn.' (and as every pedant knows, Roses don't have thorns)


2003 - Jack White of The White Stripes turned himself in to Detroit police to face aggravated assault charges stemming from a bar room altercation in which he allegedly attacked Jason Stollsteimer of The Von Bondies. White was also fingerprinted and formally booked on the charges before he was released on bail.

2016 - Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt died in hospital in Marbella, Spain aged 68. He died from a severe infection after going to hospital following complications to a shoulder injury. His partnership with Francis Rossi became the core of Status Quo, one of Britain's most enduring bands. The band had over 60 chart hits - more than any other rock band, including "Pictures of Matchstick Men" in 1967. In July 1985 the band opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium with "Rockin' All Over the World".

Week Commencing December 16
1959 - Chuck Berry was arrested after taking 14 year old Janice Norine (who unbeknown to Berry was working as a prostitute), across a state line. He was sentenced to 5 years jail but after racist comments by the judge Berry was freed.

1966 - ITV (Redifusion) broadcast Ready, Steady Go! for the last time, after the Musicians Union enforced a ban on miming. The special guests for the farewell show were Mick Jagger, The Who, Eric Burdon, The Spencer Davis Group, Donovan and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich.

1972 - Former Grand Funk Railroad manager Terry Knight arrived during a concert by the band with a court order to seize $1m in money or assets. Police inform the ex manager that he couldn't take anything until after the show.

1985 - Judas Priest fans Raymond Belknap and James Vance shot themselves after listening to the Judas Priest album ‘Stained Class.’ The two had drunk beer, smoked marijuana and then listened to hours of the album. Afterwards they took a shotgun to a nearby school playground where Belknap shot and killed himself. Vance then blew away his jaw, mouth and nose but lived for more than three years before dying of effects of the shooting.

2005 - Geezer Butler, the bass player with Black Sabbath offered £5,000 for any information leading to the safe return of Toga, the three-month-old penguin that had been stolen from a zoo on the Isle of Wight a few days earlier.


2018 - Honey Lantree drummer with pop group The Honeycombs died aged 75. The Honeycombs scored the Joe Meek produced 1964 No.1 single 'Have I The Right', which featured Lantree who was one of the few female drummers in bands at that time. The song’s beat was enhanced by having the members of the group stamp their feet on the wooden stairs to the studio to add to the drum sound.

1962 - Acker Bilk's 'Stranger On The Shore' finally dropped off the UK charts after 55 weeks. That record would stand until 1968 when Engelbert Humperdinck's 'Release Me' stayed for 56. The current record is held by Frank Sinatra's 'My Way', which charted for 75 non-consecutive weeks.


1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Who, Keith West and Tomorrow, Eric Burdon & The Animals, 1984 (featuring future Queen guitarist Brian May) and Soft Machine all appeared at The Olympia, London at an all night festival 'Christmas On Earth Continued'. The DJ was John Peel plus the venue featured a paddling pool, light shows and a movie theatre, tickets £1.

1973 - Elton John started a two-week run at No.1 on the album chart with 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', it also had a eight week run at No.1 on the US chart. The album contains the Marilyn Monroe tribute, 'Candle in the Wind', as well as three successful singles: 'Bennie and the Jets', 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', and 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting'.

1987 - Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue was pronounced 'dead on arrival' in an ambulance when his heart stopped beating for two minutes. Sixx was given two shots of adrenaline in his chest to revive him. Fellow band members were prematurely informed of his death.

2002 - Former Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer (John Graham Mellor) died of a suspected heart attack aged 50. Scored the 1979 No. 11 single 'London Calling', 1991 No.1 single 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go', first released 1982, plus 15 other Top 40 singles. The Clash's London Calling album was voted best album of the 1980s by Rolling Stone magazine. Strummer was also a member of the The Mescaleros.

2008 - A cassette tape of a "drunk" John Lennon recording a cover version of a rock 'n' roll song sold at auction in Los Angeles for $30,000 (£20,200). The six-minute recording, made in autumn 1973, is of Lennon performing Lloyd Price's Just Because. "Debauched lyrics" improvised by "a drunk Lennon" include "just a little cocaine will set me right", and, "I wanna take all them new singers, Carol and the other one with the nipples, I wanna take 'em and hold 'em tight."

2010 - The Abbey Road zebra crossing in north London, made famous after appearing on a Beatles album cover was given Grade II listed status. The crossing, the first of its kind to be listed, was being recognised for its "cultural and historical importance" following advice from English Heritage. The Beatles were photographed on Abbey Road in Ian Macmillan's iconic cover shot for the 1969 album Abbey Road.

2014 - Joe Cocker died of lung cancer in Crawford, Colorado aged 70. The Sheffield-born singer was known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance and definitive versions of popular songs of varying genre. Cocker had a career lasting more than 40 years, with hits including his cover of The Beatles' 'With A Little Help From My Friends', 'You Are So Beautiful' and 'Up Where We Belong'. He was made an OBE in 2011. In the early Sixties Cocker was performing as Vance Arnold. The name was a combination of Vince Everett, Elvis Presley's character in Jailhouse Rock (which Cocker misheard as Vance); and country singer Eddy Arnold.


1967 - Buffalo Springfield appeared at the Community Concourse, San Diego, California. The group became a springboard for the careers of Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and Jim Messina.

1968 - During a UK tour Led Zeppelin appeared at The Civic Hall, Exeter, supported by The Empty Vessels, featuring Martin Turner and Steve Upton who later formed Wishbone Ash. Zeppelin were paid £125 for the gig.

1970 - Elton John's first US hit, ‘Your Song’ entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it went on to reach number eight. The Hollies had been offered the song and Three Dog Night had already recorded a version which was included on their ‘It Ain't Easy’ album.

1979 - Elvis Presley's personal physician, George Nichopoulos, was charged with 'illegally and indiscriminately' prescribing over 12,000 tablets of uppers, downers, and painkillers for the star during the 20 months preceding his untimely death. Although he was acquitted this time, he was charged again in 1980 and again in 1992 and was stripped of his medical license in July 1995.


1991 - Joe Cole, an American roadie for Black Flag and Rollins Band, was shot and killed in an armed robbery. Cole and Henry Rollins had attended a Hole concert at the Whisky a Go Go and were returning home after having stopped at an all-night grocery store when two armed men – described as black in their 20s – approached them demanding money. Angry that Rollins and Cole had only $50 between them, the gunmen ordered the two men to go inside their house for more cash. Rollins entered at gunpoint. However, Cole was killed outside after being shot in the face at close range while Rollins escaped out the back door and alerted the police. The murder remains unsolved. Cole is remembered in the Sonic Youth songs ‘JC’ and ‘100%’ on their album Dirty.

1993 - Michael Clarke drummer with The Byrds died of liver failure aged 47. Also worked with the Flying Burrito Brothers and Jerry Jeff Walker. Before his death Clarke had expressed a wish of alerting children to the dangers of alcoholism. Following his wishes, Clarke's girlfriend Susan Paul started a foundation in Clarke's name, called the Campaign for Alcohol-free Kids.

1994 - The Manic Street Preachers played the first of three nights at The Astoria, London, the last shows Richey Edwards made with the band before disappearing. Edwards vanished on February 1st 1995 leaving no clues to his whereabouts.

2000 - 10,000 Maniacs guitarist Robert Buck died of liver failure aged 42. Best know for ‘Hey Jack Kerouac’, ‘What's The Matter Here’ and 'Candy Everybody Wants'.

2006 - Two giant eyeballs donated by Pink Floyd raised £16,500 for the homeless charity Crisis. The 6ft-high props, made to promote the Pulse DVD, were on the auction site eBay for a week and attracted 46 bids. Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, a vice-president of Crisis, said extra help was needed in the winter months.


1962 - On their fifth visit to West Germany The Beatles played the first night of a two-week engagement at the Star-Club, Hamburg. A 13 night run, playing 3 hours each night. The final night's performance was recorded and became known as ‘The Star-Club Tapes’, released in 1977 against the wishes of the ex-Beatles themselves.

1966 - Tara Browne was killed when driving at high speed in his Lotus Elan after it collided with a parked lorry in South Kensington, London. A close friend of The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, his death was immortalized in The Beatles song ‘A Day In The Life’ after John Lennon read a report on the coroner's verdict into Browne's death.

1971 - T. Rex scored their first No.1 album with their sixth release 'Electric Warrior'. The album which became the biggest seller of the year contained two of T. Rex's most popular songs, 'Get It On' and 'Jeepster.'

1983 - American guitarist Jimmy Nolan died of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia, aged 47. Known for his distinctive ‘chicken scratch’ lead guitar playing, he worked with James Brown from 1965 until his death.


2000 - Singer, songwriter Kirsty MacColl was killed in a boating accident off the coast of Mexico when a speedboat hit her. MacColl, 41, and her sons were diving at the Chankanaab reef, off Cozumel, Mexico in a designated diving area that watercraft were restricted from entering. MacColl saw the boat coming before her sons did; Louis (then 13) was not in the boat's path, but Jamie (then 15) was. She was able to push him out of the way (he sustained minor head and rib injuries) but in doing so she was hit by the boat and killed instantly.

2013 - Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins was sentenced to 35 years in jail for a string of child sex offences. Watkins, 36, from Pontypridd, Wales, had pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court last month to 13 child sex offences.

2015 - A US medical examiner said Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland died from a toxic mix of drugs including cocaine, alcohol and ecstasy. Weiland, who was 48, rose to fame with the Stone Temple Pilots was found dead on his tour bus outside a hotel in Bloomington, Minneapolis, on 3 December of this year.


1963 - James Carroll at WWDC in Washington, DC, became the first disc jockey to broadcast a Beatles record on American radio. Carroll played 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', which he had obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from the UK. Due to listener demand, the song was played daily, every hour. Since it hadn't been released yet in the States, Capitol Records initially considered court action, but instead released the single earlier than planned.

1968 - The Who played their Xmas party at the The Marquee Club London. Also on the bill was a new group called Yes. Members 15 shillings, or £1 on the night. Other acts appearing at the club this month included Joe Cocker, Free and Led Zeppelin.

1971 - David Bowie released his fourth album Hunky Dory, which was the first to feature all the members of the band that would become known the following year as Ziggy Stardust's Spiders From Mars. Two singles were released from the album: 'Changes' / 'Andy Warhol' in January 1972 and 'Life on Mars' which was released late June 1973. Bowie himself considered the album to be one of the most important in his career.

1973 - Slade were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Merry Xmas Everybody' their sixth chart topper. It has been released during every decade since 1973, and has been covered by numerous artists. In a 2007 poll, 'Merry Xmas Everybody' was voted the UK's most popular Christmas song.


1982 - American Delta blues musician and songwriter Big Joe Williams died in Macon, Mississippi aged 79. Wrote 'Baby Please Don't Go', a 1965 Top 10 for Them (featuring Van Morrison).

2010 - Captain Beefheart died aged 69 from complications from multiple sclerosis. The American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet born Don Glen Vliet in Glendale, California recorded 13 studio albums.

2010 - Sir Paul McCartney performed an intimate lunchtime gig at the 100 Club on London's Oxford Street, the historic music venue threatened with closure. Around 300 fans were treated to a set lasting almost two hours, in what was McCartney’s smallest gig in the UK for nearly 10 years. A campaign to keep the 100 Club open had attracted support from Primal Scream's Bobby Gillespie and Sir Mick Jagger.

2015 - A London judge said he was concerned at how much Liam Gallagher and his ex-wife Nicole Appleton were spending in a legal dispute over how their assets should be split after it was revealed that the pair had spent over £800,000 on legal fees. Judge O'Dwyer decided their money and property should be divided equally, with each receiving £5.4m. (which reminds me of that joke: "What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?"    -    "Not enough".)


1966 - The first Jimi Hendrix Experience single 'Hey Joe', was released on Polydor records, the track had been rejected by the Decca label. It went on to be a No.6 hit in the UK, but failed to chart in America. Chas Chandler, who was now managing Hendrix had seen Folk singer Tim Rose perform the song at the Cafe Wha? in New York City.

1971 - Frank Zappa's '200 Motels' film opened at London's Piccadilly Classic Cinema. The film which also featured Ringo Star, covers a loose storyline about The Mothers of Invention going crazy in the small town Centerville.

2001 - Scottish guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Stuart Adamson, lead singer of Big Country was found dead in Hawaii a month after disappearing from his home. His body was found in a closet in his room at the Best Western Plaza Hotel in Honolulu. The 43-year musician had fought a long battle against alcoholism. Adamson had been due to face drunk-driving charges in March 2002 and had been ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous. Adamson founded Scottish art-punk band Skids in 1977 and in the 1990s he founded alternative country rock act The Raphaels.

2005 - The surviving Beatles and relatives of the band's late members began legal action against EMI to get royalties allegedly worth £30m. Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and relations of George Harrison and John Lennon claimed EMI owed record royalties to their company Apple Corps.

Week Commencing December 9
1943 - American jazz pianist, organist, composer, singer, and comedic entertainer Fats Waller died of pneumonia on a train trip near Kansas City, Missouri. Waller wrote many songs including 'Ain't Misbehavin', 'Your Feet's Too Big' and 'The Reefer Song'. In 1926 Waller was kidnapped at gunpoint in Chicago and driven to a club owned by gangster Al Capone. Inside the club he was ordered to perform at what turned out to be a surprise birthday party for the gangster. He enjoyed success touring the UK and Ireland in the 1930s, appearing on one of the first BBC television broadcasts on September 30, 1938.

1977 - The Sex Pistols were refused entry into the USA two days before a scheduled NBC TV appearance. Johnny Rotten because of a drugs conviction, Paul Cook & Sid Vicious because of 'moral turpitude' and Steve Jones because of his criminal record.

1979 - Pink Floyd started a five week run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)' their only UK chart topper. The song, which was also the final No.1 single of the 1970s, received a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by a Rock Duo or Group, but Floyd lost to Bob Seger's Against the Wind.

1984 - Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid entered the chart at No.1 and stayed at the top for five weeks. It became the biggest selling UK single of all time with sales over 3 and a half million. Band Aid was masterminded by former Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof, who had been moved by a TV news story of famine in Ethiopia. Geldof had the idea of raising funds with a one-off charity single featuring the cream of the current pop world. Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Culture Club, George Michael, Sting, Bono, Phil Collins, Paul Weller, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo and Bananarama all appeared on the recording.

2010 - Various Pink Floyd items were sold at an Entertainment Memorabilia auction by Bonhams in Knightsbridge London. A demo pressing of the single 'Point Me To The Sky/Careful With That Axe Eugene' sold for £720. Pink Floyd signatures, in various blue marker pens on four separate pieces of paper mounted and framed together with a copy of 'Dark Side Of The Moon' sold for £624.00 and a demo pressing of the single by Syd Barrett 'Octopus' / 'Golden Hair' from 1969, misspelt 'Barratt' corrected in ink on A-side, sold for £300.


1955 - Dickie Valentine was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Christmas Alphabet', the first Christmas song to reach the No.1 position. It was the first Christmas No.1 that was actually about Christmas, a trend that would continue off and on over the next several decades.

1966 - Jimi Hendrix made his TV debut on ITV's 'Ready Steady Go!' (Marc Bolan was also on the show). The Jimi Hendrix Experience also recorded 'Foxy Lady' on this day. The United States version of Are You Experienced listed the song with a spelling mistake as 'Foxey Lady' and this is how it is still known among many North American fans.

1970 - Dave Edmunds was at No.1 on the singles chart with his version of the 1955 Smiley Lewis hit 'I Hear You Knocking.' The Welsh singer, songwriter and producers only No.1 hit.


1975 - Patti Smith released her debut studio album Horses. Produced by John Cale, Horses has since been viewed by critics as one of the greatest and most influential albums in the history of the American punk rock movement, as well as one of the greatest albums of all time. Horses has also been cited as a key influence on a number of acts, including Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Smiths, R.E.M. and PJ Harvey.

2000 - It was announced that after 74 years the rock weekly Melody Maker was to close down. The Christmas edition would be the last one then it would merge with the NME creating a more sizeable broad-based magazine.

2001 - American singer, songwriter, and guitarist Chuck Schuldiner died of brain cancer. He founded the pioneering band Death in 1983. Schuldiner is often referred to as "The Godfather of death metal". Death's best-selling album is the 1991 release Human.

2012 - A collection of love letters written by Mick Jagger to American singer Marsha Hunt sold at auction for £187,250. The letters were penned in the summer of 1969 while The Rolling Stones frontman was in Australia. They are believed to be the inspiration for the band's hit single 'Brown Sugar'.

1970 - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles started a run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Tears Of A Clown'. It was the group's 26th Top 40 hit and first No.1. The song was written by Stevie Wonder in 1966, and his producer Hank Cosby, Smokey Robinson wrote the lyrics.

1970 - The Doors played what would be their last ever live show with Jim Morrison when they played at the Warehouse in New Orleans.


1985 - Scottish keyboard player Ian Stewart died of a heart attack in his doctor's Harley Street waiting room. Co-founder of The Rolling Stones (Stewart was the first to respond to Brian Jones's advertisement in Jazz News seeking musicians to form a rhythm & blues group). Stewart was dismissed from the line-up by the band's manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, in May 1963 but remained as road manager and piano player. He played on all The Rolling Stones albums between 1964 and 1983. Also played piano on Led Zeppelin's ‘Rock and Roll’ and ‘Boogie With Stu’ from Physical Graffiti. When the Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, they asked that Stewart's name be included. "Stu was the one guy we tried to please," said Mick Jagger after he died. "We wanted his approval when we were writing or rehearsing a song." The last word is from Keith Richards autobiography, Life. "Ian Stewart, I'm still working for him. To me, the Rolling Stones is his band."

2008 - The town where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards grew up announced it was to name streets in a new estate after Rolling Stones hits. The 13 streets in Dartford, Kent, were to be given names such as Angie Mews, Babylon Close, Sympathy Street, Little Red Walk and Satisfaction Street. Leader of the council, Jeremy Kite, said he thought Ruby Tuesday Drive sounded a "fantastic" place to live, but police were concerned the street signs might be stolen by fans.

2012 - The Rolling Stones, The Who, Michael Stipe, Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters played at Madison Square Garden and raised over $30m (£18.6m) at a benefit gig in New York for those affected by superstorm Sandy which had caused the deaths of 120 people when it hit the Caribbean and US in October of this year. The surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, also joined Sir Paul McCartney on stage to perform.

1961 - The Beatles agent Sam Leach attempted to introduce the group to London agents by promoting a show at The Palais Ballroom in Aldershot. The show was not advertised properly and, as a result, only 18 people attended (local newspaper The Aldershot News failed to publish the advertisement for the show). However, the band and friends had their own fun after the show, including a mock funeral for Paul McCartney.

1966 - Supergroup Cream released their debut studio album 'Fresh Cream'. The three piece of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker also released their second single 'I Feel Free' on the same day.

1967 - The Doors appeared at the New Haven Arena, New Haven, Connecticut. Before the show a policeman found singer Jim Morrison making out with an 18 year-old girl in a backstage shower and after an argument the policeman sprays mace in Morrison’s face. Once on stage Morrison tells the story of the backstage episode and starts taunting the police who drag him off the stage and arrest him. The crowd riots leaving the venue in disarray and many are arrested. Later over 100 protestors gathered at the police station in demonstration and more arrests were made.

1992 - George Harrison was the recipient of the first Century Award, presented by Tom Petty at the third Billboard Music Awards in Universal City, California.

2010 - Eric Clapton announced he was to sell off part of his extensive guitar collection to raise money for his Crossroads rehab Centre in Antigua. Highlights of the sale would include a guitar Clapton played at the Cream reunion shows in 2005, estimated to sell for more than £13,000. The sale to be held by Bonhams in New York would also feature a vast collection of amps and speakers, including a pair of Marshall speaker cabinets.

Week Commencing December 2
1964 - Beach Boy Brian Wilson married Marilyn Rovell in L.A. The couple divorced in 1979. Marilyn and her sister and cousin were in a group, the Honeys, who were produced by Brian Wilson. Marilyn and Brian had two daughters, Carnie and Wendy, who became members of Wilson Phillips.

1967 - The Beatles Apple boutique on 94 Baker Street, London, opened its doors. The store closed seven months later when it fell foul of council objections over the psychedelic mural painted on the outside. All the goods from the shop were given away free to passers by and to people who had queued throughout the night for a chance of getting a free item.


1974 - Carl Douglas started a run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Kung Fu Fighting'. The song was recorded in 10 minutes, had started out as a B-side and went on to sell over 10 million.

1993 - Manic Street Preachers co-manager Phillip Hall died from cancer. Hall was a former Record Mirror journalist and had also worked in PR for Stiff Records. Represented many acts including The Stone Roses, The Pogues, James, The Waterboys, The Beautiful South and Radiohead.

2016 - Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died aged 69 after a battle with cancer. One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the band combined heavy rock riffs with a classical influence. They scored hit albums with Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery and Lake had his solo hit 'I Believe in Father Christmas'. Jimi Hendrix considered joining ELP in their earliest incarnation, and if this had happened, the band would've been known as HELP.

2016 - An inquest into the deaths of British band Viola Beach after a crash in Sweden heard that "none of the young men suffered". The four-piece group and their manager, who were aged between 19 and 32, died in the early hours of 13 February 2016, following a gig in Stockholm. Their car crashed into a raised section of a bridge and plummeted into a canal.

1961 - Brian Epstein invited The Beatles into his office to discuss the possibility of becoming their manager. John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best arrived late for the 4pm meeting (they had been drinking at the Grapes pub in Matthew Street), but Paul McCartney was not with them, because, as Harrison explained, he had just got up and was "taking a bath".

1965 - Rolling Stone Keith Richards was knocked unconscious by an electric shock on stage at the Memorial Hall In Sacramento, California, when his guitar made contact with his microphone.

1965 - The Who released their debut studio album: My Generation. In the United States it was released by Decca Records as 'The Who Sings My Generation' in April 1966, with a different cover and a slightly altered track listing. In 2003 it was named the second greatest guitar album of all time by Mojo magazine.

1966 - British act The New Vaudeville Band started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Winchester Cathedral'. A No.4 hit in the UK.

1966 - The Monkees made their live debut at the International Arena, Honolulu. The massive success of the TV series and its spin-off records had created intense pressure to mount a touring version of the group.

1969 - The Rolling Stones recorded 'Brown Sugar' at Muscle Shoals studios. The single went on to be a UK & US No.1. The song was written by Mick Jagger with Marsha Hunt in mind; Hunt was Jagger's secret girlfriend and mother of his first child Karis.

1976 - A giant 40ft inflatable pig could be seen floating above London, after breaking free from its moorings. The pig, nicknamed Algie, was being photographed for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover. The Civil Aviation Authority issued a warning to all pilots that a flying pig was on the run. The pig eventually crashed into a barn in Godmersham, Kent, where the farmer complained of his cows being scared by the incident.

1979 - A concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to claim unreserved seats, another 26 fans were injured. The concert was using 'festival seating' where seats are available on a first come-first served basis. When the waiting fans outside the Coliseum heard the band performing a late sound check, they thought that the concert was beginning and tried to rush into the still-closed doors.

1986 - Judas Priest were sued by two families, alleging that the band were responsible for their sons forming a suicide pact and shooting themselves. The parents and their legal team alleged that a subliminal message of 'do it' had been included in the Priest song Better By You, Better Than Me from the Stained Class album and alleged the command in the song triggered the suicide attempt. The trial lasted from 16 July to 24 August 1990, when the suit was dismissed.

2001 - American session guitarist Grady Martin died aged 72. He was a member of the legendary Nashville A-Team, playing guitar on hits ranging from Roy Orbison's ‘Oh, Pretty Woman’, Marty Robbins' ‘El Paso’ and Loretta Lynn's ‘Coal Miner's Daughter’. During a 50-year career, Martin backed such names as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Joan Baez and J.J. Cale.

2008 - Composer, keyboardist and arranger Derek Wadsworth died in Oxfordshire. As a musician he worked with Georgie Fame, Alan Price, George Harrison, Mike Oldfield, Diana Ross, Tom Jones, Dionne Warwick, Simply Red. Arranger for David Essex, Dusty Springfield, Nina Simone, Judy Garland, Kate Bush, Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, Small Faces, The Rolling Stones and Manfred Mann.

2009 - Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood was arrested in Esher, Surrey on suspicion of assault, after a passer-by dialled 999 as a violent argument took place between Wood and his 21-year-old on-off girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova. He was later cautioned by police.

Week Commencing November 25
1957 - Buddy Holly and the Crickets appeared on 'The Ed Sullivan Show', performing 'That'll Be The Day' and 'Peggy Sue'. Sam Cooke was also a guest on the same show performing 'You Send Me'.

1964 - The Who played the first of 22 consecutive Tuesday night gigs at The Marquee Club in London, the band were paid £50 for each gig. The Marquee Club saw the rise of some of the most important British artists in the 60s such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Cream, Manfred Mann, The Nice, Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and many others who all appeared at the club.

1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their second studio album Axis: Bold as Love. Hendrix expressed dismay regarding the album cover art, which depicts him and the Experience as various forms of Vishnu, incorporating a painting of them by Roger Law, from a photo-portrait by Karl Ferris. Hendrix stated that the cover would have been more appropriate had it highlighted his American Indian heritage.

1987 - A Kentucky teacher lost her appeal in the US Supreme Court over her sacking after showing Pink Floyd's film The Wall to her class. The court decided that the film was not suitable for minors with its bad language and sexual content.


1993 - American rock singer-songwriter Ray Gillen died age 34 from an AIDS related disease in a New York Hospital. He was best known for his work with Badlands, in addition to his stint with Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena's Dream Runner album.

2014 - Phil Rudd the drummer of AC/DC pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening to kill and possession of drugs. Rudd was excused from appearing in New Zealand's Tauranga District Court, with his lawyer entering his plea. The 60-year-old Australian-born musician was originally charged with attempting to procure the murder of two men.

1969 - The Monkees made what would be their last live appearance for 15 years when they played at The Oakland Coliseum, California.

1969 - The Rolling Stones played the final night on a 17 date North American tour at the International Raceway Festival, West Palm Beach, Florida. Also appearing, The Moody Blues, Ten Years After, King Crimson, Janis Joplin, The Band, Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly.

1996 - American singer and ukulele player Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury) died from a heart attack on stage while playing his hit ‘Tiptoe Through the Tulips’ at a club in Minneapolis. On 17 December 1969, he married Victoria Mae Budinger on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, a publicity stunt that attracted over 40 million viewers. They had a daughter, Tulip Victoria. He performed at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival in front of a crowd of 600,000 people.


2000 - Scott Smith bassist for the Canadian rock band Loverboy died age 45. He was sailing his boat with two friends off the coast of San Francisco near the Golden Gate Bridge, when a large wave swept him overboard. Loverboy were best known for their hit singles ‘Working for the Weekend’ and ‘Turn Me Loose’, although their Top Ten hits were ‘Lovin' Every Minute of It’ in 1985 and ‘This Could Be the Night’. Loverboy sold over 23 million records and in 1986 the band won six Juno Awards in 1982. He also later worked as a late-night radio DJ at US station CFOX.

2002 - High Court probate records showed that George Harrison left his fortune of £99m in a trust to his wife Olivia and his son Dhani, depriving the taxman of £40m. His English mansion near Henley-on-Thames was said to be worth £15m.

2003 - A block of East 2nd Street in New York City was officially renamed Joey Ramone Place. It is the block where Joey once lived with band mate Dee Dee Ramone and is near the music club CBGB, where the Ramones played their first gigs. In 2010, it was reported that "Joey Ramone Place," was New York City's most stolen sign. As of September 27, the sign has been moved to 20 feet above ground level.

2006 - The sale of Syd Barrett's final belongings were sold by Cheffins auctioneers in Cambridge. The sale of the 77 items raised £119,890. Ten paintings alone raised over £55,000 and two bicycles over £10,000. The sale included such things as the armchair he used to sit in, his home-made bread bin, tools, notebooks and binders and books. The sale catalogue described Barrett - who quit Pink Floyd in 1968 - as a man with a "total disinterest in materialism."

2015 - Former New Order bassist Peter Hook was suing his ex-bandmates for £2.3m. Hook accused Bernard Sumner and Stephen and Gillian Morris of "pillaging" the pop group's assets after the three other band members set up a company to handle the band's income in 2011
without him .

1961 - Neil Christian and the Crusaders, featuring a young Jimmy Page on guitar, played a concert at Holloway Women’s Prison in London. The inmates were all dressed in washed out yellow, green, blue and red faded floral print dresses and wore homemade mascara, using the charcoal from burnt matches.

1962 - The Beatles recorded their first BBC radio session at the BBC Paris studio on Regent Street in London. They played 'Twist and Shout', 'Love Me Do' and 'P.S. I Love You', the tracks were aired on the BBC Light Program 'Talent Spot.'

1970 - George Harrison released All Things Must Pass which includes the hit singles 'My Sweet Lord' and 'What Is Life', as well as songs such as 'Isn't It a Pity' and the title track that had been turned down for inclusion on releases by the Beatles. The triple album would go on to be certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA, making it the best selling album by a solo Beatle.

1981 - The British Phonographic industry placed advertisements in the press claiming that 'home taping was wiping out music'. The Boomtown Rats, 10cc, Elton John and Cliff Richard all backed the campaign.

1997 - A disturbed rock fan brought the funeral of INXS singer Michael Hutchence to a standstill when he tried to launch himself from a 20 ft high balcony with a cord around his neck. He was removed by police and taken away to a psychiatric unit.

2005 - Tony Meehan drummer with The Shadows died aged 62 from head injuries sustained in a fall at his London flat in Maida Vale. Had the 1963 No.1 single 'Foot Tapper' plus 28 other Top 40 singles. Left The Shadows in 1961 to work as a session drummer with Joe Meek. Also had the No.1 hit ‘Diamonds’ with Jet Harris.

1962 - The Beatles recorded their second single ‘Please Please Me’ in 18 takes and ‘Ask Me Why’ for the flip side at EMI studios London. When released in the US on the Vee-Jay label, the first pressings featured a typographical error: The band's name was spelled "The Beattles".


1968 - Cream played their farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Also on the bill were Yes and Taste. The concert was filmed and released as Cream's Farewell Concert which has often been criticized for both its mediocre sound and visual effects: during Ginger Baker's drum solo, he seems to change clothes at lightning speed due to careless post-editing.

1973 - The New York Dolls made their live UK debut at Biba's Rainbow Room, London. The American band who formed in New York in 1971 influenced the look of many new wave and 1980s-era glam metal groups.

1976 - The Sex Pistols released the single 'Anarchy In The UK'. Originally issued in a plain black sleeve, the single was the only Sex Pistols recording released by EMI, and reached No.38 on the Singles Chart before EMI dropped the group on 6 January 1977.

2016 - Punk memorabilia said to be worth £5m was set on fire in the middle of the River Thames in London. Joe Corre, the son of Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, burnt the items on the 40th anniversary of the Sex Pistols debut single. The 48-year-old told the crowd that "punk was never meant to be nostalgic".


1965 - Harrods department store in London was closed to the public so The Beatles could do their Christmas shopping in private.

1966 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience made their UK live debut at the Bag O'Nails Club, London, where they played using the club's DJ booth. Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, The Hollies and the Small Faces would all hang out at the club.

1972 - Chuck Berry was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'My Ding a-Ling', his only UK No.1. The song was originally recorded by Dave Bartholomew in 1952. Berry's version was from a concert recorded at the Locarno ballroom in Coventry, on 3 February 1972.

1974 - Singer, songwriter Nick Drake died in his sleep aged 26 of an overdose of tryptasol an anti-depressant drug. Drake signed to Island Records when he was twenty years old, recorded the classic 1972 album Pink Moon. In 2000, Volkswagen featured the title track from Pink Moon in a television advertisement, and within a month Drake had sold more records than he had in the previous thirty years.

1984 - The cream of the British pop world gathered at S.A.R.M. Studios, London to record the historic Do They Know It's Christmas? The single, which was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, featured Paul Young, Bono, Boy George, Sting and George Michael. It went on to sell over three million copies in the UK, becoming the bestselling record ever, and raised over £8 million worldwide.

1996 - A statue in Montreux, Switzerland by sculptor Irena Sedlecka was erected as a tribute to Freddie Mercury. Standing almost 10 feet (3 metres) high overlooking Lake Geneva it was unveiled by Freddie's father and Montserrat Caballé, with bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor also in attendance.

2000 - A burglar broke into Alice Cooper's home and made off with over $6000 worth of clothes, shoes and cameras belonging to the singer's daughter. The good's were all lifted from Cooper's house in Paradise Valley, along with four of the star's gold discs.


2007 - Kevin Dubrow, the frontman with metal band Quiet Riot, was found dead in his Las Vegas home at the age of 52. Their 1983 release Metal Health was the first metal album to top the US charts. The band's biggest hit was 'Cum on Feel the Noize', a cover of the Slade song which they are said to have grudgingly recorded - in just one take.

2009 - Brian May joined Freddie Mercury's 87-year-old mother Jer Bulsara in Feltham town centre, at a ceremony to unveil a plaque to the late singer's memory. They were joined by over 2,000 fans from as far as Japan and Australia who descended on the Centre, in Feltham High Street. The plague reads: “Freddie Mercury - musician, singer and songwriter” along with the dates he lived in Feltham, between 1964 and 1968.

Week Commencing November 18
1965 - Marc Bolan appeared live on Five O'Clock Funfair, performing 'The Wizard'.

1967 - A 16 date package tour played its 7th night at the Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff. Featuring The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice, The Outer Limits, The Eire Apparent and Amen Corner, the entourage performed twice nightly. In 1974, Pink Floyd returned to the venue, which has since been demolished, to be replaced by the 'Really Welsh Pavilion'.

1975 - Queen started a nine-week run at No.1 on the singles chart with Bohemian Rhapsody. The promotional video that accompanied the song is generally acknowledged as being the first pop video and cost only £5,000 to produce. When the band wanted to release the single various record executives suggested to them that, at 5 minutes and 55 seconds, it was too long and would never be a hit.


1979 - Keith Richards' girlfriend Anita Pallenburg was cleared by a court of shooting a man found dead at her home. A 17-year-old, Scott Cantrell, had shot himself in the head with a gun owned by Keith Richards, while in Pallenberg's bed, at the South Salem, New York house shared by Richards and Pallenberg. Cantrell had been employed as a part-time groundskeeper at the estate and was involved in a sexual relationship with Pallenberg.

1994 - Tommy Boyce, singer, songwriter, committed suicide. 1968 US No. 8 single with Bobby Hart, 'I Wonder What She's Doing Tonite', also wrote 'Last Train To Clarksville', 'I'm Not Your Stepping Stone' and 'Scooby- Doo Where Are You.' Sold over 40m records.

2012 - According to a new list of the 200 rarest records published in Record Collector magazine, the original acetate of the pre-Beatles demo by the Quarrymen of 'That'll Be The Day' was worth £200,000. Several other Beatles records figured in the top 20. Low-numbered copies of The Beatles The White Album was said to be worth £7,000, though a copy of a mono White Album #0000005 sold for £19,201 in 2009.

1965 - Bob Dylan married Sara Lowndes in a secret ceremony during a break in his tour. The marriage took place under an oak tree on a judge's lawn on Mineola, Long Island, New York. Sara who is the mother of singer Jakob Dylan filed for divorce on March 1st 1977.

1968 - The Beatles double White Album was released. Featuring 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da', 'Dear Prudence', 'Helter Skelter', 'Blackbird' 'Back In The USSR' and George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. Priced at £3.13 shillings, it spent eight weeks as the No.1 album.

1975 - Scottish comedian Billy Connolly was at No.1 on the singles chart with a parody of the Tammy Wynette song D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Connolly's early career as a singer led to him forming a folk-pop duo called The Humblebums in the late 60s, with future star Gerry Rafferty.

1990 - Bill Wyman announced that his 17-month marriage to model Mandy Smith was over. With the consent of her mother, Smith had started dating the 47-year-old Rolling Stones bassist when she was aged 13.

1994 - Pearl Jam released their third studio album Vitalogy, which was first released on vinyl and became the first vinyl album to appear on the chart since the domination of the compact disc format. They followed the release in other formats two weeks later, whereupon it became the second-fastest-selling CD in history, behind only the band's previous release Vs.

1997 - INXS singer Michael Hutchence was found dead in his hotel suite in Sydney. He was 37. Hutchence body was found at 11.50am naked behind the door to his room. He had apparently hanged himself with his own belt and the buckle broke away and his body was found kneeling on the floor and facing the door. It had been suggested that his death resulted from an act of auto eroticism, no forensic or other evidence to substantiate that suggestion was found.


2002 - The surviving members of The Doors; Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger, announced they would record and tour again with a new line up including ex-Cult singer Ian Astbury and former Police drummer Stewart Copeland. Original drummer John Densmore was unable to take part because he was suffering from severe tinnitus.

2004 - Ozzy Osbourne struggled with a burglar who escaped with jewellery worth about £2m from his Buckinghamshire mansion. Osbourne told reporters that he had the masked raider in a headlock as he tried to stop him. The burglar broke free and jumped 30 ft from a first floor window. A large amount of jewellery was stolen in the raid in which two burglars were involved.

2005 - A gig by former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown was abandoned after 20 minutes because the floor at the venue began to sag. 2,000 people were told to leave Newcastle's Carling Academy, which had been open only a month. Organisers said it was simply a safety precaution after joists under the main dance floor came out of their springs.


1955 - Carl Perkins recorded 'Blue Suede Shoes' at Sun Studios in Memphis. The rock 'n' roll classic became a No.10 hit for Perkins in 1956, and has been covered by many acts including Elvis Presley and John Lennon.

1962 - The Beatles played gigs at three different venues. First they performed a lunchtime show at The Cavern Club, Liverpool, followed by an 85-mile drive to the Midlands, where they performed at Smethwick Baths Ballroom and then at the Adelphi Ballroom, West Bromwich in Staffordshire.

1964 - The Supremes became the first all girl group to have a No.1 single when 'Baby Love' went to the top of the charts. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, it was also the second of five Supremes songs in a row to go to No.1 in the United States.

1965 - David Bowie and the Lower Third appeared at The Marquee Club, London.

1965 - The Kinks, The Who, Georgie Fame & The Blue Fames, The Hollies, Wilson Pickett and The Golden Apples Of The Sun all appeared at the Glad Rag Ball, Empire Pool, London, tickets 30 shillings.

1976 - Sounds made the Sex Pistols debut single 'Anarchy In The UK' its single of the week.

1983 - English musician and songwriter Tom Evans from Badfinger committed suicide by hanging himself in his back garden from a willow tree after arguments concerning royalties for 'Without You'. Family members said the singer/songwriter was never able to get over his former bandmate Pete Ham's suicide.

1994 - Crosby Stills & Nash member David Crosby had a successful liver transplant operation at Dumont-UCLA in Los Angeles. Crosby's liver was deteriorated from extensive alcohol and drug abuse, as well as hepatitis-C.


2003 - English bassist player Greg Ridley died from pneumonia. He was a member of the VIP's with Keith Emerson, Spooky Tooth, and Humble Pie who had the 1969 No.4 single 'Natural Born Boogie'. He formed Strange Brew with Clem Clempson and Cozy Powell.

2004 - Record producer Terry Melcher, who was behind hits by the Byrds, Ry Cooder and The Beach Boys, died aged 62 after a long battle with skin cancer. The son of actress Doris Day, he co-wrote ‘Kokomo’ for The Beach Boys, produced 'Mr Tambourine Man' for the Byrds, as well as hits for The Mamas & the Papas.

2012 - Two farmers were found not guilty of health and safety offences after a giant hay bale crushed former ELO cellist Mike Edwards to death. He was killed instantly when the 600kg bale rolled down a field and landed on his van near Totnes in Devon in September 2010. In March 2011 in Plymouth an inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death on Mr Edwards.

2016 - A furious letter from John Lennon to Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda, written after The Beatles' break-up sold for nearly $30,000 (£24,200), to an anonymous collector in Dallas. In the two-page typed draft with handwritten notes, Lennon criticises the couple for their treatment of him and his wife, Yoko Ono. The attack is said to be in response to Linda's criticism of him not publicly announcing his departure from the band.


1956 - Fats Domino appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show performing 'Blueberry Hill.' Before the song became a rock and roll standard it had been recorded by various artists including Louis Armstrong, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gene Autry and Jimmy Dorsey. The version by Fats Domino was ranked No.82 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

1965 - Manfred Mann, The Yardbirds and Paul and Barry Ryan all appeared at the ABC Cinema, Stockton-on-Tees.

1970 - Led Zeppelin III was at No.1 on the UK & US album charts. The original cover and interior gatefold art consisted of a surreal collection of random images. Behind the front cover was a rotatable laminated card disc, covered with more images, including photos of the band members, which showed through holes in the cover. The distinctive cover was based on a suggestion of Jimmy Page's that it should resemble an old-fashioned gardening seed chart. Designed by Richard Drew aka Zacron, the sleeve photographs were taken by fellow Leeds Polytechnic lecturer Martin Salisbury.

1972 - Singer, songwriter Danny Whitten died of a drug overdose aged 29. He was a member of Neil Young's Crazy Horse and writer of 'I Don't Wanna Talk About It', covered by Rod Stewart, Rita Coolidge and Everything But The Girl. The Neil Young song ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’ was written about Whitten’s heroin use (before he died of an overdose).

1974 - Genesis released the double concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway their sixth studio album and the last album by the group to feature the involvement of lead singer Peter Gabriel.


1976 - Richard Hell and the Voidoids made their debut at CBGBs New York. Hell was an innovator of punk music and fashion and was one of the first to spike his hair and wear torn, cut and drawn-on shirts, often held together with safety pins. Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, has credited Hell as a source of inspiration for the Sex Pistols' look and attitude.

2017 - Australian musician and songwriter Malcolm Young died age 64. Young was best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for AC/DC. Except for a brief absence in 1988, he was with the band from its November 1973 beginning until retiring permanently in 2014. Young was born in 1953 in Glasgow before his family emigrated to Australia when he was 10. His family confirmed he was suffering from dementia in 2014.

Week Commencing November 11
1968 - Led Zeppelin played their first ever show in the North of England when they appeared at Manchester College of Science & Technology. Zeppelin were paid £225 for the gig.

1968 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience went to No.1 on the US album chart with their third and final studio album Electric Ladyland. The double album included ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Voodoo Chile’ and a version of Bob Dylan's ‘All Along the Watchtower’. Hendrix expressed displeasure and embarrassment with the "naked lady" cover which was banned by several record dealers as "pornographic", while others sold it with the gatefold cover turned inside out.

1971 - Frank Zappa appeared on this week's 'Old Grey Whistle Test', playing live and showing clips from his '200 Motels' film.

1976 - Beach Boy Brian Wilson gave his first formal interview for eight years on the 'Old Grey Whistle Test.'

1987 - Former Clash drummer Topper Headon was jailed for 15 months at Maidstone Crown Court, for supplying heroin to a man who later died.

1988 - Former Beach Boys manager Stephen Love was sentenced to five years probation for embezzling almost $1m from the group's accounts.

2006 - Queen's ‘Greatest Hits’ album was declared the Best Selling UK album of all time by The Official UK Charts Company. The chart which was made up of sales figures from the last fifty years showed their Greatest Hits compilation had sold 5,407,587 copies. The Beatles occupied second place with Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band.

1966 - The Doors officially signed with Elektra Records in a deal for the band to produce seven albums. The band also reluctantly agreed to release ‘Break On Through’ as their first single. The lyric "She gets high/she gets high/she gets high" was changed to ‘She gets/she gets/she gets" in order to secure radio play.

1969 - The Carpenters released their debut album, Offering (later re-named as Ticket To Ride) on A&M Records. It was a commercial failure and produced only one minor hit single, a ballad version of The Beatles song 'Ticket to Ride'.

1969 - Janis Joplin was arrested during a gig in Tampa, Florida, after badmouthing a policeman and using vulgar and indecent language. Joplin became upset after police moved into the hall forcing fans to move back to their seats. As the singer left the stage she confronted a detective calling him 'a son of a bitch' and told him she would kick his face in. She was released on $504 bail.

1980 - Blondie had their fifth No.1 single and third No.1 of this year with 'The Tide Is High' a song written by reggae star John Holt.

1992 - Ozzy Osbourne announced his retirement from touring after a gig in California, saying "Who wants to be touring at 46?"

2007 - Kenneth Donnell from Glasgow paid £83,000 for two tickets to see Led Zeppelin rehearse and perform at the O2 arena in London on the 10th December. Donnell bid for the tickets as part of an auction for the BBC's Children in Need.

1964 - Decca Records released The Rolling Stones' 'Little Red Rooster'. Written by Willie Dixon (as The Red Rooster), and previously recorded by Howlin’ Wolf and Sam Cooke, the single was recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago. The single was a No.1 hit and remains the only time a blues song has ever topped the UK pop chart.

1968 - Rolling Stone Brian Jones bought 'Cotchford Farm' in Sussex. The author AA Milne, who wrote Winnie The Pooh, had owned the house.

1968 - Hugo Montenegro was at No.1 in the singles chart with 'The Good The Bad And The Ugly', the soundtrack from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western film. The first instrumental No.1 since 1963.

1976 - Led Zeppelin scored their seventh No.1 with the film soundtrack double album The Song Remains The Same, peaking at No.2 on the US chart. The tracks were recorded at Madison Square Garden, New York City in 1973.

1976 - The Melody Maker announced UK dates for the first major punk tour with The Sex Pistols and the Ramones co-headlining along with Talking Heads, The Vibrators and Chris Spedding. The 14-date tour which was due to start at Newcastle City Hall on Nov 29th never took place.

1990 - Patricia Boughton filed a lawsuit against Rod Stewart claiming that a football he kicked into the crowd during a concert at Pine Knob Music Theatre had ruptured a tendon in her middle finger. And as a result the injury had made sex between her and her husband difficult.

1992 - Ronnie Bond drummer with The Troggs died. Scored the 1966 No.2 single 'Wild Thing' and 1966 No.1 ‘With A Girl Like You.’


2016 - Leon Russell died in Nashville, he was 74. He led Joe Cocker’s band Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and appeared at George Harrison’s 1971 Concert for Bangladesh. Many of his songs became hits for others, among them 'Superstar' (written with Bonnie Bramlett) for the Carpenters, 'Delta Lady' for Joe Cocker, and 'This Masquerade' for George Benson. More than 100 acts have recorded 'A Song for You,' which Russell said he wrote in 10 minutes.

1956 - Johnnie Ray was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Just Walking In The Rain.' It stayed at No.1 for seven weeks making it this years Christmas No.1. Written in 1952 by Johnny Bragg and Robert Riley, two prisoners at Tennessee State Prison in Nashville, after a comment made by Bragg as the pair crossed the courtyard while it was raining.

1965 - After changing his name from Toby Tyler to Marc Bolan, the future T. Rex star performed his first single 'The Wizard' on Ready Steady Go!

1965 - Velvet Underground made their live debut when the played at Summit High School, New Jersey, the band were paid $75 for the gig.

1966 - Pink Floyd appeared at the Corn Exchange, Bedford. The set list for these early Floyd shows included: 'Let's Roll Another One', 'Gimme A Break', 'Interstellar Overdrive', 'Astronomy Domine' and 'Stoned Alone'. 'Stoned Alone' was also known as 'I Get Stoned', and was possibly the first song Syd Barrett wrote for Pink Floyd.

1968 - Book and record chain WHSmiths refused to display The Jimi Hendrix Experience album 'Electric Ladyland' due to the naked girls featured on the sleeve. The album was then made available as two albums with changed artwork after the complaints.

1977 - The Sex Pistols went to No.1 on the album chart with their debut LP Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols. the group's only No.1 album. The album was met by a hail of establishment controversy upon its release. The first problems involved the allegedly 'obscene' name of the album, resulting in the prosecution of the manager of the Nottingham Virgin record shop for having displayed it in a window. More outrage was sparked by the lyrics of the songs 'God Save the Queen' and 'Anarchy in the UK.'

1990 - Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood broke both his legs after his car crashed on the M4 motorway near Marlborough, Wiltshire. Wood was trying to wave other cars past his when he was run over.

2001 - The three living former Beatles met for the last time at George Harrison's hotel in New York City for lunch. Harrison died two weeks later at a friend's home in Los Angeles on 29 November 2001, aged 58.

2002 - Die-hard Beatles fans were enraged after Paul McCartney altered the song writing credits on his 'Back In The US 2002' album, changing them to McCartney and Lennon from Lennon and McCartney.

2003 - American session drummer Tony Thompson died of cancer aged 48. He was most famous as the drummer with The Power Station along with Robert Palmer, and John Taylor and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, and Chic, whose single 'Le Freak' hit No.7 in the UK. He also played on David Bowie's hit single 'Let's Dance'. Thompson also played drums with Led Zeppelin (along with Phil Collins) at Live Aid in 1985.

2004 - The funeral of iconic DJ John Peel took place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds. Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey and The White Stripes were among mourners, while Sir Elton John left a wreath of yellow roses.

2008 - Mitch Mitchell, the British drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience was found dead in his US hotel room aged 61. As a teenager, he starred in a children's television programme, Jennings and Derbyshire, and starred in a leading role in the 1960 British film Bottoms Up with Jimmy Edwards. Mitchell had been working with Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames when in 1966 he was invited to audition for a new band being formed to back Jimi Hendrix. In December 1968, Mitchell played with the Dirty Macs, an all-star band assembled for The Rolling Stones 'Rock and Roll Circus' (with John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards).


1965 - The final recording session for The Beatles Rubber Soul album took place, at Abbey Road, London. They needed three new songs to finish the album so an old song ‘Wait’ was pulled off the shelf and the group recorded two new songs from start to finish. Paul's ‘You Won't See Me’ and John's ‘Girl’, the basic tracks for both songs being completed in two takes. Rubber Soul was completed, and finished copies of the album were in the shops by December 3.

1971 - Top Of The Pops celebrated its 400th show. The chart show was presented by Tony Blackburn with guests Tom Jones, Dana, John Kongos, Cher, Slade, Cilla Black, The Piglets, Clodagh Rodgers and The Newbeats.

1972 - The Allman Brothers Band bass player Berry Oakley was killed when his motorcycle hit a bus at the same intersection as former band member Duane Allman, who had died a year earlier. Oakley was 24 years old.

1973 - Thirty US radio stations broadcasted a 'live' Mott The Hoople concert. In reality it was the band recorded in the studio with the applause dubbed in.

1978 - The Cars released 'My Best Friend's Girl', the first picture-disc single commercially available, which went on to be a No.3 hit.

1983 - Mick Jagger appeared on the The Tube to defend the video to The Rolling Stones latest single 'Undercover Of The Night' which had been banned by the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The Tube aired the video, minus the scene where Mick was shot through the head. The single peaked at No.8 on the chart

1989 - Chris Rea started a three-week run at No.1 on the album chart with 'The Road To Hell.' The iconic album cover features art by the English artist, Adrian Chesterman, who was also responsible for creating cover art for, amongst others, Motörhead for their 1979 'Bomber' album.


1990 - Ted Albert, the founder of Albert Productions, died from a heart attack aged 53. His Australian based company helped launch the careers of The Easybeats, John Paul Young, The Angels, Rose Tattoo and AC/DC. In recognition of his contribution to the music industry, the Australasian Performing Right Association established the annual "Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music". [RIP the brilliant Doc Neeson from The Angels]

1990 - A 21 year-old AC/DC fan died after being attacked outside the Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey where the band were playing a gig that night.

2004 - Coldplay fan Sarah Sainsbury wrote to the band asking for their autographs so she could sell them to raise funds at her school charity. Coldplay sent her a triple platinum disc worth over £4,000.

2011 - The four original band members of Black Sabbath announced that they were reuniting and recording a new album followed by a world tour in 2012.

2015 - Phil Taylor better known as "Philthy Animal" Taylor and drummer with
Motörhead died aged 61. He was in the classic mark IV Motörhead line-up of Lemmy, Taylor, and Fast Eddie Clarke who recorded ten studio albums and the live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith.

Week Commencing November 4
1967 - The Beatles filmed three promotional films for their new single ‘Hello Goodbye’ at the Saville Theatre in London. Each of the three film clips featured different costumes and Beatle antics. In the first film they wear their Sgt. Pepper uniforms, for the second The Beatles are wearing everyday clothes, the third film clip features shots from the first two films, plus additional shots of The Beatles (especially John) doing the twist. A Musician's Union ban on lip-sync broadcasts prevented the film being used on British television.

1975 - David Bowie was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Space Oddity' the track was first released in 1969 to tie in with the Apollo 11 moon landing. Rick Wakeman (former keyboard player with Yes) provided synthesizer backing. Bowie would later revisit his Major Tom character in the songs 'Ashes to Ashes', 'Hallo Spaceboy' and 'Blackstar'.

1979 - The Eagles went to No.40 on the singles chart with 'Heartache Tonight'.

1997 - American session guitarist Tommy Tedesco died of lung cancer aged 67. Described by "Guitar Player" magazine as the most recorded guitarist in history recording with The Beach Boys, Everly Brothers, The Supremes, The Monkees, The Association, Barbra Streisand, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Zappa, Sam Cooke, Cher, and Nancy and Frank Sinatra. And played on many TV themes including Bonanza, The Twilight Zone, M*A*S*H and Batman.

2014 - The Rolling Stones faced a battle to win a £7.9m insurance claim for concerts they postponed when Mick Jagger's girlfriend died. L'Wren Scott took her own life in March, prompting the Stones to postpone a tour of Australia and New Zealand. The group had taken out a policy to be paid in the event shows were cancelled due to the death of family members or others, including Scott. But underwriters said Scott's death may not be covered by the policy. (wow, how unusual, an insurance company refusing to pay out).


1955 - The Everly Brothers made their first studio recordings cutting four tracks in 22 minutes, at Nashville's Old Tulane Hotel studios. Family friend Chet Atkins engineered a chance for The Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records in early 1956. However, their first and only single for the label, 'Keep A' Lovin' Me', was a flop, and they were quickly dropped from Columbia.

1967 - The first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published in San Francisco. It featured a photo of John Lennon on the cover, dressed in army fatigues while acting in his recent film, How I Won the War and the first issue had a free roach clip to hold a marijuana joint. The name of the magazine was compiled from three significant sources: the Muddy Waters song, the first rock ‘n’ roll record by Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

1968 - Led Zeppelin played their first ever London show when they appeared at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm on the same bill as John Lee Hooker, Deviants, John James and Tyres. Robert Plant married his girlfriend Maureen in London on this day and held the reception at the gig.

1974 - Bachman Turner Overdrive went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet'. Randy Bachman stuttered through the lyrics of the demo recording as a private joke about his brother Gary, who had a speech impediment. The record company liked that take better than the non-stammering version and released it.

1997 - Paul Weller was arrested and spent the night in a French jail after smashing up his hotel room. His record company paid £4,000 to cover the damage; Weller was released the following day.

2015 - Scottish session drummer Andy White died aged 82. He was affectionately christened "the fifth Beatle" as he was best known for replacing Ringo Starr on drums on the The Beatles' first single, ‘Love Me Do’. White was featured on the American 7" single release of the song, which also appeared on the band's debut British album, Please Please Me. He also played on ‘P.S. I Love You’, which was the B-side of ‘Love Me Do’. White also worked with Chuck Berry, Billy Fury, Herman's Hermits and Tom Jones.

2016 - David Bowie's retrospective show at the Victoria & Albert Museum had enjoyed so much foot traffic it was now officially the most successful touring exhibition in the cultural institution’s 164-year history. According to the V&A over half a million people had visited 'David Bowie Is' in sites across the globe, including the 312,000 visitors who saw the exhibition in London back in 2013.


1952 - The first ever pop chart was published by the New Musical Express after staff asked 53 record shops to divulge their sales returns. ‘Here In My Heart’ by Al Martino was the first No.1. The song stayed at No.1 for nine weeks.

1968 - The Who, Joe Cocker and The Grease Band, The Mindbenders and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown all appeared at The Walthamstow Granada Theatre.

1971 - Led Zeppelin released their fourth album. With no title printed on the album, and generally referred to as Four Symbols, The Fourth Album or Led Zeppelin IV it has gone on to sell over 37 million copies worldwide. The 19th century rustic oil painting on the front of the album was purchased by Robert Plant from an antique shop in Reading. The 20th century urban tower block on the back of the full gatefold LP cover is Butterfield Court in Eves Hill, Dudley.


1999 - American jazz trumpet player and composer Lester Bowie died of liver cancer aged 58. He was a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago. In 1993, he played on the David Bowie album Black Tie White Noise, including the song ‘Looking for Lester’, which was named after him.

2008 - AC/DC started a run at No1 on the album chart with 'Black Ice' the band's fifteenth studio album and the second-best selling album of 2008. Black Ice went to No1 in 29 countries, including Australia, Canada and the US.


1951 - Frank Sinatra married his second wife actress Ava Gardner, the couple split up in 1953 and divorced in 1957. Sinatra was married three other times, to his first wife Nancy Barbato, to the actress Mia Farrow and finally to Barbara Marx, to whom he was married at his death.

1967 - Reg Dwight (Elton John) and his song writing partner Bernie Taupin signed to DJM publishing, their signatures had to be witnessed by their parents because they were both under 21 years of age. Taupin answered an advertisement for a lyric writer placed in the New Musical Express, the pair have since collaborated on over 30 albums.

1975 - A new world record was set for continuous guitar string plucking by Steve Anderson who played for 114 hours 17 minutes.

1991 - Rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin quit Guns N’ Roses and was replaced by guitarist Gilby Clarke. Stradlin citied a combination of Axl Rose's personal behaviour and the difficulties of being around Slash, Matt Sorum, and Duff McKagan, due to his new-found sobriety.

2004 - Elton John turned the air blue live on BBC Radio 1 using the words; 'fucking', 'wank', and 'tits'. The singer was a guest on the Chris Moyles breakfast show.

2014 - Two wealthy fans paid $300,000 to eat lasagne with Bruce Springsteen at his house. Springsteen started off the annual Stand Up For Heroes event by playing an acoustic set, then offering the instrument to the highest bidder. When bidding reached $60,000, he threw in a guitar lesson, which someone offered $250,000 for. At this point, he offered up a lasagne dinner at his house, a ride around the block in the sidecar of his motorbike and the shirt off of his back. All the money went to the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which helps injured servicemen and their families when they return home.

2014 - Australian drummer of AC/DC, Phil Rudd, had a charge of attempting to arrange a murder dropped in New Zealand, but he will still face charges of drugs possession and making threats to kill. The U-turn by authorities, announced less than 24 hours after Mr Rudd appeared in court, was because of a lack of evidence, his lawyer said.

2016 - Canadian singer, songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82 at his home in Los Angeles. Cohen pursued a career as a poet and novelist during the 1950s and early 1960s, and did not launch a music career until 1967, at the age of 33. His first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967), was followed by three more albums of folk music: Songs from a Room (1969), Songs of Love and Hate (1971) and New Skin for the Old Ceremony (1974).


2017 - Finnish rock drummer Pentti (Whitey) Glan died of lung cancer at the age of 71. He is best known for his work with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. He also appeared in the movie 'The Rose' as the drummer of The Rose Band.

1964 - During their first promotional visit to the UK, The Beach Boys appeared live on ITV's 'Ready Steady Go!' which ran from August 1963 until December 1966.

1967 - During a three hour session Bob Dylan recorded ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and ‘John Wesley Harding’ at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The Jimi Hendrix Experience later recorded their version of ‘All Along the Watchtower' on January 21, 1968, at Olympic Studios in London after Hendrix had been given a tape of Dylan’s recording by publicist Michael Goldstein, who worked for Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman.

1968 - The Monkees' three quarter of a million dollar feature film, Head opened in New York City. Instead of being aimed at their target audience of teeny boppers, the film contained a dark theme about the manipulation of the group with walk-on appearances by inappropriate guests and scenes of Vietnam War atrocities. Reviews were harsh and the picture was a box office disaster.

1970 - Aerosmith performed their first ever gig when they played at Nipmuc Regional High School in Mendon, Massachusetts. Sometimes referred to as "The Bad Boys from Boston", Aerosmith became the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums worldwide. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group.

1972 - During a UK tour, Billy Murcia of The New York Dolls died after choking on his coffee after an overdose of Mandrax. The influential American band formed in 1972 and made just two albums, the 1973 'New York Dolls' and 1974 'Too Much Too Soon'.

1973 - Michael Martin and Phil Kaufman were charged and fined $300 each for the theft of a coffin containing Gram Parsons body. The court heard that the two men were merely carrying out Parson's wishes to be cremated in the desert.


1975 - The Sex Pistols made their live debut at St Martin’s School Of Art in central London, supporting a band called Bazooka Joe, which included Stuart Goddard (the future Adam Ant). The Pistols’ performance lasts 20 minutes.

2003 - Metallica kicked off their 137-date Madly in Anger with the World Tour at Yoyogi Taiikukanin Tokyo, Japan. The Madly in Anger with the World tour was the fourth-highest grossing tour of 2004, reaping $60,500,000 in ticket sales.

2018 - English cellist Hugh McDowell died of cancer on aged 65. McDowell performed with the first live line-up of ELO in 1972 while only 19 years old. He also worked with Roy Wood in Wizzard.


1966 - The Monkees were at the top of the Billboard singles chart with ‘Last Train To Clarksville’, the group’s first No. 1. Bobby Hart who co-wrote the song got the idea for the lyrics when he turned on the radio and heard the end of The Beatles' 'Paperback Writer'. He thought Paul McCartney was singing "Take the last train", and decided to use the line when he found out McCartney was actually singing 'Paperback Writer'.

1977 - The manager of the Virgin record store in Nottingham was arrested for displaying a large poster advertising the new Sex Pistols album, 'Never Mind The Bollock's, Here's The Sex Pistols'. High street stores banned the album after police warned they could be fined under the 1898 indecent advertising act.

1982 - Channel 4 TVs The Tube had its first showing. Presented by Paula Yates and Jools Holland, the show featured The Jam and an interview with Mick Jagger. The first live act on the show was local band Toy Dolls. The show ran until 1987 and was named after the plexiglass tunnel which led down into Studio Five at Tyne Tees TV, the place where all the stars from the 80s subsequently appeared.

1989 - Former US Army Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler died at a Veterans Administration hospital in Nashville from complications brought on by an unexplained gun shot wound to the head, suffered 14 months earlier in Guatemala City. Sadler is best remembered for his hit 'The Ballad of the Green Berets', which stayed on top of the chart for five weeks in 1966. He was 49 years old at time of his death.

2003 - Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers was found dead in hotel room in Michigan 30 minutes before he was due on stage, aged 63. The autopsy report from the Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner gave the opinion that Hatfield suffered a sudden, unexpected death due to acute cocaine toxicity. The Righteous Brothers had the 1965 No.1 single 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', and the 1990 No.1 single 'Unchained Melody' first released in 1965.

2014 - The funeral for Jack Bruce was held in London, attended by Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and noted musicians Phil Manzanera, Gary Brooker, Vernon Reid and Nitin Sawhney among others. Dozens assembled at the Golders Green Crematorium paying a last tribute singing "Morning Has Broken", "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Theme for an Imaginary Western". The Scottish-born bass player and singer had died last month as a result of liver disease.

2017 - American singer Robert Knight died age 72. He is best known for the 1967 hit 'Everlasting Love'. The song was an even bigger hit the following year when a version by Love Affair reached No.1, preventing Knight's version from progressing further than No.40.


1967 - Pink Floyd made their US live debut when they appeared at the Winterland Auditorium, San Francisco. Floyd shared the bill with local group Big Brother & The Holding Company, featuring singer Janis Joplin and singer / songwriter Richie Havens.


1969 - Founder member of The Ink Spots, Ivory Watson died aged 60. The group who formed in the early 1930s in Indianapolis, had the 1939 US hit ‘If I Didn't Care’ (featured in the film The Shawshank Redemption), and ‘The Gypsy’ which was their biggest chart success, staying at the No.1 position for 13 weeks.

1971 - The Who opened up The Rainbow, Finsbury Park, London, appearing on the first of three nights.

1977 - The Last Waltz, the movie of The Band's final concert premiered in New York. The Martin Scorsese movie also featured Joni Mitchell, Dr John, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton.

1978 - Crosby Stills Nash & Young were sued by former bass player Greg Reeves for over a $1 million claiming he was owed from sales of their album 'Deja Vu'.

1991 - Bobby "Blue" Bland, Booker T. & The MGs, Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, The Isley Brothers, Sam & Dave and The Yardbirds were all elected to the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Week Commencing October 28
1957 - Sun Records released 'Great Balls Of Fire', by Jerry Lee Lewis. The single went on to sell over five million copies worldwide, and was a No.1 hit in the UK and No.2 in the US.

1964 - During a Rolling Stones North American tour a 17 year-old Rolling Stones fan fell from the balcony during a gig in Cleveland, Ohio. The Mayor of Ohio banned all future pop concerts, saying; "Such groups do not add to the community's culture or entertainment."

1973 - David Bowie scored his second No.1 album when 'Pinups' started a five-week run at the top of the charts. The set contained Bowie covering his favourite 60s songs; his version of The Mersey's 'Sorrow' made No.3 on the singles chart (first recorded by The McCoys in 1965).

1995 - Hootie and the Blowfish reached an out of court settlement with Bob Dylan for the group's unauthorized use of Dylan's lyrics in their song 'Only Want To Be With You'.

2002 - Lonnie Donegan died mid-way through a UK tour and shortly before he was due to perform at a memorial concert for George Harrison with The Rolling Stones. He was aged 71. Donegan who launched the skiffle craze in the UK had the 1959 hit ‘Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour’, the 1960 No.1 single 'My Old Man's A Dustman', 'Rock Island Line', plus over 30 other Top 40 singles.

1956 - Elvis Presley bought a new Harley Davidson motorbike and spent the day riding round Memphis on his new bike with actress Natalie Wood.

1968 - George Harrison released his first solo album, 'Wonderwall Music' on the Apple label. The songs which were mostly Harrison instrumentals, featured Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and an unaccredited banjo contribution by Peter Tork of The Monkees.


1970 - Matthews Southern Comfort were at No.1 on the singles chart with their version of the Joni Mitchell song 'Woodstock'. The group's only No.1 hit.

2004 - 61-year old Terry Knight, the former manager of Grand Funk Railroad, was murdered at his home in Killeen, Texas. Knight was defending his daughter during a domestic disturbance, when he was stabbed by her boyfriend, 26 year old Donald Alan Fair. Knight began his music career by leading a Michigan band called Terry Knight and the Pack, who scored a Billboard top 50 hit with ‘I, Who Have Nothing’.

2016 - Bap Kennedy, singer, songwriter from Belfast, died in Belfast in hospice care from pancreatic and bowel cancer. He is noted for his collaborations with Steve Earle, Van Morrison, Shane MacGowan and Mark Knopfler, as well as for writing the song 'Moonlight Kiss' which was on the soundtrack for the film Serendipity. Kennedy was also in the rock band Energy Orchard.

1963 - Gerry And The Pacemakers were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' The group's third and final No.1.

1964 - The Supremes started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Baby Love', the group's second of five consecutive US No.1's. The group were formerly known as the five piece group The Primettes.

1969 - David Bowie appeared at a Halloween night at the General Gordon, Gravesend. The gig lasted about 15 minutes, after Bowie sang 'Space Oddity' to everyone’s delight and then dragged a stool on stage, along with a huge book. He then sat and read poems and was booed off stage.

1970 - Led Zeppelin started a four week run at No.1 on the US album chart with Led Zeppelin III the bands second US chart topper.


1974 - Led Zeppelin held the UK launch for their new record label Swan Song at Chislehurst Caves, Kent, on Halloween night. Drinks were served by nuns in suspenders, a naked woman lay in a coffin covered in jelly and naked male wrestlers cavorted in recesses of the caves. Label mates Bad Company, The Pretty Things and Maggie Bell also attended. The launch also tied in with the releases of The Pretty Things new album Silk Torpedo. The label was