Friday, 1 July 2016

BULLS HEAD BOB July 2016. WHAT A RUM DO, EUROTURMOIL AT THE BOBBERY!!!!! JEFF LYNNE'S ELO GLASTONBURY. SCOTTY MOORE RIP.

Hello you Brummies, Brummie musos, Brummies Abroad.  Non Brummies
and my new eurochum Gota Speenvast the current Swedish Ice Dance champion-ess.    

THE 'BOB' HOUSEHOLD
The Morning after the Vote.....

"Morning Mr Bob" said Lucy as she gave me a kiss as I was reading the morning mail delivery.  "Ooooo!" she said looking concerned "Got something on your mind?"

"Yes" I said putting down the letter I was reading, "I am amazed at the current 'rum do' but I'm not going to venture an opinion of any kind whatsoever of us not being in the Union anymore or the in's or outs of it's policies . 

 On a social level, I get sniffs of some craziness verging on the edge of "Princess Diana madness"  and personally, I have an extremely sad feeling of the loss of kindness and tolerance that once was our very reason for being Brits and especially Brummies.   Having grown up in Brum through the years that first saw the influx of people from outside of the City, the arrival of the Irish, the West Indians and Jamaicans then the glorious years of the 60's when there was a richness of cultures that educated us all and took some of us down the road of enlightenment,  learning and growing together as friends and equals.  Didn't that generation start the fight for racial equality?"   I said as we were having Breakfast.

"Yes" said Mrs Bob quizzically.   "So we're out of the European Union then?.... "Yes" I replied.   
"Well I'll go and get out the Insurance Policy box and cancel our standing order, we've never claimed a penny on it".......?????    

The world goes on and my toast still gets cold if I don't eat it whilst it's warm.


JEFF LYNNE - GLASTONBURY.
It was Sunday afternoon.  I'd been down the boozer had
couple of beers and a moan, swore that I wouldn't be supporting The Villa anymore until they become a football team and not a selection of lilly livered Bentley Drivers.  Walked off my anger, had a great Mrs Bob dinner and sat down to watch the Glastonbury Legend set which featured Brums own Jeff Lynne and his ELO. I'm not a great Jeff fan but thought I should watch it out of a sense of Brummie solidarity.  It started to rain as Jeff sauntered on, the only other original ELO member and wise-old-owl looking Richard Tandy had floated over to his perch already. 


"Hello Glastonbury" Jeff ventured, knowing of course that you don't get to say that very many times in your life.  He cleverly made it a cliche.  Thats class.   
So off they went, into the catalogue of hits and they sounded exactly as I knew they would, huge orchestra, great band of high class session musicians, everything just as it should be, Jeffs highly compressed sounding voice laid back in the mix, the cameras swept across across the stage as all the girl violinists sexily swayed and played.    From a technical standpoint, it was quite funny because when Jeff spoke his voice was still heavily compressed.

Then came the highlight of the whole show.   The cameras swooped out from the stage to the multi-coloured, cagoule-enshrouded faces of the sodden audience which made them look like a field of wet jelly babies with open mouths as they sung along to their favourite songs, and then...... a man in a rubber dinghy actually rowed across the heads of the jelly babies!   I think Jeff missed it?   This was just like watching Pink Floyd and their floating sheep...during Animals.
You can see him by clicking here below.

ELO BOATMAN

I mention the above boat  thing that entertained me only to say that, as this was a "Legends" slot and people had waited a long time to see ELO, ergo Jeff Lynne, on stage again.  The boat was much more interesting from an entertainment standpoint.  They might just have well watched a DVD for all the audience contact that he made with his loyal fans.   

At festivals there's always a buzz going on between songs as the excitement level rises and the crowd start shouting out things.   There was noticeable silence during the breaks between songs that could have been filled with a word or two and changed the whole outcome of this quietly acceptable, made to measure performance.  No human touch.  I was actually entertaining myself watching Jeffs guitar tech, my goodness me he walked some miles..

I'm sure that had they played later on, in the dark, their light show would have been much more effective it would have been more of an experience.     

Later on that night during Coldplays headlining set they were joined by Barry Gibb who seemingly was the original artist they wanted for the Legends set that had been then filled by Jeff Lynne's ELO?  BG had previously cried off with illness, strange then that he should be there playing "Staying Alive"?

It's a funny old world.

SCOTTY MOORE
Probably the first guitarist you would have heard play a solo would have been the great Scotty Moore who sadly departed the scene a couple of days ago.

Just that slide-off he does in Jail House rock was some of the first tricks we used
to make ourselves more rock and roll.    

Scotty had his own signature guitar
a beautiful Gibson Memphis.

He was one of the first innovators of the electric guitar sound and he deservedly merits to be treated with massive respect and not just being fortunate enough to have played with the great Elvis during his best times either.   I raise my hat to you Scotty.



BONO has a signature guitar too?
It's funny old world ain't it??


FINALLY
Did you know that more people get kicked to death each year by donkeys than by air crashes.   

Take Care
Bob

copyright:  Bullsheadbob
contact:   Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

BULLS HEAD BOB June 2016. DAVE HYNDS. GIBSON L5 RARITY. UPDATE FIRST MUSIC VIDEO. BIG TACKLE BOY

Watcha Brummies,

First of June means it's the start of summer in the Bob household, over the Whitsun Bank Holiday we watched Cliff Richard in Summer Holiday whilst browsing through holiday brochures, scattered across the table for far-off destinations that I doubt we will ever be able to afford to visit.  It was great to
see Cliff and The Shads' again and I was mentally whisked back to my youth, being totally absorbed by that group and their effect on the British music world of those days, just a stunningly good group.  It pains me to hear young guitarists these days mocking Hank as a guitar force.  Everything has it's time though and personally I'm pleased to see the back of that Prog Rock noodling shit, as least Hank had some soul to his playing. 

Mrs Bob has been to the Bank holiday sales in town and returned home grinning from ear to ear full of pride with her thrifty shopping bargain of a new bikini that was two sizes too small but only cost 8 quid.  "I beat off three other women for this, the ticket price was originally 35 quid" she said, showing me the old label.   She then signed up for a 3 month Gymnasium 'Bikini Special' membership that cost 90 pounds!!   "Thats cheap" she said.   Stuck for words.

Anyway it's given me a bit of peace because in preparation for going to the Gym she has taken to wearing her leotard and going for daily jogs, she uses the MP3 player I gave her for Christmas that I'd pre-filled with Cheryl Cole tracks, she says they make her run faster.   I keep saying "Lucy you can't run away from her, you have to turn it off! 
DAVE HYNDS
Most important thing first.   I am very pleased to say that ex Cheetahs and Fairfield Ski drummer Dave Hynds is back on the scene playing drums and writing songs again after being away for a long time through illness. 

Great to see you back and 'at it' again Dave.  I know I won't be the only one who is gladdened by this news.   Onward and upward big man.

ANOTHER GIBSON RARITY
THE AMAZING GIBSON L5
Paul Brunt
Not too long ago I did a piece about a Gibson J200 King of Rock, owned by Paul Brunt.  My advice at that time was if you wanted to buy a guitar which will grow in value then you should always go for 'one off' run of limited editions of below 200. I think the King of Rock is valued around 4000 pounds for the low serial numbers.  Now if you've a bit a cash lying around and are worried about the UK and what could happen to the value of the pound should Brexit happen.  You could think about buying something like this guitar, an L-5 in an extremely low edition run of ONE and is currently available on EBay.  

GIBSON L5
I shall just paraphrase some of the details from the advert for this stunning, one of a kind, stained glass style Gibson L5.
  

Made by top luthier Bruce Kunkel of the Gibson Custom Shop...it is the only one of it's kind.  It is in mint condition and comes with all original paperwork.   

Visit EBay for all the mouthwatering details of this fabulous thing.   

It's sporting the King of Rock pearl inlays as used on the J200 but the headstock is a different shape.

The downside of owning such a beautiful instrument as this does mean you would be worried about getting an accidental 'ding' in it SO you could, at the same time buy a guitar to play whilst looking at the Stained Glass beauty in a glass case. 

I think I could look at this piece of art for a long, long time, I wish it were mine.   One thing if you're thinking of doing one yourself is that Bruce Kunkel is brilliant, massively respected and works for Gibson.   You probably don't.



This Bruce Kunkel Gibson L5 is on offer at
27,345 pounds 71 pence.  The auction finishes at the end of the June or thereabouts.

UPDATE 
FIRST MUSIC VIDEO
A while back I wrote a piece saying that the first proper worldwide music video made was by Alex Wharton, ex manager and producer of The original Moody Blues.    
An iconic piece of black and white film for the 1964 song Go Now.  Two months ago I was contacted by someone from the British Film Institute who are currently compiling some data to produce the definitive list of who and what came first and I was pleased to pass them on to Alex.

This caused me to re-investigate the claim on hearing that there had been a reference to a Czech film promoting a 'review' in 1958 as the first music video. The song is called DAM SI BO BYTU.    There is something here though that we need to clarify though, is that a Pop Music Video? or simply advertising for a show?   In 1958, in Soviet controlled Czechoslovakia, you would have had to be one of the chosen few from the communist party to actually own a TV so hardly anyone would have seen it for a start. Based on that premise we could say that any piece of music recorded on film, whether viewed or not, was a music video, and that is clearly not the case.


In 1927 the first "talkie" film The Jazz Singer was released with 6 music tracks sung by Al Jolson, it was the first recorded piece of singing on film so one would presume that preview clips of the film would have been shown in cinemas advertising the movie....so does that mean that it is the first music video and not the Czech one?  It's confusing to say the least.  

I looked around the net and other places investigating further and although not relevant to the claim as being the first, I came across a remarkable 1968 music video, also from Czechoslovakia. Now it may not come as a surprise to learn that I don't speak Czech but some clips explain themselves through visuals and I have one here that you should definitely watch.  The song is called TRA LA LA but I believe that it translates to:

BIG TACKLE BOY
Synopsis:   Pretty girl is loved by a Czech chimney sweep but she discovers whilst on the roof with him that he only has 'small tackle' and whilst she loves his cheeky smile, she fancies his older and fatter, brother who makes his living as an Oliver Hardy look-alike and is endowed with an appendage that has to be carried around in a wheelbarrow.  The presenter of this 1968 clip appears to be under the influence of some halucenogenic, mescaline based drug.  
Click on the link below, you won't regret it.

BIG TACKLE BOY

FINALLY

I once read an interview with Cliff and he said "I used to wake up and feel Elvis inside of me"? Uh Huh.  

OK folks, be kind to each other and enjoy your holiday planning.

Take Care
Bob

copyright: Bullsheadbob
contact:  Bobsbullocks@mail.com

Sunday, 1 May 2016

BULLS HEAD BOB MAY 2016. THE TRIPPY MAN IS BACK. GREAT BRUMMIES ABROAD JON WASHINGTON, GRAHAM ASHFORD, WILL HAMMOND

Watcha Brummies, Brumettes, Brumbeat Muso's, Bikers, Hikers, My Feminist Sweety Pies and a special hello to the "Lozells looks Better from the Air Association". 

"My word you do look queer" said Mrs Bob quoting old comedian and king of the monologue,  Stanley Holloway. "Have you been drinking that
Morning Glory tea again?" referring to the outcome of a bit of a mistake I made with some granules in the bottom of a mug.  The 'granules' were in fact some Morning Glory seeds given to her by her Mother, which I added hot water to.  I swear to this day that I thought I was making a Cuppa Soup and it ended up with me apparently conducting some bizarre naked ritual with a visiting double glazing salesman?....for me it was childish fun and free spirited, halucenogenic buffoonery.  I shan't go into details but I doubt if we will EVER have another cold caller at the door.    

Well I was feeling poorly-like and so I took to my bed, my temperature soaring.  I think I must have been halucinating again because at one point I even imagined Mrs Bob coming into the darkened bedroom and shouting "The Villa have been relegated".....she looked like the devil and cackled like a bearded witch.  
"Bad trip man", I thought and anyway we always scrape through?   When I came round a few days later Nobber phoned me up with the official news and was weeping like a baby.

Look on the bright side though...it'll give us another chance to thrash the other team. 

For the first time ever I didn't get the blog out last month so sorry for that you guys and especially for you Plooki, alone in your Tokyo loft.   I'm up and fully recovered from my recent ailments so would firstly like to say many thanks to you people who dropped me a line of the 'Get Well Soon' variety, very much appreciated and all those who visited the blog numerous times throughout the month, waiting for my drivel to come along.   


I'M NOT DEAD THEN
Clearly I'm not dead and I have little more to say about the recent spate of deaths of some of those we loved and knew, many others were our role models for life ....we're all in the queue, best celebrate now!!  

BRUMMIES ABROAD
Writing the piece on Barry Reeves a couple of month's ago had me contacting people in the search for Johnny Whitehouse and The Congressmen, a previous group he had been a member of.  

One of those I made contact with is someone well known in the Brumbeat legacy and who now lives in variety city, Las Vegas and that person is the great:
JON WASHINGTON - Las Vegas
Jon Washington has been known by a variety of Johns, Johny's and Jons so for the interests of my own frail memory I shall try and use the right spelling variant chronologically with a pause for a George along the way?

Johny Washington was the front man for Johny Washington and The Congressmen who hailed from the Coventry area who had a great career with some great midlands bands and association with some of the noteable characters who were prevalent in the midlands in the glory days.   We 'crazy cats'  who formed bands were Arty, out there on the cutting edge of design we embraced the atomic age in our stride and produced amazing artwork to publicise ourselves. 

In 1962 Johny Washington and The Congressmen were no exception
(Copyright Jon Washington)

You've just got to love that haven't you?  It's got it all as a time capsule, just as The Beatles were arriving.  Undecided Elvis or Beatles? moody greaser with a slim dickie-bow, Crazy swinging capitalised lettering, one 'N' in Johny.  The other members of the band  floating around in the background. I would make a guess that the guy with the  'Hank' glasses was the guitarist and I might be hazarding another guess here but I think that Johny himself might have had something to do with the construction of this poster? 
Just fabulous though, it was the way young bands were and for me those were genuinely the happiest days I spent playing.  So for anyone who didn't get beyond that, you didn't miss too much.    

It struck a spark in Johny though who had got the taste for performing and wasted no time time getting himself deeper into the music world because the very same year that the above photo was taken he met up at a gig, at the Nuneaton Co-op, with the great Reg Calvert who invited him to become one of his Clifton Hall 'stable' or budding artistes.

Reg had his own way of doing things and after a meeting between Reg and Johnys parents Johny was taken on and re-launched as a solo artist....Johnny Washington, now with an added N and he must have fancied himself for the big-time.

Johnny recorded on the Oriole label and played all of Reg's venues as well as the package show tour around the country along with other stablemates including Robby Hood and his Merry Men who was fronted by another stablemate Mike West, but now known as Robby Hood.  Johnny Washington was also co-opted into the Merry Men to augment the guitar sound and vocals.  The Merry Men including Johnny as a band were taken on by Decca, the band name flew out of the window along with those hideous costumes (no surprise there!)and after a while as The Cliftones the name The Fortunes arrived in their laps.  

It's 1964 and during all this hubub of musical activity Reg Calvert had arranged
another solo record deal for Johnny with the Fontana label and the great Les Reed as producer.   Johnny was going to have a Reed/Mason song to record who were the top hitmakers of the day and would also go on to write "Tell me When" for The Applejacks and "Here it comes Again" for the Fortunes. 

They didn't like Johnny's name though so they changed it to George E. Washington and he got the band back this time as The Congress.   George E. who used to be Johnny with two N's recorded "Spare a thought For Me" and   Glen Dale filled his slot with The Fortunes.

The record is so full of the sounds of 64 and naturally got lots of air play, doing moderately well in the UK and a great success in other parts of Europe but more importantly......it put George E. on the musical map.   He continued to tour the country as George E. until another opportunity came knocking for him at the end of 65 when he was offered the job as vocalist for The Applejacks who were a great band, successful and had an extremely polished act and George E. would now be known as John Washington. 
John Washington white polo neck.
He was a good choice to replace Al Jackson not solely because he was a great vocalist but because he looked right with the band and similar to Al himself in some ways.

John served his time with The Applejacks and their
busy schedule of playing the cruise liners across to New York and back until 1970 when the band dissolved.  John took the bull by the horns and moved to America in 1971 and, having secured a recording contract with Columbia they built a group around him and he toured across the whole of the USA for most of the 70's.  His time with The Applejacks had honed his performance techniques and he was going down well with the American audiences.   

He was now Jon Washington, without the H.  Thank goodness for that because he has been Jon since then.

One would think that, had that been the end of a fruitful career, any right thinking guy would have been happy and retired and opened a book shop or something.   Not for Jon, no sir!

ENTER THE 80's, 90's and the O's
In the 80's Jon signed to Mega International Records and in 1988 had two Billboard Top 100 hits on the country charts with "Once Dance Love Affair" and "Two Hearts".   This renewed success bought some very welcome TV shows and National tours that boosted Jon's profile to yet another another huge audience and he has continued to tour, write and record songs right through to today. 

As if that wasn't enough his CD, "I can Feel a Love Coming On" was nominated for a Grammy in 2003! 




Jon was now a big act and had been doing a lot of shows at various Casinos in Las Vegas and he decided that this would probably be the place to relocate to rather than to keep travelling to, so he moved to Las Vegas permanently in 1995 and was the resident House act at the acclaimed  
Stardust Casino till 2005.  



Jon continues to tour at Festivals, Fairs and Theatre venues and released his last CD "The Heartbreak Chronicles" in 2015

From Moody greaser to sophisticated  and elegant charm
Oh yeah! and this amazing guy has also written 3 non fiction books on music and has his first Novel due for publication later this year.   So if ever there was living proof of determination with a willingness to diversify, Jon has it in spadefulls.  It's a genuine pleasure to welcome to the hallowed halls of the Brummies Abroad the great Jon Washington.
WILL HAMMOND - Spain
Ex Uglys guitarist Will continues enjoying his life writing, recording and playing gigs in Spain whilst rebuilding his old village farmhouse.  

"I've just taken posession of my new customised stripey Stratocaster and I've called it Pete after the great Pete Oliver and his WASP shop.  I've had a pair of humbuckers fitted and it sings beautifully, can't wait to get out gigging with it"


  

GRAHAM ASHFORD - HAWAII/Seattle
Ex Brumbeats vocalist Graham Ashford and wife Caroline have been tripping too, not in the Morning Glory manner, but have just returned from cruising down to New Zealand for six weeks.   


Graham lives in Hawaii during the winter and at his new house in the woodlands of Seattle for the rest of the year but this year he will be in New York for the whole of September. 

He has the good fortune to have a beautiful bald eagle resident at the back of the property of his new abode which has a stage area out back with a seating area for about 100 so he's planning some summer shows there.




Graham with Pono Kane.
That should make him popular with the neighbours.  His Hawaian band Pono Kane are also on the agenda for a gig there, so that should be a great Hawaian Night for sure.

Graham has also just been approached to join a '60's band in the Seattle area which would be just tremendous. He sang right through the heydays of British Rock in some of the best Brummie groups so he'll be in his element for sure.

If he does I don't think he will be adopting his old 'stage moves' anymore though.  Here he is in his more flexible days with The Plazents. 


copyright G Ashford

Toodle Ooooooooooooooo

Bob.











Friday, 1 April 2016

BULLS HEAD BOB COUGH. SPLUTTER, SNIFF AND SNEEZE

Hi Guys,

Sorry to say Bob is in bed with the dreaded Manflu.

I offered to write the blog in his place as I'm sure I could have interested some of you in Macrame, cross stitch or scone making but he will be up and about some time this week I hope and normal service will be resumed.

Love from
Mrs Bob

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

BULLS HEAD BOB MAR 2016. I TOLD YOU SO!! MORE BRUMMIE DRUMMERS . BARRY REEVES, PAUL HANCOX. PETE OLIVER REMEMBERANCE CONCERT.

Ooo Eck!

I knew that once I had mentioned some drummers in the last blog, I would open myself up to reminders that I had forgotten to mention someone, I predicted it as such, and wasn't surprised to get various emails in short order.

Here's a couple more that deserve a mention.

The great thing about the early group scene were the names that groups invented for themselves to 'stand out from the crowd'.  For those who had emerged from the post-war days when bombed out buildings were still around in Birmingham, we looked to America for inspiration. Everything they had were things that we could only dream of having or owning.  Kind of glamour by association.  A great dearth of American car groups names abounded, they all started with 'The' then all you had to do was simply attach an american car name and Bobs yer uncle.  Such as The Fleetwoods, Cadillacs, Mustangs.

It was  the days of the Front Man and group format too, ie. Cliff and The Shadows.  Birmingham had Johnny Neal and The Starliners, amongst others, who were quite reasonably named I thought.  It didn't take long though for Brummie humour to emerge with the brilliantly named:
Tommy Hawk and The Hatchets

For some reason, other adopted american words included the political names like The Senators, The Congressmen and The Presidents.

BARRY REEVES

Barry Reeves grew up in Kings Heath, the heartland of Brummie music, close to the great Ritz ballroom that hosted so many incredible acts that he must have seen and been influenced by.   He didn't play with the Starliners or the Hatchets but was the 16 year old drummer for Johnny Whitehouse and The Congressmen.  However, these Congressmen were not to be confused with the Black country band George E. Washington and The Congressmen I don't know which band had been first to set the Precedent, ho ho ho.   I guess there were probably another 10 bands using the name around the West Midlands

I'm afraid I never heard or saw Barry's Congressmen, I have asked all the Brummie knowledgeable people I know and sadly can't find much info on this particular band which is unusual for me.   I was probably a couple of years too young, but from those groups, there would be some individuals to emerge who would go on to make their mark in the world of music and Barry Reeves was in this club.
   
In his Congressmen days though he worked at Dudley Zoo, in the reptile house to be exact, and would cycle the 12.5 miles there and back every day!
Now we all like a praying mantis or two but this boy had musical ambition and was saving up his pennies to make the move to London. Within a couple of years he had saved enough to buy himself a Ford Popular and when in 1959, an opportunity to go 'pro' raised it's head with an audition to join The Checkmatesprevious backing group of Emile Ford, he waved farewell to the Chameleons and was one of the first to make the trip on the newly opened M1.   
Barry bottom right

Barry got the gig with the Checkmates and soon found himself in Hamburg, Germany playing at The Star and Top Ten clubs, he really was in the snake pit now!!  there were some slithery characters  around.  He also made his first TV appearance there and was told what it was like to be on 'the tele' and how to play to the cameras by The Beatles 
at a regular meeting place for British groups,
in Hamburg The Seamans Mission .

After his baptism of fire in the seedy but exciting haunts of Hamburg, Barry returned to London, to form the very prestigious band, The Ferris Wheel that had a massive reputation as a class act and and made several recordings including a cover of Vanilla Fudges/Supremes classic You Keep Me Hangin' On and the much vaunted LP "Can't Break the Habit", rated as a real classic of the time.  During this time he would visit the trendy haunts of London including, my favourite bar, The Bag O' Nails where he would first meet his future wife. 


Blossom Toes.  Barry left
From playing with the Ferris Wheel Barry took over the drumming spot in the poetically groovy, Psychedelic band Blossom Toes during 68/69.
This band was extremely well known and played all the big gigs with all the names of the day.

However, all things and trends pass and once again, looking for work he headed back out to Germany but this time to join the Les Humphreys singers, a large and successful vocal group formed in Hamburg on the lines of the Edwin Hawkins singers, not exactly rock n' roll, or the trippy music of his previous band but you gotta pay the bills and it came in very useful for Barry as Les Humphreys taught him to read music during his time with the group.  

Now back in Germany he was making drumming waves and was luckily recommended to band leader James Last by Last's bassist.  Now James Last might not be Rock n Roll but there aren't many bigger names in the world of music and the thought of playing in the company of so many great musicians must have been daunting.  Barry joined the band in 1970 as the percussionist and after 9 years filled the drummers spot.  In 1979, by chance, the band was joined in Japan by the girl he had first met at The Bag O Nails, the musically meticulous and stylish Madeline Bell. 

Barry and Madeleine
They rekindled their friendship, he fell, she fell, and they soon became a couple. They both left the James Last orchestra in 85 to pursue Madeline's cabaret career with Barry as her drummer/musical director and toured extensively, they married in 1988.  Barry unfortunately broke his arm in 2001 which prevented him drumming any longer but continued as manger for Madeline and the band.

Madeline said " Barry and I used to love talking about our early days and he took me to Dudley Zoo and the Lickey Hills, he also told me that the daily bike ride to Dudley Zoo and back was the reason he never exceeded 9 stone". 

Sadly, Barry passed away in February 2010, so although this small accolade from me is a little on the late side, it is never too late to highlight someone who surely and deservedly ranks amongst the best of all those great Brummie Drummers of the past.   

Many thanks to old friend Ken Reeves, who discovered he was related to Barry and contacted me about this great missing piece of Brummie music history. Many, many thanks to Madeline Bell for supplying some of her photos and memories, February isn't a good month for her for obvious reasons but for me learning about Barry was a nice journey of discovery.  I'm sure there's some guy at the Elephant House at Dudley Zoo saying "Im? Arr he wuz always tappin things so we poot im in with the Crickets"......

PAUL HANCOX
Once upon a time in Northfield, 1965 to be specific, a couple of 15 year old teenagers both with musical ambition formed a friendship and then both joined local band The Couriers at the same time when two members retired to get married and other things.  One of those new band members was guitarist Tony Russell and the other, drummer Paul Hancox.  A name change for the band was in order too and they became Shingles and they, like hundreds of other Birmingham bands played at all the various haunts and venues around the area for a year or two. As usual, members join and leave, as with any other group, one of those who passed through the ranks of Shingles was the great Brenda Bosworth.

Shingles eventually broke up and Paul quickly found himself another band to join but quickly
Paul Hancox Centre
got head-hunted to join the Manchester band The Mindbenders.  They recorded a cover version of The Boxtops "The Letter" which made a low entry in the UK charts at 43 with the original version scooting up the charts to the No 1 spot. 


Bad release timing I guess?

This was the straw that broke the camels back and the bassist left the band leaving Eric Stewart as the only original member.  
He and Paul relocated to Birmingham, stole Jimmy O'Neil from The Uglys and recruited songsmith Graham Gouldman with a vision of moving away from the Pop culture and going heavy.


I was somewhat bemused then, to hear the Mindbenders next and final single recording "Uncle Joe the Ice Cream Man", something that would have been more suitable for Hermans Hermits.   It was the end of the road for the band and Stewart called it a day and returned to Manchester to form Hotlegs.   

The Mindbenders, l-r Jimmy O'Neil, Paul Hancox, Graham Gouldman, Eric Stewart

Paul found himself bandless but only for a short while.  Stan Webb had dissolved the Chicken Shack line up and had decided to move to a 3 piece line up and, like the Benders, go a bit heavier.    Paul was the ideal drummer to carry this off.   The band recorded an LP "Imagination Lady" in 1972 and hit the road.     
Chicken Shack l-r  Paul Hancox, Stan Webb, John Glascock
It is pertinent to add at this point that when Stan was looking for a heavy drummer Paul had been recommended to him by fellow Brummie  and shed builder John Bonham.


Stan left the band some time later citing musical differences but continued on with Paul for another LP.

Paul then went on to drum for a short while with Mungo Jerry in 75.

Today Paul lives in Bury but I have been informed that he is going to do a gig in Birmingham at The Roadhouse, Stirchley on Apr 15 along with Melvin Hancox plus bassist so if you are an old friend of Pauls or if you are into the heavy scene this will be just the gig for you.

PETE OLIVER REMEMBERANCE GIG
Well we lost the great Pete Oliver way back in 2010 and there had been ideas made about doing a gig for him shortly after.  Well at last it has been announced for the night of Sunday 17 April at Knowle British Legion, entrance by ticket only, 10 pounds. The gig has been organised by courtesy of Pete's family who have come together to get some of Pete's old bands reformed for the night.   Sadly, owing to other commitments I won't be able to go myself but Pete pops into my thoughts on a regular basis so I shall be there in spirit.

I have it on good authority that there are only a 
few tickets left so buy NOW!!
Click on the Link Below for more info and tickets.
PETE OLIVER GIG




ELO  AFTERNOON SLOT AT GLASTONBURY
It has been recently announced that Jeff Lynne and his version of ELO,
will be filling what has become known as the 'legends slot' on Sunday Afternoon
at the Glastonbury Festival.   That should mean he'll have time for a nice cup of Ovaltine and an early night.    

"Take me back when there was no money"....yeah OK.

FINALLY
Well I think that's the drummers covered now!  
Next month we're crossing the pond to bring you more Brummies Abroad.

Take Care of the one you Love

Bob

copyright: Bullsheadbob
Contact  Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com















 

Monday, 1 February 2016

BULLS HEAD BOB FEB 2016. Read this Quickly!! Cozy Powell. Young Blood. BRUM the 60's Drum Beat City.

Watcha you guys,

Well I can't think of a worse start to a year musician wise, in two months we have lost David Bowie, Lemmy Kilminster, Natalie Cole, Paul Cantner from Jefferson Airplane, who, as well as being a member of this hippy, trippy band also co-wrote "Wooden Ships" along with Stephen Stills and David Crosby, Glenn Frey from The Eagles, Buffin Griffin, drummer for Mott the Hoople, Tommy James (Tommy James and the Shondells), Kitty Kallen "Little Things Mean a Lot", Nick Clay (And the Beat Goes on), R&B legend Otis Clay, ex promoter and manager Robert Stigwood and we also lost Ed Stewart one of the founder DJ's of Radio One and lastly my favourite actor Alan Rickman.  

It has also sparked a false death report of Charlie Watts and for some bizarre reason people have only just found out about the passing of Joe Cocker and Crosby Stills and Nash drummer Dallas Taylor, who both died a year ago but have been included in some recent reports.

To be honest with you I'm surprised that I still find myself alive.   In fact you'd better read this quick just in case you don't make it to the end of the page. Could there have been a worse January? I don't think so.  What? stone me, as I'm tidying this blog up I've just heard that Terry Wogan, another founder DJ at Radio One has died too.

COZY POWELL
There has been a blue plaque awarded to Cozy Powell in Cirencester, his birth place.  Although a born native of "Ciren", and having played firstly with a local Cirencester band The Corals, Cozy was a regular drummer for Brummie bands and I first came across him in 1966/7 as the drummer for Young Blood, another Brummie band who had paid their musical dues in Germany and on the road doing the endless round of gigs and had recorded three or four singles.  Cozy was poached from Young Blood by Dave Ball and his brother Dennis, whose third brother Pete was the guitarist for Young Blood, to join them in The Ace Kefford Stand, a short-lived group formed by Chris Kefford after his departure from The Move.  That must have caused a bit of a domestic kerfuffle in the Ball residence.

I think everyone knows Cozy's rise to fame from then on.   It's heartening to see this award for a guy who was pretty genuine, a lot of fun and one hell of a drummer.



Brummie drumming legend Carl Palmer and the ol' left hander, Tony Iommi went along to represent us Brummies at the ceremony.   Really pleased about this plaque.


Brian May, Tony Iommi and Carl Palmer.


YOUNG BLOOD BIOGRAPHY
It's a reminder to me about what a good little band Young Blood 
were in the days when Cozy was their drummer.  I don't mean
that they were good because he was the dominant or commanding
factor about that group because they were simply a good band,
but he was a very tight drummer.
The band had done the German stints and playing in those
situations and long hours makes a really well glued, musical
band out of you, they had a good image, good looks and musicality.
I saw them  play a few times and they were a great Brummie 
band of the day.

  

I knew all the members of this band and we would meet up at the
normal nightclubs like The Elbow Room, Cedar or Rum Runner after 
gigs and have fun mingling and things.  They were another band that 
had a good shot at "Making the big time" but didn't quite do it, it was
strange days.  Good band and great guys.  John Woodhouse has 
written a Biography in conjunction with the band on Brumbeat.Net,
so for more info on this Brumbeat band 
Click YOUNG BLOOD

BRUM -  60's Drum Beat City
The music of Birmingham in the sixties was gritty, it was the days of earthy R&B, Blues, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry rhythms.   There were loads of great drummers in Brum at the same time as Cozy too and without being disrespectful to his ability, he wasn't a rarity.  

We had, in no particular order during 1966-7
John Bonham
Pete York, John Bonham, Mike Kellie, Carl Palmer, Keith Smart, Phil Brittle, Jim Capaldi, Bev Bevan, Mac Poole, Kex Gorin and more....(I know I will have missed people out who will be offended so sorry, in advance).  
It may sound a little bit of a well hackneyed phrase to say that "Brum Rocked" but with that amount of drum talent driving the machine, it really did! and those are only some of the many good drummers that were around then.

Anyway, you could have seen these very impressive guys play on a regular basis at clubs and bars in the city with their various bands and I too would have been with three of them, at various times during that period, enjoying their musical company.

Mac Poole
From a guitarists perspective, the "Pre band PA" days when you put your kit on the stage and played without any amplification or alteration of sound was what made those R&B songs work so tightly in the clubs and dance halls we played at, because the drums natural volume, balanced sonically with 30 watt amplification at "10".  I can vividly recall seeing and hearing live, for the first
Stirchley Baths, Brumbeat Venue.
time a "proper" drummer.  The Brumbeat venue, Stirchley Baths, the drummer was Carlo Little and the band, 
Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, not the limp sound of the 13/14 year old's I'd been used to playing with in my various and sundry Shadows type groups.    

It was exciting, crashing cymbals and deep tom-tom rhythmic sounds and growling bass and trebley guitars.  I was hooked.

The engine of any band is it's drummer and I'm pleased to say I had the chance to play with some of Brums best at the best time that there ever was for groups.  



FINALLY
Got some great new interesting stuff coming up in Brummies Abroad in April.

Get your loved one a Valentines Gift this month, it's cheaper and more enjoyable than a day of cold shoulder and hot tongue.

Tara a Bit
Bob

copyright:  BullsHeadBob
Contact:  Bobsbullocks@GMail.com