Friday, 1 November 2013


Howdoo Earthlings,

I'm sat here with sore fingers after playing too many gigs, too close together
and on top of that I've been recording and teaching, I don't know why I just don't have my guitar surgically grafted onto my body!  

A quick word of thanks to John Garghan for getting in touch with me and pointing out that the picture I showed of The Diskery 
in last months blog
is the current store and not the original that was on Hurst Street, just around the corner.  

I did know that, but didn't include an original picture of it in the blog because I thought that if you wished to visit the current location of The Diskery,those of the Brumbeat generation may suffer from some herbal 'short term memory loss effect' and I didn't want you wandering off into heavy traffic, forgetting what you've just gone out for, 'Man'?? ..."just lookin' for some grooves"

From a vinyl perspective, you may be interested to know that
it has been reported that this year has been the best for sales of vinyl LP's, for many years......the reality, however, is the volume of sales was 0.07% of the market, so it's popularity is not at eye watering levels just yet. 

But I just love Vinyl.........those downloads and CD's of original recordings, pale into insignificance when heard as original recordings on vinyl, there's just no comparison, no expectation, no reward.  On vinyl you can hear Little Richard sweat....!!

I've seen recently, a campaign of sorts encouraging Brummies to vote for a star to be awarded to Steve Winwood on the Broad Street walk of fame.
Well let me tell you all this simple fact......I'm not voting for him because:
Class doesn't need crap publicity

The people whose names are already included on Broad street are all third rate in comparison to Steve Winwood's talent, musically speaking.  It's like comparing U2 with The Beatles, or U2 with well, anyone really.   All of those stars on the pavement are there to ATTRACT PEOPLE TO THE BARS, nobody gives a shark's fart about who should be there on merit and there's no scoring moral victories by mounting campaigns for a star, because at the end of the day, who cares?  

Is that just me being grumpy? I don't think so.
 I would say that all of those who have their names on the pavement of the 'Walk of Cut Price Drinks' respect Steve Winwood as the finest Brummie musician right from his very early days.   The rest of the world knows it even today.    

I would hope that Steve doesn't give a shit about it and steers well clear of being some shop keepers or council wanker's afterthought!! 

For my part, I am amazed that he wasn't the first person to be offered this useless piece of tat but moreover, am mystified about why the heck would anyone CARE if they didn't feature there?

Steve has some good friends,

is currently on TWO tours in the States and Canada, one with Rod Stewart and the other on his own so he's not short of work and I doubt very much whether he loses any sleep over a soddin' paving stone? 

Keep it real Steve and tell em' to stick their star up their khasi's. I think you might have to modify the language somewhat but if you find that task a little too onerous you could just be 'permanently busy'!!

Given what has been said in the above passage I think that us Brummies
should think of something a little more imaginative and 'high status' for the Lord Master of Brummy Twanging and luckily, I have the answer and it's so simple.....

We'll all write to The Mayor and demand to change the street name of Broad Street and call it: 

How fitting, poetic and rhythmic it sounds, it kind of rolls off the tongue doesn't it?  I can see myself cruising down Winwood Boulevard
in some classic car or other with 'Gimme Some Lovin' whangin' out with it's gurgling, over-driven Hammond organ and Steve's amazing vocal sound that makes us muso's pull weird faces in sheer admiration? In doing that, we will surely be placing Steve Winwoods importance where it should be, as The Overlord of The Barely Significant and their Lowly Paving Stones.

"So anyway Steve, there you have it.  Why settle for a paving stone when I can get you the whole road??
I could be your campaign manager....let's get the wheels in motion.

Get one of your people to talk to one of mine (me), I've talked to other people before so I have experience in that field too". If you decide that 'Winwood Boulevard" is a great title and inspires you use it for a song then I'll say no more about it, it's your's for free. 

Us lesser mortals will get busy lobbying the mayor.

As reported in the last couple of blogs, Critical Mass have formed, played a couple of gigs and guitarist Oggie, who was pissed off....pissed off!! apparently back to the safety of the boozer.

FREEDOM FIELD (L to R) Bob Styler, Dave Hynds, Michelle Williams, Danny Gallagher
They have now discarded that original name (and Oggie) and have been re-born again as FREEDOM FIELD with Bob Styler taking over sole guitarist duties for the band.   I wish them well for the future and know they are working hard on Michelle's original material which is quite political in nature, so for you socio-anarchistic music lovers, this band could be just the ticket.

They recently appeared at The Old Moseley Arms, in Moseley, where they went down very well.  Oggie, me and Steve Gibbons were also in the audience.

It's kind of like history repeating itself, this same group of people who I knew as a teenager way back in the very early 60's (excepting Michelle), forming another band and going through those band disagreements that caused ructions like they did when we was all sprogs.  I can't help thinking that this is just like the way it was, way back then.   Nothing changes, These are all musicians with a good heritage and they have all featured in great groups of those heady days of Brumbeat.   Great stuff!!, a good band will always be a good band, so long may they reign!!  Go and see them.

With the last days of October came the news of the death of Lou Reed
(71).  I'm sure we were all fans of 'Walk on the Wild Side' and 'Perfect Day',
the latter being covered by the whole of the music business for a charity single in 1997.

On the flip side of the serious music coin we also saw the passing of Manolo Escobar on the same day, whose 'Viva Espana' drove me round the soddin' bend for more years than I care to think about but was destined to be the fuel for some Black Country bands set lists     Bilstons own 'Ammonia Workers Social Club' would have been throbbing to this classic on a Sunday afternoon, singing along and all remembering their Spanish 'All Day Breakfast', skin-peeling experience from the year before.  "We went to a classier hotel and it really paid off.  Our Gareth said it was the first time he'd come back without the clap...........""""Oh Viva Espana"""

On that note....


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