We've all kind of settled back and accepted our Brexit fate or fortune, Dave the Rave has exited No 10, George Osborne has been sent to the Pointless Forest to sulk and Jeremy Corbyn is hated by the Labour Party for being a gutless wonder, he still purports to be the leader. Crazy as it may be, these British events, apart from Corbyn the Insignificant, have been totally eclipsed by Pokemadness. Now when I was young I was always one for a good poke and I was mostly mad for it but now it is the "must have" fodder for semi-intelligent techno tossers running around the streets with their smart phones in the hunt for something that only exists VIRTUALLY!....at least in my day things actually existed and you got something physical out of it, even if it was a dose of crabs.
|YES THEY ARE ADULTS!! copyright ExpressandStar|
This insanity has really ramped up my grumpy level one hundred fold and I am now declaring my bit of Brum independent and free of NOTHING VIRTUAL or is that ANYTHING VIRTUAL? or VIRTUALLY NOTHING?
Enter the zone at your peril, I've got a loaded zimmer.
REG CALVERTS 'STABLE'
Reg Calvert's name is well known in Birmingham and the West Midlands by those of us who were around in the 60's. An entrepreneur who signed and managed his own 'stable' of acts. He did things his own way, promoted his own concerts and made himself someone to be reckoned with. ´The Fortunes, Pinkertons Assorted Colours, Tanya Day, Danny Storm, Johnny Neal, Robbie Hood, Jon Washington were all part of his gang and he did an excellent job in promoting them all with varying degrees of success.
For some of you, those names will be just names without faces but I'm glad to report that Susan Moore, the daughter of Reg Calvert has, for the past 5 years at least, been organising re-unions of some of these great musicians at her home, including live performances and, no doubt sharing a plethora of war stories.
Susan has a website dedicated to her Father and the stable of artists that went through Clifton Hall under Reg's tutelage called Reg Calvert Plays. There are some great photos of the re-unions where you may be able to spot some of your old friends and group members. Click on the link below,
REG CALVERT PLAYS
If you were one of Reg's gang then why not get in touch with Susan through the website. Get to see your old colleagues before its all too late.
Susan Moore has also written two books, the first being
Popcorn to Rock
n' Roll and the second
Clifton Hall School of Rock n' Roll.
I'm sure they will be good reading of how things were then and how the business operated.
GOING ON KEEPS GOING ON
When us young brumbeaters got the urge to go electric back in the early 60's we all thought that we would be playing for a few years, until we died young and became legends, there was no way we would get old, that was only for our parents. Being 30 years old was an embarrassment and 40 was unimaginable as we swaggered around in our skin tight jeans and winkle pickers. George Harrison famously said of the Beatles "We can see ourselves being popular for about 4 years and then I'll probably open a shop or something". Well that generation seems to have gone on forever. Some of the folk who were never going to get old and play till they die have got very old and a lot of them have died, sadly having stopped playing music before that final event but luckily some haven't succumbed to Doctor Death and are still playing gigs.
One of those older youngsters, or Oldsters if you will, has featured here occasionally and he is Tom Lane, drummer for several bands throughout his life, notably the Tuxedo Junction Blues Band and Luddy Sammes Soul Band pictured below, minus Luddy Sammes, who'd have thought that a singer would miss an opportunity to be photographed? Checks, tweeds and stripes were all the fashion then.
Tom recently emailed to let me know that even now, at 69 years young, he is still getting offers to play with younger bands. He is not the only one either..............there is a message here and that is we oldsters paid our dues playing nearly every night at pubs, clubs, dives, cellars, births and marriages for years. One gig is worth twenty practise sessions and this experience or apprenticeship, equipped us all with a depth of experience that you don't forget and certainly will not be matched in today's climate of very little live music.
|Sticks covered in blood! Tom Lane|
I for one am not surprised that Tom continues to receive offers....class tells!!
DEATH OF A PRINCE
Well Prince, the Artist formerly known as "The Artist formerly Known as Prince" has put on his Raspberry Beret, climbed into his Little Red Corvette and has disappeared into the firmament, well in his case the lift. Pretty sad given what a prodigious writer of good songs he was, allied to his killer shows and musicianship. There's certainly one thing we can depend on following a famous persons demise though and that is the grasping insanity of the Americans with a host of people coming forward to claim their share of his fortune, so far six alleged Fathers have been disregarded along with another 24 so called family members.
Hope you have a lovely summer the weather report is on the up! Best stay home though as the pound is not worth as much as before in hotter climes.
Cheers for Now