Hello Brummies and Musos,
Another gripping episode of Bulls Head Bob here Autumn hanging around our shoulders. Misty damp nights, Bonfire Night, and the start of the "looking forward to Christmas" season. You know me I love a good stocking. Here's a bit of news of someone featured in the last Brummies Abroad Blog
Brilliant Brummie Bassist John has recently been in hospital for a quadruple heart by-pass (no doing things by halves with him) and is currently recovering at his home in California under the care of the lovely Debee. We here at Bloggery Hall wish you a speedy recovery and hope you'll be up and "at it" in time for Christmas young man. You'll have to be ready for when I get there, hungry for some R&B so keep sharp.
|John and Debee|
Redditch council have authorised the placement of a statue of the great John Bonham in the town centre showing him 'giving it some' at a set of drums.
The Led Zep legend died at the tender age of 32, no age at all really.
John would have been flabbergasted at this, never one for self enhancement, he'd rather have been at the bar with a pint talking music and football and its also funny that, at one time he couldn't get into any bands because he was too loud. He would have laughed about this statue business a lot but I for one am really happy that this has happened. Great stuff, great Brummies.
50 YEARS AGO TODAY
The history of popular music has some milestone dates, a lot of which were condensed into the 10 years of the 60's particularly with the rise of The Beatles and Rolling Stones etc. 1967 in particular was, for me, the high point of the decade when all of those new approaches to music seemed to have peaked during the notorious "Summer of Love" with its beads and bells and love and peace. The Americans had re-surfaced as a music force having been pegged back by the British Invasion bands that had taken America and the world by storm. George Harrison had introduced everyone to Indian music, The Byrds, Spirit, Love, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead were all now common names in the music press. Canadians too had made a huge impression Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen were huge rock names and The Band were rehearsing with Bob Dylan at the Big Pink at Woodstock, that is a wondrous scenario
Psychedelia and psychobabble had been a huge force on song-writing and The Beatles released their double A side Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields with Penny Lane being a literary and music perspective of Liverpool memories by Paul McCartney with his descriptive scene setting of daily life on Penny Lane. Heavily orchestrated, this is one of my least favourites of his. I find it quite sterile.
Lennons Strawberry Fields, a take on the grounds of a local orphanage where he played at a kid was something other than that 'clean' musical approach of McCartneys. With its swoops and diving cellos, time changes and gobbledygook lyrics people wondered at the hidden meaning, for me it was just a random, risky composition, which was a feature of Lennons writing. Today we talk about Strawberry Fields as being such an iconic track that you would not have believed that it would be kept from reaching Number one by Engleburt Humperdinck and his "Release Me". Immediately there was Press talk that The Beatles were finished and washed up, how fickle these press arseholes were, and still are.
The fact is, it was not only young folk who bought records and once in a while there is some trinket that comes along and scores a massive hit, Release Me was selling 85,000 copies a day!!
Birmingham featured heavily in the 67 charts too with
The Move scoring successes with Night of Fear, I can Hear the Grass Grow, and of course Flowers in the Rain.
Steve Winwood had left the Spencer Davis Group and formed the brilliant Traffic who had their first chart entry with Paper Sun and the equally successful follow up, Hole in my Shoe which I didn't like, a bit gimmick laden. That aside, 1967 was a turning point and from this time on, music would start to be more on the more progressive side. A time and place for everything if it were a wine 1967 would be one of the best reserves.
I had already been lucky enough to have had the Rock and Roll and Skiffle period, Elvis, Chuck Berry Beat group phase, The birth of The Beatles and all their wonders, the Blues phase which would influence all other music from that point on and now we were entering the more educated and whimsical period So, here is the chart as at 1 Nov 1967. Given that the Bee Gees were British by birth, the only non-uk band on the chart were the Boxtops at No 10.
BRITISH TOP TEN 1 NOV 1967
MASSACHUSETS - The Bee Gees
BABY NOW THAT I'VE FOUND YOU - Foundations
ZABADAK - Dave Dee etc
THE LAST WALTZ - E Humperdinck
HOLE IN MY SHOE - TRAFFIC
FROM THE UNDERWORLD - The Herd
HOMBURG - Procol Harum
AUTUMN ALMANAC - The Kinks
FLOWERS IN THE RAIN - The Move
THE LETTER - The Boxtops
1967 was a fab year and one that I shall remember till my dying day. Had some great mates and the world at my feet, too young to understand how cruel people could be, I blasted my way through life enjoying every moment. Birmingham was a tremendous City to be in and I loved life. I think, in general terms the whole population were enjoying life at little more at that time and it was infectious in a very positive way.
There has been some movement on the scene of some ex brumbeat players so maybe I can give you some more informed news next month. Until then keep warm, love each other, keep music live and keep your memories alive too, just thinking about those fantastic times is the best tonic you can take.
Have a Hug