Hi Brummies, Brumbeat survivors, Musos, Blues freaks and, Ladies and Gentlemen.. the nation of Turkmenistan!!
"Hello Turkmenistan ...Bloguma hos geldiniz". It's nice to add another country to the BHBob readership. Fantastic, spreading the word about old Brummies and the greatest music adventures ever during the days of Brumbeat, the 60's. I've been "Big in Japan", having entered the charts there in 2004 so maybe I could be "Terrific in Turkmenistan" next? it could be a future gig for me and The Boogie Band? Dramatic backdrop or what?
THE FABULOUS LITTLE RICHARD.
Well, he's Gone man, Real Gone.
The incredible, rockinest human on the planet, larger than life and physically larger than his Stage name implied. I was a 7 year old when I first heard him on our wind-up 78 rpm record player and was hooked from that moment on, I'd never heard those falsetto Ooohs sung in such a full throated manner before in music, words came out of his mouth like bazooka rounds, blatting against your ear drums. Not a bit like the clean country sound of "Rock Around Clock" for example, Little Richards harshness, shouting out the lyrics was accentuating the rebelliousness of the day.
This man was a vocal giant. This man was a piano great. This man wrote outrageous songs that, had the censors of the day realised just what he was singing about, would have had him banned everywhere around the world, such were the social standards of those days. He did all that and he was Black and Gay!!!!!! Never was there such a thing, he couldn't get a hit himself in America but the pretty, cissy, all American white pop stars of the day like Pat Boone sang, devoid of soul, or knowledge that"Tutti Frutti" was a song about oral sex. Even now the thought of it makes me smile. Early on in the 50's Little Richard was better known and appreciated in the UK where a black person didn't get treated like they did in the USA, there was no segregation. So his records sold well here. From the moment I got my hands on a guitar I learned his songs first.
He was one of the acts featured in the film "The Girl Cant Help It" and there wasn't a better sight than him rocking out with his band.
The Beatles played some gigs with him too, in the UK and Germany with Paul McCartney saying that he was taught how to do those high Oooooo's by him. John Lennon has always said
that he was the greatest of the Rock and Roll singers.
In 1964, as The Beatles were ascending to Mega stardom
and Rock and Roll music was in its decline, the BBC put on a "Special" show "Its Little Richard" backed by The Shirelles and British band, Sounds Incorporated. Little Richard walked onto the stage and put on a show that has become legend in the Rock world. I was now 15 and I saw what it could be like if I upped my game and performed with the same enthusiasm and rocket powered energy that he displayed that night, it wasn't just about the music, it was showmanship and I didn't know a man could sweat that much and not collapse, he was unstoppable and the crowd were HIS!.
He shone brightly for years and then, as with everything, music style changed and he became one of the "old rockers" but once upon a time he was the innovator, the inspiration, the grandest professor of stage performance with a plethora of hungry students trying to follow in his footsteps. You know, I could quite confidently say that probably every band from the 50's right through to at least 65, played at least one of his songs.
In 1968 there was a short Rock and Roll Revival going on in the charts and he shone again!! He has always been around though, playing and telling everyone HOW GREAT I AM!! I taught The Beatles everything they know!
I was chatting recently to old friend Brian Gregg, Bassist and British Rock and Roll Icon ( Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Eden Kane, Terry Dene, Billy Fury, The Tornadoes and many more and if that wasn't enough, the co writer of Shakin All Over). He told me the following story about his meeting with Little Richard.
" I went to the Apollo to see my mate Mickie Most, I was standing in the wings of the stage watching The Everly Brothers when Little Richard came and stood beside me and asked me if Buckingham Palace was close to the theatre, I told him it was about a mile away and he said he was going to see it after the show. There was a young kid sat outside Mickie's dressing room with a shiny new guitar "That's nice" I said, "Yes, I've just got it" he replied, "Are you learning how to play then?" He replied "No" and said that he was in Little Richard's Band. I read some years later that the guitarist in Little Richard's band that year was Jimi Hendrix.
In 2004, I was taking part in the 10th Anniversary Eddie Cochrane Show in Chippenham which also featured Little Richard in the line up. I spoke to him and told him we had met in 1963 and said that I'd talked to his young guitarist at the time and asked him if it was Jimi. Little Richard said "Yes it was Hendrix.....everything he knows he got from me!!". I remember thinking to myself "Well I dont know about that??" Brian G.
It doesn't really mean anything significant, Hendrix was a jobbing musician at the time playing with many different people, however, I imagine that plenty of Little Richards showmanship rubbed off on him later on, as did Otis Rush with his stage moves and guitaristry. There couldn't have been 2 better teachers to learn from.
FROSTY MOSES INTERVIEW.
One of the great joys of writing this blog is getting people together and such was the case when I put Heavy Metal writer Rob Horrocks in touch with Frosty Moses bass player Danny Gallagher 11 years ago. Rob interviewed him for an article.
Danny sadly passed away a couple of years ago Rob contacted me to say he still had the audio interview on CD and offered to pass it on, courtesy of the internet, into the hands of Danny's son Leon last month. I knew Danny in our early youth and boy we had some fun, beautiful Irish warmth to the man!! I learned from him everything that was bad for me too.
For those of you Brummies who like your music delivered by steam roller
Rob Horrocks can be found at his new website. Click on the Link WWW.HEAVYTOURISM.COM
RIP. PHIL MAY - THE PRETTY THINGS
Phil May (75), frontman for the Pretty Things has sadly passed away following complications after hip surgery. In Birmingham in 1965/6 one of the best gigs of the day was in the cellars of the Siver Beat Club which is now where The Ramp is. The gig was packed out to see the promoters inventive line up of The Pretty Things Vs The Uglys.
A nice little competitive night not only musically but also London Vs Birmingham. Everyone won that night, two great bands and an enthusiastic audience.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS!!
MRS BOB'S LOCK-DOWN
I have received more than a couple of emails enquiring about Mrs Bob's unfortunate lock-out I mentioned in last month's blog. Mrs Bob is managing well but alas, she's still stuck out in the garden shed. It's amazing how she has coped since not making it into the house on 'lock down' day. I had received a letter from Boris saying I had to stay indoors and not have any visitors...even family! By day I've been watching her pottering about in the flower borders, well when I say pottering I think she's been thinning-out some of the flowers and do you know? I never knew a person could eat such a variety of blooms, she appears to be doing well on it though, apart from a slight yellowing of her skin after the Nasturtiums disappeared one day.
She has been keeping herself active though and has recently become interested in sprinting and isn't doing bad for a 69 year old.
I think her wellies were proving to be a bit of an impediment to her straight line speed
and that was an issue I could help with! Being a "new man" I like to support her new found sporting hobby so firstly, to give her a hint about time improvement without being condescending, I sellotaped the four principles of aerodynamics to the cat and as a further aid to stamina training and as a bit of an encouragement for her, I wait until she is at the very bottom of the garden then I step out of the back door to take a well deserved breath of fresh air and at the same time, give her a wave and a brief opportunity to actually see me in the flesh, happy, and eating a bacon sandwich.
Fuck me, she can run!!!.
She hasn't quite made it to the rapidly closing back door yet but I have faith that she'll do it pretty soon. She tries to encourage me to join in by carrying a baton even though she knows my running days are over.
She also keeps shouting something about me coming from Kent but all those years stood in front of a Park 100watt stack means I can't hear her too well through the double glazing.
Sadly, we don't have outdoor lighting either so it can a bit scary at night for me when she suddenly feels appears out of the gloom, scratching at the window like Danny Glick but Rules is Rules.
I managed to take some photos of one of her runs in stages so you can see how she's doing. In Pic 1 she spots me and goes for the standing start, she hasn't caught the cat yet so aerodynamics are still her main problem as can be clearly seen in Pic 2 by the way her wellies are flexing and in Pic 3 she suffers total loss of downforce.
Ok, Take Care all you folks in Covidville.
and Look after the One you Love