Friday, 1 October 2021

Head Bob Oct 2021 - Bulls Head Bob the 60'S INFLUENCER. Famous intro ...She's Leaving Home Harpist.

Hello Playmates!!  

Here we are, October already, hopefully starting the downslope on the charts for Mister Covid and The Variants and looking forward to autumnal weather and brushing off the old Barbour Jacket to take some long walks, taking in the fresh air and, no doubt get some more rain as it's the year of the La NiƱa weather phenomenon. 

BOB - "INFLUENCER OF THE GOLDEN FEW GENERATION?"

I always thought that the new-fangled title of Influencer which seems to attract a fair amount of cash was reserved solely for girls with big tits who are famous for sod all or young effeminate boys stinking of moisturiser who giggle a lot into a camera.  They all have a skin care range.

I was thinking I believe I could be an Influencer of our generation.    I'm as ugly as a bat with a leathery, well worn exterior, looking for a TV  "Moisturiser Challenge" Sponsor".  If moisturiser works on me it will truly influence a whole older generation.  I've got the name Copyrighted "That's the Rub" a kind of homage to Shakespeare and Vicks vapour rub which will give it a touch of class and mentally ease your breathing at night.  Each week they will send a group of more mature celebrities to come and lather me in creams and unguents till I 'Smooth Out Man'.   If it catches the public's imagination, that will be the name of my Signature range of personal fragrances.   It's the show thats got it all.  Mrs Bob says I sometimes have natural fragrances that could take down a Baboon in a close quarters situation, she hasn't lost her way with a compliment.  

My Influencer thoughts, occurred following last months blog, where I exposed the ticket prices of Elton Johns tour exceeding £1000.00 per head, so could it have been that I subliminally Influenced his decision to cancel his 2021 tour until 2023? I read that he had reportedly tripped over something, probably his ego if you ask me, and has sustained an injury to his hip needing two years to recover, ooh dear me!.   I, being a cynical old bastard think there maybe some logic in the 2 year delay.... to give the punters more time to save up??   Who knows in this wild and whacky corporate world or, as His ELOness the Royal Jeff said in his song about himself "When I was a Boy"....."Take me back when there was no money"........I don't believe he really meant it? 

I imagine the TV world will be making contact by the end of the day.  Smooth Out Man!!   

FAMOUS MUSICAL INTROS 

SHE'S LEAVING HOME.    

What Sergeant Pepper or should I say The Beatles and George Martin bought to the world of music was the enormous leap from a 4 piece Dance Band to introducing a musical and technical soundscape that had never been heard before, every single aspect of every song was honed at Abbey Road. Many of todays effects were invented during the recording process too.   Every kind of instrument had been used including a Concert Harp for the intro to the gorgeous She's Leaving Home.    


I recall first hearing the beautiful intro of the Harp melody line, as it flew like a musical butterfly from bar to bar, preparing us for the melancholy to follow.   Sheila Bromberg was the Harpist on the recording and said she had been booked for a 4 hour session but didn't know for who until Paul appeared, she was very pleased to be on a Beatles recording.  The session was endless repetition which angered some of those present.   As is oft the case they used the first take but double tracked it with a tad of delay later on.

This timeless melody, played probably a Zillion times earned Sheila £9 pounds.

That's a little over £2 pounds per hour.

Sheila sadly passed away in August 2021 but her legacy will live on forever.   

FINALLY.   I'm busy, up a ladder renovating some old stonework while the idiot Toilet Roll buyers and Petrol hoarders go mad.  I feel like that in this generation we have created a monster. 

Bob  

copyright: Bullsheadbob 

Contact Bobsbullocks@gmail.com





Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Bulls Head Bob Sep 2021 - Turning Professional in the 60's. Playing in Europe - Its a Jungle. DON EVERLY. ROBERT PLANT.

 Hello Brummies,

Especially to all the Musicians, and Ladies of the Night, of whom I knew a few.   

I am incredibly lucky to still be in touch with the members of the first band I played with from 14 to 17 when we were semi pro and had our greatest fun.  Had our share of screaming girls too!!!  I treasure those days.  Turning professional was always a desire but it came at a price and to think of it as a job was difficult at a tender age

So,  .....  17 almost 18 years old, turned professional.  Rest of the band 7 years older than me.  Music, music, music...strict rehearsals, more rehearsals, new clothes, photographers, acting like a pro..... First gig in 7 days..  Bigger stages with lots more Girls, Screaming, Robbers and thieves, car salesmen, Girls, agents, musicians, Music, music, clothes, parties, crooks for company.   Recording studios, Wide eyed 18... still whizzing along having a ball, loving life, living fast, brilliant tight band dedicated to music, music, Girls, vodka, vodka and lime, Brandy and lime, Scotch and Coke with a slice of lemon for breakfast. Night Club owners, dubious bastards, Red Wine, Jug of Pimms with added Vodka, hohoho! Then on to some small exotic hideaway. Then I did it all again the day after, with occasional food.  It might not have been everybody's lifestyle but mine just happened that way.  I  sure had fun!! Completely irresponsible, naive, easily lead, looking for affection wherever I could find it.  Just One amazing real friend.  Then I woke one day to find I was 21, injured and alone.   

Thousands of musicians have had that same story in the world of Music, others don't, so the message is enjoy it to the full while you can, keeping one eye on your horizons and the other on your back.

I have a friend of many years who I have great respect for.  We haven't physically met but his music life events mirror mine, with minor differences, including being blighted by the same people.  So I know that the description I just gave was true because it happened to him too, although he "enjoyed" life a little more than I.  We are good therapy for each other. 

Tony Iommi joined Jethro Tull for a short while, even appearing on the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus show.  He left Tull for those same 'work like' reasons that turning pro brings, and with that particular band, but he took the work ethic back to play with the people he loved to play with, Black Sabbath and it worked.   



TOURING IN EUROPE.

There has been a great deal of moaning and groaning about playing in Europe and its added expense for Visas since Brexit.   The good news is, since Brexit, 19 of the 26 countries in the European Union that pay the Brussels wages have changed their stance and will once again allow Visa free tours of British musicians.   If you have to buy an individual euro Visa it is £6 and it lasts 3 years which isn't a great strain

The majority of complaining came from Elton John but he wasn't speaking for the small bands, he was spouting off on his Political Euro Remainer platform which I believe was his only motive.  He is not a poor suffering musician, eaking out the takings on the road.   I looked at his 2023 tour which is being booked now and for Me and Mrs Bob to sit 25 rows back from the stage we would have to pay £1002.00 pounds EACH!!!  Meanwhile the majority of his road crew and techies are on minimum wage, I'm sure he can squeeze a little more money for them, even if it's just refunding the £6 fee.

The REAL problem for the many British semi pro bands, holding down a 9 to 5 job, who spend the year finding gigs in European countries and pile into a camper van with their kit and do a "European tour" for a week during their annual holidays is that they will only be gaining experience, they will never come back with dosh, it doesn't happen.  

The French are a real problem, "Ooo what a surprise!!"......because if you arrive off the ferry in France enroute to your final destination the French customs demand that a customs seal is placed on your van to stop you unloading and playing gigs in France.  Its 500€.  In 1966 The Uglys spent a night in a French jail for not doing that very thing whilst en route to Finland.  Two of them, Dave Pegg and Roger Hill, left shortly after they got back.

I imagine that everyone knows about the Beatles Hamburg days sleeping in a broom closet with hardly any money, George being thrown out of Germany for being underage followed by the rest of the band being thrown out too for setting fire to a Durex pinned to a wall and the club owner reported them to the Police for not having a work permit.

Touring abroad always has, and will always be, fraught with difficulty. It's all a rite of passage, so not much has changed in reality.

Booking dates financially in Europe are normally based on ticket sales or "on the door" takings.    So when your mate says "we're playing at a festival with 12 other bands in Portugal" whilst on their European tour, this is often the reality:

With, as shown here, only handfuls of people attending gigs.   Another band I know advertised on their social platform a "3 date Spanish tour"., the first one was inside an all-day breakfast cafe, the next playing outside a furniture store and the last at the holiday home of one of the band members.   

"What's five eighths of fuck all"???

If you want to see European touring in action I recommend you watch the DVD "The Story of Anvil".  You see the ugly side of Euro touring on top of the Song Contest being Shit!

DON EVERLY.  

Don Everly was the last living member of The Everly Brothers who, along with his brother Phil conquered the world with their beautiful harmonies and well honed pop songs of the late 50's through to the end of the 60's, he passed away recently and were it not for the death of Charlie Watts it would have been bigger news.  The Everly Brothers were an institution with a bench mark vocal sound. 

Before the advent of The Everly Brothers harmony wasn't a feature with early British duos singing in unison.  However once you locked yourself into their songs and enjoyed their familial 2 part vocal harmonies you were hooked.   I recall singing the high harmony to "When will I be loved" for the first time at a gig at The Mermaid , Sparkbrook on the Stratford Road and I loved the sound.  I felt like I had made a step forward as I had only concentrated on playing guitar

They had hit after hit and we learned most of them.  They weren't averse to playing

some good rock and roll too with the truly great song "The Price of Love" which was later wrecked by Brian Ferry.  Being brothers there was tension between them and they split up for a few years but got back together.  They recorded a Paul McCartney song "On the Wings of a Nightingale" for their reunion LP in 1984 and did some dates but were never the same before their falling out.

Phil died in 2014 and Don had made his only solo LP which I have but was never knocked out by it.

Graham Nash relates in his book how he and Allan Clarke of The Hollies, pre fame, were well into the Everlys harmony sound and hung around a hotel in Manchester following an early Everlys concert and got to chat to the guys, remarking how nice they had been to them.

Let it be Me, Cathy's Clown, Ebony Eyes, Wake up Little Susie, the list of gorgeous songs with uplifting harmonies was long and taught us all a lesson in the beauty of simplicity.   A lesson well learned by this grateful recipient.

ROBERT PLANT.   

Wishing Planty a happy birthday, 20 Aug. 

He is still out gigging with his band Saving Grace.    Every one of those lines and wrinkles tells a story.  

I knew him when he was pretty!!

Mrs Bob has told me that the Adam's Apple is just an enlarged larynx that all men have.   Robert Plant keeps his in a barn and takes it out for gigs....true! 

So, take care you lovely people, us Brumbeat survivors have had the best of times and it was a pleasure to be in your company.  Well, with a couple of exceptions.

Take Care, be Careful, be Kind.  

Bob

Copyright: Bullsheadbob

Contact: Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com 



Sunday, 1 August 2021

Bulls Head Bob - Aug 2021. Hofner Club the rythmn sound of 63 JOHN MCNALLY. Vintage Hofners. Brumbeat Birthdays. JOHNNY NEAL, STEVE GIBBONS

Hello you Guys!  

Summer truly arrived with some heat this year, who needs to fly to France and Spain when we have this beautiful weather and no Euro-Hassle at the other end!!  Taking the Bobettes to the park for a picnic and family fun is surely the best antidote to a miserable year locked down in the house.  Family is what the good life is all about, not saving your money all year just to experience some snotty waiter in Paris refusing to take your order because you dont speak good French!    Well, to be honest, I got 5% in my French exam in the final year at school and that was for filling in my name on the exam paper, so he might have had a point?  I was trying to impress a girl so I pointed at things and then just spoke some French 'sounds', full well knowing they weren't words at all, in between pointy gestures and, carried away by my success, I added a closing phrase about the wine..???  OK that's enough of that, time to return to 1963 when wine was exotic and only entered the house at Christmas.

HOFNER CLUB - THE SOUND OF 63

The range of Hofner guitars in the early sixties included the Hofner Club, a small bodied, semi acoustic guitar that I had no affection for at all.  For a start it wasn't a solid body or red and, if that was enough, IT WASN'T RED!   All my musical friends excepting Kevin Sanders, who had a Blonde Club, had either Hofner "Strat-alikes" or the Watkins Rapier equivalent...in Red.  Hofners were for playing the clean sound of the day.    It has to be said though that the Hofner Club's crisp and clean sound was the "sound of 63" with the early recordings of The Searchers, starting with "Sweets for my Sweet" in the hands of ace rythmn guitarist, John Mcnally, and on that first hit he was playing 5 rhythm strokes to each beat and it soared to the Number 1 spot on the charts.    I think he was known as "the fastest rythmn guitarist in Liverpool"..

The song was a cover, originally released by The Drifters as an album track and in a samba rythmn, which meant it was lacking in "bite" and the Searchers revved it up in 4/4.    The Searchers follow up track "Sugar and Spice" was given the McNally treatment as well and for probably the first time the dominant instrument on the two top ten hits was the rythmn guitar and more specifically the sound of the Hofner Club 60.  The song was written by Tony Hatch and in effect was a re-write of their first hit.  That too raced up the charts to No 2.  Meanwhile in Burmingham Me and Oggie, still at school, him more than me, learned them both at his house, stood round the Dansette with our electric guitars unplugged and swapping who played the lead and who played THAT rythmn!

Given that The Searchers and The Beatles were both Liverpool bands and had played many times on the same bill before achieving fame makes me think that The Beatles "All my Loving" rhythm guitar might have been adopted and adapted from McNallys style and on their 63 Lp "With The Beatles" 

John Lennon and George Harrison both had a Hofner Club 40 (the single pick up model) from the infant days of The Quarrymen and McCartney used Lennons "hand me down" during their early days in Hamburg when his Rosetti Lucky 7 fell to bits, as they all did and prior to him moving onto bass guitar.  He bought the Hofner violin bass as it was cheap and had a design that meant it looked the same played left or right handed.
The violin bass went on to be a favourite with bands as it was lightweight and more than effective in the thumping bass sound. It is an iconic instrument.  The future of the Hofner Club model stopped dead in its tracks really until the 90s when some Hofner models were back in the shops as re-issues even including a "John Lennon" Club 40 which says more about corporate greed than fact, given that he gave it away and didn't record anything with it! It wasn't special and maybe it was the one he stole?

There was a John McNally special though, of which I know little about, other than to say that it was a "signature" model fully deserving of that tag attribution and if you wanted that authentic sound there could be no one more worthy.   The Searchers sound after those first two hits was mainly dominated by the Rickenbacker 12 string.  


As a band The Searchers had been at odds with each other from the beginning with Tony Jackson leaving the band after their first 2 hits followed by drummer Chris Curtis.   Over the years they all had variants of the band touring around.  I believe The Searchers are now defunct and for sure, the great John McNally has retired.

If you are a Hofner fan then please visit the lovely Steve Russell's Vintage Hofner web page at www.vintagehofner.co.uk where there is so much more information on these classic oldsters.

Here is one that is currently on sale at Vintage and Rare if you have an appetite to own it and have 2,500 Euros to spare.
It was only as I was writing this article that I realised that the band never had any self penned hits?  I did a couple of gigs on the same bill with them, one of those at The Belfry and they were a really polished act.  Like The Hollies and Rockin Berries they had become more accustomed to playing on the cabaret circuit.   BOB FACT:  The Byrds based their 12 string sound on that of The Searchers not The Beatles.

RECENT BRUMBEAT BIRTHDAYS
The Brumbeat generation are getting fewer and older but are still active.    So in the latter half of July two significant Birthdays were celebrated by.

JOHNNY NEAL

Johnny Neal and The Starliners were ever present on the scene during the 60s and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that John was the First of the Rockers in Birmingham.  He went on to have a stunning success in South Africa where he lived for many years before returning home to Brum some years back.   A song he recorded with ex Starliners keyboard player Geoff Nicholls titled "Ever seen a Man Cry" is currently riding the airwaves in Brazil and has been covered by several bands.  Geoff had graduated from the Starliners to being the keyboard player for Black Sabbath for many years but sadly passed away in 2017.  I'm sorry he didn't get to know about this success.

STEVE GIBBONS

Steve Gibbons celebrated his 80th Birthday 2 weeks ago.   Steve has a long history as vocalist for brilliant Brummie band The Uglys and having a chart hit with a Chuck Berry cover of "Tulane" way back in 1977 with his own band.  Steve continues his musical journey gigging around the country and long may he continue to do so.  

FINALLY   
Its good to see folk getting back on their feet, on the way forward to winning the battle against the virus and discovering normality for a while.   Lets remember though, it's still about and although we have been told it's not obligatory to wear a mask, it's your choice.  They have been wearing them in Japan for years and years.  

UTV!!!

Bob.

Copyright:   Bullsheadbob
Contact:   Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com 

Bob


Wednesday, 14 July 2021

BULLS HEAD BOB JULY 21 UPDATE! READ THIS TODAY...ACT NOW...NOW...YOUR CHANCE TO MAKE IT!! MUSICIANS OVER 65

 Hello my Friends 

My good mate Tom Lane sent me THIS.  It is open to musicians OVER 65....

NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO BE A STAR

ACT NOW!!



Thursday, 1 July 2021

BULLS HEAD BOB JULY 2021 - BOX SET RELEASE MADNESS! GEORGE HARRISON. ERIC CLAPTON.THE SUNDAY MERCURY. NOGA..

Hello Brummies, mates, ex girlfriends of which there are too many to mention, all mates abroad and of course Pluki my Japanese loft-boy friend.....

I haven't played a gig yet but the house smells of fresh paint, there's 'newly sawn' wood smell emanating from a recent and challenging floorboard repair job and a different wall covering in the dining room for when we open the house again.  I don't know how Mrs Bob fits it all in to her weeks busy schedule?   I'm glad I bought her the Dremmel mini drill for our wedding anniversary, helped her a lot.  For my part I'm pleased to say that my finger tips are in tip top shape, lovely and smooth, ready for some geetar action And I've been practising a new autograph signature!!  Being an artiste is all about presentation, don't want to let the public down.

BOX SET RELEASES.  HAS THE WORLD GONE MAD?

Now theres one thing about box sets these days that get my goat and that is the amount of unnecessary garbage that gets included, failed takes, different mixes and things like that.  I have a few box sets, that is, more than one LP in a box, amongst them, Woodstock, Concert for Bangladesh - George Harrison, and the truly lovely Gift from a Flower to a Garden by Donovan.  Of course I have The Beatles anthology but hardly play any of it, to me it is/was a useful tool for songwriting purposes, hearing the same kind of mistakes I would make and then hearing how they got around problems or their inspirations.

So now there are some new Box Sets on the way that are quite staggering. The first being The 50th Anniversary of the release of 'All Things Must Pass' by the late but delightful George Harrison.   I have admired George for many a year and whilst he would not be rated by most guitarists as a top flight guitarist in the technical or speedy sense he had the greatest quality of playing just the right tasteful thing at the right time to suit the song as a whole entity, his slide playing was gorgeous and individualistic and knew some beautiful chords at an early age.  Paul McCartney said that George's four note introductory phrase to  'And I Love Her' which repeats throughout the song, IS the most important facet, it introduces melancholy from the first note and carries the sentiment without a word being sung.   It would be a couple of years after gaining their fame that George put together some nice songs of his own but I think I could really count his great stuff on two hands.   "Isn't it a Pity" has always been my fave and I often wonder what it would have been like had The Beatles worked together to hone it to perfection, this song would have sat well on Abbey Road, along with the Lennon and McCartney songs about themselves breaking up.

There are clips of them jamming All Things must Pass whilst filming Let it Be but John Lennon couldn't have been less interested, it was all over for him besotted with Joko and heroin.  That aside, you can buy the re-issued Double CD for £21 then there are a plethora of other options and packages to purchase until you reach the zenith of the treasure chest..........

UBER DELUXE VERSION....TAKE A DEEP BREATH


So here is the most expensive box set to date the Uber Deluxe Box set comes in a wooden crate and contains 8 vinyl LPs, 5 CDs in 3 different mixes plus Bluray, a large scrap book, small book about the recording, a book mark and beads.   There is also a Klaus Voorman print a miniature set of gnomes and George, as per the original cover photo.  The latter will be the main attraction to the collectors out there.  
There are another 70 audio tracks too but these are alternative takes, jam sessions etc which, as previously stated are, in my humble opinion, package fillers.   This set commands the price of.....£859.00.  Available through selected outlets   The blurb about the release says it is a limited edition but fails to state how many of these will be available or if it is a "one time release" which is important if you are laying out some serious moolah for a collectible item.  I would be happier if it was a numbered item i.e. 1 of 2000 etc.
It's a fact that limited editions of Beatles stuff rises in price but I'm not convinced that this, apart from the George and gnomes box will be in that category.  You pay your money you take your chance.  

ERIC CLAPTON - AFTER MIDNIGHT

No stranger to box set releases, Eric Clapton has an autumnal release box set too! 

It's a re-release of his first solo offering all those years ago "After Midnight" it comes as a four CD set which are four different mixes similar to George Harrisons format,  plus a book.  It was a great LP and showed how he had changed his style after his stint with Bonnie and Delaney, alongside Harrison.  He will be releasing another deluxe set of the same LP but as a 7 vynil LP Set later this year with this set selling  for close to £400.

I can understand a re-release of an old recording that has been given the treatment but just why would I want a host of alternative mixes? It just really leaves me cold to be honest and it's a trend that I wish would end right now.

Sunday Mercury Delivering
Birminghams Music History

During the past few years it has become more noticeable that The Sunday Mercury, a newspaper that I used to get for my Dad on a Sunday Morning so we could read about the Villa, has been offering up some wonderful articles on the History of Brummie music and musicians thanks to reporter Mike Lockley and in the last week of June featured my article on the "Recording of Go Now", the single best recorded song made by the Moody Blues original line up featuring the supercharged voice of the great Denny Laine.   Why not pick up a copy this weekend to see who might be featuring from your music past.   Not since the demise of Midland Beat has Brum had a paper that features so many great midlands musicians.

JOHNNY 'Noga' NEAL .  
Those of us who have known Johnny Neal, former Brumbeat and Rock and Roll star, for some time will know he had the nickname of "Noga" from an era when youths would gather together on street corners and sing songs a capella

It is still pretty commonplace for old 60s stars to be a big name in "foreign parts" but you have to be a real star to have a building named after you.  I came across this Edifice whilst walking around Seville.

So much bigger than a paving stone with your name on.  



FINALLY    

Summer is on the way so do enjoy yourselves after the lockdown and well done for fighting the fight.  Take care of each other and most of all, be kind and understanding.  Great to see Super Jack light up the England team...UTV.

Bob

Copyright:  Bullsheadbob

Contact  Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com 




Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Bulls Head Bob - Jun 2021 - TOP SECRET Brummie Plan For World domination. ROBERT PLANT Gigs. FAIRFIELD SKI. BOB DYLAN

Hello Brummies,   

Just call me 2 Jabs!   Painless and no side effects for Me and Mrs Bob.  So thanks to Boris, the NHS and the British Armed Forces who took on the beast armed with nothing more than a sharp needle and some good humour, invention and innovation.  It is that British innovation that gets the job done and when the times get tough we rise up and show the world what a Great nation we are.  So well done us!     

That British innovation and inventiveness has been replayed at various times and there can be no better example than, how in the late 50's/early 60's, we took Black American music, gave it some power and "edge" whilst suburban America was deep into songs about "Dreamboats" and the "High School Prom".  We then exported those British interpretations back to them with the battering ram that was The Beatles and  by 1964 we had conquered the whole world as its music leaders.    


"How did it all happen Bob?".  Well I thought I would conduct an in depth investigation of the circumstances and, whilst reading through some recently released Classified Documents from World War 2, I stumbled across a British TOP SECRET plan that would have conquered the world many years before the "British Invasion" of the USA and all other countries.   The plan was called

Operation Huns Eardrum

This 1936 Government Plan was to issue musical instruments to the whole British population then, as a Nation, they would assemble from the South Eastern Coast to as far North as Hull and at random times would play and sing British interpretations of such classic German songs as "Let's Bomb England" for example, through Giant PA Systems, pointed in their direction.   The German forces would have been dealt such a savage blow to their morale to hear such improvements to their own anthems that the whole thing would be over by Christmas.

Those Brits who couldn't sing were positioned in Hull to fill the ranks of The Massed

Cat stranglers.
Scottish Cat Stranglers who were joined by The Lancashire Heavy Banjo Brigade on the Northern most Bombardment front.    They were regarded as such a massive deterrent weapon that, when they


played their speeded up version of "Falling in love Again Never Vonted Toooo"..., those in the South were advised to wear ear muffs and a balaclava to avoid a lifelong hate of proper music when the Lancashires were at Maximum Clank.  Birds would fall from the sky.

Because of the power of their voices, the Welsh were massed on the East facing slopes of Mount Snowdon lieing flat on their backs and singing at the sky then, as the Zeppelins approached, they'd clear their throats and launch into "Oh Tannenbaum" in their beautiful and melodious five part Harmonies causing massive air turbulence.   The Captain of the aircraft would be overcome by emotion and with tears streaming down his face would issue the order   "Gott en Himmel Herman! Turn ziss Zeppelin around...Scnellmachen!!"

The very best musicians in the country were gathered in Birmingham where they secretly lived in a Jam Factory and, because of their potency, like the SAS, they would be deployed to Towns and Cities in small groups to fill Hot Pockets of musical resistance to Vera Lynn and her Agent.   The plan came to nothing because of a stumbling block on the giant PA front,  Charlie Watkins and Jim Marshall were still only 13 and the largest speaker available was 3 inches.

All the best musicians stayed in Birmingham after the world conflagration and continued to carry out their mission, causing havoc and excitement in Cities and Towns all over the UK and gained their greatest notoriety during the 60's.   I'm pleased to say that I was one of them and if you were one too........you are a lucky bastard!!  

Whoa! I've got to smoke less...  ha ha.

And now some news to warm my Brummie Heart...

PLANTY Back on the Road.  


Robert Plant and his wondrous group of ace Midlands musicians "Saving Grace" are playing at various Town and Borough Halls in the Birmingham area with the newest date being Birmingham Town Hall in August.  They are playing other dates in the Midlands including Dudley Town Hall.   You can check for other Midland events for this slick outfit through the Borough Halls website.  So pleased to see this BUY YOUR
TICKETS NOW!!!

Fairfield Ski - The Singles

If this band was a lady she would be technically known as Fairfield Ski 

Nee The Cheetahs, for their history is long and in the early 60's they were formerly known as The Cheetahs and were one of the best bands in Birmingham. They had made records and played all across the country taking the stage in their animal print suits.   A few years passed, times changed and so did a member or two of the group and they transformed into Fairfield Ski, all glammed up and still playing.l)

Move on a few more years and the band has a newly signed record release with Cherry Red Records titled  FAIRFIELD SKI The Singles. 

 A trip to the FAIRFIELD SKI Facebook page will give you more insight into their current status and also give you an opportunity to listen to some of the tracks.  The Force is Strong with these guys, they have real staying power and are the model of being a band.    My applause to you all.

The Genius of Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan has just celebrated his 80th birthday and for more than 60 of those years he has been a world star.    He is a genius in every sense of the word, I have cried at his songs, I have marvelled at his sometime complex lyrics and been enraptured with his story telling.  He swept me along on an emotional wave with everything he wrote and delivered it acoustically or with a blistering and harsh electric guitar band.  He was an innovator and gave the finger to those who wanted to keep him in their self righteous swamp like a chatel.

His knowledge of music is awesome and his narrative of the birth of rock and roll in the episodes of his Radio Shows is a must to hear and absorb.

There are Dylan impersonators but that's all they are...they are NOT Dylan, they don't ask the question and don't have the answers.

FINALLY  

So the EU gave us no votes at the song contest, what a surprise?  Next years GB entrant will be PC favourites LGBGT, Dozy, Mick and Tich.   

That's enough of my drivel for this month, I'm now going for a long, cold Mojito with Mrs Bob whilst we listen to our Dylan Faves followed by an evening of the wonderful Willie Nelson.  

So pleased to see the Holte End packed for the Villas last game of the season, the youth team too are producing some real talent.  I hope it's a return to the Glory Years UTV!

COME ON YOU BRUMMIES!!

Bob

Copyright: Bullsheadbob 

Contact: Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com 









Saturday, 1 May 2021

Bulls Head Bob May 2021. Just When did the 60's Begin to Swing in Great Britain??

 Hello you Groovy Kids, the Wimpey Bar generation, when a burger was cooked in front of you and tasted nice.   A special Hello to all of you guys n' gals who lived in Birmingham during the 60's through the greatest age of live music ever known.  I often refer to us as The Golden Few.

I was thinking about that defining moment when things went meteoric in the legendary Swingin' 60's musically.  

In 1960 we had had the first proper home grown British Rock song "Move it" by Cliff and The Shadows and shortly after the globally iconic, Shakin' All Over and for the first time we had rock and roll Riffs and dynamic openings of our own, the Shakin' opening riff was an adaptation of Hank Marvin's opening on Move It so that's where it started in the 60's, it had to start somewhere but it still took a couple of more years before it went into hyperdrive.  It was the best of days for live music for the younger generation played by the youth of the day but was largely based on the R&B output of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and a smattering of Cliff and The Shads. An expected set list from all the fledgling groups to copy.  We all did the same songs, only the faces changed. It still wasn't swingin' though.

Jazz clubs closed in their hundreds and even thinking about folk music was declared illegal.  Bearded men smoking pipes and wearing chunky knitted sweaters were driven underground where they could lament the "Cold North winds blowing up their Bonnie Wee Kilts" in private. 

It was now a new Rock and Roll but slightly more aggressive and louder, there were amplifiers that generated power and the kids loved it, it was anti establishment, every kid that has ever been has heard the shouted phrase "Turn that music down" identifying immediately as the moment of the generational split in every child/adult relationship.   Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis  were still going strong until October 1962 but girls didn't want to jive anymore, there were other dance crazes and fashions changes and early British rock was incredibly important but very short lived, which was the very moment Englands music pendulum started its first swing cycle and was the day someone mentioned to me, The Beatles and "Love me Do".  

That was 59 years ago, more than a lifetime for many and I've done a million other things in my life since then and had many experiences so why is it I remember it like it was yesterday? To be precise it is the actual moment that some kid asked me if I'd heard of The Beatles that I remember, I can even hear the traffic noise on Stratford Road, Sparkhill under a cloudy evening sky.  He told me they were French. At that time The Tornadoes were at No 1 with "Telstar" and were the ONLY Group in the pop charts.  Things were about to change.

We all know what happened from then but even after that memory moment it was probably 1963 when it really started going "Ape" and Great Britain specifically rode the crest of the musical wave for years, producing the worlds greatest influencing groups and fashions.  It swung alright, it screamed in like a hurricane and London was a magnet to the worlds trendy elite.    That is not to say that was where the best bands were but it was the centre of the entertainment industry so that's where you had to be, to be seen at the right places.   John Lennon said that was the time he loved the most "We were kings".

John Lennon died 40 years ago. 

George Harrison died 20 years ago.

I remember it all so well, in fine detail and full colour.  I recognise today, from the outside looking in, people dont even see the old guy with his memories walking down the same street in Birmingham where once, I was told about The Beatles.    I imagine that in these times of uncertainty they could well experience their moment of enlightenment just like I did at some time and maybe 59 years from now will reflect on their greater days with as much affection as I have.

It was such a long time ago, I feel at times that I should let it all go and get on with being an old git but it still has me by the throat, the desire to make music is still strong, occasionally needing a kick start to get me out of the chair but once I'm plugged in and start playing the opening riff to "Little Queenie" I'm back on stage at The Plaza. Feeling like a king too.

It will never, ever be as good as those times we experienced then.

I hope you're now all jabbed up.  Great Britain was lucky to have had a quick thinking, strong government during this pandemic.  Up the Villa!!

Bob

Copyright: Bullsheadbob

Contact.    Bobsbullocks@Gmail.com