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!!


Copyright: Bullsheadbob



Thursday, 1 April 2021

Bulls Head Bob April 2021 - FREE!! 1971 FENDER PRECISION BASS. SHOCKING!! 1960's PHOTO OF MRS BOB!

Howdoo Brummies, Chums, musos, mates overseas, Ex girlfriends and of course, Pluki my Japanese "loft boy" fan.

I know its the first of April but want you to know that everything in this blog is true.  A FREE fender bass AND a SHOCKING photo of Mrs Bob. 

Well last month on TV we were treated to a display of spite, dreadful acting, sulking,  untruths and twisted facts from an American and a puppy, woof woof!  However it proved to be nothing more than an unwanted, unimportant display of greed and self importance a diversion from my daily trudge through life, constantly depressed because I don't live in a mansion, I'm not a Prince, I'll never be a millionaire because I'm a musician and a pensioner and I don't have slaves to bully who fail to attend to my every unreasonable whim.   I'm glad my life isn't as tough as theirs, fancy not knowing where the next million will come from?  I approached the media with my story of a disadvantaged life but strangely there was no interest, not even from FOX news.

FREE 1971 Fender Precision Bass

The most popular bass guitar ever made, it is pure class and its' deep tri-colour Sunburst finish is achieved, in part I'm told, by being caressed for 24 hours by a smokey eyed, dusky maiden from foreign shores.   Whether the latter part of that is true, could just be another myth attributed to the intrigue of this magnificent guitar.  

A lot of bassists insist on that vintage sound available from pre CBS models of this iconic instrument, so much so, that they are willing to lay out around £3000 for one, so it would be a dream to get a free one wouldn't it? Just a dream.    

That dream came true for John Woodhouse though, editor of, the very person who permits me to lodge myself in his 'cupboard of convenience' for the blog at the world famous Brumbeat Towers.    

He sent me his annual Invoice for my cupboard occupancy and along with it the news that some years ago he received a nice gift

of a 71 Fender Precision bass from an old friend of the family, a certain "Mr Rex"......a former jazz and social cabaret band player for many years around the clubs,
Mr Rex!
and around the world.   For many of those years he had played a double bass so the Fender hadn't been slung around the stage by some drunken rocker or in fact, left the shores of the UK. It had spent a lot of time in its original case and the above picture is how John opened the case all neatly organised with Burns Bison strings and set lists, clubland cards with booking agents phone numbers.  A real treasure chest of provenance and we all know that.......


These days, the second hand market for guitars is full of copies of classic guitars and having proof of authenticity is everything and it's not just a receipt that counts.  Like us humans, old guitars develop characteristics of their past life.  Buckle rash on the back, cracks in the varnish, pitting of the chromeware where sweat has got into the scratches and formed little spots of oxidation, not pretty but pretty unfakeable.

John said, "What struck me was that unmistakeable musty smell when I first opened the case" (then he gets a little more bass player-ish)........" I sniffed the scratchplate, and it had the right smell, you know? Age and authenticity past gigs, stale beer and cigarette smoke".

One can see the beauty of this guitar in it's original condition, original case, nothing swapped out, just as it was made and has paid its dues and taken some light knocks. However, no matter how beautiful, I might not have given it the scratchplate sniff test but then again, I'm not a bass player?   

And here it is, a thing of beauty, with it's new owner, the very lovely and very lucky John Woodhouse, we all owe him a debt of gratitude for the time and effort he put into the greatest Web Site for bands of the West Midlands of the 60's.  BRUMBEAT.NET.

He says he's not even going to change the strings. That's a nice thing from a great guy.  Its in good hands I think, I say "think" because John confessed to me in a moment of weakness that he had thrown a Selmer 50 watt Crocodile skin amplifier into a SKIP.

I wish I had someone like Mr Rex!!   

During the lockdown I went into the attic looking for old photos, as one does, and came across a photo of Mrs Bob, the woman I love, Mother to the Bobettes and General Builder and Plumber in residence.   I found several including the one below, which is of Mrs Bob and her family on holiday in Blackpool in 1960, the very year of the birth of Brumbeat and the swinging 60's.   Within a year I would be playing my first gig and she would develop a liking for The Bunty, that famous girls comic.  You can tell that she was 'before her time", in a fashion sense, for having John Lennon glasses before he was even famous.  She would have been great in The Shining.

She was from "up t'North" and me from Brum, we met in Newquay, Cornwall where she had spent some years as a bareback rider for Billy Smart.
She looked just the same but with a horse underneath her. It's no wonder I found her so irresistable.  Love the one you're with....

The UK is the greatest place on earth and dont you forget it!!


Copyright: Bullsheadbob

Monday, 1 March 2021

Bulls Head Bob Mar 2021 - Will the Real Megan Davies Stand Up, Get fit with BOB. Brenda Dovey-Bryan

Howdoo you Brummies and Associate Brummies, Mates around the world, Muso's lovers of great music,  60' Beat Fans



Should you type Bulls Head Bob into Google you will find me, rightly, topping the Google page but just lately I am being sought after by those who are seeking a fitness path which is not that strange when one has a perfect body like mine,  just ask Mrs Bob.  People often ask where did I get that stomach from?  

Now, Megan Davies is a Brumbeat hero for who I wrote an article on her fame as the Bass player for the 60's Brummie band The Applejacks adding that she was the first female bassist to ever feature in a successful rock band to boot!!  She was the only Megan I knew and went on to be a success in the nursing profession for many years but still plays.     However, like the old adage says "Theres another one behind", when referring to buses, we now appear to have a panoply of known Megan Davies'.  Megan the Bass above and below, Megan the singer and Megan the Muscle. 

Now I do have a greater affinity to the first two Megan's musically but thought I would take the opportunity to welcome the occasional readers seeking "Megan the Fit" and maybe pass on my own advice on developing a body shape for the older Musician in one easy lesson



Being forced to stay indoors can be detrimental to your health once you reach the "fuller figure" body shape but you don't have to go the gym to stay in condition, there are things around you at home that you can use to keep you in tip top form so let's forget them Covid Blues and 'get it on', starting by working on those bulging arm muscles and the Stomach.  No spandex leggings required either, not unless you're a heavy metal freak with a meagre wardrobe and terrible taste in clothing.

The objective of my own formulated regime is enjoyment, even for those old, fat Bass players who live on misery, re-soldering guitar leads and smoking weed.  They can only imagine their wife, girlfriend or boyfriend giving them admiring glances as the sweat runs off those big arm muscles whilst playing their "Axe"?  I mean, who ever gives a monkeys about Bass players?     I am a Singer and Lead Guitarist so naturally am accustomed to getting admiring and lustful glances from the ladies and the boys but that's no excuse or exemption from physical exercise over and above my hyper-active sex life which can be very demanding in calorie burning terms.  OK here we go!  

Get yourself in a comfy sitting position, with two glasses filled with liquid, one in either hand.  Now exhale whilst raising each glass to the mouth alternatively, left right, left right taking a small sip from each glass without spilling until they are empty.   If you're a novice start slowly and build up your speed and confidence or 'sip-rate' as we call it until your rythmic, airflow, sip-rate hits your own comfort zone.  You can then safely move on to a bigger glass size that holds about one pint of liquid or if you're brave start with the heaviest and "feel the burn".   I purchased the top of the range "four barrelled" set of equipment from Germany, which came with an assistant pictured below for when you want to concentrate on your stomach form and give your own arms a rest.  


I found that you can increase your metabolism to BURN THAT EXTRA FAT by watching Aston Villa games whilst "exersipping" although it can cause severe sweating, so maybe not something for the weak of heart.  Keep a towel handy..


The swinging 60's wasn't just about music and fashion it was a movement of radical change against those antiquarian attitudes of class ridden Great Britain.   It was powered by the youth breaking those social shackles and coming together as a movement breaking down barriers.    Birmingham was alive with music and good vibes, the better known bands would hang out at various nightclubs after gigging where we would be welcomed with open arms by the Fewtrells at the Cedar Club or Don Carless at the Elbow Room.   However, a few of us musos had another more exclusive hangout, "Sid and Brenda's ". 

They were a hip and 'arty' couple who knew all the great writers and artists and had the best and most modern music available.   Sid was an artist and importer of Indian instruments and Brenda was a complete music fan and seeker of truths with regard to religions and cults but more than that, was a soulful, funny, kind and warm person who would have me in stitches at times.  She was also the person who helped me recover from a dreadful period of my own life, when I had no-one.

When Traffic formed and moved to their farm in Hampshire Sid and Brenda would be regular visitors, privileged to hear them writing and playing things like Dear Mr Fantasy and other gems of that bands psychedelic era.   The photo of Brenda's is Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Brenda and Chris Wood at the farm.

Their marriage came to an end but I always kept in touch with Brenda even when I was living overseas.   We would always have a laugh whenever we spoke or met up occasionally.    I was shocked to my feet when, sadly, Brenda passed away in February.   She wasn't famous but she was a known face on the scene during the 60's who was loved by her many friends, musicians, freaks and 'night people' from Birmingham.   So goodbye old friend, you are always in my thoughts.

Should you be a friend of Brenda's and would like to be a part of her virtual service you can login live on 18 March 21, the service will be conducted by Dave Scott-Morgan and eulogy read by Gordon Jackson, see below for details and login details.


The Covid situation in the UK is the best in the world, the NHS is the best care system in the world and we are free from the mess that the Belgians and French et al are in thank goodness.    Me and Mrs Bob wish you all good health, happiness and peace.  

Get Burning that Fat but your Fitness kit in Great Britain


Copyright: Bullsheadbob.  


Monday, 1 February 2021

Bulls Head Bob Feb 2021 - THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN. Playing in Europe. NEVER GIVE UP ..DAVE HYNDS

 Hello Brummies and 60s Beat Fans

I left school in the Spring of 64, I had been 15 for 3 months so should have really  completed another term but they were glad to see the back of me, I held the record for truancy and when I did attend, I would do anything other than be studious apart from art and English.   I had spent my bouts of truancy well, reading any book I could get my hands on and learning more and more songs on the guitar, developing my "ear" for music to the point where I could hear something once and play it straight away in the right key.    There were songs that were a "must" to learn and master, Shakin all Over, Johnny B Goode and one of the best opening chord sequences to a song and that was The House of the Rising Sun.  

The Animals, a group from Newcastle had spent a few years playing the clubs and dance halls in various guises but finally found the right formula of musicians and one of those was guitarist Hilton Valentine who sadly passed away yesterday.   In 1964 The House of the Rising Sun was the song that gained them instant success around the world.  I saw them live that same year and they were awesome.  

When I first heard the opening staccato chord sequence it set the scene for what was about to come, it was pure drama,  ominous and dark.  I was hooked and in a trice I was at it like a hairy bear, 5 minutes later I had the riff and most of the organ solo transposed to guitar.  The group practiced it the day after and we played it on that night.  We had a singer who could not only sing it very well but had a definite " touch of Eric Burdon" about him so it suited us down to the ground and became one of our star numbers in the set.

The song has never lost its popularity.  The Animals had in its ranks the brilliant organist Alan Price whose solo on the song was and still remains to be brilliantly constructed and was probably the first epic solo on the legendary VOX continental organ.   The band were on the road every night wallowing in their new found fame and popularity and it was during this initial success that they found that Alan Price had claimed the copyright for royalties as the composer for the whole song and was receiving all the money.   There was, naturally, much animosity in the band as the song had been a joint adaptation by the whole group but Price stated it was his organ solo that sold the record.     The Animals continued recording and had 4 other hits but found themselves disliking Price while at the same time knowing that their sound was largely based around the organ sound.  Price left the band in 65 and Hilton Valentine in 66.  The Animals reformed on a couple of occasions but they really flexed their R&B muscles during the short 2 year period of their existence.  

The song was based on an old American folk song that had never been published before Prices claim.  Some say it's about hard times but most likely is in reference to a Womens Prison house for prostitutes in New Orleans where the inmates would serve out their sentences "working" for the Govt.

Everyone has recorded their own versions of this classic rock song and I imagine there will be many more versions, much like Shakin all Over and Johnny B Goode they are like a rite of passage for up and coming musicians.   Its disappointing that Eric Burdon and Alan Price got the lions share of the glory from those who love the song but Hilton Valentine was a MASSIVE contributor to the dynamics that made it one of the biggest  selling songs of all time.


The song has recently been tarnished by the American No 1 Clown that was Trump who played it at all his rallies.    

The Trump family made their money from prostitution. 


I am reading about bands not being able to play in Europe unless they apply for a Visa, what do they think happened before the EU?   Most small bands dont have the luxury of a sound and lighting rig with a host of techies.   It may have a detrimental effect on the larger bands who will have to pay out more for a large crew and I'm genuinely sorry for road crews, on minimum wages.  I take the positive view that we wont have to put up with all those crap Spanish groups and Romanian street buskers coming to the UK.



People become musicians at their own risk, it is and has always been the riskiest choice of career ever and it comes without preconditions or guarantees.  For every success story there are thousands of broken hearts, bands and dreams, it is the way of things.     There are only two ways to cope with the distress of failure in the biz and that is to pack up completely before your head gets bogged down with flashbacks or to sit down and rethink your strategy, keep playing and looking for opportunities but above all....  Never Give Up.     

That attitude is shared by ex Brumbeat Drummer and songwriter Dave Hynds.  Dave has earned his dues going back to the early sixties playing with The Cheetahs, Fairfield Ski and other bands in between and after.   Just recently Dave has announced that Fairfield Ski have signed a new record contract with the bands average age of 72!!   Dave is a great guy with grit and determination which never bends to the dark side of being a musician, I wish him and the other members of Ski great success and applaud their ever lasting belief.    


This covid is still a worry but the UK are far in front of other nations in carrying out their vaccination scheme at a rapid pace.    It's not an easy thing to achieve but they get my support all day, every day.

Take care and Keep Indoors 


Copyright: Bullsheadbob


Friday, 1 January 2021

Bulls Head Bob Jan 2021. Happy New Year. SLIDING. HARLEY BENTON, DAVID LINDLEY..

Hello Brummies, Brummie musos of the 60's now in their 70's, all of those around the world who check in to the blog and all the girls I've loved before.

Happy New Year!  Well 2020 was the year of high drama when everything could have gone "tits up" very quickly.  As if the Covid situation wasn't bad enough we had a would-be Hitler in the White house, lieing, cheating, setting families and races against each other whilst guiding pension funds into his own family coffers.   It felt good to be British, even though half the UK hated the other half who didn't want to be a part of the EU and some Jocks who don't want to be in the UK even though more than half of them voted to stay in the UK.  So, for the sake of equality and my own peace of mind I decided to hate everyone,  apart from Big Al and a few close friends, problem solved.  I hope that this year will see some resolve to get back on our feet again and return to some normality.     I had a wonderful fun Christmas despite not being able to hug and kiss my family. 

Santa delivered my Tascam 24 track SD recorder and I have been fathoming my way through its intricacies and many digital delights.  Strongly recommended purchase if you have some spare dosh.  For me, a much better option than some computer software.

On the run-up to Christmas I was pondering, as you do, what I could

give to certain folk and one problem was what to buy for my daughters partner who is a good guitarist and has a luthier built Telecaster plus a couple more tasty guitars plus a wondrous amount of expensive pedals and such.   The good thing was that, like me, he is a whole music lover and is happy to switch from jazz, to blues and rock and country so that broadened my options.    I opted to take a bit of a risk and buy him something moderately cheap, which is a word that doesn't feature in his vocabulary, so he might not like it.

I bought him a lap steel guitar and once again it is a Harley Benton.  I bought the HB Slider II from Thomann which came with a soft cover, lead and Steel for under a hundred pounds!     I can tell you now that he Loves it!    I'm not surprised either, when it arrived at home I checked it over and was amazed by its fabulous appearance, attention to detail and overall finish.  It's not at all what I expected for comparatively little money and after hearing him play it I am more than happy with its sound.   Back in the day you would have heard it only on things like "Sleepwalk" and it was regarded as some kind of novelty instrument however with guitarists like Dave Gilmour using one with Pink Floyd it gave it a touch more credibility and furthermore its sound featured heavily during the Jackson Browne and Crosby and Nash years.    

The person who provided that sound for our American cousins was the magnificent David Lindley who could be as hard and dirty as you like or soft and ethereal such as on Crosby and Nashs "Out of the Darkness". 

If you want to see one of these at its rockin' best watch Mr Lindley playing "Mercury Blues" on YouTube and any misgivings you may have about it being a seriously good instrument will be cast to the wind.    Remember this too, the Stratocaster with its tremelo arm was designed to mimic the sound of an Hawaian lap steel guitar.


I have been offered a lot of gigs during this virus riddled year and turned them all down, I play, to play "live" and to fully engage with the audience, not to have people seated 6 feet apart in a sterile environment or waiting to be told the gig has been cancelled.    We are all prisoners of the virus and although I feel for all the technical and sound crews who have been shelved until things improve, they are not the only ones to suffer....its most people.  Being a musician is the hardest of professions as it is with heavy financial investment for little or no return for the majority, even in the best of times, but earning or not, it doesn't remove the passion and love of making music so I live in hope that once we get playing again, that all you musos out there who have been honing your skills during this period of inactivity will come out refreshed, inventive and busting a gut to perform.  


I conclude this piece of frippery with a wish for peace, love, tolerance and understanding for all.  Thankyou to the NHS for everything they have done to try and improve peoples lives whilst putting themselves in danger on a daily basis.   I am exceptionally pleased that we have left the snake pit that was the EU but it struck me that the majority of younger Brits have never known what life was like before we were all institutionalised so I understand their fears.  Perhaps now as we forge ahead with our own destiny safely back in British hands they might even come to enjoy the pride of being British with all our technical and scientific knowledge and expertise in every field and let's not leaders in the music field and especially Brummie musicians and bands.    

Take Care of the Ones you Love,





Tuesday, 1 December 2020


Hello Brummies, Chums, Brummies Abroad, the lads in Thailand and Hong Kong everyone else around the world who pop in to the blog on the 1st of the month with a special Hello for my first reader in Benin!!

The world has been in a shocking state this year, Covid has well and truly shagged everything but it's Christmas time here in the bloggery, the door to soft twats who think the word should be replaced with something else to appease the multi cultural array of races in Birmingham is firmly closed.  


Christmas in the second city, as always, holds a soft spot in my past from queueing to see Father Christmas at John Lewis' as a 5 year old, as a 10 year old reading and devouring every page of the Bells of Surbiton music catalogue hoping that my Christmas gift might be an electric guitar, to eventually playing in a couple of great bands in the city on many Christmas Eve's when the largest dance halls would be packed to the gunnels with party goers and we would be paid a bit more dosh.  Those dance hall days were fantastic. 

This year there will be no dance halls throbbing to the sound of live music and even the Birmingham Christmas lights were switched on with next to no-one to see them.  I haven't played a single gig since last Feb or even met up with the rest of the band but we wont give in to this virus and getting back together will be a joyous moment for sure.

Mrs Bob and I are having our own Christmas Bubble, just the two of us and will be chatting on Facetime with the Bobettes throughout the day.    As announced last month, my TASCAM portastudio Christmas present is still under the bed awaiting Mrs Bob's lavish wrapping attention. She has been happy as Larry lately and has been singing so, quite unselfishly, as well as buying her a new dress, I have bought her a new condenser microphone, studio earphones and a set of balanced patch cables, I imagine she will be thrilled with them, Happy wife, Happy Life. 

If however she feels that that particular combo gift is not exactly what she expected I have a crowd pleaser as a second present which I was going to save for her birthday in January but I want to spoil her rotten this year so am giving her this little Ferrari Yellow.

I know you might think I have been a bit predictable and maybe even a little free with my spending, after all she already has a perfectly good barrow but I wanted her to have something to show off to the neighbours.  My mate, Fat Stan is coming round to do a bit of pinstriping just like Pimp my Ride, don't  you just love that low profile tyre?? 

Oggie has been a part of my life since the age of 11 and we started our electric guitar journey together,  first as Wannabe Hank Marvin's right through to the rise of the Liverpool bands and I can almost picture us learning "Sweets for my Sweet" in his front room on Kedleston Drive, such happy times.  He moved out to the USA where he lived for the next 40 years before returning to Brum some years ago.

Now he has never been a lover of the Christmas Festivities apart from going to the pub on Christmas day for a couple of bevvies but he always phones to wish me a Happy Christmas because he knows how I love it so much and I always send him a card via the blog so

The thing is, this year he might not even make it to the pub if things are locked down again so I have bought a special Christmas treat for him from America, for him to nibble on whilst watching The African Queen.  

Happy Christmas Oggie..

Happy Christmas to everyone who visits the blog, I'm sure we will all find different ways to celebrate, that is everyone except my lovely mate who has decided that no way is Santa getting in down his chimney without a covid check. 

I'm sure that he will join me in hoping for a quick resolution to this years woes when he can get out his Santa outfit again and we can ALL have a better year in 2021.  Starting with getting that racist Turkey out of the White House.

With the current restrictions life is difficult and even more precious so, do what you can to lessen the covid dread by keeping to small gatherings, we can't relax until the Injection arrives. 

Above all else please be tolerant and kind to each other, love is the key.


Copyright Bulls headbob

Sunday, 1 November 2020

BULLS HEAD BOB Nov 2020. SPENCER DAVIS. LICORICE LOCKING. How to get what you want for Christmas. TASCAM DP24 SD.

Hello Brummies, Pals and chums, readers in Vietnam, Khazakstan, Argentina and of course Pluki the Japanese loft-boy.

Well we continue to be in the grip of this Covid thing but I'm not going to linger on that subject because it serves no purpose.    Mrs Bob and I have repainted the house, the garden is immaculate and now we are on the run up to Christmas to cheer us up.  You gotta do what you gotta do whilst you're alive and be wise to be alive longer.


It has been a pretty disastrous end to October, the great Spencer Davis hung up his Stratocaster and departed the world at 81 years of age. 

Although I saw the band a few times, I met him only once in 1964 but I was 15 and he was a full 10 years older than I and a teacher!! it wasn't the done thing then to speak much to proper adults.  The Spencer Davis group were the best band by far of any group operating in Birmingham and the West Midlands at any given time, there was just no contest and Spencer Davis was their creator and mentor.  The groups success lacked one thing though, money.  Their Royalties had been siphoned off by manager Chris Blackwell.    With the departure of Steve Winwood to Traffic the Spencer Davis group continued but it was a downhill slide from their previous level of stardom.  In the later years Spencer came out of retirement and hit the stage again but it was never the same, playing mostly for those who wished to remember the 60's but he was the person that saw the potential of those individuals and bought them together to play the music he adored and Steve Winwood was the icing on the cake. 

I have featured them throughout the lifetime of this blog and really can't add anymore than I have already written so, if I may,  I would like to redirect you to the special I wrote on them rather than repeat myself.  Click here SPENCER DAVIS GROUP
............."what a great read Bob" I can hear you say to yourself, "thanks" said I.

He was Welsh but was the leader of the best live Blues R/B band to exist in Birmingham and probably the whole of the UK at the time.  It was a real privilege to see loads of great bands in those small Birmingham venues but this group blew me away, and every other band too!!!!!!


Us early Brumbeaters were brought up listening to The Shadows and learned by copying, note-for-note, the music they played.  Jet Harris was their most famous Bassist having been the initial member of the band and I think the public think of any replacement as second class to the original which is wierd.  However Locking had as good a pedigree as Harris having been the bassist with Marty Wilde and The Wildcats and was a regular at the famous 2i's.  He was a multi instrumentalist and got his nickname playing the clarinet.   He was recommended to the band by Brian Bennett who had just replaced Tony Meehan on Drums.

He was in The Shadows for one year and during that time made the film of Summer Holiday, Cliff and The Shads biggest film.  Always had a smile on his face he was the complete antithesis of the guy he replaced and was a committed christian.  He was replaced by Birminghams own John Rostill who became their longest serving bassist.



Because we have been staying inside since March, we have been able to save up some dosh that we would have spent socially so I said to Mrs Bob,  "Darling, how slim you look in that dress, is it new? Well you make it look new! I would like to buy you a nice new dress for Christmas!! and she said "Oh Mr Bob you have'nt lost your romantic touch, thankyou!!" and gave me the sort of look that could only end up in some physical contortions.  3.5 minutes later, oh alright 2.5 and feeling slightly out of breath she said "I want to buy you a nice big present too!!......"Well if you really want and ACTION.... "I'd really like a new 24 multi-track digital recorder but thats out of reach so I'll write to Santa as usual Ho ho ho."

After lunch whilst sipping a nice glass of port, we wrote together, a letter to Santa asking for a new recording device and where it might be obtainable from and then how we laughed as we stuck it up the chimney.  

I have been using an AKAI Pro DPS16 forabout 20 years and it is a fabulous piece of kit but is

now beginning to show its age with a sticking fader and a couple of other minor irritating problems so before it starts to conk out completely a replacement is necessary and instead of taking the normal computer interface-thing route, I have continued to opt for "something a little more comfortable", which is essential if you are a hands-on fader freak like me!   I sent Santa (Mrs Bob) that note 2 months ago saying I specifically wanted a......... 


This machine is 5 star rated and is now the best of its kind on the market, the main step up in tech terms, is the ability to record direct to a digital 32G card in place of a CD-RW which saves a lot of storage space both digitally and physically, no more racks of CD's with bits of compositions on waiting for a second spark of inspiration.

It is almost a copy of the AKAI in that the controls are practically the same for recording but now it is bang up to date technically and its extensive 24 track recording abilities, along with its impressive inbuilt effects suite has everything you could want for in a dedicated, stand alone, recording package.  I think of it as an analogue recorder more than a computer recording option.  It is totally portable and can be used for live performances too, thanks to its robust and solid construction, mighty impressive guys!!   Having a smaller control screen is not too much of a trade off for its portability, it can be used in any room of the house, or dog house if the lady in your life tells you pipe down when she's watching something crap like X Factor!    

You can record straight away and listen to the playback via headphones or get yourself a pair of monitors preferably, active monitors if you wish to listen to a studio quality loud playback, add a condensor microphone and you're away.  In true Bob techno-speak it has "oodles of inputs" so you can record your band too, at the same time.   More importantly, it will give you continued free recording time.  So now you will be able to knock out all those tunes you play and/or concentrate on writing and recording your own material with the ability to record something "on the spur of the moment" at the push of a button.   We currently have time on our hands and it would be good to use the time wisely being creative.  If you are not familiar with using one of these stand alone devices there is a brilliant range of tutorials on Youtube that will have you up and running in next to no time.   Around 400 to 500 quid and there you are. It is in demand and in some places you will have to preorder.  Mrs Bob already has mine and its under the bed in its box and being a Santa believer I'm sure the box is empty right now and will magically fill itself on Christmas night and I hope that he has had a hand in giving it a touch of magic when I make my first recording with it.

I shall continue to use the brilliant AKAI DPS16 along-side the new kid in town until it fizzles out some grey day.

So I'm pleased to have passed onto you the phrase to get what you want for Christmas, a shag and a glass of port too!  It only works once so use it sparingly and if over a certain age loosen belt, apply blue pill and lean forward!  REMEMBER...

" Oh Darling, how slim you look in that dress, Is it new? well you make it look new!...... I'd like to buy you a new dress for Christmas?

I dont know if the phrase works with the panoply of gender neutral, left side trouser wearers or straight up gays and lesbians but for the average older man/woman situation its DYNAMITE!!


My heart goes out to anyone who or whose family has been affected by this vile virus, it is a timely and recurring reminder to humanity of exactly how fragile we truly are and are not the kings of our own destiny.   Please be kind and thoughtful to each other

FINALLY, finally

7-2 ...7-2.....7-2    UTV...Super Jack 


Copyright: Bullsheadbob