the Sparkhill Feminist league.
Yahoo!!!!! The kitchen's finished, Mrs Bob is ecstatic and I am static...aching in every joint, gouges out of my delicate musician hands, paint still sticking some of hair together but I don't mind that, at least I still have hair, unlike some of my old contemporaries. I can now relax and get into the spirit of the upcoming Christmas season.
So....light the lights, start the music, warm up the mince pies and bring on the Brandy.
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!!!!!
It's great to buy gifts for your loved ones and every year we have the same struggle for originality in our gift choices. So, if you want to add a bit of a Brummie feel to your Christmas, here's a couple of small things that you could buy.
I've never been a great Jeff fan but do acknowledge that he has written some fabbo tunes in his time, right back from The Idle Race days. This year has seen the release of his 'Alone in the Universe' CD and it is a nice piece of work, I have to say.
Jeff has re-recruited Richard Tandy as the only surviving member from the original ELO into his new band and is doing gigs, I bet some of the old ELO band were sitting with crossed fingers hoping to get a call from His High Jeffness and were sick at being excluded from any future forays into the world of pop with the beardy one.
Anyway it's a nice CD so would be good in someones stocking no doubt.
It's been a long time since Jeff's early Brumbeat days with The Andicaps playing his old Burns sonic guitar.
|Jeff (r) with The Andicaps|
This great CD is not Tony playing but is a tribute to him by other artists to celebrate his Black Sabbath days, when being Riffy didn't mean you had nits!!
All the proceeds from this CD go to the Macmillan Cancer Trust and is definitely a good CD to buy to help all those who are suffering from this illness and raising funds for this amazing charity is something which is close to Tony's heart.
So if Metal is "yer bag man" then get one of these CD's right now!!!! Happy Chriffmas Tony.
STIRCHLEY MUSIC EXCHANGE
If you are in a mind to buy a loved one a musical instrument for Christmas or maybe buying a small stocking filler for your Muso mate then you can do no better than get it from one of Brums last independent music shops namely Stirchley Music Exchange located on the Pershore Road where great personal service is a guarantee! Moreover, if you are new to music and not familiar with music terminology or what the 'tech specs' of a certain make of instrument are, you won't find yourself being 'talked down to' buy some faceless member of staff of some big music shop.
Steve Warburton or Bob Styler are always at hand to help with any enquiries. Bob has been playing music since I can remember and he is, 100 per cent, a Brumbeater of the old school having been vocalist for The Yamps and Traction. I have to warn you though that owing to his later days doing cabaret he might tell you one or two of his jokes whilst you're in the shop. Crap they might be, but on Christmas Day as you pull your cracker and read the motto inside you'll see where he got most of his act from.
The shop deals mainly in
entry-level guitars but also stocks an amazing range of small things that the bigger shops don't stock and has a range of second hand musical instruments where you can find a REAL gem of a bargain rather than buy something new and nasty for the same price.
A recent sale at the shop was for a vintage Gibson ES125 signed by BB King AND Peter Green that had been brought in to sell, so you never know what's available unless you get your ass down there and have a look. You might even get a cup of coffee but doubt if they will run to mince pies.
"Well Hello there, it's been a long, long time".
The opening line to "Ain't it Funny How Time Slips Away", a favourite song of
mine, is one that was on my mind today as I wrote this bit of the blog because today was Brenda Bosworth's funeral.
Birmingham's own 'Little Miss Dynamite", reflecting her similarity in stature and voice of the USA's Brenda Lee, sadly passed away recently. I think she was probably the first female singer that all the musicians in Birmingham respected during the late fifties and early sixties, a time when most female singers in the UK were quite lightweight in their vocal styles and only a very few ever got to make a big name for themselves.
It's a shame that she didn't.......the original pocket rocket, her voice was three times the size of her diminutive frame and had a natural tinge of that motown sound.
Brenda had been in several bands in her time and supported The Beatles during their, Love Me Do and Please Please Me days, whilst being the vocalist for The Grasshoppers and spent some time talking with The Beatles back stage with
In the very first blog I wrote many years back I stated the she was the best vocalist from Brum bar none. Times and styles have changed vastly since those Brumbeat days when she was at her best and really set the stage alight. I'm sure she could have held her own with anyone today.
She spent many years after the Traction days playing the working men's clubs, cranking out covers and standards as part of the cabaret group Fruit and Nuts which, incidentally also featured guitarist, Mick Adkins, a former member of The Andicaps along with Jeff Lynne. I thought she was wasted doing that but she enjoyed every minute of it and the folks she sang to enjoyed every minute of her too, she was a lovely Brummie, with a great Brummie sense of humour.
Bye Brenda and thanks for the times that I stood, mesmerised, by your amazing voice and charmed by your wonderful character.
|Brenda Bosworth and top left Mick Adkins|
About a month ago I was browsing on EBay, dreaming of what Mrs Bob might want to buy me for Christmas, as you do, and whilst looking at all those beautiful instruments for sale, I came across a Partscaster with a starting price of 90 pounds. It comprised of a Fender Licensed Maple neck attached to a Fender Squier sunburst Stratocaster body.
It was pretty late at night and I'd had a couple of beers and some herbal jazz, so my judgement could have been considered 'impaired' in the parlance of the boys in blue, but I couldn't get over the fact that there were no bids for it. To buy the neck alone would have been around 80 to 100 pounds, so I thought, well if the electrics are crap which they normally are, then I'll change them as I had done with a Classic Vibe Telecaster a couple of years ago, so with the last seconds counting down and no bids above 90 quid I bought it.
The guitar duly arrived and I am more than pleased with it and although the electrics work OK they do lack a little depth so I have now been looking at replacement electrics and have been "talking to myself" within earshot of Mrs Bob saying what a wonderful Christmas it would be if I can open a box on Christmas Day and feast my eyes on some new pick ups. I don't know if my ploy will work but, if so, I will then set work to make this little bargain my own.
If not I will be be going to Stirchley Music Exchange to see how they can help me out, I'm sure I heard that Bob Styler had the Clapton mid boost taken out of his Strat so maybe there's a deal in the offing there.
I'm looking forward to this challenge and will keep you informed of my progress after the New Years festivities.
It wouldn't be the Christmas blog without my card to Oggie. Oggie doesn't believe in Christmas or in Father Christmas either!!! As you may know, my cards of the past have been mostly of scantily clad young ladies, in an effort to cheer him up a bit.
This year I have taken into consideration his age and the consequences of what a scantily dressed blonde might do to his heart rate and so have come up with the perfect solution and practical too. I have decided to give him something he could well do with.....every old mans friend, a HAND WARMER for him to use on Christmas Day when he's traipsing down the road to the pub to meet up with those other sad gits who don't celebrate Christmas either. So:
HAPPY CHRISTMAS OGGIE
NO NO NO!!!! I can't do that to him.
Here is the alternative Hand Warmer Oggie, being demonstrated by Father Christmas himself, what better way to keep your spirits up and your hands warm: Happy Christmas mate.
So folks despite the troubles in this world, that seem to be on the boil at the moment, we can only live one day at a time so make sure you and your loved ones are safely tucked in for the winter months and spare a thought for those who are not as fortunate as you.
A special Happy Christmas to John Woodhouse, the Skiffle King, Nobber and the Gang of Four at the boozer and all those musicians, be they angels or devils, from my past as a Brumbeat musician.
Bless you all.