Saturday, 1 August 2015


Howdoo Brummies, Muso's, Boozers and Cruisers,

August is upon us so we can hope for some more lovely tanning weather for another month, so say the weathermen.    Mrs Bob is still in the holiday mood and has bogged off to the sun drenched avenues of Aston B6 to stay with her sister Blanchette, very exotic, whilst I don my Builders hat, tool belt and lower my levi's for the obligatory bumcrack and start knocking seven bells out of the kitchen.  I did the fireplace last year which won me 'grace and favour' from Mrs Bob for the year and now it's time to launch myself and my aching muscles at the bricks and mortar once again.       

So with a set of speakers wrapped in bin bags placed in the kitchen the challenge between my delicate musician fingers and cement began.  I have to say though that it's brilliant!   Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits belting out in perfect time with my lump hammer attack on the walls and old units.   "You got a lotta nerve, to say you are my friend" cutting and stinging like a stiletto.   Wow!, this physical stuff is good therapy.

Next on the audio list are all The Beatles LP's, vynil, one after the other with the aim to demolish all of the ancillary parts of the kitchen and units by the time I get to the White Album then, the wall goes down to Helter Skelter and Why Don't we Do It in the Road.   Yeah! Vinyl and volume, can't beat it guys.  Let's not forget that particular composer of those Beatles Heavy Classics...thanks Paul.

When I was a young sproglet of 14 or 15, I would venture forth, wearing my mohair jumper into the night and go to as many dance halls, youth clubs, boozers, swimming baths as I could walk to, to catch sight of the many groups playing there as I could.  It was the only way to learn in those days.    It wasn't just to learn guitar chords or phrases either, there was stagecraft to absorb.
If you wanted to be regarded as a 'proper group' then you would all have the same clothes, use the same make of amplifiers and have a singer as a front man with the group playing a handful of Shadows instrumentals, Watkins Copycat on full repeat echo for The Savage or FBI!!

All this is seen as quite naff these days but, I kid you not, it was full of excitement for us who experienced those first days of ELECTRIC live music.   
It was as good as it got for it's time and we really need to remember that this was the beginning of it all.    The whole concept and make up of a group in those early British days was roughly based upon the model of Cliff Richard and The Shadows and Elvis.
You wouldn't have been disappointed then, if you had gone to see one of Birminghams finest groups of the day, Johnny Neal and The Starliners, to fulfil all of the above qualities.   Johnny's voice was a powerful one, lusty and deep-throated at times. He was one of the very first Rock and Rollers in Birmingham and a lot of fine musicians went through the ranks of The Starliners.
A real highlight of his career was on TV's Opportunity Knocks and had some good success off the back of his performances on that programme with the record release "Put your Hand in the Hand".   Bizarrely he also was known for his long sideburns and it was evident from the picture below that it was a requirement if you wanted to play in that particular band.

The particular line up who did the Opportunity Knocks shows were (L to R)  Roger Craythorne (Drums), Johhny Neal, Barrie Gray, Bass, Graham Sideley, Keyboards and Geoff Nicholls, Guitar/keyboards/arranger. 

Johnny Neal and Starliners on Opportunity Knocks!!
Johnny was a real polished act and his stage presence was enormous. With his Billy Daniels influences he fitted naturally into the cabaret scene where he earned a good living for many a year, particularly in South Africa as a star of the hotel cabaret environment.   

I'm pleased to say that Johnny (Noga to his mates) who now lives back in Birmingham has just celebrated his 80th Birthday!! and I'm sure there are many old Brummies around who would also wish you well Noga....inhale, that's all you've got to do.   
Johnny and Maggie celebrating.
Amazing man of Brummie Rock history.....glad you're still with us Noga.  Here's to the next one.


A brumbeat musical career which included groups such as ELO and The Uglys, Brummie muso and songwriter, Dave Scott-Morgan is dusting off his cobwebs and, although a tad early to announce, will be playing a gig in September at the following venue: 

Now I can tell you from personal knowledge that Dave is a funny guy, hence his "Morganisation" pun, I could hardly control myself?  He is a very talented songwriter and musician with a grand voice, he can fly aeroplanes and has an extremely nice partner, Mandy.    I am sure that the concert will be full of jocularity, harmony, reminiscences and wonderful music and he has also thoughtfully planned it as an afternoon performance so he can catch up on his beauty sleep afterwards.  

I like the man and we shared some good times together.   You know where the venue is, so get yourself a ticket now and avoid the rush to see this Brumbeat survivor.   Might even be there me'self?

Right chaps and chapesses.  Clouds of dust are settling in the kitchen so I'm just gonna knock some shit out of it, Pizza ordered for 9 o'clock, six pack in the fridge!!!


Copyright:  Bullsheadbob


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