Well I'm flippin' flabbergasted at the amount of people who died during December, some real icons that had been a part of all our lives musically or artistically and in particularl, I was choked to hear the news that Henry Heimlich had died. (exit stage left).
There's a line in the media and politics about certain times "Being a good day to bury things", normally in relation to bad announcements, tax rises, pension cuts and the like. I'm sure that some of that bad news was quietly slipped in behind the various masks of tragedy and we will, no doubt, be paying for it sooner or later.
Mrs Bob and I, without any of the Bobettes had a lovely warm and cosy Christmas and it was sublime and I thank you for your Christmas messages too so, on with the motley!!
At this juncture I should say that for reasons beyond my control certain passages of this blog have decided to appear in differing colours!
THE BEST OF BOB -
THE FIRST TEN YEARS ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL.
I don't believe that even Old Moores Almanac could have predicted that I would still be doing this blog after 10 years but its a fact...I'm now officially an anniversarial statistic. Ten years of talking bollocks, bringing the news about anything to do with that time frame of the musical innards of Birmingham and it's environs during the most active and exciting music times of the century, the 60's. The greatest days of art, fashion, literature and live music ever!!
When I turned up for my first day at Brumbeat Towers, John Woodhouse allocated me a small cupboard space in the far corner of his palacial office and said "Bob, say what you like but don't upset anyone" followed by "There'll be no 'goings-on', going on or off, not on or off my watch!". I forgave him his poor
grammar and got stuck in.
Now it may not have gone un-noticed that I don't say much about Carl Wayne and The Vikings, The Move or ELO and thats because every fibre of their story is well covered by the ELO fraternity. It did however, give me a chance to highlight some of the lesser known but still great bands that careered around the West Midlands in their vans night after night and doing that has been a real pleasure. Many of those bands deserved greater fame than they got and if not for a twist of fate here or a touch of bad luck there, they would have 'made it' plus of course, if you were'nt in London your chances were slim. Music is a tough business to be in no matter what era.
Anyway in the time honoured tradition of anniversarial bodies I thought it appropriate to reminisce a little and re-visit a couple or three of my favourite blogs in no particular order, because they were just fun to write. Click on the title links:
1. HAS A MIRACLE HAPPENED?
2. JUBILEE CONCERT 2012
3. THE BASS PLAYER SPECIAL
4. POP GEAR VANS OF THE 60's
ICONS IN THE HISTORY OF ROCK N ROLL.
I had the great pleasure of interviewing two icons of British Rock history, namely Alex Wharton and Brian Gregg about the recording of two of the best British recordings of the early days which, even now, stand the test of time, both of them raw and soulful in their own way. Alex for his tenacious production of one of the best Brummie R&B Bands of the day, the awesome Moody Blues with their massive hit 'Go Now' and Brian for his part in the writing and recording of Shakin All Over. Both of these 'In the Snug'interviews are available to read by clicking below:
In the Snug Interviews.
It is pertinent to note that both of these brilliant guys were among the first founding fathers of the British Rock scene and both emanated from the legendary 2i's coffee bar in Soho London.
Guys like this were my inspiration at the birth of rock and roll. It all started there and I was a goggle eyed disciple. It may have been musically simplistic but any kid with a cheap guitar could stand in front of a mirror and become their 6.5 Special heroes, or at least try.
Les Hobeaux with Brian rear left.
I thank them both from the bottom of my heart for being so accommodating.
One of the best things about writing the blog has been that I have managed to reconnect some people with each other who started off as young lads playing together in groups that emerged from the introduction of the electric guitar, which started the age later to be called Brumbeat. They were the happiest days of my young life and of many others too. I'm equally pleased to say that I am still in contact with those who I forged my early musical alliances with and played all those fantastic gig's during our heady Group days. Driving from Birmingham through thick smog and driving snow to get to some Black country gig was all part of that journey we went through, in all manner of vans and buses, no heaters, probably no windscreen wipers, doors that fell off, engines dropping out, dodgy managers.
I'm happy to say I'm still playing and enjoying the fruits of my musical labours over the many years
I don't know how much longer I can carry on trawling through stuff to write on a monthly basis but am glad I started it.
Many thanks to John Woodhouse and all you guys who have contacted me over the past 10 years.
Have a brilliant 2017 and don't make resolutions you can't keep.