Thursday, 30 April 2020

BULLS HEAD BOB May 2020. Rare Guitar Solo!!! The Band..documentary. Robert Plant...what a good man.

Howdoo you Brummies,

I won't bother going into whys' and wherefores of the virus thingy, suffice to say that Mrs Bob and I have been secluded in our humble abode thanking our lucky stars for what we have had and have enjoyed throughout our life together, being locked down does nothing to dent that because we have been joined at the hip for 48 years and dont need anyone else, and I dont need to go out to make me happy.    When the lockdown was announced, I being one who takes notice of Goverment Orders shut the doors straight away "I WILL OBEY AND SO SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE, NO EXCEPTIONS".   
If only Mrs Bob had heard that same radio announcement whilst she was in the backyard!   She was up to her armpits in raw sewage following a blockage occasioned by too much Guiness over a 3 day period.  She had to choose that precise moment of the broadcast to pop her head into the drain cover for a closer look, how could she be expected to have heard it?  She couldn't have possibly made it indoors by the time I'd locked up. 

After I'd given her a good telling off for not being alert in times of emergencies I passed her my best sleeping bag and a gorilla mask I'd been given by one of The Bobettes for Christmas, out of the window, just in time for her to get out of the cold rain and into the shed.  That was 3 weeks ago, I see her now and then, particularly in the dark, creeping around the garden looking for food and hiding from the Police.  What really pisses me off though is that the drain is still blocked!!  Still,  dont worry about me, I've found a large bucket.
As I have some time on my hands, gig wise, I started writing out a new set list of songs from my past that I hadn't played before with the band, or in some cases, ever!    When I was a sprog I knew all the Shadows tunes mainly because, in those early days I didn't sing and had no desire to either.   However, I soon realised that if you sang a romantic song you became more popular with the girls, it spurred me on to open me gob hole more often, so bollocks to guitar solos I thought.

I mastered the art of harmonising and always sang the top harmony on our string of Everly Brothers songs like "Let it be Me".  A guaranteed tear jerker for the young girls at The Mermaid, Sparkhill or some youth club in Gornal, my name would be written in lipstick on the van with hearts and kisses.....Let it be ME!!!   

I guess the top song for me then, that included some vocals and a guitar solo was the 1958 song "Move it" by Cliff Richards, the best Rock song by a British artist pre "Shakin All Over" a couple of years later   So I wrote Move It down on the set list which made think of other Cliff songs, during his early years till I got to1962,
"It'll be Me", a Jerry Lee Lewis cover but with a much more fiery arrangement.   I'd forgotten all about that one, a fine song although the lyrics are a bit stupid at times I crossed Move It off the list.    I then read a bit more about the song and discovered to my amazement that the guitar solo had been played by Bruce Welch!!    What?? Bruce Welch?  The rhythm king.    

The solo is not really worth mentioning in the context of Rock musicality but I was amazed why not Hank?  I still don't know why, perhaps one of you guys could help with he answer to that?

I spent time scouring social media looking for a clip of them playing the song and the only one I found had Hank doing the duties.   It's not a world changing event but it is one for the pop quizzers amongst you.

THE BAND documentary.
From the earliest rock and pop to the latter end of the 60's and we arrive at probably the best band of that decade The Band.   From Bob Dylans backing group to massive stardom in their own right,  "Music from the Big Pink" being idolised by a host of musicians including Eric Clapton who flew to Woodstock with the intention of trying to join the group.

Their second album "The Band Played On" is and was the best release they had and would have been hard to better.  It was probably the first themed album based on the
difficult days of rural America and particularly the Southern states.    The Bands main songwriter Robbie Robertson was Canadian and had no knowledge of those days but having a sidekick like drummer and main vocalist Levon Helm who had lived through those difficult times, was like an awakening and he shared events that gave ideas, truth and inspiration to the music with which they scored such a massive success.   The archetypical Classic Album.   There wasn't, in truth, much more to come from the group and their later Albums didn't set the world on fire.  They were just individual songs lacking reality.

Well The Band broke up with a farewell concert and documentary "The Last Waltz" where Robertson stated that they couldn't continue because "they were a casualty of being on the road".   

Robertson released a solo album and went back out on the road on his own.   

Many years of hurt then followed with Levon protesting that all the royalties for that classic album, largely inspired and narrated by Helm, went to Robertson and he got
nothing.    Something he had an artistic right to complain about but was never recompensed, sadly Levon, the brightest star of that group passed away a few years ago,
So, now there is another documentary about The Band except it is now called "Once were Brothers" - Robbie Robertson AND The Band.   I imagine that Robertson timed this  to make his excuses without the worry of being contradicted from the former members that have now passed on with the exception of Garth Hudson.    I have no intention of seeing it..  

The title in itself is sufficient to show what a cowardly, ego soaked tit, Robertson is.

I want to give Robert a thankyou for his personal help in his neighbourhood
during this lockdown.   Heros dont need publicity.
As if by magic I just saw that Planty and Co did a version of "It'll be Me".  How the wheels turn.....

We will be back on the streets soon enough if we all pull together.  Keep Safe
Especially you Brumbeat musicians.


Copyright BullsHeadBob

Friday, 3 April 2020


Hello Playmates, Brummies, Mates Abroad especially in Spain right now,

"The blog's late","Where are you Bob?" "What no blog?"..... thankyou for your emails!!  Yes the blog is late.  It has nothing to do with the virus, I'm glad to say.   I would like to say that it's late because I've been busy recording with McCartney on a new project called 'I Wish I was Bob".   Mmmm, no that's a lie.   It's very boring but I'm afraid to say that 4 days ago whilst getting up out of my chair my back went wonky, just like that.   " "Ah young Bob, you have Wonky back" said the Dr.     So, since then I have been flat on my wonky back waiting for it to get better.  I am still in that position today and right now I am typing this on a tablet suspended above me.  Not the best thing but I always try to get the blog done no matter what!

Billy Fury was probably the most exciting of the 50's Rock Stars, he must have been the greatest because my Dad used to say he was "filthy" and "scum". Probably like the parents attitude to the Sex Pistols during the punk days.  Anything that pushed against the staid moral principles and attitudes of those early days of R and R, bearing in mind that in those days too it was considered unlady-like for a female to whistle in public, how funny.    I bought his LP The Sound of Fury which I still have and like a lot.  It never occurred to me then what a ground breaking achievement he had made by getting an LP made full of his own material, something that never happened back then.   Quite incredible.    I met Billy Fury on a couple of occasions when we were on the same bill  and he was a really nice guy, sexy, charismatic and good looking.  

I have mentioned this before but wanted to bring to your attention the book 'Halfway to Paradise' by the great partnership of Brummies David and Caroline Stafford who give us the fine detail of this great Rockers life.   Highly recommended read to pass some time away these days.

So, Mr Dylan has released a new single "Murder Most Foul" as a way of thanking his loyal Fans who have followed him for all these years, its 17 minutes long about the death of JFK or should I say his thoughts on the death of JFK.   Bob Dylan has written wondrous songs crafted and considered, forged out of torment and disappointment with society or soul searching to explain his lost love for the various women who have passed through his life which, in turn, we have adopted as unwritten diary entries in our own existence, our special song that we play endlessly in our times of melancholy.   "North Country Fair"  or "Just Like a Woman" for example.      

I am somewhat perplexed at Murder Most Foul in many ways.  The Press announced it as his first original song in 8 years, but read on a little and you find it's something he wrote 'some time ago' and it sounds like it too.   To me it sounds like he recorded an idea for a song that he might return to another day when he would either consider its potential merits of just dump it.  The backing is demo quality, no melody line to speak of and the lyrics are dolloped out like cold porridge.   

I think its mediocre at best, no I don't,  I think its rubbish.  How this can be considered as a gift to his fans escapes me? perhaps he doesn't like his fans too much and is fed up with the constant questions about what a certain line "really means". There is no ambiguity here, it's simple text.  A mate said that it's full of code and needs interpretation.  I think it's full of shit and with all that's wrong with the world today I simply don't want to waste my precious time on it.......  it will probably feature in Steve Gibbons set list which will give you time to take a nap.

There are songs that disappear into the past then, all of a sudden, pop into your head and you think how good it was and one of those for me is "That's What I want" by The Marauders.

The Marauders hailed from Stoke on Trent and were lucky to get this early Carter/Lewis song to record which was a minor hit, reaching 43 on the charts of 1963.
It was really perfect for the times and its production by Peter Attwood and arranger Mike Leander was superb, even now it sounds good especially the bass and drum sound.  A medium paced rocker, this would gave been a massive hit had it been recorded by The Searchers for example.   It is probably one of the first records to feature a 12 string guitar albeit an acoustic and the hook line of the chorus Thats What I Want is punchy and memorable.

There were great groups around the Midlands but at that time everyone was focussed on the bands coming out of Liverpool courtesy of the Fabs which unfortunately had a diminishing effect for the midlanders.  They had three more releases and called it a day in 65.  There were so many bands then that you had to be very lucky, have a brilliant agent or exceptional talent to get recognised and unfortunately it just wasnt their time.  Give it a listen.

We old brumbeaters are in the danger zone, age wise, from this terrible virus and no doubt some aren't going to make it through this thing, including me   However we can all do things to lessen that possibility by being sensible, you all know about the distancing and particularly remaining indoors etc so I wont harp on about it but I think constantly about the musicians that I knew and loved back in the 60s in Birmingham and I hope that I have been able to highlight some of those bands who otherwise might not have not got a mention at all.    I wish you all well for the future.

I received a phone call, late at night, a couple of days ago from a dear friend who had been on the same musical adventures with me right from our school days.  We had both struggled, coming from financially poor families.   He phoned to say he was now getting short of breath and was close to death and wanted to take the opportunity to thank me for being a friend and for doing some things for him in the past.  He didn't sound breathless though so the next day I asked another mate to check on him.
It turned out he had suffered an attack of Jamesons disease, the whole bottle in fact, this had been aided by that rarest of infections, Boddingtonsitis.    Luckily for us both he has made a total recovery, I'm glad he's still alive and treasure the fact that he had called me to say goodbye, a true friend indeed.

Sorry there are no images in this blog, just too difficult to do on yer back!!

Take Care out there, I promise I shall be doing my best to stay alive too!



Copyright: BullsheadBob