Friday, 28 December 2007
Thursday, 27 December 2007
I also believe that she should have an opportunity to put her point of view directly and have copied an email received from her which does that very eloquently.
The video was actually removed by YouTube themselves following Sonja's complaint.
It is sad that people misunderstand the obligations I have (and my husband had).Neither my husband nor I ever lived in riches, because of people taking his music and his name without authorization since he was a teenager - and not much has changed since then!
Only a few musicians can make a living without another side job. My husband John was a music pro, he made a living with his music. That was his life, his love and his ONLY occupation, which is why he brought it to perfection! A job he tremendously enjoyed, but that job needed to feed his family, pay the car insurance, pay the mortage etc. A professional musicians has no second leg to stand on, and most, like my late husband, can hardly make a living with it. If it weren't for my job and the kennel we ran, he would have had to quit music years ago - so far about being money grabbing!!
Maybe people can understand this, if you think of your own job: You do it, you like it (hopefully) - but just because you like it and people are happy with your service or product - you still have to make a living, right? Especially if you have only ONE job!
I did not ask Alan to take the video off. I did not ask him for money to use the name! I asked him not to use the trademark name without written authorization.
If somebody wants to ride your bike, you also would at least like to be asked for permission - I assume!?
Strangely when it comes to any form of art, people change their views, as if a car mechanic has more rights to get paid for his job then a musician for his product or time. But maybe only the families of professional musicians can understand what that means. If a man devotes as much time to music as my husband did in his life, there is not time for much else, not even for another job to pay the living expenses for a family. My husband, like many other musicians, was a family man too, with obligations to take care of his family, and that obligation fell upon me now.
It is hard enough to be a widow, harder to be a widow of a famous man that still needs to stand up for herself and her family like her deceased husband would have done, because fame and money do not always go hand in hand...
John was not just a musician, he was a family man, and I have to be the man in the house now that he is gone. If people do not understand my obligation, it is too sad, but there is nothing else I can do...But all this is straying from the subject.
Again: I never asked Alan to take the video off, I simply asked him to respect the fact that Johnny and the Hurricanes is a trademark protected name, and that it will be (also in the UK and the rest of Europe) for the following 10 years, when the next renewal is up.
widow of Johnny Paris (Johnny and the Hurricanes)
Friday, 21 December 2007
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.
It has come to our attention that you have used the "Johnny and the Hurricanes"® federally registered trademark in connection with music performances or other entertainment services.
Simply stated, you have no right to use the "Johnny and the Hurricanes"® trademark (or any of the other trademarks that are owned by Sonja Paris) in any manner. If you continue to use any of these trademark without authorization, you will be subject to a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Please govern your conduct accordingly. If you have any questions, we suggest you contact your own attorney for advice. If any improper use by you of the "Johnny and the Hurricanes"® trademark or any of the other trademarks owned by estate is discovered, prompt action will be taken.
Johnny and the Hurricanes, Inc.
I have replied as follows:
I have removed the offending video although it was very obvious that there was no attempt to portray our musicians as being connected in any way with Johnny and the Hurricanes.
It was simply a clip from a monthly jam session where friends from the Sixties play the music they love and occasionally raise money for worthwhile causes along the way. No payment of any kind is requested or given to the participants.
On the other hand many people have been introduced to Sixties music in this way and I am sure back catalogue record sales, including yours, have benefited.
Our members will be deeply saddened, as I was, by the attitude taken by yourselves.
Suffice to say we will not be playing, discussing or listening to any more of Johnny and the Hurricanes work - in fact I don't even think his name will be mentioned again once the contents of your message have been conveyed to our members - which is a great shame as he was so much a part of the happy memories of our formative years.
Have a very Happy Xmas.
Don't start me off .....
Thursday, 20 December 2007
Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Keep on rockin' kids.
This was reproduced from http://www.clickpress.com/ site
Children from a tiny UK school are on the verge of music history. The 52 kids from Ingleton CE Primary School in County Durham have taken their fund-raising song - "The Christmas Wish" to number 12 in the Indpendent Music Network charts in The USA and AND number 25 in the Country charts!
Yet British radio is ignoring it. Radio Two's Head of Music, Jeff Smith said the lead vocals "weren't strong enough" to stand up to the competition", and Terry Wogan's production team wouldn't even play the song to the Irish DJ.
Local radio near the school is playing the song, but it is in the USA where the song has made the biggest impact. Written by singer-songwriter John D. Lewis & his wife, Dawn, "The Christmas Wish" went into the US charts the week it was released. Lewis said: "If it makes both top tens on Christmas Day, I think that will be a first for ANY UK artist, including The Beatles, Robbie Williams and all the rest."
Songwriter Homer Joy, who wrote multi-million selling number 1 hit, "Streets of Bakersfield", said: "If this song isn't what Christmas is all about, maybe there shouldn't be one!"
On BBC Radio Two's refusal to play the song, Lewis said: "Jeff Smith's comments are lamentable. The song was mixed DELIBERATELY with my lead vocals pushed down so that the children's voices carried the song. If Smith can't recognise that, he shouldn't be in the music business! The fact that Radio Two won't play it has NOTHING to do with the vocals. The song just doesn't fit their profile and that's that.
"But it their loss: radio across the USA has been bombarding us with requests for the song. It's the fourth most popular download to radio on Airplay Access, and it's at the top of several station's own charts."
The children are hoping that the chart success in the USA will lead to more sales of the song on Napster and ITunes which will increase the money they are raising for school funds.
You can hear the song here: http://www.christmas-wish.org/store.php
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Ernie Algar would like to contact any of the old members of Ches and the Chesters.
I remember the name well but sadly they are one of the groups we have not been able to make contact with as yet.
Other popular local groups we would love a pic and details of include:
Paul Ryan and the Streaks
Chris Warren and the Strangers
Freddie and the Mizaires
Lyle and the Solitaires
in fact anyone not featured in our Remember these Groups section.
So come on you lot - get searchin'
Wednesday, 5 December 2007
Hank B Marvin and Jet Harris - two of our heroes whose respective career paths and lifestyles could not have turned out more differently during the past 45 years. This may polarise opinion - but sometimes that's what Shadow Music is all about. First up though, Hank remains my all time favourite guitar hero - performing / recording hundreds of fantastic tracks during a career spanning almost 50 years. Well, actually I just love / admire all of The Shadows (past & present) & their contribution to instrumental and popular music. As many of us did, I eagerly followed Jet's solo career and then his liaison with Tony Meehan - whilst still buying everything put out by The Shads too. So, it was a bitter disappointment (also tinged with sadness) to witness Jet's descent into alcoholism as his career bombed post '63. 'Comebacks' (some better than others) came and went for thirty odd years or so.
Jet's return to 'proper' performing (following his amazing triumph over alcoholism) in 1999 was nothing short of miraculous. The Shadows reunion after a 14 yr hiaitus was also just absolutely fantastic. Hank, Bruce, Brian, 'Griff' & Cliff / Warren did us proud during their farewell tours - simply matchless. A superb live CD / DVD was a fitting (and excellent) souvenir of the final tour. So, Hank announced that he'd retired from The Shadows. Now, having achieved everything that he possibly could in terms of The Shads - plus having recorded / released many fine solo albums - time for Hank to pursue his own musical projects - his Gypsy / Jazz interests perhaps? Which is why (to me personally) - "Guitar Man" was a massive disappointment. All of the pros and cons were discussed at length several months ago on Shadow Music. Sure it was well produced and, naturally, immaculately played. Huge sales too & without the necessity of a tour or live appearances (save a handful of TV shows) to promote it. But (again, just personal opinion) Hank has done it all before ( & better) - "Hank Marvin", "Into The Light", "Hank Plays Live", "Marvin At The Movies", "Guitar Player" (and several others). So...the record company presents Hank with a list of potential songs to cover & he picks the ones he likes (or, in one or two cases, ones he dislikes the least) and does a professional job. But........surely Hank does not need to record this type of album for the money? I'm just thinking that (if he really wanted to - because he has his own studio and any number of fine musicians / musician friends / admiring artists to call upon) he could record and release anything that he wanted to...completely under his own auspices.
Which leads us on to Jet Harris' brand new CD "The Journey". No massive corporation behind this. No TV advertising. Almost eighteen months in the making and all privately financed. It's a huge financial risk for all concerned - but it's a labour of love. To maximise sales - Jet could have easily gone into the studios and re - recorded "Scarlet O'Hara", "Nivram", "36 - 24 - 36", "Applejack", "Main Title Theme", "Jet Black", "Besame Mucho", "Apache" etc., etc. Or how about a few cover versions of well - known hits? Well, you get my drift. Yes, "The Journey" does contain a re - recording of "Diamonds" (mighty fine it is too) - but every single other track is a brand new original composition. This is contemporary RI and it genuinely does sound bang up to date. A tremendously powerful, rhythmic, beaty sound too - huge productions. I've played the CD through twice - but don't feel quite ready to write a review as yet. The first word that comes to mind is...impressive. My daughters (16 and 22) know of The Shadows - not their main choice of music - but they tolerate their old dad's obsession. In the last week I've given them lifts in the car - whilst playing "The Journey". Neither of them knew it was a new CD by 68 - year - old Jet. Both of them asked what it was (presumably sounding different enough to what I usually play in the car). The younger one decalred that the tracks she heard were 'cool'. My older daughter works in one of Brighton's major nightclubs. She was raving about "San Antonio (Old Skool Mix)" and plans to have it played on the dancefloor there very soon!!!! Realistically - Jet's CD won't hit the charts and it won't be TV advertised. As a masterly work of modern rock instrumental it deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Shadows fans, RI fans - I hope that this CD sells heavily - you can make it happen. Who would have thought that Jet could come up (aided by Cliff Hall - but primarily Paul Rumble and Nigel Hopkins) with such a release in 2007?? Simply amazing.
Monday, 3 December 2007
Friday, 25 January 2008
Call Up The Groups: The Barron Knights + The Tremeloes + The Fortunes + Marmalade
Price: £17.00 / £15.00
For tickets or further information, please contact the venue directly. The information given on this page is subject to change - please confirm with the venue before travelling.
One of Scotland's most successful and long lasting groups. Their cover of the Beatles' Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da was their big number one and charted for 20 weeks in 1968. They were making hits right up to 1976 when Falling Apart At The Seams reached number 9 in the UK charts. In between that time they spent 120 more weeks in the charts with Reflections and Loving Things.
The Barron Knights -
It is now over 40 years since The Barron Knights started touring the world with their unique style of comedy and rock'n'roll. With over 300 performances at the London Palladium to their credit they have established themselves as a unique musical comedy attraction. You are guaranteed to leave a Barron Knights show with the feeling that you have had a tremendous night out.
For more information, see the website
The Fortunes -
The Fortunes are one of the UK's premier harmony groups. A string of hit records including You've Got Your Troubles, Here It Comes Again and Freedom Come Freedom Go, have stood the test of time and still top the play-lists on any radio station. Ask any '60s group who they most admire for their vocal talents and The Fortunes would come out on top. Their last CD sold over 100,000 copies and 'It's The Real Thing' Coca Cola advert is, of course, sung by The Fortunes.
The Tremeloes -
The Tremeloes must certainly be documented as one of the most successful rock / pop bands in music history. 21 hit records in every territory including America is endorsement enough of their superb talent. Silence Is Golden, Suddenly You Love Me, Even The Bad Times Are Good are just a taster of what's to come from this great band.
Thursday, 29 November 2007
This is an email I have received from Trevor Davis, ex Bluecaps. Johnny Taylor 5, Selection Soul Band and the Victors.
I have been giving this book idea some thought!!
I would be interested in having a go at pulling something together if
I could get enough interested parties to supply details. I don’t have
any experience in the book world but how difficult could it be!!
First off before I start, I would like to hear from anyone interested in
helping i.e.: collating info, proof reading and assistance with vanity
publishing and marketing. I don’t expect this to be a Booker prize
winner and don’t expect sales in areas other than localised interest.
This would also be sold via the Internet. A web site would be a good
idea and help with this would be needed. I don’t expect this to be a
great money producer, anything made would go into running the web
site and book production so at the out set - no wages either!!!!
Just the pure need to produce something that we could all leave to
show that we were there when it all started!!!
So what I had in mind was ……
I would like first, anyone who has a story to tell and would like to be
included in this, to e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
<mailto:email@example.com> declaring an interest.
Please mark the e mail subject as “book” it will help when
sorting e mails. Depending on the amount of replies, I would then
e mail you back within a month or so to confirm we had enough
information to put something together.
Any suggestions for a book title would also be appreciated.
In the meantime….
Sit down at the computer and in the Word program write your
account of what you did, where you played and your memories.
Photos of the band may be included, but just for now one single
photo of each band you played with would be sufficient .
Please make sure we are not infringing any copyright laws with
photos and newspaper editorial. If I need more photo info I will
let you know. At the end of your letter, list all the bands you have
played with to the current day plus band members you would like
to contact. Maybe an obituary for those who are no longer with
us. Even if this book fails to get off the ground, you will have your
own full account of this unique time of our lives. It would still be
a legacy for your children to read when you are no longer here,
so the whole project is not a waste of time and let’s be honest you
always meant to do it one day didn’t you!!!
Stan Launden’s site and others such as ‘Vintage Sixties’ have a
wealth of knowledge and there must be others too. I also know
a number of people from a lot of local bands, who went on to be
famous, encouragement from them would also be welcome if they
don’t have any issues about being included in the book .
This could take some time to pull together, so put the guitar down
and get writing; the sooner we make a start the sooner it will be in
So get to it you guys, This is your big chance to go down in the
annals of history.
How about it? Just jot down your experiences, stories, memories,
You don't even have to do joined up writing - Trevor will knock it
Wednesday, 28 November 2007
City museum’s sixties move
By Gavin Aitchison
THEY offered a unique modern-day glimpse into life in England 100 years ago,
but now the famous Victorian and Edwardian street scene at York Castle Museum could itself become a thing of the past.
The museum's directors want to replace the current features with a new exhibition, looking at British life as it was in the 1960s.
They say the current scene has become "rather tired and drab" and are replacing it with one that explores "an iconic period that many people will remember", but the move has drawn criticism from at least one tourist, who said the loss of attractions during the work has left visitors shortchanged.
In a letter to The Press, Mr J Howe, of Oxfordshire, wrote: "I left after my recent visit feeling very disappointed by what was once a museum that appeared to have some sort of direction and objective - a Jewel In The Crown Of York. I fear that accolade has now been lost, in my opinion, and would certainly expect the local residents to make their views heard if they care about the museum and its place within the community."
But Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museums Trust, said: "In recent years, we have worked hard on improving York Castle Museum, with the famous recreated Victorian street, Kirkgate, and the concourse area being significantly improved.
"The sixties exhibition will offer visitors a new and exciting space to explore, looking at one of the most explosive decades in recent times.
"Just like Kirkgate was built in a time when many people would have remembered the Victorian period, we are now offering people the chance to look back at a time which, to many, is in living memory."
The five-year exhibition will look at iconic and everyday aspects of the era.
Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of York Tourism Bureau said: "It's really important for York that our visitor attractions move with the times and the city's tourism success is built on the fact that York never stands still - we always have something new and different to offer and that's the key to our success.
"Both young and older generations have a fascination with the 1960s, it was an iconic age. We're confident that York Museums Trust will make an excellent job of this exciting new exhibition and that its appeal will stretch far and wide."
The Edwardian half-moon court was opened in 1963, but Ms Barnes said the recent refurbishment of Kirkgate had left the Victorian street and the Edwardian court very close, and many visitors were unable to distinguish between the two eras.
Anyone who fancies offering themselves as an exhibit can contact the museum direct :>)
Tuesday, 27 November 2007
As of today Vintage Sixties Live has had over 50000 hits on YouTube in the eight months that I have been uploading the Club Night video clips.
We have had complimentary comments and emails from all over the world (and a few which weren't but I deleted them) - not 'arf!!
Alright? Stay bright!
(With apologies to the late Alan Freeman)
Monday, 26 November 2007
Rod has asked me to inform you of quite a serious health issue which he is, unfortunately, having to face.
Whilst it will not mean any lengthy stays in hospital, it will however, mean that he will require some quite debilitating treatments. This means he may have to miss some performances. Ever aware of his commitments to Fortunes fans, Rod has already arranged for a couple of well known, excellent singer/bass players to stand in for him if needs be, whilst he recovers from the treatment.
I know you will join us in wishing Rod all the best and a speedy recovery back to full fitness......
Knowing his strengths, I would not be surprised in the least if he took it all on the chin and didn't miss a single show!
I am sure you would all like to join me in sending our best wishes to Rod with hopes for a full and speedy recovery.
Sunday, 25 November 2007
If anyone is searching for ideas for a Xmas stocking filler why not have a look at the new Jet Harris Album - The Journey.
You can buy it from his website at http://www.jetharris.biz/thenewalbum.htm
Price £9.99 and it includes a track dedicated to fellow ex-Shadows founder member and recording colleague Tony Meehan who passed away in November 2005.
It is great to see Jet recording again as well as packing them in at his current gigs and receiving rave reviews at his public appearances for his tongue in cheek humour and outstanding musicianship. Long may it continue.
Keep rockin' Jet
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Our Angie's version of the old Dusty Springfield hit "I only want to be with you" is the first of our club night video clips to smash the 2500 hits barrier on YouTube.
Well done to Angie - and also of course to Kev, Mark, Dave and Colin the Orchestra for providing the backing.
For those who have not seen it yet - here it is.
(Click the pause for a couple of minutes to allow the clip time to load)
Tuesday, 20 November 2007
This is the links page of Swiss Group The Countdowns who have been successfully recording since the Sixties and are still gigging today.
Their website is well worth a visit at http://www.countdowns.ch/
Sunday, 18 November 2007
.... our Jim.
Our paparazi have been out and about again and this time they brought back a snap of Big Jim Tait with the world's greatest guitarist .... Mr Albert Lee.
If you are wondering why Albert is laughing so much, it is because he had just seen this pic of Jim in a former life.
Albert will be back performing in the North-East in May, but the tickets are already being snapped up so watch this space for further details.
In the meantime why not cut out the pic of Jim and put it in the bottom of your budgie's cage.
Saturday, 10 November 2007
He had the choice of a triple by-pass or three stens and he opted for the three stents.
He is still on loads of medication, but expects to be back driving his car in a week or so, although obviously he won't be allowed to drive a bus for at least three months.
He thanks everyone for the good wishes and support and for the get well soon card sent from Thursday's club night.
He has spoken to Barry Waller who has agreed to come back in March for the postponed reunion which is something we will all be looking forward to.
Rock on Kenny - welcome back to the world of Vintage Sixties Live - we missed you mate.
Monday, 5 November 2007
- Almost three quarters (74%) of British people believe the importance of the UK music charts has diminished in recent years.
- Almost half (40%) believe the “stars” of shows like the X Factor lack real talent and 65% condemn reality TV talent shows for creating a generic style of music.
- Most people (82%) believe that true musical talent is being overshadowed by hyped sales of stars with less ability.
- Most people (93%) have more respect for singers and bands who make it through word-of-mouth like Lily Allen and the Arctic Monkeys than reality TV stars.
Says it all really ......
Sunday, 4 November 2007
The package features Sheffield nostalgia group Pastmasters, who have been voted top live band in South Yorkshire for the last seven years and have there own web site here
For those still not quite convinced here is a taster, but obviously the quality is much better on the actual DVD.
1 No Retreat
2 Sunset - featuring narration by Bobby Knutt
3 The Valiant
4 We'll Meet Again
You can order direct by sending a cheque / Postal Order for £6.00 inc P&P. to
The Chalet Manor Road
Or you can even send the money via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org (remember to tell him what it is for)
Or you can order online from the excellent Leo's Den website here for £7.95 inc P&P.
Go on then - treat yourself - and raise some money for a very worthwhile cause at the same time.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007
By 1960 he had become on-stage leader of the Seven, as Barry worked his way to composing more music off stage, and less touring with the group. Flick's debut track as a composer was the outstanding "Zapata" including his highly innovative signature "fade-intro" sounds.
Monday, 29 October 2007
Friday, 26 October 2007
Monday, 22 October 2007
Here you go - just the vehicle - the Bedford Dormobile.
I found this on Ebay today - just needs a lick of paint. (Click the picture to make it larger)
Or if you wanted to be really flash you could buy one of these - The Ford Thames Minibus
But don't be surprised if the rear springs need replacing.
Ask Colin the Orchestra.
The Del 5 had one - it was only in Black and white though - they couldn't afford a colour one
We had one of these. It was all we could afford 'cos we were crap.
£28 it cost. Heh! Heh!
We eventually abandoned it on the A1 when it conked out - again.
Sunday, 14 October 2007
Dennis was a founder member of Teesside Sixties Group the Kalvins - a fact of which he was justifiably very proud.
Although I never got to met him personally we did occasionally exchange emails and Dennis never lost his love of Sixties music in general and the Shadows in particular.
He also helped me a great deal with the website by providing pictures and information about the Zephyrs and other local groups of the time.
You can find some information about his early career on the Kalvin's page on our main web site.
Our sincere condolences go to Dennis's family at this difficult time.
Rest in peace mate - you will be missed by many.
Thursday, 27 September 2007
It was only a couple of weeks ago at the September club night that we were delighted to welcome a couple of the Shadocasters - the Tyneside Shadows tribute group - for the first time.
Dave Watson, the lead guitarist, treated us to an excellent version of Shadoogie.
Well guess what turned up today?
Only a clip of Dave's son appearing on Jim'll Fix It way back in 1990 - actually playing with the Shadows themselves!
Seems like musical talent runs in the family.
Does your son still play Dave?
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
By Bruce Unwin (Reproduced from the Northern Echo)
Jack of Clubs: Jack Amos
A MAN who became synonymous with North-East club land has died at the age of 75.
Jack Amos, who was known as the Jack of Clubs, lost his fight with cancer at his home in Blackhill, near Consett, on Saturday.
He had previously overcome lung cancer when it was first diagnosed, in 2002.
The Consett-born local newspaper journalist first became involved in the North-East social/workingmen's club scene when he was asked to help to publicise a local club, Shotley Bridge Victory Club, and within two months was made its secretary.
He went on to become elected as Durham CIU branch secretary as well as holding a seat on the CIU national executive committee. He served in both posts for 21 years.
Mr Amos was made an MBE for his services to the region's clubs in the Queen's New Year Honours.
A well-known charity champion he used his club links to arrange many fund-raising activities for the good causes he supported.
Mr Amos leaves a widow, Flo. They have a son, Gary, a daughter Janette, and three grandchildren.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Sixties pop star leaves just £46k
Reproduced from Bournmouth Daily Echo
ESTATE: Former member of The Dave Clark Five, Denis Payton, left his sons his musical instruments
A MEMBER of pop group The Dave Clark Five - which sold 100 million records and once rivalled the Beatles - left just £46,000 in his will.
Musician Denis Payton moved to Bournemouth and became an estate agent after his chart success.
He died aged 63 last December after a long battle against cancer.
A founder member of The Dave Clark Five, he played saxophone, harmonica and guitar.
The band once rivalled the Beatles and was one of the first English groups to tour America, spearheading the "British invasion" of 1964.
The group sold more than 100 million records and had 30 hit singles worldwide including Glad All Over, Bits and Pieces and Over and Over.
Payton, who also sang backing vocals, became an estate agent after the band split up in 1971.
His will left the bulk of his estate to his partner of 16 years Lindsay Copland, who lived with him in Bournemouth.
But he also left his musical instruments to his two sons from his first marriage, Scott and Lee.
Scott was left his father's Gibson J45 guitar while Lee receives his Selmer Mark 6 tenor saxophone. Both Payton's sons live in Lower Parkstone, Poole.
Payton died just weeks after it was announced that The Dave Clark Five had been nominated for induction to the 2007 US Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
Dave Clark described Payton as being "thrilled" by the citation, saying at the time: "I know I won't be around but it was an amazing part of my life I am very proud of."
Sunday, 23 September 2007
It was, of course, long before my time, being as I am only 34 (inside leg that is)but some of you will no doubt remember it well.
I wonder how many police with Lazers, Phasers and Tazers would need to be deployed these days.
Saturday, 1 September 2007
Friday, 31 August 2007
Thursday, 30 August 2007
Just to remind you our next VSL Club Night is on Thursday the 13th of September @ Tudhoe Vic
Hope to see you there
For those of you who are performing if you can let me know what you intend to perform that would be great.
Web Site www.VintageSixtiesLive.co.uk
As you can see rehearsals are already well under way (Give it time to load)
Thursday, 16 August 2007
Isn't it wonderful to know that Billy's name and career are being kept alive by such dedicated folks.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Pirate BBC Essex is on air from the LV18 lightship just off the coast of Harwich in Essex.
The event is to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marine Offences Act which set out to outlaw the offshore stations.
Some presenters, such as Emperor Rosko,Norman St John, John Kerr and newsreader Gord Cruse are flying in from around the world to be part of Pirate BBC Essex.
Listeners will also hear Johnnie Walker, Tom Edwards, Mike Ahern, Roger Day and Pete Brady, many of them working together for the first time in many years.
Listen live to Pirate BBC Essex >
Audio and Video links on this page require Realplayer
Monday, 6 August 2007
Don Arden, who died on Saturday aged 81, rejoiced in his reputation as the most infamous manager in the history of rock music - a reputation which led to him being known variously as "Mr Big", "The English Godfather" and "The Al Capone of Pop".
Don Arden was born Harry Levy on January 4 1926 at Cheetham Hill, Manchester.
In a long and colourful career, he was responsible for building the careers of such performers as Gene Vincent, the Small Faces, Electric Light Orchestra and Black Sabbath. But he became best known for his fiercely uncompromising business methods, which were alleged to include beatings, kneecappings, threats of defenestration and the frequent deployment of muscular assistants, sometimes with firearms. In later years he also achieved a sort of reflected fame as the father of the television personality Sharon Osbourne, whose similarly forthright demeanour led her own brother once to describe her as "Don in a skirt".
Arden's notoriety derived largely from an incident in 1966 when a rival manager, Robert Stigwood, attempted to lure away one of his groups, the Small Faces. Determined to teach Stigwood a lesson, Arden arrived at his fourth floor office in Cavendish Square with a team of heavies, personally lifted Stigwood from his chair, dragged him to the balcony and threatened to throw him into the street below if he attempted to steal one of his acts again.
What Arden had not realised was that his accomplices had planned an extra scene to the drama. Tearing Stigwood from Arden's grasp, they manhandled the unfortunate victim over the balcony and made as if to drop him, before depositing him on the floor of the office. Arden declared himself satisfied with the outcome - Stigwood, he recalled, "never bothered me again" - although he also expressed surprise at how the incident quickly became a part of showbusiness legend, speculating that it would be memorialised on his gravestone: "Don Arden - Hung Robert Stigwood Out Of Window. Ha ****ing Ha."
Arden was born Harry Levy on January 4 1926 at Cheetham Hill, Manchester. His father Lazarus did piece work in a raincoat factory and had ambitions for his son to join him. But from an early age Harry had set his sights on showbusiness. As a child he had sung as a cantor in the local synagogue, and by the age of 14 he was appearing on stage as a professional singer and comedian, offering impressions of Winston Churchill and Al Jolson. A canny agent suggested he should change his name to Don Arden, after the Hollywood actor Robert Arden.
Arden was just 5ft 7in, but as a young man had shown a dedication to personal fitness, developing a physique which led to his being nicknamed "Tarzan". He also demonstrated a volatile temper. At the age of 19 he was banned from performing on the circuit of Hippodrome theatres for two years after punching a stage manager who had called him "a ****ing Jew boy". Despite this setback Arden went on to top the bill at the London Palladium and appeared as a special guest on television's Black and White Minstrel Show.
In the mid 1950s, realising that his long-term prospects as an entertainer were limited, Arden shrewdly reinvented himself as an agent and promoter. He was among the first to realise the commercial possibilities of rock and roll, which most people dismissed as a fad. Eschewing such home-grown acts as Cliff Richard (whom Arden dismissed as "pathetic") and Billy Fury ("not fit to wipe Eddie Cochran's arse"), Arden organised package tours bringing American artists such as Sam Cooke, Brenda Lee and Little Richard to Britain for the first time.
He was particularly close to the singer Gene Vincent, an alcoholic who walked with a limp and carried a loaded pistol wherever he went - "a habit," Arden confessed, "I would later adopt myself". Arden also attempted to bring Elvis Presley to Britain by holding out the bait of an appearance on behalf of one of the Duke of Edinburgh's charities, but the plan faltered when "The King" stipulated that he should receive a personal invitation from the Duke himself.
In the 1960s Arden turned his attentions to British artists, proving highly effective in managing such acts as the Nashville Teens, Amen Corner and the Small Faces, who had five consecutive hit singles under his direction, one of which, All Or Nothing, he produced himself. Arden would later confess that one reason his acts were so successful was that he regularly bribed DJs and paid young mothers to buy singles at shops which supplied sales figures for the charts.
But he dismissed suggestions that this was cheating as: "absolute rubbish. I had a saying: you can't polish a turd. In other words, if the record's no good to begin with it still won't be any good after you've wasted your time and money getting it played."
His fiercely patriarchal approach to management, investing large sums of money in supporting and promoting his artists, but expecting unwavering loyalty in return, inspired a peculiar mixture of admiration and terror in his acts. Kenney Jones, the drummer of the Small Faces, once described him as "a kind of Jewish teddy bear. You liked him immediately because he was enthusiastic. Whenever he said 'I'll do this, I'll do that' - he did and it came true." However, another group who sought to leave his roster, Skip Bifferty, was allegedly obliged to seek police protection after being visited by enforcers attempting to persuade them of the error of their ways.
Even within the rough and tumble world of Tin Pan Alley, few could match Arden's stamina for a feud, and his enthusiasm for retribution when he felt he had been cheated. Even before the incident with Robert Stigwood, he had threatened to throw Allen Klein out of the window of his 24th floor office in New York, and he once ground a lighted cigar into the forehead of another rival, Clifford Davis.
Arden enjoyed playing up to his image as a ruthless operator. He affected broad-lapelled gangster suits, and hung a picture of himself impersonating Edward G Robinson on his office wall. "A lot of what he did had its beginnings in humour," one associate remembered. "And socially he could be very, very funny. A great deal of what he said was bluff. But later on the role took over the man."
Arden enjoyed his greatest success in the 1970s, with Electric Light Orchestra, Black Sabbath and - as a solo artist - Sabbath's erstwhile singer Ozzy Osbourne. He founded his own record label, Jet, and in 1977, relocated to America, buying Howard Hughes's Hollywood mansion. By now, Arden had brought his son David and daughter Sharon into the business.
In 1982 Sharon married Ozzy Osbourne, and Arden gave her Osbourne's management contract as a wedding present. The new arrangement led to ill-feeling when Sharon attempted to break Osbourne's recording contract with Jet and sign the singer to another label. Arden sued his daughter, and the case was settled out of court when she paid him $1 million. The estrangement between father and daughter was exacerbated when Arden left his wife, Hope, for a younger woman.
Sharon would not talk to Arden for another 20 years. Father and daughter were finally reunited in 2001, and the following year Arden enjoyed a walk-on role in his daughter's reality TV show The Osbournes.
One of the abiding astonishments of his career was that Arden evaded the attentions of the law for so long. In 1987, however, he was tried at the Old Bailey on charges of kidnapping, blackmail, torture and assault in the case of Harshad Patel, an accountant whom Arden alleged had stolen money from him. Arden was acquitted on all charges.
In 2003 Arden published an autobiography, Mr Big. The subtitle, "Ozzy, Sharon and My Life as the Godfather of Rock" suggested that he was alive to his diminished role in the family celebrity pecking order, but the book displayed no sign of repentance, either in his vigorous appraisals of past business associates (Ronnie Lane was an "evil little man", Bill Haley "a prick" and the Animals "a bunch of Geordie dummies who didn't know their arses from a hole in the ground") nor in his unorthodox business methods.
While confessing that he had never actually killed anyone, Arden declared himself proud of his capacity to have inspired fear and terror "in such a way that the people I scare are going to have to keep looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives".
His wife predeceased him and he is survived by his son and daughter.
Tuesday, 31 July 2007
Which ever way his name is spelt - Carlille, Carlisle, Carlyle, Carllile, Carlile - this guy crops up time and time again whenever the subject of guitar maestros is discussed.
His unique way of playing came about because, as a child, Thumbs used to sneak into his sister's bedroom and play on her lap steel with a slide bar even though she had banned him.
She caught him and hid the slide bar but he still sneaked in to play the guitar the only way he could.........using his thumb as a bar - hence the nickname Thumbs and the rest, as they say, is history.
Recently, by pure chance, he cropped up more than usual at Vintage Sixties Live.
First of all, Eric Whitehouse turned up at the club night with two of his LPs, which are like gold dust around here.
Secondly, I was delighted when, within a couple of days, I stumbled across the above video clip (Thumbs is on the left).
And thirdly, I was delighted to receive an email from Thumbs widow Ginny - who is a lovely lady and an old friend of VSL. She said how much she enjoyed looking at the pics on our Web site and how much she wished she could join us in one of our fun nights.
Who knows Ginny? - never say never. If you are ever in the UK we would love to see you.
The reason it was spelt the way it was on this 45 cover was that Les Paul - who incidentally played bass on that 45, with Mary Ford playing rhythm guitar, and Les's son, Gene is playing drums. Thumbs and Ginny were living with them at th time and recording some stuff she had written.Les Paul is playing bass on that 45, and Mary is playing rhythm guitar, and Les's son, Gene is playing drums. They were living with them at the time and recording some stuff she had written.
Monday, 30 July 2007
The King may have left the building but his prescription pills are still here: A bottle that contained Elvis Presley's prescription antihistamines was sold this week at an auction for more than $2,600. That's a mighty expensive prescription plan! While the bottle still contained some of The King's original pills, L.A. County police told auction house Julien's that it would be a federal crime to sell the bottle with pills included.
Other unusual Hollywood ephemera sold during the auction included a gold-plated gun owned by the Elvis, which sold for more than $28,000; Alfred Hitchcock's passport, which went for more than $19,000; and a prop umbrella once used by Marilyn Monroe for $42,000. The umbrella will become part of the collection of the Museum of Style Icons in County Kildare, Ireland.
Sunday, 29 July 2007
A Morris Minor 1000 bought in the Sixties is being used by Lancashire Police to slow down traffic in the village of Singleton
Not only is this vintage Morris the oldest British police car in active service, it is still keeping drivers in check – more than 40 years after it first joined the force!
Old Bill – a Morris Minor 1000 bought in the Sixties – is being used by Lancashire Police to slow down traffic in the village of Singleton.
The car is owned by former officer Will Hull, who parks it by the side of the road to promote the ‘30mph or less’ message. By capturing the attention of passing motorists, the Morris makes them slow down. Mr Hull, who served in the police for 15 years, said: “I have more than 40 years’ experience with classic cars, and when I came back as a police community volunteer, it seemed an ideal opportunity to promote the road safety message.
“It’s amazing the effect that seeing the Minor has on drivers – even those who aren’t speeding slow down to have a look. It’s all about prevention rather than cure.”
Lancashire Police has confirmed that the Morris is the oldest police car on active duty in the UK.
Saturday, 28 July 2007
Here is an interesting "Well I never knew that!" article from the Sunday Telegraph
by Chris Hastings, Arts and Media Editor
Beamed to 300 million people in 30 countries, it is now regarded as one of the defining moments of popular music and the swinging Sixties.
Yet The Beatles' performance of All You Need Is Love for the world's first-ever, live satellite transmission in 1967 drew condemnation from viewers who said the performance had dragged Britain's good name through the mud.
The criticism of the Our World broadcast, for which The Beatles specially wrote a song and put together a backing group that included members of The Rolling Stones, Keith Moon and Marianne Faithful, centred on claims that the band was less impressive than figures who represented other countries, including the singer Maria Callas and the artist Pablo Picasso.
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a BBC official, asked to assess viewer reaction, wrote in a memo: "There was little specific comment on the separate parts of the programme apart from a volume of angry protests at the choice of The Beatles as one of the UK's contributions."
The memo records several comments, including: "This country has produced something more meritorious and noteworthy than The Beatles (much as I admire them)"; "We did not do ourselves justice"; "Have we nothing better to offer? Surely this isn't the image of what we are like. What a dreadful impression they must have given the rest of the world"; "We flaunted The Beatles as the highlight of British culture, no wonder we have lost our image in the eyes of the world"; "After all the culture etc shown by the other countries, The Beatles were the absolute dregs (incidentally I am a Beatles fan), no wonder people think thing we are going to the dogs!"advertisement The BBC, which had spent 10 months planning the June 25, 1967 broadcast that involved 14 countries, did not pass the comments to the band. Instead, on July 3, 1967, the corporation wrote to Brian Epstein, the band's manager, to say that the performance had been highly regarded by the BBC and the audience.Each country was asked to produce two items that symbolised the nation's life and culture. The BBC opted for a four-minute report on the new Scottish town of Cumbernauld and The Beatles's performance, for which the band received £2,000.The documents also reveal that the concert, intended to bring the world together, was marked by bitterness and rivalry.France considered pulling out of the event altogether when it threatened to clash with the televised sports results while American television networks refused to join in because they regarded Europe as a boring irrelevance.
Friday, 27 July 2007
They often hear woodwind, strings and brass accompaniment produced by a line-up consisting only of guitar, bass and drums and they say "How do you do that?"
Well the answer is Colin "the orchestra" Woodland and his amazing guitar synth. Using this and the skill gained during a career spanning 240 years, he is able to mimic the sound of just about every instrument in the orchestra fom a banjo to a honky tonk piano.
But where did Colin learn his craft?
He started out in a group called the Del 5 who had considerable success in the Sixties with tours with Tom Jones, Roy Orbison, Walker Brothers and Lulu.
What did they sound like back then?
Believe it or not we can now hear for ourselves.
VSL spies have managed to locate an incredibly rare audio tape, from a series produced by Tyne Tees Television in 1964, called Rehearsal Room, featuring none other than the Del 5 from Sunderland.
To listen to their version of Yakety Sax from the days when you had to have a real sax.
(It is better to download the file first)
Ray Liffen of the MSN Burns Guitar group has kindly allowed me to reproduce this message from that site.
It will be of great interest to fans of Burns guitars and classic Sixties instrumentals.
One of THE great '60's instrumentals was 'Night Of The Vampire' by The Moontrekkers (recorded by the legendary record producer Joe Meek in his studio at 304 Holloway Road, North London). The lead guitar part was played by Gary Leport on a Burns Vibra Artist. A couple of weeks ago The Moontrekkers re-formed for one night to play 'their last gig' and Gary used a Vibra Artist to recreate 'Vampire's spooky guitar sound.
You can see a video clip of this historic occasion on the Joe Meek Society website.
Incidentally, the rhythm guitarist, Sam, plays a Burns Sonic and the keyboard sounds are from an authentic Clavioline (the Clavioline was a simple 'one-note-at-a-time' organ famously used for Meek's greatest hit, 'Telstar' by The Tornados, the first instrumental to be No.1 in both the UK and the USA).
Click here for the link
There are several references to the early days and even the contentious issue of who really owns the Stratocaster which was used for the original recording of Apache.
Fascinating watching and listening for all HBM fans
Thursday, 26 July 2007
"The review... concluded that an extension would not benefit the majority of performers, most of whom have contractual relationships requiring their royalties be paid back to the record label," said ministers.
US royalties last for 95 years.
The government position attracted vocal opposition from some artists. The BBC quotes 63-year-old groovester Roger Daltrey - whose first works will go out of copyright in seven years - as saying that musicians "enriched people's lives", and that they were "not asking for a handout, just a fair reward for their creative endeavours".
Other advocates of longer copyright include veteran popster Cliff Richard - for whom the cutoff point is even closer. Tory leader David Cameron is also a member of the extensionist camp.
Unsurprisingly, music-industry bodies also felt that free oldie-pop would be bad for Blighty.
Daltrey foretold penury for wrinkly rockers, saying they had "no pensions and rely on royalties". He stuck to the position that other eldsters - presumably the people most likely to enjoy their work - should subsidise their retirement through pricier music.
Lordan was signed as a singer to Parlophone and had four charting singles in 1960, the most successful being "Who could be Bluer?".
But it was as a writer that he found real fame when he wrote the instrumental, Apache (named after a Burt Lancaster film). This was originally recorded by Bert Weedon but Lordan didn't like the version. Weedon's label, Top Rank, didn't release it immediately. On tour with the Shadows Lordan demonstrated the song to bass player Jet Harris, reportedly picking out the tune on a ukelele. When the rest of the band heard it they agreed to record it. It was released in July 1960 and hit number one in August, staying at the top for five weeks. The tune was recorded by Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann who took it to number two in the American charts. The Shadows' version was voted Top Record of 1960 in the NME Readers' Poll.
Lordan gave up singing for full-time writing. He wrote the Shadows' number one hit "Wonderful Land" and a further number one, "Diamonds" for the ex-Shadows, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. Harris and Meehan also recorded his song "Scarlett O'Hara" taking it to number two. He wrote further hits for Cliff Richard, Shane Fenton and "I'm just a baby" for Louise Cordet.
Wednesday, 25 July 2007
Tuesday, 24 July 2007
Vintage Sixties Live is a non-commercial project, set up to bring together musicians who worked the NE Club Circuit during the fabulous sixties, and we celebrated our first birthday in style at Tudhoe Victory Club on Thursday 14th June.
Alan Leightell (the co-organiser) and myself have been amazed at the incredible success the venture has enjoyed over the last twelve months.
The Vintage Sixties Live website
has had over 30000 “hits”
has been visited by people from over 500 locations in the world during the last few weeks alone
now contains details of over 100 local groups from the Sixties
photos taken during the club nights are regularly viewed by over 1000 people each month
video clips posted on www.youtube.com have received over 12000 viewings
has been featured on at least four radio stations.
has received messages of support from several of the Sixties superstars
The Monthly Club Nights have
featured over 70 different performers and 300 different Sixties tracks
featured performers from as far afield as Australia, Italy, Spain and the USA. A top Sixties tribute group from Holland are scheduled to appear later in the year.
a regular audience made up of people from all parts of Durham, Northumberland, Teesside and even North Yorkshire.
raised over £2000 for local charitable causes and is currently planning another local Charity Spectacular for later in the year.
Malcolm Rocks, has recorded every one of the monthly shows on video and taken literally hundreds of still photographs of the performers over the last year - many of which are displayed on the web site www.vintagesixtieslive.co.uk
Each month we feature almost three hours of non-stop music with guest performers who travel from a wide area – Consett, Yarm, Tyneside, Birmingham and Italy to name but a few – and represent the whole range of Sixties Music – R&B, male vocal, female vocal, harmony, instrumental, ballad, acoustic and rock and roll. In one hastily arranged group, jamming on stage, I counted at least four local performers whose singles had been released in the Sixties with different acts – and they were all performing together.
One night we even had a visit from legendary local drummer Alan White who was happy to jam with his old Downbeats colleagues.
One unexpected development over the year has been the way the club nights have attracted the younger element. Several of the performers were not even born in the Sixties but are happy to perform music of that era just to be part of the atmosphere and camaraderie surrounding Vintage Sixties Live and the opportunity to perform to a full house – which is in itself a rarity in clubland these days.