Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Trying to contact ...... the Up North Combine

Received an email from Dave Snowdon the other day.

Dave is trying to contact fellow Up North Combine members for a possible reunion.

He writes:

We were based in Thorney Close, Sunderland & played around the Sunderland - Durham - Newcastle area from approx 1965 to 1968. We were originally called The Klik, but changed our name as there were a few other bands with variations on the same name. We played a lot of the WMClubs, but later progressed to Student Union gigs & Night Clubs and added a keyboard player & main vocalist.Ive not managed to trace any of the band members & would be very grateful if you could mention the band in your news & blogs, so that I can hopefully trace some of the former members - and maybe even have a reunion!

From left to right - Dave Snowdon (me) on lead guitar/vocals, Bill Johnson on bass & lead vocals, Mick Harrison on drums & Jimmy Scott on rhythm guitar
I now live in Gloucestershire and have recently made contact with Roger Smith, who has the site & played in The Jazzboard, who lives not too far away in Wiltshire. We were in our first 2 bands together - The Conrads & The 6 Leaves - and he came to my 60th birthday party recently. As a gift gave me back the Hofner Colorama II guitar that I had sold to him in 1965! It was originally owned by Bob Marshall of Chris Warren & the Strangers.

Any former members of the group can contact this site and I will supply them with Dave's contact info.

I would also be happy to receive free gifts of surplus Hofner Coloramas (preferably with the leatherette finish)

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

We were in the paper ....

For anyone who missed the full page spread in the Northern Echo last week you can read it by clicking here.

There are no pictures on the computer version - but I am not bothered 'cos none of them showed me anyway.
But I'm not bitter ......

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Albert is back .......

Got a call from Big Jim yesterday to let me know that the tickets for the upcoming Hogan's Heroes Concert are now on sale.
Albert Lee playing live is something that every music lover, and in particular every would be guitar player, should witness at least once in their life.
Look around the audience during his riffs and you can spot the guitar players - who can normally be found sporting an expression which can only be described as a mixture of awe, frustration and outright dejection. This guy is simply the best at what he does and the opportunity to see him up close in a venue such as this should not be missed.
PS If you still fancy yourself as a guitarist after the show one of our members has an Albert Lee signature guitar for sale.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

On the road again .....

Alan Leightell, joint organiser of VSL (that is not a reference to the supply of drugs) completed a massive World Tour this weekend involving travel of up to five miles a day and taking in such far flung locations as Bowburn, Hett Village, Tudhoe and Spennymoor.

Following Thursday’s VSL Club night, he was especially invited into (conned into?) taking part in the Krack of Dorn Showgroup Reunion at Bowburn Community Centre the following evening. It is forty years this year since the group were formed and they agreed to get together again for one performance, in aid of charity, alongside top North-East comedienne Brenda Collins and the Key Largo Duo. The concert was a sell-out and must have undoubtedly been one of the highlights of Alan’s long and illustrious show business career ( especially as he never played in the group in the first place).

Saturday was back to Spennymoor and a case of “another street another dollar” (well it would have been if he charged a fee, but it is probably the fact that Alan does not charge for these appearances that has firmly established him as one of the top entertainers in his price range.

It was even suggested that he should have a knighthood but he said “I don’t need one - I have had a vasectomy.”

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Breaking News ......

This could be your last chance of Superstardom .....

We are expecting a visit on Thursday March 12th 2008, from Mike Amos, the famous Northern Echo columnist and son of Jack Amos the aptly named Jack o'Clubs in the Sixties.

Mike will be coming along with a photographer to do a piece on Vintage Sixties Live so if you want to impress him get your Lurex jackets out and strut your stuff.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Sad News - Hurricane blows out ...

Norman Smith aka Hurricane Smith (born February 22, 1923 - died March 3, 2008) was a musician and record producer. He was the engineer on all of the recordings by the Beatles up until 1965 when EMI promoted him from engineer to producer. The last Beatles album he recorded was Rubber Soul, [1] and Smith engineered the sound for approximately 180 Beatles songs in total.[2]

A native of the North London area of Edmonton, Smith was working with the Beatles on 17 June 1965 when he was offered 15,000 pounds by the band's music publishing company, Dick James Music, to buy outright a song he had written.

In early 1967, he began working with a new group, Pink Floyd, producing their first, second, and fourth studio albums The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, and Ummagumma. [3] During the sessions for the song, "Remember a Day", drummer Nick Mason became agitated that he could not come up with the right drum part for the song. Smith, however, knew what he wanted with the drums, so he played the part himself.

In 1968, Smith produced one of the first rock concept albums, The Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow.

In 1971, Smith, using a recording artist pseudonym of "Hurricane Smith," had a UK hit with "Don't Let It Die". In 1972, he enjoyed a transatlantic hit with "Oh Babe What Would You Say?", which became a U.S. # 1 Cashbox hit.[4] This recording was a demo of a song that he had written for a different artist to record. When he played it for fellow record producer Mickie Most, Most was impressed enough to tell him to release it as it was. Also included on Smith's self-titled debut album was a third hit single, a cover of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Who Was It?"

Some minor hits followed, like "My Mother Was Her Name" (1972), "Beautiful Day, Beautiful Night" (1973) and "To Make You My Baby" (1974). However, his subsequent attempts at producing successful recordings proved elusive.

He also recorded an instrumental track entitled 'Theme From an Unmade Silent Movie' which the West Midlands-based radio presenter Tony Butler adopted as his theme music.

In 2004, Smith released a new CD, From Me To You (SFMCD030), including new recordings of his biggest self-penned hits, "Don't Let It Die" and "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?", and includes messages in the liner notes from Sir Paul McCartney and members of Pink Floyd.

Norman Smith has written a his memoirs, entitled John Lennon Called Me Normal. It debuted on 16 March 2007 as a limited edition at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Secaucus, New Jersey. There, Smith appeared and sang "Oh Babe". The book contains never-before-published pictures, newly revealed historical facts about the Beatles and Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, as well as details of Smith's life as an RAF Glider Pilot.