Sunday, 1 November 2009
I received an email from Colin Bradley, in Toronto, the other day (pictured above with Paul Rodgers)
Colin was a founder member of the Road Runners - a very successful local group during the early Sixties - who hailed from Middlesbrough.
What I had not realised, until Colin contacted me, was just how influential some of the members later became on the the UK rock and pop scene.
Two of the founder members were Paul Rodgers and Micky Moody.
Paul, who started out as the Road Runner's bass player, was an original member of FREE and has enjoyed a 40 year career culminating most recently with his fronting of QUEEN.
Micky Moody eventually found success working with John McCoy's Tramline, Juicy Lucy, a series of side-man gigs with people like Gene Pitney and others, and in later years was a founding member of the hugely successful White Snake along with another son of Teesside, David Coverdale.
Bruce Thomas, who took over the role of bass player when Paul became the main vocalist and front man,
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
In the early Sixties Mervyn played bass in the popular local group the Del 5, and was later to be the driving force behind White Sound Amplification.
The Del 5 pictured in happier days - Mervyn is second from the right.
The funeral takes place on Tuesday 23 June 2009 at 10.30 am at Sunderland Cematorium.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Saturday, 18 April 2009
Wednesday, 15 April 2009
The guitars were made during 1958-9 by Jim Burns and Alan Wootton
A collection of rare British-made electric guitars has been discovered in the basement of a house in Cheltenham.
The Supersound instruments came out of a brief partnership between Jim Burns and Alan Wootton during 1958 and 1959.
Guy Mackenzie from West Cornwall, who bought the guitars, described them as "the holy grail" of his collection.
"I don't actually play," he said "but I just love them in the same way that people collect old paintings even though they can't paint."
Mr Mackenzie heard about the find from a friend who knew he collected "weird and unusual" guitars.
"As soon as I tracked down these ultra-rare instruments - apparently some of the very first made by UK legend Jim Burns - I just had to meet the owner," he said.
They comprise an important, but hitherto virtually unknown chapter in UK guitar-making history
Guitar expert Paul Day
"I discovered he'd bought them from Alan Wootton's son several years ago and had kept them virtually untouched ever since."
Jim Burns' guitars have been played by pop groups and stars including The Shadows, The Searchers, Slade and Queen's Brian May.
"Musicians who play them now include Andy Bell of Oasis, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs and The Kooks," said Mr Mackenzie.
Paul Day, guitar expert and author of "The Burns Book" on Jim Burns and his guitars said: "In nearly 50 years of playing, working on and writing about the electric guitar, this is the first time I have actually seen one Supersound instrument, let alone 12.
"These are among the earliest electric guitars and basses from any British builder and therefore comprise an important, but hitherto virtually unknown chapter in UK guitar-making history."
Saturday, 4 April 2009
So if you are looking for somewhere to go on Easter Saturday this is the place to be.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
FIRST THE GOOD NEWS
This is the earliest known footage of boy wonder guitarist and VSL co-founder Mr Alan Leightell playing his Triumph guitar.
During this piece his fingers can just be seen jumping up and down like maggots on the sunday joint and his wrists never leave his arms.
NOW THE BAD NEWS
As a result of recent correspondence on our guest book I have been contacted by the proprietors of the Bell Accordion Co. They would like Mr Leightell to contact them urgently in connection with an outstanding account for a triumph guitar.
Ah Well - some you win son.
Comments appreciated - Hee Hee Hee
Friday, 13 March 2009
As some of you may know Alan Leightell has suffered from Tinnitus and associated hearing problems for several years.
Sadly, it has recently reached the point where significant permanent damage is being done by repeated and prolonged exposure to loud music.
This has brought Alan, very reluctantly, to the decision that it would be very unwise to continue to perform, either as a solo artist, or as a backing musician.
Obviously, we are all gutted by this and the effect on VSL is catastrophic. For the last three years Alan has prepared, orchestrated and performed on the vast majority of arrangements for live performances for both the club nights and the various charity Gigs we have done.
Taking all of these points into consideration, Alan and I have decided that the Vintage Sixties Live Club Nights should be discontinued.
VSL was begun by Alan L and myself very much as a joint venture and I feel that any success we have achieved has been due to the excellent working and personal relationship we have always enjoyed and the special skills and interests each of us have brought to the project, so it seems fitting, now that Alan L is unable to continue, that we ride off into the sunset together.
As far as the website is concerned we intend to continue to maintain it as a permanent record of the last three years and as an archive for all the group pictures and information kindly donated.
So what happens now?
Well, the message we are receiving loud and clear, from performers and audience alike, is that everyone would like the live entertainment nights to continue and – and whilst we will no longer be running the show – we are both happy to help in any way we can to make this possible.
One of my lasting and treasured memories of Vintage Sixties Live will always be of the old friendships revived and the new friendships made. We have been staggered by the professionallism, and sheer depth of talent, of the performers who have passed through our doors over the last three years. Between them they have performed well over a thousand of the songs and instrumentals from the fabulous Sixties - with little or no rehearsal - to a standard which has amazed and enthralled our packed audiences and has become the talk of Clubland and beyond.
It would clearly be wrong to allow a pool of talent and enthusiasm such as this to go to waste.
Everyone, without exception, has agreed to muck in and help so – with the continued support of your good selves – the Club Nights will continue under new management and with a new name – 60’s Live at the Vic.
Thursday, 29 January 2009
One of the ways we hope to raise money is to hold regular raffles on club nights and we would like everyone to consider donating a prize (or two) to this very worthwhile cause.
Most things will be accepted so get your thinking caps on!
Maybe that chemical toilet you got for Xmas?
Or those incontinence pants? (new goods only please)
That book - Cross Dress for Success - that you never got around to reading?
I have just received advanced news of a great Charity Show you won't want to miss.
It is in aid of Blind Life and features four beautiful and talented girls - Emma, Joanne, Julia and Alice (pictured on the left) - who you will have seen several times at VSL.
As if that were not enough, they will be supported by a live band which will include another two VSL stalwarts Colin Ibbertson (talented but not beautiful) and Brian Luke.
£8 Admission will also include a hot buffet so book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.