Thursday, 21 January 2010

1965 More Rolling Stones

6th January, Twelfth Night and the day I will meet Brian Jones.  We've now found a better way to get to the airport - tube to Hounslow East and then the bus, no tube or train went there, nor would they for many years to come.  Presumably if you had the money to fly, you would not be using public transport to get you to the airport. Air travel was not for oiks unless you played in a band.

The Stones were heading for Ireland and I planned to get an EP cover autographed. Three times I walked up to Brian, asked for his autograph and couldn't find my pen, on the third time he took one from another girl and signed it for me. Then I just stood there, right in front of him, mesmerised. He had to put his hands on me and move me out of the way, how embarrassing. Good lord he was beautiful. (Photo is of me with Brian).

Three days later they were back and we were at the airport again, we said hello as they came through Customs and as we stepped on to the escalator it came to a sudden stop, nearly throwing us all down to the bottom. There was a fair amount of shouting and some swearing, but as nobody was actually injured we continued down and walked out to the cars. We would see them again tomorrow at the Hammersmith Commodore gig.

Front row seats and no orchestra pit, could not be better. Good line up - Zoot Money, Julie Grant, The Checkmates and Marianne Faithfull, but most people were there for the main event and when they walked on, the place erupted. A guy ran on stage and appeared to try to kiss Brian, who looked quite surprised. I guess a cute guy is a cute guy. but an unusual event nonetheless. Girls yes, but men, not really. Marianne looked beautiful, innocent and vulnerable, a bit limited vocally, but pleasing enough and perfect for the time.

For me and my friends, 1965 was Rolling Stones year without a doubt, gigs, the airport, their flats or on the phone. They were extremely nice and very generous with their time.

'The Last Time', their sixth single was coming out and me and my friends went to the Television House studios at the bottom of Kingsway in Holborn where Ready Steady Go! would be recorded later that day. On my way there I passed a shop advertising the record for sale so I whipped in to buy a copy. The Stones all made their own way there in various cabs and chauffeured cars and I took the opportunity to get the record sleeve signed. Great idea though it was it opened a can of worms.  Apparently the single should not have been on sale until the following week.  Mick was saying 'I'm really, really annoyed.' I kept apologising. 'Don't worry love it's not your fault.'  I didn't stop of course. I was determined to get a whole set. Brian had just got back from America,  he said, 'Oh the single, I didn't know it was out yet.'  Charlie asked if it was for him because he didn't have a copy of it yet. Finally I had all five autographs plus Andrew Oldham's. Andrew wanted to know where the shop was - I told him and he disappeared. Mick was worried it would have an adverse effect on sales, but all was well, it made it to no. 1 just as 'Little Red Rooster' and 'It's All Over Now' had last year. They were on a roll.

We all piled in to watch the rehearsal, sadly we didn't have tickets for the actual show, but in many ways this was a lot more fun. They ran through 'The Last Time' and the B side 'Play with Fire' with Brian on harpsichord. Mick and Brian were mucking about, laughing and pulling the nerk or nanker faces, which involved pulling down your eyes, pushing up your nose and sticking your tongue under your bottom lip. Clearly these were simpler times.   

The Animals and Dave Clark 5 were also on the show. Mick sang along with the Dave Clark 5 when they rehearsed Chuck Berry's 'Reelin and a Rockin'. Mick and Mike Smith singer with DC5, were laughing and doing derogatory impressions of Dave's rather idiosyncratic drumming style, a bit of an easy target but hilarious nonetheless. Later we went to a restaurant round the corner where Andrew Oldham did a drawing of Mick's leg for me. Why I don't know but everybody wanted one.

March 5th was start of British tour at Edmonton Regal, of course we were there. A fabulous set opening with 'Everybody Needs Somebody', into 'Pain In My Heart', 'Down the Road Apiece', 'Time Is On My Side', 'I'm Alright, 'Little Red Rooster', 'Route 66' and 'The Last Time'. Needless to say we were in full tilt mode, screaming like banshees and running to the edge of the orchestra pit, with the idea of propelling ourselves on to the stage. Although I have to admit the sharp pointy music stands below put me off my stride. I was alternately looking down into the pit and yelling at Brian, he smiled back and Mick was laughing. Security carried me off.

The next morning when me and Pamela arrived at Holly Hill, a workman was replacing a pane of glass in the front door. Keith had smashed it with his boot heel the night before because he'd lost his key. We walked down to the Tip Top dry cleaners, near the Tube with Keith to pick up his clothes, he wanted to pay by cheque and needed a pen, the shop girl lent him one. As we go outside he's grinning at us and produces the pen he'd just nicked, and hidden inside his jacket!

Back at the flat Mick said he'd seen us last night and asked what happened when I got dragged off. He laughed when I said the security guard who was trying to carry me outside had to put me down after I kicked him.

They were getting ready to go to the next gig on the tour. We carried out some bags to the car - Mick's green Zodiac I think. We stood and chatted with Mick after Keith decided he wanted to take another guitar and went back for it. While we waited Mick did an impersonation of Paul McCartney that had us hysterical.

Keith signed the Eastern Airlines luggage label from Chicago that was on his guitar case for me. They waved goodbye and drove off to Liverpool. 

Two weeks later we went all the way out to Romford to see them again. The support bill on this tour was good, Goldie and the Gingerbreads, an all female group, who could really play and had great attitude. Dave Berry and the Cruisers, The Konrads, the Checkmates and the Hollies. Johnny Ball (Zoe's dad) was the compere, not that bad, some of them, well most of them, were dire. The predominantly female audience were standing on the seats, dancing and screaming. A good evening for all concerned.

On the way back from this show, the Stones stopped to use the toilet at a garage in Stratford, East London.  The attendant refused to let them because they didn't want any petrol, so they pissed against the wall. The police were called and later Bill, Mick and Brian were arrested and charged. A member of the public who witnessed the event found it 'disgraceful'. When the case came to court in July the attendant said that when told they couldn't use the toilet Mick said to him 'we will piss anywhere man' and the group took it up as a chant, then drove off in their car making well known hand gestures out the window. Marvellous, I would have paid good money to see that. All three were found guilty of using insulting behaviour and fined £5 each plus 5 guineas costs (for those of you who don't know, a guinea was a pound plus the same figure in shillings - so 5 guineas would be £5 and 5 shillings and if you don't know what a shilling is.... Anyway let me tell you I'm sure it was worth every penny in publicity.

The Holly Hill scene was getting out of hand, hoards of girls would be camped out on the steps, people were breaking in and taking whatever took their fancy. I arrived one day to find about a dozen girls sat outside the front door and as I was leaving Keith opened the door. He had bare feet and was wearing jeans and a denim jacket, said 'f*ck, there's too many' and shut the door. He wasn't wrong.

I went back later when it had quietened down and was chatting to Keith while our friends Laraine and Ann went shopping for him. Ann asked if she should take the papers down to Mick, he said 'Better not he's in the bog.' We'd seen him go in there earlier with his trousers round his knees. Too funny. Mick was unhappy, someone had stolen his sealskin anorak. He asked us if we had any idea who had taken it, we didn't. On a previous occasion we had convinced some girls to return some of the things they'd taken, like jumpers and records.

Mick told us how he had chased a couple up the street who had broken in and stolen a harmonica, he said he'd banged their heads together and they gave it back to him. Apparently Keith had got a girl up against the railings outside after catching her coming out of the flat. Mick went out and Keith took up the story. He said she'd taken about £200 worth of gear, but started crying, so he let her go, presumably after retrieving his belongings. We looked amazed, he said, 'I couldn't kill the poor little prat could I?'

One beautiful sight I will never forget is of walking up Holly Hill as the sun was going down, seeing Mick standing on the steps scraping shit off his shoe. He must have trodden in something Ratbag had left behind.  What a marvellous moment.

Holly Hill had as I said become a meeting place and we had made some good new friends with girls from Holland Park School. Ann, Wendy, Laraine and Sandra who were in the same year as Jenny Boyd, sister of Patti, George Harrison's girlfriend. They all lived in West London and Pamela and I often visited them to play records and discuss The Stones and other bands that took our interest.

The Stones had pretty much taken over my life at this time, school work and exams were a very poor second and third, I did enough school work not to attract too much attention but that was about as far as it went.  One morning in assembly the art teacher Miss Driscoll came running in late, she asked to borrow my hymn book taking it out of my hands as she walked by. 'How interesting' she said as she handed it back when we'd finished. My book was covered in pictures of the Stones and inside were two photos, one of Mick and one of me with Brian. Word was getting out, I would need to be more careful.

Two days later I was back at the airport, the Stones were leaving for a Scandinavian tour, I asked Brian about the rumour that he had bought a disused church, he said he didn't have one, he'd made it up because he got sick of people asking him where he lived.

While they were in Denmark Mick had got an electric shock as he touched two microphones at a soundcheck. He fell back onto Brian, who in turn fell on Bill who bore the brunt of it. It wasn't as bad as it might have been as Mick pulled the mains plug out as he fell.  Bill recovered quite quickly and they continued with the gig. On their return to London I asked Brian how it felt, he pulled a face and laughed.

Talked with Bill for a while, he was with his wife Diane and son Steve, he seemed to be ok.

Mick and Keith have finally moved, this time to separate addresses. Mick and Chrissie to a mews house in the West End, Bryanston Mews East, just behind Montague Square where Paul McCartney lived with Jane Asher. Keith ironically found a flat in a block in St. John's Wood on Carlton Hill.

We did continue to visit them, but the fun was definitely decreasing. Things were changing, we were maturing, their fame was making them less available and an attraction to some people who were not very pleasant to be around.

The Stones were to be on Ready Steady Go Live, I didn't have a ticket but decided to go down there anyway.  They arrived in a Rolls, Keith nodded to me, I was standing outside as they walked in and up the upstairs, but I couldn't really see through the window.  I decided to go home to see the show on TV. As I was leaving some girls who'd been there came up to me and said that Brian had stopped on the stairs, pointed at me and was saying something as Keith walked up behind him and pushed him up the stairs. I had no idea what it meant, but it seemed exciting (Keith was determined to protect us from Brian).

The desire to do something musical was getting to me.  I know I turned down the chance to learn violin, but I thought maybe me and my friends could put a vocal group together. Didn't have much more of an idea than that, but they thought I was out of my mind and the plan died then and there. It would be sometime before I finally got it together.

Decided to go to the fan club on Argyle Street.  Bill came down, I phoned Charlie to see if he was coming, he turned up later with his wife Shirley.  He was wearing the most amazing blue suede coat, and looked fabulous, he really knows how to dress. We walked down to Vogue House in Hanover Square with Mick, Keith, Andrew Oldham, Mike Dorsey and Eric Easton.  Mick clearly had a black eye but would not divulge the origin. We assumed Chrissie had whacked him, but he did not let on. Mick, Keith and Eric left to go to a photographers studio, we went home.

Brian has found a place to live, a mews house on Elm Park Lane in Chelsea, we used to visit him fairly often, mostly to chat, sometimes to get autographs, really it was just nice to see him. As luck would have it, the road he lived on was a short cut from the bus stop to one of our friends, Laraine who lived in a council block at World's End. One time as I was about to knock on the door I noticed something scattered on the ground, it was a ripped up photo of his girlfriend Linda Lawrence, sitting with their son. How sad, Linda seemed like a nice person, and now she'd become another one of his girls with a son called Julian. Apparently he asked them to name the child Julian if it was a boy, in honour of his hero the jazz saxophonist Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.

Pamela and I were on Denmark Street, the home of music in London - Regent Sound, guitar shops...  While we were there we saw Donovan walking down the street, he stopped and chatted to us and we got his autograph. We were about to leave when we came across a couple of girls we'd met before, not a particularly pleasant pair, they were clearly smug about something. Eventually they showed us what they had - some stolen photographic slides, there were a few of Mick and Chrissie sitting in the living room at Holly Hill and one of Chrissie holding Mick's cock (allegedly). Although we were so naive after turning the slide round a few times we had to ask what we were looking at. Somebody got one of the girl's address details and passed it on to Mick who, not surprisingly, was very unhappy about the theft and keen to get them back.

The Walker Brothers hit 'Make It Easy On Yourself' was huge, we loved it and got to know them soon after they arrived in the UK. We phoned them, Gary said they were going out, but would be back around 5.30pm - yes the band did all live together and no they weren't real brothers. We arrived at their place in South Kensington on Onslow Gardens just as they were walking down the street. John had not grasped the concept of us driving on the left and was nearly run over crossing the road. He leapt up in the air and right over the front wing of the car. We laughed for hours.

We talked often and when they moved to Paulton House in Chelsea they called to give us their new number and address. If Gary answered the phone he would generally ask if I was feeling evil and try to persuade me to go round, I wasn't and I didn't. I may have only been 15, but I hadn't taken leave of my senses. How many girls he tried this approach on I don't know, I can't imagine he was that successful, but I could be mistaken.

We met Donovan again, this time outside the Playhouse Theatre going into the Joe Loss Pop Show. He is such a friendly guy, we like him a lot. We watched him play 'Catch the Wind', 'Colours' and 'Josie' - good show.

Me and Pamela entered a dance contest and won tickets for Ready Steady Go. I had to sit my French GCE the morning of the recording. Rushed out as soon as I could, changed into a cream corduroy skirt, black corduroy jacket and black suede sandals and got to the Redifussion studios in Wembley Park as soon as I could. It would be a good show, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, Burt Bacharach, Les Surfs (a French band), and the Stones.  Loved every minute, good choice of songs from the Stones. Brian asked us to be quiet for 'Play With Fire'. They followed it with  Hank Snow's 'I'm Moving On' and then we all went bananas for 'I'm Alright'. Perfect.

Back at Heathrow the Stones were heading for Glasgow, they arrived late. 'Oi Charlie we've missed the bleeding plane' Brian shouted to Charlie, as Keith flung the car door open so hard it nearly came off its hinges and got jammed between two cars. I've never seen Charlie laugh so much. While they waited for the next flight they decided not to eat in the airport because the food was awful, (some things never change). When they returned I walked through the terminal with Brian, he stopped to buy a 'girly mag', while we were sitting in the lounge Keith rolled up his newspaper and using it like a megaphone shouted 'You pornographic sod Jones!'  Jones was amused and agreed the mag was indeed very rude.

Studying Shakespeare's King Richard II for my GCE English 'O' level was too good an opportunity to miss, with a small amount of defacing all that was needed was some autographs, especially Keith's. He thought it was pretty funny.

The flight was called and they were heading for the coach to take them out to the airport, Mick walked towards me and for some unknown reason I kissed him, his face was rough and unshaven, but it felt good. I think I was more surprised than he was, he smiled at me and I turned round to see Keith laughing and waving from the coach.

Four days later they were back and it was my birthday. After a lot of hysterical discussion our friend Ann asked Keith 'What does plating mean?'  He rapidly passed it on to Brian, who laughed so much he could hardly speak. Eventually he replied, 'It's some sort of sheet metal work isn't it Keith?' Undaunted she asked Bill who told her not to be so filthy. That's rich coming from him. Keith said to Ann 'I'll do it if you like, but you only want to plate the Walker Brothers. She said she didn't and he said 'OK you gotta learn sometime.' Got in the car and drove off laughing. For those of you who don't know, plating was the then current slang term for oral sex, and all parties were fully aware of its meaning.

At the airport about a week later (I had been home) I saw Brian's car pull up, he got out, walked towards me, climbed through some railings and said 'Hello darling'. I loved his voice - a fascinating, but strange mix of posh, effeminate and sexy. I said hello and we walked in the chemist inside the terminal, where Keith was doing his funny walk. We continued into the grill and sat at the bar. The waiter says we all have to have the 7/- (seven shillings) breakfast, a ludicrous suggestion and obviously a ploy to get rid of us. Keith just wants a cup of tea, the waiter says he can't have one. 'I want a cup of tea, now go and get it.' The waiter says 'I am not going to give it to you.'  Keith demands 'Go and get the manager.' Brian meanwhile is repeating 'Bring the manager,' over and over.  Eventually the waiter says he will serve Keith and Brian but no one else. We all get up and leave. Brian squeezes my hand and smiles at me. So sweet, sometimes...

Here's a photo of Mick with Pamela, Ann and Jennifer at Heathrow.

Sometime in July we decide to go to Ivor Court, this is a mansion block on Gloucester Place near Baker Street, where Andrew Loog Oldham has his offices and where Charlie and Shirley had a flat, but were moving out today. We were talking to Keith who took the opportunity to give out a Brian Jones warning 'you need to be careful around him, he's already got five children.'  This came not long after he told us to stay away from PJ Proby, because he was a dirty old man. This was because Mick's girlfriend Chrissie had run off to his place after an argument, so PJ was not flavour of the month. Keith knew we'd been visiting his place opposite Chelsea Barracks and when he moved to his mock Tudor house on Barn Hill in  Wembley Park.

P.J's was open house, one time we were there the Rockin' Vickers came to visit arriving in their hearse on the way back from a gig, a very amusing sight and a lively evening. PJ was big on dogs and had two Saint Bernards, one was a puppy, completely white and looked like a polar bear cub, very cute. The third was a Basset Hound that really loved to howl, particularly if PJ went out the room, when he would sit under one of the dining chairs and wail until he returned, or sometimes would just start up and nothing would stop him, boy was that annoying.

Bumped into Mick and Keith, who were at the fan club, as I was heading to the Palladium to get tickets for their show next month. That was a nice surprise.

Saw them the next day too, again at the fan club, after I had taken my French pen pal to see the delights of Trafalgar Square.

The Mini was the current must have mode of transport and Mick and Chrissie both had one. Mick's was green with a white roof and her's was white. One evening Pamela and I arrived at Mick's as he was leaving. He said he was sorry, but he had to go out and asked us if he could drop us somewhere. He was heading for West London and offered to take us to Baker Street tube station. Pamela was very keen to take the front seat, I gallantly climbed in the back, thereby avoiding any unseemly pushing and shoving! It was a good ride but not long enough.

Here's a pic of Mick in Chrissie's car.


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