Monday, 8 March 2010

1967 Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Cream, Peter Green

An amusing start to the year with the Rolling Stones' appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium to promote their new single 'Let's Spend the Night Together'. The show traditionally finishes with all performers standing in a circle on a revolving stage waving goodbye, the Stones unsurprisingly refuse to take part. There is some predictable outrage either because they won't go on the roundabout, the song's lyric or both.

A couple of days later I'm in the Marquee watching Jimi Hendrix. Oh my god this guy is good and so loud I think I'm going to throw up. I was about 3 feet away from him right in line with his speaker cab. Marvellous. He looks fantastic and seems so laid back, he's very funny and is great with the audience, which is not often the case, Peter Green was like that too.

1967 is looking up and it's still only January.

The Saville on Shaftesbury Avenue is a new venue for rock music, on the 5th February we have tickets for Cream. The Beatles, Brian Epstein, Patti Boyd, Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix are all there to see Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce who are absolutely amazing, true heavy metal. Edwin Starr was on too -  'Knock on Wood'.

February 13th unlucky for some. Keith's home Redlands in West Wittering, Sussex is busted by the police, Mick is there with Marianne. Mick, Keith and Robert Fraser are eventually charged, Mick with possession of amphetamines, Keith with allowing his property to be used for the smoking of cannabis and Robert Fraser with possessing heroin and amphetamines. The police are delighted, for them this has been a long time coming.

Me and my friend Fran from school are lucky enough to see Cream at the Starlight Ballroom in Greenford, it is a real thrill to see these guys in such a small venue, the power of their music is like a physical force.

My German boyfriend is back in London, we meet quite often in Le Macabre coffee club on Meard St. just off Wardour Street. It's dark, the tables are like coffins and you can sit there for hours with the one cup of coffee. JoMa loves the Marquee we visit often till it is time for him to return home. Cream at the Playhouse the night before he leaves, a good last night.

Family holiday time is here again, we're heading for Devon and this time Pamela is coming too. This photo is of me, my brother and Pamela in Princetown outside the Devil's Elbow on Dartmoor, we were there to see the prison. No one can say we don't know how to have fun.

The German film 'A Degree Of Murder', starring Anita Pallenberg is scored by Brian Jones, good or not, I have no idea, I've never seen it. Apparently this is the first time a film soundtrack is composed by a rock musician. Recorded at IBC, with Nicky Hopkins, Kenney Jones and Jimmy Page. (Just seen the movie is on youtube - listened to the opening titles music - interesting and shows his fascination with the new sounds and instruments that were becoming available).

I am certainly not going to miss this, The Jeff Beck Group is playing the Marquee, Ron Wood, Mickey Waller, Dave Ambrose, and Rod Stewart. We love this band, one of the most exciting around, along with Hendrix and Cream. Jeff Beck is such a spectacular guitarist, so much melody with a gut wrenching tone and particularly brilliant paired with Rod. I know Rod became hugely successful later, but for me he was never better than when performing with Jeff. Plenty of musicians in the audience including Cream, Spencer Davis, and Alan Bown Set.

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, now with Peter Green an extremely talented guitarist with a lovely tone and he's a very good singer too. We see them play as often as we can, which is pretty regular. One night John McVie swung round accidentally hitting Mick Fleetwood in the eye with the end of his bass. The audience found this rather amusing if not downright hilarious.

Jimi Hendrix is playing the Saville Theatre, he is mind blowingly good. Our seats are in the second row, a fabulous position to watch this master magician at work, he is such a fantastic showman as well as being a brilliant guitarist.  I know he's not impressed with his own vocals, but I and plenty of others are.  Brian Jones and Anita Pallenberg are up in one of the boxes. On the way out I walk past Brian who is insulting some overweight guy. We don't speak. I doubt he even remembers me.

Three days later Brian is arrested and charged with possession of cannabis found in his flat in Courtfield Road. It's open season on the Stones.

Cream are at the Marquee again, truly breathtaking, me and Pamela had front row seats right in the middle, getting both barrels from Ginger's double bass drums, not to mention Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton's racket.

Our friend Wendy is having a party at her Dad's mews house in Lancaster Gate, her Dad is away and she has the place to herself, how good is that, none of us were in a position to do such a thing.  Pamela and I went together, we were having lots of fun and didn't want to leave. I called my parents to say I was going to stay there, but they were having none of it and said that Pamela had to leave too, as she had told her parents she was staying the night at our place. In a last ditch effort I said it was too late to get the Tube, so my Dad drives to Lancaster Gate. All very embarrassing, the journey home was no fun for anyone. We returned the next day to find the party still in full swing and we leap right back in.

John Lee Hooker is appearing at the Marquee, it's so good to see someone this iconic in such intimate surroundings. The support was Ten Years After, personally not a fan of Alvin Lee and his interminably long solos, went out for a drink while they were on.

25th June is the global satellite link up between 5 continents, The Beatles represent England, everyone very excited. They performed 'All You Need is Love' Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Eric Clapton, Patti Boyd (still married to George Harrison), Jane Asher (Paul McCartney's girlfriend) Graham Nash and probably a whole lot more are there singing along and wearing placards. It was one of those moments where it seemed like technology was going to bore you to death, but it was good enough.

Mick, Keith and Robert Fraser are being sentenced today, 30th June, for the Redlands drug bust. Mick is given 3 months, Keith 1 year and Fraser 6 months. They are of the opinion they were set up by the News of the World, in retaliation for a previous drug possession allegation that they couldn't prove. Apparently the journalist mistakenly thought he was talking to Mick when in fact he was speaking to Brian. Where do they get these people from? They have to be among the most photographed people in the country and they can't tell the difference between Mick and Brian. Mick and Keith spend a night in jail before being bailed pending an appeal, Robert Fraser was refused bail.

A fantastic line up at the Saville, Jeff Beck Group, Cream, and John Mayall with Peter Green, it was just missing Jimi. Heaven.

21st July is my last day at school - ever.

Hippyness is all around, incense is everywhere, as is the sickly odour of patchouli oil. There is a Love In at Alexandra Palace, a bunch of us went, to see Pink Floyd, The Animals, Brian Auger Trinity with Julie Driscoll and Arthur Brown. Some good music, the strobe light use was a bit over the top, I couldn't walk without falling over.

I went to the Law Courts today for Mick and Keith's appeal. Prior to this there had been big time publicity in the newspapers and the TV. The Who had recorded 'The Last Time/Under My Thumb' and were going to give all the money from sales to their appeal fund. William Rees-Mogg had written The Times editorial 'Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel' about the heavy handed treatment Mick and Keith had received. Mick was the only one there because Keith had chicken pox, this created a lot of amusement. We were told to be quiet or they'd clear the court. Mick was conditionally discharged and Keith's sentence was quashed.

12th August  Leaving the flat wearing jeans, a dark blue dress with bright orange flowers, a string of beads and a bell. I only made it to the end of the road before I ripped the bell from my neck. I was on my way to Windsor for the Jazz and Blues Festival. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Pink Floyd, Zoot Money, Amen Corner, Aynsley Dunbar's Retaliation, not a bad line up. Pamela and I meet two guys in the queue, Gary and Pete, they play in a blues band called Elio-Karfenetti, the four of us watch the show together. Arthur Brown is so funny, his mad dancing, setting his head on fire, some good songs who would be harsh to ask for more. Gary and Pete are going to drive back to London, we decide to go with them rather than stay in the miniscule tent which is our only other choice.

We spend the night in a burnt out house in Finchley that belongs to Gary's dad and drive to Windsor the next morning. As we're finding some seats for Donovan's performance I suddenly remember I'm meant to be meeting my friend Fran at the Castle. Me and Pete start running, she's there waiting and none too pleased neither - sorry Fran. Tonight's bill was pretty spectacular, so she cheered up a bit. Cream, Jeff Beck, John Mayall, PP Arnold, Alan Bown, The Pentangle with Bert Jansch, Denny Laine, Chicken Shack and the debut of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Steve York was playing bass with them until John McVie was allowed to leave John Mayall's band. I wonder how they all got on back stage. Fleetwood Mac are seriously good, ultimately they are yet another blues band, but man can they do it. Pete gave me and Fran a lift back to London and wrote his phone number on a guitar string packet for me, I liked that.

Saw Peter Green two days later at the Marquee, red hot. Chicken Shack were the support, with Christine Perfect, Stan Webb etc. you'll know how this one ends if you know anything about Fleetwood Mac's evolution.

The Stones release 'We Love You' ending with the sound of a cell door slamming and put it out with a film based on the Trials of Oscar Wilde, which is promptly banned by the BBC.

So much clubbing, Arthur Brown, more Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, who after having lost, Eric Clapton and Peter Green have found yet another fab guitarist - Mick Taylor.

I go to see Pete's band, they are playing with Fairport Convention at a party. It's good having a guitarist for a boyfriend.

Jeff Beck is at the Marquee, John Mayall at Manor House, Peter Green at Klooks Kleek, followed by John Mayall, Peter Green and Chicken Shack at the Saville, with another appearance of Peter Green and Chicken Shack at the Marquee all this in one month. Is it possible to overdose on this?

It is September, I've started work at the University of London library. I'm really not happy and have  started looking for something new. I've been offered a job with Decca but they're paying peanuts.

Middle Earth a new club in Covent Garden, an all nighter, you could usually get in for free by copying the pass stamp on the back of your hand. There was a big basement room for the main band with some smaller spaces for other entertainments - sometimes the people who played large pieces of glass hanging from ropes. I liked this for about two minutes, then the will to live began to seep away.  Tyrannosaurus Rex - Marc Bolan and Steve Took often played there sat on a white sheet playing 'Deborah'. The light shows were always good. Covent Garden was still a fruit and veg market, bustling and loud in the early morning when we were leaving the club and heading for the coffee stall. We were an easy target for their wit and sarcasm, men with long hair, girls with very short skirts, like shooting fish in a barrel.

I'm not sure if we ever paid to get in to Middle Earth, how did they make any money?

Decide to accept a job with the British Institute of Management Library and begin work on the 9th October, my boss Vicky is good fun to work with, we were  proof reading bibliographies in a room off the main library, which was just as well, we made way too much noise laughing at author's names. I can't remember them all, but there was definitely a Jock Purves, thanks Jock.

Freddy King is playing at the Fishmonger's with Chicken Shack, he'd written some great instrumentals, Driving Sideways, Hideaway. Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood and Jeremy Spencer are in the audience.

A few days later Pete and I were at the Marquee to see John Mayall, but he'd cancelled and Ten Years After were on instead, Friday 13th, no surprise then. We left and went to Middle Earth, Soft Machine were on, some good luck to be had after all.

'A Few Dollars More' the 'Fist Full's' sequel is on, a definite must see, I went with Pete and the keyboard player from his band Dave Ewer, who many, many years later will be in 'Spinal Tap. Clint looks stunning, he was born to play the man with no name. Finish the night off with a visit to Middle Earth and see Denny Laine's Electric String Band.

October is a fun packed month Geno and the Ram Jam Band at the Marquee tonight, he's always entertaining, and amazing that he doesn't know the words to the covers he does, even Wilson Pickett's 'The Midnight Hour'. It doesn't seem to bother him or the audience.

Elio Kafanati are supporting Ten Years After at the Marquee, the irony is clear, my boyfriend's band and the dreaded TYA, some sacrifices have to be made I guess. It was a good gig, Pete and I went on to Middle Earth, Aynsley Dunbar's Retaliation and Pete Brown's Poetry Band were on. I find Pete Brown a bit hard going, he writes good lyrics for sure, but I don't enjoy him as a performer.

Pete met me at work this evening, so we could get to the Marquee early to see Jimi Hendrix, hoo-bloody-ray. Front row, probably never hear again, don't care. He is fantastic and looks absolutely stunning. His gigs are something else.

Two days later we're at Hammersmith Odeon for the American Jazz and Blues Festival, incredible line up - Son House, Bukka White, Skip James, Little Walter, Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle is a big favourite of mine, another winner from the great composer and bass player, Willie Dixon. Son House is a legend, I love his bottle neck playing, and so many great songs - 'Death Letter'...

The following night is the Marquee for Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Buddy Guy turns up to play a number with them. He's somewhat barmy but a tremendous guitarist and very entertaining. Bert Jansch at Les Cousins tomorrow night. Cream and Bonzo Dog at the Saville the night after and the 31st October John Mayall at the Marquee. What an unbelievable month.

Brian Jones is sentenced to 9 months in prison after pleading guilty to the cannabis possession. He's going to appeal.

November is not bad, but last month is hard to follow. Pete's band plays at the Marquee support to Chicken Shack and are now auditioning bass players, they choose Steve York who played with Fleetwood Mac at the festival. We see a few movies - Al Capone and How I Won the War.  Quatermass and the Pit was on at the Carlton in Essex Road, nice and spooky. The Torture Garden and Beserk were a good sick pairing. Some more Peter Green at the Marquee.

Double bills were the norm at the cinema, often involving 633 Squadron, although this time it was It with The Frozen Dead, not bad.

12th December is the day for Brian's appeal, his sentence is changed to a £1000.00 fine and 3 years probation. His defence is that he is not mentally strong enough to survive a jail term.

We drive throught the snow to see Jeff Beck this evening at  the Marquee, everything looks so beautiful as we slide down Shaftesbury Avenue.

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac again at the Marquee. The following night is New Year's Eve which means a trip to Trafalgar Square, traditional though this has become, I was fed up with it, being grabbed by rather unsavoury individuals trying to stick their tongues down my throat. These people were clearly taking advantage of the situation!

1 comment:

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