Sunday, 20 October 2019

2019 Birthday party, Podcast episode 2

It's a big old birthday in June and we're putting a band together to play at the party - no I can't believe it either, but that's what we're doing - me on bass, Rosie on drums, Alice Miller on guitar and Steve 'Snips' Parsons - vocals, tambourine and maracas. Lots of people come from various parts of my life, it was fabulous to see them all and I hope they enjoyed the band as much as we did. We started with a song I'd written and followed it with covers of songs from mine and Steve's teenage years. Steve, Rosie and myself shared the singing:
Not Fade Away, Tired of Waiting, Money, For Your Love, Mr. Soul, Somebody to Love, California Dreamin' and encored with All Along the Watchtower.

Me and Rosie finally found the time to do episode 2 of our podcast 'Mama was a Rolling Stone' - it's ten minutes long and only took a year! How busy can two people be - apparently very!

Monday, 13 August 2018

2018 Podcast

Me and Rosie have been working on a podcast version of the blog - it's called Mama was a Rolling Stone. We've recorded the first episode and uploaded it to Mixcloud - we will add further episodes.

ChapelFM radio station have broadcast an hour show of us chatting and playing tracks -  using the pilot podcast plus live interview and more tracks.

Jackie Badger + Brian Jones 06.01.65 London Airport

Monday, 20 February 2017

1995 SHARKS The Orange in West Ken

Hard to believe, but it looks like I didn't mention Sharks gig at The Orange in West Kensington 1995 - lineup: Spedding, Snips, Nick Judd, Jackie Badger (Parsons) and Blair Cunningham. As luck would have it December 6th is a freezing cold snowy night and public transport is being delayed or just plain cancelled.

We're all panicking cos it looks like drummer, Blair Cunningham isn't going to make it, but somehow he does. There's a rumour that Bill Wyman's coming, but he fails to materialize, however Mike Batt manages to struggle through the now very inclement weather as does my brother and many friends and acquaintances.

Essentially the gig is to promote the new album 'Like A Black Van Parked On A Dark Curve' originally released on Bubblehead Records and is still available (now from Talking Elephant who also have First Water and Jab It In Yore Eye).

The dressing room window is broken and tiny snowflakes settle on the inside - kind of festive, but it's so cold I can't stop shaking and am wearing fingerless mittens to stop my hands from icing up.

We go on to an introduction from Tim James (from the film Funny Man) The stage is tiny - not much space - Steve moves fast and takes no prisoners.

Steve Parsons, Chris Spedding, Jackie Badger + Nick Judd
01. Wake Me When It's Time To Dance
02. Gone To The Dogs
03. Jimmy Bell
04. Perfect Days
05. Die For Love
06. Sophistication
07. Blues Rags and Hollers
08. The First Things
09. Cry Like A Baby
10. Can't Stop Thinking About Me
11.White Man
12. Music Break Out
13. Snakes and Swallowtails

It's a good night and the audience seem to have fun - we'd rehearsed the set but had not even thought about an encore - we came back on and played Blue Suede Shoes!

We learned later (from Mojo magazine) that Busta died that night in Memphis. Although it was great to be part of the gig, I would have gladly have given it up to see him play with Sharks again.

From SHARKS Facebook site:

Sharks band · November 7, 2016
  When Steve was putting a band together in 1977 guitarist John Bentley (later of Squeeze) recommended Jackie Badger for the bass guitar slot. Jackie was just calling time on her all-girl band Mother Superior (appeared on the Cliff Richard BBC TV show and backed the ‘Tainted for Life’ star on a Chuck Berry song!) so was available to join the band and record the Video Kings album for Jet Records. 
When the band was laid to rest Steve and Jackie started dating and married shortly after. As Jackie Parsons she played on the Snips 9 0’ Clock single and the La Rocca album. This led to her playing with the Chris Spedding band on a Canadian/N American tour in the winter of 78/79. 
In 1994 she picked up Sharks duties, playing on the Dark Van album and the one-off 20th anniversary gig at the Orange. Nowadays, amongst other things, she is a crucial member of Team Sharks. Steve and Jackie’s daughter, Rosie P, is the drummer/vocalist in the Leeds based band Autobodies Rosie is also a member of Team Sharks

Chris Spedding: 
‘Andy Fraser, Busta Jones and Dave Cochrane raised the bar pretty high for our bass players. After playing with Video Kings, Jackie Badger came along and jumped over that bar effortlessly on Steve’s La Rocca album, which I produced, and she continued to play exemplary bass on the live promo tour we did in North America. She also contributed some fine work to the Dark Van album, so we are honoured to have her as a Sharks band member.’

Snips: ‘It’s obviously hard to ‘big up’ the missus but suffice to say that I hired her for her bass playing ability long before romance reared its silky head. Now that my daughter plays drums and has a lovely voice it is theoretically possible to form an all singing, all dancing Parsons Trio. The world holds its breath.’
Jackie Parsons Thanks guys. The pressure was all mine! That was some seriously good music to be part of.

Church Bone-Idol Go team Snips


Saturday, 3 September 2016

2016 SHARKS reform! La Rocca re-released!

Who would believe it? SHARKS have reformed - again, this time with Sex Pistol/Professionals drummer Paul Cook and Tosh Ogawa on bass alongside Chris Spedding, Steve 'Snips' Parsons and Nick Judd. New single out on Sept 30th 'One Last Thrill'

Oh yeah and La Rocca's been remastered and rereleased on Angel Air Records - sounds good too and it's only been 36 years

Monday, 3 June 2013

2013 Portrait of a Love Letter - Dumb Baby Sounds: It Might Get Loud

Portrait of a Love Letter - Dumb Baby Sounds: It Might Get Loud: "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." Jack Kerouac Hendrix - New York 1968 - Shot by Elliot Landy...

Check this blog from Dumb Baby Sounds or as I know him David Lloyd - great singer and composer, whose collaboration on the La Rocca album was much appreciated and has remained a good friend.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

2012 - 2015 Tomorrow's Here Right Now Music Video, Women Make Noise book, various updates

 It's 2013 and a few decades have been spent doing a fascinating mix of things, including having a daughter who having been a baby, child and teenager, now among other things, plays keyboards, guitar, drums and sings.

Good news - the blog works! I was asked to contribute a chapter on progressive rock to the book on all-girl bands 'Women Make Noise' published last December. It covers many genres and decades and has some good rare photos. It was a tremendous opportunity for me to interview many of the women I knew back in the 70s and those who are currently working in alternative rock. Spoke with Deirdre Cartwright, who knew from Mother Superior days when she was playing with Painted Lady and later with Tour De Force and  now is a well respected jazz guitarist. She told me some hilarious stuff about men who could not believe she could play that fast and were convinced she must be taking drugs. Maggie Vail then at KRS told me about the derogatory stuff that gets written on line about female musicians, like Marnie Stern etc. The more things change the more they stay the same!

2014 - Started a writing group a couple of years ago with five fascinating authors six writers north london, we might be small but we're perfectly formed. The group is now slightly smaller as I left to travel further north. They are still writing, take a look at their website.

Joined a writing class 'Dramatic Writing'. We were asked to write something for the Headingley Literary Festival on the subject of surviving. Try as I may, I was not happy with what I was coming up with, so I wrote a song and made a music video - Tomorrow's Here Right Now it's about climate change and survival of the human race on the planet. Cheery stuff!

Ferg, Rosie Pea and Matthew

Rosie (daughter) is drummer and singer with Leeds band Autobodies - a three piece - they all sing and compose - good band with a distinctive style.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

1980s La Rocca, Midge Ure, Chris Spedding, New York, Bonny Street Studios,

Jackie, PA and Transit
1980 and am still doing sound for bands with my friend Pete, it's hard work lifting all the gear about, often gigs are upstairs, like the Moonlight in West Hampstead and we have to carry the humungous JBL bass bins between us. Some of the music is good like the Skank Orchestra and the seriously top class Dudu Pukwana - but it's not often enough.

Back in the studio in February, this time Audio International with Midge Ure to record 'Baby'.

Next month, 5th March, we (Snips, me, Midge Ure, drummer Steve Young and guitarist Gary) are on In Concert at the BBC's Paris Theatre. Sharing the bill are The Tourists (Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Eddie Chin, Pete Coombes and Jim Toomey). I heard a recording of it years later - it sounded great and we were genuinely live, no stopping or rerecording!

Snips is doing some more producing, this time a guy called Mike Jaye, another MAM artist who has written a good, commercial (we thought) song 'Automatic Life', apparently turns out to be the 'b' side of something called 'Romance'. Mike has been working on this track (Automatic Life) for a while and Snips has been brought in to get it finished. I do some backing vocals and now Mike needs to do his vocal, there are quite a few takes before he is satisfied and now the tape is starting to shred because it's been across the tape heads too many times.  The race to achieve a final mix before the tape disintegrates is a tight one. I don't think I've ever seen that happen before. Sadly for us all - 'Romance' and therefore 'Automatic Life' is not a hit.

Steve Young, Snips, Jackie Badger at The Venue June 1980
Me and Snips are going to play The Venue on June 17th with Huw Gower (guitar), Graeme Douglas guitarist from Eddie and the Hot Rods, Chris Mercer (sax), Simon Etchell (keyboards), Steve Young (drums). We have a a scaffold build set with an upper floor for me, Steve Young and Simon Etchell, leaving the ground floor for Graeme, Huw and Chris. There is a staircase so Snips can move between both floors. MC is Alexei Sayle. We do a few days rehearsal at Jumbo Studios and then one day with the scaffold set up at John Henry's.

Spedding and Snips at Riverside
Spedding, Clem, Jackie and Snips
Later this year, due to the strength of 'Nine O'clock', MAM records ask Snips to make an album. In October we record mostly at Riverside in Chiswick and Music Works in Holloway, but finish it at 39th St Music in New York. 'La Rocca!' as it is called has some fabulous idiosyncratic songs written by Snips, including 'Skies of England' which is about my teenage fascination with the Rolling Stone, Brian Jones, plus David Elliot's (Lloyd) 'Happy Sometimes' and 'Police Car' by Larry Wallis. I get to play with two fantastic drummers - Clem Cattini and Dave Mattacks. Bill Nelson plays some synth, Chris Spedding who of course plays guitar and also is the producer.

8th December 1980 John Lennon is shot dead outside his home, the Dakota, after returning from the recording studio, I won't name the perpetrator here as I have no interest in giving any further publicity to the waste of space who murdered this supremely talented musician, singer and composer. What a dreadfully sad loss.

Later this month Snips and I fly to a snowy New York to play some gigs with Chris Spedding and drummer David Van Tieghem. We check into the Gramercy Park hotel and get straight into rehearsing at Spedding's girlfriend Jody's loft.  Spedding is so good at giving helpful and useful musical information I have reached saturation point and have to beg him not to offer me any more! My head is holding a whole new album and Spedding's set, one wrong move and I feel like I could forget everything.

The gigs begin on Boxing Day, Christmas Day we have been invited to Jody's mother's place in Queens. It is a fascinating drive out there, it's the first time I have seen front garden's decorated with lights and Christmas scenes. Back then it was mind blowingly hilarious. We arrive around lunchtime but there has been a timing confusion and dinner is a whole lot later than we imagined. We - Spedding, John Cale (who married Jody's sister), Snips, me and Spedding's manager Nina - passed the time down in the den watching TV. John Cale drops the most unbelievably dreadful fart and we all run out, leaving him there laughing. When we are called into the kitchen for dinner it is clear there is not a whole lot to eat except meat. It has to go down as the hungriest Christmas I can remember.

The Left Bank performance is slightly tentative, but OK and then we fly to Toronto for a short tour. On arrival and as our bags are being searched, the Rizlas that 'someone' has in their luggage are spotted and we are all taken away to be thoroughly searched and I do mean thoroughly.

Eventually we are allowed on to the sacred Canadian turf where we are met by two of Martha and the Muffins' road crew who are booked to do the tour with us. One of them bails and Mikki a young Japanese woman is left to do the job on her own, which she does impeccably, driving the minibus, carrying some of the gear and tuning guitars.

Sometimes the set begins with Spedding, Van Tieghem and myself as a three piece performing songs from some of the Spedding catalogue, like 'Silver Bullet' and 'Guitar Jamboree', and then Snips comes on and we do songs from the new La Rocca album. We finish or encore with two Sharks numbers 'Snakes and Swallowtails' and 'Sophistication'. And other times it's the other way round.

Spedding on tour in London Ontario 1980
Playing with these guys is unquestionably fabulous, but it is kind of tense for various personality and pharmaceutical reasons. Although having said that, here is a nice smiley pic of Spedding in the van.

The London, Ontario gig at The Cedar Lounge was lively - one of those clubs where you have to play behind a grill. The rooms above the club seem to be a doss house except for the one given to us to use as a dressing room - ah the glamour.

The electrics in the club in Windsor are deemed lethal by Mikki who refuses to allow us to appear until the promoter has called in an electrician to earth the place, which he does very reluctantly do (thanks Mikki!).

The last gig in Canada is the Masonic Temple Toronto, which I think is recorded or broadcast live on radio or something of that nature. Here's a couple of tracks from the show- 'Work' and 'Mama Coca'. For this run of gigs me and Steve have bought various items from the Vivienne Westwood Pirates collection and here's some pics of us wearing it...
Jackie B Toronto Photo: Wayne Eardley

Spedding + Snips Toronto Photo: Wayne Eardley

Back in NY we play at Trax club and as we are waiting to go on, a guy in the audience asks me if I'm the Jackie Badger. At this point I have no idea.

Just before we are to return to the UK, I find my fee has been spent on an end of tour banquet arranged by Nina, that none of the band are invited to! Really? The tour was an experience I wouldn't have missed for sure, but it would have been good to have been paid!

Snips at The Venue 22.4.81 Simon Etchell, Steve Young, Jackie B + Kirby
We tour the album in March '81 playing various gigs up and down the country with Simon Etchell (keybds), Steve Young (drums) Kirby Gregory from Curved Air and Stretch (guitar) and me and Snips. I also made the skull back drop - Brighton University, Croydon Fairfields Hall,  Leeds Warehouse - Bill Nelson came to see us. Manchester University, Glasgow University, The Venue London, Liverpool Warehouse.

More recording and gigging - London clubs - 101 Club, Rock Garden and the Greyhound in May. And in October we're back in Music Works recording - Preston Heyman on drums.
Pete Chapman Jackie B+Jackie B's dad. Bonny Street 

Snips at The Clarendon 1983 Dom de Sousa, Jackie B + Chris Pye

Changes are ahead: in 1982 Pete and I find premises in Camden Town to open a rehearsal studio and are extremely happy to put the PA into Bonny Street Studios instead of the endless loading and unloading of the van. Although it's always busy, there is only enough space for one studio. There's a couple of small rooms, one is the office (my brother shares this space to fix electrical equipment). We branch out into tape copying and  equipment hire, but do not find anything that increases the takings to any useful degree. Plus the equipment we hire out gets stolen too often. We find one of our keyboards, a DX7 on a boat bound for Africa!

September William S Burroughs is at the Ritzy in Brixton to promote his book Cities of the Red Night - so good to hear him speak, that voice is incredible, it cuts through you like a knife! Dr Benway! Hysterical

I join a band put together for a singer called Behira, Mark Sidgwick is playing guitar. We play one gig - the Moonlight in West Hampstead. We have known Mark for a while - plays both bass and guitar - was with The Boyfriends and Holly and the Italians.

1983 sees me and Snips playing with Dom Bon De Sousa (sax) previously with Goldie and Chris Pye (guitar) previously with The Books. We play at the Manor House (the same space that was the Harringay blues club where I first saw John Lee Hooker) and even more weird it was promoted by Gary Schombert who I fist met in 1967 standing in line for the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival, with his friend Pete Chapman, who became my boyfriend and whose bass I used when I first started playing...aghh!!! It truly is tiny world. This pic is taken at The Clarendon, a pub in the middle of a roundabout in Hammersmith.

Defeat is finally admitted at Bonny Street Studios and new premises are found in Hornsey - a bigger building, which has space for recording too. Pete runs this and names it La Rocka. I quit to have a baby.

Stephen has also moved sideways and got into the music for film business, working on TV ads and films. We incorporate a studio into our flat - I continue to play bass and sometimes do vocals, but although this is a good move for Steve, I'm not sure it works for me.