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NEWS . . NEWS . . NEWS . . NEWS . . NEWS
Riffs welcomes constant info on gigs, line-up changes and general band associated news.
(Please note that the further down the page, the older the News)


No one tells us what to write, so we'll never tell you what to think


I'm aware that I've just featured an early gig by out and out rockers, Blast, but I remember Val and myself were so impressed, we caught them just months later at The Duke.
So here is just a taste (which is about the amount of Coke in one of Thompa's JDs).
We could be late 90s here or early 2000s. Note just how much the band are enjoying the gig too . . .

          

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'97 or '98 for both of these pics.
Wow, someone's got a good memory "how come you didn't include the pic of Val with Len in the Tubesnake pics?" A quick search unearthed it. Happy?
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Ere's some late 90s pics of the Zeppelin-touting Black Dog which I suspect - because of the pic of Val squeezed between Thompa and Ronnie - were taken when myself and Val caught the band at the Duke of Cumblerland in Felling. Many great nights we had there and I can state that Thompa Cumberland, along with Paul Tuns, were the two most gracious hosts in the North East. Mind you, Thompa was a terrible barman - for me and Val he always got the amounts of JD and Coke the wrong way round. . . bless his little cotton socks.
         
       


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And talking of Baz, just found this odd pic, sitting there, in the archives - with no other pics of the night. How bazarre:


So, is it just me who didn't know that our local lad Baz Warne not only is a guitarist in the Stranglers, but is also lead singer? Oh, it is. Anyway, click on the music icon on the right column to see the man himself . . . [yeah, I knew he was in the band, but . . .]


To the email enquirer: Yes, every single picture in this column I have personally took - at the gig, on the night. If for whatever reason I use someone else's picture I ALWAYS mention it, otherwise, they are ALL taken by myself. Soz, thought this was common knowledge. Val and myself have always prided ourselves on the personal touch (well, especially Val) and we hope that it's this detail that lends a certain intimacy and reality to our reviews and pics....
Now, back to just another night at The Office.  Don't have nightmares . . .
             
           
       


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Next batch of pics which I hope I'll have ready to upload tomorrow feature a nightmare at the Office . . .


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A few pics from the much-acclaimed but short-lived UUFO,
not sure of the year.
        
    

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Here's a couple of the earliest Riffs pics of the brilliant Tubesnake . . .

    

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Well, I could have sworn that I had already added to this News page the review of Baz Warne in Robot Elvis at Paddywhacks in Sunderland - but scrolling down the News page I just couldn't see it anywhere, so I guess I must have dreamt it, which is strange, as the majority of my dreams don't include band reviews.........


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More Riffs archive dipping finds the inimitable Baz Warne and the Sun Devils at the Office - photos taken on March 16. How about that for accuracy eh?! Oh, you want the year do you? Bugga. Could be 1997 or 1998 . . . And I also include the poster for when Baz played a special gig for Val when she was running the Earl of Warwick in West Auckland (this was a few years later after Baz had joined The Stranglers). Also (just to be as accurate as poss) the pic of Baz and Val was taken at Paddywhacks in Sunderland a few years later.
      
      
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Trying desperately now to narrow down the date of these old pics. With confirmation from Big Al though, I can say that these pics are from 1998 at The Office in Shields.
      
        


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Epic games are offering Civilisation VI FOC until the 28th to help folk get through the lockdown:
https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/sid-meiers-civilization-vi/home#

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Well, look what I found - pics of the night Dark-Glam trans-gender band from Minneapolis, Minnesota appeared at the Office in Shields. The band, All The Pretty Horses, featured Venus DeMars. The band blend the influences of artists such as David Bowie and Sex Pistols with a dose of heavy, guitar rock and outrageous costumes, into a self-described style called dark-glam.
If I hadn't taken the pictures I just wouldn't have believed that this gig took place. To say it was an eye-opener is an understatement. Trying to narrow it down but I reckon late 90s. Probs 1997 or 8.
       
         
     

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Seems a lot of these old photographs I've been resurrecting have time details that may have been corrupted - as most say 2001 (reasonable), November 14 (hmmm) and then 2pm (unlikely) so, basically, I now don't have a clue when they were taken!! Still, probs more exciting . . .?

Anyway, back to
The Cluny with Loaded 44 . . . fuck knows when.
       
     
 
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Cover Story at the Boldon Lad, late 90s.
      
    

     

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So just how much would you pay for a line-up like this?

The Doors, Pink Floyd, the Faces, Family, Curved Air, Atomic Rooster, The Kinks, Rory Gallagher, Uriah Heep, Country Joe McDonald, Buddy Miles, Status Quo, Brinsley Schwarz, Spencer Davis, The Strawbs and Humble Pie all appeared at the 2nd British Rock Meeting, Insel Grun, Germersheim, West Germany. 1972.

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When the world was rockin' . . .

       
       
Does anyone remember where this was? I'm suspecting 1997 or 8.

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Stormin' 2004



Jackl. I know it's at 'The Masons Arms' but, not 100% sure where. Any ideas?

   


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And while I was rummaging, what year do you think this was at Stormin' the Castle? - without looking at the picture details!         It was 2007.       Somebody emailed to say we have a picture of some Stormin' boobs! I must track down that one....
  


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Nice to hear from Big Al who, I think, is bass player for North-East stalwarts, Witchkraft, with amazing axe-man Mal.
Val has extreme respect for Al and called him "A gentleman among gentlemen". He is one of that rare breed of men who you not only never got sick of talking to, but always learn so much from.
So, after a quick rummage, I dug up this pic of the two aforementioned, dating back to November 2004, which Al reminds me was taken at the Rock Bar in Easington.
Oh those heady days of deciding which Rock band to go see . . .










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Ten years ago yesterday (Saturday) we lost an unbelievably stunning Rock voice - the one and only RONNIE JAMES DIO. So sadly missed, what a phenomenal voice this guy had.
These pics I took at a venue in Durham (I think) in 2005. [Memory isn't what it used to be!]
  
     


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Knew there had to be somebody out there. Seriously though, just heard from Dave from the Graham Henderson Experience to say he is biting at the bit to get back out there
after all this voodoo hoodoo and re-create the thriving live music scene that we all miss so much. In the meantime let's remind ourselves of the band in full flow at the Penny Gill in Spennymoor . . . https://youtu.be/Y8Goiam0xW0

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After a deluge of mail from readers (well, I did actually get one) so for all the people still reading Riffs, this is for both of you.........the sensational BLAST from 2001 at Shields' Office.
      
   

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We're back to 2001 again, this time it's Left Hand Drive at the Rock Garden in Easington Colliery . . .
   
  

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The phenomenal Blackout from October 2002 at The Office in South shields; all Riffs pics and all by yours truly.....


  
  

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Back to 2007 and Darlington's Quaker House for another Riffs review from Val . . .



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Well look who dropped in to the Powerage gig . . .
 
  
 
POWERAGE - NEWCASTLE CITY HALL, SEPTEMBER 28, 2001 . . .

    
   

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Back to September 28, 2001, when Disposable Heroes - belting out some quality Metallica - supported Powerage at Newcastle City Hall . . .

   
        
Will get the Powerage pics from this same gig uploaded in the next day or two...............and also pics of the special visitor the band got who just happened to be gigging in the same city on the same night . . .

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More pics from the past, this time NO DICE from the Blaydon Music Venue in 2002.
    


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Dug out these pics of Avatar from the Three Tuns in Gateshead back in 2008.
 
    


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Here's another review from those heady days of blistering nights out surrounded by talented musicians (oh how long ago that seems right now). This is from 2009

Miss ya Nick.

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Back to 2008 and a special event at The Three Tuns in Gateshead...................



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A mensh for UFOs Paul Raymond who passed away due to a heart attack one year ago Monday 13th.

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Arch Enemy and Blind Guardian at Bloodstock 2008, review shown here in memory of Gary Harwood who recently passed away.
   



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Rejection always hurts . . . but this must sting like a mutha:

Thanks to The Silverback for sending this in.

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One of Riffs' reviews from a bygone age - but wouldn't you have thought the writer would have mentioned the date?!! No idea when this was written (although around 2008 is a rough guess) . . .



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"Growing up in the 60s I’d always leaned towards the rockier side of music, preferring the Stones, Kinks and the Who to the Beatles and the Tremeloes etc. I’d seen local bands but the first major band I had the chance to go and see was The Who, in the Rink at Sunderland - for the princely sum of 50p. At the time I was an apprentice at college full time with a weekly wage of about £5.30 so by the time I’d paid my mam her share, this probably constituted 25% of my weekly pocket money without taking into consideration my bus fare there. (Some of my mates walked there and back to Houghton to save money for a couple more beers).
Queuing up to get in, Roger Daltrey pulled up and drove down the side to the load in area in his Jensen Interceptor, no chauffeur, just the man himself behind the wheel. Apparently, Keith Moon arrived in a mauve Bentley, but I missed that.
It was the first time I’d been in the Rink and I was mesmerised; dimly lit, UV lights around the room, loud music playing over the PA and loads of long haired yoof, just like me. Excellent. I’m racking my brains to remember, but I think the support band were called Cochise and as I recall they were pretty good, though I can’t remember anything they played. (This was 50 years ago!).
This gig was just 2 weeks prior to the release of the iconic “Live at Leeds” album so the set by the Who featured most of the tracks on that great album, the excerpts from Tommy were immediately recognisable along with stuff from their already extensive back-catalogue. Woodstock was less than 12 months previous and we’d all seen the movie released in March 1970 so the fringed jacketed, mike swinging Daltrey was bang on form and just what we had come to see along with the windmill-armed Townshend. Moony was his usual thrashing self, throwing his stick in the air and catching them on the way down apart from one time when one stayed up in the low ceiling above the stage. The band also played “won’t get fooled again” from the “Who’s Next” album that wouldn’t be released for another year, Townshend had this huge reel to reel tape recorder on stage playing the synth intro. That track sticks in my mind, but I have a vague recollection there were other tracks from the forthcoming album played that nobody had heard before.
The volume was like nothing I’d ever experienced, I’d never known the flat feeling in your ears after a loud gig, I thought I’d been deafened for life but still thought it was worth it. That gig was definitely a turning point in my life and so different from what I’d imagined it would be like, it was visceral, exciting and the first time I’d shared the crowd power that an event like that brings out in you. Many more were to follow."
The Piebald Lizard

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LET'S HEAR FROM YOU LOT
The Seaham Silverback came up with an idea for those of you who, like a lot of us, reminisce the good times of Rock. That one gig that sticks in your mind (or for those of us who spent most of our young life at a Rock or Metal gig, try and narrow it down to a special one!). Put fingers to keyboard and let Riffs know your most memorable gig - we won't publish your name if you don't want us to [you could always use a pseudonym]. Personally, there has been a gazillion as every gig is memorable in one way or another. But just yesterday I was downloading the discography of The Heavy Metal Kids and it jogged my memory of seeing them at the City Hall in Newcastle in the 70s on a double bill with Nutz. It was £1 door but just 50p if you showed the voucher from Sounds. I can still remember Gary Holton strutting around the stage sporting a jockstrap with a massive penis extension. Aye, good times............. Then the night I arrived at Middlesbrough Rock Garden, knocking on a locked door and hearing bolts pulled aside, and a guy leaning out, looking left and right and then pulling me in . . . that was the Spots gig (Sex Pistols). Oh, and a Nazareth gig where the sound was distorted all night...... so plenty to go on.........          riffsonline@gmail.com

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That's it then!

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The Garden Farm in Chester-le-Street has had their fair share of party cancellations and as such their function room is free most nights for any band wishing to practice - free of charge. If you would like to use it then contact the pub on 0191 3882064 and ask for Natalie or Grant.  Alternatively get in touch via email, thegardenfarmhotel@gmail.com, or Facebook.

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A big 'thank you' to bands and venues for keeping Riffs updated during this hectic time of cancellations and replacements.................. I can usually get the amends done within minutes; and keeping the punters informed is the most important thing we can do . . .


More bad news I'm afraid: Platform 1 in East Bedlington has now shut and no bands will be performing there for the forseeable future. All their gigs on the Listings page have been marked as cancelled but, just in case I have missed one, no gigs will be held there from today. We will, of course, let you know when they re-open.

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***NOTIFICATION TO  BANDS***
Riffs has just learned courtesy of On The Case Music that The Black Rose Pub Group are cancelling all Live entertainment for the next few weeks due to the present circumstances.
On The Case clients affected are The Crown in Whickham and The Greens Sunderland.
If you are booked to play at any of these pubs in the near future the gigs are now cancelled (hopefully to be rescheduled once things get back to normal).
BLACK ROSE PUBS include :
The Ox Inn
Durham, DH9 7LR
The Elephant
Ashington, NE63 0SZ
The Guide Post
Gateshead, NE9 7RR
The Cross Keys
Washington Village, NE38 7AB
The Townhouse
Whitley Bay, NE26 2TG
The Millstone Hotel
Newcastle, NE3 1QL
The Black Bull
East Boldon, NE36 0SG
The Victoria
Whitley Bay, NE26 2TE
The Black Bull
Morpeth, NE61 1PE
The Greens
Sunderland, SR1 3PY
The Lambton Arms
Durham, DH3 3BJ
Ship & Royal
South Shields, NE33 2HT
The Crown
Gateshead, NE16 4DT
The Prior
Moorside, Sunderland, SR3 2SW
Britannia Inn
Houghton Le Spring, DH4 4AL

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We should call it the Battle of the Queens, but hey, thriving live gigs can not be frowned upon - just celebrated. Which is exactly what the Qween Live lads are doing right now as they wind down from another prestigious sell-out gig at The Exchange Theatre in North Shields. Rob told Riffs: "Absolutely amazing night - it was really nice to meet and greet a lot of our fans after the gig - we are playing in Norwich this Saturday as the headline guest Queen tribute band - everyone is so excited!" And if you missed them locally then you have one last chance this month: catch them at The Westovian Theatre South Shields on Sat 28th.


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On this day (Monday) in 2007 this happened . . .
Brad Delp lead singer of Rock band Boston committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning at his home in the New Hampshire town of Atkinson. He died from the smoke of two charcoal grills he’d lit inside his sealed master bathroom. He was found by police lying on a pillow on his bathroom floor with a note paper-clipped to his shirt which read: "Mr. Brad Delp. I am a lonely soul."

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We Are Champion update Monday 2nd - ALL tickets have now been sold for Bedlingtonshire Golf Club gig. ...

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And talking of Queen . . . what's better than a Queen tribute band? Two Queen tribute bands!
Rob from
Qween tells Riffs that their recent gig at Billingham Sythonia Suite was also a sell-out (two pics from that night showing), and that their next gig at The Exchange Theatre North Shields this coming Saturday 7th March has only a few tickets left on sale. Queen fans must think all their Christmas and birthdays have come at once.

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SEASIDE RENDEZVOUS
  
We love good news here at Riffs so we're really chuffed to bring you some - but it's tinged with bad news too, so we'll mention that first!
If you were looking foward to seeing We Are Champion in the next few weeks then, unless you snapped up tickets toot suite, you are going to be mightily disappointed as their next three gigs (Gateshead, Doncaster [well, ya might have], and Stockton) have all sold out. Soz, but y'know what they say 'He who hesitates is lost'.
Paul from the band told me: 'We do feel sorry for fans who have been unable to get tickets.
It's been a bit of a whirlwind really, we have had some amazing gigs; selling out the majority of them. And getting to play some huge venues inc Leeds and Newcastle O2 Academies.'
The first bit of good news for disappointed fans is We Are Champion have just added three new dates in April - Hartlepool, South Shields and Ashington. And I suspect the lads are going to be on full rockin' form as they will no doubt be still buzzing from having secured a really prestigious gig - no less than being asked to appear at the Official Queen Fan Club Convention down in Mablethorpe. Paul continued: 'We are thrilled - not to mention deeply honoured - to have been asked to perform at probably the pinacle of Queen tribute band gigs. We would never have believed when we started this band just over a year ago that we would be so heartily accepted by the Queenie community.' Paul went on to say: 'This is the biggest event of the Queen Fans calendar where fans from all over the globe come to party to all things Queen. We have our sights on loads of big festivals over this summer so can't wait to grow this thing even bigger.'
The event takes place at Haven Golden Sands Holiday Park in Mablethorpe first weekend in October.


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“These guys do the nasty blues like the devil hisself was hurting"
Tommy Hartlepool does it again. That guy is the forefront of Bluesy Rock in the North-East with his hand-picked quality bands. I'm in the middle of designing some boxed ads for his up and coming gigs and, obviously, try and get a feel for the band before doing the ad - and it's so difficult to stay detached when the bands he books - some from other continents! - are so damn good. Personally, my DNA is Metal, Rock and Punk, but quality music is quality music. [Reminds me of long ago when Val and I used to go out to see bands for a live review and pics, and if we were on the way to a Blues gig she would often say "is it Rocky Blues or Blues you slit your wrists to?"]. Thankfully the 'Blues you slit your wrists to' gigs were few and far between and I know her fave venue now would be Tommy's Hartlepool Supporters Club where the Blues is 'grimy, lean, mean and soulful' which brings me neatly to the description of . . . wait for it . . . Crow Black Chicken. I've snatched this from their website, but give it a read and then tell me you're not tempted. All I've got to say is their two main influences are Skynyrd and Zeppelin: [enough for me]

Wrap year listening organs around that slide guitar!!!
This power trio combine elements of folk and hard rock with the blues rock of bands such as Gov’t mule, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin. The band was formed in 2009 in Cork city when lead singer Christy O’Hanlon met the former rhythm section of Clonmel Punk Rock outfit Aural Ammunition, Stephen McGrath ( Bass ) and Gev Barrett ( Drums ). The band immediately jelled and went on to perform on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury 2011. The band released their first raw blues rock and roll album in 2012 which was produced by Producer Philip Magee ( Kodaline, Aslan, The Blizzards ). The bands second album Rumble Shake was released in 2014 and debuted at number 12 in the Irish album charts. Recorded in Westland Studios Dublin, this album was a more roots and blues affair than the first record, heavily influenced by the bands work with Texan Americana singer Ray Wylie Hubbard and legendary Austin Producer the late George Reiff. In 2015 the band went on to release their first live album entitled Deep South which was voted top 5 live albums of 2015 by Classic Rock Blues. In 2016 Crow Black Chicken opened for ZZ Top at the Marquee in Cork which brought them face to face with the Texan compatriots whom they often drew so many comparisons to. Always determined to create a sound all of their own the band continues to tour all over Europe and have since released a 4th studio album Pariah Brothers in 2017.

“These guys do the nasty blues like the devil hisself was hurting and rock like they’ll skate come judgement day”  Ray Wylie Hubbard
They're on at Hartlepool's Smallcrafts Association on April 10. Tickets £12/14. 07535 979658 or ents24 website.


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Not sure what has happened to Ronnington publicity machine but it's only thanks to Patrick from UK/DC and Obsession that we were forwarded the poster for this year's Ronnington Charity Fundraiser 2020 . . .


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TRIBUTE TO RUSH THIS FRIDAY

News just in . . . [sound of tele typesetting machines clattering away in background] The Force’s gig this Friday (21) at The Voyager, South Shields, we have just been reliably informed, will be slightly different from the usual Force setlist.
As a tribute to Neil Peart and Rush, the first half will be all Rush numbers – the second half Classic Rock. An absolute mega-treat for all Rush fans. Expect class, expect perfection, expect a phenomenal gig.


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Shepherds Rest Alnwick are looking for a band that can play 22nd Feb ... it's for Border Crew MCC birthday party... we have been dropped in it last minute... looking for rock... punk etc. Contact Dave Smith..07736116156 Or email stevecolly@hotmail.co.uk  NOW SORTED
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Magnesia Bank's mega-weekend, Stevestock, was a great success thanks to all who worked tirelessly behind the scenes and the magnificent North Shields peeps who packed out the venue upstairs and down.

A very healthy £2,600 was made and this all goes to help McMillan Cancer.

A heartfelt thanks to absolutely everyone involved.




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Another review from way back, we have the date but not the year. Probs around 2008 methinks.


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A sell out gig last Friday evening at Boldon Community Association was appreciated by a capacity audience who were really into the "Mercury & May" experience. Their next gig is at Primrose Community Association on Saturday 15th Feb - ticket sales are flying! (£5 from venue NE32 5QY / 01914249977).

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Riffs is very sad to hear of the passing of a much-loved and respected North-East musician - Ron Owens.
Val has fond memories of him and band when she booked them to play at a pub she was running in West Auckland many moons ago.
"He was such a lovely guy - well they all were - no airs and graces for someone with so much musical talent. Humble and kind. The thought of him gone brings tears to my eyes."






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DARLO'S LITTLE SECRET

Just found an absolute gem of a book/vinyl record/dc comic/dvd/cd/cassette call-it-what-you-want shop. A real little secret, just on the outskirts of Darlington town centre in an old terrace. If I said it had a million books you'd think I was exaggerating. I went in looking for the writings of Shel Silverstein (him of Dr. Hook fame - he wrote Sylvia's Mother, Freakin' at the Freakers Ball, Cover of the Rolling Stone etc, and A Boy Named Sue) and I was staring at a room absolutely jam-packed full of books and thinking how many he had and the guy (who has been collecting his whole life) told me this was just the horror and sci-fi section; other genres were in other rooms! Thousands upon thousands in every room - and there were many rooms. And that is just upstairs. Down in the basement (down a rickety and well passed its use by date staircase) is another treasure trove of books, magazines, cassette tapes, cds, dvds, Marvel and DC comics, vinyl records (he's got some rare punk singles too) - and God knows what else. It's on Victoria Road, 200yds down from the train station, and 20 yards from the Royal Mail Sorting Office. DL1 5JQ. I'm actually surprised he has a phone but try 07946 505 886, but you need to get in there and have a good old rummage - but take a flask of coffee and some sandwiches!! Oh, and the sad thing is, because he isn't getting enough money to cover rent and rates he may soon be moving - probs to Leeds. And if you plan to visit (Thu Fri Sat only) - and I really urge you to; for free 2 hour parking, then go past the book shop (with it on your left) take the first right and then first left.

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CROOKFEST 2020 ON SATURDAY 9th MAY
Crookfest 2020 will be the festival's 10th birthday and to celebrate we have a cracking something for everyone line-up across 3 stages: the Rock Bands playing this year are... Queen -We Are Champion, Guns or Roses, Bon Jovi Forever, Deep Purple in Rock, Little Devil, Fossil, Punk Pop Disaster, Nixon UK and a collective of local Crook rock musicians headed by Circa69 singer/guitarist Kieran Johnson. We also have Indie-Pop-Punk-Ska covered including UK's number one Kasabian tribute - Kazabian plus from Dumfries and Galloway, a band well known on the Scottish festival circuit The Dangleberries - a 10 piece bagpipes 'n all band playing pop/rock classics! Last year's Big Tent headline band Revolver return to headline the Scooter Tent playing top Indie classics, plus on the same Stage we have punk band The Suspect Device plus 80s classics from The Breakfast Club, Beyond Madness and Beyond Blonde. Also in the mix we also have Oasis/Jam and The Heretics. It's a full day of live music, bars and food outlets from noon till 11pm, all for only £15 a ticket / £25 on the day at the gate if not sold out. PLEASE NOTE the festival as a rule has always been on the 1st May Bank Holiday Sunday; however, the Government has moved this year's bank holiday Monday to the following Friday for VE day, so we have moved the fest to Saturday 9th May. All the festival and ticket info can be found at www.crookfest.co.uk


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GIROSCOPE ROCK 4 EMILY
After a blistering review on Riffs from our resident reviewer - The Seaham Silverback - of astounding new band Giroscope (right), ["I'd walk barefoot over broken glass to see them again" was one of his quotes] we are pleased to announce that the lads not only turn out some brilliant toons but have hearts the size of Rainbow's band members' list. Along with Michael Lavery from Groovetrain, they are giving of their time and talents totally and completely FREE to play at a fundraising event at Gateshead Rugby Club on Friday April 3. At only £4 to see a sensational band, a great compere and acoustic support, and to help a brave young lady with Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy, you'd need a heart of stone to not support this event. But enough from me, this is an extract from an email from her father Ian with some background to the event:
"My daughter Emily is a disabled athlete who competes nationally for Gateshead Harriers and hopes to compete for Team GB at a future Paralympic Games. Emily has Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy.
We are holding a fundraising evening to raise funds for travel and accommodation costs as well as entry fees to national competitions for the forthcoming outdoor and indoor season for 2019/20.
In 2018 Emily competed at the CPISRA WORLD GAMES in Barcelona coming home as a 5 time world champion. Later that year Emily was invited to become part of the British Athletics Paralympic development squad with the intention of producing Para athletes for Paris 2024.
We have the fantastic GIROSCOPE playing as our band for the evening. Tickets are available from the Rugby Club bar or directly from me Ian on 07711415820. This event is a ticket event but any unsold tickets will be sold on the door. .Please take a look at Emily’s website
www.emilystewart-t38.com"


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STEVESTOCK WEEKEND 2020
in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support


FRIDAY 31st

Ground Floor and FREE:
7 SINS 10.15 / ELENBAK 8.40 / MONKS IN AN EGGCUP 7.15 / BRANDON PROCTOR 6.30
First Floor £5 door (strictly limited capacity):
THE BREAKFAST CLUB 11.00 / RIGID DIGITS 9.25 / THIS MACHINE 7.55

SATURDAY 1st

Ground Floor and FREE:
FM 10.15 / TINY AFRO 8.40 / LOU ROSS BAND 7.15
First Floor £5 door (strictly limited capacity):
LITTLE DEVIL midnight / DIAMOND DOGS 11.00 / DEEP PURPLE IN ROCK 9.25 / TIN SOLDIERS 7.55
SUNDAY 2nd
Ground Floor and FREE:
NUTOPIANS 7.15 / THE WHODLUMS 5.30 / DEJA VU 3.45
First Floor £5 door (strictly limited capacity):
THE FORCE 8.00 / BIG TED 6.30 / VINTAGE EDITION 4.30

Please note that ALL tickets have now been sold, but £5 door is available - first come first served.

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GOODBYE TO BB's MARGE
The highly-respected landlady of the Bell and Bucket in North Shields bids a farwell to bands and punters alike this weekend (17, 18, 19) when she goes out with a bang - well, hopefully not literally - as three excellent bands intend to raise the roof in honour of this much talked about lady. Riffs has had no personal contact with Marge but, by all accounts, she is much admired and treats the bands with the respect they deserve. A rare flower indeed. Norman Force says about her "a lovely landlady who will be a big miss").
Her three last gigs are ROCK SOLID on the 17th, FM on the 18th, and STICKY FINGERS on the 19th.
Please go along and make Marge's last three gigs ones she will never forget. Pictures welcome . . .
Also, we have just heard (cheers Norm) that no less than Tony Liddle is to be the new vocalist for FM.




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MERCURY AND MAY - THE ULTIMATE QUEEN TRIBUTE

Queen fans must feel like all their Christmas and birthdays have come at once at the moment. Not only two excellent Queen tributes gracing our venues, but now an act that highlights the incredible vocal talents of Freddie Mercury and the outstanding guitar playing of Brian May.
The gig,
Mercury & May live at Boldon Community Association, New Road, Boldon Colliery NE35 9DS is on Friday January 31st and the performance commences at 8.30pm. Tickets are just £5 and the venue contact is 0191 5368085.

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DIABLO - Happy New Year Everyone!

2019 saw some great gigs for Diablo with fab crowds culminating with a cracking headlining slot at Tynedale’s annual Music and Beer Festival in Corbridge. The big success of the year,  without doubt, was the new album “Screaming Out” (still available) which eclipsed sales and triumphs of all previous Diablo recordings – so nearly achieving a hit record! Rave reviews kept pouring in such as Andy Jennings at GigItNorthEast; Harvey Smith of The Bastards of Eclectic Music Taste; Crack magazine Newcastle among many, and the track “I’m Unknown” became BBC2 Music North East Introducing Show’s Record of The Week in January. Tracks “Screaming Out” and “Crawl” have been played on local Nova Radio and “I’m Unknown” played at Gateshead FC International Stadium’s PA! Diablo’s original songs have been played on social media and YouTube over 77,000 times and those are just the plays we’ve managed to track! And with streaming the new album there have been literally thousands of plays and downloads. Thank you EVERYONE for supporting the album and us, for so long – we love you all. And Davy has just announced that the next album has already been written and is slated for 2021 release. Onwards & Upwards through 2020 – Diablo’s 16th year of continued success!
Dave Drums Diablo xxx



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Blackhall Community Centre is to host an AC/DC show featuring Livewire, with support from local lads Sticky Fingers. It's on Saturday February 22nd and tickets are £15, from ents24, seetickets or from the venue itself. Doors 6.30 and you'll be fully Rocked out by 11.30. By all accounts Livewire put on a fantastic show; but with the outrageous guitar of Phil Martin, I think if there is a band that can give Livewire a run for their money then it's the Stickies. Be prepared for a battle of the guitars!!!!!





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FILTHY RICH AND STARZ


I think it was only this year (still in 2019 - oh yeah) that
Starz took the North-East music scene by storm [well, okay that might be a slight exaggeration, but certainly a breath of fresh Rockin' air at the very least] and no other three guys looked more as though they belonged together than guitarist Kenny, drummer Mark and singer/guitarist Kiko. So, to hear that they had pulled in a dedicated singer and formed a second band did crease my brow a tad (although that could be just age).
But as Kenny explained: "American Girl is now finished and we wanted to replace that band - when we heard singer Rich Myers (hence Filthy Rich, yeah?) audition we just went 'WOW' as he is such a powerful vocalist."

Kenny told Riffs exclusively: "
Filthy Rich will be doing one set of the American Girl songs that Rich wants to do and one set of all new Rock cover songs that we think people will love and will be different to the usual covers."
I can recommend Starz unreservedly as all three members have their own charisma, style and musical skills; and if you're gonna add a dedicated frontman to the mix and gig as Filthy Rich then 'scuse me while I kiss the sky! Kenny continued: "
We start gigging as Filthy Rich in February and have gigs booked for the whole of 2020 but not as many as we'd like because Starz has taken off and is soooooo busy."
A website for the band is under construction and we will announce it as soon as it is up and running.



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FM
at The Turf in Consett today (Boxing Day) 4pm. Unless my memory serves me incorrectly, you're in for a heavy dose of AC/DC and Zeppelin. And personally, I can't think of many things that would do it for me at this time of year. Get along and RAWK.


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PB update: Firefox is being a bit of an arse with connecting. However, Google Chrome connects without a problem. Weird, but that's how it is.
I download all my albums from PB without a problem; I've paid for them in vinyl, then paid again on DAT, then again on CD, I'm buggered if I'm gonna pay again for mp3 files!


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Just heard from Dirty Dogz Phil with some bad news - the trial run gig a the Cluny this Sunday 22nd is now OFF due to flu. Needless to say, Phil is gutted, but hopes to re-arrange the gig for February. Any news concerning the gig and we guarantee to be the first to let you know............

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Apologies to the few peeps who have emailed to say the current PB address is not working. More and more ISPs are blocking it, but the address that is currently showing (top right, under page links) is fully working as of Wednesday 18th. I will try and keep it up to date. Appreciate you letting me know.

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The Three Tuns in Gateshead is now booking for January and February 2020. Anyone interested text me (Paul) 07940715824.      ALL SORTED NOW...............

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The below article we originally put together a few weeks ago and things have come together nicely and Phil has now not only a got a date for the gig, but also has sold over fifty tickets for this Rockin' event. Phil is understandably cagey concerning the event and explains: "Me and the boys have booked a trial run at The Cluny on Sunday 22nd December, but this is to get a taster for next year." The gig is £10 a ticket (in excess of fifty sold to date) and kicks off at 6pm and runs till 9. Expect a night of surprises.....................

DIRTY DOGZ PHIL PROPOSES A NIGHT OF
'PANACHE, POWER, PRECISION AND PASSION'

And talking of 'no-nonsense', Riffs is excited at an email from Phil from Dirty Dogz fame who, after the demise of aforesaid band, has been pining for some quality, down-to-earth Rock done by mature, experienced musicians - or in his own words 'A tasty selection of highly regarded and seasoned pros' (I'm hearing people standing and clapping at the back . . .) and with the adage 'if you want something doing properly do it yourself' resounding around his thinking organ, Phil has decided to do just that.
Putting his money where his mouth is, Phil is arranging a 'little' soiree where he expects to showcase some incredible Rock talent. He told me: 'There’s still some cracking nights to be had out there I’m sure but, as most bands are finding, it's often hard chuffin work playing to 2 men, a whippet and a crazy couple in the corner who are adamant they want a bit of Britney! However, the frustration and disappointment seems to have wained a tad over the noted period of inactivity and I am dipping my arthritic toes (some may say foolishly) into the local, unpredictable rock'n'roll waters again.'
At the moment he has got his main band together: Joe Hope-Bass/Vox (“The Boy”), Ray Johns-Hammond (“The Man”), Sid White-Drums (“The Business”), Phil Caisley-Gtr/Vox (“The Dreamer”) but Phil promises some 'special guests' not to mention support band(s).
Still in its early stages, Phil is wanting to gauge support before he goes full tilt. He continued: 'Looking for definite feedback from real fans of live music who like nothing more than to immerse themselves in a night of quality sounds delivered with panache, power, precision and passion'. Expectations are high and Phil hopes the setlist to include 'interpretations/improvisations of classic rock, blues and psychedelia from Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, Stones, Beatles, Free, Neil Young, Peter Green, Bob Dylan...plus the odd original and a few surprises.' Phil has emphasised that this will happen only with enough prior interest. He welcomes texts on 07803 640235. I have promised Phil, Riffs' full involvement and when anything happens - we wanna know!
LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN.


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The Schooner in Gateshead is looking for bands for Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Call Paul 07940 715824


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The Schooner in Gateshead is looking for a band or artist to play This Saturday 7th December.
 0191 477 7404.   NOW SORTED   NOW SORTED   NOW SORTED


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A heads up............ Hearing little birdies talking about The Black Horse in Monkseaton stopping bands as the manager is close to leaving.

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BUFFALO FOUR SECRET NO LONGER

It seems only a brief five minutes ago that I popped along to Bishop Auckland's Bay Horse to catch the excellent Four Letter Word (review way, way down this very page). I also remember drummer Andy - not only for his steady and rhythmic playing - but also for the fact that I never got a picture of him! And I can well understand his disappointment when everyone in the band gets a photo - but not him. Even more so, considering he was doing the band a favour, standing in for their regular drummer. Andy plays in Buffalo Four who go down extremely well in the Blacksmiths in Gosforth but, he explained: "we have played there quite a few times and had some great nights with many compliments but apart from that venue we are unknown around Newcastle." It seems that Four Letter Word did quite well from Riffs mensh and Andy goes on to say: "they got a rave review and plenty of interest and some gigs from your article so thought we [Buffalo Four] are maybe due some attention. We have been going for 6 years and play to some pretty appreciative audiences but we are almost a secret in some places." Whoops, think I may have blown your secret Andy. Buffalo Four are at the Blacksmiths this Friday (6th).
Pic linked to the band playing 'I Won't Back Down'.      Metallica? AC/DC? C'mon lads, practice what you wear!!


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Air4ce at Cluny 2, Newcastle, 21st January 2020
Celebrating the life and music of Ginger Baker, featuring some of the north east's finest musicians - PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS...music from Ginger's work with Cream, Blind Faith, Graham Bond, Airforce, Billy Preston, and more.
Tickets (£8adv): click on poster.
And more information as it is announced here -https://www.facebook.com/Air4ce2020/

Apparently the first words that St. Peter said to Ginger, upon his arrival, were "look, I don't want any trouble".

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Those Queen tribute guys did it again - this time at Darlington's Hopetown & Whessoe Club on Saturday 23rd of this month when they wowed a packed house with Queen and Freddie's record-breaking and memorable songs covering over forty years. Qween's next gig is this Friday (29th) at Newcastle's Heaton Buffs but unfortunately there will be a lot of dissatisfied punters as the gig is strictly a private function so, unless you hold that special ticket, no entry. But keep your eye on Riffs Listings page as the lads will be playing in 2020.
If you just can't wait that long then We Are Champion, who do a superb tribute to Queen, have several gigs running up to Christmas. Also, on Sunday December 1 with a start time of 6pm at the Isabella in Blyth you can catch a Freddie Mercury tribute. Spoilt for choice!


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SHOT DOWN IN FLAMES
"Interesting idea, the tips for the band idea…..but here’s where my cynicism kicks in;
We have to be careful of the law of unintended consequence, it’s only a kick in the arse from there to playing for tips only, or used as an excuse not to pay a band or reduce their fee. Who would do such a thing I hear you say? Well there are plenty of reasons why a struggling venue may take that approach even before you factor in any exploitative reasons.
Yes it would sort some wheat from the chaff, but overall the standard would diminish because who would layout all that cash on gear without a fair chance of paid gigs?
But that dismisses the nous of even the most cynical of band bookers, theres not many that book bad bands, safe bands perhaps, and safe isn’t what brings in the punters, it may well entertain the ones already there however?"
Alan Fizzyfish
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Just heard from Patrick from the excellent Obsession and UK/DC that the Market Tavern in Chester-le-Street has ceased all bands for the forseeable future.

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What marvellous peeps there are out at Usworth and Washington.
Some of those fine punters piled into The Gardeners Club recently for Help for Heroes night when FOXX and Jay J Stevens waived their fee to make the night one to remember. Altogether the Club managed to make a very healthy £1400. Michelle from the club told Riffs:
"I had a lot of support ftom those who attended, also a big thankyou for those local businesses who donated prizes for our raffle in aid of Help For Heroes." The generosity of all those involved will make such a difference for our brave men and women.
And thanks to Michelle from Usworth and Washington Gardeners Club for letting Riffs know.

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HAD A GOOD NIGHT? - THEN FILL MY BOX
Well, our articles on dwindling punters for live gigs have been read by many, many people. The majority of whom do seem to agree that it is something that is happening now, and that it is affecting venues and bands alike. The only thing that is thin on the ground is solutions. I have heard one (from soneone who wishes anonymity), and as I have heard nothing better I will mention it here: A DONATION BOX ON THE BAR.
If you have had a great night at your local, seen a brilliant band playing stuff you like and recognise and the band have totally given their all, what do you do at the end of the night? Well, you just go home. And what if you haven't had that good a night, the band have been mediocre, stared at their feet all night and left you wanting? Well, you just go home. Now that seems rather unfair, the landlord doesn't know if you have had a good night or a bad one; that poor barmaid who has been smiling all night and serving all and sundry doesn't know, and the band who have lost at least a stone amongst them and played their collective kahunas off just see you leaving at the end of the night and have no idea if you loved them or hated them. SO - pop a few quid in the box on the bar. To be shared out equally between the band and the venue. One of the best night's ever? Bung a fiver/tenner in the pot and shout to the landlord "they were crackin' - I'll see that band again any time!" Now, to me, that seems feasible, but I am neither in a band, nor run a venue, so what do YOU think? Will it work - is it an A side, or just a terrible demo that won't make it onto the album? 

riffsonline@gmail.com

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An online station are taking music from signed/unsigned bands to be played for free.
No pop, just rock etc. no adverts.   http://www.marlab.dk
Thanks to Tony (former drummer with Cue) for this info.


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A late booking for these outrageous funsters. Friday night (22nd) at The Isabella in Blyth. Totally free entry and a wild night is guaranteed. Get along and let your Fez down!

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We have a straggler. By his own admission, the writer of the following article does not read the News page much, which does explain a lot. I know the Gig Listings is the most viewed page on Riffs but a lot of stuff on this page does tie in to the gigs so perhaps a glance now and then may prove beneficial. Any road up, here is Richie's thoughts on our main topic . . .

"I humped gear for a club band in the 70s then a pub band for 12 years after that, booked bands for 8 years for 3 pubs until quite recently but never for financial gain, still help out now and then when asked, so know a little bit about the music scene and how it works...
I have been watching bands since the 70s when clubs in my area that put bands on - solos and comedians, albeit on dedicated nights for each - used to be packed out but, one by one, they ended up dying a slow death, partly i think due to the loss of heavy industry. Pits, ship building and the like was to blame for some of it as shift workers could go out on a Thursday night and a Sunday night with Friday and Saturday nights taking care of them selves, if that makes sense, these people worked hard and went to clubs for nights out religiously and were not  frightened to spend their money, and not forgetting the earlier closing times where people on permanent days could go out, go home, bite to eat and be up for work no problem; we were all a lot younger then, yes there is Nissan and all of the knock on factories in my area but I am talking about a different age group here.
While talking about age I see some of the same people from that era at pubs now watching bands and, like myself, they are in there 60s with some older, one club is still going, but not as busy as it used to be with another two going down the sports club route and using private functions to survive. In a way what happened to clubs is the same as what is happening to pubs now, there got to be too many, also while for a long time they were a cheap night out, it got to be no longer the case with cover charges going up and all the add ons; bingo, raffles, various draws, it got where every other week there seemed to be something else. All of a sudden some pubs discovered a niche to host live music and were the better option cost-wise, you even ended up seeing some of the same musicians as many were happy to leave the club scene to gig the pubs.
The pubs saw an opportunity for making money by putting bands on after the club scene had died off, and while a lot were not designed to host live bands, they had to go with what they had got, most  got really good turnouts and were well supported, but over the years more and more pubs jumped on the bandwagon (no pun intended) and it watered the attendances down; where you once had a couple of venues you ended up with 5 or 6 and all within a small catchment area, people would go to where they thought they would have the better night. I think a similar thing happened in South Shields, for landlords they need decent turnouts on every gig night or it is no longer viable and becomes a struggle, also pub owners need to listen to the regulars as to what music they like, as all too often a pub will get taken over and book the wrong type of band, punk and acoustic is not going to go down well if people want rock music while, like myself, a lot of people still use Riffs and other music guides to find out what is on at venues, I think an up-to-date website is a must in this day and age. It is no good to anyone if a pub has a page and they do not keep it up to date as advertising plays an important part in letting people know who is playing and when; I think a few pubs are guilty of poor advertising,
I could mention a couple I know of where i never could find out who was playing, no good at all, they need to put it out there. I think with out doubt monthly pay plays a big part in sometimes having a lower turn out, the amount of times I hear people mention their funds are low the week before being paid, whereas back in the day when people were paid weekly they always seemed to manage money better and were able to go out, even the holiday period takes a toll on attendances, as does the run up to Christmas when money gets tighter. Quite often I have heard or read that the smoking ban has made a big difference, I myself think it has been very minimal; I think people have just accepted they have to go out side to smoke. I do not personally know anyone that has stopped going to gigs because of the ban.
Back to age and this has been mentioned various times on a music forum, there just does not seem to be many younger people attending gigs these days, certainly not the venues I go to, with the bulk of the audience being made up of 40s, 50s and 60s, unlike in my day where we were in our late teens. I have no idea the reason why. I might add that I go to watch predominately rock bands, maybe the old classics just do not appeal to the younger generation any more.
I must say that the northeast circuit is blessed with so many great bands and quality musicians; most of the time you are spoilt for choice. Referring to the 5 or 6 pubs in a small catchment area I have already mentioned, the pub with the more fancied band will get the better turnout with the others getting just enough people to break even if they are lucky. Every venue will have their group of regulars but these days they are looking at getting people to travel which we often do to Sunderland, Chester, Shields, ect, 3 or 4 sharing a taxi works out cheaper than the bus fare.
There seems to be a never ending supply of pubs that venture in to putting live music on only to find out that it is a hard slog with many giving up within a short period of time and not realising they need to be prepared to lose money early on until word gets out about their venue. I think the reality is that we will be left with the most well known of venues and those that are prepared to stick it out through this rough period.
"
Richie, Washington


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AS YE SOW, SO SHALL YE REAP
Well, you gotta laugh, haven't you! This just dropped into Riffs inbox and I just thought it was so relevant. Then again, I bet nearly all bands and venues have similar stories (I've thought it prudent to edit) . . .

"The guy who books bands in the ----------- has 26 gigs to fill so he books 12 or 13 bands to fill them giving each one 2 gigs a year regardless as to whether they died on their collective arses on the 1st show or not. We have reached the point where we’re getting the second time round for the dregs and I’m not going to go and watch a band that were shite 6 months ago in the vain hope they’ve improved. The fact that neither the band nor the club have bothered to contact your good self, or even to put it on their FB page illustrates their commitment to their craft. The next scheduled band in the --------- is the ---------- and I know it’ll be packed. At that time I'll be in Belfast. During previous visits I/we have tried to find a venue in that city playing Rock and it appears there either ain’t any or they don’t advertise on the web. Imagine a place like Belfast and no live Rock on a regular basis? And we complain about the dearth of decent music!!!!".


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Well, it was fantastic to have such a brilliant response - and so many views from bands and venues across the North-East on what they thought was the reasons for reduction in audience numbers. It was eye-opening to see so many different and interesting viewpoints. And Alan from Fizzyfish, after reading every single one with interest, now gives his views on just who has hit the nail on the head. But are we any closer to rectifying the problem?
"Since I wrote that last piece I have had some conversations, and some of the points raised by the other writers make you think as well.
Our most recent gig is a little case study, when I first started regular gigging, relatively recently in 2003, this place was one of the better venues on the scene, I knew the pub from my youth and actually went to see another band play there as I was auditioning for them a week later.
When I joined Fizzyfish it was somewhere they hadn’t played so I negotiated a gig there and we became favourites - and the venue was one of our favourites, building a relationship with the audience and staff.
After
Fizzyfish split in 2010 we returned in a different guise a few months later, but we lost so much momentum that even with the boost of changing our name back to Fizzyfish we found so many venues had changed, the stability had gone from the scene. The venue I was talking about now had a “manager” in but seemed more invested in food than bands; his attitude was hostile and his partner was one of those who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. They destroyed the pub and within months it had closed, had another false start then closed again and after a lengthy period has opened again.
The new owner is doing everything right, it’s a nicer environment, he’s keen and supportive, but crucially, that little community had moved on, they had to find different things to do. The last few years have seen the venue go from weekly gigs, to fortnightly gigs and 2020 will see one gig on the last Saturday of each month, and I fully support his approach.
Putting bands on was costing him too much, the crowds came back initially, but for all the reasons mentioned before and a few more, the audience is a shadow of its former self! Lost momentum in this game is a killer, it’s taken us best part of a decade to get back to the level of gigs and breadth of geographical coverage we once had, were a better band, but that only counts for so much these days despite our fee being the same as it was 15 years ago!
I don’t think any of us have all the answers, Mike from After Midnight raises a valid point and one we try to avoid, the too high a volume mistake, it means significant investment in quality gear, yet we still get the occasional can you turn it down/up requests (usually to turn it up!).
It’s been the same with our lights, we have had to cut them down as people were complaining about being blinded and most venues don’t allow smoke machines anymore so you have to get creative whilst still putting on a show.
I don’t blame the tribute acts moving up the tree and Paul from We are Champion (genius) just highlighted my point, a tribute to a good band with true mainstream appeal. But I know lads in less mainstream tributes who play less often and sometimes they are going nationwide, some even into Europe to sustain the interest.
Smoulty and I generally agree on stuff still, and I also agree with Dave from FM, his points about over saturation.
We have three venues who have us back 3 times a year, we make sure each return is as different as we can manage within what the punters will accept, but there are so many places that will not even answer any communication with us at all! Closed shops or closed minds.
We generally want one venue in each town, unless two venues will support us doing our different sets,  the Rollercoaster, which is our crowd pleaser all over the place set and the Seabass’tard which is our harder uglier rock set, it’s a lot of work. But some venues distrust that we can make that approach work, they seem to be risk averse, they want defined bands doing what they say on the tin, safety.
We are open to do more clubs in the future. The ones that have turned their backs on the agencies and excessive Bingo are now opening up a new avenue, we found it logistically difficult to be able to arrive at a club at the times they prescribed in the past, but now some are more flexible and we are as well, let’s see how that pans out!"

Alan, Fizzyfish

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Just become aware of a venue in Sunderland - Angels Place - and as was my wont did a quick google search just to get a 'feel', and was rather impressed; a biker's gaff with a great Rock atmosphere and on their Facebook page recently hosted Deep Purple In Rock. That video alone was enough to whet my appetite. Took me back to the good 'ol Seventies at Middlesbrough Rock Garden. If only someone would invent a time machine, that would be the time I'd zip back to........

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Here we go, last one. It's been a lot of hard work for me, but I hope it's made a difference. And if it hasn't, at least I've tried. If we all do one, may even be very small, thing, then at least we've done more than the next guy who has done sod all.........I have extreme respect and admiration not only for the bands who bust a gut getting organised and traipsing to the venue, setting up, belting out quality Rock (or whatever, but it should be Rock, really) and then at the end, stripping down their gear, and going home, but also to the venues who sometimes take a punt on a band and ending up crossing their fingers that the gig isn't marred by, well, any number of things that can go wrong. I have no musical talent whatsoever, and would worry myself into an early grave if I was to host bands on a weekly basis - so I do what I can from this computer. Humungous respect goes out to you all. Really.




Only one more 'Disappearing Audiences' article to go, which I am working on right now. So if you have something to say then now is the time - and by 'now' I don't mean sometime next week, or even in the next day or two or 'yeah, okay I'll probably type something out this weekend' - NO. I mean, like, today, in the next hour or two! It doesn't take that long to type something out so let people know your views. Anonymous is fine, as long as you are honest. And it's no good saying 'Well, there's no point cos I agree with a lot of what's been said'. How does anyone know that unless you say so?!!!! Like I say, last one today. That's it. Finito. Fin. Koniec. Tapitra. Galas. Ende.





I always, but always have on some belting Rock when I'm working on Riffs, and as I am now (11am Friday) half way through what will probably be the penultimate article on Disappearing Audiences, this track came on. I just remember being so disappointed when mega bands 'throw away' a classic track when at a live gig. Like 'this is xxxxx xxxxxx' and then it's done and over in a few minutes. UFO Doctor Doctor and Nazareth Bad Bad Boy come to mind. Waste of a good opportunity.
Now, THIS is an intro...
(Oh, and it really should go without saying - but PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!!!!)

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Your Point of View is No More Or Less Valid Than Anyone Else's
Well, I've got to say I've been knocked out by the eye-opening response concerning the demise of punters coming out to enjoy live music. From agents, bands, venues - you name them - they have been concise, honest, eloquent. And it just goes to prove that people DO care. Okay, there was some that haven't bothered; but that happens in every walk of life. If nothing else - and I sincerely hope there has been considerably more - it has given everyone involved the opportunity to see 'the other side' of life in the live music world. I have been enlightened; and I'm sure I'm not the only one. It highlights the fact that your point of view is no more or less valid than anyone else's.
Probably just one more article to go, hopefully get that done today..........


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With all this talk of the problems of punter numbers, band prices, low turnouts etc, I was brought slap bang back to earth when I was made aware of the problems of a member of local lads Ghostband. It turns out the reason that they have been off the road for quite a while was the necessity for Brian Vasey to undergo a quadruple heart bypass, with other complications that necessitated quite a long layoff ("It was a rough time for him and he says the recovery was far worse than the op as they had to take a vein from his leg to use in his heart and it was his leg that hurt the most"). The good news is that he is on the long, slow, gradual road to recovery and is itching to get back on the road. But as guitarist Baz pointed out: "since April Chris (drums) and myself have either been depping in other bands, separately or together, and ones we had dep guitarsts for we never knew if they were going ahead, so other than a last minute Facebook ad, we thought it better not to advertise our gigs only to have to pull them. But since his op Brian has now bounced back and I now feel safer in advertising our gigs once more." The three gigs booked for December are: Sat 7 Old Ship, Newbiggin;  Sat 14 Acklam Steels Club, Middlesbrough;  Fri 27 Lambton Arms, Chester Le Street. I'm sure we all wish Brian well and for him to be fully recovered and fighting for the Old Ship on the 7th.

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Just this minute heard of a late gig by The Alcatraz House Band for this Friday (November 1st) at Steels Club in Sunderland. Haven't heard of AHB gigging for a very long time so they may just be testing the water so to speak. Let's hope this gig is the first of many as they were a very proficient band. Anyway, quick look in Riffs achives and here is Val's review of the band from way way back if anyone is interested . . .
Oh - and a slap around the chops for both Jenn and Steels Club as it was neither of them that we heard it from - and here we are discussing disappearing audiences!!



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TREAT THE BAND WELL OR PAY THE PRICE

Time for a bit ramble - well, it has been a while - and I am part way through article number four and it always takes longer than I imagine. Feeling my brain going porridgey I need a break so, with reference to the mention of some venues totally ignoring the band for the evening and not giving the band a welcome or whatever, I feel I must mention the time Riffs' Val ran a pub in West Auckland. It wasn't for very long (less than a year I think), but circumstances dictated that that was the way things would be for a short time. She had her licence, name above the door and whatever. She had a live gig night once a week and would have loved to have heavy Rock bands but her punters preferred more laid back music; Whitesnake, Bon Jovi (aaarggh), poppy type stuff - with maybe a little Rock thrown in. Anyway she would always make a point of welcoming the band, each one, by name. Telling them that they were an integral part of the evening and anything at all they wanted, or had any problems, they were to contact her, and only her, and she would sort it.Don't bother anywone else, come straight to her. She never charged the band for drinks, but heaven help any of the band's hangers on trying to get a freebie! (She could be quite formidable when she wanted to be - and sometimes when she didn't!). They were not charged for crisps, bar snacks etc. She had in her mind what she needed to break even, and a figure which would be great to achieve for a modest profit from the evening. On some occasions this figure was exceeded and she gave half to the band as a big thank you. She told me that the look on the guys' faces was pure astonishment that someone would actually give them MORE than they asked for. Needless to say she didn't need to do much searching for bands as the word spread how well (and fairly) the bands were treated. Course a Riffs review usually followed for every band that appeared there. I remember more than one band said they would come and play (Val did do her homeword by the way - she wouldn't book crap) and just take whatever Val decided to pay them!! I bet that doesn't happen that often. And yes, she made sure they got a fair price. Many bands also played longer (well past finish time) to a vibrant and appreciative crowd and she would always make sure they got extra. When she took over the pub it was, how should I put it, slightly below what you would expect. Within just a few weeks the clientele improved and it became a decent pub. I remember one time a couple of Hell's Angel types (over 6ft tall, about 3ft across the shoulders, sleeveless denim jacket, tattoos, bald - you get the image) started squaring up to one another. Val was straight over to them, pulled her top down and said: "I could knock both of you out with these
(Val was about a 38FF by the way), so stop your messing and enjoy the night. Or I'll kick you both out!". They stood there nonplussed and I think they forgot they were fighting and just went shellshocked back to the bar. And yes, I have seen her throw many a drunk guy clean out of the pub, not one of them lifted a finger to her. But anyway, back to how to treat bands. The way Val treated the bands, to me, should be the norm, and I was really surprised to hear that some bands are treated so badly. It doesn't make sense to diss a band - they have mates in other bands and if they are impressed, the venue will benefit by getting a good reputation. It was not that long ago that a new band was struggling to get gigs and asked me here at Riffs how they would go about getting noticed in the region - they wanted me to do them a boxed ad. I said that would be a waste of money. No one is going to book a band just cos they took out an advert. I told them what I would do if I was a competent musician and wanted to get noticed: I would ring up Paul Tuns and tell him I had a great band, and what I played, then say I will play for expenses just to get a gig - even a support slot. I would then email Nige at Riffs (which is me by the way, in case you're losing the will to live) and say come along for some quality Rock, and also send in a blurb about the band accompanied by some wild and quirky pics. I would then ring around local landlords asking them to come along. Blitz social media with some pics of my band looking wild, happy and raucous (who wants to see a 'boring' band). And just hope that Paul Tuns loves us and mentions us to his mates (and of course gives us a return booking at a reasonable price). yeah, well I said most of this and never heard from them again. Anyway, back to article number four, or is it five........and why is my coffee stone cold?

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Really pleased to hear from Paul Tuns regarding Disappearing Audiences, and his contribution will be in the top spot in the next article to be uploaded today (Wednesday).

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And here's the third - probably one more to go if no more emails come in . . .




Just uploaded the second of 'Disappearing Audiences' articles (probably couple more to come as Riffs readers have been marvellous at giving their opinions and views on disappearing audiences [not in a supernatural way you understand]). Brilliant stuff and an absolute banquet for thought.
   

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I just gotta say I've had some brilliant replies to my request for insights into the dwindling crowds at live gigs. Well, here we are, Saturday (it is Saturday isn't it?!) and I still don't have anything ready regarding the upcoming article (now articles) on aforesaid subject. It's not that I'm lazy (although that may go some way) but I have had some frighteningly incisive, not to say interesting and long-winded (but totally relevant) replies. So much so that one article just will not encompass them all. My original idea was to edit them down to bite-size chunks (bullet points if you will) but . . . well, I found that a bit like trying to edit Stairway to Heaven or Rock Bottom down to three minutes. You could - but you'd need to hide away in a dark place for a long time so no-one would know who you are. So, yes, I'm working on it, so bear with me......

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Riffs is gathering info on your views as to what may be the cause of dwindling crowds for live music gigs around the North-East - and what, if anything, can be done about it. We have some great venues, caring landlords/owners and a plethora (that means lots) of top quality (I mean like fuckin' awesome) bands - so why so few punters? If you wish to have your say then just email me here:   riffsonline@gmail.com.   You can even remain anonymous if you wish (but make it clear in your email).

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APATHY RULES! - WHATEVER
Just this very minute (well, coupla days now) heard from an extremely well-known and well-respected North-East pub landlord who has put his heart and soul into live music for many years, that he is close to calling it a day with live bands. Over the past few years his gig crowds have steadly dwindled to a point now that it is hardly feasible to host live music. Considering the quality of musicianship and wide range of excellent bands on offer in our area, this is a total disgrace. Regular readers will have noticed that Riffs (and bands and venues) have mentioned the lack of live music support on many occasions of late but it is now becoming a frightening reality that venues will have to react to. The annoying thing is, the answer is unbelievably simple - fuck the box and get out and watch a band!

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ADRENALINE-FUELLED HEAVY ROCK
I think that any band who openly welcomes a review must be reasonably sure they are musically and visually capable.

Riffs never expects perfection, indeed, so glad we haven't found it 'cos life would then be filled with anti-climaxes. So it was nice to hear from Graham from Adrenaline who boast a night of 'Heavy Rock and Classic Rock' - my musical taste buds are a-rockin' already.

The gig is on November 9th, Saturday, at Darlington's Quakerhouse.

Now all I need to do is try and remember where I have heard the name Graham Forrester from.... An enlightening email will surely be heading my way.......

Oh, and in case you need a taster of what Adrenaline offer. Look no further than HERE.





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There's many amongst us who just can't get enough AC/DC from the good ol' early days of Bon Scott. Well, your lust for Rock and Metal at its best can be well-satiated tonight (Friday 11th) at Gateshead's Three Tuns when UK/DC take to the stage for a blistering Rock set that I can assure you is dynamite. You have been duly notified.

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Whoops. Thought I had mentioned this but apparently not. The Times Inn, Dalton le Dale, has shut its doors. On its Facebook page, it says 'for good', but I don't think the staff and punters would see much good in it! I think they may mean 'permanently' or 'indefinitely'.


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VICTIM OF CHANGES
Without question, Rob Halford is one of Heavy Metal’s all-time great vocalists – as heard through his highly influential and groundbreaking work with Judas Priest. But age must do strange things to people, as he is about to release an all-new album entitled ‘Celestial’ - full of  'Christmas' songs.
‘Celestial’ sees Halford joined by a supporting cast of those very close to him – his brother (Nigel) on drums, his nephew on bass (Alex, son of Priest bassist Ian Hill), has sister (Sue) on bells, and twin guitar tandem of Robert Jones and Jon Blakey.
'Donner and Blitzen,' and 'Protected by the Light,' as well as reworkings of such holiday standards as 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' 'Joy to the World,' and 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,' sit alongside other offerings. 'Donner and Blitzen’ gets the snowball rolling for Celestial – a song full of excitement, love and hope,” says Rob. “You can hear and feel the power of Christmas time – energy roarin’ with rockin’ reindeers haulin’!”
Of course you can Mr Halford. Now where's my copy of Sad Wings of Destiny . . .


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Gonna give a shout to Heart Shaped Stone who, up until today, I thought was a band but, apparently - well not apparently - because she has told me she isn't a band, she is solo, and she ought to know.
I'm giving a shout for two reasons. 1) she's taken out an advert in Riffs, which helps me pay the exorbitant prices for web hosting and domain name; and 2) she was the lead singer in two Rock bands - '99 Clicks', and 'Fallen Angel'. [I could squeeze in a 3) by saying she was very polite - you'd be surprised how many people aren't!].
As she told Riffs quite candidly: "
Everything I play is totally live, no tracks or gizmos, I strive to play well known cover songs that people like to hear on a night out and very often finish up with the audience singing along as the night goes on, mainly great singalong songs from the 80s and 90s from bands such as 3 Non Blondes, Oasis, Allanis Morrisette, Beautiful South, Fleetwood Mac, KT Tunstall, Blondie, Cranberries, plus some older, earlier and more modern songs too to please a wider range of audience."
She has a great following in her home town of North Shields but travels all over the North-East for gigs. She is no stranger to the weird and wonderful venues we have here in the North-East and has hosted buskers nights and mulitplayer live music gigs since 2017, now pushing her solo career.
I'll admit, unless she dives into the odd Priest or Motorhead track ("that really isn't going to happen, Nige") she may leave me a bit by the wayside but, as my niece told me "There's more to life than Heavy Rock". Errrmmmm, sorry Hazel, nope, you've lost me.
But I appreciate there is room for everyone in our thriving music arena and Heart Shaped Stone certainly have the background and professionalism to say "I'm here now, just leave everything to me". And that, surely, is what a lot of landlords are dying to hear. (second only to "there's hundreds of people queued outside for tonight's gig!")
There is a Facebook page showreel:

https://www.facebook.com/heartshapedmusic/videos/3191461814229734/
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Ginger Baker, one of the co-founders of Cream, has died at the age of 80.
Baker is best known for co-founding Cream with Eric Claption and Jack Bruce in 1966. He suffered various health problems in the later years of his life, telling Rolling Stone in 2013 that performing “exhausted” him. The candid interview also saw Baker reveal that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from smoking. In February 2016, he was forced to cancel a tour with Air Force after being diagnosed with “serious heart problems”. He is thought to have undergone open heart surgery in June of that year.


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INTERNATIONAL DATELINE OCTOBER 7 . . .
INTERNATIONAL DATELINE OCTOBER 7 . . . INTE
Direct from Riffs International Overseas Reporter (you better believe it!) comes some AC/DC news; recently opened in Prahran, Melbourne (that's way over in Australia, by the way) is 'Angus and Bon' Steakhouse. Which, co-incidentally or not, is just around the corner from the Station Hotel where the band played one of their first Melbourne gigs back in 1975. Our intrepid Ozzie reported dutifully snapped this pic of the Angus and Bon plaque and I have requested that she wears her 'AC/DC founded 1974' t-shirt in front of the aforementioned establishment while taking a photo of herself (I think the hip amongst us call it a 'selfie') - but of course this all depends on the weather as I was unable to afford the very fastest pigeon. But a big thanks to Franki who, by her own admisssion ended up in Melbourne after missing the Hollywood plane. Don't worry, I told her, relax.








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Another thousand words, this time from Qween, also with a sellout concert on a recent Friday at Hedworth Hall:

Checkout their radio interview here.

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A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

The Bay Horse in Bishop Auckland (on a recent Friday). . .
    
   


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Heard from Maddog - Chairman of the Tyne Wolves - that the Duke of Cumberland in Gateshead reopened fairly recently and is planning live gigs. The management intends to have regular band nights but The Tyne Wolves have got in quick with two gigs there already planned: Red Revival on 28th of this month, and Three Odd Shoes on Oct 4. Start time is 8pm and there will be a charity bucket for welcome contributions.

Val and myself have many happy memories of the Duke, with Thompa vying with Paul Tuns for the most gracious host in the North East. He set the bar extremely high, let's just hope the present management are even half as good.


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The gig arranged for Darlington's Forum for 24th of this month has been put back to next year and this new gig featuring The Tom Atkinson Band and the legendary Russ Tippins Band now takes its place:
 

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Heard from Dave from the Graham Henderson Experience that their gig tonight (Friday) at the Ox and Plough in Washington is off. The venue is closed and boarded so I guess that means no live gigs there for a while............but we'll let you know if anything changes.

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Better late than never - tonight's gig (Fri) at the now iconic Three Tuns in Gateshead is Heavy Metal USURPER. Tried my best to get a pic of the band but no luck. But there are some vids on Youtube taken at Trillans. I mention tonight's gig as it is now getting so damn difficult to get to see some Metal bands - and even more so if they play their own compositions; so good on Usurper. Check out their vids and if you are in the Gateshead area then why not pop along and give these guys some support? master of the wreck   baptism of fire
And good on Paul Tuns for giving these lads an airing.

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TRIBUTE BAND BREAKS PUB ATTENDANCE RECORD
By all accounts Darlo Blues day on Sunday was a rip-roaring success and, although we would have liked to hear from several bands concerning their gig on the day, at least we've been contacted by The Paul Rodgers Story who, apparently, broke an attendance record at a Darlington pub! We hear that there was, wait for it, 110 (that's one hundred and ten) people watching just the band's sound check at Hoskins Bar in the town centre. And when the band kicked off, there had been an unbelievable 553 people in the venue. The previous record was 350. The band, needless to say, fed off the crowd and went down an absolute storm. The Paul Rodgers Story have a new website up and running www.paulrodgersstory.com (I've told them about the Riffs reviews links not working) and also I can link to a video taken on the night of the band playing 'Fire and Water'. Just click here.
(above pic was taken at Darlington Forum earlier this year)


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Has anyone a cure for Fizzyfish? Those adaptable funsters are at it again - raising money for charity. I can't put it much better than singer Alan so I'll quote directly from his email:
"This one's been drawn together really quickly, Sunday 29th Sept at the old B&M store on Harbour Walk, Hartlepool, TS24 0YA. We're helping out the Personal Trainers at The Gym Group in Hartlepool in an event to raise funds for Andy’s Man Club, set up to help people with mental health issues in remembrance of Adam Rutherford, a young lad who sadly took his own life. The event is free, but obviously we would welcome any donations on the day to the cause, there's 3 live music acts; Red Sky, the acoustic duo span off the band Skyran, the wonderful Jades a 4-part glamourous harmony group, and to end the afternoon there’s the ugly buggers that are us, Fizzyfish, with a power hour to end the day with a bang. The event runs from noon until around 4pm, there’s plenty of other stuff going on for those who like to physically exert themselves - and those who like to watch them try. Everyones doing their bit for nowt, from the organisers, Hart tool hire, PA company Soundwaves, Van Hire company and Hartlepool Council; they have all been a great help, all funds raised go straight to the cause."
There's nothing more I can add to enhance the event, except a plea for local people to go along, have a crackin' day out and try and pop a few pennies in the collecting buckets. Anyone who's organised an event knows just how much hard work - not to mention sweat and sleepless nights - goes into it, so to tot it all up at the end of the day to realise a financial reward for Andy's Man Club would put smiles on so many faces . . .
And well done Fizzyfish - Riffs will always have room for you.

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DIRTY DOGZ PHIL PROPOSES A NIGHT OF
'PANACHE, POWER, PRECISION AND PASSION'

And talking of 'no-nonsense', Riffs is excited at an email from Phil from Dirty Dogz fame who, after the demise of aforesaid band, has been pining for some quality, down-to-earth Rock done by mature, experienced musicians - or in his own words 'A tasty selection of highly regarded and seasoned pros' (I'm hearing people standing and clapping at the back . . .) and with the adage 'if you want something doing properly do it yourself' resounding around his thinking organ, Phil has decided to do just that.
Putting his money where his mouth is, Phil is arranging a 'little' soiree where he expects to showcase some incredible Rock talent. He told me: 'There’s still some cracking nights to be had out there I’m sure but, as most bands are finding, it's often hard chuffin work playing to 2 men, a whippet and a crazy couple in the corner who are adamant they want a bit of Britney! However, the frustration and disappointment seems to have wained a tad over the noted period of inactivity and I am dipping my arthritic toes (some may say foolishly) into the local, unpredictable rock'n'roll waters again.'
At the moment he has got his main band together: Joe Hope-Bass/Vox (“The Boy”), Ray Johns-Hammond (“The Man”), Sid White-Drums (“The Business”), Phil Caisley-Gtr/Vox (“The Dreamer”) but Phil promises some 'special guests' not to mention support band(s).
Still in its early stages, Phil is wanting to gauge support before he goes full tilt. He continued: 'Looking for definite feedback from real fans of live music who like nothing more than to immerse themselves in a night of quality sounds delivered with panache, power, precision and passion'. Expectations are high and Phil hopes the setlist to include 'interpretations/improvisations of classic rock, blues and psychedelia from Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, Stones, Beatles, Free, Neil Young, Peter Green, Bob Dylan...plus the odd original and a few surprises.' Phil has emphasised that this will happen only with enough prior interest. He welcomes texts on 07803 640235. I have promised Phil, Riffs' full involvement and when anything happens - we wanna know!
LET'S MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

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HEADS DOWN NO-NONSENSE BOOGIE
Nipped out to catch Ma Kelly's Boys last Sunday (15th Sep) at Crook Hotel, co-incidentally about the same time as John Coghlan's Quo were playing in Darlington as part of the annual Blues Festival. Again, Ma Kelly's Boys are seasoned musicians who have done their homework and noticeably love playing Quo's early stuff. Lots on offer, including 'Railroad', 'Roll Over Lay Down', 'Mystery Song' and many of the expected Quo classics - the sound was ballsy, meaty and perfectly balanced. Lead guitarist's feigned move to turn down the volume elicited angry shouts from the crowd. Think so too. Quo fans will not feel short-changed here.
   
     

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My faith in humanity has been partially restored - well, I say humanity; I mean the Rock-going public of the North-East. How? Well, I have just received (and now put together) a review of UK/DC at Glendale Club from last Friday (13th), and it was packed. Chocka. Heaving. And don't take my word for it, The Seaham Silverback was there, sent in his review with pictures of said crowd. Magnifico.
 

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Received a link to the new offering from our local lads Millennium. Coming in at around an ear-battering six minutes this Heavy Rock onslaught - A New World  - is a taster for the full album coming out this month. Seems there's fewer and fewer Rock and Metal heads left, but for the Metal minority this little ditty should satisfy. Paul from the band told me: 'It's tough for all bands but especially those that peddle their own stuff. Hopefully we'll travel a wider road soon.'  We wait with baited breath. Give it a listen, crank your speakers to 11, sit back, and enjoy . . .A NEW WORLD

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Just been sent a link to a great video by the NE STREET BAND. Check it out here

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Three Tuns in Gateshead need band for this Sat (14th). Contact Paul asap 07940715824 (and let me know if you get the gig and I'll post it on the Listings page). NOW SORTED,. FREDDIE PURVIS GOT THE GIG.

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After typing the below para something came to me that Colin Smoult said to me many, many moons ago when he was in Shovelmouth. He told me how much it means when, after a gig, if just one person comes over and says to the band how much they had enjoyed the gig. That, he said, made all the hard work so worthwhile.

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"Can you hear us at the back?"

Riffs is getting emails left, right and centre concerning the lack of support for quality bands playing their hearts out in the area. I do find it sad that bands who have invested not just money, but many, many hundreds of hours of dedicated rehearsals and practice take to the stage and, on so many occasions, see just a handful of punters. Now, I could quite understand this reaction to mediocre bands who get some gear together and tout themselves as a 'band', but I am talking about skilled musicians (and I'm not going to name anyone in particular) who have spent years on the live music circuit and rate as high as you will see anywhere. Riffs even reviews bands so you have a good idea of the best bands to see, so we're doing our bit! I mean, it's not that pubs charge for entry most of the time. All they ask is that you buy a drink or two. I know, if you are reading this I'm probably preaching to the converted, but get some mates, tell your friends, make a night of it - but give these guys some support. There will be a time, maybe not too far in the future when you will actually have one of the most frustrating feelings ever - no choice.

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While writing the review for Obsession yesterday (Sat) I twigged that the brilliant lead guitarist John Footitt was in a band called Riot, way back. So, after a search through Riffs' archives I found a review for Riot done at (you might guess) The Three Tuns, by Val. Again, not sure what year - but I know someone will help out. Here is the review. Plus a couple of pics of John belting out some toons including some Bon J . . .aaah, where's the sick bucket?!!!

       

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Less than a week to go until the Ruf Blues Caravan 2019 take to the stage at Hartlepool Supporters Club on Saturday 14th.
A lot of people may panic thinking they now do not have time to arrange tickets for the gig - but panic not, as Tommy is allowing pay on door to this event if all tickerts are not sold.
If you want to check availability just give him a quick email on thomas.wormald2@ntlworld.com. And he may even hold them on the door for you, I know not, but if you ask very nicely he just may.


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Just heard from
Blistered Molly that their charity Ball at Hexham Mart has been cancelled. It was listed for later this month but it is now not to be. Mike from the band told Riffs "I'm not suprised really, at £50 a ticket!" And I bet he was looking forward to that drum solo too. Such is life. Mike is slightly miffed as the band turned down a couple of bookings for that night so is now trying to fill that slot; it's Saturday September 28; contact
Mike on 07711 006943.

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GOOD OLD-FASHIONED LOVER BOY


And I thought Sunday was a day of rest!!

No sooner had I finished putting together last night's review of
The Codgers by the Seaham Silverback, than in pops an email from Rob of Qween who had another successful gig on Friday (30th Aug) at The Grand in Newcastle.

And he very kindly sent me in a couple of pics taken at that fine establishment.

I also hear that the band even did a meet and greet after the show for their many fans demanding a chat. Nice one guys.

Their next gig is at Hedworth Hall South Shields on Friday 27th Sep and tickets are just £6 from the venue or Qween's Facebook page.





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I notice that The Codgers are playing Houghton Sports and Social Club tonight (Sat) and there's just a chance that the Seaham Silverback may be out and about too. Now I'd hate for anyone to put two and two together . . .  but I've sorted through Riffs archives and dusted off some old pics I took of the young lads when they were Old Codger in 2007. So, without further ado:




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I can agree wholeheartedly with The Seaham Silverback's review of Starz a few weeks ago. I caught them last night (Thursday 29th Aug) at Osbournes in Yarm to get pics of them on stage and was mega-impressed by this versatile power trio. An object lesson in how to - seemingly effortlessly - entertain a crowd with an ultra-tight sound by seasoned and talented musicians and still have a laugh with the punters. To be able to play a bikers gig one night and a wine bar the next will give Starz an enviable edge. Tony from St. Peter's Club in Newcastle told me: "These lads are great. I have had them twice this year and intend to book them again for 2020."
I kidnapped guitarist Kenny between sets: "There is no other place like the North-East," he pointed out, "every weekend there are numerous local bands on offer to go and see - not many people realise this is special to the area." Although he still wouldn't be drawn on whether hardened rockers Black Rose would be publicising their upcoming album with some local gigs.
I have updated the Silverback's review with some pics but have not changed any of his text. Starz are still mid mini-tour and I unashamedly urge you to go see. Kiko, Mark and Kenny's repertoire is all-encompassing and I truly can't see anyone being disappointed.            
http:www.starzrock.co.uk


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FIZZYFISH HAVE DARLINGTON IN THEIR SIGHTS
By jove they're at it again! Fizzy by name and fizzy by nature. Only this time, the band who put the E in Entertainment plan to bring a bit of life to Darlington. They are playing for nopence, not a penny, not a threepenny bit, not a tanner, not a florin so as to help Family Help in Darlington, which specialises in domestic abuse support for women and women with children fleeing domestic abuse. They provide safe temporary accommodation for those that need it, in a purpose built refuge with 8 units.
Alan told Riffs: "We are honoured to be supporting the refuge and will be offering a night of entertainment for the princely sum of £6 a ticket. We will be going full on Rollercoaster set for this one, so nothing esoteric, just a great night of great tunes!"
It's on Friday, October 18. Tickets are available direct from the venue, The Forum Music Centre, Borough Road, Darlington, 01325 363135. All profits will go direct to the refuge.



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Well, some balls are held for charity and some for fancy dress, but the ball that's held in aid of Tynedale Hospice is the ball that Blistered Molly likes best. Yep, the band has been asked to play at the Hats and Glad Rags Ball in the Function Suite at Hexham Mart. Drummer Mike from the band tells me they are all looking forward to introducing the crowd to some Classic Rock and I note that within their repertoire they include some Free, Zep, AC/DC, Lizzy and . . . Sabbath. Hmmm, best keep clear of War Pigs methinks and probs go for Paranoid. Even Zep may be a push. "Well," said Mike confidently, "we'll suss out the crowd and see what we can get away with. The name of the game, though, is to entertain. And we have no worries on that score." With such a positive attitude the band may just make some converts. Singer Ashleigh is a big Zep fan so hopes are high for some blistering Rock. The event has been put together by Patricia Barnes of Hats and Glad Rags in Hexham and Gofton Wagyu and takes place on Saturday September 28th. It all kicks off at 7pm and you'll get chucked out around midnight.
Not a cheap night mind, coming in at £50. But hey, it is for charity and hospices up and down the country rely on public donations to survive. And if you had a loved one spending time in a hospice you would wish the best for them wouldn't you? If you do wish to treat yourself and partner then call 01434 606 444 or e-mail fundraising@tynedalehospice.com. Mike did say Blistered Molly intend to make it a night to remember. I think when Mike announces: "Hey everybody, this is our twenty-minute version of Moby Dick." That should do the trick.

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Had a little jaunt last night (Fri 23rd)  to Bishop Auckland to see
Four Letter Word do their stuff at the Bay Horse. Review and pics sorted for your delectation. The Seaham Silverback has just submitted to Riffs his review of The Whole Hog at The Glendale and this is now finished and both reviews are here to view.
      

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WELL - THEY HAVEN'T KILLED KENNY

Well, would you credit it? Riffs was opining the lack of music news today and into our lap popped this little gem concerning not only a great Metal band, but also we spy the ruggedly Rock looks of guitarist Kenny Nicholson who is no stranger to Riffs News pages. [And as this info didn't come from Kenny we officially slap him around the face with a wet lettuce].
He is now part of
Millennium, a Billingham-based Heavy Metal band who are due to release their fourth full-length studio album A New World on October 25th, 2019 through Pure Steel Records.
Vocalist Mark Duffy commented: “We try to keep some of our New Wave Of British Heavy Metal roots, but we also try a bit of variation with songs like ‘Obsolete’ and ‘Assassin’ that have a more straight ahead heavy metal feel to them." The band who played on the album consisted of:
Mark Duffy (vocals, Toranaga)
Will Philpot (guitar, Serpents Kiss)
Louis Astbury (guitar)
Paul Simpson (bass)
Darren Moore (drums)
We say 'consisted' as Louis Astbury has been replaced by Kenny, and drummer Darren Moore by Nigel Waterfall-Brown.
I, for one, will be keeping my eye open for a possible local gig - well, there's bound to be one pub that has the balls to unleash some Heavy Metal thunder. Isn't there?


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Further to the mensh for the upcoming
Red Revival gig at Leam Lane, thought some readers may be interested in their take on Whole Lotta Rosie. The lead singer's voice is quite powerful - you could say she's got it aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall. Check out the video here, taken on the 18th of this month at the Smile Festival.


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Bearing in mind I have been a lilfe-long UFO fan, I was looking forward to the
Pete Way Band at Trillians on Monday just gone. But decided to give it a miss. I'll say nothing more, just point you to this Youtube video recorded recently - here. Too bad, too sad.

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TYNE WOLVES INITIATE RED REVIVAL

Now, this one's a month away but I'm rather intrigued with this. Maddog and the Tyne Wolves not only show their worth by putting on some regular Rock/Grunge/Metal offerings at the Deuchars Arms up there in Leam Lane but has Riffs mucho respect as he makes sure proceeds go to a cause close to his heart - the Kayaks charity. News enough you may agree but I've just heard from him of his gig on Sep 15 for: Red Revival. Now I know if I said they have a female singer a lot of you will immediately discount the band or subconciously think less off them - I hold my hands up there. But then think of Warlock, think of Benatar. Roxette even? And what about Harry? No - not Dirty, Debbie! Check out this song (click on image) and see what you think. Massive potential to be a rockin' combo there. And let's face it; if Maddog says to them 'I want you Rockin' tonight'. Would you argue?

.
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Just one day to go and we get info on tomorrow's (SAT 17th) Burning Rock Festival at Stanley. I've added the info to the Listings page but here's a rundown of who's on:
2pm no ordinary Angel; 3pm me mes; 4pm dog in a box; 5pm rigid digits; 6pm ballbreakers; 7pm riverrain; 8pm lock n load. Only a fiver and pay at gate. That's it.

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Gotta give a big shout to
Four Letter Word who are braving Darlington's apathetic Rock scene to be part of the Britannia's Britfest event in aid of St. Theresa's Hospice this Saturday (17th).
Much kudos to Michael and the lads for giving of their time for such a worthwhile cause, who are hoping to take to the stage around 5. It's from 2 to 9pm and other bands on the menu are East Coast Mainline; The Mechanical Capybara and String Edition.
I gotta say, know nothing much about the Britannia except it's seemed to have always been there, overseeing many changes to Darlo including the demise of Handcrafts from directly over the road, the building of the A68/St. Cuthbert's Way roundabout directly outside the pub, not to mention the massive ugly DWP building that it faces.
And they do their bit for the wild birds by always maintaining a fresh supply of num nums via their Britannia tree (not much escapes Riffs' eagle eye!!). So with that attention to detail it's probs a pub worth visiting.
As with Maddog's afternoon gig up there in Leam Lane, we wish for good weather to enhance the event.



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Having a look at Riffs Listings it's nice to see that Paul Tuns' panic at getting his August's gigs sorted is now history and he can look forward to some crackin' bands - culminating in the astounding coup of securing
Skinny Molly; featuring Lynryd Skynyrd's Mike Estes (as this is the ONLY north-east gig [apart from Stormin' biker rally the night before] you get to this gig or you've missed the band for well over a year). Zooming forward to this Friday (16th) he has the ever-popular FM. Have dug out a couple of pics which - according to the photo info. - I took in 2013. AC/DC, Hendrix and many others get an outing with this quality band and - from what I can remember - a stunning lead guitarist.
 


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Must give a shout out to David from High Howdon Social Club which was host to an Abba tribute last weekend. Between you and me he would be happy for them to sneak in 'Thunderstruck'. Well, you never know - the last song the Pistols played at their gig at Midddlesbrough Rock Garden in the Seventies was 'Teenage Kicks' - and who'da thought that? So fingers crossed for ya mate. On the off chance they do, be sure to let Riffs know!


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Isn't it nice - or do I mean 'rare' - when people keep their word? And so it is that Rob from Qween Sold Out (Soz - I mean Qween) sent in some pics - or should I say 'pic' - of his gig last night Saturday 9th at Newcastle Village Hotel.

Although I was expecting more than one, at least it's nice to have an image of the evening. I must apologise for the size though (unfortunately not the first time I've had to say that) but this is exactly as supplied.

Beggars can't be choosers, so I thank Rob and fingers crossed his full houses continue.














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THIS MACHINE CREATES WHEELS OF STEEL
Nice to hear from
This Machine who, I have been reliably informed (cos they told me), have been having some rather pleasing responses regarding their cover versions. Saxon commented 'very cool' when talkin' 'bout Wheels of Steel - praise indeed. Also, their version of the Dead Daisies Long Way To Go got a 'like' on the Daisies' Facebook page. Not bad going for Norman, Tony, Sequel, Paul and The Hamster of Doom (aka Gazza) who I know have been on the circuit long enough to hone their musicianship to deserve such eminent acolades. I just hope this mensh doesn't embarrass the lads - no? Well, if that doesn't, then the following photos just may; taken ten years ago when myself and Val interviewed the band at The Three Tuns in Gateshead.
We were all much older then - we're younger than that now...


 

This Machine playing Wheels of Steel at The Frigate, Marske- here
This Machine playing Long Way To Go at The Penny Gill - here



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New Plough Dipton Music festival confirmed for Sunday 25th August
from 1.15pm through to 10.15pm 
Music all day with 6 live acts from solos to full bands as below:
Scott Kiers solo 
North Road duo
Mitch Laddie band
Jen Stevens Little Moth duo
Ash Humble solo 
Sofi-stication band
And no reason not to pop along as it's completely, totally FREE.

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HSC BACK ON THE CIRCUIT



Just a heads up for any sharp eyed readers - especially around the Hartlepool area - who have noticed that Hartlepool Supporters Club has been missing from our Gig Listings the last few months. Well, just heard from Tommy there and they have had a break from bands but are now back to firing on all six. Their gigs are, of course, now on our Listings and you would do well to check out that fine establishment, which has hosted some really rare out-of-town bands. Highlight for this month just has to be
The Feelgood Band. I think you will be a tad impressed. Check 'em out here


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QWEEN SOLD OUT

Just heard that the
Qween gig (that's a Queen tribute for those of you have just got up or are or well hungover) this Friday 9th at Newcastle is now completely SOLD OUT. That's three gigs in a row for Qween that have sold out. Wonder if they'll be tempted to rename the band 'Qween Sold Out' . . .!!
Rob from the band has promised to send in some pics so I'll pop the best on the this page as soon as I get them.

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"Hey Molly, how you so skinny?"
Bands come and go, venues come and go, but Gateshead's Three Tuns has been one of the most reputable and long-established venues for North-East live gigs for as long as I can remember [many of you will be thinking 'well, that's about a fortnight then'] - indeed, just look at our old reviews and quite a few feature the Tuns, so it's quite fitting that Paul from that Rockin' gaff has the honour to be the ONLY North-East pub to host Lynyrd Skynyrd's Mike Estes and his band Skinny Molly. The band rate the Tuns gig so highly [it states on the Skinny Molly website that The Three Tuns is one of their favourite places to play] that not only did they plead with Paul to have a gig there [I totally imagine] but I understand they are having a warm-up the night before when they headline Stormin' The Castle Bikers Rally at Bishop Auckland. Those bikers appreciate a bit of the ol' Southern hospitality and will no doubt get the Mollies all fired up for a night of propa Rockin' boogie for the Tuns crowd. Just a shame they don't play Freebird anymore as they reckon it's just not called for at any of their gigs..............yeah, right!! - they wouldn't dare not play Freebird!!!! Skinny Molly also play the best of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot and The Outlaws. The Tuns gig is Saturday 31st August and tickets are a tenner. And, although we all know the Tuns is like a massive football arena once you get inside . . . Paul must make it known that when the tickets are gone - they're gone. No door entry wiithout a ticket. No squeezing in the odd punter. And apparently there's quite a few odd punters in Gateshead.

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Paul at the Tuns in now all sorted. All dates filled and up on the Listings page... he's appreciative of all bands who enquired and is full for August - unless someone pulls out!!

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Well, just dug out another Riffs review from way back, by dear ol' Val - and again, no idea when this was penned. Val mentioned it was the week after the 26th. Ah, right, so that's cleared that up........


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C'mon bands - Riffs is updated many times daily and when we say Paul needs bands for The Three Tuns in Gateshead for this month then we are talking now; we will let you know when the slots have been filled - but they haven't been yet. He still has three dates to fill
This Saturday 10th August
Next Friday 16th August
Next Saturday 17th August. So give him a call
07940 715824. WHEN? NOW!!

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AC/DC GB AT THE PENNY GILL
Hello everybody peeps. Well, just got back from The Penny Gill in Spennymoor where I nipped along to try out a new camera - always felt a bit of a wally lugging my large DSLR about, so invested in new technology. Was really pleased with the results; will need some tweaking but I thought I'd post a few pics from its very first use. I'm contemplating undertaking band reviews - just like the old days (but, unfortunately without Val) if there is a demand; and of course a review is no good without pics to illustrate. Anyway, this is from last night's gig (Sun Aug 4th) at The Penny Gill of AC/DC GB . . .   I recorded them playing 'High Voltage' and that is now on Youtube - https://youtu.be/V-0BzWOjMDk.



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The Bessie boys live at the City Hall 2015 (free ads for a whole year for anybody who doesn't chuckle): https://youtu.be/DpcMX4SmeG8
Bessie and the Zinc Buckets Facebook page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/bessieandthezincbuckets/

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I've started experimenting with linking bands names in the Listing page to Youtube videos of themselves - to help readers get an idea of what to expect at a gig. At the moment I've picked a few at random but, if any band wants a link to a particular video then please let me know and I will initiate that. I'm not sure what will happen though when that gig comes and goes; I guess you will need to re-send the link for me to keep it up to date............ I'll see how it goes........

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COME ON AND TOUCH ME

The keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed how many
Starz gigs there are now in August and September. Well, it just happens their popularity seems to know no bounds. I remember guitarist Kenny telling me earlier this year that they went out of their way to pick a set list that was recognisable but yet well away from the 'done-to-death' covers. Well, that has paid off in spades [what's the builders' motto - measure twice and cut once]. Kenny explained to Riffs: 'Starz has gone down really well everywhere; one landlord told us that we were the first band he'd listened to for months cos normally he switches off when he's serving behind the bar because he's sick of hearing the same old songs, he couldnt wait to get us back!' Not only that but Kenny is in The Paul Rodgers Story who had no choice but to reform after constant requests and, by all accounts, played a blinder recently at Darlington's Forum (and yes a re-booking ensued). And, if all that isn't impressive enough, his other band, the heavy Black Rose is on the verge of releasing a new album. Kenny went on: 'Black Rose are almost finished recording a new album which is a lot heavier than anything we have done in the past, it should surprise a few people!'
Couldn't be too heavy for me Kenny - or too loud!  Click pic to hear 'Cure For Your Disease' by Black Rose.
I wouldn't be surprised if Kenny makes himself available on a regular basis, surrounded by railings, for bands who want to just get close and touch him . . . or just stare in awe . . .

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Three Tuns all sorted for weekend - they have Romeo's Pistol for this Friday and Prism for Saturday. Two bands quick off the mark - mind you, neither have been in touch with Riffs. We got the confirmation from Paul Tuns. Y'know, ya try to give bands publicity . . .
Paul is still short for some dates late August so give him a call
07940 715824.

THREE TUNS NEEDS BAND FOR FRIDAY now sorted

Paul Tuns is well on his way to filing his listing for gigs in August but finds himself with a space for THIS FRIDAY 2ND (Three Tuns in Gateshead)- so get in there quick:
call or text 07940 715824. And when you have secured your gig, email me here at Riffs and I will add it to the Listings page - and if you are very polite I will give your band a mensh here on the News page!

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If I'm anything, I'm a man of my word; September's listings is now live and the first entry is for Friday 13th at
The Glendale, Hall Lane, Houghton le Spring DH5 8DA for a gig by UK/DC playing tracks by the legendary Bon Scott.

Angus from that band played with AC/DC GB recently and went down a storm at Steels Club in Sunderland, so a lot is riding on the Glendale gig.

Will they - can they - surpass the Steels Club gig?



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Can I make a clarification concerning the AC/DC GB review below. The Angus on the night of the gig review was from UK/DC, and he was standing in on that night at Steels Club and it is his band - UK/DC who is appearing at Glendale Club on Friday September 13th. UK/DC play the Bon Scott era songs, so that's the first five AC/DC albums; and some would argue undoubtedly the best. But let's not get into that. I should be getting September's list up soon on the Listings page and I will make sure that that will be the first gig entered into it.


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BANDS SOUGHT FOR GATESHEAD GIGS
Looks like landlord Paul Tuns is having a reet rough August suffering numerous cancellations! He has put an urgent shout out for bands for the following dates for his two pubs in Gateshead - no specific style has been mentioned so just give him a ring . . . call or text
07940 715824
SCHOONER
Sat 17th, Fri 23rd
THREE TUNS
Fri 2, Sat 3, Sat 10, Fri 16, Sat 17, Sat 24, Fri 30.


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The band's website:  
https://www.acdcgb.co.uk/
For a taste of the band:   https://youtu.be/QRCIfpYXSC8

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WE'LL HAVE NONE OF YER DEVIL MUSIC
AROUND THESE 'ERE PARTS

Well, ya just gotta feel sorry for those Junkyard Dogz, all set for their debut gig at Ye Old Cross in Ryton Village recently - but just days away from their much-anticipated gig and they are told it's off. Who says they can't go ahead? Environmental Health, that's who. Apparently the pub wants to start up live music nights but have been shot down in flames before they've even got going. Paul from the band told me: 'I wouldn't mind but they haven't even heard us!'

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Sorting through Riffs archives (well, when you wake at 5am you need something to fill in the time!) I noticed another little gem that warrants an airing, so without further ado here's Rough Justice from July 2008 at the Princess Alice in Middlesbrough . . .penned by yours truly.


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ONE VISION
    
By all accounts
Queen tribute Qween knocked 'em dead at Birtley Buffs Club recently. Every single ticket had been sold and the place was, as you can well imagine, rammed to the rafters. Rob from the band told Riffs: 'It was a great responsive audience who really appreciated our live show experience - Billy West, our lead singer, does "Freddie" proud at every gig and sings all Queen songs in copy key!' No doubt all the musos reading this will know exactly what 'copy key' is. Moving on: Rob has been elated at the response his band has been getting since its inception and playing to capacity crowds looks like the norm for this quality ensemble. Their next gig is at Hebburn Iona Social Club on Friday 12th July tickets from the club (£6)-.
Did anyone video the band at the gig that Riffs could link to?

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Twister at the Academy:  https://youtu.be/sh3AEUpWyFQ
Rock Solid: https://youtu.be/U8eBOJAF8_0

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NOW THESE TOWNS
THEY ALL KNOW OUR NAME

Riffs is forever hearing of venues closing and bands splitting so how heartened are we to tell of a band actually reforming?!! Yes, it's true. A big welcome back to . . . THE PAUL RODGERS STORY. It seems only five minutes ago that the lads (well, I say 'lads' but the pedigree of these mature guys is there for all to see/hear) were not only belting out the most memorable tracks from Free, Bad Co., Queen etc but they included Paul Rodgers' foray into solo work too. Not to mention Hendrix. Gaining an envious reputation for reliablility and quality musicianship throughout the North-East, it was a blow to many when the band called it a day.
Guitarist Kenny told me: '
Since the band split up we've had people asking us on a regular basis what happend to the band and the enjoyment they got from our gigs. A chance meeting between a couple of us led to our reform, so by popular demand we are back.'
Kenny continued: '
Because all the members are busy with other bands we can only fit in a very few gigs.'
Very few indeed, you'll be lucky to catch the band once a month - but a trek worth taking.
Needless to say Riffs shows The Paul Rodgers Story gigs on our Listings page but this is the current list up to Christmas (Oh heavens - it's still June and we've mentioned Christmas!!!!).

Thurs 4th July - The Forum, Darlington   cc
Sat 3rd Aug - Richmond Live Festival (on stage at 4pm)    cc
Sun 15th Sept -  Rhythm & Blues Festival, Darlington (Hoskins Bar at 6pm)
Thurs 28th Nov - Trillians, Newcastle
Fri 20th Dec - Cleveland Bay, Eaglescliffe


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HARTLEPOOL CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF
WISHBONE ASH

Another short notice gig just come to Riffs attention is this Sunday (23rd) at
Hartlepool Supporters Club [5pm £4.00]; The venue is celebrating the 50-year anniversay of the great Wishbone Ash. Performed by The Flying Vs, Jeff from the band told Riffs: 'It's one of a series of gigs we will perform this year. We will be joined by Dave Barnes from The Test Pilots as our Ted Turner. Having opened up for Wishbone Ash and their fans in 2014 at Chesterfield Winding Wheel, 2016 at The Grand Clitheroe and 2018 at The Y Theatre Leicester, we're looking forward to playing tracks from the early years Wishbone Ash, Pilgrimage, Argus, Wishbone IV, New England, and Strange Affair.'

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Just found out about this all-dayer today - two days before the event! Looks like their publicity dept. is away on holiday . . . Anyway, thanks to American Girl for keeping Riffs in the loop. Noticed there are no band times on the poster but one time we do know is that American Girl are due at 4.45pm. (and they've missed an 'S' from Assassin!)



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Following on from the unbelievable response I got from the last two recent 'who is this band' pics. And I say 'unbelievable' because no-one - yes no-one - emailed me! But am I saddened? [Well, yeah, just a tad] but am I disheartened? [Well . . .] but not to be deterred here is two more 'who the fuck is this?'  pics.................. any ideas anyone? Anyone . . .?
     



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https://youtu.be/jhUhw_J5ItE

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True to my word I've dug out these two pics of a young band pictured at The Grand in Bishop Auckland (possibly) way back when - so if anyone knows who the band is, or when I took them (or why I never labelled them properly) we can then put a name to the band...
      


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https://youtu.be/DkWRCv5HDjk

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YES, WE TAKE OUR OWN PHOTOS - ALWAYS HAVE
In reply to a recent email we received: ALL photos that accompany Riffs reviews (and indeed reviews by The Seaham Silverback) are taken at the actual gig - without exception. The reviews by myself and Val all contained photographs that I took of the band on that particular night. We do not snaffle pics from other websites, Facebook or whatever to enhance the review. If I ever use a photo in this column (not the column on the right) for illustrative purposes I always mensh that I nicked it from somewhere else (other than if it was sent directly to Riffs by the band/venue themselves). Myself and Val always prided ourselves on reviewing, photographing and writing the whole gig ourselves. In fact, typing this has just reminded me that I have scores (maybe hundreds) of photographs that are unnamed and I may post some on this column soon. Shame to have them gathering dust.... I am trying to persuade Mr Silverback to get armed with a camera so as to illustrate his reviews with some exciting pics... I am working on his review of The 3 Colonels from last night right now and should have it uploaded within a couple of hours....

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Mucho gracias to Alan W from The Grand in Bishop Auckland who recognised the single as 'Watcha Doin' To Me' by The Reds. Just one more to go . . . this catchy little punk ditty from the Seventies has bewildered me  . . . does anyone know who it is?


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HELP - I NEED SOMEBODY

Can anyone help me identify this single . . . ?



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Well, it's that time again - a look though Riffs' archives and see what gems we have hidden away. How about a review of
Freeway from August 2008? You got it.



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Just a brief mensh for an upcoming gig at the Cluny 2 in Newcastle for 26th June when the
Tom Atkinson Band will be performing there. Over a year since the lads performed at the Cluny but they are all fired up for this upcoming gig. Tom Atkinson - Guitar/Vocs; Paul Gowland - Sax/Keys (Strictly Smokin’ Big Band); Stu Dawson - Bass (RJ Thompson, Preach Alaska); Jeff Armstrong - Drums (Flakes, Russ Tippins Band) include some original music in their set along with covers of Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson etc. Tickets are a fiver and available from http://www.thecluny.com
I did try to get a pic from Tom but, even though it would paint a thousand words, words are all I have ('to take your heart away').

..............................................................

BACK IN BUFFS
It's always nice when something works out and goes to plan - cos in life it most often bastard well doesn't (what, me - bitter?). So it was great to get an email from Robert from Heaton Buffs concerning the
BOSS gig from last week. Not only was it a virtual sell-out - just five tickets left unsold [how's that for honesty? He could have quite easily told me it was a sell-out] - but the lads went down the proverbial storm. I remember searching Youtube for a video of the band to highlight the gig but found zilch (punk band from the 70s I think) but we can make up for it now because kind ol' Robert has sent me a link to the very opening of the band's set filmed live as it happenerd at the Buffs! So without further ado here is BOSS just seventeen years since their last visit at the Buffs - c'mon lads let someone else get a look in . . .


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Bit of sadness for me last week - lost a friend, a good supporter of Rock. Introduced me to Rammstein and Airbourne. He was a great lover of German lesser-known bands and I used to meet up with him at Newcastle Arena, or the Academy. A regular at live pub gigs in Redcar and was a regular at Dr. Browns in Middlesbrough. Great guy. He was given the all clear for cancer a few years ago and then it came back suddenly just weeks ago with a vengeance. Anyway Gaz, here's
Rammstein for you.

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Listening to Rock on internet radio today (which supports the age-old question 'Why djs?') and on came Suzie Smiled by Tygers of Pan Tang and something stirred deep inside me, some distant memory of reviewing that band many moons ago.

A quick search of Riffs archives and - bingo! found it.

So, for your delectation . . . (and yet again, I mentioned the date [February 2], but not the year, so if anyone can help out?....)

Wanna hear what you missed?   Suzie Smiled
















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Due to my throat virus causing voice loss, my band Steeler can’t play gig at Redcar Rugby Club tonight Sat 25-May - Classic Rock covers band or similar is needed. Contact Pete 07775922523.

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Riffs has just been informed that the gig at Heaton Buffs this weekend - which we have down as Boss (and I thought was a Springsteen tribute) - is in fact a rather special reunion of a band from the 90s.
As Robert from the club told Riffs: 'They were a big deal on the club scene back in the 90s & early 00s. They are doing a few one-off shows with the original band line up; and of course they are 100% live!
We have already sold 200 tickets, with only 50 left.'
Apparently, back in 2002, Boss did an outstanding sell-out gig there and Robert is keen to duplicate that success.
Check them out - and if you fancy the gig - you've missed it!!




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With regards to the Riffs review of Phil Caisley's Dirty Dogs featured below, Dave from the band has been in touch to shed some light on exactly when the gig took place and some info on what has become of the band . . .

'The date of the review was the 12th February 2010.  The Dirty Dogz were in existence from 2009 until 2013 doing the north east pub scene and the last gig was at Doctor Browns in Middlesbrough on the 2nd November of that year.  Phil, in my  opinion, is a great rock singer and it was a good band although we were certainly very punchy and could test the old ear drums for volume.  Keith John Dean on bass was replaced by Ian Raine (played with DeeeXpus, infinity, and lately, The Rising and many others).  The other guys are either not in bands or between bands whereas I am working with my brother in the ‘Graham Henderson experience’.
To remind yourself of what we were like – here is a link to a Youtube clip of us at the rock 4 All.
https://youtu.be/1LD2ouDwIKU    with keith on bass.
And here is a clip of my current band  - (with Ian Raine on Bass, now replaced by Duncan Sams).
https://youtu.be/u5ghYHhQvI4
Dave'


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Another Riffs rave from the grave is featured below. I know it's from Feb 12th but Val never mentioned which year! Possibly 2008. If anyone has any better suggestions please let me know . . .



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If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Here at Riffs I love to give publicity to live Rock bands - even more so if it happens to be their first gig. Can imagine it's quite a traumatic event and a lot rides on that debut gig. But I am saddened, I must say, that although publicity at Riffs is entirely free and I really don't expect anything back, that this offer is not taken up more readily. On a couple of recent occasions upon hearing of an approaching first gig I have asked for more info - a little blurb about the band and hopefully a pic or two - and I hear nothing. Zilch. Zero. Nought. Nil. Zippo. I'm not losing out, but I suspect that the band and indeed the venue would benefit from a tad of extra publicity . . . just saying.

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I'M ONLY HERE FOR THE BEER

Saturday 11th May was Houghton annual beer festival, a charity event organised by the round table running for several decades now. I’ve been going along for the last 5 years or so; nice venue in Houghton Colliery Welfare club and a decent afternoon out with mates. However, every year there’s what is loosely described as “live music” and without exception it is awful. Last year we offered to pay the organisers whatever they’d paid the “singer” to get him off (they declined). There’s usually about a dozen of us, all guys I know from various venues where we go to see bands who have varied tastes from blues to thrash metal to country, we all agreed this year’s offering was, once again, abysmal. The band was advertised as “an experienced function band” doing stuff from Adele, Ed Sheeran, Kings of Leon, Elvis, Buddy Holly Michael Buble and Pharrell Williams; half the stuff wasn’t recognisable until half way through the song, the instruments were out of tune and the singer couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. If the organisers read this, get artists who can sing and/or play; Russ Tippins or Tempest would bring people in, you’re close to driving people away.
Now, it was a charity event and the band may have agreed to play for free in which case they were worth the money. Do I name and shame them? Houghton Beer Festival 2019 afternoon session, will bring up an answer, but the hope is that the organisers will read this and either not bother with live music on afternoons OR book someone who will attract punters, not alienate them.
The Seaham Silverback


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The NE Street Band, playing iconic songs from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band debuted at The Old Fox in Felling just recently and we have added a link to some footage here (only phone footage).
The band's website: https://www.nestreetband.co.uk
They are at the Amphitheatre in South Shields on Thursday 6th June, 7pm-9pm for an evening of Bruce Springsteen sounds, as part of the Summer Festival.

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THE PRIESTS OF THE TEMPLE OF ROCK

Bank holiday Monday gigs are a gamble for venues, if it’s been a nice day and the punters have been in the garden all day having a few drinks, they tend to stay there, it’s also a school night so folk tend to think better of going out. However,
The Force are one of those bands I’d walk barefoot over broken glass to go and see regardless, they set a standard that other bands in the North East aspire to reach and Monday 6th May was no exception. An early start gave an opportunity for those at work the following day to get their 8 hours kip and it meant the gear was pretty much in and checked by the time the audience started coming in. There was a decent turn out, but I was expecting the place to be rammed – punters eh?
The band opened with a couple of their own tracks before setting off in a set that featured Rush quite extensively with songs from Rainbow, AC/DC, UFO, Montrose, Metallica, Scorpions and Thin Lizzy. It would be wrong to try and pick out tracks that were better than the others, because I didn’t hear a bum note all evening and the sound was absolutely spot on from the word go. The twin lead guitars in Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” were flawless, the guy I was sat next to turned to look at me at the end of the track and we were both thinking the same thing. Phil sat down for “Bad Motor Scooter” with his Strat over his knee and a bottleneck, first time I’ve seen him do this, and it was excellent.
I’m always staggered by the sheer professionalism of The Force, I doubt there can be a Rock fan between the Tees and the Tweed who hasn’t heard these guys, but if you fall into that small number, get out and see them, you’ll thank me.
The Seaham Silverback.


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SWEETS FOR MY SWEET . . .
The Sugar Bs 18-year reunion gig on march 30 at the Park Inn, Hartlepool raised £700, split equally between Alice House Hospice in Hartlepool and The Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Details can be found on Facebook here.




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The Big Jug in Durham have ceased all live bands as of now.

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New Plough Dipton have their annual music festival on Sunday May 5 starting from 1.30pm with finish 10pm; latest line up is as follows. Details here

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LIGHTS, SMOKE, AND ROCK 'N' ROLL

I’ve been following Rock Solid for over ten years now and always look forward to every show, the gig in Houghton Glendale was a welcome spot; right on the doorstep. I saw them about January and since then they’ve invested in a completely new LED lighting rig with fancy rotating spots etc. On a night when the condensation was running down the walls, the lack of a few KW of heat from PAR cans was welcome for all concerned. The Solids have used smoke machines for years but they must have put new batteries in the current model - the stage was like a war zone all night. Our musical tastes are as varied as we are but the Solid’s set-list dovetails in with my predilections perfectly, kicking off with a couple of Priest tracks then running through AC/DC, Saxon, Maiden, Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy and Rush - what’s not to like?
One of the reasons Rock Solid are so well received has got to be their interaction with their audiences, the guys always have time for a few words both on and off the stage. Last night’s gig was their first in the Glendale for 8 years (apparently) and there’s another one in the pipeline for December this year, the room was full and the club was selling beer like it was going out of fashion. The crowd loved them and the band gave every impression they were having a good time. Events like this keep the Rock scene in the North East vibrant, everyone’s coming away from the night happy. Long live Rock`n` Roll!
The Seaham Silverback
On a personal note, myself (Nige) and Val have always rated Rock Solid as one of the best rock acts in the North-East music scene but, alas, have not had the pleasure in quite a few years, so it really pleased me to read the Silverback's review to know not only that the lads are still going strong after so many moons, but also that they actually seem to be improving. But as Val has said on numerous occasions: 'When you've got it, you've got it'.

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You can't beat quality pie
The Three Tuns Gateshead hosts its 14th International Pie Festival between 2nd May and 6th May.
Over 2000 pies, 100 varieties including Veggie and Vegan options all served with creamy mash, mushy peas and special house gravy £3.50.
Live music from Prism Pink Floyd, The Grumpies, Wham Bam Thank You Mam, The Russ Tippins Trio and The Beetles.


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'Probably one of the most entertaining
nights I’d had this year'


It was grab-a-granny night down in Houghton Sports & Social on 20th April with a 60s tribute band called FAB gracing the stage (No, I’d never heard of them either). It had been a scorching day so the wife and I headed down there early to re-hydrate ourselves and the car park was filling rapidly. Walking through the doors at 7.30 we got one of the last tables available, clearly some people knew something we didn’t. Bearing in mind we’re both over 60, our presence lowered the average age of the crowd which rather put me off, but I was thirsty and I’d paid my entrance money, so sod it – we stayed.
The band gave a nod to the appearance of the bands of the 60s era with suits, and even ties in the first set, the Hofner violin bass a salute to Paul McCartney and the numerous Beatles tracks scattered through the set. Now the band weren’t the best musicians or singers I’ve heard (but I’ve heard a LOT worse) but they grabbed the crowd by the scruff of the neck and shook them all night long. Any empty space was filled with folk on their feet and dancing almost from the off, tracks from The Beatles, Roy Orbison, The Searchers, Swinging Blue Jeans, The Hollies and Gerry and the Pacemakers with the obligatory Ferry across the Mersey. It was probably one of the most entertaining nights I’d had this year.
If you’re looking for a band to span a big age group or just for a fun party, I can’t recommend these guys highly enough. [PS, my photos turned out crap. I nicked this shot from the band’s Facebook page, I can’t credit the photographer by name, so please excuse the liberty].
The Seaham Silverback

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CROOKFEST 2019 - MAY 5
Crookfest is a annual may bank holiday rock music festival held in the County Durham market town of Crook with a variety rock styles performed by cover/tribute bands across 3 stages inside large marquees. The event takes place on Sunday 5th May 2019 in the Millfield ground home of Crook Town AFC from noon untill 11pm along with food and beer stalls a-plenty.

www.crookfest.co.uk


Rock Bands... Coda a Tribute to Led Zeppelin, AC/DC-GB, Mane Attraction, Circa69, Tubesnake, Edenthorn.
Punk Reggae Ska... The Marley Experience, The Sex Pistols Experience, Skapones, Panic Report, The Me Mes, The Anarchists. 
Indie Mod 80-90s... Revolver, ZEN, The Baggy Mondays, Deeper Season, The Thieves, Collaborators.

Crook Town AFC  Durham  Tickets £15 @ www.crookfest.co.uk


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Tempest in Houghton

I must confess I’ve never been a big fan of artists who use backing tracks -  with the exception of Russ Tippins -  they all seemed to lack the spontaneity of a full line up. So when some friends recommended I go see a duet called
Tempest featuring a guy on guitar with backing tracks and a lass on vocals I was hesitant to say the least. I couldn’t have been more wrong; Kaz & Ritchie are 2 of the nicest people you could want to meet and deliver a widely varied set that has never failed to impress.
We went to see Tempest at Houghton Sports & Social club 30th March where a decent crowd were treated to a great night with tracks from Patti Smith, Chris Rea, AC/DC, Blondie & Fleetwood Mac among others. For me, the highlight of the evening was their rendition of the Cranberries “Promises” which emphasised Kaz’s vocals as being the most powerful I’ve heard of any performer of either sex in the North East circuit – not a credit I give lightly and without some thought. In any band, the singer tends to be the focal point of the band and a singer as good as Tempest’s holds the attention, but it shouldn’t detract from Ritchie on guitar who played a storming set as well as taking the vocal lead a couple of times.
The sound was spot on, the band mixed with the audience before, during and after the show, the set list was excellent, having a girl on vocals gives a flexibility that a male based band cannot achieve, I cannot recommend Tempest highly enough, if you get a chance to see them, take it with both hands.
The Seaham Silverback.


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Just heard, courtesy of Alan Fizzyfish, that the Ship Inn, Richmond has closed - whether temp or permanent is unknown -  so any bands with a gig there will need to look elsewhere.

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The Glendale Rock nights are going down really well, the place was packed and there was a good friendly atmosphere in the place. I’d guess there was 80-ish in, punters were coming in late and leaving as there were no more seats, so the solution is going to be get there early if you intend to go to a gig there. I’ve been following Lock n Load for a couple of years, I first saw them at beer festival since when the line-up has gone through a couple of changes. Dave, the current singer was originally on drums and they had a girl on vocals with legs up to her armpits, I’ve got to say she was easier on the eye than Dave, but Dave’s vocals suit the current set list down to a tee.
Kicking off with “Tie your mother down” they ran through tracks from Whitesnake, AC/DC, Bryan Adams, ZZ Top and Zeppelin in the first set alone. Journey’s “Separate ways” was always going to stretch the old vocal chords and we’ve all heard it murdered on numerous occasions but the band pulled it off like it was another day in the office.
Now I’m regularly accused of being proper OCD about the sound, balance and levels but I couldn’t find fault with any of that from the word go, I was much impressed with the guitar sound in particular that captured Brian May’s tone for the opening Queen number, to Billy Gibbons choppy fuzz, Bryan Adams jangly intro on “Run to you” and Gary Moore’s mournful sustain on “Still got the blues”. All from 1 guitar. Respect.
The band are a mix of ages, so some of the set was written before they were born; now as an aging rocker I applaud this tribute to the music I love, but feel slightly sad that little of any musical value seems to have risen to the top for young bands to play. The second set picked up where the first had finished with a bit of Bon Jovi then the band threw in “Nellie the elephant” to a rapturous greeting before some more Whitesnake, AC/DC, Billy Idol and G&R before finishing the night with “The Hunter” – always gonna go down well in Houghton. A cracking night all round, the band were happy, everybody I spoke to had a great time and the club sold lots of beer. Next up “The Force” on 29th of this month.
The Seaham SIlverback


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Steve Hutchinson from South Shields has recently re-joined CLASSIC CLAPTON on keyboards & backing vocals.
He was a member of Animals 2 for 6 years during the 1990s alongside original members Hilton Valentine & John Steel.
Currently he performs with heritage band Animals 3 and also UK Legends. He previously played with Classic Clapton from 2003 - 2005.


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Looks like there is yet another change of management and booking agent at The Maggie Bank and all bands booked by the previous team are once again cancelled. If bands think they are playing there they should get in touch with the pub to clarify the situation.

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I AIN'T AFRAID OF NO GHOSTS
That little birdie that told Riffs what a crackin' gig awaited anyone partaking of ghostly goings-on at the Glendale last Friday has, we are cock-a-hoop to say, put his money where his mouth is [or should we say 'beak']. He not only popped in to said establishment with some mates but was good enough to write a quick appraisal of the gig and sent it in to Riffs. So, without further ado . . .
'Last Friday we went to see The Ghost Band at Houghton Glendale WMC. For me this was a much anticipated gig, I’d seen them at Philadelphia beer festival last year playing a brief set and I was much impressed by their choice of Blues/Rock and the level of musicianship. Last night built on that first impression as the band ran through tracks from Hendrix, Gary Moore, Jeff Healey, Tom Petty, John Mayall and Free among others. The guys I’d brought with me hadn’t seen the band before and were captivated by the whole show. In fact the entire evening should have been videoed and distributed to all bands in the region; 3 guys who aren’t exactly in the first flush of youth had all their gear brought in, connected and checked in 20 minutes.
The sound check took literally 5 – 10 minutes and was spot on throughout the night. A far cry from other bands I’ve seen recently who spent 75 minutes on a sound check and the sound was shite when they’d done, it took the “sound engineer” all the first set to get it somewhere near, even walking around with an iPad. What’s the point of all those hours of practice if you sound like you’re playing inside a spin dryer? I’m sure we’ve all sat through 45 minutes of fretboard masturbation turned up to 11. Watch the Ghost Band and see how it’s done.
Climbing off my high horse, I can recommend the Ghost Band to anyone who appreciates good music played well with the minimum distraction and gobshitery between numbers.'
The Seaham Silverback.

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Just heard from Stormy Phil that the Ship Inn at Benton is now closed.

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NURSES TO WALK THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
As someone who has seen first-hand the absolutely wonderful and caring work our beloved Nurses do (and the amount of piss that Hunt Jeremy takes) I have no hesitation in giving a big shout out to the Valentines Night gig at The Alexandra in Grangetown, Sunderland.

The palliative care nurses working in St Benedicts Hospice in Sunderland are walking the Great Wall of China - yes, they are going to walk along the Great Wall of China!!) to raise funds for St Benedicts Hospice Charity.

Tickets are £6 available from The Alex, the Hospice or
just turn up on the night and splash cash on the door.
Please pop along and help these wonderful people - oh, nearly forgot - there's a jam-packed evening of live music too!!!
The Wolcott Band
Exit Left
Joanne Wallace
Steve Ayther



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GHOSTS AT THE GLENDALE
A little birdie tells Riffs what a cracking little venue Glendale Social Club in Houghton le Spring is, and what a great night it should be this Friday when The Ghost Band take to the stage. Birdie Dave goes on to say: 'The club have bands on every 2nd & 4th Friday of the month. Normally no cover charge, cheap beer and a nice clean club with loads of free parking. It’s on the bus route too for those who use public transport although I’m not sure what time the local buses stop running. I’m just an interested punter and have nothing to do with the club, but I like to encourage and support anyone who is prepared to get stuck in.'


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CONSPIRACY TO ROCK

If you like your rock of the hard and heavy variety check out Conspiracy Theory; a new band making inroads into the north east rock and metal scene. If you’re a bit tired of seeing too many rock bands playing the same old stuff, CT’s intention is to do the songs that no-one else does. And that doesn’t mean obscure material you’ve never heard of, if you’re into rock and metal you’ll know everything they do. From Rainbow to Dio, Whitesnake to Purple, Maiden to Priest, Uriah Heep to Rush or the guitar greats such as Schenker or Moore, you won’t forget them in a hurry. With stellar musicianship from highly experienced players having cut their teeth in bands such as PowerAge, Ministry of Rock, Black Rose and On The Rocks you’re bound to have a night to remember. You can catch them at Trillians, Newcastle on Friday 22nd February, The Penny Gill, Spennymoor Sunday 3rd March, Acklam Steelies Club, Middlesbrough Saturday 9th March or the Big Jug, Durham on Friday 15th March.


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BOYS IN ACTION . . .
One of the most enjoyable things I like to do is to announce the birth of a new band, and if they are a Rock band with pedigree then space on Riffs is a must. So without further ado let me announce . . .
STARZ, who are a new rock covers band and include three of the north east's top musicians who have decided to play some songs that were a little different from 'the usual stuff'. The band features members from bands such as Pistoleros, Bryan Adams Experience, Black Rose (not the TL one), The Paul Rodgers Story, Stoneheart, American Girl to name a few and are all well known throughout the north east for putting on a great show. The set list includes classic and modern punk rock (Sex Pistols/Green Day etc), glam rock (T Rex / Bowie etc), heavy rock (Motley Crue / Marilyn Manson etc) soft rock (Van Halen / The Cult etc) pop (Dead or Alive / Kinks etc) plus plenty of great songs for those that want to dance and some surprises including rock versions of songs by Gary Numan and the Bee Gees.
The band start gigging this month and you can check them out here -
Sunday 13th - Vigilant Inn, South Shields (7pm)
Saturday 19th - Holey Molies, Skelton, Teesside
Sunday 20th - Times Inn, Seaham
Thursday 31st - Osbournes, Yarm
The full list of all Starz gigs are on Riffs Gig Listings page, but for more info about the band go to http:www.starzrock.co.uk


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Riding On The Crest Of The New Wave fitted no-one better than Lene Lovich who this year is celebrating the 40th anniversary of ‘Stateless’, her debut album, featuring cult hit 'Lucky Number' by touring the UK in March 2019 and is set to appear at Newcastle Riverside on the 8th of March. The song was originally a 'b' side to 'I Think We're Alone Now' but was reissued as an 'a' side by Stiff in '79. Before joining Stiff Records (The Damned, Devo, Ian Dury, etc), her early work included performing in cabaret clubs as a London go-go dancer, voice-over work recording screams for Hammer Film Productions, and being the lyricist for French disco artist Marc Cerrone (including penning the sci-fi dance hit ‘Supernature’). Riffs has no further details regarding the gig as yet.....
Now let's see if I can still fit into my old 'If It Ain't Stiff . . .' t-shirt....

CELEBRATING ROCK AND METAL:  


THIS WEEK IN . . .
1964 - The Beatles went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Love Me Do', the group's fourth US No.1 in five months. The version released in America had Andy White playing drums while Ringo played the tambourine. The British single was a take on which Ringo Starr played the drums.

1980 - Carl Radle bass player with Derek and the Dominoes died of kidney failure aged 38. Also worked with Gary Lewis & the Playboys, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Dave Mason & Delaney and Bonnie.

1987 - David Bowie kicked off his 87-date Glass Spider world tour at the Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam. The tour's set, described at the time as "the largest touring set ever," was designed to look like a giant spider. It was 60 feet (18.3m) high, 64 feet (19.5m) wide and included giant vacuumed tube legs that were lit from the inside with 20,000' (6,096m) of color-changing lights. A single set took 43 trucks to move.

1996 - Alan Whitaker from Penzance appeared on Mastermind, his specialist subject being the Sex Pistols. He won a place in the semi-final of the show answering all but one of the 18 questions correctly.


2003 - Record producer Mickie Most died aged 64. Member of The Most Brothers during late 50s, and Mickie Most and the Playboys, produced hits for The Animals, Hermans Hermits, Donovan, Kim Wilde, Lulu and Jeff Beck. Most ran his own record label RAK in the 1970s, having hits with Hot Chocolate, Suzi Quatro and Mud.

2007 - A leaked copy of the new White Stripes album 'Icky Thump' was played completely on Chicago's radio station Q101-WKQX. Jack White personally called the US radio station from Spain, where he was touring, to voice his displeasure.

2009 - Mick Jagger offered to buy an ice cream van but was turned down by its owner - who'd promised his daughter he would drive her to her wedding in it. Guiseppe Della Camera had spent ten years restoring the rusting van to perfection after he spotted it on a farm - being used as a chicken shed. The restoration was such a success Sir Mick offered to buy the vehicle when he saw it at a show on Wandsworth Common. Camera said, 'Jagger told me he'd really fallen in love with my van and asked me if I would consider selling it. I was stunned when he offered me £100,000.

2009 - Ozzy Osbourne was suing the band's guitarist Tony Iommi over royalty payments. The 60-year-old had accused Iommi of falsely claiming to have sole rights to the band's name which has cost him royalties from merchandise sales. Osbourne was seeking unspecified damages, lost profits and a declaration he is a half-owner of the trademark. Iommi claims Osbourne legally relinquished rights to the band's name in the 1980s. Osbourne said he believed all four original members of the band should share Black Sabbath's name equally.

2015 - Jeremy Brown, guitarist for Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts, died of 'unknown causes' at the age of 34. Brown began playing with the Stone Temple Pilots as singer in 2008.

2015 - Enrique Iglesias sliced his fingers open when he tried to grab a drone camera, which was taking pictures of the audience at a concert in Tijuana, Mexico. He was "semi-treated" at the side of the stage to stop the bleeding, and was advised to end the show.


1962 - Chubby Checker won a Grammy Award for Best Rock and Roll Recording for ‘Let's Twist Again’ and Ray Charles won Best Rhythm & Blues Recording for ‘Hit The Road Jack’.

1965 - Bob Dylan's album Bringing It All Back Home was at No.1 on the charts, his second No.1 album.


1965 - The Beach Boys started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Help Me Rhonda', the group's second US No.1. The recording session was interrupted by the Wilson brothers' drunken father, Murry, who arrived at the studio to criticize the Boys' enthusiasm. The recording reel continued to record the confrontation, which still circulates among fans.

1967 - The Move, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, Zoot Money, Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band all appeared at the Tulip Bulb Auction Hall in Spalding, Lincoln. Pink Floyd were only a support band and played in a corner of the shed with a white sheet behind them with the coloured oil shining onto it. Tickets cost £1. The poster advertising the show promised a 'Knockout Atmosphere'.

1971 - The Rolling Stones started a two week run at No.2 on the singles chart with 'Brown Sugar', from Sticky Fingers. The first single released on Rolling Stones Records. The songs lyrics, which are essentially a pastiche of a number of taboo subjects, include: interracial sex, cunnilingus, slave rape, and less distinctly, sadomasochism, lost virginity, and heroin.

1971 - Three dozen Grateful Dead fans were treated for hallucinations caused by LSD after they unwittingly drank spiked apple juice served at a gig at San Francisco's Winterland.

1977 - Manchester band Warsaw (later to become Joy Division) made their live debut supporting The Buzzcocks at The Electric Circus, Manchester.

1991 - After just completing the recording of the 'Nevermind' album, Nirvana played a last-minute show at the Jabberjaw in Los Angeles. In the audience was Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl's girlfriend and L7 bassist Jennifer Finch who brought along her best friend Courtney Love.

1992 - Concerned that some pupils were overly identifying with Freddie Mercury, the sacred heart School in Clifton New Jersey decided not to sing the Queen song 'We Are The Champions', at their Graduation Ceremony.

1997 - Singer songwriter Jeff Buckley disappeared after talking a swim in the Mississippi River, his body was found on 4th June 1997 after being spotted by a passenger on a tourist riverboat.


1999 - Skeletal remains were found by photographers looking for old car wrecks to shoot at the bottom of Decker Canyon near Malibu, California. Based on forensic evidence the remains were Philip Kramer former bassist with rock group Iron Butterfly who had disappeared on his way home from work on February 12, 1995. His death was ruled as a probable suicide.

2009 - Phil Spector was jailed for at least 19 years for murdering an actress in 2003. The producer, 69, famed for his Wall of Sound recording technique, was last month found guilty of shooting Lana Clarkson at his California home. Spector had pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder during the five-month retrial in Los Angeles. His lawyers said he would appeal. Spector was given a sentence of 15 years to life for second-degree murder and an additional four years for personal use of a gun.

2010 - Sabrosa Park (at the small town of Sabrosa, north of Portugal) was renamed B.B. King Park in honor of King and the free concert he had played before 20,000 people.

2019 - Tony Glover, the influential blues harmonica player who was a longtime peer of Bob Dylan and helped teach Mick Jagger how to play, died of natural causes age 79. He also worked as a writer and critic, contributing to magazines Crawdaddy and Cream, while also writing extensively for Rolling Stone between 1968 and 1973.

1966 - Percy Sledge started a run at No.4 on the chart and No.2 when re-issued in 1987. Before the recording session, the song had no title or lyrics. The session proceeded with the expectation that Sledge would produce them for the vocal takes. When it came time to record the vocals, Sledge improvised the lyrics with minimal pre-planning, using the melody as a guide for rhythm and phrasing. The performance was so convincing that others working on the session assumed Sledge had the lyrics written down.

1966 - All four Beatles spent the day with Bob Dylan in his room at the Mayfair hotel in London, watching rushes of D.A. Pennebakers's forthcoming documentary film, Dont Look Back, which covered Dylan's 1965 concert tour of the United Kingdom.


1968 - Creedence Clearwater Revival released their debut album. The band had played for years as the Golliwogs. Saul Zaentz who had bought Fantasy Records offered the band a chance to record an album on the condition that they change their name. The album features an 8 minute version of the Dale Hawkins song 'Suzie Q' which became the band's only Top 40 hit not written by John Fogerty.

1973 - Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon was on both the UK and US album charts. It remained in the US charts for 741 discontinuous weeks from 1973 to 1988, longer than any other album in history. (After moving to the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Chart, the album notched up a further 759 weeks, and had reached a total of over 1,500 weeks on the combined charts by May 2006).

1976 - The Allman Brothers Band temporarily disbanded after Greg Allman testified against Scooter Herring, his personal road manager, who was charged with drug trafficking. Herring was subsequently sentenced to 75 years in prison. An album of previously unreleased live material was issued later in the year under the title 'Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas'.

1977 - Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers played together for the first time when they performed as part of Mike Howlett's band, Strontium 90 in Paris France.

1983 - Rapidfire appeared at Gazzarri’s On The Sunset Strip, in Los Angles. Rapidfire featured singer Axl Rose, who was seen for the first time by guitarist Slash, who was in the audience.

1983 - The four day US Festival '83' took place in California, featuring The Clash, U2, David Bowie, The Pretenders, Van Halen, Stray Cats, Men At Work, Judas Priest, Stevie Nicks, Willie Nelson. INXS, Joe Walsh, Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne. Over 750,000 fans attended the festival.

2019 - Motorhead’s 'Ace of Spades' was named Greatest Gambling Song of All Time with Lady Gaga’s 'Poker Face' voted into second place. Online poker giant PokerStars asked 1,000 of its European customers to select their favorite poker-themed song from a list of choices.

1957 - Buddy Holly and the Crickets released 'That'll Be The Day' which became a No.1 hit. The song had its genesis in a trip to the movies by Holly, Allison and Sonny Curtis in June 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing. Wayne's frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, "that'll be the day" was the Inspiration behind the song. It was also the first song to be recorded by The Quarrymen, the skiffle group that subsequently became The Beatles.

1963 - The album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was released by Columbia. Establishing Dylan as a leader in the singer-songwriter genre and a supposed spokesman for the youth-orientated protest movement, it reached No.1 in the charts. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan showcased Dylan's songwriting talent for the first time and propelled him to national and international fame.

1964 - Eleven boys were suspended from a school in Coventry for having Mick Jagger haircuts.


1977 - The Sex Pistols single 'God Save The Queen' was released. Banned by TV and radio, high street shops and pressing plant workers refused to handle the record. It sold 200,000 copies in one week and peaked at No.2 on the charts behind Rod Stewart's 'I Don't Want to Talk About It'. It is widely believed, and indeed probable, that it was actually the biggest-selling single at the time, and the British Phonographic Industry conspired to keep it off the No.1 slot.

1983 - The Smiths were at No.1 on the independent chart with their debut single 'Hand In Glove.' The Smiths recorded the track after their manager Joe Moss paid £250 for a one-day recording session at Strawberry Studios in Stockport.

1990 - The Stone Roses played at Spike Island, Widnes, Cheshire, to a capacity crowd of 30,000. The event, considered a failure at the time due to sound problems and bad organisation, has become legendary over the years as a "Woodstock for the baggy generation."

1999 - Winners at the Ivor Novello song writing awards included Rod Stewart who won a Lifetime Achievement Award. Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers won songwriters of the year and Chrissie Hynde won outstanding contribution to British Music.

2000 - Paula Yates was awarded £400,000 in an out-of-court settlement from her boyfriend Michael Hutchence's fortune. Hutchence had died in 1997. INXS singer Hutchence was found dead in his hotel suite in Sydney in 1997 aged 37.

2007 - Saatchi & Saatchi were fired by Dr Martens for running an advertising campaign featuring dead rock stars such as Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious wearing the brand's boots in heaven. David Suddens, the chief executive of Dr Martens parent company Airwear, said the brand had not commissioned the series of four print ads. "Dr Martens are very sorry for any offence that has been caused by the publication of images showing dead rock icons wearing Dr Martens boots."

2010 - Dozens of AC/DC fans needed treatment after complaining of burning eyes during a concert on the runway of Wels Airport, Wels, Austria. Around 150 fans had to be treated. Doctors found that the fans showed allergic reactions to bark mulch spread at the venue - the runway of Wels Airport, to avoid the soil getting too muddy after hours of massive rainfall.

2017 - Gregg Allman, founding member of the The Allman Brothers Band died at the age of 69 at his home in Savannah, Georgia. Allman had suffered a recurrruence of liver cancer five years ago, died from complications of the disease. The band’s main songwriter early on, Allman contributed compositions such as 'Dreams' and 'Whipping Post' to the Allman Brothers repertoire. Both songs became staples of their live shows; a cathartic 22-minute version of 'Whipping Post' was a highlight of their acclaimed 1971 live album, At Fillmore East.


1964 - Marianne Faithful recorded the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards song 'As Tears Go By', accompanied by future Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page on guitar and John Paul Jones on bass.

1966 - The Beatles recorded 'Yellow Submarine' at Abbey Road studios in London. Recovering from a case of food poisoning, producer George Martin missed this recording, EMI engineer Geoff Emerick worked on the session. The track features John Lennon blowing bubbles in a bucket of water, shouting "Full speed ahead Mister Captain!"

1968 - US blues artist Little Willie John died in prison after being convicted of manslaughter. Co-wrote and was the first to record a 'Fever' (covered by Peggy Lee in 1958), and 'Need Your Love So Bad' covered by Fleetwood Mac. James Brown recorded a tribute album 'Thinking Of Little Willie John... And A Few Other Nice Things'.

1968 - Pink Floyd, Blonde On Blonde and The Pretty Things all appeared at the OZ magazine benefit at the Middle Earth Club, Covent Garden. OZ was a satirical humour magazine, founded by Richard Neville and based in Sydney, Australia from 1963. In its second and better-known incarnation it became a counter-culture magazine, based in London from 1967 to 1973.

1972 - At the point of the band splitting up David Bowie offered Mott The Hoople two of his new songs, 'Suffragette City', which they turned down and 'All The Young Dudes', which they recorded. The song gave the group a No.3 hit.


1972 - The first day of the four day festival 'The Great Western Express' near Lincoln featuring the Faces, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, Slade, The Groundhogs, Ry Cooder, Don McLean, Brewers Droop plus a special appearance by Monty Python.

1973 - The Edgar Winter Group went to No.18. The group featured ex McCoy guitarist Rick Derringer. In live performances of the song, Edgar Winter further pioneered the advancement of the synthesizer as a lead instrument by becoming the first person ever to strap a keyboard instrument around his neck.

1974 - Tragedy struck at a David Cassidy concert at London's White City when over 1,000 fans had to be treated by first aid workers due to the frenzied excitement. One fan Bernadette Whelan died from heart failure four days later.

1979 - 'Sunday Girl' gave Blondie their second No.1 hit single. The track was taken from the group's 'Parallel Lines', which went on to become the biggest selling album of 1979.

1995 - The Rolling Stones played two semi-acoustic concerts at the Paradiso Amsterdam over two days. Keith Richards later said that the Paradiso concerts were the best live shows the Stones ever did. The venue is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century, subsequently squatted in 1967 by hippies who wanted to convert the church into an entertainment club. Artists who have recorded concerts at the Paradiso include Joy Division, Willie Nelson, Phish, Nirvana, The Cure, Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave, Dave Matthews and Amy Winehouse.

1996 - A fire at the home of Eric Clapton caused over one and a half million pounds worth of damage; Firemen arrived on the scene to find Clapton braving the blaze to save his collection of guitars.

2016 - A set of stamps celebrating 50 years of Pink Floyd were unveiled by the Royal Mail. The ten stamps which would be available the following month marked five decades since the band turned professional. The collection included the band's most famous album covers as well as live performance shots.

2017 - Chris Cornell was laid to rest at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles next to Johnny Ramone. Mourners at the funeral service include Dave Navarro, Tom Morello, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, Courtney Love and his Soundgarden bandmates Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil. Cornell hanged himself on May 18 2017.


1961 - The Temperance Seven were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'You're Driving Me Crazy', their only No.1 single. The song gave producer George Martin his first No.1.

1965 - Blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, Sonny Boy Williamson died in his sleep. Van Morrison, Aerosmith, The Who, The Animals, Yardbirds and Moody Blues all covered his songs. According to the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods, touring the UK in the 60s, Sonny Boy set his hotel room on fire while trying to cook a rabbit in a coffee percolator.

1967 - Procol Harum's 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' entered the chart for the first time, where it went on to become a No.1 hit. 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' became the most played song in the last 75 years in public places (as of 2009). The first video for the song was shot in the ruins of Witley Court in Worcestershire. Directed by Peter Clifton whose insertion of Vietnam War newsreel footage caused it to be banned from airplay on the Top Of The Pops. The band subsequently made another video.

1969 - A benefit concert was held for Fairport Convention at The Roundhouse, London to raise money for the families of the band's drummer Martin Lamble, Richard Thompson's girlfriend and clothes designer Jeannie Franklyn who were all killed in an accident driving back from a gig. Also on the bill, Family, Pretty Things, Soft Machine and John Peel.

1969 - The Who and Led Zeppelin appeared at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, Maryland, USA. This was the only time the two group's ever appeared together, with Zeppelin opening the show. On the tickets Led Zeppelin was spelt Lead Zeppelin.

1974 - Rick Wakeman became the first member of Yes to have a No.1 album when 'Journey To The Centre Of The Earth' went to the top of the charts..

1997 - Bob Dylan was diagnosed as suffering from histoplasmosis pericarditis, a fungal infection of the lung, and was admitted to hospital he stayed until June 2nd. Having just turned 56, Dylan later admitted: 'I really thought I'd be seeing Elvis soon'. Treated by drugs and rest, Bob was back on the road only 10 weeks later, for 22 American and Canadian shows.

1998 - Coldplay released their first ever record, an EP called Safety, which featured 3 tracks; 'Bigger Stronger', 'No More Keeping My Feet on the Ground', and 'Such a Rush'. The EP was intended as a demo for record companies and is now such a rarity that it is known to fetch in excess of £2000 on eBay.

2005 - The Alameda County Sheriff's Office in California announced that it was officially closing the stabbing case of Meredith Hunter, the 18-year-old American who was killed at the 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont Free Concert. Investigators, concluding a renewed two-year investigation, dismissed the theory that a second Hell's Angel took part in the stabbing.

2007 - Sixties pop star Wayne Fontana was remanded in custody after admitting pouring petrol over a bailiff's car and setting fire to it. The judge criticised the former lead singer of the Mindbenders, for arriving at Derby Crown court dressed as the Lady of Justice. He had to hand a sword and scales to guards but still wore a crown, cape and dark glasses, claiming "justice is blind".

2013 - American rock and roll bassist Marshall Lytle died aged 79. He was best known for his work with Bill Haley & His Comets and The Jodimars in the 1950s. He played upright slap bass on the iconic 1950s rock and roll records 'Crazy Man, Crazy', 'Shake, Rattle and Roll', and 'Rock Around the Clock'.


Week Commencing May 18
1956 - The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland. The event was the brainchild of Marcel Baisoncon of the European Broadcasting Union. Seven countries participated and they were each allowed two songs. Both Luxembourg and the winner Switzerland used the same singer for both. Switzerland won with 'Refrain' by Lys Assia.

1963 - The Beatles recorded the first of their very own BBC radio program, "Pop Go the Beatles". The theme song for the program was a version of "Pop Goes the Weasel". The Beatles' guests for this first show were the Lorne Gibson Trio.

1963 - US blues guitarist and singer Elmore James died of a heart attack aged 45. James wrote 'Shake Your Money Maker', which was covered by Fleetwood Mac in 1968. Known as "The King of the Slide Guitar", James influenced Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Keith Richards.

1966 - Captain Beefheart appeared at the Whisky a Go Go. West Hollywood, California. Supported by Buffalo Springfield and The Doors.

1969 - Bob Dylan's album Nashville Skyline scored Dylan his fourth No.1. The album featured 'Lay Lady Lay', which became one of Dylan's biggest pop hits.

1970 - Guitarist and founding member Peter Green played his last gig with Fleetwood Mac when they appeared at the Bath Festival, Somerset.

1991 - Founder member of The Byrds Gene Clark died of a heart attack aged 49. Wrote The Byrds hits 'I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better', and 'Eight Miles High', member of McGuinn, Clark and Hillman and solo.

1999 - Queen singer Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991, was honoured on a new set of millennium stamps issued by the Royal Mail. Mercury, who featured on the 19p stamp, was a keen stamp collector, and his collection was bought by the Post Office in 1993. The stamp marked his contribution to the Live Aid charity concert in 1985, and caused controversy by featuring a small portion of Queen’s drummer, Roger Taylor, in the background - UK stamps by tradition only carry pictures of living persons who are members of the Royal Family.


2010 - Paul Gray, the bassist with Metal band Slipknot, was found dead in a hotel in Des Moines, Iowa. The body of the 38-year-old musician was found by an employee at the hotel in a suburb of the city. Police said foul play was not suspected, but an autopsy would be carried out. The nine members of Slipknot wore masks in public and referred to other bandmates by numbers; Gray was number two.

2017 - Sonny West, one of the original members of Elvis Presley's Memphis Mafia, died of lung cancer at the age of 79. Joining Elvis in 1960, he was abruptly fired, along with his cousin Red and bodyguard Dave Hebler, in 1976 without explanation. The following year he co-authored the book Elvis, What Happened?


1960 - The Everly Brothers started a seven week run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Cathy's Clown'. It became the Everly Brothers' biggest hit single, selling eight million copies worldwide.

1970 - The Beatles 12th and final studio album 'Let It Be' started a three week run at No.1 on the chart, featuring 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Across The Universe' and the title track.

1970 - The Grateful Dead played their first gig outside the US at 'The Hollywood Rock Music Festival', in Newcastle under Lyme. Also appearing at the festival was Free, Ginger Baker's Air Force, Colosseum, Family, Black Sabbath and Traffic.

1973 - Jefferson Airplane were prevented from giving a free concert in Golden Gate Park when San Francisco authorities passed a resolution banning electronic instruments. The group later wrote 'We Built this City' about the ban.

1979 - Due to a record company dispute, Tom Petty was forced to file for bankruptcy owing $575,000 (£338,235). A long-running battle with his record company followed.


1987 - Twelve former members of the Doobie Brothers reunited for a charity concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. The show raised $350,000 for Vietnam veterans, about two-thousand of whom attended the show for free.

1992 - A statement issued by Freddie Mercury's attorneys stated that Mercury had bequeathed the majority of his estate (£10 million) to his long-time friend Mary Austin.

2000 - Noel Gallagher walked out on his band Oasis during a European tour. The move was put down to a series of bust-ups with his brother Liam. The band drafted in replacement guitarist Matt Deighton for the rest of the European dates.

2006 - The King of Sweden presented the surviving members of Led Zeppelin with the Polar Music Prize in Stockholm recognising them as "great pioneers" of rock music. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were joined by the daughter of drummer John Bonham, who died in 1980. The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, manager of Swedish pop group ABBA who named it after his record label, Polar Records.

2014 - The parents of a camera assistant who was killed after being hit by a train while shooting footage for a biopic about Gregg Allman were suing the musician and the film's producers. The case claimed film-makers "selected an unreasonably dangerous site for the filming location" and failed to take actions to adequately protect the crew.

2019 - Richard Ashcroft regained rights to his song ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’ after more than two decades. The Verve singer lost the rights to his most recognisable song, which ended up in the possession of The Rolling Stones’ Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Released in 1997 on Urban Hymns, the track sampled The Rolling Stones’ song ‘The Last Time’, using a composition by Andrew Oldham, and became the centre of lawsuits, which saw Ashcroft stripped of rights and royalties.

1958 - Jerry Lee Lewis arrived at London's Heathrow Airport to begin his first British tour, along with his new bride, 14 year old third cousin, Myra. Although advised not to mention it, Lewis answered all questions about his private life. The public's shock over Lewis' marriage marks the start of a controversy leading to his British tour being cancelled after just 3 of the scheduled 37 performances.

1968 - Gary Puckett and the Union Gap were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Young Girl.' The song, which was about under-age love, was the act's only No.1.

1971 - The Rolling Stones album 'Sticky Fingers' started a four-week run at No.1 on the charts. The artwork for Sticky Fingers which, on the original vinyl release featured a working zipper that opened to reveal cotton briefs, was conceived by American pop artist Andy Warhol. The cover, a photo of Joe Dallesandro's crotch clad in tight blue jeans, was assumed by many fans to be an image of Mick Jagger. The album also features the first usage of the "Tongue and Lip Design" designed by John Pasche.

1991 - Wil Sinnott from The Shamen drowned while swimming off the coast of La Gomera when he was pulled under by strong currents. The Shamen were in Tenerife filming a video for their new single 'Move Any Mountain.'


1993 - Swedish group Ace Of Base started a three-week run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'All That She Wants', a No.2 hit in the US.

2004 - Morrissey appeared at the M.E.N. arena Manchester, on his 45th birthday. It was Morrissey's return to his home city Manchester after an absence of 12 years and the 18000 tickets sold out in only 90 minutes. During the set Morrissey performed five Smiths songs.

2011 - Four dead dogs in 'sealed containers' were found in the Tennessee home of former Kiss guitarist Vinnie Vincent during an investigation that led to his arrest on charges of assaulting his wife. Vincent, a member of Kiss from 1982 to 1984, was released after posting $10,000 bond after his arrest by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department.

2014 - Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie was honoured with a lifetime achievement at this year's Ivor Novello songwriting awards. McVie played with Fleetwood Mac for 28 years and wrote some of their most famous songs, including 'Don't Stop' and 'Little Lies'. Other winners at the ceremony in London included London Grammar, The Chemical Brothers and Nile Rodgers.

2016 - A guitar that Elvis Presley was given by his father sold for $334,000 (£230,000) at an auction in New York. It was thought that Vernon Presley changed the finish on the Gibson Dove to black after his son earned a black belt in karate. Presley later gave the guitar to a fan during a concert in North Carolina in 1975. Auctioneers Julien's also sold John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for The Beatles' 'Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite!' for $354,400 (£244,000) and a red neoprene vinyl jacket which Michael Jackson wore for his 1996-97 HIStory world tour which sold for $256,000.

1955 - Chuck Berry recorded 'Maybellene' at Universal Recording Studios, Chicago. The song adapted in part from the Western swing fiddle tune 'Ida Red' is said to be one of the first rock and roll songs. The track became Berry's debut single release in July of this year.

1967 - Jimi Hendrix signed with Reprise Records on the US Warner Brothers label. They released the albums Are You Experienced? Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland.

1970 - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released the protest single Ohio, written and composed by Neil Young in reaction to the Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970, when unarmed college students were shot by the Ohio National Guard. The guardsmen fired 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.


1971 - Marvin Gaye released his eleventh studio album What's Going On. The concept album consisting of nine songs tells the story from the point of view of a Vietnam veteran returning to the country he had been fighting for, and seeing only hatred, suffering, and injustice. What's Going On is regarded as one of the landmark recordings in pop music history, and one of the greatest albums of the 20th century.

1972 - The Doors, Pink Floyd, the Faces, Family, Curved Air, Atomic Rooster, The Kinks, Rory Gallagher, Uriah Heep, Country Joe McDonald, Buddy Miles, Status Quo, Brinsley Schwarz, Spencer Davis, The Strawbs and Humble Pie all appeared at the 2nd British Rock Meeting, Insel Grun, Germersheim, West Germany. The festival was due to take place in Mannheim, West Germany, but after protests from the locals, the concert actually took place in nearby Germersheim.

1974 - Two would-be concert promoters were arrested by police in America on fraud charges in connection with selling mail order tickets for a forthcoming Elten John show. (Elten with an E and not an O). Police took away over $12,000 in cheques.

1980 - A thief brook into Electric Lady Studios in New York City, the recording studio built by Jimi Hendrix and stole five Hendrix gold records for the albums ‘Are You Experienced’’, ‘Axis: Bold as Love’, ‘Cry of Love’, ‘Rainbow Bridge’ and 'Live at Monterey'.

1980 - Joe Strummer of The Clash was arrested at a much-troubled gig in Hamburg, Germany, after smashing his guitar over the head of a member of the audience; he was released after an alcohol test proved negative.

2001 - Producer, arranger and keyboardist Tommy Eyre died of cancer aged 51. Worked with George Harrison, Wham! Dusty Springfield, and B.B. King. Played and arranged Joe Cocker's hit 'With A Little Help From My Friends' and Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street'.

2011 - Bob Dylan came out on top as both the most inspirational individual for poets and the dream collaborative partner, in a survey carried out by The Foyle Poetry Society. The extensive survey questioned poets asking which musician and which genre of music most inspired their writing. The young people, aged between 11 and 17, from countries throughout the world also voted for artists such as Regina Spektor, David Bowie, Florence and the Machine, Leonard Cohen, Morrissey and Pete Doherty.

2013 - Trevor Bolder, the bassist in David Bowie's legendary 1970s backing band Spiders From Mars, died from cancer at the age of 62. Bolder appeared on the studio albums Hunky Dory (1971), The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), Aladdin Sane (1973), and Pin Ups (1973). He joined Uriah Heep in 1976, replacing John Wetton.

2015 - Black Sabbath received a lifetime achievement prize at the Ivor Novello songwriting awards. Guitarist Tony Iommi picked up the trophy, confirming the heavy metal band would embark on their "final tour" next year.


2016 - Nick Menza, a former drummer in heavy metal band Megadeth, died after suffering a "massive heart attack" on stage, while performing with his band, OHM, in Los Angeles.

1964 - Rudy Lewis of The Drifters died aged 28 under mysterious circumstances the night before the group was set to record 'Under the Boardwalk'. Former Drifters backup singer Johnny Moore was brought back to perform lead vocals for the recording session
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1966 - Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who grew tired of waiting for John Entwistle and Keith Moon to arrive for their gig at the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor, so they took to the stage with the bass player and drummer of the local band that opened the show. When Moon and Entwistle finally arrived in the middle of the set, a fight broke out, with Townshend hitting Moon on the head with his guitar. Moon and Entwistle quit the band (and rejoined a week later).

1967 - The Beatles new album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band had a special preview on the Kenny Everett BBC Light program, 'Where It's At', playing every track from the album (except 'A Day In The Life' which the BBC had banned saying it could promote drug taking).

1968 - BBC 2 aired a short play 'The Pistol Shot', featuring a young dancer/artist called David Bowie.

1969 - Led Zeppelin started three days of recording and mixing sessions at A&R Studios in New York City, which included the recording of 'Heartbreaker' and various other parts for new tracks for the group's forthcoming second album. The band were under pressure to finish sessions for their second album so they could release it in time for the Autumn market.


1972 - T Rex were at No.1 on the singles chart 'Metal Guru', the group's fourth and final No.1. They also had the No.1 album with 'Bolan Boogie'.

1997 - Foo Fighters released their second album 'The Colour And The Shape', the album was a Grammy nominee for Best Rock Album in 1998. Even though Foo Fighters are an American band, the word 'Colour' in the album title is always spelled with the British spelling. This was a nod to producer Gil Norton, who is British.

1998 - Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward was taken to hospital in London after suffering a heart attack during a band rehearsal.

2006 - Heavy Metal monsters Lordi became Finland's first ever Eurovision Song Contest winners after their song Hard Rock Hallelujah won in Athens. The band won the Eurovision public vote after singing their heavy rock anthem dressed in horror costumes.

2013 - Ray Manzarek, keyboard player and founder member of the The Doors died aged 74. Manzarek, who had suffered from bile duct cancer for many years, died in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, with his wife and brothers at his bedside. He formed The Doors with lead singer Jim Morrison in 1965 after a chance meeting in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

2015 - The Rolling Stones played a surprise gig at the 1,300-capacity Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles during which they performed the entire Sticky Fingers album. The audience included Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, Harry Styles, Leonard Cohen and Patricia Arquette.


1949 - English guitarist, songwriter and producer Larry Wallis was born today, best known as a member of the Pink Fairies and a founding member of Motörhead. He released a solo single, "Police Car"/"On Parole" produced by Nick Lowe, and backed by two members of Eddie And The Hot Rods; bassist Paul Gray, and drummer Steve Nicol. He also had a brief stint in UFO during 1972 and was a member of Blodwyn Pig. Formed The Deviants. Producer at Stiff Records. Wallis died on 19 September 2019 aged 70.

1960 - American DJ Alan Freed was indicted along with seven others for accepting $30,650 in payola from six record companies. Two years later, he was convicted and given a suspended sentence and a $300 fine.

1979 - Eric Clapton held a party at his Surrey house celebrating his recent marriage to Patti Boyd. Clapton had set-up a small stage in the garden and as the evening progressed, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr ended up jamming together along with Clapton, Ginger Baker and Mick Jagger. The all-star band ran through old Little Richard and Eddie Cochran songs.

1980 - Ringo Starr and his future wife were involved in a car crash less than half a mile from where Marc Bolan was killed, the car was a write-off but Starr and Bach were not seriously injured.

2010 - 'Stairway To Heaven' was named the UK's favourite rock song in a survey by listeners to radio station Absolute Classic Rock. Led Zeppelin had two other tracks in the top 10; ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was voted at No. 4 and ‘Rock 'n' Roll’, from the group’s fourth album, was at No. 7.

2013 - A guitar played by John Lennon and George Harrison sold for $408,000 (£269,000) at auction. The custom-made instrument, built in 1966 by VOX, was bought by an unidentified US buyer in New York. Harrison played ‘I Am The Walrus’, on the guitar in a scene from Magical Mystery Tour in 1967. Lennon used it in a video for Hello, Goodbye later that year. After playing the guitar, Lennon gave it as a 25th birthday present to Alexis "Magic Alex" Mardas, a member of The Beatles' inner circle in the 1960s.


2016 - John Berry, a founding member of rap group Beastie Boys died at the age of 52. Berry originally formed the four-piece hardcore punk band, the Young Aborigines, in 1978 who later became the Beastie Boys and came up with the name for the group.

1964 - A riot broke out in Hamilton, Scotland during a Rolling Stones tour when over 4,000 fans with forged tickets gate-crashed the band's gig at the Chantingall Hotel.

1966 - The Castiles (with Bruce Springsteen on vocals), made their first recordings at Mr Music Inc in Brick Town, New Jersey. They cut two Springsteen songs, ‘Baby I’ and ‘That’s What You Get’. The songs were cut directly to disc, of which seven or eight test pressings of the studio takes were made.

1966 - During his 1966 world tour, Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson from The Band were filmed singing several songs in a hotel room in Glasgow, the footage turning up in the film Eat The Document. The film was originally commissioned for the ABC television series Stage '66, but after Dylan edited the film himself ABC rejected it as 'incomprehensible for a mainstream audience'.

1967 - Pink Floyd started recording their forthcoming single 'See Emily Play' at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea. Syd Barrett was inspired to write See Emily Play, by the ‘looning about’ of the early Pink Floyd fan Emily Young (who is now a renowned sculptor). Guitarist David Gilmour, playing gigs in France with his own band in that period, visited Floyd in the studio during a trip to London.

1968 - The first Miami Pop event took place with an estimated 100,000 people attending the concert, which was promoted by Richard O'Barry & Michael Lang (later famous as the promoter of Woodstock). Bands featured at the festival included Steppenwolf, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Mothers of Invention, Blue Cheer, Chuck Berry, The Blues Image, Pacific Gas and Electric, Three Dog Night and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown.


1980 - Joy Division singer and guitarist Ian Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield, at the age of 23. Curtis had the Iggy Pop album 'The Idiot', playing on his stereo and left a note that said, 'At this very moment, I wish I were dead. I just can't cope anymore.' Joy Division released the critically acclaimed debut album Unknown Pleasures in 1979, and recorded their follow-up 'Closer' in 1980.

2004 - Clint Warwick the original bass player with The Moody Blues died from liver disease at the age of 63. Clint left the band in 1966 after playing on their only number one hit, 'Go Now'.

2011 - John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for the 1967 Beatles song 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' sold for $237,132 (£145,644) at an auction in the US. The sale of the sheet, which featured the song's third verse and the opening words to 'She's Leaving Home', took place at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Both songs feature on the 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was speculated the song was about the drug LSD, however, The Beatles denied this, with Lennon saying the inspiration had come from a picture his son Julian had drawn of a classmate named Lucy Vodden - who died of the immune system disease Lupus in 2009.

2017 - American musician, singer and songwriter Chris Cornell died suddenly in Detroit after performing at a show with Soundgarden. Cornell was known for his role as one of the architects of the 1990s grunge movement, and for his near four octave vocal range as well as his powerful vocal belting technique. He released four solo studio albums as well as working with Audioslave and Temple of the Dog.

2019 - A sweater worn by Kurt Cobain during the singer’s last photo-shoot with Nirvana sold for $75,000 at a New York auction. Also sold for $23,000 was Nirvana’s handwritten set list from an April 1990 concert in Washington, D.C., which Cobain wrote with black marker on a paper plate. Cobain had eaten some pizza before the show and preceded to write the set list on the plate he had been eating his pizza on.

1963 - The first Monterey Folk Festival took place over three days in Monterey, California. The festival featured Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary. The 1967 Monterey Rock festival is remembered for the first major American appearances by Jimi Hendrix and The Who as well as the first major public performances of Janis Joplin. It was also the first major performance by Otis Redding in front of a predominantly white audience.

1964 - Bob Dylan made his first major concert UK appearance when he played at the Royal Festival Hall in London with an afternoon show listed as a ‘Folksong Concert’. Dylan's 18-song set included the live debut of Mr. Tambourine Man and took place on a Sunday afternoon. In the interval, Dylan received a telegram from John Lennon seeking a meeting which never materialised.

1966 - During a UK tour Bob Dylan appeared at The Free Trade Hall in Manchester. This was the concert where a member of the audience shouted out ‘Judas’ at Dylan unhappy with the singers move from acoustic to rock. Dylan replied with ‘You’re a liar’, the entire concert was eventually officially released in The Bootleg Series by Sony Music in 1999.

1967 - The Tremeloes were at No.1 on the singles chart with their version of a Four Seasons song (the B-side to Rag Doll), 'Silence Is Golden', the group's only No.1.

1969 - It was reported that for the first time ever album sales had overtaken single sales in the UK. 49,184,000 albums were produced during 1968 compared with 49,161,000 singles.

1975 - Led Zeppelin played the first of five sold-out nights to 17,000 fans at Earls Court Arena. The set list included: Rock And Roll, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Going To California, Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, and Black Dog. Tickets cost £1 - £2.50.

1990 - Nirvana played the last date of a North American tour at the Zoo in Boise, Idaho. This was Chad Channing's final gig with the band, drummer Dave Grohl replaced him in Sept of this year after his band Scream had split-up.

1996 - US blues guitarist Johnny Guitar Watson died of a heart attack while on tour in Yokohama, Japan. According to eyewitness reports, he collapsed mid guitar solo. His last words were "ain't that a bitch." His ferocious 'Space Guitar' single of 1954 pioneered guitar feedback and reverb.


2019 - Eric Moore, lead singer of Ohio-based biker rock group The Godz, died after a battle with bladder cancer age 67. The Godz had toured with acts including Kiss, Cheap Trick, Judas Priest, Blue Öyster Cult and Iggy Pop.

Week Commencing May 11
1962 - B Bumble and the Stingers were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Nut Rocker.' The instrumental was based on Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker Suite.'

1966 - The Beach Boys released the classic album Pet Sounds widely ranked as one of the most influential records ever released and has been ranked at No.1 in several music magazines lists of greatest albums of all time, including New Musical Express, The Times and Mojo Magazine. In 2003, it was ranked No.2 in Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list (The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's came first).

1969 - Pete Townshend spent the night in a US jail for assaulting a man during a Who gig at The Fillmore East. What Townshend didn't know was the man who jumped onto the stage was a plainclothes policeman trying to warn the audience that a fire had broken out. The Who guitarist was later fined $30 for the offence.

1976 - Patti Smith made her UK debut at The Roundhouse, London. The American singer-songwriter, poet and visual artist, became a highly influential component of the New York City punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses.

2009 - Bob Dylan went to No.1 on the album chart with ‘Together Through Life’, his 33rd studio album. The album received two Grammy Award nominations in Best Americana Album category and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category for 'Beyond Here Lies Nothin'. The album also is significant as the only album by Dylan to top the US and UK charts consecutively.


2010 - Ronnie James Dio, singer with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band Dio died after a six-month battle with stomach cancer. He was 67 years old. Dio’s career began in 1957 with The Vegas Kings, which later changed to Ronnie and the Rumblers, then Ronnie and the Redcaps, then in 1961, Ronnie Dio and the Prophets. In 1967, Dio and Prophets guitarist Nick Pantas formed the Electric Elves, which shortened its name to Elf. The band’s success eventually landed them an opening slot for Deep Purple which exposed Dio’s voice to Deep Purple’s guitarist, Ritchie Blackmore, who later recruited Dio and other members of Elf for his new band Rainbow.

1967 - Paul McCartney met American photographer Linda Eastman for the first time, during a Georgie Fame concert at the Bag O'Nails nightclub in London. They married on March 12, 1969.

1969 - John Lennon's 'Life With The Lions' was released on Apple's avant-garde imprint Zapple. One side of the album was recorded on a cassette player at London's Queen Charlotte Hospital during Yoko Ono's pregnancy which ended in a miscarriage.

1974 - Frank Zappa and his wife announced the birth of their third child, a boy named Ahmet Rodan, after the Japanese movie monster.

1981 - Former Sex Pistol John Lydon's band Public Image Ltd performed a show at New York's Ritz Club posing behind a video screen while the music was played from tapes. They were showered with missiles and eventually booed off stage.

1999 - Rob Gretton manager of Joy Division and New Order died aged 46. He was also a partner in Factory Records, proprietor of the Rob's Records label and a co-founder along with Tony Wilson of The Hacienda nightclub in Manchester.


2001 - Brian Pendleton of The Pretty Things died of cancer aged 57 (1964 UK No.10 single 'Don't Bring Me Down'). The band's 1974 album Silk Torpedo was the first album release on Led Zeppelin's own label Swan Song.

2019 - Adria Petty and Annakim Violette daughters of the late Tom Petty filed suit against his widow, Dana York Petty, in a dispute about the singer-songwriter’s catalogue and estate. The papers accused York Petty of superseding the daughters’ right to ‘equal participation,’ as they claimed was in the terms of the trust, when making decisions regarding his catalogue. The suit was seeking at least $5 million in damages.

1967 - The Monkees second album More Of The Monkees, went to No.1 on the charts. In 1967 only four albums reached No.1; The Sound Of Music which spent 17 weeks at No.1, The Beatles Sgt. Pepper, 25 weeks at No.1 and The Monkees first and second albums spent 9 weeks at No.1.

1969 - Led Zeppelin became one of the first major British rock group to appear in Hawaii, when they appeared at The Civic Auditorium, Honolulu. A review in the Honolulu Advertiser stated: 'The showmanship exceeded any rock performance here to date. I wondered before the concert if Led Zeppelin could sound as good as their Atlantic album – they sounded better'.

1970 - The world premiere of The Beatles film 'Let It Be' took place in New York City. The film which was originally planned as a television documentary features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public. Released just after the album, it was the final original Beatles release.

2000 - Shaun Ryder's Volkswagen Corrado was found abandoned after being used as the getaway car. The former Happy Mondays singer's car, was used in an armed robbery on Harry Ramsden's fish and chip restaurant in Manchester. £7,000 cash was taken in the robbery.

2007 - Brian May was under 24-hour security watch after a deranged man announced he was setting off to murder him - then disappeared. Police were hunting for a schizophrenic who left a letter behind at his home blaming the Queen guitarist for his illness. In it the man - said May was an "impostor" and that HE was the real rock star. He signed the letter "Brian May."

2011 - 'Like A Rolling Stone' was voted as Bob Dylan's best-ever song by Rolling Stone Magazine, who had asked the opinions of a panel of writers, academics and musicians to compile a poll to mark Dylan's 70th birthday on 24th May. 'Like A Rolling Stone', was described by U2's Bono as 'a black eye of a pop song', while Mick Jagger praised the simplicity of 'Desolation Row'. Keith Richards believed that the original 1963 solo version of 'Girl From The North Country', ranked 30th, was superior to Dylan's 1969 duet of the same song with Johnny Cash.

2012 - Donald Dunn, bassist with Booker T and the MGs died in his sleep after playing a show at the Blue Note night club in Tokyo the night before. He had been in the country as part of an ongoing tour with Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd. Booker T and the MGs scored the 1962 US No.3 single 'Green Onions', and the 1969 UK No.4 single 'Time Is Tight'.


1958 - The Everly Brothers started a four-week run at No.1 in the US with 'All I Have To Do Is Dream'. Written by the husband and wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant - the track was recorded in just two takes.

1963 - Bob Dylan walked out of rehearsals for the US TV Ed Sullivan show after being told he couldn't perform his song 'Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues' due to it mocking the US military and segregation. CBS officials asked Dylan to substitute it for another song, but the singer reportedly said: 'No, this is what I want to do. If I can't play my song, I'd rather not appear on the show'.

1967 - Pink Floyd appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, giving a special concert Games For May - Space Age Relaxation For The Climate Of Spring. This was reportedly the first show to include loudspeakers placed at the back of the hall to give a 'sound in the round', ie quadraphonic, effect. The sound system, developed by EMI technicians, was stolen after the show and not recovered for some years.

1967 - Are You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience was released in the UK. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest debuts in the history of rock music. The album features Jimi Hendrix's innovative approach to songwriting and electric guitar playing which soon established a new direction in psychedelic and hard rock music. The album spent 33 weeks on the UK charts and 106 weeks on the US Billboard Top LPs chart.

1968 - Brian Jones made his final live appearance with The Rolling Stones when they appeared at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley. Jones drowned while under the influence of drugs and alcohol after taking a midnight swim in his pool, on 3rd July 1969 aged 27.

1972 - The Rolling Stones released Exile On Main Street, the second album on their own label. The double set featured two hit singles, 'Tumbling Dice' and 'Happy'. In 2003, the album was ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest of any Stones album on the list.

1977 - After being dropped by both EMI and A&M records in less than 6 months, Virgin records announced they had signed the Sex Pistols.

1981 - Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy with debts of over $1 million. The singer stated; "I made almost nothing. That’s how it was back then. The record company said Bat Out Of Hell never made a profit."

2000 - Thieves stole the gates to Strawberry Fields the Merseyside landmark immortalised by The Beatles song. The 10' high iron gates were later found at local scrap metal dealers in Liverpool.

1963 - The Beatles started a 30 week run at No.1 on the album charts with their debut album 'Please Please Me', making it the longest running No.1 album by a group ever. The bands follow up 'With The Beatles' replaced it at the top of the charts on 7th December 1963 and stayed there for 21 weeks.

1964 - During a UK tour The Rolling Stones were refused lunch at The Grand Hotel, Bristol, where they were staying because they were not wearing jackets and ties. The following day the Daily Express ran the story with the headline, 'The Rolling Stones gather no lunch.'

1974 - Led Zeppelin attended an Elvis Presley show at the Los Angeles Forum in California. After a shaky start to the show, Elvis stopped the band and jokingly said: ‘Wait a minute, if we can start together fellas, because we’ve got Led Zeppelin out there, lets try to look like we know what we're doing.’ All four members of Zeppelin met with Elvis after the show, spending over 2 hours backstage. Elvis asked for all the group’s autographs for his daughter Lisa Marie.


1981 - Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley died aged 36. In July 1977, Marley was found to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe, Marley's health deteriorated as the cancer had spread throughout his body. Marley had the 1981 single 'No Woman No Cry', plus over ten other UK Top 40 singles. In 1990, the 6th February was proclaimed a national holiday in Jamaica to commemorate his birth. The compilation album, Legend, released in 1984, is the best-selling reggae album ever with sales of more than 20 million copies. Time magazine chose Bob Marley & The Wailers' Exodus as the greatest album of the 20th century.

1996 - Bill Graham the Irish journalist credited with discovering U2 died of a heart attack aged 44. He was also the co-founder of the Irish music paper Hot Press. Members from Clannad, U2, Hothouse Flowers and Gavin Friday all attended his funeral.

2003 - Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist Noel Redding died at his home in Ireland aged 57. Redding played on the classic Hendrix albums 'Are You Experienced', 'Axis: Bold as Love' and 'Electric Ladyland,' Right up until his death, Redding had been taking legal action against the Hendrix estate for payment estimated at £3.26 million for his part in recordings and for ongoing royalties. Had also been a member of Fat Mattress and formed The Noel Redding Band.

2004 - US songwriter John Whitehead was killed by a gunman. He co-wrote 'Back Stabbers' for the O'Jays and as McFadden & Whitehead wrote and sang 'Ain't No Stopping Us Now' which sold more than 8 million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

2011 - One of the rarest rock t-shirts in the world sold for $10,000 (£6096.00), the largest sum ever paid for a vintage t-shirt. The record-setting sale of a 1979 Led Zeppelin t-shirt on eBay was sold by Kyle Ermatinger of Stormcrow Vintage. The recent completion of the transaction placed the purchase as the world's rarest and most expensive vintage t-shirt.

2014 - American bass guitarist Ed Gagliardi best known as the original bass player with Foreigner died at age 62 after an eight-year battle with cancer. In 1981, Gagliardi formed the band Spys with former Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood.


Week Commencing May 4
1960 - The Silver Beetles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Tommy Moore) auditioned for promoter Larry Parnes and singer Billy Fury for a job as Fury's backing group. Parnes was also looking for backing groups for his lesser-known acts, and The Silver Beetles were selected as backing group for singer Johnny Gentle's upcoming tour of Scotland. The group had changed its name from 'The Beatals' to 'The Silver Beetles' after Brian Casser (of Cass and the Cassanovas) remarked that the name 'Beatals' was "ridiculous". He suggested they use the name 'Long John and the Silver Beetles', but John Lennon refused to be referred to as 'Long John'.

1964 - Bob Dylan arrived in Britain for his first major UK tour including a show at London's Royal Festival Hall on the 17th of this month.

1969 - Led Zeppelin made their first appearance on the album chart when the band's debut album charted at No. 6, going on to spend 71 weeks on the chart. It entered the US chart the following week at No. 10. Recorded in around 36 hours, the album is now considered one of the most important debuts in rock, creating an entirely new interpretation of the Rock And Roll genre, with groundbreaking musical styles and recording techniques.

1969 - The Moody Blues started a two-week run at No.1 on the album chart with 'On The Threshold Of A Dream' (their first No.1 album).

1986 - Falco was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Rock Me Amadeus.' Falco became the first-ever Austrian act to score a UK and US No.1 hit single and the first German speaking artist to achieve a No.1 on the US charts. Falco died of severe injuries received on 6 February 1998, when his Mitsubishi Pajero collided with a bus in the Dominican Republic. It was later determined that the bus driver was speeding, for which the driver served three years in prison. His estate claims he has sold 20 million albums and 15 million singles, which makes him the best selling Austrian singer of all time.


1999 - American singer, songwriter poet, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of children's books Shel Silverstein died of a heart attack aged 57. Wrote, 'A Boy Named Sue' for Johnny Cash (which Silverstein won a Grammy for in 1970) and many songs for Dr Hook including 'Sylvia's Mother' and 'The Cover of the Rolling Stone.'

2013 - A two-year degree in heavy metal music was branded an "easy option" by education campaigners. The foundation degree was being offered by New College Nottingham. The course, which was due to start later this year would include modules on the music business, the history of heavy metal and its role in films and video games and would show students how to compose and perform heavy metal songs.

2013 - Two men were arrested in Dublin after the city centre statue of Phil Lynott was pushed over and seriously damaged. The memorial to the Thin Lizzy icon has been removed from its Harry Street location for repairs, and the men were later released without charge. The life-size bronze sculpture was unveiled in 2005 and had become a tourist destination and landmark since then.

2018 - Scottish singer, songwriter, guitarist Scott Hutchison from indie band Frightened Rabbit was found dead near South Queensferry, Scotland. Hutchison was last seen at 1am on the 9th May leaving a hotel in South Queensferry and later tweeted 'Be so good to everyone you love. It's not a given. I'm so annoyed that it’s not. I didn't live by that standard and it kills me. Please, hug your loved ones', followed by 'I'm away now. Thanks' prior to his disappearance.

1964 - Gene Vincent and the Shouts appeared at The Rhodes Centre, Bishop's Gate. The poster advertised that the first 50 girls would be admitted free; tickets cost six shillings and six pence.

1964 - Chuck Berry began his first ever UK tour at The Astoria Theatre, London, supported by The Animals, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Karl Denver and the Nashville Teens.

1966 - The Doors played at the Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood, California auditioning for the position of the venue's house band.

1970 - Guess Who started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'American Woman', it was the group's sixth Top 30 hit and only chart topper. The song was born by accident when guitarist Randy Bachman was playing a heavy riff on stage after he had broken a string, the other members joined in on the jam. A fan in the audience who had recorded the gig on tape presented it to the group after the show and they developed it into a full song.

1978 - Fee Waybill of The Tubes broke a leg after falling from the stage at the Hammersmith Odeon, whilst wielding a chainsaw during the bands set.

1980 - 'I Don't Like Mondays' by The Boomtown Rats won the best pop song and outstanding British lyric categories at the 25th Ivor Novello Awards. And Supertramp's 'The Logical Song' won Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Boomtown Rats lead singer Bob Geldoff was inspired to write the song after reading about the tragic shooting spree when 16-year-old Brenda Spencer killed two people and wounded nine others when she fired from her house across the street onto the entrance of San Diego's Grover Cleveland Elementary School.

1981 - Adam and the Ants were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Stand And Deliver.' The song enjoyed a five-week run at No.1.


2013 - David Bowie's latest video, which starred Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard, was temporarily pulled from YouTube over its graphic content. "The Next Day" featured heavy religious imagery, including Cotillard bleeding from stigmata marks. The video sees Bowie performing in a basement bar, surrounded by religious figures, while Oldman, dressed as a priest, punches a beggar before dancing with a prostitute, played by Oscar-winner Cotillard. YouTube admitted making the "wrong call" in removing the video, and reinstated it with an adult content warning.

1954 - BBC radio banned the Johnny Ray song ‘Such a Night’ after listeners complain about its 'suggestiveness'. Ray was famous for his emotional stage act, which included beating up his piano and writhing on the floor.

1965 - The filming of the promotional film for Bob Dylan’s 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' took place at the side of the Savoy Hotel in London. Actors in the background were Allen Ginsberg and Bob Neuwirth. The original clip was actually the opening segment of D.A. Pennebaker's film, Dont Look Back, a documentary on Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England. In the film, Dylan, who came up with the idea, holds up cue cards for the camera with selected words and phrases from the lyrics. The cue cards were written by Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Neuwirth and Dylan himself. While staring at the camera, he flipped the cards as the song played.

1974 - Keyboard player Graham Bond committed suicide, aged just 36, after throwing himself under a London tube train at Finsbury Park station. It took police two days to identify his body which was crushed beyond all recognition. Briefly a member of Blues Incorporated, a group led by Alexis Korner, before forming the Graham Bond Quartet, with a lineup of Bond on vocals and organ, Ginger Baker on drums and Jack Bruce on bass.

1976 - Radio 1 DJ Johnny Walker announced he was quitting the station after being told by the BBC he must pretend to like The Bay City Rollers.

1982 - Neil Bogart died of cancer at the age of 39. Bogart was the founder of Casablanca Records, with Peter Guber, home of Donna Summer, The Village People, Kiss, T.Rex and Joan Jett.

1993 - Mark Knopfler received an honorary music doctorate from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

1967 - Pearls Before Swine begin recording an album called 'One Nation Underground'. The LP included a song called 'Miss Morse', which would be banned in New York when it was discovered that lead singer Tom Rapp was singing F-U-C-K in Morse code. After disc jockey Murray The K played the record on the air, local Boy Scouts correctly interpreted the chorus and phoned in a complaint.

1968 - Flying back to the UK after a US tour after his last gig with the band Bluesology, keyboard player Reginald Dwight gave some thought for a stage name he could use for his burgeoning solo career. In the cabin, he came across the band's horn player Elton Dean and lead singer Long John Baldry, and asked them if he can appropriate their names to concoct a new one for himself. They agree, and Elton John is born.

1971 - 'Moonage Daydream' was released as a single by Arnold Corns, a band formed by David Bowie, the name of which was inspired by the Pink Floyd song 'Arnold Layne'. This was one of Bowie’s side projects and something of a dry run for Ziggy Stardust. The song later reappeared on Ziggy Stardust in a new version with updated lyrics.


1974 - Led Zeppelin held a party at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City for the launch of their new label Swan Song. Other label signings including Scottish singer Maggie Bell (whose album Suicide Sal was the label's fourth release), and British supergroup Bad Company.

1978 - 90,000 tickets were sold in eight hours for Bob Dylan's forthcoming London dates at Earls Court.

1992 - Nigel Preston drummer with The Cult died aged 32 in London. Was a founding member of The Death Cult, and also played and recorded with Sex Gang Children, Theatre of Hate and The Gun Club.

2011 - John Walker (John Joseph Maus) best known as the founder of The Walker Brothers died of liver cancer at his Los Angeles home. He formed The Walker Brothers (originally The Walker Brothers Trio) in 1964, with himself as lead vocalist and guitarist. The Walker Brothers scored the 1966 UK No.1 & US No. 13 single 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore'.

1965 - In their Clearwater, Florida hotel room, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards worked out the opening guitar riff of ’(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ following Richard's purchase of a Gibson fuzz-box earlier that day. The song is considered to be one of the all-time greatest rock songs ever recorded. In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine placed 'Satisfaction' in the second spot on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

1967 - Jimi Hendrix, The Walker Brothers, Engelbert Humperdink and Cat Stevens all appeared at the Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, Lancashire.

1972 - The Tyrannosaurus Rex double album 'Prophets, Seers And Sages And The Angels Of The Ages / My People Were Fair And Had Sky In Their Hair But Now Their Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows' went to No.1. The longest title of an album ever at the time!

2002 - 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen was voted the favourite single of all time in a poll by the Guinness Hit Singles book. 'Imagine' by John Lennon was voted in at No.2 and ‘Hey Jude’, The Beatles No.3, 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA was fourth and  Madonna 'Like A Prayer' was in fifth place.

2003 - After the controversy regading Dixie Chicks member Natalie Maines’ comments about President George W. Bush and the Iraq war, a Colorado radio station suspended two of its disc jockeys for playing music by Dixie Chicks.

2015 - British-Jamaican singer and songwriter Errol Brown, best known as the frontman of the soul and funk band Hot Chocolate died of liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas. Their hits included 'You Sexy Thing', 'So You Win Again' and 'Brother Louie'. His break in music came in 1969 when he recorded a version of 'Give Peace a Chance' with some friends. Unable to change the lyrics without John Lennon's permission, he sent a copy to his record label, Apple, and the song was released with Lennon's approval.

1963 - On a recommendation by George Harrison, Dick Rowe Head of A&R at Decca records (and the man who turned down The Beatles) went to see The Rolling Stones play at Crawdaddy Club, London. The band were signed to the label within a week.

1966 - Manfred Mann were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Pretty Flamingo'. The recording features future Cream bassist Jack Bruce, who briefly joined the band in 1965. On their Top Of The Pops appearance, singer Paul Jones performed whilst standing on one leg.

1967 - The Kinks released 'Waterloo Sunset' as a single which went on to peak at No.2 on the chart. Songwriter and Kinks singer Ray Davies later stated that the song was originally entitled 'Liverpool Sunset', after his love for Liverpool and Merseybeat.

1972 - The first day of the three day Bickershaw Festival, Wigan, featured Grateful Dead, Dr John, Donovan, The Kinks, Captain Beefheart, Hawkwind, America, Family, Country Joe MacDonald, Wishbone Ash, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Brinsley Schwarz and the Flamin Groovies.

1973 - David Bowie scored his first No.1 album when 'Aladdin Sane' started a five-week run at the top, featuring the single 'Drive In Saturday'. The follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.


1974 - Television appeared at CBGBs in New York City, supported by Stillettoe (later to become Blondie) who were playing their first show at CBGBs.

1983 - The Stranglers 'Golden Brown' was named most performed work of 1982 at the 28th Ivor Novello Awards. The single had become a hit after the conservative BBC Radio Two made it 'single of the week', a surprising step considering the band were almost as notorious as The Sex Pistols only a few short years before.

1996 - Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan received both a public apology and a donation of £7,500 to the Warchild charity from The Sport newspaper after they ran a story claiming she had performed a gig in Hamburg without wearing any underwear.

2003 - Holiday camp operator Butlins introduced a new system of rhyming slang at bingo halls in an attempt to bring the game up-to-date. Pop stars Jennifer Lopez and Gareth Gates became new catchphrases for the callers, 'Gareth Gates' (8) and 'J-Lo's bum' (71). Other additions include 'stroppy teen' (15) and 'feng shui' (53).

2015 - American rock bassist Craig Gruber died of prostate cancer in Florida aged 63. He is best known as the original bassist in Rainbow and also played in Elf with Ronnie James Dio and worked with guitarist Gary Moore.

Week Commencing April 28
1964 - The Rolling Stones self-titled debut album started a 12-week run at No.1 on the charts. The album spent a total of 51 weeks on the chart. Also on his day The Stones made their first appearance on the US singles chart when 'Not Fade Away' entered the chart at No.98.

1969 - The Who gave a press preview of their new rock opera 'Tommy' at Ronnie Scott's in London. The double album about a "deaf, dumb and blind boy" who becomes the leader of a messianic movement, was the first musical work to be billed overtly as a rock opera. In 1998 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant value" and has now sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

1969 - Pink Floyd appeared at Manchester Chamber Of Commerce. The show was recorded for the forthcoming album 'Ummagumma'.

1970 - One Hit Wonder Norman Greenbaum was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Spirit In The Sky.' Also a No.1 hit for Doctor and the Medics in 1986 and Gareth Gates in 2003.


1978 - The Fall and Slaughter And The Dogs appeared at Band On The Wall in Manchester. At London's Hackney, The Clash, The Tom Robinson Band and X-Ray Specs all appeared on the same night.

1980 - Joy Division played what would be their last gig with singer Ian Curtis when they appeared at Birmingham University. Curtis committed suicide two weeks later.

1991 - The video for the R.E.M. song 'Losing My Religion', was banned in Ireland because its religious imagery was seen as unfit for broadcast.

1998 - Japanese rock star Hideto Matsumoto was found hanged in the bathroom at his Tokyo apartment and died in hospital a short time later at the age of 33. His funeral, held on May 7th, was attended by over 70,000 people and required 100 police officers, 170 security guards, police boats and helicopters. 21 people were hospitalised for injuries caused by the massive crowd at his funeral.

2007 - Almost 2,000 musicians gathered in the Polish city of Wroclaw to play a rock anthem by Jimi Hendrix. The guitarists were aiming to set a new Guinness World Record by gathering 1,876 guitarists in the city's market square to play 'Hey Joe'. Organisers say it was the biggest guitar ensemble in recorded history.

2009 - A rare Motown seven-inch single sold for £25,742, setting a new world record. Kenny Burrell, from Fife in Scotland, put the unreleased 1965 single 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' by Frank Wilson up for auction; the single was one of only two in the world. Motown boss Berry Gordy had all other copies destroyed after Wilson moved into songwriting and producing. British Record dealer John Manship, who organised the sale, said the buyer wished to remain anonymous. Wilson went on to write hits for The Supremes and The Four Tops.

2009 - Bob Dylan mingled unnoticed with other Beatles tourists during a minibus tour to John Lennon's childhood home. He was one of 14 tourists to examine photos and documents in the National Trust-owned home, where Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi and uncle George. Dylan who was on a day off on a European tour paid £16 for the public trip to the 1940s house in Woolton, Liverpool.

2013 - Jeff Hanneman, founding member of rock band Slayer, died at the age of 49. The guitarist had been suffering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that he is believed to have contracted from a spider bite in 2011. Hanneman was being treated in a local hospital when he suffered liver failure.


A RETROSPECTI
VE LOOK AT . . . 'THE RAMONES'

Release date: 23rd April 1976

The three-chord guitar riff introduction, and ‘Hey! Ho! Let’s go!’ came the cry, a simple, catchy melody, and they were off. The Ramones created something that was rooted in the early 1960s, rock & roll/garage band rock but sounded revolutionary. And this is what made them the leaders of the emerging New York punk rock scene. Everything about the Ramones felt right. The look, the name, the sound, the attitude. You wanted the Ramones to be your best friends.

Based in the Forest Hills section of Queens, New York, John Cummings (Johnny Ramone), and Thomas Erdelyi (Tommy Ramone), had both been in a high-school garage band from 1966 to 1967 known as the Tangerine Puppets, (what a brilliant name!). They became friends with Douglas Colvin (Dee Dee Ramone), who had recently moved to the area from Germany, and Jeffry Hyman (Joey Ramone), who was the initial lead singer of the glam rock band Sniper.

Colvin was the first to adopt the name ‘Ramone’, calling himself Dee Dee Ramone, taking inspiration from Paul McCartney’s use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon during his Silver Beatles days. (McCartney reverted to the name when he pseudonymously contributed to Steve Miller’s My Dark Hour recording). Dee Dee convinced the rest of the group to take on the name and came up with the idea of calling the band The Ramones (why don’t more bands do this?). All four dressed in torn blue jeans and leather jackets, in homage to 1950s greaser rockers.

The Ramones played before an audience for the first time in March 1974. Playing fast and loud, most songs in the set clocked in at under two minutes, and a full live set would be under 20 minutes. Around this time, a new music scene was emerging in New York, centered around two clubs in downtown Manhattan: Max’s Kansas City and, more famously, CBGBs. The Ramones made their CBGB debut a few months later in August. Legs McNeil, who cofounded Punk magazine, later described the impact of that performance: ‘They were all wearing these black leather jackets. And they counted off this song…and it was just this wall of noise… They looked so striking. These guys were not hippies. This was something completely new.’

In late 1975, Linda Stein, the then-wife of Seymour Stein, owner of Sire Records, witnessed a gig at CBGBs and became their co-manager, resulting in The Ramones signing to Sire Records.

The Ramones recorded their debut album, Ramones, in February 1976, at a cost of $6,400, with sessions taking just seven days from start to finish. Clocking in at under 30 minutes, the longest song here is I Don’t Wanna Go Down To The Basement (inspired by horror movies), at 2:35 and the shortest track, Judy Is A Punk, is just 1.32 seconds long.

The recording process was similar to the techniques used by The Beatles from the early 1960s: the guitars can be heard separately on the stereo channels – electric bass on the left, rhythm guitar on the right channel – while drums and vocals are mixed in the middle of the stereo mix.

The album features a number of themes, including Nazism, violence, male prostitution and drug use, as well as lighter fare such as horror movies and teenage romance. The opener, Blitzkrieg Bop, the first single lifted from the album, was released in July 1976, originally just on seven inch vinyl. The pace of the album makes you short of breath, but it’s all over too quickly. Chain Saw opens with the sound of a running circular saw: influenced by the 1974 horror film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, at nearly 180 beats per minute it is the fastest track on the album. Now I Want To Sniff Some Glue consists of four lines of minimalist lyrics which are about youthful boredom and inhaling the solvent vapors contained in glue. On the question of the authenticity of the text, Dee Dee said in an interview: ‘I hope no one thinks we really sniff glue. I stopped when I was eight years old.’

The Ramones originally wanted an album cover similar to the 1964 album by The Beatles’ US release, Meet The Beatles! A photo session was subsequently undertaken at a cost of $2,000, but Sire was dissatisfied with the results. The band later met up with Roberta Bayley, a photographer for Punk magazine, who noted that ‘getting the Ramones to pose was like pulling teeth’. Originally featured in an issue of Punk, Bayley’s black and white photograph on the front of the album cover was to be the defining inage of the band.

One of the first people to review the album was Robert Christgau who, writing for Village Voice, said: ‘…my theory has always been that good rock and roll should damn well make you uneasy…just perfect, a minor classic’.

In the UK, BBC DJ John Peel made his weekly trip to the Virgin record store at Marble Arch in search of new releases. After the store manager, Tim Clark, handed him the Ramones LP, Peel threw out the running order for that evening’s show and played six tracks from the album. The inexorable rise of punk was now in place on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Ramones parted ways 20 years after the release of their debut album, and sadly, three Ramones are now gone. Joey passed away on April 15, 2001, at age 49, the victim of lymphoma. Little more than a year after Joey’s death, Dee Dee was found dead in his home in Los Angeles on June 5, 2002. Two years later, Johnny died on September 15, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. But, if nothing else, their legacy lives on as the bona fide fathers of British punk rock, and as authors of pithy slogans like ‘Gabba Gabba Hey!’ that galvanised a generation.


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This week in . . .
1963 - Publicist Andrew Oldham and agent Eric Easton signed a management deal with The Rolling Stones after buying the rights to the bands first recordings for £90. They also persuade keyboard player Ian Stewart to drop out of the line up and become the bands road manager (and still play piano at the back of the stage).

1965 - Jimmy Nicol, the drummer who stood in for Ringo Starr during a Beatles Australian tour in 1964, appeared in a London Court faced with bankruptcy with debts of £4,000.

1967 - The 14 hour Technicolour Dream benefit party for The International Times was held at Alexandra Palace in London. Seeing the event mentioned on TV, John Lennon called his driver and went to the show. Coincidentally, Yoko Ono was one of the performers. Other acts to appear included The Flies, Pink Floyd, Arthur Brown, The Move and Suzie Creamcheese.

1978 - P.J. Proby was sacked from his role in the London stage musical Elvis after repeatedly changing his lines from the script. Proby had been playing the oldest of three Presleys in the play.

1980 - Black Sabbath began their first tour with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, who had replaced Ozzy Osbourne.

1993 - Guitarist, producer, Mick Ronson died of liver cancer aged 46. Ronson recorded and toured with David Bowie from 1970 to 1973. Released the 1974 solo album 'Slaughter On Tenth Avenue'. Ronson co-produced Lou Reed's album Transformer, also part of Hunter Ronson Band with Ian Hunter. And worked with Morrissey, Slaughter & The Dogs, The Wildhearts, The Rich Kids, Elton John, Johnny Cougar, T-Bone Burnett.

1998 - Steven Tyler broke his knee at a concert in Anchorage, Alaska delaying Aerosmith's 'Nine Lives' tour and necessitating camera angle adjustments for the filming of the video for 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing.'

2009 - An anonymous Queen fan won a two-hour one-to-one guitar lesson with Brian May, after bidding £7,600 at a private charity auction. The auction, in support of the Action for Brazil's Children Trust, of which May is a patron, was held at the exclusive Cuckoo Club in London.

1973 - Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon went to No.1. The album went on to enjoy a record-breaking 741 discontinuous weeks on the Billboard chart in the US, and has now sold over 45 million copies world-wide. After moving to the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Chart, the album notched up a further 759 weeks there, and had reached a total of over 1,500 weeks on the combined charts by May 2006.


1980 - Marshall Tucker Band bass player Tommy Caldwell died of injuries from a car accident aged 30 in his hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Caldwell was the original frontman for the Marshall Tucker Band between 1973 and 1980.

1981 - Former T. Rex member Steve Currie was killed in a car crash returning to his home near Vale de Parra, Algarve, Portugal, he was 33 years old. Joined T. Rex as bass guitarist in late 1970, also worked as a session player, played on 'Motorbikin' by Chris Spedding.

1999 - The tour bus carrying The Clint Boon Experience was involved in a near fatal accident when it was involved in a crash outside Glasgow. Members of the band had to be airlifted to hospital.

2000 - Paul Atkinson was jailed for three years after being found guilty of stealing more than £25,000 from Rolling Stone Charlie Watts. Atkinson had been the manager of an Arabian stud farm owned by Watts.

2008 - Scott Weiland singer with The Stone Temple Pilots was sentenced to 192 hours in county jail for his November 2007 drink driving offence. He was also fined $2000, required to complete an 18-month alcohol programme and was placed on probation for four years.

2009 - A TV commercial for insurance featuring Iggy Pop was ruled as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority. In the advert, the singer was seen exclaiming that he had an insurance policy with Swiftcover but the company did not cover musicians at the time of the ad being shown. Swiftcover had since started to offer policies to musicians, and stated that 'Mr Pop would continue to endorse the company'.

2014 - Scorpions drummer James Kottak was sentenced to one month in jail in Dubai for offensive behaviour after an incident at Dubai airport on 3 April of this year. He was convicted of insulting Islam, raising his middle finger and being under the influence of alcohol.


2015 - Jack Ely died at the age of 71 after a long illness. The Kingsmen singer's hit 'Louie Louie' reached the top of the charts in 1963 and sparked an FBI investigation into whether its lyrics were obscene.

1965 - Bob Dylan was interviewed by BBC journalist and radio presenter Jack DeManio in the Savoy Hotel, London, for the BBC’s Home Service, which was broadcast on the Today programme the following day. Later on the 27th, Dylan and Joan Baez were filmed singing the traditional song Wild Mountain Thyme in the Savoy. Parts of the interview and the song were used in the film Dont Look Back

1966 - The Beatles started recording the new John Lennon song 'I'm Only Sleeping' at Abbey Road studios London. The song features the then-unique sound of a reversed guitar duet played by George Harrison. It was released two months earlier in the United States on the album Yesterday And Today and did not feature on the original US version of Revolver .

1969 - Pink Floyd appeared at Mothers Club in Erdington, Birmingham. Now legendary DJ John Peel reviewed the gig as '...sounding like dying galaxies lost in sheer corridors of time and space'. Recordings from this show were included in the group’s 1969 album Ummagumma.

1971 - The Grateful Dead appeared at the Fillmore East in New York City. The Beach Boys also appeared on stage with the Dead, who together performed a short set of Beach Boys songs.

2008 - The Last Shadow Puppets went to No.1 on the album charts with 'The Age of the Understatement', a side project of Alex Turner of Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane of Liverpool band The Rascals.


2009 - Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was the victim of a robbery outside Southern Tracks Recording studios in Atlanta, where the band were recording. Ament and a band employee had arrived at the rear of the studio when three assailants brandishing knives emerged from the woods wearing black masks and smashed the windows of a rented Jeep. The robbers grabbed a BlackBerry and Ament's passport and stole $3,000 in cash and $4,320 worth of goods.

2013 - A blue plaque was unveiled at Swansea railway station, honouring Peter Ham who co-wrote 'Without You'. Ham, who was a member of Badfinger, were signed to The Beatles Apple Records label (and enjoyed their biggest hit in 1970 with a Paul McCartney penned 'Come And Get It'). Ham took his own life in 1975 at the age of 27.

Week Commencing April 21
1966 - Dusty Springfield was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me', the singer's only  No.1. When recording the track, Springfield was not satisfied with her vocal until she had recorded forty-seven takes.

1969 - During the band's second North American tour Led Zeppelin played the second of two nights at The Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco in California. It was during this show that 'Whole Lotta Love' was played live for the first time.

1980 - Blondie were at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Call Me', the group's fourth No.1, featured in the Richard Gere movie 'American Gigolo'. The track was also a No.1 in the US where it became the band's biggest selling single. Producer Giorgio Moroder originally asked Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac to help compose and perform a song for the soundtrack, but she declined.

1988 - Mick Jagger appeared in White Plains, New York, Federal Court in the copyright infringement case brought by reggae singer Patrick Alley, who claimed the Mick Jagger solo track 'Just Another Night' was a plagiarism of his own song of the same name. Alley was claiming $7m in profits from the track. During the case Sly Dunbar played drums to the court to show how the beats were different in each song and Mick sang and played demos of his song to show the court the development of the track. At the end of the week-long trial, Jagger won the case.

1997 - Ernest Stewart, keyboard player with KC and the Sunshine Band, died of an asthma attack. (1975 US No.1 single 'That's The Way, I Like It', 1983 UK No.1 single 'Give It Up').


2019 - Molly Hatchet singer Phil McCormack died age 58. He’d fronted the Southern rock band since 1996 after having performed with them previously, taking over from Danny Joe Brown.

1974 - Pamela Courson the long-term companion of the late Jim Morrison died of a drugs overdose. It was Courson who found The Doors singer dead on July 3, 1971 in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris, France.

1979 - The Police made their debut on Top Of The Pops performing 'Roxanne'. The single which was taken from their album Outlandos d'Amour was written from the point-of-view of a man who falls in love with a prostitute.

1990 - The Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played at the Woodstock festival was auctioned off for a record $295,000. His two-hour set at the 1969 festival became the longest of his career.

1994 - The Eagles played the first of two shows where they recorded their 'Hell Freezes Over' album. Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit first got back together the previous December for the making of a Travis Tritt video of their song, 'Take It Easy' The name of the album was taken from an earlier quote by Glen Frey, who responded to the question "When will the Eagles get back together?"

2007 - American singer Bobby "Boris" Pickett died of leukaemia at the age of 69. Scored the Halloween anthem 'The Monster Mash' in 1962. The song had been banned by The BBC, deemed offensive and wasn't a hit until 1973. It was a spoof on the dance crazes popular at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato.


1955 - Perez Prado was at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White'. Known as the 'King of the Mambo' the instrumental was the theme from the film 'Underwater' where Jane Russell can be seen dancing to 'Cherry Pink'.

1959 - Buddy Holly was at No.1 on the singles chart with the Paul Anka song 'It Doesn't Matter Anymore.' A No.1 hit six weeks after Holly's death.

1965 - Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders went to No.2 on the  singles chart with 'Game Of Love'. Wayne took his name from DJ Fontana the Elvis Presley drummer. Eric Stewart, guitarist in the Mindbenders, went on to join Hotlegs and 10CC.

1968 - The Beatles new company, Apple Records, turned down the offer to sign new artist David Bowie. Apple later signed Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger and Billy Preston.

1970 - Elton John released his fourth single 'Border Song' the first single from his 1970 album Elton John. The appearance of 'Border Song on the Canadian charts was Elton John's first chart appearance in any country.


1975 - Peter Ham, British singer, songwriter with Badfinger committed suicide aged 27 by hanging himself in the garage of his Surrey home. Ham co-wrote 'Without You' with band mate Tom Evans (who also later committed suicide). The song won an Ivor Novello award for Song Of The Year in 1973. Ham was a founder member of The Iveys, who then became Badfinger, and were signed to the Beatles' Apple label, their first hit being 'Come And Get It' written by Paul McCartney. Even to this day there is some controversy surrounding the suicides connected to recording rights for 'Without You'.

1976 - Paul and Linda McCartney spent the evening with John Lennon at his New York Dakota apartment and watched Saturday Night Live on TV. Producer of the show Lorne Michaels made an offer on air asking The Beatles to turn up and play three songs live. Lennon and McCartney thought about taking a cab to the studio, but decided they were too tired. This was the last time Lennon and McCartney were together.

1992 - David Bowie married Somali born supermodel and actress Iman in Switzerland. Iman first got married at the age of eighteen to a young Somali man, in 1977, she married American basketball player Spencer Haywood.

1964 - The President of The National Federation Of Hairdressers offered a free haircut to the next No.1 group in the pop charts. He said 'The Rolling Stones are the worst, one of them looks as if he's got a feather duster on his head.'

1966 - Two dozen local groups appeared at a ‘battle of the bands’ gig in Matawan Keyport Roller Drome in New Jersey. All acts performed three songs each. The Rogues won first place, second was Sonny & The Starfires, and third place went to The Castiles (with Bruce Springsteen on vocals). The three winners were given an opportunity to perform at the Roller Drome the following week as part of a major concert headlined by The Crystals.


1966 - 'Wild Thing' by The Troggs (who were originally called The Troglodytes) was released in the U.S. on both the Atco and Fontana labels. The song went on to reach No.1. Fronted by Reg Presley, 'Wild Thing' became a major influence on garage rock and punk rock.

1972 - Deep Purple scored their second No.1 album with Machine Head. The album which features 'Smoke on the Water' and 'Highway Star', is often cited as a major influence in the early development of the heavy metal music genre and commercially it was Deep Purple's most successful album.

1977 - The Jam released their first single 'In The City', which peaked at No. 40 in the charts. The punk rock/mod revival formed in Woking, Surrey, fronted by Paul Weller, and achieved 17 other Top 40 hits including four No.1s.

1969 - Janis Joplin appeared at The Royal Albert Hall, London (her first London appearance). The opening act was Yes.

1970 - Tyrannosaurus Rex, Spooky Tooth, Jackie Lomax, Elton John (making his solo concert debut) and Heavy Jelly all appeared at The Roundhouse, London, tickets cost 25 shillings.

1976 - Women Against Violence Against Women called for a boycott of all Warner Communications albums because of the promotional campaign for The Rolling Stones' new album Black and Blue. The album was being promoted with a controversial advertising campaign that depicted the model Anita Russell, bruised and bound, under the phrase ‘I'm Black and Blue from the Rolling Stones - and I love it!’

1978 - UK folk singer Sandy Denny died aged 31. While on holiday with her parents in Cornwall, Denny was injured in a fall down a staircase. A month after the fall she collapsed at a friend's home; four days later she died in Hospital, her death was ruled to be the result of a traumatic mid-brain hemorrhage. She was a member of Fairport Convention and a solo artist. Her 1967 song 'Who Knows Where the Time Goes', was covered by Judy Collins. Denny sang on the Led Zeppelin track 'Battle Of Evermore' on the bands fourth album (the only guest vocalist on a Led Zeppelin album).

1982 - Clash frontman Joe Strummer went missing for three weeks which resulted in the group cancelling a tour. The singer was found living rough in Paris, France.

2004 - Former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan was attacked in a London pub. The singer was assaulted at the Joiner's Arms pub in central London and suffered a fractured cheekbone after being kicked, punched and hit with a metal bar. Two men, aged 20 and 21, were arrested and later released on bail.

2007 - Doris Richards died of cancer. The 91-year-old mother of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards bought her son his first guitar for his 15th birthday. He learned some chords from her father, Gus Dupree, a musician who instilled him with an early passion for music.

2013 - Calvin Harris made chart history by becoming the first artist to have eight top 10 hits from one studio album. His track 'I Need Your Love', featuring singer Ellie Goulding, climbed to No.7 on the Official Chart. The DJ and producer from Dumfries, had overtaken Michael Jackson, who previously held the record with seven top 10 hits from both his 1987 album Bad and his 1991 record Dangerous.

2015 - Phil Rudd, drummer of AC/DC, changed his plea to guilty on a charge of a threat to kill, in a court in Tauranga, New Zealand. The court heard Rudd was unhappy about his album's launch party and asked for a former employee to be "taken out". He had previously denied the charge. He also pleaded guilty to cannabis and methamphetamine possession. The court heard that he had fired a number of employees last August after the launch of his solo album, Head Job.

1968 - Apple Music ran advertisements soliciting tapes from unknown artists, offering financial grants as part of a deal to release records on the Apple label. Artists such as Badfinger, James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, Jackie Lomax, David Peel and Elephant's Memory were signed up.


1968 - Deep Purple made their live debut at a gig in Tastrup, Denmark. Formerly known as Roundabout, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore suggested a new name: Deep Purple, named after his grandmother's favourite song (which had been a hit for Peter De Rose), after his grandmother had repeatedly asked if they would be performing the song.

1979 - Lighting director Billy Duffy was killed in an accident during a Kate Bush concert in Southampton. 21-year old Duffy fell twenty feet through an open trap door on the stage. Kate Bush held a benefit concert on 12th May with Peter Gabriel and Steve Harley at London's Hammersmith Odeon for his family.

1991 - Steve Marriott leader of Small Faces and Humble Pie, died in a fire at his home in Essex. His work became a major influence for many 90s bands. Small Faces had the 1967 UK No.3 & US No.16 single 'Itchycoo Park', plus 1968 No.1 album 'Ogden's Nut Gone Flake', Humble Pie, 1969  No.4 single 'Natural Born Boogie'. As a child actor he played parts in Dixon of Dock Green and The Artful Dodger in Oliver.

1992 - 'A Concert For Life' took place at Wembley Stadium as a tribute to Queen singer Freddie Mercury and for aids awareness. Acts appearing included; Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), David Bowie, Mick Ronson, James Hetfield, George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Axl Rose and Slash.

2001 - A memorial concert for former Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman Steve Marriott took place at the London Astoria with Peter Frampton, Midge Ure, Chris Farlowe and Humble Pie.

Week commencing April 14
1970 - Steel Mill (featuring Bruce Springsteen) played in the Main Gym at Ocean County College in New Jersey. Tickets cost $2.00.

1975 - Four Bay City Rollers fans were taken to hospital and 35 others required on site treatment after they attempted to swim across a lake to meet their heroes. The group were making an appearance at a BBC Radio 1 fun day at Mallory Park.

1995 - Oasis drummer Tony McCarrol was told by phone that he was being sacked from the group. McCarrol sued the Manchester group for millions in unpaid royalties and in 1996 Oasis agreed to pay him a one-off sum of £550,000.

2004 - R&B singer from New York Eamon started a four week run at No.1 on the singles chart with 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)' his debut single. The song earned a listing on the Guinness World Record for "the most expletives in a No.1 song" - with 33.

2012 - An original and extremely rare 1963 mono copy of The Beatles ‘Please Please Me’ album, signed by the Fab Four, sold on an eBay auction for nearly $25,000. Paul McCartney and John Lennon both signed their names with “love” in royal blue ink whereas George Harrison and Ringo Starr signed their names in midnight blue ink. The autographs were signed in May of 1963.

2013 - Storm Thorgerson, whose album cover artwork includes Pink Floyd's The Dark Side Of The Moon, died aged 69. A childhood friend of the founding members of the band, he became their designer-in-chief. His credits also include albums by Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel and Muse. In 2003, Thorgerson suffered a stroke, from which he recovered. He was later diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer, which he battled for several years.

1960 - Touring in the UK, 21-year-old US singer Eddie Cochran was killed when the taxi he was travelling in crashed into a lamppost on Rowden Hill, Chippenham (where a plaque now commemorates the event). Songwriter Sharon Sheeley and singer Gene Vincent survived the crash. Cochran's current hit at the time was 'Three Steps to Heaven'. The taxi driver, George Martin, was convicted of dangerous driving, fined £50, disqualified from driving for 15 years and sent to prison for six months.

1965 - Bob Dylan's second studio album 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan was at No.1 on the chart. The album opens with 'Blowin' in the Wind', which became an anthem of the 1960s, and an international hit for folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary.

1971 - All four Beatles had solo singles in the charts, Paul McCartney with 'Another Day', John Lennon 'Power To The People', George Harrison 'My Sweet Lord' and Ringo Starr 'It Don't Come Easy.'

1974 - Vinnie Taylor guitarist with US rock 'n roll revival band Sha Na Na was found dead in a Holiday Inn hotel room in Charlottesville, Virginia from a drug overdose. Sha Na Na played at the Woodstock Festival, their 35-minute appearance in the Woodstock film brought the group national attention. The group appeared in the movie Grease as Johnny Casino & The Gamblers.


1983 - Felix Pappalardi, producer and bass player with American rock band Mountain, was shot dead by his wife Gail Collins during a jealous rage. Collins was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to four years in prison. Pappalardi who was 43 had produced the Cream albums 'Disraeli Gears' and 'Wheels of Fire.'

1987 - Reggae drummer and percussion player Carlton Barrett of The Wailers was shot dead outside his house in Kingston, Jamaica. Joined Bob Marley and The Wailers in 1970, wrote the Marley song 'War'. Barrett