Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Tim Buckley

Tim Buckley was seen by many as the last of Elektra’s great “folk” signings in the connecting line from Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, Fred Neil and Phil Ochs. He appears to bridge the era of acoustic folk and the influence of rock from Los Angeles, but really he never belonged in either camp.

Born in Washington, DC, on Valentine’s Day 1947, Buckley was raised in New York. His family moved to Orange County, California, when he was ten years old and at 17 he joined a Country & Western outfit, Princess Ramona & The Cherokee Riders. But his musical spirit would never be so easily channelled and two groups he formed with friends from Buena Vista High School – the pop-flavoured Bohemians and the more esoteric Harlequin 3 – pointed the way forward. Buckley, drummer Larry Beckett and bass player Jim Fielder played the LA clubs, where the Mothers Of Invention’s Jimmy Carl Black brought them to the attention of Herb Cohen, who arranged an audition at the Crescendo, on the Strip.

“The band did a set of five or six songs,” said Cohen who died in March this year. “Tim was phenomenal. He looked great, and the voice was special even then. But Larry was not really a drummer, and Jim Fielder was nowhere near as good a musician as he would become. I brought Tim to Elektra.”

Elektra boss Jac Holzman was smitten by Buckley’s otherworldly voice after hearing a six-song demo. “There was a mysterious, almost ephemeral quality about Tim,” he says today. Holzman signed him during the summer of 1966, and the debut album, Tim Buckley – recorded in LA by Paul Rothchild – was released in December that year, beating out the first Doors album by a month.

Holzman felt the album, as interesting as it was, served merely as an introduction to Buckley’s talent. “It was an exercise in learning the studio and introducing Tim to its possibilities. The first album was training wheels for what followed. Some songs are really good – Wings, Song Of The Magician, perhaps Grief In My Soul – and there were moments of daring.”

I’ve got ten thousand troubles, a million woes
Got grief in my soul nobody knows
I’ve got heartaches, I got stingin’ water fallin’ out of the sky
I’ve got heartbreaks, I got a long lost lover, got a reason to die

I got ten thousand troubles, a million woes
I got grief in my soul nobody knows
I got sorrow, I’m in a storm that’ll spare no travelin’ man
I fear tomorrow, got a love that died long before it began

I got ten thousand troubles, a million woes
Got grief in my soul nobody knows

I got ten thousand troubles, a million woes
Got grief in my soul nobody knows
I’ve got a cold chain, I got rain fallin’ on my head from above
I’ve got a bad pain, I got a gal don’t know the meaning of love

I got ten thousand troubles, a million woes
I got grief in my soul nobody knows
I’ve got heartaches, I got stingin’ water fallin’ out of the sky
I’ve got heartbreaks, I got a long lost lover, got a reason to die

I got ten thousand troubles, a million woes
I got grief in my soul nobody knows

Buckley worked hard to promote his album, playing festivals, concerts, clubs, and campuses. Holzman: “Live, he was cotton candy for the girls. His songs reveal a sensitivity that women pick up on earlier than men, but they were the first [fans] he would lose later with his more ambiguous work.”

Buckley’s most obvious USP was that voice, which New York Times critic Robert Shelton described as “not quite a counter-tenor, but a tenor to counter with”. However, within a year of his tantalising debut, Buckley was preparing something more challenging and sophisticated. He and Larry Beckett, now writing poetic lyrics, had a solid notion of how they wanted to shape Buckley’s second album, Goodbye And Hello. Folk maven Jerry Yester – soon to join The Lovin’ Spoonful – was assigned as producer.

“The first time I met Tim,” recalls Yester, “was at Herbie Cohen’s house. He played for Judy Henske, Fred Neil, and me. He sang with Jim Fielder on bass. Right out of high school, Tim was wearing a suit, a maroon tie, and his hair was slicked back. He was painfully shy. Fred Neil was his god, and I’m sure he dreamed his voice could have dropped an octave to sing like Fred. He emulated Fred’s tragic side, too.”

Yester fondly recalls a simpatico relationship with Buckley and Beckett.

“They just tickled me. They weren’t about to let anyone screw them over. Firm in their ideals, they had that album all worked out, even down to the track sequencing. I would make suggestions – some they would take, others they wouldn’t, but they were open-minded. My role was to bring Tim out, his uniqueness and the clarity of his vision.”

At its best, such as the dramatic, impassioned Pleasant Street or the mood-shifting Hallucinations, Goodbye And Hello scores high, justifying Holzman’s belief that the album was “a fully realised gem, a miracle.” Buckley appears most at ease on the two mellower, more laidback songs: Morning Glory, with its wonderful understated arrangement,

and the simple, dreamy Once I Was,

inspired by Fred Neil after Buckley visited the sessions for Neil’s recording of The Dolphins.

The album marked a turning point for its author. “It was very hard for me to write songs after Goodbye And Hello because most of the bases were touched,” Buckley said in 1974. “That was the end of my apprenticeship for writing songs. Whatever I wrote after that wasn’t adolescent, which means it wasn’t easy to write after that, because you can’t repeat yourself. The way Jac had it set up, you were supposed to move on artistically, but the way the business is, you’re not. You’re supposed to repeat what you do, so there’s a dichotomy there.”

Buckley guitarist Lee Underwood observed the dichotomy that the singer had identified. “Tim’s approach was very much at odds with the laidback troubadour image. That image fit him during the early days, when he was a teenage folkie, but quickly became irrelevant and inappropriate as he matured.”

Bruce Botnick, who was the engineer on the first three Buckley albums for Elektra, saw him change before his eyes. “You couldn’t contain Tim Buckley’s talent – a reflection of all the different sides of his personality. There were quantum leaps between his albums and an intellectual growth that’s the mark of a great artist. It’s never really conscious with someone like Tim Buckley or Bob Dylan – these people don’t slice themselves up into pieces, it’s all very instinctive, they have a vision.”

Buckley toured Goodbye And Hello with a pool of musicians who were now exploring jazz roots rather than folk. It was this intimate group of players – featuring Buckley’s own 12-string, Lee Underwood on lead guitar, and Carter C.C. Collins on congas, plus acoustic bass and vibes – who entered the studios to record what became Happy Sad.

Simply letting the tape roll, the musicians improvised minimalist tapestries around six of Buckley’s new songs, of which two stretched beyond ten minutes. Elaborate poetic metaphors and intricate arrangements were out, and experimentation replaced the blithe romanticism of Goodbye And Hello. It would prove to be Buckley’s defining album and his highest-charting, even if it only made 81, and it remained in the charts for three months after its release in April 1969.

Yet Jerry Yester has less than fond memories. He was in the middle of an album with Pat Boone when Buckley asked him to produce Happy Sad. Yester was now working in a production team with Zal Yanovsky, who had left the Lovin’ Spoonful (and whom Yester would replace). Buckley’s musicians ridiculed them for working with the straight-laced Boone but there was one bizarre consequence. The Pat Boone album Yester was producing – Departure – includes the first ever released version of one of Tim Buckley’s most renowned compositions: Song To The Siren, unrecorded by Buckley till Starsailor two years later.

“After the rewarding and enjoyable experience with Goodbye And Hello, this was oil and water,” says Yester. “Not so much with Tim, but with the band. He really didn’t need any input from me on arrangements. The band was leading him at times, and I was there to help make it sound as good as possible.”

Buckley had a different recollection. “I really loved doing that album. It was really a break-out time for me musically, and we had a ball doing that. The trick of writing is to make it sound like it’s all happening for the first time. It took a long time for me to write that album, and then to teach the people in the band, but they were all great people so it was really a labour of love – the way it should be.”

The music always came first for Buckley, as Holzman knew from the start. “He never felt any desire to be famous. He was purely musical and he wanted people around him who could facilitate his music. He was motivated only by a need for self-expression. When Happy Sad made the shift from Goodbye And Hello, the audience he had acquired began to drift away. You go to Lorca and Starsailor, and that process escalates – and he wasn’t adding any new audience to compensate for the loss. Tim never cared about the numbers. Just the music.

Happy Sad disappointed me at first,” continues Holzman, “because I expect things to take off and go up, not to take off and go nowhere. In retrospect, that was tough for me to understand. Tim was drifting into a looser style, much jazzier, but there are fine, fine songs: Buzzin’ Fly,

and Love From Room 109 At The Islander (On Pacific Coast Highway) are compelling. It was something I didn’t expect, and I realise more now that it was also very, very good. I did not see the perspective then; I do now.”

Herb Cohen, who would continue to manage Buckley into the ’70s, is just as rueful: “Tim committed artistic suicide in a way – certainly commercial suicide. Of course he did some stuff that was really good, strange as it was, but he wanted to develop something, and I don’t know that he really knew what that was or whether he felt he had ever got there. There was no way that people could relate to albums like Lorca and Starsailor. People do now, and they try and figure out what that music was and where it was going, but the world at the time wasn’t prepared for that. People would come to see him because of what they heard from the first two albums and they couldn’t understand what he was doing any more. And they would stop coming.”

During the autumn of 1969, Buckley recorded the near-instrumental Lorca – his final record for Elektra – and what became Blue Afternoon, plus part of his sixth album, Starsailor. Holzman gave Buckley his release, knowing he already had a potential new home with Herb Cohen’s Discreet label. Holzman hadn’t heard Lorca in 40 years, but returned to it recently and realized “I totally blew it with Lorca. Even for me, so into evolution in music, I was not ready to accept Tim’s streams of self-expression and the lack of modality on Lorca. Nobody Walkin’ astonishes me in the way Tim uses his voice. If that’s the last song he recorded for Elektra, he went out in flaming glory. How he got those voices on that album I can’t imagine. Hearing it in 2010, I’m proud it is on Elektra. And it is on Elektra through no credit to me.”

Mick Houghton

Mick Houghton’s Becoming Elektra: The True Story of Jac Holzman’s Visionary Record Label is out now


October 5, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Books, Video | | 1 Comment

Jack Bruce Composing Himself

The above book is on my wants list for my upcoming 50th Birthday (I know I can’t quite believe it is so soon) my family place an embargo on me purchasisng CD’s, DVD’s and books before such events so I will have to wait a bit longer.

In the meantime I saw this great video via which prompted this post.

I will return with a fuller Jack Bruce post when I finish the book, in the meantime here he is with the late great Rory Gallagher

July 1, 2010 Posted by | Books, Video | , | Leave a comment

House Of The Rising Sun

Noelle Cristen

The House of the Rising Sun” is a folk song from the United States. Also called “House of the Rising Sun” or occasionally “Rising Sun Blues“, it tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans. The most successful version was recorded by the English rock group The Animals in 1964, which was a number one hit in the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden and Canada.

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I’m one

My mother was a tailor
She sewed my new bluejeans
My father was a gamblin’ man
Down in New Orleans

Now the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and trunk
And the only time he’s satisfied
Is when he’s on a drunk

—— organ solo ——

Oh mother tell your children
Not to do what I have done
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the House of the Rising Sun

Well, I got one foot on the platform
The other foot on the train
I’m goin’ back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain

Well, there is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I’m one

Recorded in just one take on 18 May 1964, it started with a famous electric guitar A minor chord arpeggio by Hilton Valentine.

The performance took off with Eric Burdon’s lead vocal, which has been variously described as “howling”, “soulful”, and “deep and gravelly as the north-east English coal town of Newcastle that spawned him.”

Finally, Alan Price’s pulsating organ part (played on a Vox Continental) completed the sound.

Burdon later said, “We were looking for a song that would grab people’s attention,” and they succeeded: “House of the Rising Sun” was a true trans-Atlantic hit, topping both the UK pop singles chart (in July 1964) and the U.S. pop singles chart (two months later in September 1964, when it became the first British Invasion number one unconnected with The Beatles); it was the group’s breakthrough hit in both countries and became their signature song.

Like many classic folk ballads, the authorship of “The House of the Rising Sun” is uncertain. Some musicologists say that it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads such as the “Unfortunate Rake” of the 18th century which were taken to America by early settlers.

Alan Price of the Animals has claimed that the song was originally a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel, and that English emigrants took the song to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting.

The oldest known existing recording is by versatile Appalachian artists Clarence Ashley and Gwen Foster and was made in 1933. Ashley said he had learned it from his grandfather, Enoch Ashley. Alger “Texas” Alexander’s “The Risin’ Sun,” recorded in 1928, is sometimes mentioned as the first recording, but is a completely different song.

The song might have been lost to obscurity had it not been collected by folklorist Alan Lomax, who, along with his father, was a curator of the Archive of American Folk Song for the Library of Congress. On an expedition with his wife to eastern Kentucky Lomax set up his recording equipment in Middlesborough, Kentucky in the house of a singer and activist called Tilman Cadle. On September 15, 1937 he recorded a performance by Georgia Turner, the 16 year-old daughter of a local miner. He called it “The Risin’ Sun Blues.” Lomax later recorded a different version sung by Bert Martin and a third sung by Daw Henson, both eastern Kentucky singers. In his 1941 songbook Our Singing Country, Lomax credits the lyrics to Turner, with reference to Martin’s version. According to his later writing, the melody bears similarities to a traditional English ballad, “Matty Groves”, recorded of course by Fairport Convention.

In late 1948 Lead Belly recorded a version called “In New Orleans” in the sessions that later became the album Lead Belly’s Last Sessions (1994, Smithsonian Folkways).

“In New Orleans” – Lead Belly

 Joan Baez recorded it in 1960 on her eponymous debut album.

In late 1961, Bob Dylan recorded the song for his first album, Bob Dylan, released in March 1962. Dylan claims a writer’s credit for the song.

In an interview on the documentary No Direction Home, Dave Van Ronk said that he was intending to record it at that time, and that Dylan copied his version. He recorded it himself soon thereafter in 1964 on Just Dave Van Ronk.

I had learned it sometime in the 1950s, from a recording by Hally Wood, the Texas singer and collector, who had got it from an Alan Lomax field recording by a Kentucky woman named Georgia Turner. I put a different spin on it by altering the chords and using a bass line that descended in half steps—a common enough progression in jazz, but unusual among folksingers. By the early 1960s, the song had become one of my signature pieces, and I could hardly get off the stage without doing it.
—Dave Van Ronk
In Suze Rotolo’s book that I am currently reading she is quoted as saying Dylan and Van Ronk had a big falling out over Dylan’s decision to record the song without discussiong it with Van Ronk, the book seems to be of the opinion that he (Van Ronk) never recorded it, evidently this is wrong.

Bob Dylan, Suze Rotolo, Dave Van Ronk

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, Books, Folk, Old Music, Video | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’. sleeve was captured off Jones Street and West 4th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, Dylan and his girlfriend Suze Rotolo pose a short distance from their apartment. Rotolo saw the sleeve as a “cultural marker” of “spontaneity and sensibility”, whatever the hell that means.

Anyway Suze Rotolo has done alright by it, her book as highlighted below is next up on my list of books I have lying around for reading.

The girl with the wistful eyes and hint of a smile whose head is resting on the suede-jacketed shoulder of a nice-looking young man as they trudge through the snow on the cover of 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan met with his Bobness in 1961, when she was 17 and he was 20.

The story of their love affair is a microcosm of the early Sixties, when the gentle strains of folk music gave way to the electronic blare of rock and a few puffs of pot turned into a bad trip on LSD. For Rotolo, it was a trajectory that would take her from the sweetness of first love to the trauma of abortion.

Dylan maniacs will scour these pages for clues to his lyrics – and find plenty. But they’ll miss the point of this oddly organised (though not as random as it seems), delicately written, heart-tugging memoir of New York’s Greenwich Village when it nearly was a village, and seemed the most exciting place on earth in which to be young. Rotolo’s volume includes a map showing how closely packed into a few streets of the West Village the epicentre of the Sixties music scene was. One only needed to walk up Bleeker Street to get from Gerde’s Folk City – where in September 1961 Robert Shelton discovered Bob Dylan and wrote the career-launching review in the New York Times – to the White Horse, where Dylan Thomas drank himself to death less than seven years earlier, and we all hung out at its tables trying to catch the vibes (though it was a few months earlier, and in Chicago not New York, that the kid from the Midwest, his bid to perform rejected, slept on my floor for a few nights during a folk festival).

Rotolo, now an artist, captures this bohemian atmosphere with loving detail. Those who knew the scene will not be surprised to learn that it was she who taught small-town Bobby Allen Zimmerman about politics. She was the child of communists, whose affiliation had to be kept secret all through the Fifties and Sixties because of the overt persecution the family would have suffered during the McCarthy period.

Rotolo seems refreshingly free of the paranoia that afflicted many of our generation and virtually all her parents’ cohorts, which manifested itself in the habit of hiding copies of the Communist Manifesto and Little Lenin Library books from the eyes of neighbours in the Westchester suburbs. Dylan knew left-wing politics from the dust-bowl perspective of Woody Guthrie, whom he finally met as Guthrie lay dying in a New Jersey hospital in 1961. But it was from Rotolo that he learnt about the labour movement and the organised left, as well as about the civil rights and peace movements. In a way, Dylan’s Jewish background equipped him better for life in Greenwich Village than did Rotolo’s Italian heritage. Both her parents were Italian-born, but the culture (and personnel) of the left was strongly Jewish. There was a slightly frosty meeting of Rotolo and the Zimmerman parents for dinner after Dylan’s under-attended Town Hall concert in April 1963, and another in October for his Carnegie Hall appearance.

Following a temporary separation when Rotolo went to Perugia in 1962 to study, they were together until she decided to move out of the small flat they shared. Then, slowly, the romance fizzled out. Rotolo is generous about the break-up. Did Dylan leave her for Joan Baez? She says only that Dylan and Baez’s ‘professional appearances together were exciting and provoked gossip about an affair. At first it was just gossip – then, of course, it wasn’t.’ And she hasn’t quite kissed and told. As she says: ‘As Bob Dylan’s fame grew so far out of bounds, I felt I had secrets to keep.’ She still has a few.

Review byPaul Levy originally published in The Observer 21st September 2008, published here in edited form.

“A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – Bob Dylan

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son ?
And where have you been my darling young one ?
I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son ?
And what did you see, my darling young one ?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand takers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And what did you hear, my blue-eyed son ?
And what did you hear, my darling young one ?
I heard the sound of a thunder, it roared out a warnin’
I heard the roar of a wave that could drown the whole world
I heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
I heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’
I heard one person starve, I heard many people laughin’
Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter
Heard the sound of a clown who cried in the alley
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

Oh, who did you meet my blue-eyed son ?
Who did you meet, my darling young one ?
I met a young child beside a dead pony
I met a white man who walked a black dog
I met a young woman whose body was burning
I met a young girl, she gave me a rainbow
I met one man who was wounded in love
I met another man who was wounded in hatred
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

And what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son ?
And what’ll you do now my darling young one ?
I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’
I’ll walk to the deepths of the deepest black forest
Where the people are a many and their hands are all empty
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison
Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten
Where black is the color, where none is the number
And I’ll tell and think it and speak it and breathe it
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it
Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’
But I’ll know my songs well before I start singin’
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

To buy the music of Bob Dylan click HERE

To buy the book by Suze Rotolo click HERE

April 22, 2010 Posted by | Books, Interesting Fact, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

Last Shop Standing

Hot on the heels of Saturday’s Record Store Day posting I am about to start reading the above book which Fiona’s mum gave me as an Easter present.

The author Graham Jones was born in Liverpool and on leaving school had a series of meaningless jobs before finally getting a break in the music industry.

After managing the Cherry Boys he went on to run his own market stall, selling vinyl fruit bowls made from Beatles LPs melted into shape under a grill.

Finally he found his vocation travelling the country selling records, tapes and CDs to independent record stores, and never looked back – until now. One of the founders of Proper Music Distribution, the largest independently owned music distributor in the UK, he lives in Chippenham, Wiltshire with his son Ben.

 It’s easy to pick up a CD you fancy at Asda, or download (either legally or not) the latest release you’re after. But when you hear that there are only 305 independent record shops left in the UK, it makes you think.

It’s near impossible to pick up new and second hand vinyl records other thanat risk over the web or at record shops and record fairs.

These are shops run by people like you and I, including Alistair Ferguson who runs a great little shop in the what I still call the Bell Centre market in Dumbarton, not faceless corporations, but stores owned by local people providing a service. “If they carry on shutting at this rate, we’ll have no record shops left inside three years,” declares Graham Jones, “Now, I know that’s not going to happen, but that’s the plight we’re talking about.”

Last Shop Standing reveals tales from Jones’ time as a record distributor – and doesn’t hide from the grim tales of bribery, corruption and desperation, of the people involved at all levels of the music business.

I will let you know what I think of it once I’ve read it, in the meantime for more information on the book and where to buy it click HERE

“All Day Long” –  Shop Assistants

To buy the music of the Shop Assistants click HERE, no for once check out your local record shop.

April 19, 2010 Posted by | Books, Old Music | , , | 1 Comment

Eric Clapton


Finally started reading the above book which I received as a Christmas present back in 2007.

I had avoided it as whilst I admire his skill as a guitarist I had always found him a bit soul less or somehow devoid of spirit.

His writing reflects this view though it is now somehow more understanding given his upbringing as a child.

As ever the book throws up points which are new to me or forgotten, here is one of the former.

Clapton  was always held an admiration for atlantic Records and an early highlight of his career was being asked to attend a recording session with Aretha Franklin which delivered this track taken from her 1968 album “Lady Soul”

“Good To Me As I Am To You” – Aretha Franklin

More from the book coming soon.

To buy the music of Aretha Franklin click HERE

To buy Eric Clapton The Autobiography click HERE

Mail on Sunday

“Clapton relates what happened with painful honesty. In other rock stars, such plump contentment might seem hypocritical, even vulgar. But with Eric Clapton, you feel that a little comfort is the least he deserves”


“This is an essential read”

April 10, 2010 Posted by | Books, Old Music | , | Leave a comment

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds

And so I bring to a close this series of postings based on the artists and groups which feature in Robert Fields great book.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief look back at the Glasgow rock scene over several decades.

Despite the posts to date i could carry on for a long time as there is so much more to remember and enjoy in the book which you buy HERE

There are many great artists covered by the book but not covered in this series, some of them have already appeared in this blog before therefore for your further enjoyment please follow the links below:-




ENJOY, Rock On and……………………….Be Lucky!

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Books, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds – Jamie Barnes

Jamie Barnes is known to many as the “Godfather” of the Glasgow pub rock scene,  together with his band Cochise they exploded out the east end of the city in the early 70’s and still has a regular slot at Rockers nearly 40 years later.

Music wise his repertoire has always mixed rock, soul and blues both originals and covers.

His reputation grew throughout Scotland and his gigs were regularly dropped in on by a series of guests none more so than Frankie Miller.

Jamie and Frankie

Fame though avoided Jamie, partly due to fate and perhaps partly due to a desire to do what he wanted, where he wanted and when he wanted.

Jamie Barnes – vocals
Stevie Flynn – guitar
Gordon Campbell – guitar
Ped Kelly – bass
Nod Kerr – drums

For more information visit the brilliant or visit the Jamie Barnes & Cochise web site by clicking HERE

“Something’s Wrong” – Jamie Barnes

To buy the book click HERE

February 26, 2010 Posted by | Books, Old Music, Video | , | Leave a comment

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds – The Hedrons

The Hedrons are one of the cover stars of the above book bringing a bit of glamour and zest into the field of long hair men playing guitar solo’s.

Their sound bridges the gap between “rock” and “new wave” and like such as The Runaways before them they do it pretty well.

Perhaps it is best left to them to describe where they are coming from, this is taken from

The Hedrons music is decidedly one part Ramones-esque brawn, one part femme-fatale roar, and one part ruthless guitar-driven nerve. Or as lead guitarist Rosie humorously puts it, “If you listen to us, you wouldn’t realise it was girls until Tippi starts singing – you’d think it was a bunch of big hairy guys playing.” And although the girls would personally describe their sound as the modern love child of the Foo Fighters and Joan Jett, they would also say that the very same is proudly godfathered by Iggy Pop & The Stooges.

In 2005 The Hedrons were formed in their native Glasgow. With a relentless gigging schedule, back-to-back Top 5 UK indie singles chart success and an entry in the Top 40 of the official UK indie album chart with debut album ‘One More Won’t Kill Us’, the four-piece have established themselves as one of the country’s foremost emerging rock bands.

In the UK throughout 2006, The Hedrons were the focus of many a press feature and gained plenty of airplay, including from the likes of Radio 1 and XFM. The band was first tipped in the NME who said of them ‘an all-girl four-piece who sound like Patti Smith meets Penetration with a dash of early Blondie and a smidging of The Runaways… you have to hear this band!’ Off the back of this attention and all their touring, The Hedrons were confirmed to perform at several summer UK summer festivals including Download at Donington, T In The Park and Guilfest. Of particular significance, the band was invited by the band Alice In Chains to step in as special guests at their only UK show at the London Astoria. Overall, The Hedrons satisfied a healthy appetite of over 150 gigs by the end of the year, accomplishing sell-out status at many venues up and down the UK / Ireland and generally causing much fan frenzy wherever they appeared. One of those gigs recently gained special recognition from the 2007 BT Digital Music Awards, when The Hedrons picked up their first ever music award nomination for ‘Best Artist Promotion’ alongside Robbie Williams, Stereophonics and David Gilmour for becoming the first British band ever to play a live, virtual gig as 3-D figures inside the virtual world ‘Second Life’.
The riotous foursome have been received extremely well by industry heavy-hitters and college students alike as anyone could tell from the sell-out attendance at venues like The Key Club and Spaceland in LA or The Knitting Factory in New York.

Festival slots have included a main stage appearance at the Isle Of Wight festival where they played alongside long time rock idols The Rolling Stones.

The Hedrons then went on to play their second consecutive performance at Download 2007 and T In The Park, which saw them move up several stages to play the famous King Tut’s tent.

They have completed a second North American tour where they played to crowds of over 15,000 and festivals such as the Quebec International Summer Fest plus a Club NME gig and even supported the revived Sex Pistols in Glasgow.

Although The Hedrons have just started out in their career, they have already made a healthy impact on the music scene. And, according to drummer Soup, one thing’s for sure, “For four girls, we make one hell of a noise.”

“Heatseeker” – The Hedrons

Here is their version of one of my favourite songs Vince Taylor’s “Brand New Cadillac”

To buy the music of The Hedrons click HERE

To buy the book click HERE

As a bonus here is some solo Tippi

“Boy” – Tippi

To buy the music of Tippi click HERE

February 20, 2010 Posted by | Books, Old Music, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Minstrels, Poets & Vagabonds – Northwind

Now this is one of the many gems I have discovered thanks to the above book.

“Northwind” developed in the early 70’s from the ashes of another Glasgow band “Power Of Music”.

Their well developed twin Les Paul guitar sound echoed the muse of “Wishbone Ash” in the new emerging melodic rock genre.

The band line-up for their only album “Sister, Brother Lover”  was – Brian Young (electric & acoustic guitars & vocals);  Colin Scott (drums); Hugh ‘Shug’ Barr (electric guitar); Tom ‘Tam’ Brannan (Bass and vocals); Colin Somerville (keyboards).

The album featured their “signature” song which you can enjoy below.

“Castanettes” – Northwind

For more information visit the great Rocking Scots website by clicking HERE

To buy the book click HERE

As a bonus here is some classic Wishbone Ash

February 19, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Books, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

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