From Phil Freeman (thanks Phil)
OK who remembers the Spotnicks? I’m sure some of you had stories/memories of them – space outfits, “Orange Blossom Special” going from a train to a space ships etc
I’m sure they played in Pompey and I’ll check the archives to see what we know BECAUSE
A man called Tony Hoffman is writing a book about them and wants all kinds of memories, info and anecdotes. You can COMMENT here and I’ll pass them on OR you can contact him directly:
Having found and discarded the usual hobbies during the early secondary years, I have vivid memories of a group of us around the table in physics lesson when the best ever idea was hatched: to ‘make up a rock and roll band.’ Now let’s face it, nobody knew much about any of it, except maybe me…..I had credentials to be the singer eh…..
1964, answer advert in the evening news for vocalist in local band (the Concords)………succeed in ‘landing the job’. At this time of course, I had no P.A. equipment but was able to persuade the guitarist (Stewart Ward) to use the ‘home’ built unit for his guitar amplification, and eventually got the rhythm guitarist (John Davis) to buy the second-hand tenor sax, and only use the rhythm occasionally plugged in with the lead guitar amp…..I don’t think this happened very often.!!
VOILA!!!! Now there were two Vox AC30 cabinets…One was used for main amp and the other with amp disconnected was the other half of the system…. Microphone cables trailed to one side of stage and there was my P.A. (I think I got this idea from early days of Manfred Mann)……….
This was excellent for a time, and then I decided I would use my woodworking skills and construct a pair of columns (2 x 12” celestions), and combine this with the very popular Linear Choncord (amp in a cage), which I found in the back of that wonderful shop that used to be opposite The Fawcett Inn, where you could get all manner of electrical gubbins………….
Next was me breaking my dads rule about hire purchase items and waltzing into Minns Music , and purchasing on credit the Selmer treble and bass fifty system and Shure unidyne mic and stand that I was so proud of and looked so cool at the time………………….(see pic above)
I’ve just received this from Phil Freeman – and there is more to follow.
It’s delightful and very much what I hoped for with my Citizen ’63 project which is no longer prominent here but is very far from dead. Nice one Phil and I’m very happy to receive similar stories from others:
“I guess I was no different from any other 11 year old schoolboy in 1959…. After nervously completing the ‘11 plus’ exam, there must have been a certain trepidation as to what the next part of your future would be like……………………. Well I was ‘graded’ to become a pupil at the ’Portsmouth Technical High school’ (sounds posher than it was), where by the grace of the ever curious Reg Wassell I was deemed good enough to be an alto voice in the school choir
At home, I vividly remember the sessions under the bedclothes listening to Radio Luxemburg on the ‘cigar box’ crystal set and becoming ‘hooked on Glasgow’s Chas McDevitt / Shirley Douglas / Nancy Whiskey’s ”Freight Train” followed of course by the great Lonnie Donegan singing about his old man who was a refuse operative…..From rock and roll to skiffle to blues seems to be how it went as around the corner was the blues of Bo Diddley ….
Here I think was my first mad leap into the world of music making and I made a rectangular bodied guitar (a la Bo) from marine ply and a lump of mahogany strip found in my dad’s shed, strung it with catgut, and with willing (but I feel somewhat mad) personnel who I have no memory of with the chest & broom handle bass and gran’s old washboard, we tried to make something happen!!!!!! ……..I don’t think it was all that good, but I have Reet Petite in my bones…….. (thanks Phil)”
Mick has some old reel-to-reel tapes of drummer Graham (1970s?) including a band called Nightshade. May be a bit countryish.
He asks, does anyone know anything about them?
After playing we went round the seafront’s Jolly Sailor for some supper – at around 6pm a band came on playing “Midnight Hour”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, Amy Winehouse – you know the kind of stuff – Bank Holiday a bit of everything to please the punters. Very good players, no clear identity
Now when I say ‘band’ I mean two people, a guitarist, a woman singer and tapes
They may have been the loudest band I’ve ever heard, quite probably louder than the Who at the Birdcage etc etc (you know plenty of examples). We had to leave simply to continue our conversations and this in a Bank Holiday pub at 6pm. I don’t get it. I never did get it and I never will get it.
(I didn’t say there wouldn’t be the occasional cricket post)
(Click on to enlarge – if only life was that simple …)
I know, I know – stay away from the ‘footy’, but this (from Mr Freeman) is too good to resist. Mr Cooper playing right-half, number 4, getting stuck in like Jimmy Scoular! Boy-oh-boy, I always thought MMF should have been nicer to Rosemary, now I know why – they could have picked me too!
But who’s my special hero in the side (besides Mick of course)? Put everything you know about me together and who is it?
Incidentally it ain’t Maurice Magnet although he could be a footy character from Roy of the Rovers or maybe Viz. Maurice Magnet? From Switch?