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Groove News

And more thanks to Mr James Lawrence for reminding me that British pathe have just made stacks of movie clips available. He’s picked a couple of good ones (thanks Jim):

Scooters: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/scooter-rally-beware-other-colour-pics-share-thi-1/query/mods

Barber-Shop Skiffle*: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/barber-shop-skiffle/query/skiffle

*I’ve got a new idea for Reet Petite & Gone – that skiffle’s great huh? I can play that chord (almost)


Beat Cruises and Other Cool Stuff

From Mr Dolan (Many Thanks) – as always I’m very grateful to people who keep all this stuff going. Sometimes I sit on wet cricket grounds and struggle to think of new things to say. Here he is:

As such cruises appear to be the flavour of the week, I thought I’d send you the above. A friend is promoting it, and I thought that originally it was also intended to be a celebration of the birth of the Marquee, fifty years ago too. Georgie Fame is the headline Act, and, as you probably know, he did 6 or 7 nights earlier this month at Ronnie’s. Howard Marks seems to have made himself available. If I decide to go, will give him, and the tour of those dreadful coffee shops in Amsterdam, on one of the scheduled stopovers, a wide birth.


Two for the price of One

Adverts that is

From that nice Mr ‘Platter Spinning’ Cross. He sends this: “News Ad of the popular Beat Cruises with young Mr Freeman and his musicians supporting High Life in Witley Woods recording stars Amboy Dukes – ad came to me via Rod Watts (also in the band) as part of the collection aimed for Guildhall- wish I could recall other bands that played on those IOW Ferries – I`m sure Marc Bolan did with John`s Children??” – Thanks Pete (Harlem Speakeasy played a Beat Cruise on the Thames but never the Solent)

I say, I remember seeing the Denny Laine Band at the Birdcage in those days of changing tastes (almost the end of the place) and I’m sure he had a violinist and a cellist and made pretty music. Anyone recall?

PS: Something made me check and according to the (definitive?) Birdcage list Denny Laine failed to arrive on Saturday 10 June but he did come on Saturday 29 July (which is the one I recall). By this time the Birdcage was only opening on Saturday nights and after four more weeks it closed for ever (5, 12, 19, 26 August). Given my previous tale of the Summer of ’67, I reckon that night with Denny Laine was my last night there. Did I wear a suit, or were there flowers in my hair?.

Beat Cruise



Sunday D-I-Y

These days Pete White devotes his weekend energies to being active – here with his grandson – and putting some of the rest of us to shame! Below is the first part of a very thorough and fascinating response to my request for memories, with more to follow


DIY Amplifiers

As we took our first tentative steps learning to play we all had valve (tube ) radios that had an output stage that we could tap into so our first amps were radios with a jack socket hanging out the back. You could at that time also buy just a chassis for a 30 watt amp and that was our next step using the money from summer jobs to buy the chassis and speakers and cover the cabinets in contact paper. Mine was shoved into the case of an old radio covered in light blue “Fablon”

DIY Transportation

For our practice sessions we used a classroom in our old school Copnor Modern. (check the pic in ‘Pompey Pop Pix’)

We had by this time convinced our parents of the need to buy us electric guitars and real amplifiers on credit with the promise that we would soon have paying jobs so they wouldn’t have to make the payments for long. The problem was that we had no transportation and had to carry our stuff on the public buses. It was lucky that the old double decker had a space under the stairs where you could put stuff although you had to keep an eye on it. Since the Baker brothers had more stuff and they lived on a bus route I could get to them, but there was no way to get the equipment to the school so the idea of the “Purple Cart” was born.

It was about 2 miles to school so we build a wooden handcart that was mounted on pram wheels and painted it with some leftover paint from ray’s parent’s house. Proud of our achievement we set out to school pushing the cart and that’s when we remembered that we had to cross over the railway track by means of a footbridge (The Stone Bridge). Of course it meant carrying the equipment over one piece at a time and guarding it each side until it, and the cart, were over and we could load up again. We were dedicated to be sure…


OK – The Weekend Starts Here

And if it’s the weekend, of course it’s back to D-I-Y which we started last week.

Something I enjoyed in the new Mod book are Mr Mook’s fashion notes for things he was planning way back – and Oscar too commented on the D-I-Y approach to clothes in those days.

Here’s a pic that combines D-I-Y clothes and D-I-Y gigs – it’s my favourite example.

Rosemary, Common, 1969

This is Rosemary playing the free concert on Southsea Common. A number of bands and lightshows organised gigs to raise the money for the stage and generator and the bands played for free. Rosemary by then were playing an entirely original set (D-I-Y) and I’m wearing a big girl’s blouse from a 2nd Hand shop in Lake Road while the jacket was made by my girlfriend, fashion student Lesley. It’s blue velvet (she wore …) with gold braid and split, puffed elbows. I made the necklace myself too since you’re asking (D-I-Y costume then).

Incidentally, you may well wonder about the bongo drum and the answer is simple. It’s me being a D-I-Y prat (or “One Hand Bashing”?). However the picture is valuable because once there two fine photos of yours truly, Mick Legg (bass guitar) and Mr Tench (drums) performing together in Rosemary, but the other one, taken at the Art College, has gradually eliminated Lenny (in the style of Trotsky’s disappearance from Soviet Revolution photos) so this is all that survives.

And here is the D-I-Y poster by Geoff Allman at the Art College. Not all the acts listed actually appeared and some that aren’t did. There’s more D-I-Y to come.