And so it begins


50 years past

1966 ended in the local ‘paper with Spinner’s Pop Poll – only the second time this was run. The most popular local bands were soul acts: 1 – Simon Dupree, 2 – Inspiration, 3 – St Louis Checks and Soul Society were in the top ten too.

It depended somewhat of course on who bothered to vote but soul acts were similarly prominent in the category of visitors: 1 – Vagabonds, 2- Action, 3- Alan Bown Set. Clearly Birdcage regulars were voting there.


This would all change over the next 12 months – it was already changing in London where the UFO Club was established the week before, and it was very different in San Francisco. On New Year’s Day in Panhandle Park, SF, the local Hell’s Angels held an event called “New Year’s Wail” featuring the Grateful Dead and Big Brother & the Holding Company.


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

8 thoughts on “And so it begins

  1. Funny the thing that attracted me to Big Brother and the Holding Company was their Blues/Soul feel !
    I rememember John Peel saying in all his pomposity they were the closest he’d ever intend to get to playing Soul music! !!!!!
    This of course was a prevelant attitude in 1967/68 unfortunately as I have mentioned to you before Dave

    • I realise this might seem somewhat heretical, but while the great thing about John Peel was his championing of new ideas, new sounds, new acts, the negative side of that was that you rarely knew whether he meant it. By the punk years was he suddenly confessing that he never really liked psychedelia for example? As for the specific comment – he was never much of a Champion of black American music, I doubt he cared much for jazz or soul and in the blues it seemed to be mainly Jimmy Reed. There again, Liverpool is not much of a city for the blues – unlike London.

    • I will make a reference here to one of John Peels ‘discoveries’ circa 1968…..I was quite liking the physcedelia of a band from Houston ? called FEVER TREE…………….single release was called San Fransisco Girls……..there they were playin out in physcedelia alley ,all well and good……..The surprise perhaps was that later that year they put out a cover of one of the all time great soul favourites from the pen of Steve Cropper /Eddie Floyd /Wilson Pickett…(from 1965)…..NINETYNINE AND ONE HALF………………John Peel may have been surprised by this addition to the playlist of what was labelled ‘west coast physcedelia’……but that need to do ‘covers’ , and particularly those from Stax Soul Stable probably wont ever go away…………

  2. The above post in fact just reconfirms what I said to you about getting berated in 1967 in the Esperanto coffee bar for saying I liked Samand Dave’s ‘Soul Man’ !

  3. Exactly – but who was the berater?


    • Someone no longer with us who had overindulged with the old lysergic and instead of seeing things with clarity had very distorted views delivered with arrogant superiority!
      A not uncommon mindset at that time!

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