The Task


I’ve been assembling histories of Pompey Pop for about 20 years now and in various forms. It’s a wonderful project – I love it dearly – but precise science it ain’t. Do you recall the recent correspondence about the Cream playing, or not playing at the Birdcage? (The answer? they did and they didn’t). I wrote it all up and sent copies to various other pop ‘historians’. One replied with a perfect quote from a recent publication by Julian Barnes:

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”


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

5 thoughts on “The Task

  1. I know one tends to get forgetful as one gets older but re: this Cream lark at the Birdcage…Mrs Cross and I have dined out for years on our hour spent with Mr Jack Bruce in the Fort Cumberland Arms when he was enjoying a whiskey or two with us prior to nipping across the road to the Birdcage to perform with his Cream partners. I recall struggling to understand most of what he was saying due to his broad Scottish accent but a nice chap for all that. One thing I wish we had then which is common place now is having a phone camera with me. Imagine snapping away at all those Birdcage acts when they appeared-certainly would make wonderful viewing nowadays and would end all arguments when you claim to have seen so and so at the venue. I still get people doubting me when I tell them we saw Ike and Tina Turner, Little Richard, The Who, Pink Floyd and such like there . Also I wonder how long the infamous Nicholas Hoogstraton ran the place and how he got involved?

  2. Good story Pete – and good last question. I remember him swanning about the place occasionally but no idea of specific dates I’m afraid.

  3. I recall the venue charged 19/6d ?? for entry to see Little Richard. Far too much for this Buckland boy- I had the fish and chip shop scraps to buy and some wool to darn my socks plus a new hat to doff to the toffs when in Old Portsmouth on my way to collect coins from the mud in the harbour- Mr Hoogstraton reduced the charge to ten bob and in I went and actually got to speak to a not to Little Richard. In later years I wondered how many people who tried to strike a deal with Mr H would have ended up under the M275

  4. Is he still alive ? I remember he had a huge mausoleum built for himself somewhere near Brighton, there was a TV documentary about it not long after he’d “evicted” some of his tenants from one of his many houses in Brighton. Yes, a thoroughly nasty piece of work was our Nicholas !

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