Strange and interesting aka before they were famous

Bobby G

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Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
Has anyone seen musicians very early on in their careers, before they were famous so to speak? Or seen anyone well-known playing somewhere unusual e.g. Lol Coxhill on his tour playing in skips?

I remember many years ago, must have been about '72 or '73, a crowd of us used to go to the Hatfield Poly (now Uni of Herts) wedneday night disco, mainly for the cheap bar but also the music was ok, kind of rock stuff aimed at students - you know, All Right Now, Maggie May, that sort of area. Anyway, one night we were charged double to get in, 20 pence!!!!, because there was a band playing as well as the usual disco. Bearing in mind the average live club gig was about 50-75p to get in, we were expecting maybe one of the local rock bands or something similar, but what we got was something which at the time was even less widely-known than that - none other than the Wailers, before they became Bob Marley and the Wailers, so I guess at that time Peter Tosh was still a member alongside Marley.

I couldn't tell you exactly what they played (nothing to do with cheap Newkie and vodka of course), although they were promoting their new album which may have been Catch a Fire, suffice to say they were absolutely fantastic and went down a total storm.....
 

thomsax

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Sweden
Talking about Bob Marley. He was in Sweden late 60's or early 70's and he played/did a soundtrack to a Swedeish movie with Johnny Nash and the Swedish actor Christina Schollin. Two Swedish musicians Janne Schaffer (gtr) and Ola Brunkert (drm), great musicans, played on the soundtrack otherwise the musicians came from US/UK/JAM. My brother, who is a Marley/Waliers fan
wrote an article about this for the magazine "Black Beat". I think the article was called "Lost Days In Sweden"!

Thomas
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
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Just north of Munich
I was lucky enough to meet Martin Alcock as he was then (now Maart), who went on to play with Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull in the late 70s/early 80s. Got to know him well enough for him to ask me to stop singing in the audience of the folk club, cos it was so bad it was spoiling his appreciation of the tune....

Another of my old cronies is a concert pianist - Peter Donohoe. I remember him announcing to my father that he was going to teach me to play the piano (he'd have been about 10 at the time I think). But you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear, as they say. Lost touch with him years ago.
 

Djangette

Member
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69
Location
Essex
Talking of folk clubs...

lawyer has just cleared this statement:

Paul Simon dossed down on the sofa - does he send me Xmas card? Does he Hell! lol ...

... what is 'famous' anyway?
 

AlistairD

Member
Messages
158
For those of you who know English Sax Players - Mornington Lockett is one of the greats...

Many moons ago, Mornington and I were in the same school band, him on Clarinet and me on Flute... Funny enough, even in those days he was better than me... :)))

On a different note, we used to live next to Paul Young's ex-Bass player...
 

half diminished

Senior Member
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1,361
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Buckinghamshire
In the early/mid 1970s (yes I am that old), as a teenager I went to see Wizard in Truro whilst on holiday. A few weeks later they burst onto TOTP with Ball Park Incident. Bloody loud if I recall. Obviously Roy Wood was already very well established (ELO and the Strawbs if memory serves me) but Wizard were unknown.

Also a couple of years later, went to a barn dance with a couple of mates and some young ladies we were dating and they had several bands including a bunch of scottish lads - Bay City Rollers. Thought they were rubbish personally mind you I was into Bowie, Genesis and T.Rex but it seems they became quite popular with the ladies shortly after we saw them.
 

Djangette

Member
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69
Location
Essex
My dad used to be in charge of Ilford Social Club and booked the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band before they had their big hit ....

... for youngsters info, once upon a time UK used to actually produce things, Ilfords made cameras and film to put in them - um, once cameras weren't digital and worked on the lens/shutter/film system.

... Anyway these companies used to employ hundreds or thousands of people, each employee was entitled to join the social club for a small fee, these small fees and the company's subsidy (the company subsidised these places because they wanted to keep their employees as it was more expensive to retrain staff than retain the current employees). Anyway most large companies had a Club house, a bit like working men's or Conservative clubs ... patterned carpet, dance floor, stage, subsidised bar, fruit machines and organised sporting events on their sports fields and evening entertainments - jugglers, dancing, music, etc. The Social Club Secretary's budget was quite powerful - some older people might actually remember having to perform in these places.

Anyway the Bonzos went down so well my dad booked them for 3 more sessions over the next year at the usual rate - 3 weeks later they were on Top of the Pops, but honoured their bookings even though they could have got much more elsewhere.

Quite often I'd come in from school and find some stranger being fed by my mum as dad had invited them back after setting up for 'the egg on a plate', larder stew or stuffed hearts (poor things!) - I remember the funny hairy man Viv Stanshaw, Chris Barber and assorted ne'er do wells lol, bliddy irritating at the time!

My next door neighbour worked with Alison Moyet at Yardleys - Alison, though shy, used to be persuaded to stand on the table in the canteen and sing a song.

As an adolescent - 14 trying to pretend to be 18 so I could buy a lager and lime - it was a good time for music, we had the Essex triangle - the Kursaal, the Castlemayne, the Roundhouse and others inbetween and saw many bands before they had hits - Osibisa, Madness, Stranglers (which I remember as they had black shiny vinyl suits which fell to bits - probably intentionally I dunno, still it was impressive! haha) ... Nowadays I meet people who have been famous and get told afterwards *sigh*
 

Pete Thomas

Chief of Stuff
Commercial Café Supporter
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McLean, Virginia
When I very first started, ie after about 2 days, I played free jazz in a trio. We all thought we a s good as Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor etc.

We got gigs at the local pub because this was back in the 60s and everything was free, the music, the love, the beer. Except the beer wasn't.

Anyway we were playing first then this git came on in clean white flares and a poncy shirt. What a tosser we thought he'll never get anywhere. I made faces at him and tried to put him off as he struggled through his first song, "Space Oddity".
 

Vance K

New Member
Messages
1
I was there that night Bobby, remember struggling to get my mates to leave the disco to come listen to the wailers, in the end I just managed myself, Gerry Murphy and Tilly Lewis. Tilly was Jamaican and joined the boys on stage for some moves and smokes, and got into into the spirit by getting her top off. They played stir it up, get up stand up, concrete jungle amongst others. Audience almost outnumbered by the band at the start, catch a fire album covers decorating the place, no one had really heard of them, a year later everyone on the planet knew the name Bob Marley. I was 16, regular at the Wednesday night disco for underage drinking and the occasional fumble up a blouse or skirt...;} but that night just amazing to see this great new reggae band that I then bored everyone at school about. When I tell people now the poly main hall was almost empty and bob Marley and the wailers were playing, nobody believes me...

Has anyone seen musicians very early on in their careers, before they were famous so to speak? Or seen anyone well-known playing somewhere unusual e.g. Lol Coxhill on his tour playing in skips?

I remember many years ago, must have been about '72 or '73, a crowd of us used to go to the Hatfield Poly (now Uni of Herts) wedneday night disco, mainly for the cheap bar but also the music was ok, kind of rock stuff aimed at students - you know, All Right Now, Maggie May, that sort of area. Anyway, one night we were charged double to get in, 20 pence!!!!, because there was a band playing as well as the usual disco. Bearing in mind the average live club gig was about 50-75p to get in, we were expecting maybe one of the local rock bands or something similar, but what we got was something which at the time was even less widely-known than that - none other than the Wailers, before they became Bob Marley and the Wailers, so I guess at that time Peter Tosh was still a member alongside Marley.

I couldn't tell you exactly what they played (nothing to do with cheap Newkie and vodka of course), although they were promoting their new album which may have been Catch a Fire, suffice to say they were absolutely fantastic and went down a total storm.....
 

jeremyjuicewah

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1,898
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Costa Blanca Spain
Went to see Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Royal Festival Hall in about 1968/9 and caught David Bowie doing nothing but mime as second or maybe third on the bill. What a load of tosh. Ha ha I have just realised that miming is what they call lip-synching now, but I dont mean that, I mean Marcel Marceau stuff, trying endlessley to get out of this glass box type thing. I learned a lot actually, I can now signal the need for a good stiff drink without once opening my mouth. Gesture is a wonderfull medium.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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KIC 8462852
Went to see Tyrannosaurus Rex at the Royal Festival Hall in about 1968/9 and caught David Bowie doing nothing but mime as second or maybe third on the bill. What a load of tosh. Ha ha I have just realised that miming is what they call lip-synching now, but I dont mean that, I mean Marcel Marceau stuff, trying endlessley to get out of this glass box type thing. I learned a lot actually, I can now signal the need for a good stiff drink without once opening my mouth. Gesture is a wonderfull medium.
Probably 69, sounds like the same show I saw at the Phil.
The other act was a sitar player, could have been Ravi Shanker, introduced by John Peel who read a fairy story by Marc Bolan.
 

jeremyjuicewah

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1,898
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Costa Blanca Spain
TARGA - Yep, Ravi Shankar and I think Ray Gosling, a guitarist? Though that may have been a different show at the Festival Hall. Something about "Cut all the corners, step on the old routine?" Oh my, was I ever that young? 69 is my reference year for all things good. Its been a long time. Thankfully, I dont remember the fairy story, perhaps they cut it at the Festival Hall out of respect for the audience.
 
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