Ray's Gigs

Daily news and reviews of gigs bars clubs restaurants product launches films theatre fashion shows books art galleries hotels competitions interesting places to visit ...and much more!

Saturday 12 December 2020.

Saturday 12 December 2020.
December is usually a great time to see bands where we have a multi-choice every day
of the week, but not this year.
I went to see some great gigs 40 years ago in Dec 1980.
A new band called U2 were supporting Talking Heads.
I was also playing drums in my own band Gun Control.
Gen X Suma Studios , Chelsea, London 28.11.1980 private invite only gig with new line-up
after Generation X split.
Talking Heads,U2 Hammersmith Odeon, London 02.12.1980 bono climbing all over the pa system
Damned,Strapps Hammersmith Odeon, London 03.12.1980 fast , short and chaotic show
Gun Control Acton White Hart, London W3 04.12.1980
Queen,Straight 8 Wembley Arena , London 09.12.1980 freddie and band in top form
Al Stewart Hammersmith Odeon, London 10.12.1980
Gun Control Acton White Hart, London W3 11.12.1980
Ultravox,Fatal Charm Hammersmith Odeon, London 13.12.1980
Yes Hammersmith Odeon, London 15.12.1980 now include members of Buggles
Undertones,Orange Juice Hammersmith Palais , London 16.12.1980
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark,Fatal Charm Hammersmith Odeon, London 17.12.1980
Gun Control Clarendon ,Hammersmith,London 19.12.1980 our bass player faints after 3 songs
Ian Dury And The Blockheads,Selecter Sobell Centre , Islington, London 22.12.1980
Madness,Ten Pole Tudor Hammersmith Odeon, London 23.12.1980
Spandau Ballet Heaven Nightclub, London 29.12.1980 party gig to celebrate first hit single
Siouxsie And The Banshees,Altered Images Hammersmith Palais , London 30.12.1980
Stray Cats,Bette Brights Madness Venue , Victoria , London 31.12.1980 Johnsons Clothing NYE Party

Friday 11 December 2020.

COQBULL restaurant & bar is opening at 17- 19 Denham Street, Soho, London W1.
Coqbull have taken over the former Jamie’s Italian site near Piccadilly Circus.
Coqbull Restaurant is a chicken and burger concept with a mouth-watering menu of delicious rotisserie chicken and gourmet beef burgers as well as an array of tantalising coqtails and local craft beers, focusing on casual dining.
To celebrate their opening they are giving out 100 FREE BURGERS with fries each day this week,
Monday 07 Dec to Saturday 12 Dec , between 5pm and 6pm only , and that includes dining indoors too.
Just add their app to your smart phone and follow them to get the offer.
This includes their full range of burgers , which includes beef, chicken and veggie.
These pairings would normally cost between £12.95 and £14.95.
I will test drive it to see if it is as good as it sounds, and report back here.
www.coqbullsoho.com Visit their website here for more info.
I checked out this new venue on Monday and Wednesday this week, before i went to other events.
Monday 07 December 5pm to 6pm
This visit was with my two friends at the start of our annual Christmas reunion drinks evening.
We checked in at the desk and they took my info for track and trace but no mention of Instagram.
We all had the Smokin' Bull (double beef patty, smoked Applewood Cheese, Crispy Bacon,
Smoked BBQ Mayo , Tobacco Onions) with fries and a glass of tap water.
The burger was huge and tasted great...all complimentary and we left £2 each tip and departed happy.
We then headed for much cheaper drinks at Montagu Pyke in Charing Cross Road which was a
1911 cinema and former Marquee Club (when it moved from Wardour Street) venue, now a Wetherspoons pub with 2 bars and a huge TV screen.
Wednesday 09 December 5pm to 6pm
I went back on my own for a second visit before i went to Proud Cabaret at Embankment.
This time was a bit different as the girl at the desk asked to see I had liked their Instagram page.
Sat down and ordered the same meal as before, waitress said I need to buy some sort of paid drink.
Didn't question that too much , and ordered a cuppaccino.
The Smokin Bull' Burger and fries was again really nice and asked for the bill.
Looked at the bill and it said £3.95 for cuppaccino....and they had charged me £4 for tap water...WTF?
Called over a supervisor and pointed out the error and she was very apologetic and
said my cuppaccino would be complimentary to make up for the error...no tip this time.
So it is a good deal overall but they may or may not asked to see your smart phone to
check you have liked their Instagram page and they may or may not asked you to buy
some kind of drink....so head there just after 5pm, and there was no queue either day I went.

Thursday 10 December 2020.

Wednesday 09 December 2020.
CABARET at PROUD , Victoria Embankment, London WC2 re-opens in December.
Back open again this month with their Christmas Cabaret All Stars show, hosted by the UK’s
TV personality Denise Van Outen and pop sensations Duncan James and Rachel Stevens.
Duncan James was a member of Blue who had three number one singles around 20 years ago.
Rachel Stevens was a member of S Club 7 who had four number one singles around 20 years ago.
Rachel Stevens is there Tuesday's and Wednesday's.
Duncan James is there Thursday's and Friday's.
Denise Van Outen is there Saturday's.
The stars will both perform in and host the sensational show, accompanied by some of the world’s best cabaret and circus performers, giving audiences the glitzy Christmas celebration they deserve.
Other acts include Cirque du Soleil aerialist Katherine Would, international and award-winning cabaret star Pi the Mime, Darlings of the Moulin Rouge J’Adore La Vie and the infamous international burlesque show ghoul, horror diva and Brazilian bombshell Marie Devilreux.
Zoe Marshall will leave audiences stunned with her rare mouth balancing act and aerial hair hanging, whilst multi-talented Katrina Louise will be showcasing her many talents, including aerial silks, hoop and chains, fire breathing and contortion and burlesque.
Attendees will also be able to enjoy incredible food from world class head chef, Antonio Vacca, along with fabulous cocktails and first class service.
www.proudcabaret.com - Visit their website here.
The evening was over 4 hours - 6.30pm to 10.30pm....press review...
Another venue that I have been to , when it was under different name and ownership.
Alex Proud has moved from Camden down to this plush venue down by The River Thames.
Alex is here and goes on stage to thank the crowd for coming out and supporting live events.
Supper clubs like this with seating and waiter service are fully geared up for covid rules.
The show was on for 2 hours 10 mins over four sets of 30 mins, 30 mins, 40 mins, 30 mins.
Around 70 tables here, with maybe around 90% per cent sold.
Tables of 2, 4 and 6 are positioned nicely around the stage with the nearest tables reserved
for those having dinner and the other tables that are having drinks only.
Most of the female staff are all wearing raunchy outfits of corsets with stockings and suspenders.
We had a great cabaret show where most artists came on stage two or three times.
RACHEL STEVENS performed five songs including S Club 7 hit "LAX".
Rachel still looks great, she won FHM's Sexiest Woman Of All Time in 2014.
Rachel also introduced a few of the acts.
Compère Joanna Woodward did a good job of on-stage entertaining banter between acts,
which included two fun bouts of audience participation.
We had a couple of female singers sing a few songs / a few burlesque girls including one
setting fire to her tassels and giving them a twirl, and another bathing in a giant champers glass/
a mime artist/ a couple of drag acts/ a pair of dancing sisters/ silks-rope girl/
mouth balancing girl / aerial hoop girl / trapeze girl/ acrobat girl.
It is not a cheap night out as cocktails here are £15 each and dinner is also pricey.
They kindly gave a few complimentary glasses of prosecco to each of us on the press table.
Really great to see some live entertainment again.

Monday 07 December 2020.

Monday 07 December 2020...5pm to 10pm...
Today I went up to the West End for the first time in over a month.
Some big crowds were shown on tv over the past weekend, but not too busy tonight.
I met a couple of friends for some food and drinks as our usual big Christmas reunion
that normally attracts 15 to 20 cannot be held this year due to Tier 2 lockdown restrictions.
The West End stores would all be having a nice Christmas drinks party around now.
Bond Street stores including Dior, Fendi and others would be awash with champers.
I have been to many of them over the past 15 years or so.
None of those events are on as they are all standing and social distancing is impossible.
I popped into THE ROLLING STONES merch tour in Carnaby Street for the first time.
It is over two floors and looks nice in its red and black decor.
I was in there 15 mins, and nobody else came in during that time.
Loads of overpriced t-shirts(current and retro) and various merch including a Stones sofa.
Fancy a Rolling Stones water bottle?...a snip at £30...jokers.
The assistant said Ronnie Wood was the only member of the band to visit the store,
and he has signed a couple of the larger items that are on display.
Just along from The Stones store, Liam Gallaghers " Pretty Green" store has been closed awhile
due to big debts. It is now a Free Bike Store , which must be very handy for all the cyclists.
The nice Christmas Lights displays are up everywhere on the main streets.
Lots of theatres are open again , so a nice time to mix that in with seeing the Christmas Lights.
London is slowly getting back to life again...until the next total lockdown.

Sunday 06 December 2020....news for this week.

Sunday 06 December 2020.
Happy Birthday to cricketer and tv presenter FREDDIE FLINTOFF who is 43 today.
See my Facebook page for a nice photo of him and me together.
Monday 07 December 2020.
Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter TOM WAITS who is 71 today.
Tom does not come to the UK that often , but i did see him at Hammersmith Odeon in 1987.
Tuesday 08 December 2020.
JOHN LENNON was murdered 40 years ago today in New York.
And just when you thought 2020 couldn’t throw up any more surprises Bob Dylan has become a complete sell-out. Dylan has sold the publishing rights to his songwriting catalogue in a deal said to be worth around $300 million to Universal Music.
Wednesday 09 December 2020.
Happy Birthday to JOAN ARMATRADING who is 70 today.
I have seen Joan perform around a dozen times with the first time back in 1975,
when she supported Supertramp at Hammersmith Odeon.

Sunday 29 November 2020...news for this week...

Sunday 29 November 2020.
BBC Radio 2 3pm to 5pm - The Johnnie Walker 70s Show.
The only radio show I listen to these days...a great mix of classic rock, punk, soul, disco etc.
GEORGE HARRISON sadly passed away 19 years ago today - 29 November 2001.
Monday 30 November 2020.
Happy Birthday to BILLY IDOL who is 65 today.
I have seen him on stage many times, both with Generation X and solo.
Happy Birthday to Deep Purple's ROGER GLOVER who is 75 today.
I have Deep Purple around 15 times since 1975.
SKY ARTS 2am - Frank Sinatra live at The Royal Festival Hall 1970.
I saw Frank live just the once, Royal Albert Hall 1980.
Tuesday 01 December 2020.
Happy Birthday to BETTE MIDLER who is 75 today.
I saw her headline The 02 Arena in July 2015.
Happy Birthday to GILBERT O'SULLIVAN who is 74 today.
Gilbert has not toured that often since his 1970s heyday , but I have seen him live twice.
Happy Birthday to Blue Oyster Cult's ERIC BLOOM who is 76 today.
I have seen Blue Oyster Cult live around 20 times since 1975.
Wednesday 02 December 2020.
Promoters AEG are to open a new live music venue at Olympia...but not until 2024.
4400-capacity purpose-built live music venue as part of the £1.3 billion regeneration of Olympia London.
SKY ARTS 10.30pm - Oasis live at Barrowlands, Glasgow in 2001.
I have seen Oasis live several times and Liam G solo and Noel G solo.
SKY ARTS 11.45pm - Paul Weller live at The Royal Festival Hall in 2018.
This was a special semi-acoustic show with full orchestra.
I saw Paul with The Jam several times back in the day, and have seen him several times solo.
Thursday 03 December 2020.
PRINCE CHARLES and CAMILLA visited The 100 Club today to support live music venues.
They watched Emily Capell perform a couple of acoustic songs, and signed the dressing room wall.
Happy Birthday to rock legend OZZY OSBOURNE who is 72 today.
Let's hope his health gets better for his planned 2022 European Tour.
I have seen Ozzy many times on stage with Black Sabbath and solo since 1974.
After nearly 9 months the first premier league club to have a crowd allowed in to watch them.
Europa Cup - Arsenal play Rapid Vienna...2000 tickets will be made available.
Friday 04 December 2020.
SKY ARTS 7pm - Madchester documentary.
SKY ARTS 8pm - Def Leppard classic album.
I have seen Def Leppard around 20 times since 1979 (when they supported AC/DC)
SKY ARTS 9pm - Brian Johnson meets Joe Elliot.
SKY ARTS 10pm - rock photographers - episode five - limited edition prints going for big bucks.
Saturday 05 December 2020.
SKY ARTS 4pm - The Pretenders live in Austin, Texas.
SKY ARTS 5.15pm - Oasis live at Barrowlands, Glasgow in 2001.
Oasis were massive in 2001, and they played a short UK tour of small venues.
I had seen both their Wembley Stadium headlining shows the year before.
I saw Oasis play Shepherds Bush Empire on this tour.
Oasis Shepherds Bush Empire, London 07.10.2001 First of 2 London small venue shows as part of the 10 Years Of Noise And Confusion Tour .The only way to get tickets was to camp out for them but luckily I got to review it for local paper and got a guest ticket .Fantastic atmosphere for the 1 hour 50 mins set .
They mixed greatest hits with a few lesser known songs and tonight Paul Weller came on for a stunning Champagne Supernova .
SKY ARTS 6.15pm - John Lennons Last Weekend.
SKY ARTS 8pm - Pulp Live.
Sunday 06 December 2020.
Buzzcocks singer-songwriter PETE SHELLEY sadly passed away two years ago today.
I have seen The Buzzcocks around 30 times since 1977 , including twice in America.
New York Sept 1979 at The Diplomat Hotel. We were staying at this famous hotel that I chose as
KISS and New York Dolls had played there a few years earlier.
California Sept 2002 at a huge punk festival where The Buzzcocks supported The Sex Pistols.

Wednesday 25 November 2020......news for this week...

Monday 23 November 2020.
PIERS MORGAN and co-host Susanna Reid today celebrate 5 years on "Good Morning Britain" breakfast tv.
Love him or loathe him, he is certainly always very entertaining.
Go to my Facebook page to see a picture of Piers and myself.
John Lennon signed album is being sold at auction for mega bucks.
A signed copy of John Lennon’s ‘Double Fantasy’, signed by Lennon for murderer Mark Chapman just hours before Chapman killed Lennon, is up for auction.
Lennon signed the record hours before being murdered by Chapman outside The Dakota apartment building in New York City in December 1980.
The historic copy of ‘Double Fantasy’, his collaboration album with Yoko Ono, was actually submitted as evidence in the New York Police Department’s investigation into Lennon’s murder.
And according to Goldin Auctions, the police markings from the investigation still appear on the record.
The auction house has confirmed that bidding on the record will open on Monday (23.11.20), with bids set to begin at $400,000.
Tuesday 24 November 2020.
Happy Birthday to Blondie drummer CLEM BURKE who is 66 today.
Happy Birthday to cricket legend IAN BOTHAM who is 65 today.
Wednesday 25 November 2020.
Football legend GEORGE BEST sadly passed away 15 years ago today.
Sad news that Argentinian football legend DIEGO MARADONA has passed away age 60.
The same day as George Best , but exactly 15 years apart.
Maradona was best known to British audiences for his handball goal, which he dubbed the “Hand of God”, against England at the 1986 World Cup....Argentina won that World Cup.
Having said that,the second goal he scored against England in that game was incredible.
He battled a series of health problems and earlier this month needed surgery for a blood clot on his brain.
Maradona was then sent straight to a rehabilitation centre to be treated for alcohol dependency.
His life after football mirrored the troubles that George Best also had.
Diego had also dabbled with cocaine in the past.
BBC Red Button all this week - Kylie Minogue live at The BBC Theatre, London.
SKY ARTS 10am - the making of 80s American Hair Metal videos.
SKY ARTS 10.30am - the making of Blondie videos.
SKY ARTS 4.30pm - the making of R.E.M. videos.
SKY ARTS 11pm - Queen live at The Rainbow.
Thursday 26 November 2020.
Happy Birthday to TINA TURNER who is 81 today.
I have seen Tina several times , with the first time back in 1974 when she was with Ike Turner.
SKY ARTS 4.30pm - the making of Guns N Roses videos.
SKY ARTS 12pm - Brian Johnson meets Nick Mason (repeat from Friday)
Friday 27 November 2020.
SKY ARTS 4.30pm - the making of Metallica videos.
SKY ARTS 9pm - Brian Johnson meets Sting.
SKY ARTS 10pm - rock photographers - episode 4 - magazine covers
Saturday 28 November 2020.
Happy Birthday to Motown Records founder BERRY GORDY who is 91 today.
SKY ARTS 5.15pm - Joe Cocker "Mad Dog With Soul " documentary.
I saw Joe Cocker live half a dozen times , with the first being in 1982.
SKY ARTS 7pm - Dire Straits " Live July 1983".
Filmed during their two-night gig at the Hammersmith Odeon. The climax of their Love Over Gold tour. I was at both these shows...I saw Dire Straits fourteen times into total.
The first time I saw them was an early gig in 1978, when they supported Talking Heads.
Phillips launched a brand new product invention here....it was called the CD player and compact disc.
SKY ARTS 9pm - Eric Clapton " Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019".
I have seen Eric Clapton around 30 times since 1976, with most of them at The Royal Albert Hall.
SKY ARTS 11.15pm - Ronnie Wood "Somebody Up There Likes Me" documentary.
SKY ARTS 12.30pm - Carl Perkins & Friends - live in London 1985.
Great tv special featuring Carl and friends including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton,
Rosanne Cash, Dave Edmunds, Slim Jim Phantom, Earl Slick, Lee Rocker and others.

Tuesday 17 November 2020...Music news this week.

Tuesday 17 November 2020
Sad news that colourful music pr and football agent ERIC HALL has passed away aged 73.
Eric Hall was a show business and football agent famous for his flamboyant public persona, outlandish fashion sense and catchphrase "Monster, monster ..."
After an early career as a singer (he sang backing vocals for Tiny Tim) and actor, he became a publicist for EMI Records in the 1970s. Where he met Freddie Mercury, even claiming Killer Queen was written about him. He arranged the SEX PISTOLS ' notorious, expletive-filled appearance on the Today show in 1976 presented by Bill Grundy (after fellow EMI act Queen pulled out). He also worked with Cockney Rebel to have some hits.
Hall grew up in Bethnal Green in the East End of London and was a friend of MARC BOLAN(also on EMI) , He had been with him on the night of Bolan's death in 1977.
In 1986, a chance meeting with Steve Perryman led to him becoming a football agent, and he built up a roster of clients, which included Leon Cort, Robbie Savage, Tim Sherwood, John Scales, Neil Ruddock, Terry Venables, Paul Walsh and Dennis Wise.
MORRISSEY confirms he has been dropped from BMG and is now in search of a new record deal.
Wednesday 18 November 2020.
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E STREET BAND....it was 45 years ago this week that I saw both their
legendary debut London shows at Hammersmith Odeon on 18 Nov 1975 and 24 Nov 1975.
I have seen Bruce on stage around 20 times...He is one of the best live performers out there...
Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter GRAHAM PARKER who is 70 today.
I have seen him a dozen times live , including 1976 supporting Thin Lizzy at Hammersmith Odeon and
five shows at Hammersmith Odeon in 1991 when he supported Bob Dylan.
Been looking back recently on all the great shows at Hammersmith when I got paid to watch bands.
I was front stage security all through the 1980s until 1992, when it became Hammersmith Apollo.
BBC4 10pm film " Sex and Drugs and Rock n Roll" biopic.....Andy Serkis is great as Ian Dury.
I saw Ian Dury & The Blockheads 13 times including three shows at Hammersmith Odeon in 1979.
That year they were massive as they played several shows at Hammersmith Odeon.
Thurs 19 November 2020.
SKY ARTS 10pm - I am Johnny Cash - documentary (repeated on Saturday)
Friday 20 November 2020.
As expected AC/DC new album "Power Up" went straight in at number one in today's charts.
SKY ARTS 9pm - Brian Johnson meets Nick Mason
SKY ARTS 10pm - rock photographers - episode 3 - album covers
SKY ARTS 11.15pm - Bob Dylan "No Direction Home"
Happy Birthday to JOE WALSH who is 73 today.
I have seen him on stage several times with The Eagles including last year at Wembley Stadium.
Saturday 21 November 2020.
21 Nov 1995 - 25 years ago legendary music manager PETER GRANT passed away.
Peter Grant (5 April 1935 – 21 November 1995) was the manager of Led Zeppelin from their creation in 1968 to their break up in 1980.With his intimidating size (6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) and 300 lb (140 kg))(at his peak weight) and confrontational manner, combined with his knowledge and experience, he drove strong deals for his band, and is widely credited with improving pay and conditions for all musicians in dealings with concert promoters.Grant has been described as "one of the shrewdest and most ruthless managers in rock history".
SKY ARTS 5pm - Cyndi Lauper live in Austin, Texas, USA.
SKY ARTS 8pm - Pink Floyd "Delicate Sound Of Thunder" live 1988 USA in 4K vision/sound.
SKY ARTS 10pm - NICK MASON and the Saucerful of Secrets live at The Roundhouse May 2019.
I was at both those shows at The Roundhouse on that tour.
Sunday 22 November 2020
SKY ARTS 9pm - Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium.
Happy Birthday to STEVEN VAN ZANDT who is 70 today.
I have seen him solo a few times as well as many times with Bruce Springsteen.

Saturday 14 November 2020...Music news this week...

Thursday 12 November 2020.
Happy Birthday to NEIL YOUNG who is 75 today.
I have seen him on stage around ten times with the first time being two shows in 1976,
Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Hammersmith Odeon.
Friday 13 November 2020.
AC/DC release their new album " Power Up" today.
I have seen AC/DC live many times with all three vocalists they have had.
BBC Radio interview this afternoon included...
Matt Everitt asked " These are strange times but - you will go out on tour again? As soon as you can and it’s safe you’re going to go out aren’t you - obviously?
Brian Johnson: Yes we’re going to do some shows. I hate to use the word tour now because it sounds like two years and I think we’ve all got a little tired of that. But doing gigs - if we can just start doing gigs and cherry picking them - that’s fun. As they come along - booking them just two or three months ahead and not committing yourself.
SKY ARTS 8pm - Meat Loaf "Bat Out Of Hell" album documentary.
This superb album has sold over 40 million copies.
It was released in 1977 and I saw his debut London show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1978.
I have seen Meat Loaf live over 15 times and seen the musical twice, including the
opening night and party in 2017.
SKY ARTS 9pm - Brian Johnson meets Lars Ulrich
I have seen Metallica around 15 times since 1986.
SKY ARTS 10pm - Rock photographers - episode 2 (features the first 3 songs rule)
The photographers on the programme have many crazy stories about how artists behave regards this.
One told me about a Download Festival when Korn played.
They were only allowed to photograph the first 60 seconds of the first three songs and for
the rest of the three songs they had to face the audience and put their cameras down.
SKY ARTS 11.15pm Laurel Canyon documentary - episode 1 of 2 (part 2 Saturday night)
feat The Doors, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Frank Zappa, Alice Cooper, The Monkess, Love ,
The Mamas & Papas, The Turtles, Joni Mitchell , CSNY....music managers Elliot Roberts and David Geffen.
SKY ARTS 1am - Alice Cooper "Super Duper " documentary.
I have seen Alice Cooper live over 15 times with the first time back in 1975 at Wembley Arena.
Those interviewed for the documentary include John Lydon and Iggy Pop.
Saturday 14 November 2020.
After a full week of tv and radio promo appearances KYLIE MINOGUE new album "Disco",
has gone straight in at number one.
She joins Bruce Springsteen as the only artist to have had a number one album
in the UK in each of the past five decades.
SKY ARTS 5.30pm - The Bee Gees live in Melbourne in Nov 1989
I saw The Bee Gees at Madison Square Garden in 1979 on my first visit to America.
SKY ARTS 9pm - David Crosby "Remember My Name" documentary.
In 2015 I saw Crosby and Nash join David Gilmour for three songs at The Royal Albert Hall.
In 2005 I saw Crosby and Nash play The Royal Festival Hall.
Sunday 15 November 2020
15 Nov 1976 - it was 44 years ago that I attended this legendary SEX PISTOLS show.
Notre Dame Hall, Leicester Square , London.
It's the one where Janet Street Porter introduced punk on tv for The London Weekend Show.
Clips of it are shown regularly on tv, with me jumping around down the front.
I am in stills that were used for the "Dance to The Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant" single poster.
One of the stills , with me in it , was the front cover of " Pretty Vacant" in New Zealand.
Happy Birthday to PETULA CLARK who is 88 today.
I have seen her a couple of times in concert.
SKY ARTS 9pm - The Who perform "Tommy" at The Royal Albert Hall, April 2017 ( I was there)
SKY ARTS 10.30pm - U2 live in Berlin Nov 2018 (I was at The 02 Arena show on this tour)
Sad news that singer, comedian and tv presenter DES O'CONNOR has passed away , at age 88.
He had a 60 year career ,singing in the 1960s and always on the tv in the 1970s and 1980s.
He recorded 36 albums and had four top-ten singles, including a number-one hit with "I Pretend",
with global sales of more than sixteen million records.
He had his fifth child to his fourth wife at the age of 72...yes 72!
Sad news that legendary goalkeeper RAY CLEMENCE has passed away , aged 72.
Former Liverpool, Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ray Clemence has died, aged 72. Clemence made 61 appearances for the Three Lions between 1972 and 1983. At club level, he won many trophies.

Monday 09 November 2020....Music news this week...

Monday 09 November 2020.
These amazing figures confirm how popular boy band New Direction were back in the day,
as their loyal fans still support the solo careers of the five members.
Ticketed livestream concert provider Driift said fans from 151 countries purchased more than 125,000 tickets to Niall Horan’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, 7 November.
The world's number one concert promoter Live Nation are a bit happier today as shares have soared over 22% today following the news that a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by pharma firms Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to be more than 90% effective.
Live Nation have said 90% of punters worldwide have kept their tickets for their rescheduled shows.
Tuesday 10 November 2020.
It was two years ago today on 10 Nov 2018.
GUN CONTROL - My band from the early 1980s played their first gig for over 35 years at
The George & Dragon Pub, Acton, London W3.
It was a great night as I drummed along to our original songs and a couple of cover versions.
We ended up playing every six months (3 times) and hopefully there's another one after Covid fucks off.
Did you know that DJ and music producer Mark Ronson is the stepson of Mick Jones from Foreigner?
Mark Daniel Ronson was born 4 September 1975 in Notting Hill, London,to Laurence Ronson, a real-estate speculator and music manager, and writer/socialite Ann Dexter-Jones.His Jewish ancestors emigrated from Austria, Lithuania, and Russia. He was brought up in a Conservative Jewish household and celebrated his Bar Mitzvah.
The Ronsons had been one of Britain's wealthiest families in the 1980s, but they lost $1 billion of their wealth in the property crash of the early 1990s.He is the nephew of businessman Gerald Ronson. Through his mother, he is also related to British Conservative politicians Sir Malcolm Rifkind and the late Leon Brittan,and Odeon Cinemas founder Oscar Deutsch.
He is not related to the late English guitarist Mick Ronson.
After his parents' divorce, his mother married Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones,who contributed to a childhood surrounded by music.

Tuesday 03 November 2020....THE PRINCE OF WALES TOWNHOUSE

This press visit happened over a week ago but my tekky guy advised me to not to put it up while he was tweaking my website.
The Prince Of Wales Townhouse....press showcase...7pm to 9.30pm...
73 Dalling Road, Hammersmith , London W6.
Esher-based brewery operating a small chain of pubs in the south-east. The pub has been renamed from Rook's Nest to Prince of Wales Townhouse.
The venue has up to seven cask ales available plus 20+ keg beers and 3 ciders. Their other Big Smoke sites have a good CAMRA reputation so it is hoped in the course of time that this venue will also succeed.
The pub has an open kitchen, open brickwork, white tiling, and wood panelling painted green.
This used to be a pretty basic working class pub , but the new owners have given it a very nice facelift.
The previous customers would mainly be from the nearby Flora Gardens council estate so i presume the
new owners would like to keep them and attract a few more of the affluent local flat/house owners.
It is by the Ravenscourt Park end of King Street, just two mins from that main drag.
Hammersmith Apollo is maybe several minutes walk away and Shepherds Bush Empire is twice that.
They also have bed & breakfast accommodation upstairs.
We had a very nice three course meal each....this was mine.
Starters - Chilli & Garlic King Prawns
Mains - House Smoked Baby-Back Pork Ribs with fries & coleslaw
Dessert - Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream
We had wines and cocktails including espresso martinis and negronis.
Well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Visit their website here for more info.

Thursday 05 November 2020...Music news this week...

Thursday 05 November 2020.
Ken Hensley, ex-Uriah Heep, dead at 75. Ken Hensley, best known as Uriah Heep's keyboard player from 1970 to 1980, has died. He was 75. The sad news was delivered today by his brother.
I saw Ken with Uriah Heep seven times in the 1970s.
Happy Birthday to BRYAN ADAMS who is 61 today.
I have seen Bryan Adams live over 20 times.
I will be seeing him again at The Royal Albert Hall in 2021.
Happy Birthday to ART GARFUNKEL who is 79 today.
Friday 06 November 2020
06 Nov 1975 - It was 45 years ago today that The Sex Pistols played their debut show.
St Martin's College of Art, London
On 06 Nov 2005 I went to a 30th anniversary celebration at the same venue where Glen Matlock
unveiled the blue plague and The Paddingtons played a live set where Glen Matlock
joined them for "Pretty Vacant" , and 500 guests enjoyed free booze.
It was 50 years ago today - 06 Nov 1970
AEROSMITH played their debut show in Boston, Mass, USA.
SKY Arts 9pm - Brian Johnson meets Roger Daltrey
SKY Arts 10pm - Music Through The Lens (Rock Photographers ) - part 1 of 6
Just some of the photographers interviewed alongside Gered Mankowitz about their work in music include: Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Terry O’Neill, Kevin Cummins, Bob Gruen, Rachel Wright, Deborah Feingold, Baron Wolman (sadly passed away this week), Neal Preston, Roger Sargent, Dean Chalkley, Tom Sheehan, Pooneh Ghana, Michael Zagaris, Mick Rock, Danny Clinch, Christie Goodwin, Albert Watson, Lynn Goldsmith and Rankin to name but a few. Sharing eye-opening insights from a musician’s viewpoint are Alice Cooper, Craig David, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Ziggy Marley, Lars Ulrich, (Metallica), Zara Larsson, Stefflon Don, Julian Lennon and Dizzee Rascal and many others.
BBC4 9pm to 11pm - Punk & New Wave Anthems
Saturday 07 November 2020.
SKY Arts 7.30pm to 9pm - The Who live in Kilburn, London 1977
I have seen The Who live around 30 times including three times with Keith Moon in 1975/1976
LEONARD COHEN sadly died four years ago today....07 Nov 2016...
I saw him in 1985 at Hammersmith Odeon then a few of his stunning comeback
shows in the decade before he passed away.
Lots of great clips up on YouTube from his official DVD that was recorded at The 02 Arena.
Happy Birthday to JONI MITCHELL who is 77 today
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions are held in America tonight.
Pretty great that T.Rex are one of the the inductees.
Hopefully some YouTube clips of the evening will appear over the next few days.
Sunday 08 November 2020
SKY Arts 9pm - The Rolling Stones live in Hyde Park, London 2013 ( I went to both their Hyde Park shows)
SKY Arts 10.15pm - David Bowie "Serious Moonlight " 1983 tour , Vancouver, Canada
I did not go to the Milton Keynes Bowl show on this tour but I did go to a special charity show at
Hammersmith Odeon on the same tour....the first and only time he came back there after his famous
Ziggy Stardust show at that venue in 1973.
Happy Birthday to ROY WOOD who is 74 today.
Roy was a member of The Move and then eventually formed Wizzard.
Wizzard at Hammersmith Palais in Sept 1973 was my first ever proper live gig.
08 Nov 2007...13 years ago today...
THE SEX PISTOLS played their first of five shows at Brixton Academy...I was at all five shows.

Sunday 18 October 2020

Channel 5 tv at 9pm - QUEEN documentary
Channel 5 tv at 11pm - QUEEN live at Hammersmith Odeon 24 Dec 1975.

Queen played five shows at this venue for their winter UK tour, I went to the four shows before this one but on 24 Dec 1975 I went to see The Sensational Alex Harvey Bank at The New Victoria Theatre, London.

Saturday 17 October 2020

THE STRUTS released their third album "Strange Days " yesterday.
Derby glam-rock revivalists The Struts seem to be suffering from the kind of love them / hate them that The Darkness suffered around 20 years ago.
Dave Grohl says "they were the best live band ever to have supported The Foo Fighters" to the mainstream press saying "do we really need a glam-metal album in 2020?".
Their singer Luke certainly is full of Freddie Mercury type charisma.
The album includes a cover of the KISS classic "Do You Love Me".
Looking forward to seeing them live next year.

Friday 16 October 2020

THE SEX PISTOLS are on SKY ARTS just after midnight tonight.
THE SEX PISTOLS "They'll Always Be An England".
Their great live DVD from their five shows at Brixton Academy in 2007....I was at all five shows.

Tonight - BBC4 tv are having an evening of programmes dedicated to Cliff Richard for his 80th birthday.
It starts with his film "Summer Holiday"....Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols said this was one of his fave films.

It is the USA presidential campaign at the moment across the pond.
A great time to play this 1970s classic by Alice Cooper on YouTube.
There is also a new lyric video out for it this month.

Thursday 15 October 2020

Happy Birthday to TITO JACKSON who is 67 today.
Check my Facebook page to see a photo of us together.

Wednesday 14 October 2020.

Check this very nice (and very rare) interview with EDDIE VAN HALEN on YouTube - 55 mins.
Interview with Eddie Van Halen: Is Rock 'n' Roll All About Reinvention?
It has been viewed over 6 million times.

Tuesday 13th October 2020

Some of England’s best-known grassroots music venues, including the 100 Club (cap, 350), Bush Hall (425)
in London and Liverpool’s The Cavern Club (250), together with an array of independent festivals,
will benefit from a share of the £257 million Cultural Recovery Fund announced on Monday.
Happy Birthday to American singer-songwriter rocker SAMMY HAGAR who is 73 today.
Wednesday 14 October 2020.
Happy Birthday to CLIFF RICHARD who is 80 today.

Tuesday 13 October 2020...THE WHITE HORSE, WEMBLEY.

7pm to 10pm...
THE WHITE HORSE - launch event.
The White Horse, 4 Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley, Middlesex, HA9 0HP
Fullers have opened a new pub and the location is pretty incredible for live music and sports fans.
It is next to the steps that lead up to Wembley Stadium and DIRECTLY OPPOSITE WEMBLEY ARENA.
My first of hundreds of shows at Wembley Arena was Alice Copper + Heavy Metal Kids in 1975.
My first of many visits to Wembley Stadium was The Who,Stranglers,AC/DC,Nils Lofgren in 1979.
I can remember the old days of Wembley when all it had was a Sunday market and a couple of dodgy pubs.
Now it has a proper shopping centre , and is a full on food & drinks destination with everything catered for.
Influenced by Wembley Park’s legendary past, the name The White Horse derives from the first-ever FA Cup Final match to be played in the stadium in 1923 when vast crowds surged onto the pitch. Mounted policemen were brought in to clear the crowds and allow the final to take place, including one on a light-coloured horse, which became the defining image of the day.
Situated in the heart of Wembley Park, The White Horse is both contemporary and homely in its design, with elegant interior, comfortable lounge furniture, plenty of plants and two central square-shaped bars on two levels. The new space caters to all tastes, from the traditional pub-goer to the millennial remote worker, making it an attractive destination for local residents, as well as nearby workers and visitors from further afield.
We had a lovely three course meal with drinks which included Guinness.
My starters was a very nice Crispy King Prawns & Squid and the mains was a yummy 8oz Rib-Eye Steak
with Triple-Cooked Chips & Mushrooms.
Our Waitress Tyler was great.
No doubt they will be very busy on event days in Wembley.
The entrance is just 50 yards from the front doors of Wembley Arena , so perfect for a meal and drinks before a gig.
Meanwhile while we wait for events to come back on, the locals should take full advantage.
www.whitehorsewembley.co.ukVisit their website here for more info.
Tel: 020 8237 8037 to reserve your table.

12th October 2020

Happy Birthday to THE DAMNED singer Dave Vanian who is 64 today.
A bit mad to think that all the original young UK punk rockers are now in their 60s.

October 11th

I watched the great TEDDY PENDERGRASS documentary on BBCiPlayer this morning.
He certainly seems to have been under appreciated over the years.
I saw him three times at Hammersmith Odeon in Feb 1982, just a month before his serious car crash.
His comeback appearance was in a wheelchair for Live Aid Philadelphia in 1985.
Amazingly when he left Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes his solo career was managed by
Alice Coopers long term manager Shep Gordon.
Teddy Pendergrass (March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010) was an American singer. Born in Philadelphia, PA at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. Pendergrass was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He initially rose to musical fame as the lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. After leaving the group over monetary disputes in 1976, Pendergrass launched a successful solo career under the Philadelphia International label, releasing five consecutive platinum albums, a record at the time for an African-American R&B artist. Pendergrass's career was suspended after a March 1982 car crash that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Pendergrass continued his successful solo career until announcing his retirement in 2007. Pendergrass died from respiratory failure in January 2010.
After the sad death of Eddie Van Halen, i have been playing Van Halen's stunning debut album again.
Back then in 1978 , nobody played guitar like Eddie Van Halen and looked like David Lee Roth.
No wonder they totally upstaged the mighty Black Sabbath on that UK tour.
The full album is up on YouTube, so give it a listen.
This website will be having a bit of an overhaul in the coming week.
Mainly to make it easier to read on mobile devices etc.
SKY ARTS 10.45pm tonight - Queen Rock Monteal 1981.

Birthdays and Charts: 10th October 2020

10 Oct 2005 - It was 15 years ago that I went to this intimate gig by rock legends DEEP PURPLE.
It was at The Hard Rock Cafe ,London for just 150 people.
Happy Birthday to DAVID LEE ROTH who is 66 today.
Happy Birthday to MIDGE URE who is 67 today.
Happy Birthday to MURRAY WALKER who hits the grand old age of 97 today.
Murray Walker, OBE is an English semi-retired motorsport commentator and journalist. He provided television commentary of live Formula 1 coverage for the BBC between 1976 and 1996, and for ITV between 1997 and 2001.
Some good artists in this weeks album charts.
5 2020 - BON JOVI

9th October

JOHN LENNON would have been 80 today.
Lots of special programmes on tv and radio in tribute to him this weekend.
Representatives of the late George Michael’s estate have loaned the piano John Lennon used to compose Imagine on to the Strawberry Field exhibition in Liverpool, England.
George Michael bought the piano for £1.45 million in 2000.
Happy Birthday to SEAN LENNON who is 45 today,
Yes, his birthday is on the same day as his dad.

RIP Bunny "Striker" Lee

Sad news that a reggae legend has passed away.
Bunny “Striker” Lee, the influential reggae and dub producer, has died, Trojan Records confirms. The official cause of death has not been revealed, but Jamaican broadcaster Clinton Lindsay said that Lee was “battling kidney problems for the past few months.” Bunny Lee was 79 years old.
I met him a few years ago at the premiere of his documentary film.

News and Reviews: 7th October 2020

Very sad news that rock guitar legend EDDIE VAN HALEN has died aged 65.

Eddie Van Halen -- the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen -- has died after a long battle with throat cancer.

He died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday. His wife, Janie was by his side.

I saw Van Halen at least once on all of their UK tours including their debut in 1978 supporting

Black Sabbath at Hammersmith Odeon when their stunning debut album came out.

Black Sabbath,Van Halen Hammersmith Odeon, London 01.06.1978 van halen debut uk tour

Black Sabbath,Van Halen Hammersmith Odeon, London 10.06.1978 van halen again blow Sabbath away

Van Halen,Battleaxe Rainbow Theatre, London 22.10.1978

Van Halen,St Paradise Rainbow Theatre, London 29.06.1979

Van Halen,Lucifers Friend Rainbow Theatre , London 24.06.1980

AC/DC,Van Halen,Ozzy Osbourne,Gary Moore,Motley Crue Monsters Of Rock , Donnington 17.08.1984 What a great day .What a great line up .

Van Halen + Little Angels Wembley Arena , London 29.04.1993 great 2 hours 10 mins rock show .Sammy Hagar now on vocals .

Bon Jovi + Van Halen + Thunder + Ugly Kid Joe Wembley Stadium , London 23.06.1995 ugly kid joe did a fun filled 30 mins set thunder did a 50 mins set but should have stuck to a greatest hits set

Bon Jovi + Van Halen + Thunder + Ugly Kid Joe Wembley Stadium , London 25.06.1995 Van Halen did a great 75 mins set .Did some early material as well .Bon Jovi did a 2 hours 30 mins set to confirm they are one of the biggest and best live rock bands on the planet.


Sad news that JOHNNY NASH has passed away.

Johnny Nash, best known for his 1972 hit "I Can See Clearly Now," died Tuesday morning, his son, John Nash, told CNN. He was 80 years old. The American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter passed away from natural causes at his home in Houston, his son said.


Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen

We're launching an incredible archive of never-before-seen 20 to 30 min "mini gigs" exclusively curated by each artist from their Royal Albert Hall show for Teenage Cancer Trust.

"Teenage Cancer Trust Unseen" is to raise vital funds to help us support young people facing cancer across the UK.  This content will be free to enjoy, but we are urging fans to donate to fill the gap in fundraising that provides a lifeline for teenagers with cancer.

Driven by our Honorary Patron and The Who icon, Roger Daltrey, a who’s who of world-class musical talent have performed at our legendary fundraising gigs at the Royal Albert Hall over the last 20 years. All so young people with cancer get the support they deserve.

The complete lineup is:

Thurs 8th at 8pm - Ed Sheeran

Fri 9th at 8pm - Muse

Sat 10th at 8pm - The Who

Sun 11th at 8pm - Paul McCartney

Mon 12th at 8pm - Paul Weller

Tues 13th at 8pm - Stereophonics

Wed 14th at 8pm - Pulp

Thurs 15th at 8pm - Noel Gallagher

Fri 16th at 10pm - Them Crooked Vultures - Full Show

Sat 17th at 8pm - Rudimental

Sun 18th at 8pm - The Cure

Sat 31st at 8pm - The Cure – Full Show

(I was at most of the above shows including The Who and Paul McCartney).

News and Reviews: 6th October 2020

PEARL JAM will play two nights at American Express presents BST Hyde Park 2021, with the central London live concert series aiming to return to action next year following its cancellation in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Having been part of the original 2020 line-up, Pearl Jam have confirmed that they have been rebooked for BST Hyde Park 2021. The band will play on Friday July 9 and Saturday July 10, 2021 in what is being billed as a UK exclusive.

For a band who you rarely hear on the radio, or see on tv, that's two lots of 65,000 loyal fans each night.

I have seen them a few times including a show in Paris.


Folks are now starting to get the jitters for shows planned for NEXT YEAR.

Simple Minds UK tour was postponed to Feb 2021 and they have now postponed again to Aug 2021.

News and Reviews: 5th October 2020

Happy Birthday to BRIAN JOHNSON who is 73 today.

I have seen AC/DC with Bon Scott 19 times.

I have seen AC/DC with Brian Johnson over 20 times.

I have seen AC/DC with Axl Rose just the once.

AC/DC with Brian on vocals will have a new album out in a couple of months.


Happy Birthday to STEVE MILLER who is 77 today.

Steve does not play the UK that often but I saw all three shows at Hamersmith Odeon in 1982,

and his next London show which was 28 years later at The Royal Albert Hall in 2010.


BRIAN CONNOLLY - THE SWEET would have been 75 today....He sadly died in 1997.

My friend was their tour manager so he invited me to Brian's funeral, as well as the funeral for

Sweet drummer Mick Tucker.

The Sweet were the first band i ever saw at The Rainbow - December 1973


Happy Birthday to SIR BOB GELDOF who is 69 today.

I first saw The Boomtown Rats in 1977, and saw them nine times in total, including Live Aid.

News and Reviews: 3rd October 2020

Happy Birthday to Motley Crue drummer TOMMY LEE who is 58 today.


JOHN LENNON would have been 80 on 09 October.

Lots of special programmes this weekend on BBC tv and radio to celebrate his life & music.


Sunday 04 October 2020.

Megaclash in Paris between Enable and Stradivarius.

The Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is a hugely important horse race that brings together the top

middle-distance performers from Europe and beyond.

It is run at Longchamp racecourse over a mile and a half and is open to colts and fillies aged three and over,

with this year's contest due off at 3.05pm (BST) on Sunday, October 4.


The London Marathon is held for Elite Runners only - behind closed doors but live on BBC tv.


Fact of the day.

Did you know Phil Spector was involved in producing John Lennon's "Imagine"?

Lennon and Ono co-produced the song with Phil Spector. Recording began at Lennon's home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England, in May 1971, with final overdubs taking place at the Record Plant, in New York City, during July.

News and Reviews: 2nd October 2020

BBC2 tv at 10pm - Later With Jools Holland features ROBERT PLANT for the entire programme.

Robert Plant is promoting his new album, which comes out today.

Robert Plant's new career-spanning solo compilation titled Digging Deep is released on October 2, which features three previously unreleased tracks.


TOM PETTY sadly died three years ago today.

I saw him in London on every UK tour he did since his support debut at Hammersmith Odeon in 1977.

Then his own headline show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980.

Also Wembley Arena, Shepherds Bush Empire, Royal Albert Hall and his final London show at Hyde Park.


This weeks UK albums charts....

IDLES new album goes straight in at number one.

SLADE new hits album goes straight in at number eight.


Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter DON McLEAN who is 75 today.

News and Reviews: 1st October 2020

Happy Birthday to guitarist EARL SLICK who is 68 today.


Go on the TONY VISCONTI wiki page to see the staggering list of albums he has produced

over the past 50 plus years, including T.Rex, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Boomtown Rats and more.


Friday 02 October 2020.

BBC2 tv at 10pm - Later With Jools Holland features ROBERT PLANT for the entire programme.

Robert Plant is promoting his new album , which comes out today.

Robert Plant's new career-spanning solo compilation titled Digging Deep is released on October 2,

which features three previously unreleased tracks.


TOM PETTY sadly died three years ago today.

I saw him in London on every UK tour he did since his support debut at Hammersmith Odeon in 1977.

Then his own headline show at Hammersmith Odeon in 1980.

Also Wembley Arena, Shepherds Bush Empire, Royal Albert Hall and his final London show at Hyde Park.


This weeks UK albums charts....

IDLES new album goes straight in at number one.

SLADE new hits album goes straight in at number eight.