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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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This weeks UK albums charts....

IDLES new album goes straight in at number one.

SLADE new hits album goes straight in at number eight.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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This weeks UK albums charts....

IDLES new album goes straight in at number one.

SLADE new hits album goes straight in at number eight.

News and Reviews: Wednesday 30th September 2020

News from one of the UK's top live music promoters saying normal gigs are still a long way off.
Kilimanjaro Live boss Stuart Galbraith has told Music Week of his hopes that full-capacity shows in the UK will get the go-ahead to resume NEXT SPRING.
Speaking in this week's magazine, the Concert Promoters Association vice-chair revealed he had earmarked April 8 as the target restart date.
"We've got some big asks still of government and we really need to focus upon those," he said. "Number one is a date, when can we get going? And I think that we should be pushing for a date that is April 8. The reason I say that is a) it's immediately after Easter and b) I think government will be able to find that acceptable - I think it will fit in with political and society agendas. It's midweek, so it's not going to be a date you're going to see people go crazy on, like a Saturday, and we could ease into it."
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MARC BOLAN would have been 73 today.
I saw his last ever London show at The Rainbow in March 1977...six months before his death.
Tonight Marc Almond is playing a tribute show to Marc Bolan via his website, with many guests involved.
On 04 Sept BMG released a tribute album which features Marc's fab songs covered by many great names.
Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex

News and Reviews: 29th September 2020

Happy Birthday to ALAN McGEE are who is 60 today.
One of the books i read while on holiday was his great drug fuelled autobiography.
Creation Stories: Riots, Raves and Running a Label. Alan McGee's role in shaping British musical culture over the past thirty years is hard to overstate.
He co-founded the independent Creation Records label, running it from 1983 until its closure in 1999. He subsequently founded the Poptones label, running it from 1999 to 2007. He has managed or brought out records by acts such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Oasis, and The Libertines.

28th September 2020

I did a short interview for Greatest Hits Radio (South Wales version)
It will be broadcast this Wednesday from 7pm.
It is about Welsh live music history.
I will be talking about going to see...
KISS @ Deeside Leisure Centre in 1980.
U2 + The Pretenders + The Alarm @ Cardiff Arms Park Stadium in 1987.

27th September 2020

Happy Birthday to RANDY BACHMAN who is 77 today.
I was lucky to have seen two very rare UK shows by BTO.
Bachman Turner Overdrive + Thin Lizzy Hammersmith Odeon, London 03.05.1975
fantastic double bill. Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham had joined Thin Lizzy last year and with Lynott you knew they would be huge .
Bachman Turner Overdrive + Thin Lizzy Hammersmith Odeon, London 04.05.1975
BTO were massive in the UK at this time with the brilliant " Not Fragile " album and the big hit single " You Aint Seen Nothing Yet" .Fantastic evening .
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Happy Birthday to MEAT LOAF who is 73 today.
I have seen him perform live around 15 times with the first time in 1978 at Hammersmith Odeon
on his debut UK tour for the "Bat Out Of Hell" album.

26th September 2020

26 Sept 2001 - I was at this great event 19 years ago today.
THE CLASH - photos by Bob Gruen - private view at Proud Gallery, Camden.
Joe Strummer and Mick Jones turned up as well as many others from The Clash family.
See my invite for the event on my Facebook page.


Happy Birthday to BRYAN FERRY who is 75 today.


The Pink Floyd legend Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets’ Live At The Roundhouse has entered the charts at number 5.
The 76-year-old’s live album is a recording of the band’s sold-out shows at the famous London venue back in May 2019.
I was at both those Roundhouse shows.


 


SALON PRIVE CONCOURS 2020 is held at the stunning Blenheim Palace....Sept 23,24,25,26....
Blenheim Palace sits at the edge of the picturesque town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire.
​It is a luxurious ticket with full hospitality event appealing to discerning guests, collectors, buyers, owners and enthusiasts who prefer a more intimate experience. It is a presentation of the very finest automotive and luxury brands as well as the rarest and most valuable of classic cars and motorcycles.​​
Blenheim Palace is a World Heritage Site with over 300 years of History and home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough.
Now in its 15th year, ‘Salon Privé Week’ is a must-attend series of events for any car enthusiast or aficionado. A Partner Concours to the Peninsula Classics’ Best of the Best’ Award, Salon Privé is now recognised as one of the top events in the world alongside Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Held annually within the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Salon Privé is firmly established as the UK’s most exclusive Motor Show.
More than 70 years of Ferrari history will be showing at Blenheim Palace.
The Concours of Elegance, presented by A. Lange & Söhne will also be paying homage to the 70th anniversary of the first Grand Prix Championship race, held at Silverstone in 1950. Included in this year's line-up of cars are three of the line-up of the most innovative and beautiful Formula One cars ever raced, including Damon Hill's Williams FW15C, Sir Stirling Moss' Lotus 18 and the Ferrari 312/67 driven by the likes of Jacky Ickx and Derek Bell.
Salon Privé Week 2020
Wed 23rd September - Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance
Thurs 24th September - Salon Privé Ladies’ Day by Boodles
Fri 25th September - Salon Privé Masters by Pirelli and Lockton
Sat 26th September - Salon Privé Classic & Supercar featuring The Salon Privé Club Trophy
There is a 100% full prompt refund if the event is cancelled to to the coronavirus. It is a premium event as all food and drinks, including Pommery champagne are included for Wed, Thurs, Friday in the £295 ticket price.
Sat 26 Sept is the only day where general admission tickets only are for sale at £36. Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.

25th September 2020

Friday 25 September 2020...11.30am to 5.30pm...
We are on the outskirts of the lovely Oxfordshire countryside at this very famous Palace.
Before we enter there is temperature checks and track and tracing info is taken.
Indoor live music gigs and theatre have suffered during this strange time, but this was the third major
outdoor car event i have been to in as many months.
There are at least 100 stunning cars here from all the legendary super-car Marques including
Bugatti
McLaren
Ferrari
Jaguar
Lamborghini
Maserati
Porsche
Audi
Aston Martin
BMW
Lotus
Rolls-Royce
Bentley
and many more....
From 2.15pm to 3.45pm there was the parade and competition as the two best cars from each decade
were chosen from the visions of beauty on display.
The host did a great job of telling the history behind each car and previous owners included
The Sultan of Brunei, Rowan Atkinson and Boney M founder Frank Farian.
The main trophy winners were presented by The Duke of Marlborough.
There were helicopters on display and several took off and landed during the afternoon.
Throughout the day there is complimentary Pommery champers, Gin & Tonics, Vodka Cocktails,
wines, beers, coffees, teas and lunchtime hampers of seafood, meat and veggie.
Also afternoon tea hampers of scones, jam, clotted cream and pastries.
Pencil in the dates for next year in your diary - Sept 1 to 4 2021.
A great day out.




Friday 25 September 2020.
Tonight on BBC4 tv.
9pm - Australian Acts on the BBC including INXS, AC/DC, Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave.
10pm - Mystify (Michael Hutchence documentary)
11.40pm - INXS live at Wembley Stadium 1991 ( I was at that show)

24th September 2020

A reminder that SKY ARTS is now free to view on daily tv from 01 September.
They are showing many great music documentaries and gigs.
This Saturday features an evening dedicated to Pink Floyd.
6.30pm - Pink Floyd Live at Pompeii 1972
7.45pm - Pink Floyd PULSE live at Earls Court Arena 1994 (I was at one of the Earls Court shows )
9pm - Roger Waters Us + Them live in Amsterdam on his 2017/2018 European Tour
11.30pm - Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here classic album documentary

23rd September 2020

Happy Birthday to music legend BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN who is 71 today.
I have seen Bruce live over 20 times including both his legendary debut London shows at
Hammersmith Odeon in Nov 1975.

6th September 2020

Thurs 10 Sept---Glen Matlock Band play The Electric Ballroom.
This will be a socially distanced event where all socially distanced Heath & Safety procedures will be in place according to Govt guidelines and where the audience will be seated at separate tables.
Glen’s band for this one off show will be Chris Musto on Drums, Jim Lowe on Bass and on guitar will be special guest for the evening, Neal X ( Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Adam Ant, Marc Almond ) Tickets are £30....with support from The Priscillas.
I would have gone to this show but I am in mainland Europe from Mon 07 Sept to Tues 22 Sept. September is usually a good month for gigs and events but not much on due to the coronavirus. Will be going to see an old friend and hopefully the plane both ways is half empty as it's not a beach resort. I will have use of the sauna , outdoor pool in the huge garden and an e-bike so should be good fun. Daily news on raysgigs will be taking a break for a fortnight.


This book is a must buy - released 10 April 2020.
Worlds End : Sex Pistols / McLaren / Westwood - A Chronology 1971 to 1978 by Mal-One and The Punk Collective.
Retails for £14.99 and is available from Rough Trade stores and online.
Visit their website here to buy it mail order.
It is also available via Ebay and Amazon.


This is a historical document set in Day by Day format with incredible attention to detail over its 344 pages.
There are a few punk-art collages by Mal-One but no band photos as we all know what they look like.
The Year Zero is the early 1970s at McLaren/Westwood store at 430 Kings Road ,Chelsea where music, film, art ,fashion, youth culture evolved from here to change the music scene forever.
As expected , most of the book centres on the two incredible years of 1976 and 1977. One thing you do notice throughout the book is the amount of gigs The Sex Pistols had cancelled. It got even worse after the Bill Grundy incident as they became the most talked about new band in the country,and everybody wanted to see them play live but nobody could see them as the GLC, other local councils, promoters and everybody else just pulled the plug on them.
Certainly not easy for Malcolm McLaren to manage them , with all the various problems. Hard to believe that before their re-union tour in 1996 the biggest crowd in the UK they had played to in 1976/1977 was around 1000 people, and they were all low key secret gigs.
It was criminal that they could have filled multi-nights at the bigger London venues but were just not allowed. I would compare it to something like 1994 when Oasis were the hottest new band in the UK. They had swagger and attitude and swore a bit but imagine nobody was allowed to see them play classic tracks from their debut album like "Rock 'n' Roll Star", "Live Forever" , "Supersonic" and "Cigarettes & Alcohol".
Nice to see that i get a mention in the book on page 225 which is related to the "Pretty Vacant " poster "Dance To The Sex Pistols" which i am in.
The stills were taken from Sex Pistols Notre Dame 1976 gig. A smaller version of the poster is on page 162.
The Sex Pistols are my fave band ever,so i know most of their history and was there for bits of it , but this book still surprises me with many never before known happenings in their career.
It really is a great five star read.

4th September 2020

The 2020 CONCOURS OF ELEGANCE will take place from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 September at Hampton Court Palace. The Concours of Elegance began at Windsor Castle in 2012, before moving to St James’s Palace in 2013, Hampton Court Palace in 2014 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh (Her Majesty The Queen’s official residence in Scotland) in 2015 before returning to Windsor Castle in 2016 and Hampton Court Palace in 2017.


The Concours of Elegance will once again bring together a selection of 100 of the rarest cars from around the world – many of which will never have been seen before in the UK. Many of the Concours cars will also take part in a 2 day driving tour in the days running up to the main Concours event. Uniquely, the Concours of Elegance winner isn’t selected by a panel of judges but by the Owners of the cars themselves. Each participant is asked to vote on the other models on display to decide which car is considered to be the ‘Best of Show’.


Concours of Elegance will gather a line-up of the McLaren F1 GTRs that finished 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th at Le Mans 24 Hours in 1995 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of McLaren’s unique motorsport achievement. The cars will take centrestage in front of the Palace for the entirety of the event. There will also be a selection of vary rare and historic cars from Ferrari and Porsche. Also a unique Bugatti Type 57 with coachwork by Gangloff, and the only Jaguar XK150 by Bertone known to still exist.


15 stunning cars will be on view on Fri/Sat for the auction on the Saturday at 5pm.
The minimum estimate of any car is £300k and several are expected to sell for a couple of million.
Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.


We were there 2.30pm to 6pm on the Friday.
Great to back at this stunning historic palace.
The palace was bought by the English monarchy in 1528. This was when Thomas Wolsey gave it to Henry VIII. It stayed a royal palace for the next 220 years. In its lifetime, it saw twelve monarchs on the throne, until George III stopped living in it after the death of his wife. There was a fire at Hampton Court in 1986. It is currently owned by Historic Royal Palaces, which also owns places like the Tower of London. It is open to the public. It has many gardens, and also has a maze.
All the cars are nicely spaced out at the rear, and they all look superb.
They sound fantastic when many are started up for the parade.
As it was VIP/ press day we had complimentary poached salmon, thyme and sage chicken, finger sandwiches, pastries, wines and coffees in the hospitality tent.
Guests here included PRINCE MICHAEL OF KENT and JODIE KIDD.
You can still buy tickets for Saturday and Sunday.


Happy Birthday to Pretenders drummer MARTIN CHAMBERS who is 69 today.
I have seen The Pretenders live around 15 times with the first being at the legendary Nashville Pub in 1979.

3rd September 2020

Happy Birthday to Sex Pistols "Guitar Hero" STEVE JONES who 65 today.
I have seen THE SEX PISTOLS live around 20 times since 1976.
It was 12 years ago in 2008 that The Sex Pistols played their last tour.
As it stands, I have been to the last three Sex Pistols shows played.
31 AUG 2008 ELECTRIC PICNIC FESTIVAL, STRADBALLY ESTATE COUNTY LAOIS, IRELAND
2 SEPT 2008 HAMMERSMITH APOLLO, LONDON, UK
5 SEPT 2008 AZKENA ROCK FESTIVAL, VITORIA-GASTEIZ, BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN
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I saw Steve Jones play with his great all-star band - The Neurotic Outsiders in 1996.

2nd September 2020

Sept 1975 - it was 45 years ago this month i was going to these great shows as a 16 year old.
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 11.09.1975 fantastic rock package
Great rock songs with a great stage show .
Alice Cooper + Heavy Metal Kids Wembley Arena , London 12.09.1975 "Welcome To My Nightmare "
is the current album .He played all his 4 Top 10 hit singles and it was just brilliant .
Wings Hammersmith Odeon, London 17.09.1975
Kraftwerk,AJ Webber Hammersmith Odeon, London 20.09.1975
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Sad news that IAN MITCHELL has passed away.
Ian Mitchell, a one-time member of Bay City Rollers, has died at age 62. Mitchell had an extremely short innings with Bay City Rollers (less than 12 months in 1976) . After original member Alan Longmuir left the band ,Mitchell was brought in. Ian, an Irishman, became the first non-Scottish member of Bay City Rollers.

1st September 2020

Happy Birthday to BARRY GIBB who is 74 today.
I was lucky to have seen The Bee Gees play live at Madison Square Garden , New York in Sept 1979.
They were flying high after the big hits from the "Saturday Night Fever " film soundtrack album.
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Wanna buy a flat in a legendary recording studio?
If these walls had ears, they’d probaby still be ringing —for this loft-style penthouse flat once shook to the sounds of rock’s biggest names.
Now on the market for £850,000, the 1,068sq ft two-bedroom apartment in Highbury comes with polished wood floors, exposed brick walls and a pivotal place in music history.
The unassuming church hall, had been home to the 'Rank Charm School', where future British film stars including Diana Dors and Christopher Lee were tutored in the late Forties.
It was bought by Sir George Martin in 1965. He transformed it into Wessex Sound Studios, installing facilities to rival those he used to record The Beatles at Abbey Road.
For almost four decades, punks and pop stars from the Rolling Stones and David Bowie to Madonna and Prince beat a path to its doors.
It was where the SEX PISTOL'S recorded Never Mind The Bollocks in 1977 and the Clash taped seminal album London Calling two years later.

31st August 2020

Happy Birthday to VAN MORRISON who is 75 today.
Van is playing two birthday shows at The Electric Ballroom this coming weekend.
They will be the first socially distanced gigs in London by a major artist since lockdown.
I have seen Van live over a dozen times with Hammersmith Odeon in 1979 being the first time.

29th August 2020

The Reading Festival and Notting Hill Carnival are not on this August Bank Holiday but this event
looks a real corker.
THE RUN - SUMMER GARDEN PARTY (held near to Ascot train station)
More Then just a Rally
The Run Summer Party is one of the most exclusive party events this year.
Hosted by Rico RiRi with support from Chelsea Singh another 'Surprise Guest DJ' (Jeremy Healy).
What you will get with us:
Champagne Reception
BBQ
Rolls Royce transfers from Ascot Station
Cigar Bar
Supercar Display
Casino Tables
Exclusive access into the Court Estate
Access into the run enclosure
Open Bar serving Premium Wine & Beers
Good vibes & music all day/night
Surrounded by Luxury Meadows & Lake side access
Luxury Toilets & Changing rooms
Use of the Swimming Pool & Hot Tubs
Concierge Desk
Live DJ’s, dancers, electric violinist & saxophone
Due to the open/free bar please drink responsibly
This is a premium event so tickets are £200 plus £9 booking fee.
Just google the event name for the ticket link and more info.
www.runtour.co.uk Also via their website here.
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We were there from 3.30pm to 9pm.
Several guests used the free White Rolls Royce transfer from the train station to the venue a few mins away,
although most came here by car.
We are are greeted by a dozen sports super cars at the entrance to this massive house.
Around 300 guests are here in this stunning garden, including lots of scantily clad females.
Nice to see DAVE COURTNEY here who is an English self-proclaimed former gangster who has become both an author and celebrity, along with being the " go to person" for London gangster documentaries on tv.
As you can imagine Ascot is one of those areas with many huge houses with gardens to match.
The entire event was held outside as nobody was allowed inside the main house itself.
The garden here was simply jaw dropping, so plenty of space for social distancing.
Complimentary Moët champers reception until 5pm then it was complimentary wines, beers, coffees.
At 5pm the food is brought to the 20 tables on the lawn, a very nice cheeseburger and BBQ chicken.
We have the outdoor pool but only a couple of brave souls ventured in due to the dodgy weather.
The hot tub is covered over, as it did drizzle a bit with rain off and on.
There were various djs and a couple of singers performed three tracks each in the huge marquee.
Also a female duo of electric violin and sax performed a few songs.
At the rear there is a mini lake along with a tennis court and non-alcoholic cocktails from Lyre's.
So many large trees here that it felt more like a park or woods rather than a back garden.
At 9pm it got a bit chilly and the rainy drizzle came down again so we left a bit before the end.
Despite the weather, it was very enjoyable so keep an eye out on their website for future events.



Very sad news that Black Panther actor CHADWICK BOSEMAN has passed way, aged only 43.
Chadwick Boseman was an American actor and producer. He has portrayed several real-life historical figures, such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017). He has also played the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Black Panther (2018), for which he won a NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, Captain America: Civil War (2016), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Boseman's other film roles included 21 Bridges (2019) and Da 5 Bloods (2020). He died at age 43,
after a battle with colon cancer.

28th August 2020

Today would have been the first of the three days of Reading Festival.
It has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus.
BBC iPlayer is playing highlights of previous festivals over the weekend.
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I have been to over a dozen Reading Festivals...some for one or two days, some for all three.
Many of them with me old mucker Bill Gaynor.
Not much attending there over the past decade due to the declining bands of any interest to me.
These were my first three Reading Festivals i went to...
Rory Gallagher,Phil Manzanera Band Reading Festival 27.08.1976
Thin Lizzy,Graham Parker,Aerosmith,John Miles,Ultravox Reading Festival 27.08.1977
It would be 12 years until Aerosmith next UK gig
Patti Smith,Foreigner,Tom Robinson Band,Gillan,Squeeze Reading Festival 27.08.1978

27th August 2020

Happy Birthday to GLEN MATLOCK who is 64 today.
I first saw Glen on stage in 1976 with The Sex Pistols and then many other times after with The Pistols ,
and have seen him with The Rich Kids, The Faces and loads of times with many different bands
and as a solo artist....Glen is a proper musician...
See my Facebook page for a nice photo of me with Glen , Steve and Paul.

26th Aguust 2020

It was 50 years ago today that the legendary ELECTRIC LADYLAND recording studio
officially opened in New York.
On August 26, 1970, Jimi Hendrix hosted the opening party for such stars as Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton and Ron Wood.
The list of many renowned artists that have tracked and/or mixed albums there is topped by the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Clapton, the Clash, Sheryl Crow and a host of others. In recent years it has found favor with top hip-hop acts. Although many of New York City’s independent rock recording studios have closed in recent years due in part to the digital recording revolution, Electric Lady has survived.
Jimi Hendrix spent only ten weeks recording in Electric Lady, most of which took place while the final phases of construction were still going on. An opening party was held on August 26, 1970. The following day Hendrix created his last studio recording: a cool and tranquil instrumental known only as "Slow Blues". He then boarded an Air India flight for London to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival, and died less than three weeks later.

25th August 2020

Happy Birthday to GENE SIMMONS who is 71 today.
I have seen KISS live over 30 times since their debut London shows in 1976 at Hammersmith Odeon.
Also includes all four shows on their second UK tour in 1980.
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Happy Birthday to ELVIS COSTELLO who is 66 today.
I have seen Elvis Costello live over 20 times since 1978.
The last time was March 2020 at Hammersmith Apollo, just before lockdown kicked in.
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Happy Birthday to actor SEAN CONNERY who hits the grand old age of 90 today.
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25 August 1975
It was 45 years ago today that BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN released his classic album "Born To Run".
I was at both his legendary debut UK shows at Hammersmith Odeon later that year.

21st August 2020

7.30pm to 10.30pm...Restaurant & bar press launch...
JOLIE , 459 Kings Road, Chelsea, London SW10.
We are in the Worlds End part of Chelsea, near to the legendary punk store at 430 Kings Road
where The Sex Pistols all first met up with Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood.
From the outside this venue still looks like the Worlds End pub but is it now three different venues
over the three levels , under the name of The Chelsea Funhouse.
JOLIE on the ground floor - French restaurant & bar
THE BLECHLEY in the basement - World War II themed bar and team building events space
CHELSEA BLACK on the first floor - espresso martini bar
Jolie - Is it a restaurant? Is it a cocktail bar? Non, c'est un salon…
Jolie is an all-new venture launching in London this August. Inspired by the flavours of France, this experience invites its guests to immerse themselves in the essence of the country through bold food, drink and entertainment.
The story? It’s one of jazz music, smoke-filled drinking dens and exquisite cuisine. Free from any snobbery, the salon will invite guests to sink hours into French sharing plates, with its pièce de résistance being a bottomless cheese fondue. Other key menu items include the sharing plate of signature smoked cote du boeuf, foie gras served on a home-made toasted brioche, and honey glazed chorizo and beef shin ragu.
As for drinks, the cocktail menu inspired by the smells and scents of different regions in France, with the Versailles being a real standout for its opulent combination of Champagne, caramel peach cognac and vanilla gold spray.
No doubt they will be attracting the same Chelsea crowd that frequents Bluebird just up the road.
The tables were a bit low for eating off, but we had a great evening of food and drinks here.
www.joliechelsea.com Visit their website here for more info.

19th August 2020

THE LONDON CONCOURS, presented by Montres Breguet, is a luxurious automotive garden party hosted right in the heart of the City of London from Wednesday 19th – Thursday 20th August. This hugely exciting automobile extravaganza will see over 100 of the world’s most precious cars gather in the gardens of the historic and beautiful Honourable Artillery Company Headquarters and will include a ferocious collection of horsepower.
They will be bringing together a display of the most significant Lamborghinis ever built, bookended by one of the first Lamborghinis – the elegant 400 GT – and one of the last, the Aventador SVJ Roadster.
Getting there. Closest tube stations: Moorgate (walk north up City Road) or Old Street (exit is signposted Armoury House – walk south down City Road) Both tube stations are a 3-4 minute walk to the Honourable Artillery Company.
www.londonconcours.co.uk Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.
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Wednesday - 3pm to 8pm
Over 1000 guests in these nice grounds hidden away behind the office blocks.
Just a week ago we were having that scorching hot weather but today it was pretty much non-stop rain.
Today we had to keep our umbrellas up...sunshine was forecast for the following day for this event.
All the cars (old and new) are in gleaming immaculate condition.
The owners are furiously wiping the rain off them constantly.
Many of the cars are started up and sound fantastic , and we had a parade at 6pm.
From 5.30pm to 8pm there was a very nice drinks reception undercover.
Complimentary Veuve Clicquot champers, four different cocktails, wines and canapés.
Despite the rain, it was a very enjoyable event.
The organisers have another event coming up soon at Hampton Court Palace - Sept 4/5/6.
www.concoursofelegance.co.uk Visit their website here for more info and to buy tickets.

18th August 2020

This day 58 years ago in 1962.
Only two days after Pete Best was fired, the Beatles performed their first official gig with new drummer RINGO STARR. The concert took place at Hulme Hall in Birkenhead – a ferry 'cross the Mersey away from Liverpool – on Aug. 18, 1962.
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This day 10 years ago in 2010.
French beauty brand Etat Libre D'Orange announced that they have teamed up with legendary bad boy rockers THE SEX PISTOLS to bottle the scent of the Punk era by launching the band's first fragrance. Company executives said "To wear this scent, you must resist tradition, fight conformity and disregard aromatic conventions."
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Major promoters at a music industry forum have said they expect consumer confidence in live music to be so low they will have to cut ticket prices, which will mean lower artist fees and thus either fewer crew or lower crew wages; crew members expect the return of live music to be accompanied by freelancers desperate for work undercutting each others’ rates.
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Sex Pistol GLEN MATLOCK has a full page interview in today's Daily Mirror - page 29.
Glen talks candidly about the back problem that he has had for many years, including times when he has
had to use a walking stick and other times where the pain was so bad he had to crawl on his
hands and knees to visit the toilet.