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Great gigs of my life...


For a long time I have been meaning to document in some way all the gigs I’ve ever been to. Starting this web site has finally prompted me. If at all possible I’ve included the date and venue. It’s amazing how compiling this list has brought back memories of gigs I’d forgotten about, (some of them deliberately.)  (Nov 2007 I’ve split this page into three, it was getting unwieldy.)

David Essex, long before he was a pop star, was in the musical Godspell . It was a school theatre trip, probably 1971/72, venue unknown.

Billy Fury, my first real gig, at Watford Town Hall, about 1972, supported by Heinz, the Tornados Carl Simmons and Tommy Bruce . It cost me 75p to get in with my school friend Mark, who had no idea what he was letting himself in for. The place was half empty, so I went right down to the front. After Heinz’ set I followed him up to the dressing rooms and got a string tie from him and autographs from him and Billy. Billy was superb, and if I could go to one gig a second time from all those that I’ve been to  it would be that one.

The 101ers (with Joe Strummer in pre-Clash days), Alberto Y Lost Trio Paranoias (with their searing impersonation of Jimi Hendrix doing ‘The Archers’ theme tune), and Eddie and the Hot Rods, on successive Sunday nights at the Tithe Farmhouse, Rayners Lane, December 1975. I think it was a quid to get in.  (If you have any memories of the 101ers, please contact Pete via his website.)

Queen in Hyde Park, London, probably summer 1976. Support acts included Kiki Dee, Supercharge, Steve Hillage(?). Rumour was (started by Kiki Dee’s publicity man?) that Elton would turn up. The life size cardboard cutout did.

The Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in Hyde Park, at the time of ‘Amazing Grace’.

Bill Haley and his Comets. The Hammersmith Palais, London, Judge Dread(!) was the compere for some reason, and Bill wouldn’t do an encore so the place got wrecked. This made it very reminiscent of his earlier UK tours!

Chuck Berry about 1976 - When a man in a suit came on stage halfway through the set, the audience got the idea that Chuck was living up to his ‘Mr Difficult’ image. However it was a record company exec, to present a gold disc, I think for a greatest hits collection. Waiting at the stage door later I was able to slap him on the back as he came out to his limo. It has also been a mystery to me regarding what happened to the photos I took. I can only guess that I took them in to be developed and forgot to collect them, or possibly there was no film in the camera…

Fats Domino at the Victoria Apollo. Later that evening at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, I saw Roy Orbison supported by Sidney Devine, the Scottish country singer.

Gary Glitter, The Hammersmith Palais, he was everything I’d expected.

Gary Glitter, the Lyceum at the height of punk, he was tossing roses into the audience, who showered him in spit. We liked him then...

Slade, the Lyceum. Noddy Holder and the boys came out, Noddy shouted, "Are you all as drunk as last night’s lot? " We assured him we were and then the band launched into all their misspelled hits.

Billy J. Kramer, in Carnaby Street to celebrate the reopening. About 1987.

Bo Diddley, Rick Nelson, Del Shannon, Frankie Ford, the Marvelettes, and Lou Christie at the London Palladium, front row, with the stage in the round. This was about 6 weeks before Rick and his band died.

Bo Diddley, the Stray Cats . People hoped Dave Edmunds would turn up. He didn’t.

Screamin’ Lord Sutch and many others at Wimbledon Theatre. Front row, and the Screamin’ Lord saw me singing my head off, he thrust his microphone in my face and so I had my world premiere. I can’t remember the song, and neither can the rest of the world.

Ray Campi and his Rockabilly Rebels.

The Mavericks 1998 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, just before "Dance the Night Away" was a UK hit. One of the all-time best gigs, the band was great, supported by the Havana Horns.

The Hollies at the Royal Albert Hall. OK but I hate bands who do medleys of their hits. This was a prime gig not a holiday camp after all.

The Animals, reformed, with the original lineup at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Everly Brothers, at the Royal Albert Hall, for their reunion concert about 1984. Magic.

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