FINALLY – after languishing undisturbed in various lofts, attics and garages, a record I produced 44 years ago has at last seen the light of day, or at least a release date – 30/01/2012.
The good people at ACE Records heard the track and decided to put it out on their latest Mod Jazz Forever compilation – see the link below – and here’s the background story.
In September 1968, producer Geoff Mullin booked a session at Olympic Studios in London to record three of his most accomplished musical friends, which resulted in a “groovy” club classic version of “Sunshine Superman”. Although never before released, the future career paths of those involved indicate that this was most certainly a musical oversight as the trio never recorded together again.
PETE BOCKING (guitar) – legendary guitarist from Manchester, school friend of Geoff Mullin, and acknowledged jazz guitar master whose early associations included playing in The Fourtones with Allan Clarke and Graham Nash before they formed The Hollies then Crosby, Stills & Nash. He then played lead guitar with local combos The Phantoms and Pete MacLaine and the Clan before forming his own formidable outfit The Pete Bocking Six. Later came periods with Lonnie Donegan and the Victor Brox Blues Band and as a much-respected teacher of jazz guitar until his passing in 2010.
J PETER ROBINSON (organ) – Royal Academy of Music graduate, Pete has more musical credits to his name than can possibly be included here but the highlights would be playing with his first name band Quatermass (Harvest Records)and many as a session player with Jerry Lee Lewis, Carly Simon, Phil Collins, Eric Clapton and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Pete moved to Los Angeles in the 1970’s to concentrate on scoring music for films and television which include “Wayne’s World”, “Cocktail”, “Cadillac Man”, “World’s Fastest Indian”, “Bank Job” and the TV series “Charmed” and “Outer Limits”.
TREVOR MORAIS (drums) – probably the most accomplished drummer, Ringo included, to begin his career in Liverpool, playing with The Cadillacs, Faron’s Flamingos, Rory Storm & The Hurricanes and the classy jazz/soul trio The Peddlars. Later associations include Stealer’s Wheel, Quantum Jump, David Essex, Elkie Brooks, Howard Jones, Tina Turner and Bjork. Now living in Spain where he owns and runs a top-end recording studio.
GEOFF MULLIN (producer) – former DJ (Manchester’s Twisted Wheel), manager of Danny and the Demons and The Hellions, lead vocalist of The Wailers with Ian “Big Wal” Waller and Lek Leckenby and Barry Whitwam, later of Herman’s Hermits, then The Zodiacs and The Yaks. Singer/songwriter (Decca, CBS), music press Record Mirror, Billboard, Music Week, BBC Radio 2 producer for Terry Wogan, Kenny Everett and Michael Aspel among many others. After a brief period as Head of Music at Melody Radio in London Geoff returned to the BBC as Head of Music Policy for the remainder of his radio career.
This is the Sunday Times review. Various artists - Mod Jazz Forever Kent CDKEND368
Fire up the Lambrettas. Long before that dismal hybrid smooth jazz conquered the world, musicians on the cusp of jazz, blues and soul were finding favour with a dancefloor crowd. The latest compilation in the Mod Jazz series is uneven, although any record that finds room for Brother Jack McDuff, Buddy Guy and McDuff’s fellow organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith is worth sampling. First prize in the novelty stakes goes to the cheerful cover of Donovan’s Sunshine Superman by the catchily named Brit combo Bocking, Robinson, Morais. Mark Murphy’s It’s Like Love is hokey fare, but cheerful enough to banish memories of his lacklustre Ronnie Scott’s show last month. CD
Here's a question. Who owned the Top of the Town circa 71. I reckon it was the Rowntrees Group but who were they?
Does the name David Pilling ring a bell with anyone, probably from Winton, Eccles. A guitar player. Possibly drove a sky blue Hillman Imp with black bonnet, a dog called Sandy. He went to Salford Tech and worked at Turners Asbestos in the 70s. He lived on either Breck Rd or Selsby or Bromsgrove Avenue, Winton, Eccles in 1971.
Also just added The Three Aces from Radcliffe/Bury area - need more info. Can anyone come up trumps with more info?
And another question:
I wonder if any of our readers can remember a group of young boy singers who were known as "The Six Lancashire Lads" from the mid-fifties? Yes, a long time ago now! These guys were so good that they were invited to appear on television - no mean feat all those years ago.
When they became teenagers the name of the group was changed to "The Six Lancashire Teenagers" but, although they really were excellent performers, they sadly never caught on and faded into obscurity. One of their group was called Alan Morton, who went to school at Spurley Hey.
Just got back from a few days in Wagga Wagga (honest) and saw this sad news.
Hi, I am Harry Eastham's nephew, unfortunately Harry "the man" has just passed away on the 15/2/12 after a battle with cancer.He always loved to talk about his days in the groups. His funeral will take place on Thursday 23rd at Pleasington Crematoriom 3 pm.
Interesting review of Wayne Fontana and the Mondbenders/Mindbenders music here
The Greatstone Hotel has a motown/soulnight on the second Saturday of every month and a real northern night on the first Saturday. Adrian Dowd will be behind the bar and there is a buffet supper included in the price of the ticket.
"We are always pleased to see anyone from the Browns days. We have some great nights please come. Harry Nightingale and Dennis Campbell both ex Browns will be doing the DJ-ing on the 11th and proceeds go to Christies so its worth coming."
As well as lots of personal memories added to various pages, just added the Rising Five from Burnage. Love the pork pie hat, Brian - we will make you a ska boy yet!
Picture is worth a look for memories of what the front of Picadilly Wollies looked like! Remember the record counter there? Remember records?
Just added a very nice college of images (courtesy Brian Smith) from Blues & Rhythm magazine (266) of T Bone Walker at the Free Trade Hall in 1962.
Just back from a few days away, so catching up. Just added an update to The Sweet Life and a new group from Burnley (thanks Tony), So On and So Forth - interesting line-up! Also an update to Speed and new group Pollution from Rochdale.
Happy Birthday to Brian Higham of Barratts and The Harbour Lights. And, speaking of BH and the recent profusion of plausible Palace performance posters providing publicity/promotional info, here's one gig (on the left) that really did happen!
Would anyone be interested in a Manor Lounge renunion? I have use of a club in Stockport called Replay, only 5 minutes from where The Manor Lounge used to be. It has a perfect private party suite and we'd really like to arrange a night - a live band, dancing to real music, just like it used be!
Not to be outdone by the Barbeque67 gig in the wilds of Lincolnshire (below), Eric Sandiford has sent us this slightly earlier gig - also a quid. Hardly seems worth a pound really, groups ok but no hotdogs! What a swizz.
Eric points out its odd that Floyd got top billing. I personally like the statement "Come and watch the pretty lights". Also, seems odd for The Palace to be open till dawn.
Another great gig I missed (did see Hendrix at NCH though) In a similar act of stupidity, I had the choice of either Floyd in Stockport (fairly sure it was The Tabernacle) or another band with an incredible lights show at St Bernadettes. Being a Moss Side kid, a bit tight and always broke, I could walk home from from Bernies, so thats where I went. Missed the Floyd and instead saw Carl Douglas and the Big Stampede. Carl Douglas didn't turn up and all the band had was an 8mm film of them playing around in a park. I wuz robbed!
Breaking news! Super-sleuth Keith Fairhurst has found that although the event did actually happen, sadly not in Manchester. The event was at The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm in London. Plus it was only 15 bob.
Sadly, the poster is a repro (but a nice poster nevertheless).
Getting very worried about manchesterbeat books. Hardly any left and I know there are many of you out there who still haven't got the set.
Please don't leave it too late - only about a dozen Vol 4 and about the same for Vol 5.
Get in quick - honestly, not a sales ad, when they are gone, thats it.
Increased postage (now about 6 pounds) plus the combination of the weak pound means that they are genuinely below cost at a tenner inclusive. No reprints sadly.
And getting on top of emails! Does anyone remember the 88 Club in Gorton? Love some info.
Just added info on Smile Recording Studios - be good to add any anecdotes of recording there. Oddly, just noticed no info on InterCity/Nield and Hardy and A1. Any help there also?
Finally got a decent replacement for the newsletter. Apologies if you got an email twice but won't happen again.
Been looking for info on the Bee Hive, Swinton info for ages - played there a couple of times but nothing I can remember. On the other hand Chris Bowden - Paul Fenda and the Teenbeats - remembers it well! Have a read.
Seasons Greetings to everyone!
Finally got some time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Thanks for your support over the years - what a tremendous record of the Manchester area's music scene!
Just added Harpo and Mac (Burnage) plus what seems like zillions of small snippets - the ones that really add to pages and bring some great memories. My fav one at the moment is from Steve Povall who comment son Northwich Memorial "Missed the Beatles gig - no dosh." Reminds me so much of the way it was for so many of us!
Keep 'em coming!
For the many of you who have emailed to ask where the newsletter is ... read on (both of you)
Due to the size of the mailing list (now over 1,000) when I last sent out the newsletter, I was branded a spammer and I was refused access to my websites (over 150).
This was obviously a little problematic :-)
It seems if I send over 200 mails per hour, I am possibly a charlatan.
So, I am trying to find time to split the mailing list into smaller lists, which can then be sent out individually.
Need to get back soon, as I am desperately trying to offload my final 32 copies of Vol5 and 7 of Vol4. My wife wants the space for her collection of Smurf figurines.
The newsletter allows me to put in corny ads to push the books on to unsuspecting subscribers. I like one's like "books are currently sold below cost" - which although true, is intended to make me appear altruistic (look it up). Another is "only a few left - will not be reprinted" - again true and intended to put the fear of God into those of you who have not yet secured their copy..
The books are the best thing you will get for a tenner (unless holidaying in parts of SE Asia - I am told).
Sad news, guitarist Peter Crooks passed away last week, after a short illness. He will be sadly missed by all his old band mates. His funeral is on Fri 18th Nov at Oakley Wood Crem, Moreton-in-Marsh, nr Cheltenham, CV 33 9QP...
Graham Attwood & Richard Cripps.
On a personal note, I shall really miss Pete's dry sense of humour. Although our paths didn't cross, I always regarded him as an old friend I just hadn't met yet.
He was a regular contributor to the site, adding a different dimension to our usual content. My wife could always tell when one of Pete's contributions came in - she would hear me chortling! He is missed already.
News just in of a charity fundraiser: "Night at the MSG" on November 12th at the Ukrainian Club Cheetham Manchester.
There will be a host of singers and memories from the Guild:
Stanley Ackrington, Tony Downes, Marie Little, Arthur Wakefield, Pete Ryder John Howarth, Gary & Vera Aspey, Phil Drane & Pat Ryan, Alan Bell & others.
Also, any info on La Petite Club and T and D Club (Whitworth Street)
Great to see some info coming in for our new ENTERTAINERS section. Perhaps one day we may add pages about Concert Secs :-)
Also sorry to hear of passing of Rony Clarey (also known as Vince Pirelli) who was the drummer with Deke Rivers and The Big Sound (and was also the drummer with The Blue Diamonds and The Javelins). Rony passed away on 17th September 2011, aged 66 years.
Our best wishes to Yvonne and family.
Sad to hear of the passing of Tony Merrick. He contributed so much to the Manchester music scene.
He will be much missed by all of us, a generous and considerate man and a great voice.
Tony Macdonald, Keith Lawless, Alan Doyle - Friends and 'Sweet Marriage' bandmates.
Dave Miles has sent in an email mentioning club entertainers GERRY MARTINELLI and JEAN DE BOTH and it may be time to add such acts to broaden the site. Not that we need too much more :-)
Unlike many similar sites, we include groups, djs, venues, shops of all types, food, cabaret, humour, C&W (Frank Yonco is one of our busiest pages), caribbean and almost anything that we can find about the tremendous music scene of the time.
Who else would proudly display a picture of grass where Mazels used to be?
We even have photos of the condom hut opposite Barratts (its there somewhere, go find).
Updates on Wild Silk, Beat Street Runners, great pics of ManchesterPlayboys, plus much more,
Anyone any info on a group called The Addicts or possibly Addix?
Graham Nash has a photographic exhibition on in Manchester at the Richard Goodall Gallery until the 12th of November. It might be a good idea to drop in before going to the Crosby and Nash concert at the Bridgewater Hall. Also congrats to Mr Nash on his recent doctarate at Salford Universty (thanks Harry).
2011 Bass Day is on 6th November and this year features Marcus Miller. For more info, please visit their website http://www.bassday.co.uk
Put it in your diaries all you bass players!
Paul, your wonderful websmaster, is now in the UK, following a slightly eventful trip over from Australia. Took a short stopover in Brunei and met the Sultan. The Mrs even had a chat, not too long of course, with the Queen. Had a meal at the Palace and he even gave us a small gift each.
Now full of a cold, Paul has arranged mobile access and can be contacted on 07741 603 149.
One of the more interesting aspects of Manchester is the realisation of the incredible 60s movement - not just in the true home of music (Manchester) but also around the world. Sweden's Göran Wennberg regularly emails me about the incredible 60s music scene in his home country. Here's some interesting reading:
Great gigs for Cheers (a major Swedish 60s group), first festival gig ever in Oskarshamn and Helsingborg last days of July. A 2000 audience singing Del Shannon's classic Runaway in Helsingborg. Next year will be a much bigger challange. Cheers will do 5 gigs in Germany and 1 in Russia. This reunion has become much bigger than anyone expected. The adventure with Cheers is the biggest thing ever for me. Still I decided that Tallinn was the "last station" for me, needed to put focus on more groups. 1500 photos from Cheers gigs will come my way soon.
Unsurpased Sect was Varberg's first rockband formed in 1963. I have met the leadsinger Christer during my holiday. Lots of fascinating stories. Moving pictures from a 1966-gig together with the no 1 Swedish group Hepstars. I have also seen a film from a Beatles gig in Stockholm 1964, by Christer on super 8. Unsurpased Sect could be a piece together with some other Scandinavian groups in the future. Halmstad is a town a few miles south from Varberg.
Also I hope to be in Oslo 1-2 of September. Norwegian 60's legend Asa Krogtoft will be on stage. Asa is the leader of 126 and Taboo. One of the best songwriters from the Scandinavian 60's. His songs reminds me a lot of John Lennon. Could be another piece for the future. Hope to get something out in print next year.
This summer's big suprise has been 5 talanted teenagers. Close to 40 gigs in a little bit more than a month, in different places of Vänersborg. Sometimes 3 gigs in a day. A mix of rock and jazz. My favorites are the keyboardplayer and one of the leadsingers. This girl can really sing with feeling. Will put together a short story.
MANCHESTERBEAT VOLUME 1 - sold out!
Mick you got the last one!
Vols 4 (limited stock) and 5 still available.
Can't believe its so long since I last put a message here ...
One of the things that amazes me is the popularity of our Beat Poetry page - more hits than Elvis!
If you like that sort of thing (I am from Moss Side so more interested in the Beano, Dandy and mags that one doesn't want the misses to see), take a look at Brian Mark's site.
As well as lead singer with THE GRIT BAND and other Manchester outfits, Brian was gardener at Lyme Park and as his Manchesterbeat pages show, amongst other things, he produced a classical suite of music based on the history and natural history of the estate during the residency of the Legh family who lived there from 1346 to 1946.
He has now revised his book "Where Lightning Dances Vaudeville" which is worth purchasing, especially as it is great reading, inexpensive and the fact that all profits will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
An inexpensive Christmas present for the misses, methinks. She didn't like the vacuum cleaner I bought her last year.
PS Brian is the official Manchesterbeat Quality Control Officer, sew is righting is dead good and gramatticli corekt.
Hazel Moore nee James
Thanks for your email but can't assist as you didn't give me your email address. Please send :-)
Just added a little more info re The Vincents - well worth a vist if you don't know of them. Interesting stuff.
MANCHESTERBEAT VOLUME 1 is now gone!
One of my biggest regrets, other than not meeting Kylie Minoghue, is never going to the Magic Village. Must have been an incredible time there - with John Mayall, Pink Floyd, The Nice, Jethro Tull and others and all in the space of a little over a month. Their members have added some good reading here.
Just playing with a re-design of the site. I always try to keep the site clean and easily readable - unlike some that are really quite difficult to decipher at times. Its an info site not an art gallery and the message is more important than the medium, etc.
Not sure about today's colour - perhaps not right but heading there, I hope. Comments welcome.
PS With 500 plus pages, I have decided most of the format stays :-)
Great story of Tangerine - much appreciated Geoff. Lots of great pics/posters.
Roy Mozley has also been very busy, adding lots of pics to the site.
As always lots of additions all over the site ... go find :-)
Question: Which Manchester group played on same gig as Cream, Robert Plant and Slade? Answer
And while you are on the page - read the lot! A great story.
Jeff Bruton takes us all to task for not adding Dougie James and the Soul Train to the site. He is quite right - there are many excellent groups we still haven't added! Others have very little mention yet played a major part in the Manchester region's music history.