The story goes that Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan sat in a pub, somewhere in Oxfordshire, getting drunk with Black Sabbath axeman Tony Iommi, and the following day Gillan discovered that he’d joined Sabbath for a year!. True or not, the album that came from that particular lineup was not too well recieved at the time, but gained more respect over the last three decades. It sold quite well, but after a world tour, Gillan parted company leaving friend and foe alike wondering what could have been, if the Gillan/Sabbath collaboration had persevered. We will never know.
My first expereince of David Bowie was the 1967 single ‘The Laughing Gnome’, not the most inspiring of records, but it hooked me in. his debut album ‘David Bowie’ released the same year did have many hints of promise, and listening to it now, you can clearly see the makings of a music genius. It’s an interesting listen, and I would urge any fans of his more popular later work, to give it a try. It’s a CD I play on an Autum or Winter afternoon with a pot of tea, relaxing in my favourite chair. Very easy on the ears, I love it.
Paul Weller’s ‘Heavy Soul album was a birthday present for me in the late 1990’s. I’d already played his masterpiece ‘Stanley Road’ to death and was longing for some new material. I wasn’t to be dissapointed, HS has some fabulous tracks, ‘Peacock Suit’ being one of my favourites. These days, it’s a CD that gets played less often than some of the other Paul Weller stuff I have, but the memory of opening the wrapping paper, and playing it on my portable CD player (another present), isd one of my strongest musical memories.
I first heard Led Zeppelin 2 during my last days at school, back in 1969. Somebody brought it along to a music class and I was knocked out by the original blues/rock combinations. It had been tried before but never with the quality and confidence of this recording. It’s still my favourite Zeppelin album, and when it was re-issued with bonus tracks, I was just as blown away as I was nearly fifty years ago.
The Pretty Things have been on the music scene since the early 1960’s. The driving force and longest serving members of the band are guitarist Dick Taylor and vocalist Phil May. They had a few minor top wenty hits, but their strengths was the beautifully constructed albums, my personal favourite being ‘Parachute’ released in 1970. Still heavily on my monthly playlist, it’s to be sought out at all costs.
A couple of years back, my old and treasured friend Chris Green, himself an incredible musician, invited me to ‘The Crumblin’ Cookie’, a tiny venue on Leicester’s (UK) High Street. On stage was Bowie’s guitarist from his ‘Tin Machine’ days, Reeves Gabrels, supported Lisa Ronson. To be honest, the gig was just too fucking loud for these old ears, but a few days later I spun the CD’s purchased from the gig, and the sounds were both refreshing and amazing.
I shot some images that night with my Apple iPod, but they didn’t turn out that good.
The first time I saw Judas Priest live at the De Montfort Hall, Leicester UK, there was very few paying punters. ‘Sad Wings Of Destiny’ had been out for a couple of years and they were busy building a reputation both here and in Europe. The USA had yet to see this excellent band. This was their second album, a much, much better and acomplised recording than their debut (Rocka Rolla), which will be featured in this blog another time. Seek and enjoy.