Monday, July 23, 2012

HENDRIX Bithday Commemoration Gig

It's a special year; it would have been Jimi's 70th birthday in November. But the year also marks 45-years since the Experience's first single 'Hey Joe' entered the charts and, perhaps as memorably, the year Hendrix set fire to his first guitar! Our annual Hendrix commemorative weekend is going to celebrate these events in equally memorable fashion. As with previous years, the magnificent 'Are You Experienced' will recreate the loud and steamy atmosphere of a London club of the late 60s in the cellar basement of Earls Court's Troubadour Club. But to add to the excitement, we've a very, very special guest... Keith Altham, journalist and pop PR extraordinaire, is going to be recounting his celebrated role in the events of 1967 that led to Hendrix burning that first guitar at the Rainbow Theatre. Keith is a man of a 1000 stories; not only of Hendrix,whom he also accompanied back from Monterey, but also, fittingly in their 50th year, of the Rolling Stones, who he interviewed a record number of times. He was also PR for the Who for over 20-years and was present on the roof of No. 3 Saville Row for the famed last performance. Keith will be interviewed 'live' and will take questions. The event, as is the tradition, will be raising finds for the ABC Trust, the charity fronted by Jimmy Page, so we'll have a few very special auction items and a fantabulous raffle! Oh, and the date? Saturday 22nd September. £20 to you, gov. And best be quick and get yer tickets as they're limited to 120! And while we're on the subject of Hendrix commemoratives........ there's a World Premier Exhibition entitled 'Hendrix Hits London' being held at The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, London WC2. The exhibition includes the guitar he smashed on the stage of the Saville Theatre, his clothes, letters and record collection! There are some excellent oral history interviews from Clapton, Beck, Joey Ramone and others. It's not to be missed and you will do so if you don't get there between July 27th and August 31st. If you're taking one of our tours through August you'll be getting a discount voucher.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Rolling Stones at 50

July 12th 1962 Lots of stuff around reminding us that it's the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary. A few new interesting bits'n'pieces (especially a new photo exhibition currently being held at Somerset House in London's Strand, and another wider exhibition of the Ealing Blues Club at Pitshanger Manor in Ealing). Most though is fairly familiar. I was thrilled, therefore, to have been involved in helping produce a recent documentary on the Stones history with Bebe Contemponi from the Argentinean TV station Canal 12. Interviews with such rock luminaries as famed journalist and rock PR, Keith Altham, and Dick Taylor, the Stone's original bass player at that first Marquee gig, provided some great new stories for the rock tour! My favourite was one provided by Dick. His post Stones band (and still currently gigging), The Pretty Things, lived at 13 Chester Street, Belgravia, during 1965. Above them lived Brain Jones. One evening the 'Things' were gathered around the 9", black and white TV screen (along with kids in a million other households) to watch the Stones play on Top of The Pops. The Stones appearance was eagerly anticipated. Brain Jones appeared sporting his trade-marked floppy hat and a new matelot-styled black and white stripped T shirt.
'Blimey' cries an excited and suddenly hip-by-association, Brian Pendleton, the Things bassist, 'Brian has a T shirt just like mine!' Inexplicably, his announcement was drowned out by rest of the band exploding into raucus and noisy laughter. Unbeknown to Pendleton Brian, Jones Brian had been riffling through his wardrobe earlier that day ... the rest of the Things knew, of course, Pendleton often being the butt of jests, and were eagerly watching the show anticipating Pendleton's discovery ... from hip to zip in 2 seconds.