portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, March 31, 2019

JIMI in his first London flat

belonging to Ringo !

Jimi Hendrix in Ringo Starr’s apartment at 34 Montagu Square, in Marylebone, London, 1966. Jimi rented the apartment for £30 a month. He lived with his girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham, and also with his manager, Chas Chandler, and his girlfriend, Lotta Null. It was a seminal time in Jimi’s career. He released his debut album Are You Experienced “ in May 1967, the next month he played at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later that year Ringo evicted him for throwing whitewash over the walls while on an acid trip. 


The second item from the most excellent Midnight Cafe is a Norah Jones set from Switzerland in 2004
It's another radio broadcast recording so is really worth it if you don't already have this set

Albeit it does have one of the most laborious groan inducing puns as a title. Because she sings the Band number 'Life Is A Carnival' they call it 'Live Is A Carnival'!!! Why? Why? WHY?
Still the content is fab!

As indeed is Norah!

Disc 1
01. Turn Me On
02. Nightingale
03. Those Sweet Words
04. What Am I To You
05. Something Is Calling You
06. Stay With Me [Keith Richards]
07. In The Morning
08. Carnival Town
09. Don’t Miss You At All
10. Painter Song
11. The Long Way Home
12. Don’t Know Why
13. Creepin’ In
14. Above Ground
15. Sunrise
16. I’ve Got To See You Again
17. Come Away With Me
18. What Would I Do [Ray Charles]
Disc 2
19. intro
20. Seven Years
21. Life Is A Carnival
Hey, buddy, would you like to buy a watch real cheap 
Here on the street 
I got six on each arm and two more round my feet 


Classic rock 'n' roll of all time (series) song without which pop would not exist! The Master hisself . . . . . . . . Johnny B Goode! Nuff said . . . turn it up!

On this day in music history: March 31, 1958 - “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry is released. Written by Chuck Berry, it is the eleventh single release from the rock & roll icon from St. Louis, MO. Penned by Berry in 1955, the semi autobiographical song is partially inspired by his long time piano player Johnnie Johnson, though pianist Lafayette Leake plays on the single and not Johnson. “Goode’s” opening riff is lifted from R&B pioneer Louis Jordan’s 1946 hit “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman”. The track is recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on January 6, 1958, and features Berry backed by musicians Willie Dixon (bass), Lafayette Leake (piano), and Fred Below (drums). Chuck Berry’s version peaks at #2 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart and #8 on the Pop Best Sellers chart in June of 1958. Regarded as one of the quintessential rock & roll songs, it is covered numerous times over the years by dozens of artists. Berry’s original version is included on the Voyager Golden Record (a gold plated titanium disc with messages and music recorded on it) attached to the Voyager spacecraft in 1977 representing rock & roll music. “Johnny B. Goode is also featured in the film "Back To The Future” in 1985, where in a humorous plot twist, Berry’s fictional cousin Marvin Berry overhears the song being performed by actor Michael J. Fox (actually sung by Mark Campbell of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack), then calling his “cousin” to tell him he’s just heard the “new sound” he’s been looking for. The original single of “Johnny B. Goode” is backed with the Berry penned “Around And Around”, which also becomes a rock & roll standard that is also widely covered, most notably by The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, The Animals, and David Bowie. Chuck Berry’s original recording of “Johnny B. Goode” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
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Kris Kristofferson Sausalito CA 1973 (Midnight Cafe) 

 Some great stuff from Midnight Cafe today . . . . . not least this Kris Kristofferson & Friends set

Now I have always liked Kris Kristofferson whether as a 'Highwayman', a solo singer songwriter and actor and he has the greatest accolades from me as the discoverer and mentor of John Prine who's 'Late John Garfield Blues'  he starts off with here. The cover here flashes his acting career as he is shown with the quite extraordinary eccentric figure of the legendary Karen Black from 'Cisco Pike' the movie. 

But check this friends list as he appears with Rita Coolidge (of course) Doug Sahm, David Blue, Nick Gravenites, Steve Bruton, to name a few and listen to this set list for a journey through Americana without equal

01. Late John Garfield Blues (John Prine cover)
02. Same Old Song
03. Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)
04. Out of Mind, Out of Sight
05. Late Again (Gettin’ Over You)
06. Looks Like Baby’s Gone (Mickey Newbury)
07. Billy Dee
08. Border Lord
09. Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down
10. Rainbow Road (Donnie Fritts) > Tuning
11. Half As Much (Hank Williams Jr.)
12. Jolie Blonde (Amede’ Ardoin)
13. The Wild Side Of Life(Hank Thompson)
14. Stormy Monday Blues (T Bone Walker) Doug Sahm, vocals
15. Tom Donahue KSAN ID > Fever (Otis Blackwell) Rita C.,vocals
16. A Woman Left Lonely Rita C., vocals
17. I’ll Be Your baby Tonight Rita C., vocals
18. My Crew Rita C., vocals Kris K.,backing vocals
19. It Sure Was (Love) Rita C., vocals Kris K.,backing vocals
20. Take Time To Love (Donnie Fritts,TJ White) Kris & Rita trade off vocals > Tom Donahue KSAN ID
21. Tom Donahue KSAN ID > Billy The Bum (John Prine)
22. Help Me Make It Through The Night
23. I Never Had It So Good (Paul Williams)(cuts out after 1st verse) Rita & Kris,vocals
24. Eight Day Clock (Nick Gravenites) Nick G.,vocals
25. Blue Highway (Nick Gravenites) Nick, vocals, Doug S.,bass
26. I’ll Change Your Flat Tire, Merle (Nick Gravenites) Nick,vocals, Doug S.,bass
27. Settle It In The Bedroom (Nick Gravenites) Nick G.,vocals > Tom Donahue KSAN ID
28. Tom Donahue ad libbing with Nick G. over David Blue’s false start to Come On John
29. Come On John (David Blue) David B.,vocals > Tom Donahue Wrap Up
30. Me and Bobbie McGee

Born on this day: March 30, 1945 - Rock guitar icon Eric Clapton (born Eric Patrick Clapton in Ripley, Surrey, UK). Happy 74th Birthday, “Slowhand”!!

I first came across the legend that is Eric Clapton with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers [and the Beano cover album for one was a favourite] and have followed his work, life's ups and downs ever since

Saturday, March 30, 2019


Sad to report the death of Jim Morrison's friend and feminist film maker without equal, Agnès Varda
another sign that Morrison was massively misjudged and assumptions about about his 'Lizard King' persona which he grew to hate towards the end and his assumed 'womanising' character . That he liked to play games with people and their expectations is without doubt but Varda found in him the soul of a poet

Agnès Varda was a Belgian-born French film director. Her films, photographs, and art installations focused on documentary realism, feminist issues, and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style

Speaking of 

Classic Pop Songs

On this day in music history: March 30, 1963 - “He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 4 weeks on April 6, 1963. Written by Ronnie Mack, it is the debut single and biggest for the female R&B/Pop vocal quartet from New York City. Originally consisting of group members Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett and Barbara Lee, The Chiffons are formed in 1960 while all are students at James Monroe High School in the Bronx. In 1962, the girls meet songwriter Ronnie Mack who becomes their manager, who suggests that they add fourteen year old Sylvia Peterson to the group, making them a quartet. Mack writes “He’s So Fine” for the group as their first single. While Mack tries to secure a record deal for The Chiffons, the song attracts the attention of music publisher Bright Tunes run by Phil Margo, Mitch Margo, Jay Siegal and Hank Medress, better known as The Tokens (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”). They love the song and offer to produce them, as they have a production deal for Capitol Records. Having already exhausted their production budget, The Tokens take The Chiffons into a small demo studio to record “He’s So Fine”. After the track is completed, they play it for Capitol Records president Voyle Gilmore, who rejects the song as being “too simple and too trite”. The group shop the song around, and are rejected by more than a dozen record labels before it is picked up by Laurie Records in New York. Released in December of 1962, the song initially gets off to a slow start, but eventually catches on. Entering the Hot 100 at #87 on February 23, 1963, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. Sadly, songwriter Ronnie Mack will not have long to enjoy his newly found success. Shortly after the song reaches number one, he is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease and succumbs to the illness just a few months later at the age of only twenty three. The Chiffons score further hits with the Carole King and Gerry Goffin penned “One Fine Day” (#5 Pop, #6 R&B) and “Sweet Talkin’ Guy” (#10 Pop). “He’s So Fine” later becomes the subject of a lawsuit between Bright Tunes Publishing and former Beatle George Harrison when the publisher accuses him of plagiarizing “He’s So Fine” for his number one single “My Sweet Lord”. The lawsuit drags on for years before it is finally settled. George Harrison’s estate purchases the publishing rights to “He’s So Fine” and holds the copyright to this day. Ironically, The Chiffons cover “My Sweet Lord” in the mid 70’s, though it is not a hit.
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The Harrison court case is complete nonsense and should never have made it to court . . .did no-one do ANY research and call expert witnesses who knew how to write music . . . . . you know given that most pop music is extremely similar the lawyers will be in business until doomsday . . . . . which looks like it's closer than you think . . . . . you know most pop songs use a maximum of three chords . . .good luck trying to copyright THAT!

Classic Pop Hits!

Didn't buy these when they came out but boy are they in the pop canon now? Ear worms anyone?


On this day in music history: March 29, 1979 - “Breakfast In America”, the sixth album by Supertramp is released. Produced by Peter Henderson and Supertramp, it is recorded at The Village Recorder in Los Angeles, CA from May - December 1978. Following their previous album, “Even In The Quietest Moments” featuring their first US top 40 single “Give A Little Bit” (#15 Pop), the British progressive rock band begin work on the follow up in April 1978, recording demo versions before the start of tracking sessions in May. Close collaborators for many years before this, Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies begin to go their separate ways. The pair end up writing on their own, which had begun during the “Moments” album. Adding to the underlying tension is Davies’ wife, who has also driven a wedge between the two friends. The matter is complicated further, as she is also the band’s personal manager. In spite of this, it does not slow or hinder Hodgson or Davies’ creative muses. Continuing where the previous album left off, they begin to craft material that is more pop oriented and radio friendly, which further expands their audience, winning over a huge new fan base. Upon its release, it is a huge critical and commercial success, spinning off three singles including “The Logical Song” (#6 Pop), “Goodbye Stranger” (#15 Pop) and “Take The Long Way Home” (#10 Pop). The albums now iconic cover artwork (featuring actress Kate Murtagh dressed as a waitress posed as the Statue Of Liberty, with a mock up of the island of Manhattan behind her made entirely of boxes, plates, cutlery, and bottles spray painted white) is designed by graphic artists Mick Haggerty and Mike Doud. The cover wins a Grammy Award for Best Recording Package in 1980. The album earns a second Grammy for Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical, as well as being nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. Remastered and reissued on CD in 2002, “Breakfast” is also released as double disc Deluxe Edition in 2010, with the second disc featuring previously unreleased live performances from Supertramp’s 1979 tour. In 2013, it is issued as a high resolution  Blu-ray audio disc, and by Universal Japan as an SHM-CD. It is also remastered and reissued as a hybrid SACD and 180 gram LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2018. Also in 2018, The Sound Of Vinyl reissues “Breakfast” as a limited edition LP, pressed on orange vinyl. “Breakfast In America” spends six weeks at number one (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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another that is indelible and stuck in the head so so much the ear worm and does anybody not know this song . . . . . . . a bit more of a one hit wonder but it is up there . . . . . no?

On this day in music history: March 29, 1986 - “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Falco, Rob Bolland and Ferdi Bolland, it is the biggest hit for the Austrian pop singer born Johann Holzel. Having previously scored a sizable hit on the US Dance charts with his original version of the song “Der Kommissar” in early 1983, Falco’s own version is bested on the Hot 100 by a cover version from British pop band After The Fire whose version peaks at #5 in April of 1983. When his second album “Junge Roemer” fails to yield any hits outside of his native Austria, he soon regroups, setting his sights on breaking through on a worldwide basis with his third album. Falco is inspired to write “Rock Me Amadeus” after seeing the Oscar winning film “Amadeus”, about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The US single of the song contains two different mixes, “The American Edit” and the “Canadian Edit”, the latter features a narrator reciting a timeline of the life of the famed Austrian classical composer. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on February 8, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. “Rock Me Amadeus” is the first German language single to hit number one in the US, also topping the charts in the UK, Canada, and New Zealand. In the US, A&M Records releases two different 12" singles of the track. The first is an extended version of the “American Edit”, and a second titled the “Salieri Mix” (packaged in a picture jacket), incorporates elements of the “Canadian Edit” including the timeline of Mozart’s life. Another remix is issued in foreign territories closely mirroring the original album version, but with an extended running time. In the years since its worldwide chart success, “Amadeus” is sampled, covered and parodied numerous times including on an episode of “The Simpsons” animated series, when the song is re-written as “Dr. Zaius”, after one of the main characters from the “Planet Of The Apes” film series. Falco scores one more US top twenty single with the follow up “Vienna Calling” (#18 Pop) in June of 1986. After moving from A&M to Sire Records in late 1986, he continues to be successful in Europe, but his American chart run is over by then. Sadly, Falco is killed in a car accident while on vacation in the Dominican Republic on February 6, 1998, less than two weeks shy of his forty first birthday. He is laid to rest in his birthplace of Vienna, Austria.
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Now we know something is happening here! . . . . . . 
Golly give it to us straight from the hip Patti! 'Voulez Vous . . . '? I should damn well think so!
Love me some of that gumbo schtick and Nawleans patois! Get fonky! Gitcha Gitcha . . . . . . 
 . . . . . . 
On this day in music history: March 29, 1975 - “Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on February 22, 1975. Written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocal trio featuring Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash. The song is originally recorded by The Eleventh Hour, a studio group fronted by singer and songwriter Kenny Nolan (“I Like Dreamin’), co-written with Four Seasons songwriter and producer Bob Crewe earlier in 1974. Producer Allen Toussaint hears the original version and record the song with LaBelle for their first Epic Records album "Nightbirds”. Featuring The Meters providing musical support, it is released as the first single from the album. Becoming a dance floor smash in discos in late 1974, the electrifying track soon makes its way on to R&B and pop radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #98 on January 4, 1975, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. The song is re-recorded in by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim, Mya, & Missy Elliott for the Baz Lurhmann film “Moulin Rouge”. They take the song to number one (for 5 weeks) again in June of 2001, winning a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals in 2002. Regarded as a 70’s classic, LaBelle’s version is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2003. “Lady Marmalade” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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Thanks Jeff Harris for all you do and thanks for this reminder! Phew! Is it hot in here?


'Blow By Blow'

My dear brother bought this when it came out and it did rightly blow us away but after a short while I found all that 'noodling' jazz schtick, virtuosity for virtuosity's sake too much and left the jazz form as it said nothing to me any more. Bit like leaving the Zappa fold when you think, I can only listen to 'Brown Shoes Don't Make it' and Don't You Eat That Yellow Snow' so many times you know it's all just so much Wakajawaka!
Clever musically and all but how far does clever get you?
I guess I need a song . . . . 
a lyric and one that means something . . . . Hey ho! Nice to revisit tho' . . . . . 

I preferred 'Beckola' and Rock My Plimsoul or a good twelve bar with pre-sell out M.O.R. Rod Stewart on vocals 

On this day in music history: March 29, 1975 - “Blow By Blow”, the seventh album by Jeff Beck is released. Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at Air Studios in London in October 1974. Following the break up of Beck, Bogert & Appice, Beck delves into session work, and even auditioning for the Rolling Stones after Mick Taylor’s departure from the band. Eventually, he decides to return recording himself, approaching veteran producer George Martin about working together. Martin agrees with Beck to recording an all instrumental album. Recording with a small group which includes Max Middleton (keyboards), Phil Chen (bass), and Richard Bailey (drums and percussion), the result is one of the best selling and acclaimed rock/jazz fusion albums of all time. Stevie Wonder contributes two songs (“Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers” and “Thelonius”) and playing on one track (uncredited). An audiophile favorite, the album is remastered and reissued a number of times over the years. Epic Records reissues the title as a Half Speed Mastered LP, Gold CD and as a single layer SACD. The latter also features the original quadraphonic stereo mix released after the standard stereo LP. It is also remastered and reissued by Analogue Productions in 2015 as a double vinyl 180 gram LP, mastered at 45 RPM. A hybrid SACD featuring the original stereo and quadraphonic mixes follows in 2016.“Blow By Blow” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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Friday, March 29, 2019

I'm not sure if there's a point to this story but you know what? I don't care and they're gonna tell it again . . . . . 
I like these guys too


I always liked Suzi Quatro, 'Devil Gate Drive' and all that leather clad rock schtick and she could play the bass too. But this song has a hook that I hadn't heard before and Chris Norman from soft rock band 'Smokie' has a fine voice here which I didn't expect to say. This was somehow and justifiably so a hit in the USA. Quite why it didn't hit over here I don't know

Thursday, March 28, 2019

I like these gals too . . . . . . . . . . .

4 Non-Blondes . . . . . . "What's Up"

More banjo? . . . . . Stick with it! It's R.E.M. . . . . . . .

I like Rhiannon Giddens . . . . . . 

Mystical Tosh and weirdness . . . . its a weird place this planet we have come to rest upon . . . . . . mostly because we live on it!!! The human is capable of the weirdest stuff imaginable 

Shrunken Mummified Devils
“Clahuchu and his Bride - Known and feared as ‘they who creep at night.’ These shrunken mummified figures were found in a crude tomblike cave on the island of Haiti in 1740 by a party of French Marines They are supposed to be the remains of a lost tribe of “Ju-Ju” or devil men…who,after death, followed a custom of shrinking and mummifying their dead. Are they real? We don’t know but…X-Rays showed skin, horns, and hooves - human!“

What the actual . . . . . . ?!?
Of course there are evil babies drawing in your walls, what else?!

Rattles and Their Causes by Abe Marmon, 1906.

This newspaper clipping was printed in the Boston Hearld in January 1892, and was an advertisement for “The Living 2 Headed Boy” at Austin and Stone’s Museum. The clipping was mounted and found in the collections of the Warren Anatomical Museum.
Warren Anatomical Museum

and hey! Let's be careful out there . . . . !

with thanks to one of my favourite blogs The Odd Side of Me
Who if you don't know by now . . . . .

The Odd Side Of Me

Welcome to my collection of oddities, taxidermy, medical oddities, all that is strange, and my fascination with death. My name is Haley, 38 years old, and A hospice nurse for 19 years now

Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965

I started collecting found photos of His Bobness smiling and this is the pinnacle . . . . . . if you don't get why he was smiling here then something is happening and you really don't know what it is, do you, Mr Jones . . . . . . 

“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
“Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1 [x]
 . . . . . the song and dance man speaks!

Wilhelm Hammers

“That’s what I do: I make coffee and occasionally succumb to suicidal nihilism. But you shouldn’t worry — poetry is still first. Cigarettes and alcohol follow.” ― Anne Sexton

Well 3 out of five ain't bad and I stopped drinking and smoking years ago now . . . . . . .  ha ha ha 

I adore the work of Sexton and as is so often the case I admire the work of alcoholics . . . . . . 
Gosh I loved The Sopranos and not least for the portrayal of a psychiatrist therapist/counsellor by Lorraine Braco as Jennifer Malfi . . . . Tony of course played by the sorely missed legendary James Gandolfini
The Dr is in . . . . .


Got to be done and no I didn't get this when it came out but I post here for the classic soul/pop records song of all time feature. It is of course legendary . . . . in everyone's top 30? I would guess

On this day in music history: March 27, 1971 - “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 5 weeks, also peaking at #2 for 3 weeks on the Hot 100 on April 10, 1971. Written by Marvin Gaye, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Al Cleveland, it is the fifth R&B chart topper for the “Prince Of Motown”. The initial inspiration of the song comes from Renaldo “Obie” Benson of The Four Tops, after witnessing police viciously beating up anti-war student protesters at People’s Park in Berkeley, CA (while the group are in town for a concert appearance). When he gets back home to Detroit, Benson tells his friend, songwriter Al Cleveland about the incident. The two begin writing the song together with the intention of having The Four Tops record it. When the other group members don’t care for the song, Benson shows it Marvin Gaye. Liking what he hears, Gaye changes the melody and add his own lyrics to the song, drawing upon his own emotional response to the violence sparked by the anti-war protests, and his own disdain for the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. A point that is brought closer to home by his younger brother Frankie, who had served three tours of duty in Vietnam. Once Gaye is finished writing, the basic track is recorded on June 10, 1970 with members of The Funk Brothers, including bassist James Jamerson, who is pulled out of a jam session at a local club to play on the session. At the time, Jamerson is so drunk that he can’t sit on a stool to play. He actually records his bass part while lying on his back on the studio floor. Another overdub session takes place in September with Detroit Lions players Lem Barney and Mel Farr singing  background vocals and add to the “party atmosphere” on the track. When Motown hears the finished song, they initially refuse to release it, feeling that it is “uncommercial”. They eventually relent when Gaye refuses to record anymore new material until it released. Issued on January 21, 1971, “What’s Going On” is a massive smash, selling over a million copies in its first week of release (moving over two and half million copies in the US by the time it drops off the chart), becoming the fastest selling single in Motown’s history to that date.
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019


'The Beat'

From the Beat webpage:


“He fought & fought & fought, Roger was a fighter.” 
Sadly Roger past away a few hours ago peacefully at his home surrounded by family. 
Roger’s family would like to thank everyone for their constant support during this tough time. More to follow in the coming days. RIP ROGER! ❤️

In Autumn 2018, just before he was about to embark on his first US tour in over 12 years, with a further worldwide tour following in 2019, Roger was diagnosed with cancer. At the time he was riding high and very happy having just released a superb live DVD at a sold-out London Roundhouse, finished a new album and had over the preceding year, enjoyed enormous worldwide success touring with The Selecter. As 2019 began he continued to bravely fight and whilst undergoing various treatments he managed to finish his biography ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’ with co-writer Daniel Rachel. It tells of his teen years growing up in Birmingham, and then the superb good fortune of meeting The Beat. The new studio album Public Confidential, which he was so rightly proud of, was released in January.Our hearts and commiserations go out to his family, his friends, his loved ones, his band mates (past and present) and of course to all his fans

Live at the BBC in Glasgow. For more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/quaysessions

Roger makes the cover of The Face with picture by the legendary Sheila Rock

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Marilyn by Eve Arnold 

Following on from the pictures of MM with Arthur Miller I have been wanting to post this picture for a while and say something about it. It is by Eve Arnold who I met at the time of a talk she gave for us at Blackwell's Book Shop where I gave her a window display for her then latest book but she gave me prints of Marilyn for display that she hadn't printed in colour before and I was somewhat in awe of her. She was quite the most lovely dignified woman artist I have met and she was allowed to go into 'Gaffer's room'  in the main shop where the Blackwell family kept the most wonderful room exactly as if the gaffer Blackwell who started the shop had just stepped out. William Morris wallpaper etc. 

I love this picture of Marlyn and it tells me, I believe, that Marilyn suffered badly from her monthly cycle and I believe Eve is showing us that side of her subject. I may be wrong but the more I look at it the more I am convinced I am right. I don't think she has gone on record to say so but it is what I believe.  She was trusted by Marilyn more than almost any other photographer. Arnold was able to take the most revealing and candid of shots, with her skirts hitched up or holding her tummy as in here, tired and possibly suffering cramps. I think this is one of the most feminine pictures taken by a woman of a woman it has been my privilege to witness. Marilyn liked other women and whilst many actresses expected the edge and bitchiness, jealousy and competitiveness of starlets they were used to, they were more often than not shocked by her camaraderie and affection, glad to find things otherwise to what they had all come to expect, and she shared an intimacy and a sisterhood that belied her time and place in history.