Archive for the ‘Frankie Miller’ Category

Ten Years After Newcastle City Hall 29th October 1972

Ten Years After Newcastle City Hall 29th October 1972
tyatix72“Who is the best guitarist?”
We would have endless discussions like that at school, debating about our personal favourites and almost coming to blows with friends. The music press wasn’t much better, with the Melody Maker polls, and articles which discussed in great detail the technique of all our idols. It was, of course, accepted that Hendrix was the master, but then what was the ranking after that? Eric Clapton was the blues “god”, the standard by which we measured blues guitar; Jimmy Page was pure rock and riffs, Peter Green was all emotional blues and “feel”, Jeff Beck was the elusive genius, and Alvin Lee? Alvin was fast, speed, technique, flash, and rock’n’roll. Alvin wasn’t into any sort of show. He strapped on his red Gibson, walked on that stage, and played. And boy how he played.
“Who is the best guitarist?”
It was silly really. All of those guys had their own style, their own brand, and they were all so different and so excellent in their own way. The debate was ill-founded, futile, and only caused arguments and bad feeling.
I saw Ten Years After again on 29th October 1972 at Newcastle City Hall. Support came from the excellent Frankie Miller who was backed by Brinsley Schwartz. tyaposter73 This was another great gig. John reminds me that loads of us went. Everyone I knew from school who was into rock was at this gig, we ran into loads of mates; there must have been 20 or 30 of us. Ten Years After were once again, great. The setlist was probably something like this: One of These Days; You Give Me Loving; Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl; Rock & Roll Music to the World; Turned Off TV Blues; Standing at the Station; I Can’t Keep from Crying; I’m Going Home; Choo Choo Mama; Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock ‘n’ Roll You, and will likely also have included a classical guitar piece and a scat guitar jam.
I do remember several encores that night, and us all rushing right down to the front, cramming the area near the stage. When it looked like it was all over, they would come on again, while we nervously looked at our watches, in fear of missing the last train, which I think we did, incidentally. However, all was not lost, there was a later bus, which took us all over the place. We then had to walk a few miles, arriving home in the early hours.
“Who is the best guitarist?”
If you had asked me that night, I would, of course, have said “Alvin Lee”. 100% and no contest ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Days.
Thanks to John for the image of his poster.

Reading Festival 26th – 28th August 1977

Reading Festival 26th – 28th August 1977
reading1977prog1Reading 1977 was notable for a couple of reasons. First, the line-up finally (and sadly in my view) lost all traces of the festival’s jazz and blues roots. Instead we had lots of classic rock, with a (small) smattering of punk and new wave. Although 1977 was the year of punk, it was another year before the new music finally started to make its mark at Reading. And second, the main feature of the 1977 festival was MUD. Lots of it. Possibly the worst I have ever seen at a festival. It had been raining heavily for weeks before, which resulted in most of the site becoming a quagmire with rivers of mud, and a large mud lake right in front of the stage. Wellies were at a premium and were being sold for incredible prices in the town.
Friday’s line-up: Staa Marx; S.A.L.T; Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat; Kingfish; 5 Hand Reel; Lone Star; Uriah Heep; Eddie and the Hot Rods; Golden Earring.
A strange mix of bands on the first day. Woody Woodmansey’s U Boat (ex Bowie’s Spiders from Mars) closed their set with Suffragette City. A highlight for me was Uriah Heep; now with John Lawton on vocals. Heep were always one of my favourite bands, and still are; I was a little sad to see them third on the line-up; they would have headlined a few years earlier. Lone Star were also good; showing lots of promise at the time, and Eddie and the Hot Rods went down well with the crowd. Golden Earring closed the day with a strong performance (Radar Love!).
Saturday’s line-up: Gloria Mundi; Krazy Kat; No Dice; George Hatcher Band; Ultravox!; Little River Band; John Miles; Aerosmith; Graham Parker and the Rumour; Thin Lizzy.
I remember being impressed by Ultravox!; this was the early version with John Foxx on vocals. Aerosmith seemed a big band to feature third on the bill, drew a large crowd, and were excellent. “Dream On” from those days remains a favourite song of mine. But the stars of the day were Graham Parker (the whole crowd sang along to (Hey Lord) Don’t Ask Me Questions) and of course, headliners Thin Lizzy. Lizzy were massive at the time and played a classic set including: Jailbreak; Dancing in the Moonlight; Still in Love With You; Cowboy Song; The Boys Are Back in Town; Don’t Believe a Word; Emerald and closing with The Rocker as encore. A good way to spend a Saturday night.
reading1977Sunday’s line-up: Widowmaker; The Motors; Tiger: The Enid; Blue; Racing Cars; Wayne County and the Electric Chairs; Hawkwind; Doobie Brothers; Frankie Miller; Alex Harvey.
The Enid were a big Reading favourite and Robert Godfrey got the tired crowd going with versions of classics like The Dambusters March. The Motors and Widowmaker got the day off to a good start. Steve Ellis had left Widowmaker by this point and had been replaced by John Butler, and they still featured that crazy showman Ariel Bender. Tiger featured the excellent guitarist Big Jim Sullivan (I used to love watching him play on the Tom Jones show in the ’60s), and Blue had some neat songs (try listening to “Little Jody”) and deserved bigger success. They were fronted my ex-Marmalade Hughie Nicholson. Racing Cars went down well with the crowd; this was the year that they had a massive hit with “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?” Wayne County was greeted by a hail of cans from a tired and twitchy crowd who didn’t take well to his punk songs, including the classic “If you don’t want to F**k me, F**k Off! Hawkwind were OK, as were the Doobies and Frankie Miller, but we were all there to see Alex Harvey. SAHB played the usual set and Alex told his quirky stories: Faith Healer; Midnight Moses; Gang Bang; Last of the Teenage Idols; Giddy-Up-A-Ding-Dong; St. Anthony; Framed; Dance to the Music. Alex hadn’t been well and this was their first gig for a few months. It was good to see them, but it wasn’t one of their best performances, and sadly it was the last time the band would play together. The end of an era.
By Sunday many people had given up and left because of the atrocious conditions. Poor John Peel tried to keep the crowd amused, partly be starting the famous “John Peelโ€™s a C***” chant which continued into the next few years.
One final note. I had been to see The Sex Pistols play at Scarborough Penthouse club the night before the festival, and I was still buzzing with the memories of that gig. It had opened my eyes to the raw energy of punk, and that, coupled with the mud and awful conditions at Reading, meant I didn’t enjoy the weekend as much as usual. And just to make the experience complete, the alternator on my car packed in on the way back up the M1, and the car finally ground to a halt somewhere near Nottingham. After a wait of an hour or so, a kind AA man towed us back to Barnard Castle, where we waited (a few hours) for another AA relay van to pick us up and take us home. We arrived back after midnight on Monday, tired, hungry and very muddy, soggy and scruffy….the joys of festival going. Happy Days ๐Ÿ™‚

Frankie Miller live in the 70s

Thoughts on Frankie Miller live in the 70s. frankietixFrankie who? Frankie Fu**in’ Miller – That’s who! So said the tour t-shirts for Frankie Miller’s Full House at gigs in the mid 70s. Frankie Miller is one of the greatest white soul and R&B singers that the UK has produced, easily on a par with Paul Rodgers (with whom he was often compared at the time), Eric Burdon, Rod Stewart and Joe Cocker. I first became aware of Frankie when he played Sunderland Poly’s Wearmouth Hall in the band Jude, which also featured ex Procul Harum guitarist Robin Trower, ex Jethro Tull drummer Clive Bunker and old friend, fellow Scotsman and bassist Jimmy Dewar who had just left Stone The Crows. I have very vague recollections of that gig, and can’t be certain I was present, but I’m pretty sure that it happened. Frankie Miller then went on to front his own band, which became Frankie Miller’s Full House, and they toured relentlessly on the club and university circuit throughout the mid 70s. frankie I recall attending tremendous rowdy Frankie Miller gigs at Newcastle Poly, Newcastle Mayfair and Redcar Coatham Bowl. My ticket stub from the Redcar gig is pictured here. The gig at Redcar was around the time that “Darlin'” was in the charts, which makes it 1978. Frankie hit the charts twice; with “Be good to yourself” and “Darlin'”, but it is his great live performances that I remember most of all. Frankie Miller live in the 70s just couldn’t be topped for a rocking night of great R&B and soul..
Frankie Miller suffered a brain haemorrhage in New York on 25 August 1994, while writing material for a new band he was forming with Joe Walsh of The Eagles. He almost died, and was in a coma for several months. Since then Frankie has slowly been regaining his health.
Rod Stewart said of Frankie Miller, โ€œHe is the only white guy that ever brought a tear to my eye!โ€ Wish I’d bought one of those t-shirts. Guess it wouldn’t fit me now anyway. Thanks to John for the scan of his Frankie Miller EP.
Thanks to Mitch for reminding me that I must also have seen Frankie Miller supporting Ten Years After in 1972: “Frankie Miller played Newcastle City Hall on 29/10/72 as support on Ten Years After’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Music To The World tour. I was there – both acts were terrific…and this was before his debut solo album was released. He also duetted with Phil Lynott on the original version of Still In Love With You which appears on Lizzy’s 1974 album Nightlife.”