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Riffs welcomes constant info on gigs, line-up changes and general band associated news.
However, as local bands are not supplying us with enough information, we are now hosting more national news...........
(Please note that the further down the page, the older the News..................oh, and if you click pics you may probably get stuff - or not. Probably not. Cheers Kenny!) 

The Office pub in South Shields sadly closed its doors in August of last year, after a long run of being one of the premiere places to see live music in the South Tyneside area. In recent years the pub had suffered the ravages of time, was looking past its best, and the ever-revolving door of tennants/licencees didn't do anything to inspire confidence. But now the building is finally reopening with a new look, a new name, and new management in both the bar and the kitchen. It is officially relaunched at Easter, with a series of 5 bands playing over 5 consecutive nights during the Easter weekend. The building is being renamed THE QUEEN VICTORIA, a name that it used to been known by during the 1980s. And with a host of top quality live acts booked to play over the forthcoming months, the pub plans to reclaim its title as the No1 live music venue in South Shields. The line-up for the reopening weekend is as follows, ...
Thurs 2nd April - UK ROCK LEGENDS
Fri 3rd April - THYN LIZZY
Sat 4th April - 1977
Sun 5th April - BLUE DIAMOND
Mon 6th April - THE KILL
For more details on these shows, plus future events, please checkout the venue's website at http://www.thequeenvic.uk/
And of course, all gigs listings will be forwarded to Riffs, who have supported and helped to promote the pub during the last 15 years. Their help has always been appreciated, and never taken for granted. The photo is of the newly decorated Queen Victoria, just awaiting the new sign arriving in time for the relaunch evening.

Is there a kind hearted band out there willing to perform at a charity event in Low Fell Gateshead? It's to raise funds for kidney research, I have a vested interest in this because we recently found out our oldest son only has one kidney, and the other is failing fast. He hopes to be well enough to walk parts of the great wall of China to raise sponsorship for the charity, all funds raised on the night would go to this worthy cause. The event will probably be in May or June, I can confirm a date next week. 2 x 45 min sets would be great. Ideally the band would perform stuff by the Killers, kings of leon, etc, and some contemporary chart stuff from the last 20 years, but we would be grateful for anything really. There is no cutsie factor to this request, my son is 36, but he has a wife and 2 small children, and even though he's six foot three he's still our little lad. Can anyone help? Please contact me (Pete)   yia3796@yahoo.co.uk

Dear Riffs,

Regrettably, The Buffalos Rock Club in Houghton-le-Spring will be having the last gig in The Comrades Club on Friday 24th April.
After 7 years or more, people are not turning out to see live music in sufficient quantities to make keeping it going a viable option.
All bands that have bookings should have been contacted by now explaining the situation. All bands booked between now and the 24th WILL be appearing as normal, The Mudsharks will be the last gig.
I personally would like to thank all the bands and fans who came along to both the original Buffs venue and the later Comrades club.
Our thanks also to both clubs for their support as well, both were prepared to take it on the chin on the weeks we didn't bring the punters in, taking the long view that other weeks they'd more than covered their costs.
In Rock we trust, we move on to the next venture.
Dave Doubledecks

ENDANGERED SPECIES is the new band formed with former QUIET RIOT frontman Mark Huff, guitarist/keyboardist Wayne Findlay (MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP), drummer Chris Moore and bassist Dario Seixas (FIREHOUSE, STEPHEN PEARCY, JACK RUSSELL'S GREAT WHITE). Founder of the band and former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy said: "For the longest time, I've been saying this, but now I have it… I've been wanting to put the 'holy shit' factor back into the hard rock and heavy metal genre. 'Cause I miss those bands like DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN and VAN HALEN, a group of guys who were all virtuosos and motherfuckers and they all — each one — were motherfuckers, but they were able to agree, for the time they were together, and created some amazing music that we have never seen the likes of since." He continued: "There's been a lot of great bands out there — I'm not saying that there's not a lot of great new bands — but nothing like DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN and VAN HALEN. So I got a group of guys that are all motherfuckers and virtuosos in their own right. The singer that we got is really one of the best vocalists on the planet right now. His name is Mark Huff. He used to sing with QUIET RIOT between 2010 and 2012. But he's one of the most amazing singers I've ever worked with and ever heard. And I can say that now, because it's taken me a long time after Ronnie's [James Dio] passing for me to get excited about working with another singer. And then we have a bass player who can also sing lead. He looks great, he plays great, he's got great song ideas. The keyboard player also worked with Michael Schenker. He plays guitar and keyboards and sings background vocals. The drummer, Chris Moore, is just amazing. They're all fucking motherfuckers in their own right. And then they're good people. So that's two things that are hard to find. And then to agree on the type of music that we're going to create together. And then to be able to do it in a way that… There's twists and turns and unexpected moments in the music that makes it unique and fresh and new, but also familiar enough to get a very warm welcome on the first listen. That's hard to do. And they all live in Southern California. And that's hard to do. So just those six things alone are amazing. But these guys, I'm really, really, really fortunate to be doing this with." He continued: "When Ritchie Blackmore left DEEP PURPLE, it was my favorite band in the world… [and they] just went upside down. And then there's disco. And I'm, like, 'What the hell is going on?' But all of a sudden I hear [RAINBOW's] 'Man On The Silver Mountain' on the radio, and I went, 'What the fuck is that?' It's like [Ronnie] just came out of nowhere. And how hard he worked on his lyrics and the… But little did we know what that treasure and that universe that he created hadn't even been… We hadn't even scratched the surface when 'Man On The Silver Mountain' came out. I mean, that was good enough. But then to find out who that man really was… So I wrote that about him and about that."



The Final Pout’Down are an exciting new cover/tribute band from South Northumberland.  Or should that be from L.A.’s Sunset Strip?! 

As the name suggests, the band concentrate on bringing songs by the popular bands from the 80s glam rock era (or hair metal era if you prefer) back to life. 

Formed in the autumn of 2014 by 5 experienced musicians who have earned their stripes on both the cover scene & the original scene over the past 20 years, The Final Pout’Down are a little bit different from the regular pub covers outfit.  Of course you can expect to hear tunes by big names acts as Guns n Roses, Kiss, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue, and Poison; but the band also go a little deeper into the genre, covering songs by the likes of Hanoi Rocks, Vain, and LA Guns to name a few.  Songs that will have the audience delving deep in to their memory to try to recall the name of the song that is being played before the chorus kicks in!

As well as playing songs from the hair metal era, the band also act and dress the part.  Attitude, teased hair, leather pants, cowboy boots, aviators, all combine to give the audience an entertaining show, who are guaranteed nothin’ but a good time!

The guys begin gigging in the spring of 2015; the first gig being at the Masons Arms in Blyth on Friday 10th April. 

Check out their website at www.thefinalpoutdown.moonfruit.com and their Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Final-PoutDown/747869941957047 for further details on the band and information on bookings.

Wanted: Bugle player/jazz band with kind hearts to play Last Post in Charity Event In aid of Help For Heroes On Thursday 2nd April at Usworth & Washington Gardeners Club. For further details e-mail michelledavies2013@yahoo.co.uk

VAN HALEN singer David Lee Roth provides the introduction to the top-heavy spoof of VAN HALEN's "Hot For Teacher" video from Trisha Paytas, a struggling actress and YouTube sensation living in California. The clip, which was directed by Kale Flowers, was filmed at John Marshall High School in Los Feliz, California — the same high school featured in VAN HALEN's original video. Paytas's version of Hot For Teacher is featured on her new four-song EP, "Fat Chick", which was released on March 6. Hot For Teacher appeared on VAN HALEN's album "1984". The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) objected to the song after its original release, calling for it to be pulled from both the radio and television due to the track's sexually suggestive lyrics referring to sex with a teacher, and a female teacher stripping in the video, among other issues. In 2009, Hot For Teacher was named the 36th best hard rock song of all time by VH1.

The Flying Vs are back on the circuit following a short break during which time their incredible bass player Aaron Johnson of This One Goes Up To Eleven fame has moved to Derby and his successor the equally incredible John Dawson (Russ Tippins Electric Band, Groovetrain, Dave Whiffin Band) has stepped into his shoes. The first gig with John will be Saturday 21st March 2015 at The Ship Inn Whitley Road Benton. This is followed by 27th March at The Robin Hood Jarrow when the almighty Dave Whiffin of The Dave Whiffin Band stands in on guitar for Dave Barnes (he of Test Pilots fame) who is indisposed that evening. Saturday 28th March sees Dave Barnes return on guitar at The George Stephenson Inn West Moor. Good Friday 3rd April sees the return to the North East by Aaron Johnson for a gig at The Magnesia Bank North Shields depping for John who is busy with Groovetrain! The current line-up then reconvene on 4th April for a debut gig at Bank House Social Club Newbiggin by the Sea.  Simple!!

In The Crowd – An Evening with Rick Buckler of The Jam

The Domes Tees Road Seaton Carew Hartlepool

Thursday June 11th 2015 7pm     Tickets £10


Due to a horrible mix up The Three Tuns in Gateshead are left with no band for st Patricks night - Tuesday 17th march. It's a cracking night with a big crowd. If you've an angle or can do a bit of Irish stuff we need you. Text Paul on 07940715824

"Barbarian", the new track by British rockers THE DARKNESS, has just been made available and can be heard by clicking the pic. The song is taken from the band's fourth album, "Last Of Our Kind", which will be released on June 1. The CD was penned in Ireland and was produced by THE DARKNESS guitarist Dan Hawkins. THE DARKNESS frontman Justin Hawkins says that "Barbarian contains not one but two dramatic monologues, a guitar solo that has been declared 'irresponsible,' a riff that weakens lady knees and a chorus that makes grown men shit directly into their pants." Justin goes on to point out that "The lyrics describe the Viking invasion of East Anglia which culminated in the decapitation of Edmund the Martyr. So, yeah, classic DARKNESS."


Flux Capacitor is the brand new 80s Tribute band featuring Paul & Rich formerly of The KooKooNauts plus Jonny Rix on lead guitar, Dom Murphy on drums and Kev Thorne on Keys.  Playing some of the best tunes from the best era including the likes of Prince, Queen, Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Hall & Oates, Huey Lewis & The News, Journey, Duran Duran etc.  Their debut gig is on 27th March at The Riverside Lodge, Morpeth and can then be seen at The Turbinia, Newton Aycliffe (5th april), St Oswald's Charity 80s night at Audi Showroom, Newcastle (25th April), Steph's rock bar (1st May). Expect a lively show with full 80s dress. Now, what Paul and the lads don't know is Riffs still has the pics from when those crazy KooKooNauts took Stormin' the Castle by storm when they had the unappetising opening slot and hold the record for enticing thousands of people into the main tent within twenty minutes! The 'underdogs' of the gig, they used the whole stage to their advantage and wowed an unbelieving audience with their passion, wild antics and crazy exuberance of youth. If only a tad of that has rubbed off into Flux Capacitor then a lively show should be on the cards....

John Foottit has joined The Rising. John has played with original bands Change of Heart and Mai Rouge, and more recently joined Heavy Metal outfit Chrome Molly who have toured with bands such as Ozzy, Alice Cooper and Saxon. John is a great addition to The Rising and I hope you will join us in welcoming him to the band!

For one and a half years, renowned filmmaker Katja von Garnier accompanied German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS on what was originally supposed to be the band's farewell tour. The resulting documentary, "Forever And A Day", follows the band on the road from Bangkok to Moscow, and culminates in SCORPIONS' decision to scrap their retirement plans, deciding instead to mark their 50th anniversary in 2015 with a new tour, a new album and the "Forever And A Day" movie.
Meine added in a previous interview: "A camera team followed us around the world in recent years — in Bangkok, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Los Angeles and Moscow. It was really crazy because there's so much material we couldn't even remember, like SCORPIONS on tour with the old band bus in the early '70s. There are so many pictures there that no one but us has seen. I think it'll be a really special film for our fans."
Last Saturday (February 7) saw the world premiere of "Forever And A Day" in Berlin. A Deutsche Welle video report on the event can be seen below.
The brand-new SCORPIONS studio album "Return To Forever" will be released on February 20 on CD, Deluxe CD, vinyl, Limited Collector's Box, and several more digital and physical formats. The first single, "We Built This House", can be downloaded as an Instant Grat on iTunes and Amazon MP3 as of now.

Tiffany is no longer at the George Stephenson. However, her  uncle is, so any bands that need to contact the George for band gigs should ring 07956 280619 and ask for Marc Christie.
Alternatively, email  emsee1972@gmail.com

Local North-East rockers The Force are now down to a four-piece after Bill Hornsby has retired from the band due to laryngitis. Read the full story on The Force's own website:

THE COMPULSIONS, the critically acclaimed New York City rock 'n' roll band founded by Rob Carlyle that also features GUNS N' ROSES drummer Frank Ferrer, guitarist Richard Fortus and former HANOI ROCKS/NEW YORK DOLLS bassist Sami Yaffa, will release its second album, "Dirty Fun", on April 14. The group will perform a record-release show on Friday, March 27 at Mercury Lounge in New York City. Expect more U.S. dates to be announced soon. After multiple EPs, and countless shows under their collective belt, THE COMPULSIONS released its full-length debut, "Beat The Devil", in 2011. "When I was a kid, music wasn't something you'd multitask to," attests Carlyle. "When you heard a song like 'Black Dog' for the first time, you'd drop everything you were doing and just listen to it. But a lot of today's music seems like sonic wallpaper. There's nothing intrusive or memorable about it, and most of it sounds really polite. We're definitely not going for that."

Full track 'Run Boy Run' from UFOs upcoming album - HERE

Saturday 11th April from 12pm to midnight
Shildon Civic Hall
Jonny's 50th festival in aid of Cancer Research UK and MacMillan Cancer Support
£5 entry and all proceeds going to the charities
John Otway, Rhythm Zoo, The Paul Rose Band, Ramon Goose, Trevor Sewell, The Sugar B's, Abbaretz, Sheikh Yer Mojo, The Hookahs, Creepy Uncle, Neil Gibstar Gibson and Gary Grainger.

The 23rd February 2015 will see the European release of the latest studio recording by rock legends UFO, their 22nd to date.
The album will be called 'A Conspiracy Of Stars', and the band consisting of Phil Mogg (vocals), Paul Raymond (keyboards, guitar), Vinnie Moore (guitar), Andy Parker (drums) and Rob De Luca (bass) have recorded almost a dozen fantastic new songs, produced and mixed in the Kentish town of Deal by Chris Tsangarides, renowned for his work with acts such as Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy and Gary Moore.

The Killing Kind
Run Boy Run
Ballad of the Left Hand Gun
Sugar Cane
Precious Cargo
The Real Deal
One and Only
Messiah of Love
Rolling Rolling
King of the Hill

16 - England - Norwich - Waterfront
17 - England - Cambridge - Junction
18 - England - Wolverhampton - Wulfrun Hall
19 - England - Manchester - Ritz
21 - Ireland - Dublin - The Academy
22 - Northern Ireland - Belfast - The Limelight
24 - Scotland - Glasgow - O2 ABC
25 - England - Newcastle - O2 Academy
26 - England - Leeds - O2 Academy
28 - England - Nottingham - Rock City
30 - England - Bristol - O2 Academy

Mike Estes - inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, former Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and Skinny Molly frontman - is playing a very special one-off solo acoustic show at the Three Tuns in Gateshead on 9th February. Connoisseurs of quality, intimate entertainment will appreciate the low ticket price of just £4. Expect lots of classics and some great stories... 0191 4870666

Special gig coming up in early May: Crashed Out 20 year anniversary gig with the Panic Report + Underline Hero at The Think Tank Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sunday 3rd May (bank hol). Tickets £5 from The Think Tank or Viking Tattoo Studio Ellison Street Jarrow: 0191 4201977


The Tygers Of Pan Tang will headline the gig in a bill that features some of the very best music from the golden era of NWOBHM.

It will be the first gig in London for the Tygers Of Pan Tang since they released their critically acclaimed album 'Ambush' in 2013. Along with the Tygers the bill will feature seven other acts, namely Tokyo Blade, Witchfynde, Desolation Angels, Savage, Jaguar, Tysondog and The Deep.
A mouth watering bill not only from bands that were a huge influence to bands such as Metallica and Megadeth but also are still making relevant and inspiring music to this day.
Tickets are available for £20 from www.ticketweb.co.uk or contact Garage Dayz Re-Visited on their Facebook page to find out how you can get tickets for £27.50 which includes an event t-shirt which will feature the whole line up printed on the back.


Legendary rock and roll singer Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow and Deep Purple fame is pleased to confirm details of his intimate acoustic 'An Evening With...' tour beginning April 1st in Scotland.
Come along for an evening of songs, stories and tales from a career that spans over 30 years and includes over 60 album credits.

April 01 - Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh
April 03 - The Moorings Bar, Aberdeen
April 04 - Voodoo, Belfast
April 05 - The Borderline, London
April 07 – The Live Rooms, Chester
April 08 – The Diamond, Sutton-In-Ashfield
April 09 – Iron Road Rock Bar, Evesham


The original line-up of Eddie And The Hot Rods: Barrie Masters, Steve Nicol, Paul Gray and Graeme Douglas, have reformed and will play a "handful of very special gigs" in June this year to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary.
The first gig has already been announced and it's on Friday 19th June 2015 at 229, London.
The band announced: "This will be the first time all original members have played a full show together for over thirty years and tickets will go fast."

Big River are looking forward to a great event that they've been working on with Mike Prendergast of Gasto Promotions and Cassidy Guitars, which will take place on Friday 23rd January 2015 at the Forum Darlington.
Band of Friends (a celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher) featuring original members Gerry McAvoy, Ted McKenna, with virtuoso guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel return to Darlington as part of their European Tour. Who better to celebrate the music and life of the legendary Irish guitarist RORY GALLAGHER?
Big River will be providing support with their own take on classic Southern / West Coast Country / Blues / Rock featuring 5 piece Vocal Harmonies & blistering Dual Lead Guitars playing the music of The Eagles, Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Earle, Blackberry Smoke and more.
There will also be plenty of Cassidy Guitars on show at the event both live on stage and exhibited at the venue.
This promises to be a great guitar night. Tickets are selling fast so don’t wait too long to reserve yours from The Forum, Borough Road Darlington on 01325 363135.

25.07.15 Maidstone, UK - Mote Park (Ramblin' Man Fair).
(that's it!!!!!)


Last week there was an almighty blow up between two founding members of rockers Waysted.
The dispute, between Pete Way (UFO, Fastway, Waysted) and ex-Waysted frontman Fin Muir, concerns a dispute over some older, bootlegged live recordings.

Jenny Stanley-Clarke, Pete's manager said: "I would be happy to answer any questions about the Fin/Pete debacle but cannot comment at this time about the complaints board vendetta issue as it is subject to a legal defamation suit at the moment."

So more to follow on that one but in the meantime, Fin told us: "This spat ain't with Pete - it is with his mouthpiece/manager/con artist/fraud. Pete wouldn't/doesn't know how to switch a computer on.

"She is making it personal because she has been found out for what she is. Ron found the recordings and his friend Ray (life long Waysted fan) thought he was doing something good for Ron paying for the studio time to tweek it all up, he didn't realise the shit it would all stir up; he would not have bothered if he knew the hornet's nest it has thrown up.

"The elephant in the room is, they will never allow Pete back in the States with the trail of destruction that lies in his wake. I am not on here to slag Pete!"

Pete Way posted this on his personal Facebook page: "It has been brought to my attention that Fin Muir, Ron Kayfield and Muir's girlfriend Wendy Tyler are messaging my friends and fans individually alleging that I am banned from the U.S. and would not ever be sober enough to undertake a tour.

"I can confirm that this appalling defamation is completely without foundation. I have no problem in getting into any country and have not had a drink since before I started my cancer treatment over a year ago. This will be my last word on this ridiculous attempt to damage my reputation and that of my staff due to the fact Muir and co have been caught trying to steal my copyright and cheating my fans.

"I have now had to start libel action against all three of them which is very upsetting for me. Thanks for all of your support during this. Love, Pete xx."

CrookFest 2015  Bank holiday Sunday 3rd May
Early bird tickets now on sale at  http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Darlington/Crook-Town-FC/CrookFest-2015/12263838/   line-up for this years festival include Emerald Thieves, The Scandals, The Force, The Kill, Skinflint, Sensational David Bowie Band plus a total of 22  tribute and cover bands playing across 2 marquee covered stages and the club house from noon till 11.45pm held in the grounds of Crook Town AFC, DL15 9PW

British Metal band Def Con One will be on tour in 2015 to continue the promotion of their second album 'II' released on Scarlet Records in 2014.
Currently working on new material, Def Con One will be active on the live front throughout the year as they play new venues and return to old favourites. More shows are being added so check the band's website for all the latest news.
All of the dates announced so far are detailed below.
Def Con One - Crushing Heads Tour
13.02.15 - Rebellion, Manchester
14.02.15 - The Cellar, Oxford
06.03.15 - Sanctuary, Burnley
07.03.15 - The Venue, Selby
13.03.15 - The Roxbury, Blyth
14.03.15 - The Old Turk, Dewsbury
27.03.15 - The Intake Club, Mansfield
28.03.15 - The Unicorn, London
01.05.15 - Scruffys, Birmingham
02.05.15 - Thrashersaurus, Norwich
29.08.15 - The Arches, Coventry
Def-Con-One were founded over a decade ago by Antton Lant on drums (former drummer for Black Metal legends Venom 1999-2009) and Johnny Hunter on guitars after playing together in a band called Sanities Edge.
The band has gone from strength to strength and recently unleashed their second album in February 2014 through Scarlet Records entitled "II". It has already received outstanding reviews and looks set to push DEF CON ONE even further up the ladder where they rightly belong.

Legendary guitarist Michael Schenker will release a new studio album titled "Spirit On A Mission" in the U.K. on March 23. Released by in-akustik, the collection of all-new material features Schenker's TEMPLE OF ROCK band — ex-SCORPIONS drummer Herman Rarebell and bassist Francis Buchholz, ex-RAINBOW singer Doogie White and Wayne Findlay (guitar, keyboards).
"Spirit On A Mission" features twelve 12 classic rock guitar-driven songs that highlight Schenker's distinctive and dynamic guitar playing, valiantly underpinned by the ferocious rhythm section of Rarebell and Buchholz, the same rhythm section that originally performed together on the SCORPIONS' 1979 album "Lovedrive".

"Well Now You're Here, There's No Way Back", the feature documentary on the seminal heavy metal band QUIET RIOT, will air on Showtime on January 29.

Four months later — on May 19 — it will be made available to purchase via itunes
and on DVD, with pre-sales starting in April.

March of the Mods
Friday March 27th

2pm till 2am
15 bands and 7 DJs in 3 rooms
Staincliffe Hotel, Seaton Carew Hartlepool
proceeds to Teenage Cancer Trust
Tickets £10 each

The Trevor Sewell Band gig on Friday Jan 30 which also has in support Birmingham's Rebecca Downes, and Jake Fletcher at the Cluny in Newcastle now includes a free Digipak CD of an album Trevor recorded at Capitol Records in Hollywood included with the admission price (while stocks last) as a thank you for the amazing support Trevor has had in 2014. The entrance fee is just £8 and advance tickets are available from http://www.thecluny.com/listing/trevor-sewell-band-1

The Whole Hog gig at George Stephenson tonight (Sun 11th) is now cancelled.

An up and coming event which local lads Big River are pleased to be part of, as they are to support Band of Friends featuring Gerry McAvoy, Ted McKenna (ex Rory Gallagher) and virtuoso guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel. The gig is at Forum Music Centre, Darlington, on 23rd January 2015, Tickets for the event are £14 Tel: 01325 363135

It now seems fairly certain that the Ropeworks in Sunderland either has, or is about to, close. All gigs are cancelled as of today.

A big thank you to the excellent Frankie's Cafe for helping to make NYE at the STELLA MARIS a huge success.
Along with everyone that at attended may I Barney also say thank you to Cliff/Brian/Leon/Kenny/Brian/Micky/ and also Riffs for posting the advert

There's a new band on the scene, EL CAMINO & the GHOST BAND. It features Brian Vasey, guitar / lead vocal (ex UK Rock Legends, Ultimate Gary Moore), Chris Bennett, drums (ex Groundhogs) & Barry Skeels, bass / vocals (ex Savoy Brown, Blues Burglars, Original Iron Maiden). No one in the band is called El Camino, it's the name of a US car which Brian always liked the name of and the Ghost Band part came as a lot of songs that they cover come from musicians who are no longer with us. If you like Gary Moore, Hendrix, Cream, Joe Bonamassa etc they have their debut gig on Fri 30 Jan at the Ox & Plough, Raby Rd, Oxclose, Washington and the next at the Quakerhouse, Darlington on Wednesday 25 March. If anyone venues want to book them please contact Barry at Offbeat Management 07727203609.

Head to Head made £111 for Macmillan Nurses on 13th December.


Two original ska bands are coming up from Leeds and Hull to Bar Loco in Newcastle, one on 6th March, one on 24th April. To make their trips worthwhile, they have asked if a suitable venue can be sourced for 7th March and 25th April (both Saturday nights). Outskirts of Newcastle would be ideal. They are both 5 pieces, one from Hull the other from Leeds, and both bands have toured Europe doing all original material. They each require payment of £200, which is pretty reasonable and includes travel and accommodation. If you have, or know of a venue that may be interested please contact the.hippy@blueyonder.co.uk

Paul Smith, manager of the Three Tuns Gateshead takes to the stage after a 23 year break with his legendary band The Wild Men of Borneo this Saturday 20th December at the Tuns. The line up includes Dave Edwards and Kev (Rocky) Hodgson both well known to north east music officianados.  It could be interesting...

As some of you may heard Aaron "The Rocking Rev" Johnson is moving on to pastures new in March 2015 and we wish him the greatest of success with his new challenge and parish in Derby. He will be much missed as a band member and friend. Aaron will play all Flying Vs gigs up to the end of February 2015 when we are proud to announce the bass chair will then be occupied by the mighty John Dawson of The Russ Tippins Electric Band and Groovetrain. Russ is away next year on North and South American and European tours with Satan and John will continue to play dates with Groovetrain alongside gigs with The Flying Vs.

There will be a get together on Friday afternoon at The Corner House Heaton after Dave’s funeral for his friends and relatives to celebrate his life, genius & humour.

Alan Robson might play a song for him on Metro Radio Night Owls tonight.  Also, there should be an article about Dave in tomorrow’s Chronicle (Thursday).

Just a reminder, that his funeral is this Friday 5th December, 11.45am at the West Rd Crematorium.  We hope to see some of you there.

Apologies if some of you have received this and don’t remember Dave.  I thought the only way to get the word out was to email all my contacts in the north east music fraternity. If any of your friends or fellow musicians knew Dave, please let them know the sad news.

RIP Dave “Darco” Corkin

Last week it was announced the very sad news that Dave “Darco” Corkin has died suddenly.  Dave was a local legend who supplied amplifiers, speakers and all kinds of sound equipment to nearly every musician in Newcastle since the seventies. Not only was he an electronics genius but he was also an  amazing character who could talk for hours on end about any subject under the sun.  He will be sadly missed by myself and many other local musicians.  I understand his funeral will be held on Friday 5th December, 11.45am at the West Rd Crematorium.

RIP Dave “Darco” Corkin

There are now dozens of messages on my Facebook page about Dave.  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=599977248

I have put a selection below. It’s made me realise just how many people loved him. 

Keith Tulip.

Dave was an unsung hero for most bands struggling to afford branded products. He was kind and generous guy with a wicked sense of humour.

Brian Hume
25 November at 11:24

Dave made Prelude a great little PA system when we couldn't afford a 'name' one. He was a highly educated and lovely man, winner of the unofficial world talking championship. But he always had something interesting to say. He will be missed by the whole music fraternity.
Dave from FM and LZ/DC told Riffs:
Shocked to my boots about Davey Darco. He rescued more of our gigs by lending us gear than I care to remember and it goes without saying he was indeed a brilliant man'

Gary from The Turbinia in Newton Aycliffe and local rockers FM have collaborated to put together a night of pure Led Zeppelin and AC/DC this Saturday, November 29. The band is LZ/DC and by popular demand it is the Bon Scott era of AC/DC that is covered along with some of the most memorable Zep classics. Dave from LZ/DC told Riffs: 'We only do ten of these gigs a year and this Saturday is one of them. Thanks to Gary and everyone at the Turbinia for making this one happen.'

After a five year layoff VertigoU2 are now back - and on top form.  They bring their full U2 Tribute Show to Steels Club in Sunderland for a feature gig on the evening of Friday 28th November. The band are back with their original line up of Craig Cockburn (Bono) Ian Rogers (Edge) Mark Littler (Adam Clayton) & Graeme Wall (Larry Mullen) The band are currently booking their diary for local gigs and some around the country.  www.vertigou2.co.uk

Following on from their storming set at Ashcon 2014 supporting Wishbone Ash on 1st November The Flying Vs; Jeff Grant guitar and vocals, Dave Barnes Guitar and vocals, Aaron Johnson bass and vocals and Alan Thompson Drums and vocals are appearing locally this week at The Marsden Inn South Shields on Thursday 13th November and at The Clef & Cask Cramlington on Friday 14th November. In addition to Wishbone Ash hits from the first album, Argus, Pilgrimage, Wishbone IV and New England the band play songs by bands who were an influence on, or influenced by, Wishbone Ash including the Allman Bros., Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Thin Lizzy, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band also pay tribute to users of The Flying V guitar including UFO and Jimi Hendrix.

I am looking for a good party band that will get people dancing. The gig is

on 6th December in the Newcastle area.  It is part of an event I am
organising. The band will need to be suited and booted and I pay more than
pubs. If anyone is interested please come back to me. It is cash on the
night, 2 sets of 40 minutes. I have been doing this for 17 years and always make sure everyone gets paid and I don't cancel events. Please email me or text me on 07913 826 843


Seems not five minutes since our boy Maccas was put under the scrutiny of Riffs' searing searching lights for an-depth, heartfelt and, we think, very comprehensive interview. His debut album has gone from strength to strength and Pat is in big demand. He has managed to secure a special appearance at one of the North-East's most prestigious venues - Cluny2 on Wednesday 17th Dec to showcase that very same album as well as newly written material. Pat told Riffs: "I'm knocked out by how many messages I've got from around the world by people saying how much my songs have moved them - it's something that humbles me enormously."

With Pat at the Cluny gig will be veteran session keyboard player Ray Johns and drummer Syd Wight.

Teesside-born Ray is highly renowned for his soulful keyboard skills and has recorded and performed with fellow Teessiders David Coverdale and Chris Rea. He has also shared the stage with Free, Family, Traffic, The Nice and Deep Purple to name but a few.

And if that isn't recommendation enough, highly talented rock/jazz drummer Syd has worked with many distinguished national and international artists – his past collaborations include Jamiroquai and The Lighthouse Family.
"The Cluny is much loved by musicians; what's pleasing is playing to an audience who have made a conscious decision to come out and listen to your music - that's something I truly appreciate."

New Zealand police charge of "attempting to procure murder" against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been dropped. The 60-year-old rocker who is on bail and is set to reappear in court at the end of the month, still faces one charge of threatening to kill as well as possession of methamphetamine and cannabis, which his lawyer described as "minor."

In 1985, Axl Rose and his former band mate Tracii Guns formed Guns N' Roses by merging their respective bands Hollywood Rose and L.A. Guns.

In 1999, former Happy Mondays and Black Grape singer Shaun Ryder was ordered to pay £160,000 to his ex management team over a dispute in his contract. Ryder said he was so high after a 'joint' he didn't bother to read the small print, the court was told the contract had 'done his nut in'.

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has been charged in New Zealand with attempting to procure murder, threatening to kill and possession of drugs. The 60-year-old was the subject of a raid on the North Island on Thursday morning and appeared in Tauranga district court in the afternoon. He had been charged with attempting to procure murder, threatening to kill and possession of methamphetamine and cannabis and has been ordered to stay in Tauranga and to have no contact with anyone related to the charge of procuring murder as part of his bail conditions. According to court documents, Rudd is accused of attempting to hire one person to kill two others between 25 September and 26 September. He is also accused of threatening to kill a complainant on 26 September. Rudd was a notable absentee from AC/DC’s recent promotional material in the lead-up to the release of the band’s first album in six years. The first image released to promote the album, Rock or Bust, did not feature Rudd and he was absent from two video shoots over the past few months.

The Pedantics is a 4 piece band based in Tyne & Wear and County Durham in North East England. With Liz on vocals, Fletch on guitar, Stu on bass and Pete on drums, we play around the north east. We are influenced by The Jam, Blondie, Squeeze, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Imelda May, Stereophonics,  B-52s, The Cure, The Stranglers etc. Our secret box of percussion means that even those who say they won’t dance, can’t resist joining in by the end of the night! As veterans of many music sorties, it was only a matter of time until lead guitarist Fletch and legendary drummer Pete's paths crossed. Liz sneaked in through the back door, pretending she'd always been there, until Stu and his bass were delivered to complete the line up. The Pedantics embarked upon their mission to recruit a large following (or even an audience) adding pubs, parties, backs of lorries and castles to their portfolio. Together now for over 4 years The Pedantics continue to liven up people's birthdays, weddings and Saturday nights, leaving a trail of broken strings, light-up maracas and kebab wrappers in their wake...
The Pedantics In aid of Movember

Friday 28th November   8pm at The Telegraph, Orchard Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3NY

Tickets £5 - contact the band via our Facebook page

all monies to the charity   plus prizes and raffles

Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones was responsible for the string arrangements on the Rolling Stones songs 'She's A Rainbow' and '2000 Light Years From Home' from their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request.

In 1975, Joe Strummer was paid £120 to marry Pamela Moolman, a South African citizen, so she could obtain British citizenship. He bought his signature Fender Telecaster, later painted black, with the money and joined The Clash.

Led Zeppelin recorded their debut album in London in a mere 30 hours and cost just £1,782.
The album went on to gross over £3.5 million - just short of 20,000 times more than invested.

Elton John made his first appearances on Top Of The Pops as a backing singer for Brotherhood of Man and Pickettywitch.

There are over 50 Pink Floyd tribute bands including: Think Floyd, Pink Voyd, Pink Noise, Macfloyd (Scottish band), Floydian Slip, Floydians, The Dark Side of the Wall, Bricks In The Wall and Which One's Pink.

Obviously a great fan of AC/DC and also of Halloween - this guy has created this effect purely due to his love of the band. HERE.

Rock legend K.K. Downing has launched a new range of fine fragrances, 'Metal for Men' and 'Metal pour Femme'. Signed by K.K. himself they are, apparently, available only from Planet Rock.

The Who
were the only band that asked to be paid in advance at the Woodstock festival - and refused to go on until they got their money.

In 1988, Nikolas Hartshorne booked Nirvana to play at the Central Tavern in Seattle, the band's third ever gig.

Six years later Hartshorne was the Medical Examiner at Kurt Cobain's death.

New to the music scene in the North East is Paragon, consisting of Jon Foottit ex Mai Rouge, Riot, Discovery, Armed and Ready and Trigger Taylor ex Discovery, Escape, Big Guns. Expect songs by artists such as Satriani, Ozzy, Gary Moore,Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Velvet Revolver, Deep Purple, UFO, Foreigner, Scorpions etc
. Catch them this Friday (31st) at the Fox and Hounds in Kirk Merrington.

Johnny Rotten (A.K.A. John Lydon) once again struck fear into the hearts of live TV producers during a visit to Dick Clark‘s American Bandstand. The punk pioneer refused to mime during an appearance with his new band Public Image Ltd, and instead he sat on the floor of the studio, threw himself into the assembled audience and stuck his nose into the camera. At his instigation the crowd flooded the stage and the recording soon descended into chaos. Aptly named, Dick banned a possible appearance by The Ramones because of this incident.

This week in . . .
1970, Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary pleaded guilty to 'taking immoral liberties' with a 14 year old girl in Washington D.C. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in jail. Just days earlier, the trio had won a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children for their album, 'Peter, Paul and Mommy'

2002, Randy Castillo drummer with the Ozzy Osbourne band died of cancer aged 51. Worked with Osbourne during the 1980s and early 1990s. Also worked with Lita Ford and Motley Crue.

2006, Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.

1973, During a Lou Reed show in Buffalo, New York, a fan jumped on stage and bit Lou on the bottom. The man was thrown out of the theatre and Reed completed the show.

1992, A Chicago court settled the Milli Vanilli class action suit by approving cash rebates of up to £1.76 to anyone proving they bought the group’s music before November 27 1990, the date the lip synching scandal broke. Milli Vanilli won the 1989 best new artist Grammy after hits like 'Blame it on the Rain' and 'Girl, You Know It's True,' selling 30 million singles and 14 million albums. But in late 1990 the performers were stripped of the award after it was revealed that neither actually sang on the Milli Vanilli album.

2013, Pictures of The Beatles' 1965 Shea Stadium concert, taken by an amateur photographer who bluffed his way backstage, sold for £30,000 at auction. Marc Weinstein used a fake press pass to get next to the stage for the historic New York show. His 61 black and white images with copyright fetched £30,680, the successful bidder was a South American gentleman currently living in Washington who is a huge collector of Beatles memorabilia.

Week beginning March 16 . . .

1973, Dr Hook's single 'On The Cover Of Rolling Stone' peaked at No.6 on the US chart. The single was banned in the UK by the BBC due to the reference of the magazine.

1984, Van Halen's 'Jump' peaked at No.1 in the US. Over the years David Lee Roth has given various accounts of the meaning behind the lyrics, but most often says they are about a TV news story he saw where a man was about to kill himself by jumping off a building.

1997, Elvis Presley Enterprises of Memphis, Tennessee, lost its Court of Appeal battle to stop London trader Sid Shaw using the name of 'The King' on his souvenirs. The legal tussle with Mr Shaw, who ran a memorabilia shop called 'Elvisly Yours', had been going on for over 17 years. Speaking after the ruling, Mr Shaw said: "I'm delighted. I've proved that Elvis belongs to all of us - Elvis is part of our history, part of our culture."

2008, Ola Brunkert, the former drummer with the Swedish group Abba, was found dead with his throat cut at his home in Majorca, Spain. Brunkert died after he hit his head against a glass door in the dining room at his home. He was found dead in his garden after trying to seek help. The 62 year old session musician had played on every Abba album and had toured with the group.

1970, Motown singer Tammi Terrell died of a brain tumour at the age of 24. She had collapsed onstage on October 14, 1967 into Marvin Gaye's arms during a concert in Hampton, Virginia. Initially Terrell recorded solo but from 1967 onwards she recorded a series of duets with Marvin Gaye, including the 1967 US No.5 'Your Precious Love' and the 1968, ‘Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing’. Marvin Gaye reacted to her death by taking a four year hiatus from concert performance and went into self-isolation.

1977, After being with the label for just six days The Sex Pistols were fired from A&M due to pressure from other label artists and its Los Angeles head office. 25,000 copies of 'God Save The Queen' were pressed and the band made £75,000 from the deal.

1996, Charles Pope, singer with US soul group The Tams, died of heart failure. (1971 UK No.1 single 'Hey Girl Don't Bother Me').

2010, A rare Led Zeppelin recording from the group's 1971 gig at St Matthew's Baths Hall in Ipswich was unearthed at a car boot sale. The bootleg copy of the audio from the group's gig on November 16th 1971 was picked up for just "two or three pounds" by music fan Vic Kemp. "I was going through a stand of CDs at the car boot at Portman Road and the guy who was selling them said, 'You might be interested in this,'" Vic Kemp told the Evening Star. "It must have been recorded by someone standing at the front with a microphone. You can hear Robert Plant talking to the audience quite clearly."

Week beginning March 9 . . .
1966, Pink Floyd appeared for the first time at The Marquee in Wardour Street, London, England. The Marquee became the most important venue for the emerging British scene and witnessed the rise of some of the most important artists in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Manfred Mann, The Who, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Genesis.

1966, Rod Stewart left the British blues band Steampacket to work as a solo artist. Arguably, the UK's first "supergroup" Steampacket was formed in 1965 by Long John Baldry and also featured singer Julie Driscoll, organist Brian Auger and guitarist Vic Briggs.

2006, The Sex Pistols refused to attend their own induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Blondie, Herb Alpert and Black Sabbath were all inducted but the Pistols posted a handwritten note on their website, calling the institution "urine in wine", adding "We're not your monkeys, we're not coming. You're not paying attention".

1973, David Cassidy appeared at Bell Vue Kings Hall in Manchester, the first of 10 sold out UK shows. The saucer-like arena was capable of seating 7,000 people. Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Rolling Stones, 10cc, Supertramp, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton and Led Zeppelin all appeared here during the 60s and 70s.

1977, The Sex Pistols were involved in a fight at London's Speakeasy Club with Bob Harris, presenter of BBC 2s The Old Grey Whistle Test resulting in one of the shows engineers needing 14 stitches in his head. Two days later Harris's solicitors contact Derek Green at A&M the bands record label. Harris's management also managed Peter Frampton, one of the label's top acts at A&M. Green discussed the matter with the company's two founders, Jerry Moss and Herb Alpert and the decision was made to cancel the Pistols contract and halt production of the bands first single, 'God Save The Queen'.

2010, Over 130 people were arrested and eight people were hospitalised as fans tried to gatecrash a Metallica show in Colombia. 1,500 police and four tanks were brought in to manage the crowds as property was vandalised and destroyed as thousands of ticketless fans rioted during Metallica's first Colombian concert in eleven years.

1977, The Clash appeared at The Roxy Club, London, supported by The Slits, the first all-female punk group who were making their live debut.

1995, Van Halen kicked off their 131-date Balance World Tour at the Pensacola Civic Center, Florida. (Dubbed the "Ambulance" Tour by Eddie Van Halen due to his hip surgery, and his brother drummer Alex Van Halen wearing a neck brace for most of the tour).

2011, The former singer with Iron Maiden was jailed for nine months for fraudulently claiming benefits. Paul Andrews fronted the band between 1978 and 1981 under the stage name Paul Di'Anno. Andrews, 52, was jailed at the city's crown court after earlier admitting falsely claiming more than £45,000. Fraud investigators had viewed online videos and read about gigs on the performer's website.

1964, Born on this day, Vinnie Paul, heavy metal drummer and producer and co-founder of Pantera. He co-founded the heavy metal band Damageplan in 2003 with his late brother Dimebag Darrell.

1977, At 7am in the morning on a trestle table set up out-side Buckingham Palace, London, The Sex Pistols signed to A&M Records (the real signing had taken place the day before). The contract lasted for six days.

2000, Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde was arrested for leading an animal rights protest against the clothing firm Gap, who were accused of using leather from cows slaughtered 'illegally and cruelly'. The protest took place in a store in Manhattan.

2010, Pink Floyd won a court battle with EMI that prevented the record company from selling single downloads and ringtones on the Internet from the group's albums. Pink Floyd's back catalogue was second only in sales to the Beatles.

Week beginning March 2 . . .
1971, The Rolling Stones kicked off a 9-date UK tour at Newcastle City Hall, supported by The Groundhogs. Also on this day The Stones announced that they were to become the UK's first rock and roll tax exiles, residing in France.

1977, CBS released The Clash's self- titled first album in the UK. CBS in the U.S. refused to release it until 1979. Americans bought over 100,000 imported copies of the record making it one of the biggest-selling import records of all time.

1982, Frank Zappa's son Dweezil and his daughter Moon Unit formed a band called Fred Zeppelin. Their first single was 'My Mother is a Space Cadet'.

1963, Born on this day, Jason Newsted, bass, Metallica, joined Metallica in 1986 after Cliff Burton's death. Newsted remained a member until 2001. (1991 UK No.5 single 'Enter Sandman', 1991 US & UK No.1 album 'Metallica').

Week beginning February 23 . . .

1976, AC/DC shot the video clip for "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" for the Australian music television program Countdown. It featured the band's then-current lineup, along with members of the Rats of Tobruk Pipe Band, on the back of a flat-bed truck travelling on Swanston Street in Melbourne. In May 2001, Australasian Performing Rights Association celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best Australian Songs of all time, as decided by a 100-member industry panel. "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" was ranked as the ninth song on the list.

1980, U2 appeared at The Moonlight Club, at The Railway Hotel in London, tickets cost £2.

1944, Born on this day, Johnny Winter, blues guitarist and singer who has worked with Rick Derringer and brother Edgar Winter. He scored the 1969 US top 30 album, 'Johnny Winter'. Winter died at the age of 70 on 16th July 2014 in Zurich, just days after playing at the Lovely Days Festival in Austria.

1952, Born on this day, Brad Whitford, guitarist with Aerosmith who had the 1989 UK No.13 single 'Love In An Elevator'. Their 1989 album 'Pump' spent 53 weeks on the US charts. Also scored the 1998 US No.1 & UK No.4 single written by Diane Warren 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing'.

1969, Tyrannosaurus Rex appeared at The Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England. Support act was David Bowie performing a one-man mime act.

1970, Appearing at The Roundhouse Spring Festival in Camden, London, David Bowie and the Hype (first live performance of the new band), along with Bachdenkel, Groundhogs and Caravan.

1975, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel had their only UK No.1 single with 'Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me). Singer Steve Harley said the lyrics were vindictively directed at the former band members, whom he felt had abandoned him.

1980, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, featuring Roger Glover, Graham Bonnet and Cozy Powell appeared at The Royal Highland Exhibition Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland.

1981, One hit wonder Joe Dolce was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Shaddap You Face,' famously keeping the legendary Ultravox song, Vienna, off the UK No.1 slot. 'Shaddap You Face' was Number 1 in 11 countries with over 35 different foreign language cover versions, selling over 4 million copies.

1989, A category for Heavy Metal was included at the Grammy Awards for the first time. Metallica performed on stage, but the award went to Jethro Tull. Many audience members booed. Meanwhile, Bobby McFerrin won Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for 'Don't Worry, Be Happy', Tracy Chapman is named Best New Artist and Tina Turner won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for 'Tina Live in Europe'.

1987, Andy Warhol, pop artist and producer died after a gall bladder operation. The founder of the Pop Art movement, produced and managed The Velvet Underground; designed the 1967 Velvet Underground And Nico 'peeled banana' album cover and The Rolling Stones 'Sticky Fingers' album cover.

2004, The Sex Pistols 'Anarchy in the UK' was named the most influential record of the 1970s in poll compiled by Q magazine. Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was voted into second place and Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love' was third, T Rex's 'Get It On' was fourth and Special AKA's 'Gangsters' came fifth.

Week beginning February 16 . . .
1972, Led Zeppelin released 'Rock And Roll / Four Sticks' as a 7 inch single in the US, peaking at No.47 on the chart. The song was written as a spontaneous jam session whilst the band were trying to finish 'Four Sticks'. Drummer John Bonham played the introduction to Little Richard's 'You Keep A-Knockin' and Page added a guitar riff; with the tapes rolling the basic song was finished fifteen minutes later.

1976, Florence Ballard of The Supremes died of cardiac arrest, aged 32. Ballard had left The Supremes in 1967, lost an $8 million (£4.7 million) lawsuit against Motown records and was living on welfare when she died.

1980, Janet Vogel committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning aged 37. Vogel sang with The Skyliners on their 1959 US No.1 hit, 'Since I Don't Have You.'

2004, Mud singer Les Gray died of a heart attack whilst fighting throat cancer, aged 57. (1974 UK No.1 single 'Tiger Feet' plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles').

1986, Metallica released their third album, the highly influential album, Master of Puppets, considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time. This was the last Metallica album with bassist Cliff Burton who was killed when the group's tour bus over-turned in southern Sweden while touring to promote the album.

1980, Bon Scott, singer from AC/DC, was pronounced dead on arrival at a London hospital after a heavy night's drinking. Scott was found in the passenger seat of a friend's parked car. The official coroner's report stated that he had "drunk himself to death", after suffocating on his own vomit.

1960, Jimi Hendrix made his stage debut when he played a show at a High School in Seattle.

1976, Screaming Lord Sutch appeared at the College Of Art, High Wycombe, England, supported by The Sex Pistols.

2003, 100 people died after pyrotechnics ignited a club during a gig by Great White in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Great White singer Ty Longley was also killed in the accident. Two brothers who owned the club were charged, along with the former tour manager with involuntary manslaughter. Foam soundproofing material at the edge of the stage set alight and the blaze spread quickly in the one-storey wooden building as fans all tried to escape through the same exit. Great White began a tour in July 2003 to raise money for the survivors and families of victims.

2008, A 1976 Rolling Stones album bought for £2 at a car boot sale sold for £4,000 at an auction. The 'Black and Blue' LP was signed by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul and Linda McCartney and George Harrison as well as members of the Rolling Stones. The seller obtained the album after haggling the cost down from £3.

1995, Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee married Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson on a Cancun beach, Mexico, the bride wore a white bikini. Anderson and Lee who married only four days after meeting had videotaped their sexual activities while on vacation which was later stolen and released on the Internet. After suing the video company who released the tape, the Lees entered into a confidential settlement agreement. The couple divorced in 1998.

1996, Winners at this year's Brit Awards included Paul Weller who won British Male Solo Artist, British Female Solo Artist went to Annie Lennox, Oasis won British Group, Best Album for ‘(What's The Story) Morning Glory' and Best British Video for ‘Wonderwall. British Breakthrough Act went to Supergrass, International Group was Bon Jovi, International Breakthrough Act went to Alanis Morissette, and David Bowie was awarded Outstanding Contribution to music. Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker was arrested after a stage invasion during Michael Jackson's appearance (who won Artist of a Generation). Cocker was accused of attacking children who were performing with Jackson; all charges against Cocker were dropped on March 11th of that year.

1948, Born on this day, Toni Iommi, guitarist with Black Sabbath who had the 1970 UK No.4 single 'Paranoid'. The bands self-titled album was voted as the best British rock album ever by Kerrang! in 2005. At the age of 17 and on his last day of work in a sheet metal factory, he lost the tips of the middle and ring finger of his right hand. After attempting to learn to play right-handed, Iommi instead strung his guitars with lighter strings and made thimbles to extend his fingers.

1980, During an interview Rolling Stone Bill Wyman said that he intended to leave the band in 1982 on the group's 20th anniversary. Wyman quit the band in 1993.

1934, Born on this day, Skip Battin, The Byrds, who had the 1965 US & UK No.1 single 'Mr Tambourine Man'. In 1959-60 he sang in a duo, Skip & Flip, with Gary Paxton when they had two US hits that each went to No.11, Paxton later formed the Hollywood Argyles, who had the No.1 hit, 'Alley Oop'. Battin was in the Byrds from 1970 to 1973. Member of New Riders Of The Purple Sage and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Battin died on July 6th 2003.

1972, At the end of a 14 date UK tour, Pink Floyd started a four night run at London's Rainbow Theatre. Tickets cost £1.

1975, AC/DC released their debut album 'High Voltage'. The album featured 'She's Got Balls' which was written about singer Bon Scott's ex-wife Irene - the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.

1989, David Coverdale married actress Tawny Kitaen (known for her provocative appearances in Whitesnake's music videos 'Here I Go Again, 'Is This Love' and 'Still of the Night'). The couple divorced in 1991.

2005, A 1965 Fender Stratocaster guitar belonging to Jimi Hendrix sold for £100,000 at an auction in London. Other Hendrix items sold included a poem written two weeks after his appearance at the Monterey Festival which went for £10,000 and the first Jimi Hendrix Experience's single 'Hey Joe', signed by all the band sold for £2,000.

2014, American musician and sound engineer Bob Casale, best known as a guitarist and keyboardist in the new wave band Devo died of heart failure in Los Angeles, California. He engineered the first solo album for Police guitarist Andy Summers.

Week beginning February 9 . . .

1969, '(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice' by Amen Corner was at No.1 on the UK singles chart, the group's only UK No.1. The song was first offered to The Tremeloes as a potential single, who rejected it.

1970, John Lennon performed 'Instant Karma!', on BBC TV's 'Top Of The Pops', becoming the first Beatle to have appeared on the show since 1966. Lennon wrote, recorded, and mixed his new single, all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Lennon later stated, "I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we're putting it out for dinner."

1976, Eddie and the Hot Rods appeared at the Marquee Club London, supported by The Sex Pistols who were playing their first ever London show.

2000, US blues singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins died aged 70. A Golden Gloves boxing champion at 16, he was married nine times, spent two years in jail, and was temporary blinded by one of his flaming props on stage in 1976. He recorded 'I Put A Spell On You' in 1956, covered by The Animals and Nina Simone.

2005, The Class 47 locomotive 47828 was named after Clash frontman Joe Strummer at a ceremony in Bristol. The diesel train, owned by Cotswold Rail, was named after the singer/guitarist who died, aged 50, in 2002.

2014, It was reported that Rock music overtook pop in UK album sales during 2013, winning a bigger share of the market for the first time in five years. Rod Stewart's 'Time' was the best-selling album to be classified as rock by the Official Charts Company, followed by Arctic Monkeys and Bastille. In total rock accounted for 33.8% of album sales, compared with 31% for pop, said industry body the BPI. However, pop records still held the lead in single sales.

1972, During their Dark Side Of The Moon tour, Pink Floyd appeared at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England. The show was abandoned after 25 minutes due to a power cut.

1985, The Police won Outstanding Contribution to British music at the fourth annual Brit Awards held in London. Other winners included Prince for best International Act and Best Soundtrack for Purple Rain, British Single was Frankie Goes To Hollywood 'Relax', British Video was Duran Duran for 'Wild Boys', British Comedy Recording Neil 'Hole In My Shoe', British Album went to Sade for 'Diamond Life', British Male Solo Artist was won by Paul Young, British Female Solo Artist, Alison Moyet and Best British Group went to Wham!
  What more proof do you need that the 80s was shit?!

1997 – Brian Connolly, singer with the 1970s Glam rock group Sweet, died of kidney and liver failure aged 47. Rock singer Connolly was born in Hamilton and adopted into the McManus family at birth and thus half-brother to actor Mark McManus (1935-94). At 18, discovering he was adopted, he changed his surname back to that of his mother. He moved to Middlesex and began his rock career.

1975 – Dave Alexander, bass player with Iggy Pop and the Stooges died from Pneumonia aged 28.

1973 –
British Rail, which was due to demolish Liverpool’s Cavern Club to build a subway station, gives the fabled venue a stay of execution. Owner Roy Adams says he will try to use the extra three months to preserve the famed cellar where the Beatles played some of their earliest concerts.

Week beginning February 2 . . .

2000, English guitarist and singer Dave Peverett died from kidney cancer aged 56. Had been a member of Savoy Brown and Foghat who had the 1970s hit singles 'My Babe', and 'Slow Ride'.

2004, Queen's single 'We Will Rock You' topped a poll of music fans to find the greatest rock anthem of all time. The 1977 song beat the band's classic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' into second place in a survey of 1,000 people carried out for the UCI cinema chain. The poll was carried out to mark the release of new Jack Black comedy 'School of Rock.'

2013, Music venues and fans criticised "heartless" touts and agencies selling tickets for guitarist Wilko Johnson's farewell tour at inflated prices. The former Dr Feelgood guitarist was suffering from terminal cancer and was playing a series of farewell dates in February and March. Originally tickets sold for £20 but were now being offered online at prices of £225.

1934, Born today (Sat), US sax player King Curtis who was stabbed to death by a vagrant on the front steps of his New York home on 13th August 1971. Curtis worked with John Lennon, and had played on The Coasters hit 'Yakety Yak'.

1949, Born on this day, Alan Lancaster, bassist with Status Quo. He left the band in 1984. Quo have scored over 50 UK Top 75 singles since 1968.

2006, The Rolling Stones played three songs during the half-time show of The Super Bowl in Detroit. After the event the Stones expressed their displeasure over having Mick Jagger's microphone turned down during the song "Start Me Up". The line "you make a dead man come" was cut short and a barnyard reference to "cocks" in the new song "Rough Justice" also disappeared.

1971, Led Zeppelin announced a small UK club tour which would see the group playing Universities and small venues with ticket prices at 12 shillings (60p). Zeppelin manager Peter Grant said 'We decided to do the clubs and forget about the bread and the big concert halls'.

1996, Ex Jam members Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler reached a high court settlement with Paul Weller after suing him for more than £100,000, after claiming they were owed royalties and group assets.

2011, Irish guitarist and singer Gary Moore died in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room while on holiday in Estepona, Spain. Moore had been a member of Skid Row, Thin Lizzy and Colosseum II, before going solo, scoring the 1979 UK No.8 single 'Parisienne Walkways'. Moore's greatest influence in the early days was guitarist Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, who was a mentor to Moore when performing in Dublin.

1982, Scottish singer Alex Harvey died of a heart attack while waiting to take a ferry back to shore after performing a concert with his new band, the Electric Cowboys. In an ambulance on the way to the hospital, he suffered a second heart attack, this one fatal. It occurred on the day before his 47th birthday, in Zeebrugen, Belgium. Formed Alex Harvey Big Soul Band in 1959 and then mid 1960s band Tear Gas. Had the 1975 UK No.7 single with Sensational Alex Harvey Band 'Delilah' and 1975 album 'Next'.

1968, Working at Abbey Road studios, London, The Beatles recorded 'Across The Universe'. John and Paul decided the song needed some falsetto harmonies so they invited two girl fans into the studio to sing on the song. The two were Lizzie Bravo, a 16-year-old Brazilian living near Abbey Road and 17-year-old Londoner Gayleen Pease.

1996, Former Milli-Vanilli member Rob Pilatus was hospitalised after a man hit him over the head with a baseball bat in Hollywood, California. Pilatus was attempting to steal the man's car at the time of the attack.

2000, Bjorn Ulvaeus confirmed that the members of Abba had turned down a $1 billion (£0.58 billion) offer by American and British consortium to reform the group. "It is a hell of a lot of money to say no to, but we decided it wasn't for us," band member Benny Andersson told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

2007, A Razorlight's gig in Lyon was halted mid-set because of an altercation between singer Johnny Borrell and bassist Carl Dalemo. The pair exchanged insults before they came to blows onstage. Borrell then stormed off leaving the French crowd amazed and unsure about what was going on.

1972, Chuck Berry had his first UK No.1 single with a live recording of a song he'd been playing live for over 20 years 'My Ding-a-Ling'. UK public morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse attempted to have the song banned due to its innuendo-laden lyrics. The Average White Band members guitarist Onnie McIntyre and drummer Robbie McIntosh played on the single.

1967, At Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles started work on a new song 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. It wasn't until The Beatles had recorded the song that Paul McCartney had the idea to make the song the thematic pivot for their forthcoming album.

1967, Pink Floyd spent the day recording parts for the Syd Barrett songs 'Arnold Layne' and 'Candy And A Current Bun' at Sound Techniques Studios, Chelsea. Floyd also turned professional on this day after signing a deal with EMI Records.

1995, Richey Edwards, guitarist with the Manic Street Preachers, vanished leaving no clues to his whereabouts. He left The Embassy Hotel in London at 7am, leaving behind his packed suitcase. His car was found on the Severn Bridge outside Bristol sixteen days later. Edwards has never been found, despite constant searching, and in November 2008 he was declared officially dead.

1937, Born on this day, Ray Sawyer, singer, songwriter with Dr Hook who had the 1972 US No.5 & UK No.2 single 'Sylvia's Mother' plus 9 other US Top 40 hits.

Week beginning Jan 25 . . .
2009, Road Chef, the Watford Gap UK Motorway services operator, paid £1,000 at an auction for a collection of celebrity signatures which were collected by former employee Beatrice England. The book included signatures of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, The Eagles and Dusty Springfield. The Blue Boar services as it was once known received so many famous guests in its 50-year history that Jimi Hendrix mistook it for a London nightclub as it was mentioned so often by his contemporaries.

1944, Born on this day, Nick Mason: drums, percussion and tape effects, Pink Floyd. Nick is the only member of the band to play on every album since the band's formation in 1965. He studied architecture at London's Regent Street Polytechnic, where he teamed up with fellow students Roger Waters, Rado 'Bob' Klose and Richard Wright in 1964 to form Pink Floyd's predecessor, Sigma 6. Mason is a keen auto racing enthusiast and has taken part in many racing events such as the French 24 Heures du Mans race in Le Mans.

Week beginning Jan 18 . . .
1969, New Jersey state prosecutors issue a warning to US record dealers that they would be charged with distributing pornography if they were caught selling the John Lennon / Yoko Ono LP 'Two Virgins'. The front cover of the album showed the pair frontally nude, while the back cover showed them from behind. The album still managed to reach No.124 on the US, but failed to chart at all in the UK, where only 5,000 copies were ever pressed.

1978, Workers at EMI's record pressing plant refused to press copies of The Buzzcocks forthcoming release 'What Do I Get' because of the title on the B-side 'Oh Shit.'

1947, Born on this day, Warren Zevon, singer, songwriter. Zevon had played piano with The Everly Brothers, and during his career recorded over 15 solo albums. Well known for his 1978 single 'Werewolves Of London'. Zevon died on September 7th 2003.

1969, Led Zeppelin appeared at the Wheaton Youth Center, Wheaton, during their first North American tour. Some reports suggest that only 55 fans attended this show, (if so, this would make it the smallest audience they ever played to). This show was on a Monday and the night of Richard Nixon's inauguration. Zeppelin were paid $250 to appear.

1968, Fleetwood Mac, The Move, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and Fairport Convention all appeared at the Roundhouse Chalk Farm in London, England.

1972, On the first date of a UK tour at The Dome, Brighton, England, Pink Floyd attempted to premiere their new album The Dark Side Of The Moon but due to technical problems this was abandoned after a performance of the track 'Money'.

1982, During an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Des Moines, Iowa, a member of the audience threw a bat onto the stage. Stunned by the light, the bat lay motionless, and thinking it was a rubber fake, the singer picked it up and attempted to bite its head off. As he did this, the bat started to flap its wings and Ozzy soon realized it wasn't fake but in fact a living thing. After the show Ozzy was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for rabies shots.

1974, Former members from Free (Paul Rodgers & Simon Kirke), Mott The Hoople (Mick Ralphs), and King Crimson (Boz Burrell), formed Bad Company. The band went on to score a US No.1 album with their debut release.

1975, Status Quo were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Down Down', the group's only UK No.1 from 52 hits between 1968 and 1996.

1991, The first of three nights at Wembley Arena for The Brits 91 featured the Happy Mondays, James, 808 state, The Cure, Jesus Jones, The Quireboys, Thunder and Little Angels. Tickets were £12.50 for each day.

1944, Born on this day, Legs Larry Smith, drums, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band (1968 UK No.5 single 'I'm The Urban Spaceman').

1973, Born on this day, Luther Dickinson, guitar, The Black Crowes. Joined in 2007.

Week beginning Jan 11 . . .
1967, The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded a session for Radio Luxembourg's Ready Steady Radio. The band ran up a bar bill of £2.5 shillings, which they were unable to pay.

1967, 40-year-old David Mason recorded the piccolo trumpet solo for The Beatles 'Penny Lane' at Abbey Road Studios in London. He was paid £27/10 shillings for his performance. In August 1987 the trumpet he used was sold at a Sotheby's auction for £10,846.

2003, A long-lost recording featuring John Lennon and Mick Jagger was set to spark a biding war at a London auction. The acetate record was recorded in 1974 with Jagger singing the blues song 'Too Many Cooks' and Lennon playing guitar. The track had never been released because the two artists were both signed to different record companies.

1948, Born on this day, Mick Taylor, guitar, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, joined The Rolling Stones in 1969 (aged 20), left in 1974. (1971 US No.1 & UK No.2 single 'Brown Sugar'). Also worked with Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield, Jack Bruce and Ron Wood.

1985, David Bowie's schizophrenic half-brother Terry Burnes killed himself after laying down on the railway lines at Coulsdon South station, London. He was killed instantly by a passing train. He was 47.

1987, TV presenter Jools Holland was suspended from Channel 4's UK music show The Tube for 6 weeks after using the phrase 'groovy fuckers' during a live trailer broadcast in children's hour.

1996, Jamaican authorities opened fire on Jimmy Buffett's seaplane, mistaking it for a drug trafficker's plane. U2 singer Bono was also on the plane; neither singer was injured in the incident. The incident inspired Buffett to write a song called 'Jamaica Mistaica'.

1978, With a budget of only £1,500 borrowed from Stewart Copeland's brother Miles Copeland III, The Police started recording their debut album at Surrey Sound Studios, Surrey, England with producer Nigel Gray. The album 'Outlandos d'Amour' which was released in November of this year featured the hits 'So Lonely', 'Roxanne' and 'Can't Stand Losing You'.

1986, Sex Pistols members John Lydon, Steve Jones and Paul Cook, as well as the mother of Sid Vicious, sued former manager Malcom McClaren for £1 million. They settled out of court.

2010, A plaque of the Beatles' iconic yellow submarine which was stolen six months ago from Liverpool's Albert Dock, was set to be replaced by a new creation. The 5ft (1.5m) design featured the faces of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison peering through its portholes. The new submarine would hang outside the museum dedicated to the band, The Beatles Story. The former plaque has never been found and the thieves have never been caught.

1969, Led Zeppelin's debut album was released in the UK. Recorded at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London, the album took only about 36 hours of studio time to complete at a cost of just £1,782, most of the tracks being recorded 'live' in the studio with very few overdubs. The album spent a total of 71 weeks on the UK chart.

1975, The first night of a UK tour kicked off under the banner of The Warner Brothers Music Show. It featured Little Feat, Montrose, Tower Of Power, The Doobie Brothers and Graham Central Station. Also released was an album sampler featuring all the acts that was priced at 69p.

2003, Singer-songwriter Maurice Gibb from the Bee Gees died aged 53 in Miami Hospital, Florida following a heart attack during abdominal surgery. The Bee Gees released over 20 albums. Gibb was married to the Scottish singer Lulu from 1969 to 1973. In 2002, Maurice was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE), along with his brothers.

1945, Born on this day, Maggie Bell, singer, The Power, Stone The Crows & solo (UK No.11 solo single 'Hold Me').

1964, 'Louie Louie' by The Kingsmen was the number one song on the US Cash Box music chart. For a while the record was banned by a handful of US radio stations because of its indecipherable lyrics which were rumoured to contain some naughty words. Even the FBI investigated the song but finally concluded that they could find nothing wrong.

1985, A Brazilian rock Festival held in Rio claimed to be the biggest ever staged. The festival featured; Queen, Rod Stewart, AC/DC, Whitesnake, Yes and Iron Maiden.

2002, Mickey Finn, percussionist and sideman to Marc Bolan in Tyrannosaurus Rex (T Rex), died of kidney and liver problems aged 55. (1971 UK No.1 single 'Hot Love', plus over 20 other UK Top 40 singles).

2005, Former Bread guitarist and Academy Award-winning songwriter James Griffin died at his home in Nashville at the age of 61 after suffering from cancer. Bread had the 1970s hits 'Make It With You', 'Baby I'm-a Want You', and 'Everything I Own.'

Week beginning December 29 in . . .

1969, Filming began at Twickenham studios in England of The Beatles rehearsing for the 'Let It Be' album. The project ran into several problems including George Harrison walking out on the group on January 10th.

1976, Bad Company, Nazareth, Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance, The Pretty Things and Be Bop Deluxe all appeared at the second day of the Great British Music Festival at London's Olympia. Tickets £3.50.

1980, US singer Larry Williams was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head in his Los Angeles, California home aged 45. Williams had the 1957 US No.5 & UK No. 21 single 'Short Fat Fannie.' Also known for 'Bony Moronie' and 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy.' The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dr. Feelgood, Flying Burrito Brothers, Johnny Winter, Little Richard, The Who, Ritchie Valens and Bill Haley & His Comets all covered his songs.

1997, Guitarist Randy California from US group Spirit drowned when rescuing his 12-year old son when he was sucked into a riptide in surf off Hawaii.

2007, Cristin Keleher who once broke into former Beatle George Harrison's Hawaii home was found dead after an apparent murder-suicide in California, aged 34. She made headlines in December 1999 by entering Harrison's Maui estate and then cooking herself a frozen pizza. Police said her body had been found with that of a 48-year-old man in a car, both had gunshot wounds to their heads.

1969, Peter Tork quit The Monkees, buying himself out of his contract which left him broke. He went on to form a group called Release and played banjo on George Harrison's soundtrack to the film Wonderwall.

1965, The Kinks, The Who, Manfred Man, The Hollies and Gerry and the Pacemakers all appeared on tonight's episode of TV pop show 'Shindig!' The US series featured "British invasion" bands and performers throughout its run.

1963, The Rolling Stones performed at Studio 51 in Soho, London, on the same bill as Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions, who featured a young Rod Stewart. The Stones played a regular Sunday afternoon gig at the club from 4 until 6.30pm and were billed as Rhythm and Blues with The Rolling Stones.

1999, In the Queen's Millennium Honours list, former Slade singer Noddy Holder was awarded an MBE and guitarist Mark Knopfler was awarded an OBE.

2002, The funeral of former Clash singer and guitarist Joe Strummer took place in London. Strummer had died of a suspected heart attack on 22nd Dec 2002 aged 50.

1942, Born on this day, Mike Nesmith, vocals, guitar, The Monkees (1967 UK & US No.1 single 'I'm A Believer' plus 10 US & 8 UK Top 40 singles).

1945, Born on this day, Davy Jones, vocals, guitar, The Monkees (1967 UK & US No.1 single 'I'm A Believer' plus 10 US & 8 UK Top 40 singles). Actor in 1986 London cast of 'Godspell'. Jones died on 29 February 2012 of a severe heart attack due to atherosclerosis.

1966, The Jimi Hendrix Experience made their debut on the UK TV show 'Top Of The Pops' performing 'Hey Joe'.

1973, Jim Croce scored his second No.1 US single of the year when 'Time In A Bottle' went to the top of the charts. Croce was killed in a plane crash on the way to a concert on September 20th 1973.

1980, American singer, songwriter Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose. Hardin wrote the songs 'If I Were A Carpenter' (covered by Bobby Darin, Johnny Cash and June Carter, The Four Tops, Leon Russell, Small Faces, Robert Plant and Bob Seger) and 'Reason To Believe' (covered by Rod Stewart). Hardin appeared at the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

2006, The wife of rock singer Marilyn Manson, Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, filed for divorce after just a year of marriage. The couple married in December 2005 in a ceremony held at a castle in Ireland.

Week beginning 22nd December . . .
1983, Having made two successful dives below a friend’s yacht to find items he’d drunkenly thrown off his own boat three years before, Beach Boy Dennis Wilson took one last dive into the Pacific and never returned from the boat moored in Marina Del Rey, California. With the help of President Reagan he was given a burial at sea, normally reserved for Naval personnel. Dennis was the only genuine surfer in The Beach Boys.

2005, Pink Floyd were voted the greatest rock stars ever in a survey of 58,000 listeners from UK radio station Planet Rock. Led Zeppelin were voted into second place, 3rd was The Rolling Stones, 4th The Who, 5th, AC/DC, 6th, U2, 7th, Guns N’ Roses, 8th, Nirvana, 9th, Bon Jovi and in 10th place Jimi Hendrix. Listeners also named the 1970s as the golden age of rock, followed by the 1960s.

1946, Born on this day, Edgar Winter, Edgar Winter Group, keyboards, vocals (1973 US No.1 & UK No.18 single 'Frankenstein').

1975, The Faces split became official. Rod Stewart had severed all connections with the group to work as a solo artist, Ron Wood was on permanent loan to the Stones, Ronnie Lane went on to form Slim Chance and drummer Kenny Jones joined The Who.

1983, The Police played the first of four sold-out nights at Wembley Arena in London, England, on their Synchronicity world tour.

1963, The music critics from the UK newspaper The Times, named John Lennon and Paul McCartney as The Outstanding Composers of 1963. Two days later, the Sunday Times' music critic Richard Buckle proclaims the same two songwriters "the greatest composers since Beethoven."

1966, John Lennon appeared as a men's room attendant in Peter Cook's and Dudley Moore's BBC TV show 'Not only... But also'.

1966, The Jimi Hendrix Experience played an afternoon show at The Uppercut Club, London, (where he was billed as “The American Top soul Singer - Jimi Hendrix”). Hendrix also wrote the lyrics to Purple Haze in the dressing room on the same day.

1976, The Sex Pistols recorded 'God Save The Queen' at Wessex Studios London, England.

1979, The first night of a series of concerts were held at The Hammersmith Odeon in London for the People of Kampuchea, featuring Queen, The Clash, The Pretenders, The Who, Elvis Costello, Wings, and many more artists. The events which were organised by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim were aimed to raise money for the victims of war-torn Cambodia.

1981, AC/DC started a three-week run at #1 on the US album chart with 'For Those About To Rock We Salute You' the follow-up to their highly successful album 'Back In Black'. The name of the album was inspired by a book Angus Young read, entitled 'For Those About to Die, We Salute You', about Roman gladiators.

1978, John Lydon's new group Public Image Ltd played their first live gig at the Rainbow Theatre, London.

1981, Michael Jackson phoned Paul McCartney and suggested they write and record together, the first result being ‘The Girl Is Mine’. The song was a US No.2 & UK No.8 in 1982.

2006, James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, died at the age of 73 after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Brown went to his dentist in Atlanta the previous day who told him something was wrong, and sent him to a doctor immediately. His hits included ‘Papa's Got a Brand New Bag’, ‘I Got You (I Feel Good)’, and ‘Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Pt. 1’. Brown was married four times, at the age of 16, was arrested for theft and served 3 years in prison. In 1988, Brown was arrested following a high-speed car chase along the Georgia-South Carolina state border.

1940, Born on this day, Phil Spector, producer, 'The Spector Wall Of Sound’. Spector was a member of Teddy Bears, who had the 1958 US No.1 single 'To Know Him Is To Love Him'. He went on to produce many classic songs including; Ben E King, 'Spanish Harlem', The Crystals, 'Da Doo Ron Ron', The Ronettes, 'Baby I Love You', The Righteous Brothers, 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling', Ike and Tina Turner, 'River Deep, Mountain High'. Also produced albums for The Ramones, John Lennon, George Harrison, The Beatles, Cher and Harry Nilsson. The 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home led to his 2009 conviction of murder in the second degree. He is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.

Week beginning 15th December . . .

1989, The Recording Industry Association of America certified four Led Zeppelin albums as multi-platinum: ‘Presence’ (2 million), ‘Led Zeppelin’ (4 million), ‘Physical Graffiti’ (4 million) and ‘In Through The Out Door’ (5 million).

1968, Filming began for The Rolling Stones 'Rock & Roll Circus.' As well as clowns and acrobats, John Lennon and his fiancee Yoko Ono performed as part of a supergroup called The Dirty Mac, along with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. It was originally meant to be aired on the BBC, but the Rolling Stones withheld it because they were unhappy with their performance. The film was eventually released in 1996.

2008, Simon Cowell said he was "very embarrassed" after contracts signed by this year's X Factor contestants were leaked to the Daily Mirror newspaper. The 80-page document, which is enforceable "anywhere in the world or the solar system" was signed by all 12 finalists before the live shows began. It included a clause that prevents them from saying anything "unduly negative, critical or derogatory" about Cowell. Also the show claimed the prize as a "£1m recording contract", but the contestants' contract said the prize money was £150,000.

Week beginning 8st December . . .
1965, Rolling Stone Keith Richards was knocked unconscious by an electric shock on stage at the Memorial Hall In Sacramento, California, when his guitar made contact with his microphone.

1979, A concert by The Who at The Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, turned to disaster when 11 members of the audience were trampled to death after a stampede to claim unreserved seats, another 26 fans were injured. The concert was using 'festival seating' where seats are available on a first come-first served basis. When the waiting fans outside the Coliseum heard the band performing a late sound check, they thought that the concert was beginning and tried to rush into the still-closed doors.

1986, Judas Priest were sued by two families, alleging that the band were responsible for their son's forming a suicide pact and shooting themselves after listening to Judas Priest records. The parents and their legal team alleged that a subliminal message of 'do it' had been included in the Judas Priest song Better By You, Better Than Me from the Stained Class album and alleged the command in the song triggered the suicide attempt. The trial lasted from 16 July to 24 August 1990, when the suit was dismissed.

1946, Born on this day, Vic Malcolm, Geordie (1973 UK No.6 single 'All Because Of You').

1976, The first day of the photo shoot for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover took place at Battersea Power Station in London, England with a giant inflatable pig lashed between two of the structure's tall towers. A trained marksman was hired ready to fire if the inflatable escaped, but was not needed on this, the first day. Unfortunately the following day the marksman hadn't been rebooked, so when the inflatable broke free from its moorings, it was able to float away, eventually landing in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had ‘scared his cows.’

2003, Darkness singer Justin Hawkins was held for two hours at JFK Airport, New York after police mistook him for a wanted man with the same name and looks. The police only agreed to let him go after Justin's fiance and manager Sue Whitehouse produced a tour schedule to prove that he was in England on July 4th when the crime was committed.

2006, David Mount the drummer with Mud died in London. They had the 1974 UK No.1 single 'Tiger Feet' (best-selling single of 1974). Plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles.

Week beginning 24th November . . .

1964, The Shangri-Las went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the 'teen death song', 'Leader Of The Pack'. When released in the UK the song was refused airplay by the BBC (probably due to its death theme), where it went on to chart three times: No.11 in 1965; No.3 in 1972 (by which time the BBC ban had been lifted); and once again at No.7 in 1976.

1968, On their first North American tour, Deep Purple played the first of four nights at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, California.

1991, Nirvana recorded a performance for BBC TV music show Top Of The Pops in London. When asked to lip-sync ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to a pre-recorded tape Kurt Cobain protested by singing an octave lower (he later confirmed he was imitating Morrisey from The Smiths), and attempted to eat his microphone at one point. He also changed some of the lyrics, exchanging the opening line "load up on guns, bring your friends" for "load up on drugs, kill your friends."

Week beginning 17th November . . .
1955, Bo Diddley appeared on US The Ed Sullivan Show television show. The show had requested that he sang his version of ‘Sixteen Tons’, but, when he appeared on stage, he sang his own song ‘Bo Diddley’ resulting in him being banned from further appearances on the show.

1974, Drummer with The Who, Keith Moon collapsed during a concert after his drink was spiked with horse tranquilliser. 19 year-old Scott Halpin who was in the audience, volunteered to replace him on drums for the remaining three numbers.

1946, Born on this day, Ray Stiles, Mud (1974 UK No.1 single 'Tiger Feet', plus 14 other UK Top 40 singles).

1963, John Weightman the Headmaster of a Surrey Grammar School, banned all pupils from having Beatle haircuts saying, "this ridiculous style brings out the worst in boys physically. It makes them look like morons."

1967, A 16 date UK package tour with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, The Move, The Nice and Amen Corner played at the City Hall, Sheffield. A review in the Sheffield Star noted: 'Like an electrified golliwog, Jimi Hendrix threw himself into a live-wire act that featured his intricate guitar interpretation. Quite an Experience'. Pink Floyd also released their third single Apples And Oranges today in the UK.

1971, Slade were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Coz I Luv You', the group's first of six No.1s. The misspelt song titles became a trademark for Slade, causing a great furore among teachers up and down the country.

1937, Born on this day, Peter Cook, comedian (Derek & Clive), compare of UK TV music show 'Revolver' (1965 UK No.18 single with Dudley Moore, 'Goodbye-ee'). Cook died on 9th January 1995.