A Bit of Music History posted 17 Aug 2013
The Troubadour is a coffee bar/performance venue on Old Brompton Road, Earl's Court. In the 1960s it became an integral part of the music scene, hosting many famous musicians. Bob Dylan gave his first performance in London here, Jimi Hendrix played here and even Led Zeppelin played The Troub in post Earl's Court gig jams. The Troubadour also gave birth to a band that would become immensely important in music history. The man putting that band together spotted a young drummer playing here and recruited him for his band. The drummer was Charlie Watts.
The Limitless Horizon of Music posted 28 July 2013
I have been privileged to make the acquaintance of a fabulous musician, Adrian Varela, who has since introduced me to some fantastic music. This week he was featured on BBC Radio 3 before his band's performance at the 3 Choirs Festival in Gloucester. I am thrilled to have discovered Adrian and his band, and in this broadcast, you get a good sample of their music. His take on Beethoven is quite amazing, and I really love the very beautiful Sunset Casapueblo.
Give this a listen (link to BBC radio programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0375r96 ) and it will certainly show you how limitless music really is. There is so much to discover! Check it out!
Here is the track listing for Adrian's bits:
From the start, Escape From Buenos Aires; 00:38 Coriolan (after Beethoven); Interview 00:48; and Sunset Casapueblo, 00:50.
It's only up for the next 3 days! If you miss it, you can purchase Adrian's music on his website: adrianvarela.com
A visit to Abbey Road Studios posted 2 July 2013
Last week's post was the introduction to this one, all about spending the day at, yes, Abbey Road Studios! It was absolutely incredible. I'm very grateful to the wonderful musician that arranged it for me. There are no tours of Abbey Road for the general public, so this was a real privilege.
When I arrived there was a large crowd of tourists taking pictures outside the gate, and it did feel very strange to walk straight past them; almost like I was doing something wrong! I was greeted at the door by security who took me inside. I signed the register and went to the canteen. Just outside it, there is a lovely walled garden full of flowers, and I started to think of the musicians whose music I love sitting out there in the sunshine on breaks.
I got a coffee and spent time chatting to the musicians and various technicians who work there. I was fascinated with their jobs. I really enjoyed talking to Andy, who told me all about keeping time to the music for the engineers and musicians with a click track. I love learning about musical things!
After coffee I went to historic Studio 2, and spent the next several hours watching Simon Rhodes and his team work. They had a few problems that day with communications, and at one point had a telephone stretched across the room to hear LA and even the lights started flickering! But, they didn't miss a beat. It was amazing.
Back to the canteen for lunch (and I spent part of that time sitting in the garden!), and then came the most incredible part of the day. Going back to the studio for the second half of the recording, I was going to be allowed to sit in the studio with the musicians! Me! On the floor in Studio 2!! I can't tell you how awesome it was to step inside that historic room. I was given my own headset to listen to what was coming from the recording booth. I could not believe it. I was actually walking on the same floor The Beatles and others have walked on when they recorded there, and I sat and watched the same red light come on as recording began! It was surreal!
The day ended with a tour of the building, which is lined with photos of so many wonderful musicians; and also the recording equipment from days gone by. I couldn't help stopping and pushing buttons and all... my fingerprints are now on pieces of musical history!!
Just before I left, I had my picture taken in front of the building. The crowds were still there, and started taking pictures of me! LOL
It was a perfect day, and something very few people have ever done. I will never forget it. I'm so honoured to say I have spent the day at Abbey Road!!
Calling fans of British Musicians!!! posted 31 May 2013
I am putting together a special exhibit, and as part of it, am looking to include photographs that fans may have had taken with British musicians. For this exhibit, they do have to be British musicians. I don't need the original, just a scan. The photos will be used for a display in the exhibit and will not be sold or otherwise distributed. If you can send your name, where you are from, and a brief story of how you met the musician, that would be cool too. Of those received, we'll select the best ones to use. You can email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook. Details of the exhibit will be announced in July. Thanks! x
posted 27 May 2013
"I don't know what it is, when you hear something, a musical work, and something appeals to you in it, you say, 'Well I really like that' but what is it? It's a certain magical thing about it. That's what I'm trying for in a musical way – to produce something that will reduce someone to tears or make them very happy." - Jimmy Page Done Jimmy. x
When Music Calls, Answer! posted 22 May 2013
In 2012 I was at Oktoberfest in Munich. There's LOTS of music to be heard there, with people singing everything from folk to rock to traditional German songs. It's a blast (go if you haven't been!). At one point the crowd started singing a song that struck me. You know what I'm talking about... you hear a piece of music and it has a special something to it. You can feel it, not just hear it, and you know it has to 'belong' to you. I HAD to find out what that song was and from where it originated. It was calling me to make it part of my life.
Later back at the hotel, I found it on the web and discovered a 'new to me' band. Fabulous!!! New songs to experience! The band turns out to be a German punk band. German punk? Not something I would have gone to look for, but I would have missed out if I had let anything prevent me from seeking out the song's origin. That song struck me, even though my introduction to the band was 8,000 people in various stages of inebriation singing one of their songs in a beer tent.
When it comes to music, definitely let your heart do the talking. Ignore everything that might stop you and find the musicians performing it. If it moves you, chase it down! You will never be sorry if you listen to your heart where music is concerned, even if you never would have dreamed of liking who turns out to be playing it or even if you can't understand the language, Music transcends everything. When it calls, answer. Trust me on that. x
Here's the band (and the song) I discovered last year. I have become a dedicated fan since: Die Toten Hosen on YouTube. You might enjoy it too. Here's to discovering new music! Go forth and seek it out! x
posted 21 May 2013
I really hate having to make posts like this... British bass player Trevor Bolder has died, losing his struggle with cancer. Trevor played in David Bowie's Spiders from Mars band and then with Uriah Heep. Definitely will be missed, but never forgotten. X Legendary bassist Trevor Bolder shredding (YouTube link)
Jim Morrison's Sunglasses posted 8 May 2013
I have always had a love affair with music memorabilia. When I was growing up I loved it when fans would share with me their magazines, concert tickets, posters, programs and all the other things fans collect. I fell in love with it all.
However, through the years the love affair got decidedly rocky. The internet has brought us the dreadful specter of people selling items such as cigarette butts, napkins, and other bits of old rubbish once used by musicians. Amazingly there are buyers for this type of thing, but what bothers me most is people who buy stolen things or actually steal items from musicians. Shame on you if you have someone's passport, personal letters, even clothes and instruments that were stolen. In my experience, not many who buy these things are unaware they were stolen. It's dreadful.
Fortunately though, there are wonderful pieces out there, things that are legitimate and lovely to see. A few weeks ago while working on a new music project, I visited the home of someone who owns fabulous memorabilia that honours the musicians to whom it belonged. At one point I found myself looking into a mirror wearing Jim Morrison's gold aviator sunglasses. Jim had signed the case, which I was holding. Sharing something like this with a fan is wonderful.
If you love memorabilia, have respect for the musicians and be discerning with items. Don't buy or be impressed by stolen objects. Don't oooh and ahhh over things that clearly aren't legitimate; and wow, let's not collect trash. Memorabilia is a lot of fun if it is shared with integrity, and I am very grateful to fans who do this, as they create good memories for people like me who find themselves staring into a mirror amazed wearing Jim Morrison's sunglasses. Awesome. x
Let the Music Do it for You posted 3 May 2013
"I had to resign myself, many years ago, that I'm not too articulate when it comes to explaining how I feel about things. But my music does it for me, it really does." David Bowie
I'm not a musician. I tried to be, but I never had the patience required to learn to play anything. I got frustrated when I couldn't play in two weeks like the people to which I loved to listen and would give up and go spin my vinyl. This is why today's quote by David Bowie is so great for me. Although I can't make music to express myself, I can find music that does. I think everyone has music inside them, but perhaps not the patience or talent required to ever get it out. But no problem - the musicians we love do that for us. Maybe that's why fans of different musicians can become so fiercely loyal to them. The music they create resonates deeply with us, it almost feels like it is "ours" and we feel a connection to the people who create it. How many times have you felt that you couldn't express something, or find an outlet for your emotions, but a piece of music did it for you instantly? This has been a constant experience in my life, and one I greatly appreciate. It's such a wonderful gift to have people among us who can do that on our behalf. Try it. Nourish yourself with music. If you let it, like David said, the music will do it for you.
Picture this: You're at a concert (or listening to music somewhere) and the band begins to play a song. It really strikes you. It's amazing. The music floods you with emotion, fills you with a sense of wonder and joy, and you're awestruck. Later, even a long time later, when you hear the song again, it transports you right back to the moment in time when you heard it and it brings to mind all the memories that have since become associated with that song. That's the power of music.
Read more on our Facebook here: Who is Sir Paul watching here in 1970-something? Can you guess?
23 April, 2013 post: Part Two: The Actuary
So who was the young man that was in the record shop and became Harold's friend? His name is Chris Barber. Chris loved jazz, as mostly everyone did then, and decided to become a trombone player. His friend Harold spent many years as manager touring with The Chris Barber Band. But Chris contributed a lot to rock music. How you ask? Well, on tour in the States, Chris heard the great blues artists, people such as Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Boy Williamson and Muddy Waters. Chris brought them over to the UK, and to The Marquee, to play so that people could hear them, and this of course inspired new musicians. Many were influenced by being able to hear these men play and it was because of Chris. Chris' band was far ahead of its time, having an electric guitar and a banjo in it long before anyone else did. Because of that, many of your musical heroes learned from Chris and got their start. Interestingly, when Decca had Cyril Davies and Alexis Korner record the first ever R&B record in the UK, they had to use Chris Barber's drummer because no one else could play R&B drums. Chris is still playing today and touring his band.
You can check out his website here: http://www.chrisbarber.net/ Have a listen to some fun jazz in honour of Chris Barber, one of the heroes of UK music.
18 April, 2013 post: Part One - The Accountant
The bored accountant who traveled to London seeking excitement? He was none other than Harold Pendleton, the founder of The Marquee Club. The Marquee was one of the most influential clubs in London, and Harold was responsible for giving a great many musicians their first break in having them perform at the club. The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Move, The Who, Rod Stewart (known as 'Rod The Mod' then) Steve Winwood, Yes, Cream, John Mayall and many others played The Marquee in their pre-fame days. Harold innovated many things we still enjoy, not the least of which is the Reading Festival, which developed from his National Jazz Festival. Reading was the first major rock festival in the country, and Harold was the first to give his crowds proper toilets and hot water. Harold is a pioneer in music, and someone you should raise a glass to and remember. If you'd like to know more, pick up this book: 'London Live: From the Yardbirds to Pink Floyd to the Sex Pistols: the inside Story of Live Bands in the Capital's Trail-Blazing Music Clubs' by Tony Bacon. It focuses on the influence of The Marquee. A good read if you want to know more about music history. In Part Two we'll take a closer look at the actuary Harold met in the record shop....
15 April, 2013 post: It's post-war England and a young accountant, seeking more excitement in life, decides to travel to London and look for work. He knows no one there, and doesn't know the city either, so he asks the bus conductor to drop him off "where the action is." He is dropped at Charring Cross Road. Walking up the street, he sees a record in a shop window and goes inside. There he spots another young man looking through the records. He taps him on the shoulder. "Excuse me, do you know where the London Jazz Club is? I'd heard of it." The man looks up and says, "Yes, I'm going there this evening." And so begins a life-long friendship. The chance meeting of the bored accountant and the music-loving actuary, another great moment in UK music history.
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A Tribute for Zacron
We are all just finding out that the Led Zeppelin III album cover artist Zacron has passed away. Zacron was a special friend to Memories in Music and to me personally. Read my little tribute to him here.
A painting done for MIM chosen for magazine cover!
Our amazing artist Cynthia Blair had one of her paintings chosen to grace the cover of Delta Magazine, where Robert will be headlining the Sunflower Blues & Gospel Festival this August in Mississippi. Read her story of the painting here, and don't forget that prints, as well as the original, is available to purchase in the Gift Shop.
The December 10th Fund - Black Dog!
Our guide dog puppy Cracker has been busy the past few months learning how to ride trains, deal with busy places and walk obediently on the lead without being distracted. It's your money that is preparing him to be the eyes for someone without sight. Go Led Zeppelin fans!
Check out the latest update on Cracker, the guide dog puppy we support.
The donations for the December 10th Fund, in honour of Led Zeppelin and their wonderful charity concert in London in 2007, are in; and we've raised $268.70/£171.50. That's enough to sponsor a guide dog puppy for just over a year, and here he is! He's called Cracker. In the next month, MIM will receive a welcome pack about Cracker, and from then we will get regular updates on his progress. We'll post everything we get so you can keep up to date on what your money is doing. Thank you to everyone who donated. You're going to bring light into the life of someone in the dark, and that is the best way to celebrate the anniversary of a concert that meant so much to Led Zep fans everywhere.
Jimmy Page Fanfare Group News
This year the Fanfare group for Jimmy raised an astonishing £767.23/$1,201.59! The money has gone to The Outside Edge Theatre Company who work with those who are affected by substance misuse. Jimmy is a Patron of the charity, and we are so proud to be able to say thanks to him for all the music he gave us by supporting this charity in his honour. The group has voted to support The Outside Edge again this year.
Book Review: Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page
Annie is the proud owner of one of only 350 Deluxe versions of 'Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page,' the pictorial history of his life in music published by Genesis. Read her review here.
A visit to The Outside EdgeOn Monday I went to visit Phil Fox, Artistic Director of The Outside Edge Theatre Company. The reason for the visit was the Memories in Music Fanfare Group. With our donations this year, we Jimmy Page fans will be supporting Outside Edge in Jimmy’s honour. Read the blog here...
Demon FM Interviews MIM DirectorDuring the Memories in Music in the Midlands Exhibit, I had the pleasure of meeting Sam and Lee from Demon FM. Demon is a community radio station which benefits young people looking to get into the radio and media industries. Many of their alumni have gone onto employment with the BBC, Global Radio (was GCAP), Chrysalis, EMAP, Wise Buddah, ITV, NOW Digital and The Radio Academy, and their DJ's have appeared on national labels such as the Ministry of Sound. Be sure to explore their site! It is an honour to be interviewed by them and to have their support for our fund raising projects. Here's my interview!
Welcome to Memories in Music ! Our Community Interest Company will pay tribute to musicians and benefit charities. With these two important words in mind, 'Tribute' and 'Charity', our goal is to create a community of fans that want to share their musical passions with other fans and together make a real difference in the world. We're something different, and as you explore the pages and find out who we are and what we're doing, we hope you will decide to get involved.