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LAID LOW BUT REMINISCING...

Started with a very sore throat a couple of days ago but now feeling unwell and appear to be suffering from a summer cold. Chesty and clammy.


As a result I called the hospital this morning and asked if I could change today's appointment for my regular eye injection. I've now been given another date but the earliest they could fit me in is 4th of September, which means I'll have gone just over twice my allotted break between treatments, which is more than a little worrying.


I'm supposed to have the injections every four weeks, but September will mean that I will have gone without treatment for over 8 weeks. Not good.


However, it's also not good to risk coughing or sneezing when a needle is being plunged into your eyes. Plus the 'flatness' and low energy I feel doesn't help the ordeal, (or the 24 hours of obstructed vision that comes after each injection.)  It's what it is, I guess. I have to admit that a part of me is slightly relieved that the ordeal has been postponed for a while. I certainly was not looking forward to it.


My mind has been drifting back in time and I've been remembering a couple of concerts I attended in the early 1960s. One was on the 25th of June 1961 when I attended a package show at 'The Playhouse Cinema' in Wakefield. I was still a schoolboy and went to the show with my pal Ian Parkin. The show featured The Red Price Combo and Billy Fury but the headline act was The Shadows.


I hardly recall Billy Fury's set and only a little of The Red Price Combo's, but The Shadows headline spot is etched firmly in my mind. It was, for me, a game changer and one of the most memorable and exciting moments of my young life. To watch Hank and Bruce and Jet and Tony perform live was, not just thrilling, but inspirational.

Here was a band in matching blue mohair suits with three equally matching Vox AC 30 amps, (each amp carrying 'The Shadows' logo in silver on the amp's speaker cloth.)


Hank and Bruce had matching red Fender Stratocasters and Jet had a red Fender Precision bass. The whole thing looked and sounded fantastic. It led to me trying even harder to get to grips with my own nascent playing.


The other concert I've been remembering was on the 26th January 1965 and was at The Odeon Cinema in Leeds. Again, I went with Ian Parkin but this time it was a rhythm n' blues package tour featuring Long John Baldry And The Hoochie Coochie Men, The Graham Bond Organisation, The Moody Blues and headliner Chuck Berry. I can't recall The Moody Blues set at all and it must have been before their much later commercial success but I remember Long John Baldry and The Graham Bond Organisation's set, and of course, headliner Chuck Berry who was the main reason for Ian and I going there in the first place. The Graham Bond set was interesting though because the band's drummer was Ginger Baker and the bassist was Jack Bruce, quite sometime before their involvement with Cream. And the band's guitarist was none other than John McLaughlin. They were very good but were yet to achieve 'fame.'


Chuck Berry ended his set prematurely. I think he performed three or four numbers and then walked off the stage and didn't return. Apparently some disagreement with the show's promoter over him wanting to be paid in cash upfront. It was disappointing and the audience had to leave early, grumbling about the shortness of Chuck's set, but Ian and I were just glad to have seen him, even though it was cut short.


I'm now working on track number 50 for the 'Auditoria' album. I think this may be a good place to call a halt to the album's recording and try to make a start on sifting through all the material and sorting it into running orders for the three discs. It's going to be a richly varied album and should provide a deep and intense listening experience. It will take me a couple of weeks of constant work to come up with the final track listing but I might post the list of 50 unsorted track titles in tomorrow's journal entry to give fans an idea of the scope of the project.



The Playhouse Cinema in Wakefield, pictured here after its demise as a cinema, probably sometime in the early or mid 1970s. It had become the 'Classic' cinema and was then used as a 'skate centre.'  In more recent years it became a rather sleazy nightclub.

However, back in 1961, this was the venue where I saw The Shadows perform live.

By the way, the shop unit to the right of the 'To Let' sign was the original location of 'The Record Bar.'



The Leeds Odeon Cinema, in the 1950s. It still looked like this when I attended the Chuck Berry package show on January 26th, 1965. It hasn't been a cinema for many years now and is currently a 'Primark' store.


© Bill Nelson 2020

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