Watcha Brummies, mates, mate-ettes and Sundry Visitors,
I am still up to my armpits in building work. You know when you have that thought buzz through your head "I bet I could knock down that wall and...etc etc....this weekend, I'll have it all painted by the weekend after". It's all bollocks, you would think that after years of falling into the same trap that I would have developed a little common sense and not taken this path of self destruction, committing myself and my thin wallet to sure oblivion. Mrs Bob is in full 'buzz' though picking brushed chrome fittings and things to adorn the room of culinary delights. So, in advance, I apologise for the short length of this months blog. I'm under the cosh to deliver the goods, kitchen wise and it's full steam ahead in the Bob household....Still, they say the best things come in small packages so I hope you appreciate this little jewel of Brumbeat memories.
I've decided that I have 'niched' the niche-market in sundry visitors and
for the sake of equality have included them in my monthly salutations so they feel needed. Oh shit! I didn't mention the Sparkhill Feminist Sisters Group, and they always have a knee jerk reaction to anything I might do or in this particular case, what I didn't say, and for sure they'll be bearing placards in some street or other, shouting for "Total Inclusion in Everything" as a result of my error, then the Police will be called to quell their "Acting about in funny manner Sarge" and with my Nephew being a Policeman who normally earns his living glaring at people outside Villa Park, he could be injured by a hurled feminist bahgee! Flippin heck, you have to be so careful of what you say these days.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE KILLER
Luckily in the older days, that is to say the 50's, when men were men and women were grateful, none of this PC stuff applied. That was in the days when we saluted the greats of Rock and Roll, surely the key to today's modern versions of the great songs like Heartbreak Hotel and Move It. My overriding favourite Rock n Roller is always a toss up between the immaculate Little Richard and 'The Killer' Jerry Lee Lewis and this week we celebrated Jerry Lee's 80th birthday. I still include Great Balls of Fire in my set and occasionally, High School Confidential too.
The music was never out of fashion for me and in the late 60's there was a slight re-birth of Rock and Roll music which was championed by The Move amongst others and their set included several Eddie Cochran songs including, 'Weekend" and "Something Else".
It was only appropriate that the Move should have great success with Fire Brigade with it's Duane Eddy like guitar opening phrase and were the current market trend setters of the time
THE PIE STAND
Much has been written about the Pie Stand in Birmingham for the late nighters looking for a pie and a cup of tea in the small hours. Before it became synonymous with groups meeting up there it was really a place for bikers gatherings and I must thank Vince P for getting in touch with me to send a couple more photos of the place showing a gathering of it's previous occupants prior to the 'groups' phase. My brother in law would have been one of those bikers and could even be in this picture:
Well I can't spot any groups here, outside of the bikers there is only one older guy on the right probably thinking "I don't know what this country has come to?", he should have been there during the Flower Power phase of the Summer of Love, with all the bands there in their flowery attire he would have been truly alarmed. Pansies is the word that might have entered his head!
Now not only were the Bikers and Teddy Boys regulars there but they took over the shrine of Birmingham Brumbeat, that is The Bulls Head on the Coventry Road after Disco came along and ruined all those great live performance venues. Here I must thank Vince again for bringing a video clip from the Mace Archive to my attention. The Dance Hall that was the Bulls Head was renamed as The Hideaway Club and in 1973 Chris Tarrant Interviewed a group of 'Teds' outside the building, as it was destined to be shut down.
It is the same frontage that every Brummie group of any quality would have stepped through and when I first saw it I felt a real tinge of nostalgia, even though it was just a quick shot of the entrance. Anyway it is the only thing piece of video footage I've ever seen and I hope it brings back some fleeting memories to some of you.
Here is the clip: THE BULLS HEAD ON VIDEO
I'm on the way back to the kitchen, just how lucky do I feel?
Cheers from here in the bloggery and I hope to regale you with something a little more substantive next month.
Have a Hug