I’m absolutely gutted to hear of the passing of an all time favourite artist tonight, Nik Turner, one of the founding members of Hawkwind.
I had the honour of seeing Nik (still playing many Hawkwind tracks with those of his solo career) live in Toronto a few times; a couple of gigs at the the Garrison, the last at the Velvet Underground. Every one was mind-blowingly amazing, like easily in the top ten of best live performers I’ve seen. Nik, despite his age, still brought a massive energy to the stage that was utterly mesmerising to be in the presence of. Continue reading
One thing I didn’t expect to happen when writing posts about 50s music discovered by me in the mid 80s: to hear from any of the bands/artists’ family members. But not only has that happened, more so I’ve heard from a band member!
Incredibly, I’ve now had the immense pleasure of being in contact with ‘Wild’ Bill Lee Balsbaugh, piano player in The Jiants, having initially been contacted by Aaron Hedges, son of Jerry Hedges, the guitarist.
Not only can I set some of my own speculations—made in absence of any info—about the band straight, I can also correct a big inaccuracy found in the scant information that could be found online.
This delve into songs first heard in the 80s at one of the record hops still taking place as part of London’s remaining 50s/60s Teddy Boy/Rocker scene looks at:
Song: ‘Lights Out’
Artist: Jerry Byrne
From: New Orleans
Clue One. The three bands covered: The Paragons/The Nerves/Randy and the Rainbows.
Clue Two. My experiences of seeing them live: in 1982, when I was still at school, my mum—who I get my thing for music from—got us tickets to see this band, only for them to spilt up on the tour before playing the gig. They were my top band at the time; I was totally gutted.
In 1991, I was going to spend a weekend at the Hells Angels’ Kent Custom Bike Show. It turned out that on the same Saturday night, the lead singer of the band was appearing as a solo artist at Wembley, London, on a bill that included the likes of INXS, Jesus Jones and the Hothouse Flowers. Continue reading