Sunday, June 14, 2009

First Time We Met The Blues

The early sixties were a frustrating time if you were living in the UK and interested in American blues and soul music. The music got little or no airplay and finding out what was available amd actually getting to hear it was no easy matter. There was Radio Luxembourg of course and , later, the pirate stations, but there was much great music that was practically impossible to hear on the radio. So it was very much a voyage of discovery for teenagers, like me, living in suburbia and delving into these exotic black US sounds.
Another such teenager was David Williams, who happened to live in the same street as Jimmy Page in Epsom, and came to know Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Keith Richards long before they became famous. Dave (pictured above) has written a book about his early experiences, including a trip to Manchester with Mick and the boys to see the first American Folk Blues Festival in 1962. Called "The First Time We Met The Blues" it's an interesting insight into the developing blues scene in the UK at the time and an amusing reminder of those innocent times. It certainly brought back memories of some of the bands I saw at the time, including early appearances by the likes of David Bowie and Pete Frampton. And although I saw several of the later Folk Blues shows I curse not making the effort to go to Manchester for that first concert. Sounds like quite an experience.
Dave threw a party to launch the book last night which I and fellow Woodies Dave, Alan and Ken attended and throughly enjoyed (see picture). Now I'm enjoying Dave's book and also looking forward to getting stuck into John Broven's latest weighty tome on "Record Makers and Breakers", which I also picked up yesterday. The book chronicles over nearly 600 pages the men who put R and B on the map, both in terms of recording and promoting this music which had such an influence on the culture of the last 60 years. Fascinating stuff and well worth getting hold of.


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