Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 28th February!
Brian Jones (28th February 1942 – 3rd July 1969)
Happy birthday to Mr. Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones, who was born on the 28th February 1942 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (UK)!
At the age of 17, Brian received his first acoustic guitar from his parents as a birthday present. After quitting school, Jones moved to London, where he he crossed paths with people like Alexis Korner, Paul Jones and Jack Bruce. In 1962, Brian Jones was searching for musicians to found his own band. First, pianist Ian „Stu“ Stewart came along and shortly after that, singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards joined. And the group was called after the Muddy Waters song „Rollin‘ Stone“. On the 12th July 1962, the first live performance took place at the Marquee Club in London. Beside Jones, Jagger, Richards and Stewart, the line-up was completed by bassist Dick Taylor and drummer Tony Chapman. On the 7th December 1962, Bill Wyman replaced Taylor and in January 1963 Charlie Watts took over the place from Chapman behind the drums.
Bill Wyman about Brian Jones and The Rolling Stones: „He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played. He got us gigs. Very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away.“
Brian Jones lost more and more the control of the band, because Jagger and Richards became the songwriting team of the Stones. Brian slipped into heavy drug problems over the years and in June 1969 he left the band and Mick Taylor became his substitute. Only one month later, Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool. On the 3rd July 1969 he passed away at the age of 27.
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Mick Taylor started playing guitar at the age of nine and as a teenager he formed various bands – one of these groups was called The Juniors and the Strangers. With this formation he had a television appearance and also a single was released. After the break-up, The Gods were founded, which featured also Ken Hensley (later memeber of Uriah Heep) and the Glascock brothers Brian (drums) and John (bass – he later joined Jethro Tull). In 1966 this very young and encouraging band did the support for the supergroup Cream at the Starlite Ballroom in Wembley. In May 1967 Mick Taylor left the band and joined John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, replacing guitarist Peter Green, who was going to found Fleetwood Mac.
One year later, when The Rolling Stones fired Brian Jones in June 1969, John Mayall recommended Taylor to frontman Mick Jagger. During the rehearsing sessions, Keith Richards was very impressed and Taylor became a new member of the Stones. On the 5th July 1969, at the legendary free concert in Hyde Park (London), Mick Taylor had his onstage debut – just three days after Brian Jones had died.
In December 1974, Mick Taylor announced his leaving. One month before, Taylor told Nick Kent from the „NME“ magazine about the upcoming LP „It’s only Rock’n’Roll“, that he had also co-written the tracks „Till the Next Goodbye“ and „Time Waits for No One„, but there were no songwriting credits for Taylor on the sleeve noted:
„I was a bit peeved about not getting credit for a couple of songs, but that wasn’t the whole reason [I left the band]. I guess I just felt like I had enough. I decided to leave and start a group with Jack Bruce. I never really felt, and I don’t know why, but I never felt I was gonna stay with the Stones forever, even right from the beginning“, Taylor in an inteview with Gary James. Before that, there were also some discussions about song credits: „We used to fight and argue all the time. And one of the things I got angry about was that Mick had promised to give me some credit for some of the songs – and he didn’t. I believed I’d contributed enough. Let’s put it this way – without my contribution those songs would not have existed. There’s not many but enough, things like „Sway“ and „Moonlight Mile“ on Sticky Fingers and a couple of others.“ (from an interview with „Mojo“ magazine in 1997).
Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 30th December!
Clive Bunker (Jethro Tull)
Happy birthday to drummer Clive William Bunker, who was born on the 30th December 1946 in Luton, Bedfordshire (UK). Clive was the original drummer in Jethro Tull and a member from 1968 until 1971. With the band, he recorded the first four classic studio albums „This Was“ (1968), „Stand Up“ (1969), „Benefit“ (1970) and „Aqualung“ (1971).
Clive Bunker began playing in a band called „The Warriors“ in the sixties. Later he formed with guitarist Mick Abrahams the band McGregor’s Engine, before both founded in 1967 with Ian Anderson and Glenn CornickJethro Tull. Shortly after the release of the LP „Aqualung“, Clive Bunker decided to leave the band, get married and spend more time with his wife. Barriemore Barlow, a school friend of frontman Ian Anderson, took over his place.
Clive about his decision: „I had always told Ian, ‚If I find the right lady, I’ll be gone,‘ and I did just that. That was just at the start of their world touring in 1972, and I wouldn’t have been back in England for ages at a time. So I thought that I might as well end it then. Besides, Barrie was always in the background anyway, so I knew I wasn’t going to put them in a difficult situation. You must understand that back then, we didn’t have any time off; it was non-stop work, and I wanted to spend time with my wife.“
Interesting note: Doane Perry, who became the new Jethro Tull drummer in 1984, was taught one of his first drum lessons ever by Clive Bunker! I did an interview with Doane and he talks about this historic meeting – you can stream the conversation here (the topic starts at appr. 19:10 min)!
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Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 21st December!
Happy birthday to Frank Vincent Zappa, who was born on the 21st December 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland! The American musician was one of the most innovative and outstanding artists in rock history, who recorded over 60 albums of nearly all kind of music from Rock to Jazz up to Avant-Garde, Classical and contemporary music.
Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 9th December!
On the 9th December 1966 the Cream debut „Fresh Cream“ was released. It was not only the first LP for the British supergroup feat. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker – this LP marked also the first release for the new independent label Reaction Records, which was run by procuder Robert Stigwood. On the same day the sinlge „I feel free“ hit also the stores. This song is not featured on the UK edition of the LP, but it has been put on the US release (instead of the Willie Dixon cover „Spoonful„), which was first available in January 1967. The recording sessions for „Fresh Cream“ took place at the Rayrik and Ryemuse Studios in London from July until October 1966. The album reached No. 6 on the UK and No. 39 on the US chart.
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Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 4th December!
On the 4th December 1993 one of the most outstanding musicians passed away:Frank Vincent Zappa died at the age of 53. The American musician was born on the 21st Decmeber 1940 in Baltimore, Maryland. Zappa composed in his long and unique career nearly all kind of music from Rock to Jazz up to Classical. In over thirty years the multiinstrumentalist recorded over 60 albums.
In the fifties Frank Zappa met Don Van Vliet who later changed his stagename into Captain Beefheart. They became friends and around that time Frank started to play drums in a Californian band called „The Blackouts“. In 1957 he improved more and more his guitar skills. During the early sixties Zappa wrote, produced and recorded on many different projects. In 1965 he joined the local band „Soul Giants“ by invitation from Ray Collins, who asked him to take over as the guitarist. Shortly after that the group was renamed in The Mothers and Zappa became the frontman. In 1966 the label Verve insisted to change the name into The Mothers of Invention and the debut album „Freak Out!“ was released. The double LP-set features a very innovative mixture of all kind of music genres and showed Zappa as a very radical and new voice in the music scene. In 1967 the second album „Absolutely Free“ featuring the songs „Plastic People“ and „Brown Shoes don’t make it“ hit the stores. Zappa about this record: „We’re satirists, and we are out to satirize everything.“
In the Eighties, Frank Zappa continued recording a wide range of records with all different music styles. On the 2nd November 1993 his last recording was released: The orchestral music piece „The Yellow Shark„, which was recorded live in Europe one year before, hit the stores. One month later, on the 4th December 1993, Frank Zappa passed away. He died from prostate cancer.
Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 18th March!
On the 18th March 1965, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones had an urgent necessity: The two Rolling Stones musicians tried to take a pee at a petrol station in Rumford, Essex (UK). As they were refused to access the toilet, Brian and BIll urinated against the wall of a garage. Shortly after that, a cop showed up and finally the two were fined £5 ($8.50) for urinating in a public place.
Keith Richards remembers:
„One night coming back from a gig in North London, Bill Wyman, who has this prodigious bladder, decided he wanted to have a pee. So we told the driver to stop. The car is full up with people and a few other people say: ‚Yeah, I could get into that. Let’s take a pee.‘ So we leap out and we had chosen a gas station that looked closed but it wasn’t. There we are, up against the wall, spraying away. And suddenly this guy steps out. And a cop flashes his torch on Bill’s cock and says: ‚All right. What you up to then?‘ And that was it. The next day it was all in the papers. Bill was accused and Brian was accused of insulting language. Because what they did them for was not peeing but for trespassing. The thing with Bill is – and this is one of the best kept secrets in the Rolling Stones – that he has probably got one of the biggest bladders in human existence. When that guy gets out of a car to take a pee you know you aren’t going to move for 15 minutes. I mean it’s not the first time it happened to him. To my knowledge, Bill has never done one in under 5 minutes.“ („Keith Richards on Keith Richards: Interviews and Encounters“ by Sean Egan)
Welcome again to my music diary – today for the 25th June!
Back in 2001 I accompanied a friend of mine to see one of his guitar heroes – Mr. Gary Moore! The guitar wizard from North Ireland played with his band in Munich at the Colosseum and it was obvious that my friend was very looking forward to the show 😉