Sadly Peter Green, one of the most magical guitarists of all time, has left us aged 73. Peter was a founding member of Fleetwood Mac before mental health issues interrupted his career. He was in and out of the music business from 1970 onwards as his health allowed. I saw him play in a small club in Glasgow just over 10 years ago (May 2010). For part of the set he seemed to be along for the ride but did manage a cracking solo on Black Magic Woman. I’ve been a connoisseur of his Fleetwood Mac playing since 1978 and some of his later work is just as impressive. I remember in 1982 my university chum’s brother, 10 years older, called in to visit us one day when we just back from labs. He came in to our flat to find Fleetwood Mac’s Pious Bird of Good Omen playing and a pile of John Mayall’s albums next to the record player (Ariston RD80 + Mission 774 + Osawa OS60L, I’d didn’t eat well as a student but had a half decent vinyl system) and said “it’s like I’ve travelled back 10 years in time to when I was a student… who’s got some acid?”
This later track from Peter Green is sublime. (It’s not played on THE Les Paul though)
And a classic, Black Magic Woman played on that 59 Les Paul.
Please take a moment to think of everyone suffering from mental health problems, an illness that is bad for all involved and also carries a huge stigma just to make it even worse.
I knew Peter well. Back in 68 He and the lads used to practice upstairs of our local Offlicence in Batley and many’s the time we would play a game of soccer on the field next to it and share a Woodbine. What a lovely mild guy. Rest in peace Pete.
Dame Dianna Rigg (1938-2020)
One of the most beautiful women of all time and a sublime actress left us last week. I don’t really remember her from The Avengers though I do remember my older sister and parents watching the show. However I do remember her last episode though where she bumped into her replacement Tara King (Linda Thorsen) when leaving Steed’s flat. Tara King’s 1968 stylishly short hair is what stuck in my mind. But it was On Her Majesty’s Secret Service that I really recall her from. We saw the film when on a family holiday in North Wales in 1970. As soon as she appeared in frame I remember my mother saying “It’s her from The Avengers”.
She left to take better roles that involved actual acting more than kitsch but enjoyable nonsense that was The Avengers and was regularly on TV from then on. In a world where women get dropped from mainstream roles once they approach 50 as they age and loose their youthful appearance, Diana Rigg aged naturally and due to her skills as an actress remained in demand till the end.
She was a superb actress. She played a gloriously tongue-in-cheek Emma Peel on the Avengers, a smile and wink from her was more sexy than a topless Brigitte Bardot could ever achieve. I understand that she was a hit in Game of Thrones but I never watched it.
Bringing it back to radio, this week we sadly lost top VHF/UHF (and up) contester Denis G3UVR. He was definitely part of Andy’s formative youth!
I worked Denis virtually every time I did an evening VHF/UHF contest SOTA activation, so much so that he appears at 13th in my all time list of Top Chasers, working my activations no less than 189 times.
I always enjoyed catching up with Denis in person at the Norbreck rally every year, which sadly didn’t happen in 2020 due to Covid.
Yes, it’s a big loss of both a good friend to me and also to the amateur community in general.
I met Denis when I was just licenced at my local club. In the end I have known him for 30 years. He had unlimited time and resources to help people out, to explain and suggest, to help them diagnose problems and to lend them equipment to get them QRV. But more than that he gave unlimited encouragement to people. He was always there and always looking for QSOs especially on the higher bands. He had a tenacious desire to not let problems overcome him. Often there would be a technical problem annoying him and the smile on his face when he described how he fixed it was wonderful. He always had a positive attitude and the same applied when he was told he was ill. His view was it would be just a few months of out patient visits for radiotherapy and he would be back to normal. Sadly it wasn’t to be this one time.
He was massively involved in moulding my radio interests and I shall miss knowing he’s there to call on for help or just for a chat or a QSO. And we wont sit together again in a lakeside bar at the Friedrichshafen rally drinking nice beer and watch the attractive ladies walk past.
I grew up watching her on the Avengers in the 1960s. I was not much aware of her other acting credentials (I missed On Her Majesty’s Secret Service until many years later) until 1983, when I was a third year student in medicine and came home from a long day in the hospital, flipped on the TV, and found the teleproduction of King Lear with Laurence Olivier as Lear and Diana Rigg as Regan. I was entranced, and I don’t remember any other performances than theirs.
This one is back to front, not someone from my youth now passed but the other way round…
This was possibly the last photo taken of Jimi Hendrix on Sep 17th 1970. He was dead the next day.
TBH I don’t recall ever seeing Jimi on TV when he was alive but I can clearly remember the item about his death on the evening news even though I was just a rugrat at the time. It was a few years later that I borrowed a copy of his live album “In The West” from a much hipper older kid in the radio club at school. I discovered Red House and played it over and over again till both my parents threatened to get rid off the family “gramaphone” if I played it again I acquiesced, but unbeknown to them started building my own system using a Mullard LP1173 power amp module a few days later.
Jimi Hendrix (27-nov-1942 <> 18-sep-1970): the man who permanently changed guitar playing.
Another killer guitarist passes. Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65. Eddie invented tapping as way of playing and the rest was history. When I was at university my high voltage lecturer was a Flemish chap, Dr. Halen. We called him Eddie.
I cannot let the chance to post this classic Van Halen video go by and you wont be able to play it loud enough.
Sammy Hagar was a better singer than David Lee Roth though.
Bobby Ball, one half of Cannon and Ball comedy duo is another Covid victim at 76. At the time they first hit the big time in the 70’s, I didn’t think they were at all funny, definitely a D or E grade version of Morecambe and Wise or The Two Ronnies (though each of those duos had plenty of duff material). Watching clips and re-runs 40 years later on it’s quite good fun watching Bobby desperately trying not to corpse against Tommy Cannon’s straight face.
“Rock on Tommy” was your catchphrase. And everyone else’s at the time.
He was a friend of mine. I last saw him at the opening of the Joe Longthorne Museum in Blackpool in August. Very sad.
I was surprised looking now at how much of their TV output is on Youtube. Watching clips of them now trying not to corpse is as funny as watching Peter Cooke trying to make Dudley Moore laugh on “Not Only… But Also”.
Lovely chap. One of those that didn’t really have any difference in character/personality between being on or off stage/screen.
Not sure how formative he was on Andy’s youth, but I see Sean Connery has shuffled off… seems like the end of an era, to me at least. RIP
“Shurely shome mishtake Moneypenny” as he would have said.
But yes it is the end of an era. I remember my 1st Bond film as On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which had George Lazenby as 007 (and a supporting cast of stunning ladies). My first clear recollection of him was in Diamonds Are Forever seen on a family holiday in what must have been 1972. He didn’t stick in my mind as much as Jill St. John!
I can’t remember when the earlier Bond films were shown on UK TV but that probably started as a prime Christmas TV entertainment in the early 70s. That would have been when broadcast TV was at its peak in the UK, Christmas Day extravanagzas from Morecambe and Wise, a Bond blockbuster, family blockbusters, Two Ronnies on Boxing Day, a Stanley Baxter special etc.
His Irish accent in The Untouchables was dire but his acting was good. I really enjoyed his performance in The Name of the Rose but it’s a hard film to watch, dark scenes and muffled voices, you have to work at it but it is rewarding.
End of an era and we wont mention Zardoz.
In between Bobby Ball and Sean Connery, you missed out Nobby Stiles. But perhaps that was deliberate looking at your avatar.
No I read he died and his obituary just earlier this morning. But he didn’t feature in my youth. I’m fairly certain it was the 1966 World CUp I remember my father and his brother (my uncle who served on convoys to Archangelsk/Murmansk in WWII) watching. I can’t remember why so much fuss was being made of a football match, my uncle never came to watch other football matches, but they watched this match and I remember my mother and aunt provided tea and sandwiches etc. I don’t remember much else as I was only 4. It was much later, maybe 1978 I was aware of the 1966 post match celebrations featuring Nobby Stiles dancing with the Cup and by then I had learnt that England’s 1966 victory was more as result of circumstances than them being a World Champion football team.
Yes, he was the first James Bond and indelibly so, but I was perhaps even more delighted by seeing him and Micheal Caine bring Kipling’s " The Man Who Would Be King" to life. Poor Peachy…
Gosh this one passed by in the news fallout of the US Presidential election.
Ken Hensley (guitarist and keyboardist) of Uriah Heep passed away 4th Nov 2020 aged 75.
Uriah Heep were one of the not quite so big stadium rock groups of the 70s. Not quite as big as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin etc. but still turning out plenty of momentous songs. I didn’t get round to buying any Uriah Heep records till I was a student, there was always someone who was a bigger Heep fan than me which meant I got to listen to and borrow the records without having to dig deep and buy my own. Till I found a new Canadian import of Very 'eavy Very 'umble for only £1.50 in 1982 (That was cheap, 12in LPs cost about £5-6 ISTR at that time.
I present a rather long and only slightly self-indulgent July Morning for those whom missed ‘The Heep’ in their original incarnation or their many self-tribute versions later on. Nice bit of Hammond and synth work from the late Mr. Hensley.
July Morning: July Morning - YouTube
Very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble was a brilliant LP, issued around the same time as Jethro Tull, Aqualung - another good one. I have the 3 album Uriah Heep boxed set now on CD with Look at Yourself and Salisbury. Three classic rock albums in one. I sold my original vinyl copy of very 'Eavy, Very 'Umble years ago when I got rid of my turntable and seperates.
I saw a replacement Uriah Heep live with one of the original members at Holmfirth Picturedrome five or six years ago. Not many of the original line up left now.
PS Andy - I think Heep called their synth a Mellotron - maybe the word Synthesizer hadn’t been invented then.