Saturday, 31 January 2009

ANGUS HOTEL #3 - 1980's

On the Angus Hotel reception desk they used to have a visitors book that guests would sign.
Being Dundee's top hotel for 3 decades meant that it did contain quite a few famous names. In there were the likes of Maggie Thatcher, David Bowie, the Queen, Peter Ustinov, Rod Stewart and so on, page after page.
In 1985, The Associates booked in for the night when they were in town for a gig at Fat Sams.
A while afterwards, I managed to get the page from the visitors book the band had signed that night. Amongst the signatures are - Steve Reid, Billy Mackenzie, Howard Hughes and Roberto Soave.
I also attended the Fatties gig too and I'm gonna give that a mention on Retro Dundee next. Stay tuned..!!
Incidentally, on the other side of the page was the signature of songstress, Susan Maughan. She had a couple of hit records back in the 60's (remember 'Bobby's Girl'), and she was performing at the Whitehall Theatre in April that year.

Friday, 30 January 2009

ANGUS HOTEL #2 - 1970'S

This photo of The Angus Hotel zone was taken in 1973. The roads show it was in a perfect spot to catch travellers from all points on the compass.
There were a couple of small business premises to the left of the main entrance canopies. Grampian TV was right next door but not 100% sure now on the others but I think they were a car rental place or driving school and a jewellers. Sometime in the early 80's one of those premises was occupied by everyone's favourite 2nd-hand record shop Groucho's. Groucho's, as I'm sure everybody knows is now located in the building in the Nethergate, to the right of the roundabout in the picture. When this photo was taken though, the 2 businesses in the same Nethergate building were, J.D Brown Photography Studio (the window with the net curtains) and next to it is the Bangladesh Restaurant, where the Nether Inn now is.
That shop/business information was courtesy of my hazy memory rather than from research, so feel free to correct me on that!

Thursday, 29 January 2009

ANGUS HOTEL #1 - 1960'S

Built in the early 60's, The Angus Hotel, on the corner of Marketgait and Nethergate (now Debenhams), was Dundee's top city hotel for around 3 decades. It was THE place for visitors to stop off at, whether they be royalty, politicians, rock stars or celebs. It wasn't only for out-of-towners though, locals used it too, for functions, weddings and so on. It even hosted gigs occasionally. I remember going to a few jazz concerts there in the late 70's - early 80's.
The building was part of the overall Overgate Centre design, and adjoining the hotel on the Nethergate side were 2 pubs, The Glamis and The Nethergate Bar. Then around the back of the hotel was the Overgate shopping area.
The short piece of footage below, from the mid 60's, gives a better view of it's position and layout, showing the front of the Angus and the shops at the rear.
 
Photo by the Scotsman.Tints by GG.

video

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

THE OTHER RECORD SHOP - INTERIOR - 1984

The photo at the top is of inside The Other Record Shop in the Overgate and was taken in May 1984.
A wee look around the shop shows that there is still plenty of vinyl to be had. However, the ominous appearance of the CD rack (like a Dalek in the centre of the store) would later go on to almost exterminate vinyl from record shops.
Compact Discs started to compete with vinyl in 1982 and although rock & pop acts were a bit tentative to try using this format at first, it wasn't long before everybody released their material on CD. This in turn became especially lucrative for record companies who chose to re-issue their back catalogue which then had punters purchasing their entire record collection all over again!
It was now pretty much the beginning of the end for vinyl.
DJ's and serious record collectors have prevented vinyl being killed off completely though, becoming more of a specialist commodity nowadays. I for one opted to hang onto most of my vinyl collection, many of which were purchased from this very shop.
Underneath the top picture is a reminder of the stores carrier bag.

Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

LED ZEPPELIN - CAIRD HALL - 1973

On this day 36 years ago, Led Zeppelin were rockin' on stage at the Caird Hall.
I missed out on this Dundee gig but I did manage to catch them live a few years later at Knebworth.
There are quite a few photos from their Caird Hall show available to view on fan sites such as Led Zeppelin Database, like Jimmy Page with his double necked guitar.
To get a reminder of them in Dundee, you can travel back in time to their previous show at the Caird Hall in 1971 with this recording below and hear them perform "Heartbreaker", with the Caird Hall crowd getting a bit over excited, inducing a ticking off from Robert Plant!

video

Sunday, 25 January 2009

LOCHEE BATHS - ST. MARYS LANE

Lochee Baths is where I learned to swim. This was back in the late 60's when my primary class used to visit there once a week for lessons.
The entrance was up a wee side street called St Marys Lane, just off Lochee High Street.
The interior layout was very compact, in fact there was actually hardly any room to move around the edge of the pool.
When we went there it was only the girls who got to use the perimeter cubicles, us boys got chucked in the communal changing room around the back.
I remember we all started off using arch shaped polystyrene floats before any attempts at proper swimming commenced, but it didn't take long before the whole class could swim.
The upside to the trip was, because we attended Balerno school in Douglas, it meant a lengthy bus journey, so we kind of viewed the 3 hour day out as a bit of a skive from class, what with the all-round excursion using up a full morning.
The downside to it was, our class was booked during the winter months so I can also recall the miserable return journey when we were all damp haired, freezing and shivering waiting on the bus back.
Still to this day, anytime I happen to catch a whiff of bleach, I always get a flashback to the Lochee Baths!
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

OLD BANK BAR - REFORM STREET

My memory of the Old Bank Bar is that I used to visit it more often during the day than I did in the evenings. The main reason was probably based on the fact that in the mid 80's it was one of the first pubs in Dundee to get an all-day license. Inevitably, the novelty of not getting chucked out at half-two was taken advantage of on more than one occasion. The thing about being open all day, however, is that it did sometimes mess up your sense of time. Now and again we would plan to pop in at lunchtime just for a quick pint, only to then see it turn into an unplanned all day session. Lethal..!! It took a few weeks to get used to it.

Friday, 23 January 2009

UB40 - CAIRD HALL - 1982

27 years ago today, reggae band UB40 were playing at the Caird Hall, my ticket stub above managing to survive the passage of time.
This was the 2nd time I had seen the band live as I saw them play in Edinburgh 2 years earlier.
Great upbeat vibes on the night that got everyone out their seats!
The item below the ticket is a full page ad from an NME back then that has the tour dates listed.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

CRANKED UP - A DUNDEE FANZINE - 80'S

This is the cover of the very first issue of Dundee music fanzine, Cranked Up. It wasn't the cities first fanzine, with the likes of "Men from Soya" and "Le Sinistre" being very short-lived attempts earlier. Cranked Up, however, kept it going for 18 issues, so they had a good run.
The mag hit the scene in 1981 and managed to capture the start of the "New Wave" bands that were springing up locally, although a variety of other music catagories were given plenty fanzine space too.
Performers and places that get a mention in ISSUE 1 are - SCROTUM POLES - BLIND PEW - TAYSIDE BAR - UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS - THE GRIP - TIFFANY'S - NO FIXED ABODE - MEGAZONES - BARRACUDA - ASGARD - ST. ANDREW & THE WOOLEN MILL.
The main man behind Cranked Up was, Jock Ferguson, who nowadays makes a living acting, specialising in Scottish characters. Check out his website to see what he's up to http://www.thesonsofscotland.co.uk/jockferguson.htm

Big thanx to Kevin.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

CRAIGIE HIGH SCHOOL ASSEMBLY HALL - 1970'S

The brand new Craigie High assembly hall a couple of weeks before it opened in 1970. Soon after this photo was taken, I, along with the first ever batch of pupils to set foot in the school, nervously gathered in the hall to hear our names be called out to discover what class we were in. Arranged in alphabetical order.
Forward-wind to 1974 and again we gathered in the hall, for the last time, to sit our o-level exams. The balcony that lead to the music dept (top left of photo) had signs up on the doors at either end that read - "Silence. Exams in progress", and everyone had to tip-toe and be hushed at all times during o-levels.
A couple of quirkier moments I can recall were, they showed the film "Zulu" here, the Michael Caine one. The stage had a pull-down screen in-built and this was the only time I remember it being used. No idea now if the movie was part of class or an after class treat.
Another time, a Conservative candidate visited during elections and obviously kept banging on about the Tories, much to the boredom of the pupils. Eventually he finished his speech and asked the pupils if there were any questions. "What's your opinion of the Labour Party?" shouted a pupil. The guy was stumped! He couldn't think of anything to say, he fumbled about, coughed, spluttered then after a lengthy delay managed to blabber something, but by now we didn't hear much for laughter!
I also attended a gig here. All of the guys in the rock band were CHS pupils apart from the singer, who incidentally, was wearing Alice Cooper style make-up! I'm not 100% sure of the band's name now but "Pegasus" seems to ring a bell. Feel free to correct me on that.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG

Monday, 19 January 2009

LOWLAND FOLK FOUR with BRIAN COX - 1966

This is taken from the Radio Times, dated 17th August 1966. A 40 minute documentary on BBC1 featuring an unusual Dundee double act... music performed by local band Lowland Folk Four and narration supplied by a budding young actor called Brian Cox.
I was only 8 years old when this was broadcast. Unfortunately I have no memory of the programme, but from what I gather the content consisted of a tour around Dundee, old and new, set to music. If anyone remembers anything about it feel free to drop the details into the comments. Or, if someone out there has an actual copy of it, do let me know.
Click on the image to enlarge it to read.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

BROOKES - BROUGHTY FERRY - 1980's

This picture of Brookes in Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, was taken in October 1980.
It's a pub I remember visiting only on Sunday evenings. Sunday back then was our funky nights at the "Sands" so we'd all usually meet here to have a couple of pints first before nipping along to spend the rest of the night at the disco.
It always make me recall those warm, lighty summer evenings.
Photo by DC Thomson.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

SLEAZ BAND - 60'S - 70'S

Dundee's Sleaz Band first started out by calling themselves "Rock Tonsils and the Sleaz Band" when they were on the same bill as Pink Floyd for a gig at Dundee Art College in 1968. Soon after that they opted for a simpler version - Sleaz Band - and a rather lively few years in rock music began.
As their reputation grew, they gigged extensively with top acts such as Deep Purple - Fleetwood Mac - T.Rex - David Bowie - Slade - Thin Lizzy to name just a few of a very impressive gig list.
They have also recorded. An album was in the pipeline but unfortunately it never saw the light of day. A single, however, was released in June 1974, with the band line-up at this stage consisting of Phil Robertson, Jim Kelly, Clark Robertson & Robbie Stewart, although the personnel did change from time to time.
The band eventually called it a day in the late 70's.
Along with the ad above, I have included a typical gig schedule they would have for the local circuit, this one being from July 1972.
For a more thorough overview of the Sleaz Band I recommend the page written by Phil himself on the Rocking Scots website containing lots of photos and memorabilia.
Here is the link - http://www.rockingscots.co.uk/sleaz.htm
For a wee reminder of their sound, here below is the b-side of their '74 single, a track called "Midnight Man", a tidy little slice of rock, produced by Terry Noon for the Fontana label and clocking in at just 1min 50 secs, shorter than the average punk record!

video

Friday, 16 January 2009

THE GAUMONT - COWGATE

One of the things I liked about going to the Gaumont was the bus stopped right outside the foyer. You can see the bus stop in the picture...dead handy when it rained.
I'm sure this was the cinema we used to go to in the 1960's on Saturday mornings for the kids club. They would show movies made by the Childrens Film Foundation, run weekly episodes of Flash Gordon, chuck in some cartoons and so on. It did get a bit rowdy at times, probably because there were no parents around, so there would be a lot of booing at the baddies, cheering at the goodies and singing along to the tunes....oh yeah, not forgetting the peanut fights!
Typical 60's films I saw there were The Beatles movies, James Bond, Disney and such like, then in the 70's it was blockbusters such as Star Wars.
The Gaumont then became the Odeon in 1974.
Photo by DC Thomson. Tints by GG

Thursday, 15 January 2009

NAUTILUS GYMNASIUM - PERTH ROAD

This advert for Nautilus in Perth Road goes back to 1981.
I didn't actually try the place out myself but I knew a couple of guys who were regulars.
From what they told me their evening's fitness routine went like this - go to gym for 1 hour then go to pub for 4 hours!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

ELVIS COSTELLO - CAIRD HALL - 1979

Here's my ticket stub showing that on this day 30 years ago, Elvis Costello was in town.
At this stage in his career he was still a bit of a skinny little whippersnapper, having surfaced in tandem with the punk movement, but behind the image lay a big talent, and we got an instant reminder when he started the show off with "Watching The Detectives". After that the hits kept coming, "Olivers Army" - "Alison" - "Accidents Will Happen" - "Red Shoes" and on it went. This tour was to promote his "Armed Forces" album so there was plenty new material too.
He has since gone on to work with just about every musician on the planet it seems and is still touring 3 decades on.
There were 2 support acts on the night.
One was Richard Hell & the Voidoids from the USA. This was the band he formed after he left Television. Richard Hell was the guy who gave the world the "punk look" ie cropped spikey hair with ripped shirt held together with safety pins. The look was later enhanced by the Brit punks to become the more common punk fashion of the late 70's we now refer to.
Also on the bill was big haired Manchester poet John Cooper Clarke.
Urban grit with wit.
I think we got our £2.50's worth!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

LAY THE CUSHION DOON

I remember playing this kids party game in the 60's.
The game itself goes way back to around the 16th century, originating in North East England. Over time, the game has been passed on around Europe where there are many variations of it. The tune and words differ, not only from town to town but probably from street to street.
The version we played was as follows - the gathering would sit in a circle, and if it was a girl who started the game off, she would carry a cushion around inside the circle and we would all sing "Hey bonnie lassie will ye lay the cushion doon" over & over until she chose a boy to place the cushion at, they would then both kneel on the cushion, kiss, and then it would be the boys turn to carry the cushion around where we would change the song to "Hey bonnie laddie". This went on until everybody had a shot at it.
The wee karaoke below has the tune we used.
In case you're wondering, the photo above was taken at my wee brothers party in the early 70's, although I'm not sure if this is before or after the kissing game!

video

Monday, 12 January 2009

THE TONIBELL MINIBALL

A novelty ice cream idea that was a big hit with youngsters in the 60's and 70's was the Tonibell Miniball - a plastic ball filled with ice cream. To tuck into the contents you removed the lid, and when the ice cream was all gone you just snapped the lid back on, then you could have a game of football, tennis and so on, with it. They were sold in various colours and they came with a flat wooden spoon.
This advert is dated June 1968 but I can recall when I was at Craigie High school in 1970-74, the 70's ones had either a gobstopper or bubblegum inside as an added extra feature. Needless to say we had many games of football in the playground with them too.
I've no idea when they stopped selling them, I don't have any memory of having ever seen them after my school days, but they were popular in their day, and one of the rare occasions when kids didn't get in trouble for playing with their food!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

DC THOMSON'S TAYTEL - 1982

Before the arrival of the internet, the basic concept of providing an interactive information system on screen commenced in the UK in the early 80's. BT came up with PRESTEL, a public viewdata service. A modified TV receiver in the home was linked by your telephone to a main computer database that connected various Information Provider companies. Subscribers could view thousands of pages on TV featuring items such as weather, travel updates, sport etc, as well as send messages or order goods.
DC Thomson was Dundee's IP and they called themselves TAYTEL 263 VIEWDATA.
The screen visuals were similar to present day Ceefax & Teletext with images made possible using the square block method.
The image above you should be able to figure out, it being the DCT building at Meadowside, and below are some of the original Taytel/Prestel on-screen graphics from 1982.


video

Saturday, 10 January 2009

DC THOMSON - KINGSWAY - 1974

This is DC Thomson's retouching department based in Kingsway. Picture taken in 1974.
They worked on the negatives as part of the pre-printing preparations.
The guy in the photo is working on a page called "Linda of Nursery Rhyme Land" which I think may be for Bimbo.
Needless to say, nowadays it's all done on computer rather than by hand.
Photo by JDG.

Friday, 9 January 2009

DC THOMSON PUBLICATIONS - 1966

Here is the entire list of weekly magazines, papers & comics published by DC Thomson in 1966. The above info also includes their issue day and price.
The comics and mags listed are as follows - BEANO - BEEZER - BIMBO - BUNTY - DANDY - DIANA - FAMILY STAR - HORNET - HOTSPUR - JACKIE - JUDY - MY WEEKLY - PEOPLE'S FRIEND - RED LETTER - RED STAR WEEKLY - ROMEO - ROVER & WIZARD - SECRETS - SPARKY - THE TOPPER - VICTOR.
A mixture of fun for the kids, romance for the females and a little something for the parents.
Below is a rare, if short, piece of footage from the same year, showing covers and artwork from some of the publications on the list.

video

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

TAYSIDE BAR - SEAGATE - 1980'S

Located at 176 Seagate ( the building no longer exists ), the Tayside Bar was a pub you may well have passed in the street without giving it a second glance. It was really an old man's pub, as basic and as spartan as they get. However, in the early '80's, Dundee's trendy youth hijacked it and used it as a live music venue. Most of the time it was a showcase for the "alternative" music scene...and on the nights there were no bands playing, there would often be a DJ - the Cranked Up Disco!. It was usually local bands who gigged there though - acts such as Altres, The Grip, AAGA, Waiter Waiter, Junkies, Scrotum Poles, The Blush etc etc...but as the venue became more known, acts from out of town would come in and perform too. There always seemed to be something going on there which is why it made it such a good place to have a drink. I remember Billy Mackenzie used to hang out there a lot.
The above photo shows the long narrow lounge area of the pub...where it all happened!!
One of the many acts I saw play there was AAGA, and I was in the crowd at one of their gigs they captured on film. Below is that very gig. Filmed in March 1984. AAGA live at the Tayside Bar with a track called "Back in the 60's".
Many thanks to Kevin, Mike, Brian and co from AAGA & Altres for the excellent footage and photo.
There are more Tayside Bar goodies to be found on the Altres website. Pictures of the band, mp3's and so on. Why not pay a visit to find out more. Here is the site link - http://www.altres.co.uk/
Meanwhile, enjoy the blast from the past, on the video below...

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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

YELLOW ALEXANDER BUSES

The yellow Alexander buses were the ones we used in the 60's & 70's to go to places like Arbroath and Fife. What I remember about them is that it seemed like everytime I went passed the Seagate Bus Station, the place was always full of them, but on the occasions I needed to go to the Station to actually travel on them, the Station would be mysteriously empty and had to wait ages on one!
The above photo featuring an Alexander's bus was taken in the early 70's. Nobody was hurt in the accident but the funny thing about it is that it's my brothers Austin Maxi that's crushed and it was him that took the picture. He was the only one in the car and as soon as the collision occurred he just stepped out the car and took a few snaps. Not even any camera shake!!
The car was a write-off and the photos were used in my brothers favour when it was insurance claim time!

Monday, 5 January 2009

THE OLD OVERGATE CAR PARK

I've put quite a few items up about the old Overgate shops, so now it's time to have a little look around the car park.
The above photo give's you a good reminder of the layout.
Below, however, is a great piece of film from the mid 60's that actually takes you there. No need for any further descriptions as you will see it for yourself. So fasten your seat belt and enjoy the wee hurl.

video

Sunday, 4 January 2009

CUT MAGAZINE - LATE 80'S

Cut mag cropped up in the magazine racks in 1986.
It was a Scottish based publication - a tabloid sized paper rather than an A4 glossy magazine.
Youth culture was its content, with most of it being music related.
So it covered the alternative/indie scene in the main, together with a touch of pop, jazz, dancefloor and world music in the mix.
There were record reviews, interviews, live gig reviews, new Scottish acts to watch out for, a gig guide and charts.
The other topics it indulged in were cinema, books, art, theatre, fashion, politics and a wee dash of sport.
Glasgow & Edinburgh were it's main focus needless to say, but Dundee got a look-in too.
The snippets I've put up are the kind of local info the mag supplied - for example, features on Dundee bands such as Plastic Surgery, Sweden Thru The Ages, Let's Evolve, Sandflowers and The Poison Boyfriends.
There's also a typical review of a gig that took place at Fat Sams, with local act Wildhouse and guests The Hook 'n' Pull Gang.
Cut, unfortunately, had a fairly short shelf life, as it ceased publication in 1989.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

BUILDING THE REP THEATRE

The top picture was taken in the summer of 1979 and shows the foundations being put in place for the new Rep Theatre - with the view looking out over Tay Square onto South Tay Street.
Building was completed in 1982 and the 2nd image is a photo of the interior which was taken in '82 when everything was all brand new and ready for business in April that year.

Friday, 2 January 2009

THE REP THEATRE - LOCHEE ROAD

When the old original Rep Theatre in Nicoll Street burnt down in the early 60's, this church in Lochee Road became the Rep's 2nd home. It was only supposed to be a temporary base, but it remained in use right up until the opening of their present theatre in Tay Square in 1982.
I can remember visiting the Lochee Road Rep in the late 60's as a special school treat when my class went to see a "marionette show".
Being primary school age, we were used to string puppets on TV with shows such as Thunderbirds, Stingray, Pinky & Perky, Joe 90 and them all, so needless to say the show was a big hit with the kids.
I can't now recall the name of the puppet company or show title but what I can remember is they had to construct a small puppet stage onto the main stage for them to perform. All the drapery & cloth surrounding it was black, as was the puppeteer's clothing. This was to keep the puppeteers hidden during the performance of course, which meant we could concentrate on the puppet action better!