Saturday, 31 July 2010

RETRO SUMMER BREAK

Time for a wee break now.
Not quite the 7 weekies, but I should be away from Retro Dundee for around 3 weeks or so.
I'll still be able to answer emails but I wont be posting anything for the duration.
Plenty more top notch material to display when I return.
Those of you who are new to Retro, you have 2 years worth of goodies to catch up with. Just click on the dates in the "Blog Archive" down the left side of the layout, or if you are looking for something specific you can try the search box top left. To drop a message, click onto the "comments" bottom right of each item.
I've put the Retro Dundee email address on the image above, so if anyone wants to contact me about anything, or send some Dundee based items from the 60's, 70's & 80's, feel free to get in touch.
A big thanks once again to those of you who have contributed material for sharing, appreciate the effort. I'm always amazed at what some people have tucked away in the loft!
So, ending the recent sweetie theme, the badge above dates from around the early 70's and is of course referring to the well known tv adverts from back then for Cadbury's Fruit & Nut.
Finally, another tasty treat from my childhood years is this classic piece of bubblegum pop below, the original cartoon of The Archies mega hit from 1969, appropriately titled "Sugar Sugar".
8 weeks at number one!!
Cheerio!!

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Friday, 30 July 2010

TUCK SHOP #4 - 70'S SELECTION

Room for a few more...
A 70's bundle of goodies to choose from here, with the likes of - Dipped Flake - Swisskit - Buttersnap - Texan - Ice Breaker - Bar Six - Waifa - Welcome...etc etc.
Click on the image to enlarge and see which ones you'd by off your dinner money!!

TUCK SHOP #3 - 60'S SELECTION

Choc-a-block with 60's sweets here.
Far too many to mention, but naming just a few, we have - Mintola - Medley - Mint Cracknel - Skippy - Nux - Poppets - Super Mousse - Tooty Frooties...and on and on.
Although the photo is a bit blurry when enlarged, it's still good enough to have a nose around and get a reminder of all the original wrappers.
See if you can spot your favourites by clicking on the image to view.

TUCK SHOP #2 - VARIOUS - EARLY 60'S

Here's a variety of sweets from the early 60's.
A few of them were introduced in the 50's, but were still available in the 60's, and even beyond.
So for "search" purposes I'll name them all - Bounty - Sky Bar - Opal Fruits - Picnic - Giant Crunchie - Munchies - Punch - Galaxy.
You're probably now starting to hear one or two TV advert tunes pop into your head!

TUCK SHOP #1 - AZTEC BAR

So, after being at school the past few days, time now to pay a visit to the tuck shop!
Retro sweets galore coming up next...
To start with, here's an Aztec bar to whet your appetite. On the go from 1968 to 1977.
The Aztec badge of mine dates from around the early 70's, although the 2 items are not to scale!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

BALERNO PRIMARY PANORAMA

Although this photo of Balerno Primary School was taken in the 80's, it looks exactly the same in the picture as it did when I was there in the 60's.
The headmaster in the 60's was Mr Elrick, and the jannie was Mr Bowman.
One thing I can remember about Mr Bowman was when I was helping him out delivering the milk around the classrooms one day in 1968. When I was picking up the milk bottles outside his jannie's room, he had the radio on, and a newsflash came on about the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. He told me to go tell all the teachers. So when I went around all the classes with the milk, I also had to deliver this gloomy news!
I can't recall where I was when the famous JFK assassination took place, but I always remember his brother's!
The school was demolished in the 90's and now has housing built on the site.
If you want to zoom into a bit of detail, click on the image to enlarge.
Photo by DC Thomson.

MID CRAIGIE SCHOOL - 1960

This image of Mid Craigie School comes from an advert for Bett Brothers, the builders, dated 1960.
In the 60's, the school's head teacher was Norman Reid, and the jannie was Mr Taylor.
The last time I looked, the school's windows were all boarded up, although I don't know if it was about to be done up or demolished!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

THE PENCIL PENCIL CASE

Around the late 60's/early 70's, this novelty pencil case hit the shops and proved popular with school kids.
The big, rounded, soft plastic, pencil shaped pencil case had a zip near the top for access and you'd usually just end up tipping the contents out onto your desk, a common sight in class first thing in the morning. You'd also be considered quite cool if you had one, like a lot of fads.
I couldn't find an image of an original from this era on the net, so I knocked out this computer image of one, just as a reminder.
Before that, the normal kind of pencil case was like a big floppy purse, and before that it was the traditional wooden box with sliding lid, a creation which seemed to be on the go since the 18th century! That's probably why the big pencil design looked ultra modern when it first cropped up on the scene.
The late 60's/early 70's was also the era when school kids started putting gonks and rubbery monsters on the top of their pencils!

GROVE DANCE - CHALET - 1970

From the "What's On" page of the Courier, here's an ad for a do at the Chalet in Broughty Ferry for the Grove FP Hockey Club.
The dance, held on 11th April 1970, featured the resident band and a group called The Three Of Clubs.
7 bob to get in.
If anyone recalls the night or remembers anything about the bands, feel free to pass on the info.
In 1970, there were still some secondary schools in Dundee offering a 3 year course, but Grove Academy had 3,4,5 & 6 year courses to choose from.
And staying in 1970, the Grove's head teacher back then was Gilbert Ritchie, and the jannie was Mr Delaney.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

A VISIT TO ST. COLUMBA'S - 1970'S

This image is of a travelling museum visiting St. Columba's in Kirkton. I'm guessing it must have been some kind of trailer that toured the local schools. It appears to be displaying items about Scottish history.
The photo was taken around the mid/late 70's.
So those of you who have good memories - feel free to fill in a few details about it.

Monday, 26 July 2010

VIEW FROM CHS CLASS - 1982

Here's a view from Craigie High School, taken on 19th May 1982.
It was taken by Neale Elder, just shortly before leaving CHS.
However, he can't recall now whether it was taken at the Met Station or from the window of Mrs Meakin's English class. Either way, you can tell it's from 3 decades ago by the Caledon shipyard cranes and Carolina Port chimney stacks in the background.
Not that much of a difference though with the school ground and nearby area, apart from the trees being bigger now.
I have a hazy memory of using this small athletics area only once, one summer period. A bit of hop, skip & jump and some shot-put! In the main though, all our PE stuff was done around the other grassy areas.
I also remember painting a view almost the same as this image when one day we were allowed on the roof for art.

CHS DOMESTIC SCIENCE - 1970

Well here's a Craigie High School classroom I was never in - the Domestic Science room. I haven't even got a clue who the teachers were. In fact, this image is the first time I've seen inside the place.
The photo was taken on 17th August 1970, just before the school first opened, hence the bare look.
What's the "Science" in it refer to anyway? Learning how a can opener works?!!
Photo by DC Thomson.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

CRAIGIE HIGH LOLLIPOP MAN - 1972

This would have been near the end of the lollipop man's stint on Arbroath Road because the photo was taken in November 1972, the same month Craigie High School's subway opened along at Monymusk Road, doing him out of a job!
I don't have the lollipop man's name, but the pupil 2nd from left is Pete Baruffati. The last time I spoke to him was in the early 80's when I bumped into him in the Murraygate. He was telling me then that he was with, or ran, an Advertising Agency and had been working on an ad with Russ Abbot at the time.
He was also a pretty hot table tennis player, I recall from my CHS days!
The 3 pupils on the right of the picture I recognise but can't remember their names. Sorry guys! I know I'm gonna kick myself if someone passes the info on in the comments.
I've no idea who the the other 2 chaps either side of Pete are.
Just a reminder, I put a picture of the brand new subway, taken around the same time, up on Retro and can be found in the October 2009 archives.
Photo by DC Thomson.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

3 COURIER CARTOONS - 1970

Finishing off the recent Dundee art theme on Retro, here's 3 cartoons taken from the same issue of the Courier dated 11th April 1970.
Lullubelle - The Neighbours - Billy and Bunny.
I can't find any images on the net of any of the 3 of these, so they seem to be long forgotten cartoons, which is strange because they actually all ran as a series, each one cropping up in the Courier every Saturday.
I'd only be 12 in 1970 but remember glancing them on my way to the football pages!
I doubt if any of these 3 made it beyond the 70's though.

Friday, 23 July 2010

ANTHONY GREEN EXHIBITION - 1984

Don't know if anyone remembers the Anthony Green exhibition held at the McManus Gallery in 1984. It was a touring show called "One Day In The Life Of A Picture" and it also coincided with his first book "A Green Part Of The World".
I went along to see it - this image above being a postcard I came back with.
His paintings of his domestic life were quite humorous, and composed as if they were snapshots taken from a CCTV camera!
I recall him cropping up in the media quite a lot back then, tv, Sunday supplements and so on, so he seemed to be very popular around that era.
Can't say I've seen much of his stuff after the 80's though.

KENNY MUNRO AT WORK - 80'S

In November 2008 I put a couple of pictures up on Retro featuring the transport panels Kenny Munro designed for the wall of Tay Valley Coaches in Bellfield Street in the early 80's.
Well here's a photo of Kenny installing those very panels, busy at work with the spirit level, making sure the tiles are gonna fit ok.
The transport theme is quite apt as he has since gone on to travel all over the world with his art, exhibiting and educating.
You can check out a few of his ventures on this link www.kennymunrosculpture.com/ and view many of his works, which includes everything from celebrity sculptures to neon light installations.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

PETE HOROBIN ARTWORK

You may recall I put a piece up on Retro in Feb this year about Pete Horobin's "DATA" project, so I won't bother repeating his background details, you could check that out yourself if you need a reminder.
I do have more of his graphics though.
The top image is a postcard designed by Pete and was published in 1978. Called "One In A Million" - it's kind of romantic, but without being soppy!
He kept the black, white & dab of red look going well into his DATA project with this second item underneath, a couple of pages taken from the 1983 Dundee book - "View From Urban Dwellings - 2".
If you look to the bottom right of the hand, you'll see what appears to be, another heart (or 2) too!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

DAVID COOK SCULPTURES - 1984

In May 1984, Broughty Ferry beach was adorned with these sculptures created by Duncan of Jordanstone student, David Cook.
The pieces in the impromptu exhibition titled "Spontaneous Sculptures" were constructed from bits of driftwood found lying around the area, topped off with a dash of paint.
David went on to win many awards for his art in the 80's which has allowed him to travel around the globe and a continue his various projects, keeping his fondness for the coast his main theme.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

MORGAN MAGAZINE - LYNN GRANT - 1970

I really like the minimalist cover of this 1970 edition of Morgan Magazine. It certainly has visual impact.
The same high standards are maintained in the magazine's creative content - poems, short stories, graphics, photos and so on.
I spotted this nice full page illustration which I thought I'd showcase as an example of what's going on inside the 78 page mag. It's drawn by Lynn Grant and was used to accompany a poem by John Nicoll called "Sitting In The Park". Great pen work on the gnarled trees.
There were 2 Art Editors involved on this issue, Gordon Mill, and Gordon MacDonald, the pupil who designed the cool cover!

Monday, 19 July 2010

McINTOSH PATRICK - RETROSPECTIVE - 1987

Here's Dundee's most well known artist, James McIntosh Patrick, signing copies of his catalogue for some of the thousands who went along to see his retrospective exhibition held at the McManus Gallery in 1987. The show, which tied in with his 80th birthday, broke all attendance records for an exhibition at the gallery - 45,000 in fact! That's about a quarter of Dundee's population I reckon.
A few years later, he appeared in an episode of The Broons in the Sunday Post under the guise of Patrick McIntosh. The cartoon strip featured his most famous painting "Tay Bridge From My Studio Window" - with steam train and Magdalen Green recreated on the Broons kitchen wall!!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

GOLLY GOSH...IT'S AWB IN 1973!

This is the cover of Average White Band's debut album "Show Your Hand", released in 1973.
The witty graphic on it features a familiar image of a golliwog...but with a rather obvious twist! Although the humour may be a wee bit cheeky, it's easy to get the joke.
Dundee drummer, Robbie McIntosh, used to have a slightly different version of the peely-wally golly on his drum kit - one that resembled the Robertson's jam logo.
The cover artwork was designed by John Pasche, the chap who a couple of years earlier, created the iconic Rolling Stones lips & tongue logo.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

3 UNFINISHED LEGENDS BY GG - 1970'S

Although I did loads of drawings at home when I was schoolboy age, I can't find any yet from that era in my stash. The earliest sketch I have found so far in my collection is the top one of Jimi Hendrix which I did in 1974, aged 16, and drew it in-between the idle months of leaving school and finding work later that year. I just used one pencil that I kept as sharp as a hypodermic needle, and spent many hours doing all the microscopic detail. As you can see, I never got around to finishing it off, with his guitar still waiting to be done. I think it was a case of, enough is enough, time to move onto the next one! The image is taken from the cover photo of an album I had - Jimi live at Isle Of Wight.
The other 2 sketches were done around 1978/79.
The middle one is dub poet & political activist, Linton Kwesi Johnson. Deciding not to splash out on an expensive airbrush, I resorted to a tried & tested school trick for this one - dipping an old toothbrush into some watery paint and spraying it on by flicking back the bristles. You can still see the warped paper from it having been wet. This image was taken from a black & white photo that was probably in the NME or Echoes, so I had to invent the colours. Once again though, I didn't complete it. I got as far as doing 2 layers, but never did the 3rd and final layer which would have been the shadows & highlights, so it is missing a bit of detail.
The last one is Peter Tosh, reggae singer & musician. Again it was taken from a b&w picture that cropped up in a music paper. I used 3 coloured pencils for this one - blue, red and white. His head seems complete but it looks like I got a bit bored when it came to his smock!
Anyone interested in zooming in on the drawings, click onto the images to enlarge.

Friday, 16 July 2010

ART GALLERY CATALOGUE & POSTCARD - 70'S

This 180 page catalogue (top image) is the official log of all the works of art Dundee City Art Gallery had in its possession at the time of its publication - 1973.
Every painting, sculpture and drawing in their entire collection is listed. Even the artworks on loan to the gallery have made the inventory.
This also, is only the 2nd catalogue of its kind to be printed in the gallery's history, the 1st & original catalogue appearing in 1926. By the time they did this 2nd edition in '73, their collection had tripled in size!
The cover portrait is of local surgeon, John Crichton, who Crichton Street is named after.
I must admit, I always preferred their modern art collection to their old paintings, but there was one old style artwork I used to enjoy going over to view, this one above by Thomas Faed called "A visit of the patron and patroness to the village school". It was a good laugh seeing all the wee lads mucking about in class behind the backs of the elders. Nothing changes! The pupils were also all dressed in rags, while a mysterious black kid is dressed like a prince, and appears to be the only youngster there with a bit of self esteem.
This painting isn't listed in the catalogue though, because the gallery didn't acquire it until 1975.
I bought this postcard of it probably around the late 70's.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

PETER FLYNN'S LOCHEE ROAD FENCE

Many artists were involved in revitalising certain spots around Dundee in the 80's when the Public Art Projects were on the go. I've already posted a few examples up on Retro over the past couple of years, you may recall.
Well here's another one for the collection.
Lots of you will be familiar with the Lochee Road fence, but you may not be quite so familiar with who did it. Well the chap who painted all that snazzy artwork was Peter Flynn.
The top image is Peter in full flow!
The picture underneath it is a section showing the finished design.
The last I heard, he was, and maybe still is, an art teacher at St Johns.  

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

BRIAN HILL CARTOONS - 1988

Dundee's What's On guide, Street Life magazine, used to run a series of cartoons drawn by Brian Hill.
Signing them "Hilly", his surreal sense of humour was an eye catcher, and a rib-tickler.
Here's 3 silly Hilly's from 1988...
L'eau et l'eau - a gendarme getting himself in a hat/pot muddle. There is a clever wee wordplay bonus. The British police cliched phrase of "'ello, 'ello" is rephrased into French as "et l'eau".
It also reminds me of a cartoon I did of a magician who cooked his rabbit inside his top hat on the stove!
Barbecue - how to make good use of all that junk that gets chucked through our letterbox.
Self control - the best thing on telly is the off switch.
I remember a kids tv show from the 70's/80's called "Why Don't You". The words to it's theme tune went - "Why don't you just switch off your television set and go and do something less boring instead".
Always good advice I thought.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

ART SPECTRUM - JAMES HOWIE - 1971

The top image is the catalogue cover for an exhibition of modern art called "Art Spectrum", which took place in Dundee on 28th August to 11th September 1971.
This was 1 of 7 regional exhibitions which had been organised to run simultaneously throughout all of the UK under the same Art Spectrum banner, the idea behind it being to gauge what was happening in the art scene outside of London, then to select artwork from the 1971 shows to feature in a major exhibition of British Contemporary Art planned for London's Hayward Gallery in summer 1972.
Dundee was part of the Art Spectrum Scotland region, which included stop-offs at Aberdeen and Glasgow.
The show in Dundee showcased around 30 Scottish artists, each exhibiting 4 works.
So to give you an example of the catalogue content, I've plucked out a piece on Dundee artist James Howie, who's 4 works were painted the same year. Unfortunately, all the images in the catalogue are in black & white, but anyway the one above is called "Island".
You can read a brief overview of Jimmy's career above, which includes many exhibitions around the world, a stint as lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone, and he has also been the subject of a TV documentary called "Private View", an episode of BBC's "Monitor" art series broadcast in 1960.
Click onto image to read the enlarged version.

Monday, 12 July 2010

EVELYN SMALL - MORGAN MAGAZINE - 1974

I have a few arty items I thought I'd cobble together over the next few days to present a wee showcase of amateur and professional art associated with Dundee.
So to get the exhibition started, here is the 1974 Morgan Magazine, a school publication made by the pupils. The mag's content is an assortment of poems, graphics, short stories and academic updates. Although there is a wide variety of work to choose from, I've plucked out one contributor as an example to use here, namely, Evelyn Small, who as well as being the mag's Art Editor, also designed the cover and supplied many of the illustrations inside. Her graphic above, of an abstract burst of ink accompanies a neat little piece of creative writing by Alan Stewart.
The magazine's material does display a surprising maturity for school kids, so much so, it got me wondering if any of the pupils from this era went on to make a living as artists or writers?
You may need to click on the bottom image to read the large version.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

MORE DEAN AND DAWN

The latest music theme, which has been running on Retro for the past 3 weeks, comes to an end today, so I thought I'd bring it to a halt the same way the Cranked Up disco ended their stints, by finishing with a Dean & Dawn track.
The song below called "The Bold Discovery", retains the same standards as the previous 2 tracks of theirs I posted, so expect more dodgy harmonising, more duff notes, and as for the lyrics, well I reckon they may have just been jotted down after reading about the Discovery from a leaflet they picked up at the Tourist Info office!
The melody is "Greensleeves", a tune taught in Primary schools and most kids could play blindfold, but good old D&D still manage to fuck it up!!
Anyway, that's all the musical treats for now.
Still got plenty more goodies to dip into for a few more sessions later though!
Thanks to the Bear.

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Saturday, 10 July 2010

ALTRES - TAYSIDE BAR - 1983


Dundee's electronic explorers, Altres, sparked into life in 1983.
The band in full back then was - Kevin L Guthrie - Jeremy Bryning - Brian Hutton - Maurice Richardson - Joe Donnelly - Mike Nelson.
Locally, they played venues such as the Tayside Bar, Mr Dees & Cloisters, and they also ventured outdoors sometimes performing at places like the City Square and Baxter Park.
I'm fairly sure when I saw them in Cloisters they had a slide show projector to accompany the music too, but the main thing about them was all that great gear they had - a multitude of synthesisers, drum machines and effects equipment, all adding up to a rather addictive sound.
Another thing I liked was that they played unfashionably lengthy tracks. This was around the time when tunes longer than 3 or 4 minutes were still generally frowned upon, an attitude harking back to the old punk days. So here were Altres pumping out half hour tracks, mesmerising the locals with their trippy synth sequencers and pulsating loop patterns!
The band also made a few recordings back then, however, in 1985 they decided to pull the plug out and Altres was switched off for good. Or so it seemed, until that is, they were regenerated back to life in 2003, and have been powering onwards ever since - gigs and recordings aplenty.
You can catch up with the band's history and present day pursuits in more detail on their site at
http://www.altres.co.uk/
The sound sample below is taken from Altres first ever gig which took place at the Tayside Bar on 23rd February 1983. The picture above shows some of the band's gear tucked away in the corner of the TB lounge. Only 4 members played on this one, Kevin, Joe, Brian & Maurice.
The piece, just called "Set 1", was semi improvised and lasted around 30 minutes, but this here is only an 8 minute snippet to give you a flavour of the original Altres in full flow!

Thanks to Kevin and the rest of the posse.

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Friday, 9 July 2010

DUKE ELLINGTON - CAIRD HALL - 1967

Duke Ellington and his Orchestra played at the Caird Hall on 15th February 1967.
This is him at rehearsals in Dundee with local jazz enthusiast, Alf Anderson, who himself was a dance band drummer.
The Duke chatted away while knocking out a few tunes. He explained that the reason for him wearing 2 cashmere sweaters and an overcoat at the time was because the hall was so cold.
He then asked if Dundee made their own brand of whisky as he wanted to buy some to take back to his friends and surprise them with a new label!
Not sure if he ended up in a nearby off license!!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

WE ALL FALL DOWN - 1982

Here's a dinky little interview with Dundee band, We All Fall Down. This was the name The Blush changed to when they decided to start all afresh with new material and better equipment. 3 members, Steve, Bloke & Eddie discuss the new music and their plans to showcase it.
They mention a single they released as well as a 10 track tape. I haven't got/heard any of this stuff. Anybody got any copies they'd like to share on Retro?
The article is taken from a 1982 issue of Deadbeat fanzine.
Click image to enlarge.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

STUMP - FAT SAMS - 1988

Stump came out with a strange kind of hybrid music that ended up sounding something like Captain Beefheart playing Hillbilly. Add to that, their quirky amusing lyrics and the whole bizarre mix seemed to work a treat. I still have their debut album in fact.
I've never seen them play live mind you, but on the 7th Feb 1988, the band were doing their thing at Fat Sams. Something seems to have gone horribly wrong with the gig however, as the write-up doesn't exactly give them glowing accolades. On the contrary, the review leaves a very dim view of the evening's event. Even main man, Mick Lynch, wearing a Bash Street Kids t-shirt didn't liven up the Dundee response! EEK!!
As if that wasn't bad enough, support act, Nyah Fearties, came off even worse than Stump getting a giant thumbs down for their efforts! YIKES!!
Oh well, you can't win them all!
Anyway, with a name like Stump, maybe they'd have been better playing at Club Feet!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

PEOPLES FESTIVAL OF MUSIC - 1981

This event called the Peoples Festival Of Music took place at Baxter Park on 29th July 1981.
It consisted of stalls selling various knick-knacks alongside those who were selling politics - CND, Anarchists, Friends Of The Earth and so on.
There was also a kiddies farm, and of course there was the main music festival itself.
I haven't got the full band list as to who played that day but Dundee rockers, No Fixed Abode were on, as were a couple of punk bands, with Perth's ska outfit, the RB's, top of the bill.
The main complaint in Sid Gripple's report at the top, published in Cranked Up, was the lack of enthusiasm in the crowd.
Sid also suggests the smaller than expected turnout may have been down to the fact that the Royal wedding was being televised the same day!
Well whatever was causing the apathy, all I know is I wasn't at Baxter Park that day, neither was I at home watching any Royal nonsense because I was actually in the middle of a tour of Spain & Portugal with my Inter Rail card, and on the 29th July 81, I was in Lisbon.
I probably would have popped along to Baxters though if I was in Dundee.
So to read about Sid's account of the festival, click onto the image to enlarge it.
Ditto, if you want to have a nose around the photograph of the festival crowd to see if you recognise anyone.
 
Photo by DC Thomson.

Monday, 5 July 2010

JIMMY DEUCHAR - IN HIS OWN WORDS - 1987

I do enjoy a bit of name-dropping now & again, and this article here is loaded!
The piece on Dundee jazz trumpeter, Jimmy Deuchar, comes from a June 1987 issue of Jazz Journal, and has Jimmy giving a short, but detailed account of his career. It's in chronological order too so it's easy to follow his history from the time he was a young lad in the Air Force when Johnny Dankworth asked him to join his band in 1950, right up to the 80's when Rolling Stones drummer, Charlie Watts wanted Jimmy in his jazz band.
Some of the names in between are - Ronnie Scott, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack Parnell, Oscar Rabin, Stan Tracey, Benny Golson, Francy Boland, Tubby Hayes, Jack Sharpe, and the list goes on & on, throughout his many ventures around the world.
One thing he didn't mention, was his recreational project back home, the Sunday Jazz Sessions down at the Sands (70's/80's), many of which I went to. Another name-drop from then was the time when members of the audience used to join in the jam session, and on one particular occasion a guy sat down at the piano and played along. Jimmy, after it, complimented him on his playing, and the guy explained it was his sons who were the real musicians in the family. The piano player turned out to be Mr Brecker, father of Randy and Michael!
Click on items > right click to download > zoom in to read.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

RICKY ROSS IN DUNDEE

Ricky Ross's music career took off when he moved to Glasgow and formed Deacon Blue. There is plenty of information about Deacon Blue's history on the net already, but not quite so much about Ricky's early Dundee days, so I thought I'd drop a few bits & pieces of the lesser known stuff about him.
RR actually lived near Dawson Park I recall (my old roll delivery patch) and was a Dundee High School kid. He then went to Dundee College of Education to become an English teacher.
Ricky was also involved in the local music scene around this time too (late 70's) - one aspect of which was playing in a band called Cahoots. Another connection with the Dundee music scene was his friendship with the Scrotum Poles, going to all their early gigs and helping them out behind the scenes, which included travelling to London with the the band, sharing driving duties on the way down, when it was time for the Scrotum Poles to cut their "Revelations" EP.
RR also ran a youth club in town called The Other Door Cafe, in a city centre church. A place where local bands could play and teenagers could grab a few soft drinks.
He even dabbled in a bit of acting on stage, along with Scrote, Craig Methven. There is photographic evidence for that one!!
Anyway, these wee snippets of his youth spent in Dundee, all eventually lead up to him going west in the early/mid 80's - and the rest is well documented.
I had a sift through some old music papers I have and found the above item in an NME from June 1987, an early tour schedule which shows a Deacon Blue gig at Dundee's Dance Factory (Fat Sams) on 5th July that year.
2 years later, the band put on a show at the Whitehall Theatre, and as if by magic, I have a track from this gig, below, the concert having taken place on 1st March 1989.
Apart from a bit of sax near the end, it's pretty much a Ricky Ross solo spot. A track called "Thunder Road".


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