Now here's a funny thing - the first Price single for sale on eBay. Most of these were sold at gigs out of cardboard boxes, and incredibly it was made 'single of the week' in the NME although that was a bit of an inside job as the writer in question already knew of the band; his name was Steve Lamacq - I wonder what happened to him? It feels a bit strange to see it there - how naive does 'pay no more than £1.30' look now? - but it's nice to think that we haven't been totally forgotten. You can see the full listing here - and no, I don't have any spare copies!
Following on from Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday last month it was sad to hear of the death of his trainer Angelo Dundee. Boxing was very popular in our house when I was young (my brother Terry was a boxer and dad a big fan of the sport) and so I know his name very well - he was a great character as these quotes show Would Ali have made it without him? Now there's a question... and Witney Houston has died - I don't know much about her music as it's not really my type of thing but with the media gearing up for another paparazzi-powered feeding frenzy I'm sure we'll all have chance to find out far too much about her over the next few days and weeks.
Anyway, amazing news - I actually played two gigs this weekend. At last! Every musician I talk to seems to be suffering at the moment, and while I'm lucky enough to have gigs on the horizon these are definitely tough times for all and sundry. Still The Uppercut returned to The Half Moon in Harrow on Friday evening for a show that didn't start well - even before we'd played a note we were being asked to turn the volume down. Bah! Our first song 'Dock Of The Bay' was so quiet I could hear the unamplified strings of my guitar louder than the sound from my amp. Not good, and although we managed to sneak the volume up a bit later in the evening it put a bit of a dampener on proceedings. Under these circumstances I thought we played well but it was harder work than it should have been.
Sunday night I accompanied Big Al Reed at The Anglers Retreat in Staines; once again Barry the slide guitar player got up for a few blues numbers (and very good he was too) and Al was his usual larger-than-life self; his spontaneous Frank Spencer impression during 'Polk Salad Annie' induced audience hysteria and had to be heard to be believed. It was something of an experimental evening for the venue as it was the first Sunday gig - let's hope they decide to continue.
And last week I saw T. Rextasy at The Beck Theatre in Hayes. I got there early to meet up with ex-Chicago Blues Brothers drummer John Skelton who's been playing with T. Rextasy for several years now; it was good to catch up with him and great to see him doing so well with the band, whose 'Children Of The Revolution' tour celebrates 40 years since the release of 'The Slider' (How long? I remember saving up my milk round money to buy that when it came out!) as well as marking the 35th anniversary of Marc Bolan's death in September. This was only the second date of the tour - John said that they were due to play several songs for the first time at the show, having spent most of their soundcheck running through them. It all sounded good to me, with Danielz as mind-bogglingly like Bolan as ever, and the band sounding solid and strong. The audience loved it too, with plenty of dancing and even a fair bit of screaming from some of the ladies present. Despite playing in several tribute bands myself I still can't make my mind up about them, but for people like myself who didn't see the original band T. Rextasy deliver as faithful a rendition of Bolan's music as we're ever likely to witness. Great stuff - mind you, where was 'Buick MacKane', 'The Slider', 'Shock Rock'... (continued on page 94)