„Brum Rocked On!“ takes readers back to the 1960s (2003)

In 2003 „Brum Rocked On!“, the follow-up to the successful book „Brum Rocked!“ by Laurie Hornsby, was released.

In focus: 1963 to 1969

While the first volume documents the early period of the Birmingham music scene from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, this book tells in nine chapters the development in the period 1963 to 1969, with a separate chapter dedicated to each year. There is also an introductory and a final chapter.

Steve Gibbons, the Steve Gibbons Band, The Dominettes, The Ugly`s and The Balls make a good fifty entries in the index. In addition, there is information about companions and band mates like Trevor Burton, Dave Pegg, Keith Smart and Danny Laine. This makes the band, which has swollen to more than twice its predecessor, a valuable source of information for anyone interested in Steve Gibbons.

There is also a wealth of information about the other, almost unmanageable music scene in Birmingham.

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Keith Smarts` adventurous journey to Turkey

The report on the journey of the band Blaises in which the later Ugly Keith Smart sat at the drums, to Turkey is particularly exciting. There they were to play on a US troop base. The journey took place by train with the whole band equipment from London Victoria to Istanbul, from where it should go on to Adnan.

During a stopover in Yugoslavia, however, the instruments and amplifiers were unloaded accidentally and the band had to watch helplessly as the equipment on the platform got smaller and smaller as the train continued towards Istanbul.

With the help of an English speaking taxi driver in Istanbul, the equipment was finally sent on its way. After some delay, the Blaises left Istanbul on a cold Turkish night in January in an old bus over the mountains to Adanan.

The performances there were very successful, and the musicians noticed that the white GIs were more into the songs sung by Dave Morgan, while the African-Americans preferred the interpretations of American soul songs performed with the smoky voice of Brenda Bosworth.

Outlook to the 1970s

The two final chapters (the one about 1969 and the chapter with the conclusion and outlook) reach far into the coming decade, as they also speak of musicians who, as members of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Electric Light Orchestra and the Fairport Convention, which were to shape the coming decade musically.

The volume contains almost 500 photos, including some goodies. So Steve Gibbons is to be seen in different incarnations, once uniformly with the other Ugly`s in white shirt and vest (p.79), then casually in front of the over and over scribbled „Moodymobile“, (p.107), later elegantly with a wide tie, again with the – in the meantime a little matured – Ugly`s (p.217), and finally richly gloomy with the original formation of the Steve Gibbons Band (p.285).

Trevor Burton with geese, Queen with Ozzy

You can also see Trevor Burton with two geese under his arm (p. 216), Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne playing soccer (p. 282) and the Beatles, once with Garry Day (p. 32) and another time with El Riot & the Rebels (p. 43). You also meet the Queen in words and pictures (p.287). Among others it is reported that she shocked Ozzy Osbourne when she spoke to him after the Golden Jubilee Celebration at Buckingham Palace.

Book is followed by revival concert

Also „Brum Rocked On!“ sold out quickly. This not only led to  a new edition of the book, but also inspired thoughts about bringing some of the main protagonists of the early days of rock and beat in Birmingham back on stage together.

But before that happened an even more exciting concert took place, in which two Rolling Stones and the former guitar player of Elvis Presley accompanied Steve Gibbons and – believe it or not – Steve Gibbons jumped in for Paul McCartney. Details are here.

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