Category Archives: Sixties’ Music

Guest Post: Refinding Rod ‘the Mod’ Stewart documentary after 48 years

ROD STEWART’S film archive has survived remarkably well compared to other artists, mostly thanks to infrequent television appearances.  In fact with the exception of seven Top Of The Pops performances, everything of note broadcast in the UK from mid-1973 onwards survives intact.

Rod StewartAs for the sixties, all that has ever come to light has been poor quality footage of Steampacket at the 1965 Richmond Jazz Festival and what appears to be home movie footage of the Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East in New York dubbed with ‘Shapes Of Things’. Around a decade ago a short Swedish film of the Jeff Beck Group in the recording studio with Mickie Most and featuring great footage of ‘Plynth’ was discovered. And that’s it!

Rod Stewart’s most significant sixties television appearance was a 30-minute documentary titled ‘An Easter With Rod’ (otherwise known as ‘Rod The Mod’), produced by Francis Megahy and Fred Burnley. This was sold as “a portrait of a typical mod” and screened on 2 November 1965.

There has never been any serious hope of finding this film which had been assumed to have been wiped.  Last week that assumption changed when the BBC announced they had found this documentary at the British Film Institute (BFI) in “bits and pieces”.

I had always suspected ‘An Easter With Rod’ still existed due to a quote from Geoff Wright (one of Rod’s early managers) in George Tremlett’s 1976 paperback The Rod Stewart Story:

“He would turn down any idea that he thought was ‘pop’ rather than ‘blues’. That was something he repeated again when he was interviewed in that film ‘Rod The Mod’, which is an interesting film to see now because many of the opinions he expressed then he has flatly contradicted in his later career.”

But when Long John Baldry spoke to Smiler magazine in 1993 hopes faded when in response to a question about concerts being filmed, he said:

“There was a documentary, but maybe Rod has put pressure on for it to be destroyed. It was a show called ‘Rod The Mod’. It showed us travelling round all these places in a vile van we had which was a Bovril cattle van. I’d bought it for £40 and had it converted. Our heating device was actually a Kerosene Stove secured with ropes!

“Lord knows what would have happened if we had collided with anything, we’d have all gone up in smoke! The film was a history of us going hither and hither, going up to Stoke on Trent and places like that. The crew were there all the time. It was a black and white thing and I know that when it was broadcast it was called ‘Rod The Mod’ because it was built around Rod. It was very interesting but it’s never seen the light of day since.”

‘An Easter With Rod’ has been sought many times over the years by numerous writers of books and producers of television documentaries but no one ever managed to locate it. The most recent search was three years ago by Andy Neill, author of the excellent Faces biography ‘Had Me A Real Good Time’. Andy is a thorough and meticulous researcher and it was fair to assume that if he could not locate it, then it did not exist.

The discovery of ‘An Easter With Rod’ is one of the most significant musical finds ever of swinging sixties London – not just for Rod Stewart fans, but as a visual documentation of the R&B scene that was emerging, the fashions and attitudes and for unique footage of London architecture that has long disappeared – most notably the newsagent’s run by Rod’s parents that he grew up above.

David Bowie’s lost Top Of The Pops clip made the national news and was the subject of newspaper articles and huge interest on internet forums – and quite rightly too.  Whereas, so far, the reaction to this equally significant find has been luke warm at best.

On 9 July a BBC Rod Stewart documentary used around 10 minutes of footage out of the 30-minutes that was originally broadcast in 1965. The film deserves to be lovingly re-assembled and broadcast in full. This is musical history in the making featuring one of the biggest singers the World has ever seen.

If, like me, you believe this important piece of musical and cultural social history deserves to be re-assembled and broadcast in full please join our campaign to make it happen.

Please email the BBC in your own words telling them how much you enjoyed Tuesday’s documentary and how much you would like to see the full Rod The Mod sixties documentary in its entirety. And don’t settle for a standard reply!

You can also join our forthcoming ‘Rod The Mod’ Facebook campaign to be announced shortly at www.rodstewartfanclub.com

JOHN GRAY
Smiler Retro

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Lost Rolling Stones Top of the Pops footage discovered

PRECIOUS CLIPS of The Rolling Stones perfoming 19th Nervous Breakdown on Top of the Pops has been unearthed by Wiped News’s resident columnist Ray Langstone.

Ray – who writes the Raider of the Lost Archive column – found the footage from the wiped performance in a 1966 BBC documentary on women’s mental health, “WOMEN,WOMEN,WOMEN: COMING TO TERMS”, which still resides in the BBC archives.

The rediscovered footage consists of two short clips from the lost Top of the Pops appearance, broadcast 03/02/66, totalling 33 seconds in total.

It features in new BBC Two programme The Rolling Stones at the BBC, which “celebrates the 50th anniversary of The Rolling Stones by delving into the vaults of archive material for a decade by decade retrospective of the band’s greatest hits”.

You can also see the clips of 19th Nervous Breakdown below.

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Lost Doctor Who footage and musical performances by the Spencer Davis Group unearthed

RARE behind-the-scenes footage from Doctor Who has been discovered.

The brief clip shows movie Doctor Peter Cushing preparing to battle arch foe the Daleks during the making of an early big-screen adaptation of the long-running sci-fi series.

The precious black and white footage, taken on the set of cult sixties film Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D., also captures director Gordon Flemyng — father of actor Jason — behind camera as he talks with stunt-men and plans out the movie’s climatic final scenes.

The material is the first to be uncovered documenting the 1966 film and forms part of a ‘lost’ TV show found recently in the possession of a collector living in Wales.

Though the BBC wiped the master-tape of A Whole Scene Going, a copy of the magazine show — also featuring an interview with Flemyng and musical performances by the Spencer Davis Group — was made and found its way on to the collector’s circuit.

Classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope, which recovered the unique 16mm film print in conjunction with the Tim Disney Archive, said the find will “delight” Doctor Who and vintage music fans alike.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope said: “A Whole Scene Going is an exciting TV find on two fronts.

“For Doctor Who fans there’s a fascinating glimpse into the making of feature film Dalek Invasion of Earth: 2150 A.D., showing Peter Cushing as the Doctor on the set along with director Gordon Flemyng and lots of Daleks.

“For music lovers there are priceless performances by classic British beat band the Spencer Davis Group as well as American singer/songwriter Judy Collins.

“Sixties pop shows were routinely shown live or wiped after transmission so it’s great to find one that slipped past the eraser’s magnet!”

Tim Disney of the TDA said: “How this print came into existence or found it’s way to a Welsh village, we’ll never know.

“However, one theory is that it could have been film recorded by BBC Wales from the network feed down the line from London for transmission at a later date.”

A Whole Scene Going was a short-lived TV teen culture show hosted by Wendy Varnels and Barry Fantoni.

The recovered edition, from March ’66, captures Flemyng at Shepperton Studios while directing an action-packed finale involving Horror icon Cushing and an army of Robomen thwarting a Dalek plan to drop a giant bomb into the Earth’s core.

Cushing played the Timelord — currently portrayed on TV by Matt Smith — in two Flemyng-directed films during the height of “Dalekmania”, also starring in 1964’s box-office hit Doctor Who and the Daleks.

Interspersed with the footage is an interview with Flemyng — who died in 1995, aged 61 — revealing that he preferred making “entertainment pictures”as opposed to more high-brow films, but “didn’t take them any less seriously”.

The emergence of A Whole Scene Going has also got music fans excited with the discovery of a rare interview with the Spencer Davis Group, who also perform chart-topping single “Somebody Help Me Now” in the studio.

Kaleidoscope and the TDA — who bought the film print privately from the collector — are currently in the process of returning a digital copy to the BBC Archive.

Eager fans will get the chance to see the recovered footage for the first time in more than four decades at Kaleidoscope’s next screening event, taking place in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Saturday, June 9.

Tim Disney of the TDA added: “Dr Who was not the primary draw for us in recovering this programme, but the content of the programme as a whole — the exciting period of popular culture it reflects and it’s place in the history of British television.

“Thankfully, after the collector discovered he had a unique TV recording he was keen to ensure it would be returned to the BBC archives, turning down silly money offers to deal instead with Kaleidoscope and the TDA.”

To see a clip from the recovered show visit www.timdisneyarchive.com. For more information about the screening visit www.kaleidoscope.org.uk.

Click here for full contents of the recovered episode of A Whole Scene Going.

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WHAT TO BUY THE MUSIC LOVER WHO HAS EVERYTHING: A COMPILATION OF PREVIOUSLY MISSING RECORDINGS

Radio Tymes sleeveCHRISTMAS is just around the corner, and if you are stuck for a gift to buy – and the intended recipient enjoys rare pop gems from the golden era of British music – then the latest release from Top Sounds is highly recommended.

Following on from three previous “excavations” of 1960s and early ’70s BBC radio session performances with the Shapes And Sounds anthologies, specialist label Top Sounds has released its most ambitious collection of previously lost or hard-to-find tracks yet with Radio Tymes.

Nigel Lees has once again searched high and low to source missing gems from private collections and BBC transcription discs, delivering a treasure trove of very rare and desirable recordings from the likes of Deep Purple, The Move, The Yardbirds and none other than The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The compilation gets off to an impressive start with a highly charged rendition of “The Painter” by Deep Purple, taped for Chris Grant’s Tasty Pop Sundae in July 1969 and then lost in the ether for more than 40 years. It is notable for a great performance by lead singer Rod Evans and is well worth a listen. The other Purple track on the album, first single “Hush”, is even more impressive, and historic, coming from the only known recording of the rock band’s very first British radio appearance – aired on John Peel’s Top Gear on June 30, 1968.

While Radio Tymes captures Deep Purple right at the beginning of their career, it presents pioneering guitar band The Yardbirds at the close of theirs with three shining recordings from the legendary group’s final BBC session (on Top Gear) in 1968, including arguably the best take of stable cover “Dazed and Confused”. Though an off-air recording of the wiped Top Gear session was previously known to exist, it was lo-fi to say the least. Thankfully, Top Sounds has now managed to uncover a second recording of much better quality.

Other big names to enjoy on the release are The Move – with two tracks featuring Birmingham’s  finest, “Cherry Blossom Clinic” and “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star”, from the very first Top Gear, in October 1967 – and, in what could possibly be Top Sounds’ biggest scoop to date, The Jimi Hendrix Experience on Dee Time, performing “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”.

Unheard anywhere since its broadcast in 1967, the live version of Experience’s fourth single Midnight Lamp marked the band’s second and final appearance on Dee Time. As Nigel writes in the comprehensive accompanying booklet to Radio Tymes, hardly any material from the popular sixties BBC chat show – presented by DJ Simon Dee – remains, so this recently unearthed recording is of double importance.

Rounding out the compilation are Top Gear session tracks from important psychedelic band Tomorrow with Keith West, playing their underground anthem “My White Bicycle”, Welsh blues-rock band Love Sculpture with a live version of “Sabre Dance” and two colourful covers, and Barclay James Harvest belting out upbeat rocker “Night”.

As with previous Top Sounds releases, all the music has been professionally restored and the album is accompanied by an attractive booklet packed with photos, illustrations and detailed information.

Radio Tymes is a legitimate collection licensed from the BBC and the relevant record companies, and has been a costly labour of love for Nigel. The only way Top Sounds is going to be able to continue delivering such treats is if music lovers show their support through their wallets so I highly recommend the album, available both on CD (£12.99) and vinyl (£14.99), to you all.

  • To buy a copy or for more information visit the Top Sounds website.

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Pete Murray joins Kaleidoscope for music-themed TV event

VETERAN DISC jockey and TV presenter Pete Murray is to make his final public appearance this June, at a celebration of vintage TV and music.

Pete Murray

Pete Murray

BBC Radio 1 original Murray, 85, will be joined by fellow DJs Mike Read, Ed Stewart and ‘Diddy’ David Hamilton at the one-day event, organised by classic TV research organisation Kaleidoscope.

Junior Campbell of sixties Scottish pop rockers Marmalade will also be there to introduce some vintage appearances by the Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da chart-toppers.

TV highlights at the event, taking place on Saturday, June 4, will include screenings of a previously-missing edition of Top of the Pops from 1976, a long-lost performance by Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and the sole surviving episode of 1968’s Discs A Go Go.

The full line-up is as follows:

THE MAIN ROOM

* 12:00 pm Thames television start up film.

* 12:10 pm Music Peter – a special compilation of musical highlights from fifty years of Blue Peter. Acts include the Merseybeats, Girls Aloud, ABBA, Musical Youth, Slade and The Goodies.

* 1:00 pm Top of the Pops – this recovered 1976 edition is presented by Noel Edmonds and also features performances by Billy Ocean, Marmalade, Guys ‘N’ Dolls, The Walker Brothers and Electric Light Orchestra. A domestic Philips N1500 video recording of the show was purchased from an internet auction site by a consortium including classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope in December 2010 (TX: 12/02/1976).

* 1:30 pm Junior Campbell introduces highlights from performances he did with Marmalade. Guest Junior Campbell looks back on a couple of editions of Anatomy of Pop and an edition of Television Club called “Making a Record”. He was also in Jock and Roll from 1982 which includes some of the Anatomy of Pop material of Marmalade. Marmalade appearances include Julie Felix (TX: 03/05/1970) and It’s Lulu (TX: 25/07/1970). The presentation will be followed by a short question and answer session with the audience.

* 2:00 pm Break

* 2:15 pm Guest Panel – DJ Heaven. Kaleidoscope are delighted to welcome old friends and new to today’s panel celebrating the art of the disc jockey. Mike Read, Ed Stewart and Pete Murray are interviewed by David Hamilton. This is Pete Murray’s last ever public appearance and it will be filmed by ITV local news. The panel will be illustrated by clips including Crackerjack, Saturday Superstore, Six Five Special and Pete Murray appearing in Maigret as an actor.

* 3:45 pm Afternoon Tea accompanied by a Quantel demo tape from 1979. This remarkable technology became a staple of pop shows in the eighties and makes for fascinating background wallpaper.

* 4:15 pm Sing Me a Fantasy – A one off musical film from TWW, believed wiped until it was found at Ulster Television in 2010. Featuring Tony Crane, Kenny Lynch, Joan Savage, The Jay Gee Dancers and The Millerman Orchestra (TX: 03/03/1968).

* 4:45 pm Top of the Pops – material from 1967-68 recovered by the National Film and Television Archive. Acts appearing including Pink Floyd.

* 5:00 pm Discs A Go Go – the only recorded edition of TWW’s pop show. This one-off Bristol Special is hosted by Tony Blackburn and features The Symbols, Paul and Barry Ryan, Tomorrow, Keith West, Steve Howe, Solomon King, The Gojos, Samantha Lee, Engelbert Humperdinck and Bob Miller and the Millermen (TX: 02/03/1968).

* 6:00 pm See You Sunday – a selection of musical performances from the 1974 BBC religious show that featured many well known contemporary pop groups.

* 6:30 pm Time for Blackburn – join compere Tony Blackburn for this Southern Television show featuring The Who. Produced and directed by Mike Mansfield with Johnny Pearson as musical director. The programme includes original off-air continuity (TX: 26/10/1968).

* 7:00 pm Closedown – from Thames Television, featuring Barbara Dickson.

THE BAR

* 12:00 pm The Bacharach Sound – this Granada programme survives as uncut studio sequences only. Composer Burt Bacharach is joined by Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, The Searchers, The Merseybeats, Chuck Jackson and Hal David (TX: 14/04/1965).

* 1:00 pm Doing Their Thing – Labi Siffre.

* 1:30 pm Pop Quiz – Episode 6. Mike Read hosts the show where teams of musicians test their knowledge of the music scene. Featuring Phil Lynott, Paul Nicholas, Gary Tibbs, Chas Chandler, Hazel O’Connor and Nicky Tesco. This 1-inch videotape was written off by the BBC Archives and scrapped before transfer, but Kaleidoscope have paid for an outside contractor to restore it and make a new Digibeta copy (TX: 08/08/1981).

* 2:00 pm Cliff! – Cliff Richard and The Shadows are joined by The Vernon Girls, Jack Parnell and His Orchestra and Petula Clark in this ATV production (TX: 16/02/1961).

* 2:30 pm Pop Goes Guy Fawkes – Granada special from 1983 featuring Roman Holliday, Spandau Ballet, The Flying Pickets, Culture Club, Carmel and Dave Edmunds. Presented by Gary Byrd and Bob Carolgees (TX: 05/11/1983).

* 3:30 pm D’Abo – an untransmitted BBC pilot presented by Michael D’Abo with Derek Griffiths. Recorded on 30/07/1971.

* 4:00 pm The Old Grey Whistle Test – an edition from Christmas Eve 1980 featuring Ian Dury and the Blockheads (TX: 24/12/1980).

* 5:00 pm Jazz Scene… at the Ronnie Scott Club. The Clarke-Boland Big Band, Guitar Workshop, The Miles Davis Quintet, The Stéphane Grapelli-Teddy Wilson Quartet, Sarah Vaughan and Her Trio, The Charlie Shavers Quartet, The Oscar Peterson Trio, The Gary Burton Quartet, The Stars Of Faith and Buddy Rich and His Orchestra are introduced by Ronnie Scott himself for this BBC show (TX: 26/12/1969).

* 6:00 pm On The Road – an untransmitted edition from the 1979 Granada series devoted to singer-songwriter Kate Bush.

* 7:00 pm Closedown

  • The Kaleidoscope summer event takes place at The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, on Saturday, June 4, 2011, from 12-7pm. Admission is free and all proceeds from the day will be going to Kaleidoscope’s chosen charity for 2011, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. For more information, visit www.kaleidoscope.org.uk.

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A Search For Colour Me Pop’s Steve Turner

A MUSIC enthusiast on the hunt for lost episodes of Colour Me Pop is appealing for help in tracking down the show’s director.

Despite several leads, A. J. Smith says he has been unable to locate and get in touch with Steve Turner about the programme, which aired on BBC2 between 1968 and ’69 and showcased half-hour sets by contemporary pop and rock groups.

In total, five episodes out of 53 remain intact within the BBC archive – The Small Faces, The Moody Blues, The Move, Trapeze, and an unscreened programme showcasing The Chambers Brothers.

But Mr Smith, who is writing an article on Colour Me Pop, has been able to uncover soundtracks to episodes featuring Barry Nobel, The Hollies and David Ackles.

He is now keen to speak to Mr Turner in the chance that he may have recordings of otherwise-lost editions of the show.

Mr Smith said: “The CMP hunt goes slowly. The hunt really still hinges on locating Steve Turner, and I’m still none the wise on that front… I wish he didn’t have such a bloody common name!

“Other than that, there’s not many other people to speak to, as the bandmembers (Peter Giles excepted, who was really enthusiastic and even wrote a letter to a BBC interior magazine to help me!) understandably don’t remember much, and CMP was a pretty one-man show, creatively.

“I’ve tried tracing Steve Turner’s career post-CMP, but the trail runs dry at Central television on the mid-’80s. I have tried contacting people he would’ve worked with at Central, but heard nothing back.

“The Beatles writer Mark Lewishom did interview him in 1991, and gave me the address Steve lived at then, but on phoning it I got a woman claiming ‘No-one called that has ever lived here’.”

But it’s not all bad news. Since last speaking with Wiped News, Mr Smith has made a further discovery – most of the soundtrack to the David Ackles show (tx 28/09/68)

It was supplied by BBC sound engineer Michael Cotton, who worked on CMP and had also saved soundtracks to the Hollies and Barry Noble editions.

Mr Smith added: “The soundtracks of quite a few editions (as listed on Wikipedia) are known to be at large somewhere.

“I notice the Fleetwood Mac one has turned up on YouTube. The one I’m really after (as they’re my favourite group) is The Kinks audio.

“ I’ve spoken to a few people who’ve heard it but no one seems at liberty to supply a copy.”

If you can assist A. J. Smith in contacting Steve Turner or finding missing episodes of Colour Me Pop, contact him at: khakishorts@gmail.com.

READ ON: Wiped News speaks to pop star Barry Noble about the recovery on audio of his edition of Colour Me Pop. For more information on episode holdings for Colour Me Pop, plus links to soundtracks and clips, visit Wiped News’ Lost? page here.


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