Old Times

Timo (Yes that is the correct way to spell it, he reminds me) got back to his hotel okay the other night. He is in Spain now but is threatening to come back to London this weekend and is asking if there is anything on blueswise.

There is a Cyril Davies event  up in North London, whih celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of British Blues. This will include films and live music from the John O’Leary Band and special guests.

It will probably mean lots of people from the late fifties and early sixties claiming they were there, but will include some of the people who gigged with Cyril. It will also include lots of people who play harmonica, so that’s probably a good reason to stay away as far as I’m concerned. Still, it could be worse, they could be guitar players.

I shall probably weaken and go, if I can get rid of this damned sore throat, dripping nose and a cough that allows little or no sleep. No I’m not coming out in sympathy with Chris. Talking of whom, John White, the other original member of the first band we formed, sent me an email from France, asking about Chris’s progress and I was able to put them in touch with each other.

Getting back to Cyril Davies, he and Alexis Korner started this whole thing up in about 1958 and prompted some of the Stones and others to focus on blues. He showed me how he miked up his harp with a home made microphone consisting of a small pick-up covered with rubber cut from a bicycle tyre and attached to a cable with a jack plug at the other end. I even made one myself and it worked. Ah, life as a poor boy. Later, he used an ordinary mike, such is progress.

There were some great afternoons at Studio Fifty One which was in Great Newport Street. He’d split with Alexis by then and had formed the Cyril Davies all stars. I remember the early Stones doing a support there. The earlier Marquee residency with Alexis was also pretty hot. Cyril died too soon.

That’s it for now. I think I’ll have to pander to my alcohol problem. Should catch the pub easily enough.