David Bowie

Unfortunately, with increasing regularity I am marking my life with the passing of great musicians. At every passing we ‘experienced ones’ look back and think of our connection to the great ones and their music. Most of us mark our lives, good times, bad times and in-between with music, as we should – the great stuff is as close as most of us get now days to spiritual enlightenment. In 1983 I was 18 (which is hard enough to believe in itself) and I went to see David Bowie on his Serious Moonlight tour at Athletic Park, in Wellington. Australia didn’t lose that day.
I remember a big crowd, Mongrel Mob being less than polite in getting a circle for themselves close to the stage, a crowd of mates (only 1 girl) and lots of beer. I still have the ticket stub and concert book- Big Warren Patchet (who later went on to play a game as lock against the touring Springboks for Horowhenua) had recently broken up with his girlfriend, the lovely Lynda (who I ‘went around with’ when I was 12 for a too short a spell) claimed half of my concert book for no more than emotional reasons-I still have it Warren and you can’t have your half! There are still a few Bowie albums in my Dad’s garage at home that I will hopefully be reunited with one day, that I recall much more than the concert.
Apart from that I don’t remember much of the concert, not even one song. I guess now I have an inkling of what it would’ve been like living in the 60s, with Lucy in the sky, Woodstock and the like –Yea I was there, I cant remember much, but the movies and documentaries have filled it all in for me, I think. Thanks DB for the songs and inspiration. JD

David Bowie – Suffragette City – Live HD
Live at The Hammersmith Odeon (London) – 1973 From the Album The Rise And Full of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars

The Age of Foolishness

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” Charles Dickens
Jimi Hendrix – Somewhere
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Walter Trout, Jared James Nichols, Queens Hall, Edinburgh, 22 October 2016

You don’t know what you’ve got til its gone so the song goes and you don’t know what you’re missing out on until you live it.

I warmed up in The Dog House- an eclectically decorated pub complete with real matching bulldog- before making my way to Queens Hall, an intimate venue in the middle of Edinburgh. The former church (1823) has a capacity of 900 and wasn’t tested tonight.

The Jared James Nichols band warmed up. They performed a set of about six songs and left you wanting much more. I would’ve been happy listening to them all night. A nice combination of big guitar sound, blues and a voice on some songs approaching the high octaves of Axel Rose.

JJN grew up near Wisconsin Alpine Valley Amphitheatre, the site of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s final show before his premature death in a helicopter crash. At age 15 JJN apparently used to sneak up there and riff out for hours channeling the spirit of Stevie- we could all do with a bit of that. Check out

Like Keith Richards says there is nothing like “being in The Room”; internet clips don’t do any musician real justice.

I hadn’t been in a small British / Scottish venue before and you really get a feeling of what it would have been like back in the 50s and 60’s listening to the Stones, Beatles or American bluesmen.

Sadly, the crowd was probably largely the same people that were going back in the day – there would have been probably less than ten people under forty.

I’d only heard Walter Trout on the net before but he has a big rep and raps. He didn’t disappoint playing a good mix of rock and blues and filling the room with the bewitching sound of steel stringed guitars thumping out a big blue rhythm. Guys like Walter are dying off way too fast and it’s a privilege to hear them when you can.

It was a nice old school touch too talking to JJN bass player Eric Sandin in the foyer and buying the JJN CD Old Glory and the Wild Revival and having him sign it.

Walter shared his stories of meeting and being inspired to play by BB King and re-learning the guitar after he was close to death. His intense near death experience resulted in some new unique and powerful blues songs. Almost gone but the blues keep me hanging on…