THE '70s DECADE:
FIRST TOUR OF ENGLAND ~ 1976
Journal of the first 15 days
We took many hundreds of photos during our three performing tours of England.
Unfortunately they are all in slide format and until we can find
an economical way of converting them to digital files
the following journals will remain unillustrated.
Hillman '76 Tour of England
With Bill Hillman's Personal Rating of Each Club
Fort Francis, Ontario ****
Travel Day: Ontario ~ USA ~ Manitoba ~ England
Travel Day: London to Bromley, Kent
RAOB Club - Middlesbrough *** *
Priory Club - Middlesbrough *
Whitehorse Inn - Royal Hotel - Whitby *****
Portrack Conservative Club - Stockton ** *
Old Skelton Social Club - North Yorkshire *****
Old Thornaby ****
Silksworth Comrades Club - County Durham ****
New Shildon Social Club *** *
Ironapolis Club *** *
British Legion Club - Middlesbrough *****
Carlin How - W/Mens Club **** *
THE HILLMAN RECORDING ANECDOTES SITE
Our original song, Reelin' in Soho, is an account of our first recording session in London, England. As suggested in the first verse, this was the culmination of a tour in which we - The Hillmans From Canada - had played 30 one-nighters in night clubs and discos across Northern England. Many nights found us in the ubiquitous Workingman Clubs where a house band opened at 7:00 pm, followed by opening acts which usually offered variety entertainment. We would then come on for a show set, after which there would be a long break for housie (bingo) - a national addiction. After this exciting gambling break we would return for a dance set - but by 11:00 pm the dancers would call it a night since they had to work the next day. Being so used to the long drives, long gigs and late nights back in Canada, it was hard for us to wind down so suddenly and every night found us driving around looking for some place which might still be open - we met some very colourful characters on these midnight rambles.
The audiences attended these clubs every night of the week and had seen it all, so it was especially rewarding to 'go down a bomb'...to 'bomb' has a different connotation there than it does in North America. It was tremendously exciting to study the dressing room walls which were festooned with pictures, cards and stickers left by previous entertainers - even the Beatles, early in their careers, had toured this circuit. These backstage walls were seldom refurbished since it seemed that the more 'name' acts displayed, the more prestigious the club. Perhaps the most fascinating venues though, were the Country and Western Clubs where nearly everyone showed up in full Western regalia - including boots, hats, gunbelts...and western drawls - Geordie cowboys.
Our strangest and perhaps most memorable night occurred at Scarth - a village in Yorkshire. Throughout the tour, we spent most mornings and afternoons being tourists - traipsing through castles, cathedrals, and pubs and across highlands and moors. Scarth, however, offered a special reward because it is home to James Wight, aka James Herriot of All Creatures Great and Small fame. We visited his veterinary office and toured his small museum just down the street. Fittingly, the club we were to play was on the outskirts of town surrounded by a meadow or cow pasture. It was a 1920s pavilion-style hall. Our opening act for the night arrived late - surrounded by an entourage of people in formal wear. He was a singer who had been married just a few hours before in Newcastle. This set the mood for the whole evening - the place seemed to explode and although the club should have been emptied by 11:00, the management barred the doors to keep out the local constabulary and the party continued into the wee hours. When Sue-On wearied of the drums, a succession of people - our agent, the bartender and even the groom - took control of the sticks. Something right out of the fictional Darrowby.
Friday, July 2, 1976
Fort Francis, Ontario
We left Maple Grove early - still half asleep
Played in Saskatchewan last night
Took the shorter US route to Ft. Francis, Ontario.
Very busy schedule this weekend
Travelled through 3 countries to play in 3 Canadian provinces and Northern England in 4 days.
Our crude instrument list was adequate to get us through US customs.
Got in town in time for a supper pizza
Over to the hall to set up for the free dance.
Dance and sales went well
They seemed pleased enough to want to hire us again.
Saturday, July 3, 1976
Travel Day: Ontario ~ USA ~ Manitoba ~ England
Arose early to go for a pancake breakfast in the hall
Headed for home.
This time the US Customs were sticky.
We had to open equipment and take multi-screwed backs off our amps
They did a drug search
Checked us against their draft dodger and criminal record lists.
Reached Winnipeg by 4
Spent some time at Polo Park Shopping Centre
As usual we bought books - I found the Jack Benny bio I'd been looking for.
Off to the airport
Met Kevin's girlfriend Susanne Bogen who was going with us.
Alan Jones and Kevin Pahl finally showed at 10:30.
We starved and waited at the terminal for five hours.
I had an excess weight of luggage (mainly record albums we were taking with us)
Got through the weigh scales by holding the bag up off the scale as they weighed.
We made Customs declarations, bought a map of England, read and waited,
Finally boarded a 747 Jumbo.
All quite excited.
AIR CANADA #852y leave 10:10 pm ~ arrive 11:25 am
Sunday, July 4, 1976
Travel Day: London to Bromley, Kent
In-flight movie: Lucky Lady with Lisa Minelli
We slept through movie as we'd seen it.
It was pretty much daylight all night (northern great circle route)
Sky was getting really bright just after the movie.
Breakfast: sausage, eggs, potatoes, melons & orange juice & coffee
As we neared our destination Al & an Aussie were talking about aborigines.
I escorted Al to the washroom and looked out the window at Scotland - Intricate farm patterns.
We were stacked up 30 miles out of Heathrow for 15 minutes.
Banking made us sick but we had a good look at countryside & hedgerows.
After we landed we met Dorothy Ray of Newdale on the way out.
We were all separated...
Al was given assistance - they lost and found his luggage.
Finally we all picked up our luggage and headed for Customs.
The airport was full of mostly 747s from just about everywhere.
The Indian Customs inspector looked especially hard at our stuff
(It could be because we said we had wine & cocktails from the plane & duty-free cigarettes.)
He looked at my guitar but sent us on our way, assuming for some reason
that we were high school students rather than musicians.
Al's brother-in-law Keith and his wife Margaret met us
I headed for the washroom while we waited for Al.
The terminal was very busy and crowded.
We headed out to load up and board a Cromer mini-bus that Keith had rented for us.
Keith drove through heavy London traffic to Kew Gardens.
England was in the middle of a long drought
Vegetation in the city was uncharacteristically brown and parched.
We paid a penny admission to this Garden on the Thames,
Bought a 50 cent booklet and and took pictures as we walked around.
A very impressive park but we were all jet lagged and Kevin's feet gave out.
We made a difficult trip to Bromley, Kent
Wing Music closed so we pick up our rented instruments tomorrow.
Arrived at Bromley Court Hotel which was fairly expensive
16 pounds per room - but very nice.
Took a bath, pictures, and went down for a 7:00-8:30 dinner:
Beef and pudding, trifle and gateaux
To the garden for cocktails.
Back to the room to see the American 200th Year celebrations on the tele and then to bed.
Monday, July 5, 1976
Hot 85 degrees - muggy
RAOB Club - Southfield Road - Middlesbrough 8-8:30/10:15-1040
*** 1/2 Large upstairs
Keith knocked & hotel phoned at 7:30 am
I dressed, shaved and took luggage down.
SO & I went to dining room for a buffet English breakfast free with room:
Juice, corn flakes, prunes, (I ordered kippers but they didn't bring them as
they were sure I wouldn't like the fish), coffee, bacon (mushy and salty) & fried eggs.
SO had sausage and scrambled eggs which were lightly done mush.
Went back upstairs to wait for Al, Kevin and Susan to finish packing
Over to Wing Music at 9:05 but the store didn't open till later.
A very small and dirty place with equipment piled to ceiling.
They were expecting us as the Traynor company in Toronto had set up sponsorship:
Yamaha Twin for bass - 2 Traynor Twins - HH PA head, small transistorized with huge Traynor speaker columns and horns - electrostatic mikes and Rogers drums (SO forgot snare stand).
There was no Fender piano so we rented a Clavinet.
All seven of us and instruments and baggage squashed into the Cromer somehow
We were soon on our way through dense London traffic.
Keith did a marvellous navigation job and we made it to the Motorway about noon.
We stopped for lunch and to phone Hunter (booking agent) at 12:30.
I had hamburger, chips, peas, milk, and ice cream in a very modern US-style oasis.
Everything was OK with Hunter and we said we could set up at 6 .
It was a long, hot, crowded drive north on the Motorway.
We stopped again for pop 16p.
Drinks were all warm but we eventually found a petrol station that had some cold in a machine.
We followed Motorway M-7 most of way through beautiful country.
We found Middlesbrough and asked for Southfield at the first turnoff.
We were on it!
The club was just down the street
Large, second storey room that seated 500.
We struggled up the stairs with the instruments - no air conditioning.
Set up on a nice stage that already had an organ and drums.
The power outlets were all 220 and took large flat plugs.
Panic time! No batteries for mike!
As it was Sunday evening, everything was closed
But Keith found a supply somewhere and he and Alan took off to Spennymoor.
We were introduced for a set after the house band opened the show.
Just getting into it when the MC announced that we had to stop for Housie (bingo).
This was a regular nightly feature of all the workingman clubs.
Comedian Brian Lewis did his act and then we returned to do a dance set.
Sue-On was on the Rogers drums,
Kevin on the Hohner keyboard bass that we had brought (it worked on batteries)
as well as the rented Hohner Clavinet.
I played my Fender Telecaster Thinline guitar.
We struggled with a strange sound all night as we weren't used to the drums, PA, amps
and the sound of the Clavinet.
After a dance set everything closed down around 10:30
Patrons left for home and bed as most of them had to work in factories the next day.
We tried the warm beer, chatted, and had suitable praise from the audience and management.
There was a tremendous number of people crammed into the room
All seated around very small circular tables that were just large enough
to hold the drinkers' pint glasses.
A very unusual experience as everything was so different from what we were used to.
We got permission to leave the equipment to pick up the next day
Keith took us over to spend the night at his Aunt Nellie's.
We didn't see her as she was already in bed.
Tuesday, July 6, 1976
Priory Club - Marton Road - Middlesbrough - large - main floor
We awoke at 10:30.
Aunt Nellie and girl friend Rhoda had already left much earlier as the work on a factory floor.
We went down for breakfast: scrambled eggs, tea and cookies.
Had a chance now to look around at where we where in daylight:
A new and cozy council house with tall grass front.
Margaret Jones came in around at 11:20.
Kev and Susan were still in bed back at Keith and Margaret's.
We went over to Al's mom and dad's.
Mrs. Elsie Jones was in a wheel chair - she's not too well.
Al was just getting up. We had a visit while Al ate breakfast.
Keith brought the Cromer from work as he had gotten a half day off.
We went over to Keith's to wake up Kevin and Susan.
The town of Spennymoor is quaint and Keith lives in nice new house which he is adding on to.
We piled into the vehicles to pick up Al with 4 guys in the bus and 3 gals in Keith's car.
Enjoyed the great scenery on the trip over to Sunderland to Cowies bus rental
to change to a Ford Transit van.
I paid 5 pounds to add my name as an extra driver.
Sue-On paid them 70 pounds.
On our trip back Middlesbrough I drove for first time on an A highway and Motorway
But I Let Keith take it into town.
We found our way back to RAOB Club at 3 pm where we loaded the equipment.
Then went in Keith's car to find agents Borrow-Hunter on Borough Rd.
I talked business with Joe Hunter.
He covered for lack of permits and said there was real problem in getting them.
We were to work a 7 day week but there would be no other agents coming in
because of the permit situation.
We then made a rush trip to Cleveland Centre to find snare drum stand for SO.
At 4:45 pm we found a music store but no good stands - just a cheap second hand one
in a bag that we bent to use.
We learned that the salesman was a guitar player at the club we were play tonight.
Hurried back to RAOB as Jones' must leave for a PTA meeting at 6:30.
I took over the bus and drove to Marton Rd and down and into Priory Club
Club was very much like a new CFB Mess.
We set up and noticed there was a house organ.
We had supper at the Highland Hotel: mixed grill (assorted meat)
Then to the club.
I wore my "tangerine" denim.
We opened to a lukewarm audience -
Two singing comedians stole the show -
And then finished with a dance set after the bingo -
Packed and left the stuff and drove to the Crest Hotel: 11.50 pounds,
Beer at the desk, coffee in the room.
Talked over the day, showered and hit the sack.
Wednesday, July 7, 1976
Whitehorse Inn - Royal Hotel - Whitby -large C/W club
PHOTOS: coastline and miniature model of coast and model ships - from steps going down on beach - breakwater and sea cliff - SO and bikini and caves/cliffs - Abby and church in background - from steps on hill - Bill in tombstones - in ruins arch - of whole ruins - band in front of Hillmans posters - of Whitehorse Club
We got up with the alarm at 8:15, woke rest and went down to breakfast
Breakfast not included as they had promised over the phone.
The three guys went down the street to the club to pack up.
Back at the hotel I phoned four rooming places listed in the back of my journal
Settled on Viponds, a boarding house on Oxford.
SO and I got a room upstairs, Susan & Kev another room downstairs,
Alan got one bed in a 5-bed big room.
The place was nice, friendly and clean - 3 pounds per day or 18 pounds per week.
We all piled into the van and drove down to Morton,
Then out to Guisborough and across the hills and moors to Whitby.
Parked by a row of houses, walked toward sea and took many steps down to the beach.
Al walked into the breakers among dogs and bikini gals.
Warm day so we bought ices (cone and oyster - cone in shape of oyster
full of ice cream and hard marshmallow and covered with coconut)
Then we climbed to the top of the cliff to get fish and chips.
I had Plaice (1 pound) and chips, tea and bread and SO had scampi (little shrimp) -
all were big portions.
Took a promenade along the resort street and bought: cards, map, tennis hat.
Found our way across the bridge and along more shops to the foot of Abbey Hill,
Leading Al all the way, up 199 steps to the Whitby church cemetery
(site of Dracula first landing in England).
Moved on past the church to Whitby Abbey ruins - 15p -
Roamed about the ruins marvelling at its one-time grandieur and great age.
Went down to explore the very old St. Mary's Parish church:
Stalls all fenced off, 3-tier pulpit with hearing aid horns for rector's deaf wife,
Read about the bell pulling team that appeared every week.
Kev bought an Indian shirt at the bottom of the steps and we made our way back to bus.
We found the Hotel which had our posters all over - a big western place.
We all went down for fish and chips in a newspaper after setting up.
Played 3 1/2 shows to good response and record sales.
Alternated sets with Paul Wheater - a Jim Reeves style singer.
Kevin wouldn't let groupie have his shirt: "But I only bought it today."
Curry chicken for an after-show lunch.
Got back to Viponds at 12 and were glad to find the house door still open.
SO and the black band had lunch.
Thursday, July 8, 1876
Portrack Conservative Club - Maritime Rd - Stockton - A large room with stairs
Breakfast: bacon, eggs, milk, toast, tea.
Al tried to phone home as he had no clothes or money.
I drove the bus downtown and tried to park up in Cleveland Centre
But it was reserved just for service vehicles, so we returned to the vacant lot
where we had been with Keith earlier.
Al went with Kev and Susan to the Mall while SO and I made business call to Borrow Hunter.
We were now booked 7 days a week.
Found there was no way we could get a month of insurance on instruments -- living dangerously.
Out and down along street where I bought Tarzan and Marvel comics,
maps of Spennymoore, Teeside, London, Mbro,
Through a record store, towels and cheap "adidas" 3+ pounds -
Mailed post cards - and couldn't find a pub.
We learned later that pubs would have been closed that time of the afternoon anyway.
Eventually we met Al at the Mall music store playing a Fender Rhodes - 1030 pounds!
SO got a receipt for the drum stand that the guitar player had charged 5 pounds for.
Others all went for coffee while I looked for a Vox pignose and phaser.
The Vox had just been sold and the phaser cost 50.
I joined the others for coffee and stayed with Al as all left to shop - SO got shirts.
We all met at the bus and returned for supper at 5:00 pm: fish, potatoes, peas, carrots.
Joe Vipond gave directions to club and as we left we met the black band -
ERUPTION - coming in from rehearsing all afternoon.
On the steps on the way out I upset 20 empty milk bottles with my guitar.
My driving went well until the last roundabout when I got on the Motorway and had to come around.
I made the right turn this time but turned back when we thought we had gone too far
and hit the other Motorway.
Eventually we broke down and read the map and found the place.
Only to find a garbage truck blocking the entrance
Carried gear up two flights of stairs so we were hot and tired by the time we had set up.
We met pick-pocket comic Bob Nelson and a pilot from Manchester, now Newcastle,
who crashed while in USAF.
He invited us to an old Aircraft Museum and wild animal park.
Off to a bad start with a slow crowd and I broke a string in the first show.
Then comedy/bingo/comedy in which SO came on stage to help.
Keith and his father, Norman Jones, arrived.
The dance set was sluggish but we had many compliments and talked with fans outside
Couldn't get away till after midnight.
Al went to Jones's and we went downtown to a Curry and Kabob restaurant:
I had ravioli - SO curry chicken and all had banana splits.
Background noise was provided by a nonstop burglar alarm and disco music in the background.
We drove back in high spirits and I read M*A*S*H till bedtime.
Friday, July 9, 1976
Hot sunny with bit of cloud - rain at supper time
Old Skelton Social Club - Skelton - North Yorkshire - small
Breakfast at 10:30 - same - wrote last 3 days of diary - rest till 12:30
Downtown via new short route as on way to Conservative Club - parking lot by Corporation St.
Gang shopped while I went to Borrow-Hunter - haggled price - no way
Cheque 275 minus 65 (pickup) in my name
Met gang at Hamiltons - Kevin trying keyboards
Bought strings and picks Fender thin 12p
Split up - To Cleveland Centre - coffee and carbonated lemonade from bottles - Sunday
SO bought clothes - I bought comics, etc.
Records: Elvis Sun Sessions 1.99 - Cliff Richard 1.25
SO bikini - I can't find clothes (still wearing only denim outfit)
Met at restaurant - I spilled tea - walk to bus - bought pastries
4:30 - heavy traffic but missed mainstream
Supper: corn beef hash, chips, salad, carrots, peach melba (with pineapple and jap orange)
SO & I had shower - read Gallery and Linda Lovelace
Off to Skelton - rain - Susan had headache and stayed home
Found club - small old 200 pop
Private organ with no fuse so Al not allowed to use it
Power all over on wall so man rigged up poor extension - power buzz blew fuse
Keith, Margaret & Al came - Keith made new cord & Club MC brought better cord
Poor crowd at start - starting 8:30 many came - good applause
Satisfying funny show - place packed - we were the only act
Mike stand dropped: funny bit 'pants split' - wore all white
Gave picture to parents of mongoloid brother of MC
Ticket taken with most horrible strawberry nosed man we had ever seen
Scot fans invited us for a drink to their house - no go - packed - talked outside
To Enterprise for lunch - SO and I had Mousaka - others had meat etc.
Back to Viponds and to bed.
Saturday, July 10, 1976
Old Thornaby - average sized club
Arise 10:45 - good sleep - first good morning
Some breakfast but with tomatoes instead of beans
Upstairs to diary and postcards
To Al's room to hear black soul disco band's 6 demos - good stuff
Eruption paid American producer 9000 pounds to produce two sides
On top of this he is scheming to get 1/2 writer's royalties
Talked to Welsh singer Terry Jordan - got agents' names
Talked to singer from Connecticut
SO and Susan to laundry to do clothes - writing journal with no pants on Read all day -
Al talking to Eruption leader abut recording studios
Supper: mince stew
Used map to get to Old Thornaby
Main floor - a little smaller than some - no other act
Did 3 shows as I made up this afternoon and as in front of the journal
Organ useable - SO drumstand broken but able to use house stand
Walked on stage alone played
Then introduced Susanne who walked on with drum case as equipment manager
Then Kevin and set rhythm,
Then Al - then SO and we did On My Mind
Crazy hot show - good response -
Keith and friend Billy Turner there
Kevin complimented in washroom
Enthusiastic urinator turned hose on our lad - peepee all down pant leg
of new European black trousers
People dancing everywhere in aisles, etc. - fire scare - smoke actually came
from incinerator in women's washroom
Wild chase to Fiesta Club in Stockton & caught last number of
soul band "Leibi....?" - thin disco
Had lager and fish & chips
Danced to house band - not too enthusiastic: keyboards, drums, bass, & singer all reading
Searchers next week
Into bus and home to bed.
Sunday, July 11, 1976
Silksworth Comrades Club - Silksworth - County Durham
PICTURES: double deckers & tri car & SO - coast tankers, boats on dock and me by Mbro - resort ball room - SO and boats at Redcar - Folk group on beach: Crooked Oak
Breakfast the same but terrible mushy sausage & runny eggs
Eruption in at 4 last night and erupted at 8 am to leave for London.
Read paper and Linda Lovelace book while waiting for Susanne
To Redcar resort for Folk Festival - drove along beach - long - nice
Parked by Coatham Bowl where festival held - free acts in coffee lounge
Bought another antler crown piece necklace, straw fertility penis, horse brass good luck charm
Lager and good old English folk songs - nothing on main stage
Walked on beach - left Al on seawall-
Bought winkles, mussels & cockles for 10 & 20p a package
Split from Susan & Kev to meet in one hour
Downtown where I bought three Shadows records, one 1.50 others 1.99
Pictures of double decker, beach, etc.
To van at 4 - to home - turkey supper with all trimmings - rest and read
Followed map out of town north to Sunderland - sign to Silksworth
Made good time on A HW - club closed.
While waiting Kevin had serious philosophical discussion with mongoloid youngster:
"You're a fart!" "Pardon?" "You're a fart!" "You think so... really?" Great guffaws.
Carried equipment up winding inside stairs to second storey - very small
Kevin deftly repaired SO's drum stand
Presented Star of the Show, Susanne doing the dance of the two platters.
I walked on - no applause - walked off - said band scared off by thunderous applause
Brought all on - very noisy crowd
MC tried to quieten - no other act, but bingo
Sat with Keith who came in for second show ~ Wild wingy show
Pack up - I was tied up with drunk ex-guitar player agent - address in back of book
Van back home - meat pies in room - bed.
Monday, July 12, 1976
Overcast - Rain at supper
New Shildon Social Club - 17 Redworth Rd. Shildon
Same old breakfast
New roomers: two guys from country rock band SAND, once STATE EXPRESS
Plus 6+ kids from young show band
Read - Al stayed - dropped Susanne and Kev off at laundry on corner
SO and I downtown - cheque and list of this week's venues
No luck getting bus - Joe phoned and got van at Thornsby for 40 pounds per week total
To printer down the street for sign: The Hillmans ~ Featuring Bill and Sue-On Hillman
with Kevin Pahl and Al Jones ~ Maple Grove Records - Borrow-Hunter ....
Left watch, broken strap pin - across street to Pop In & bought Union Jack & soccer stickers
Down street to electrical and bought thick guitar cord for 2.50
To theatre to check schedules - to Cleveland Centre and bought pastries
To Great American Pants GAP and bought cheesecloth denim shirt and two for Al
Trouble using Master Charge - to sale at C&A Modes department store: jeans, denim shirt jacket
SO bought leather vest and velvet jacket and two jeans
To Wimpy's for a drink - to bus - home to cream cod pots, vegs, fresh fruit
On to Shildon by south route to Darlington - heavy rain
Thru Darlington - too far west, eventually back after winding little country roads
Upstairs - rough climb - sunken dance floor - beautiful club - few pop
Singer comic Marcus Bailey opened - OK - gave us a photo
We did a half hour at 9 - again at 10:20 - string broke - bass drum pedal broke - to house drums
Keith there - rough - manager happy - will book again if around
Followed Keith partway home - coin op gas pumps saved empty
To Enterprise for mousaka de Greque - strippers there 40 - home.
Tuesday, July 13, 1976
Ironapolis Club - Bright St. - Middlesbrough
PICTURES: Wear River, Durham - river bank going up along castle wall - approaching Durham Cathedral - knocker - inside looking left - stained glass - Tomb of Cuthbert - through courtyard of group - Monk's room - behind robes in Monks - tombstones - altar ....
BF before 11 - different sausages & ham
On to Durham via Stockton, Coxhoe and Bauburn - thru city to parkade
Walked along tourist shops up river bank along castle wall
Posed at gargoyle knocker - bought tourist guides - saw organ - Cuthbert tomb
Up to Monk's room full of books and old relics - seals, robes, coffins, jewelry
Kevin found ancestor's diary - down to bookstore - SO showing Al so far
Bought many many books and maps - back to Cathedral to main altar
20p to climb to top of tower - very long hard winding climb - out of film
Good view of river, castle, mill, etc. - down easier but dizzy
To castle but no tour for another 20 minutes - bought literature
but had to get back thru shops - good stuff
Had lollis and rest and into parkade - everyone leaving and discourteous tie up - traffic jam
Out and home PDQ - supper - rest - close job tonight - to club before 7
Still locked - poster advertised C&W group from Australia - I changed it and put up photo
Drive up close to stage - sunken dance floor - 2 40-minute shows
Good organist (liked Canada) and drummer - organ & drums in almost every club we've done
SO still borrowing stands - new heavy strings gave me some trouble
Drum pedal still falling apart and mike stand drops at weird times
Good applause - OK night - back to room to get Susanne who didn't come
To Club Marimba to see Johnny Duncan and the Bluegrass Boys but closed Mon & Tues
To Fiesta Club in Stockton to see Searchers but too late to bother
Mixed grill and Mousaka at "Elsie's"
Home - musicians still up - talked to SAND frontman - knew of Dick Damron tour.
Wednesday, July 14, 1976
Sunny and windy
British Legion Club - Park Rd North - Mbro
Breakfast at 11 pork - SO to laundry - I read for awhile and then followed her
Lollis, mags, chinese noodles take-out - ate in our kitchen
Upstairs - showered - Downtown with Kev and Susanne shopping
I saw Thunderbolt and Lightfoot at ABC theatre for 90p (double bill with Midnight Cowboy
but had to leave at 4:15)
Nice to see a touch of America - to Hamilton Music Centre
Bought SO drumsticks - all totally broken - she had to borrow last night -
Back - missed rush hour traffic by going by Marton Rd.
SO stayed all PM to bath
Got carpet for drums from Colin from Bette (Colin at our show last night)
Supper: meat pie, chips, beans, trifle - Musicians all friendly - lie down after supper
Left around 7 sans Susanne
2 minutes later we arrived at little rundown old shabby, grubby, smelly, gloomy British Legion
Club where Joe Hunter drinks - upstairs - no organ - grand piano yes, drums yes - 2 shows
No other acts - rapport form the start - great applause -
used "Foreign Legion" reference - great success
Keith and Margaret arrived - we introduced
At break Kevin went with drummer Alan McLachlan and bass player to dive
(55 Falmouth St. Mbro 43883) to hear the young band staying with us - OK
Rock last set - Joe H. there briefly and gave thumbs up
Other club chairman there auditioning us - OK talk with MC after about this scene
Sold 1 album - everyone wants my necklace, Indian choker
Dropped off Kevin and went downtown for Mousaka.
Thursday, July 15, 1976
Carlin How - W/Mens Club - Carlin How - Past Skelton
Ham, tomatoes & egg then downtown to pick up broken watch - 1 pound
To Stockton and back to Thornaby to confirm bus pickup tomorrow
Parking lot - walk over to High St. - window shop - bought many magazines & 5 pound satin shirt
To little pub for Guinness - cross street to shopping centre - no market in town today
Bought 2 Shadows in record store 2.99 - to music store at end of street (Al & I)
Kevin back to bus with sore feet again - music store bad so we walked back
Explored abandoned house on street (one of many there)
Met at bus at 4:30 - home - Hunter phoning all day but office now closed
Tough stew meat, gravy & potatoes - short rest and left for Carlin How
Arrived 6:45 - raining - small club with 3 flights of stairs -
had a lift but idiot manager wouldn't let us use it
Another group had broken lift and it had cost 40 pounds - I offered to pay 40 if we could use it
Tough climb - house band laid off - organ - start at 8:25 with two 45-minute shows
Not packed but very responsive
Father and obese mongoloid son David there - David danced obscenely all night
Father danced with him on intimate numbers -
Great response but few dancers though because "Buddha" had the floor
No other act - two girls from Skelton were big fans - thunderous applause
Welsh couple bought two albums for all the money in their pockets 4.50
Drunks ganged up on us and wanted us to give David a free album
Revolting scene - picture scroungers - MC very happy
A slot-machine-playing WWII air ace (Spitfires) invited himself into our crowded bus
and we dropped him off at Skelton
Al headache so dropped off - we went to Europa for spaghetti - home - new boarders.
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