Friday, 18 February 2011

Roger Taylor in Norfolk

Roger spent his earliest years in Kings Lynn. The local paper ran a feature on him about 20 years ago and included this picture of him at a birthday party which I dont think is anywhere else on the web:

Thanks to Miklos Borbely who despite living in Hungary was able to obtain, and has kept, a copy of the paper...

The Count House, Botallack

Those of you who know Cornwall well will probably have heard of the Count House at Botallack near the cliffs at Lands End which was the first of many folk clubs to open in the county in the 60's. Roger Taylor would have visited, as would other members of The Reaction and The Jayfolk. This EP 'Folk Music at the Count House' was recorded and manufactured in 1964, and when I've found a suitable turntable I will put the audio on this blog...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Mr Lucifer: Will Wright and Rufus Manning

Mr Lucifer played with Smile on at least two occasions in Cornwall. Last week Roger Kinsey kindly sent this picture to me by e-mail. Roger was then known as Rufus Manning and he was an agent for several bands in the Cambridge area. Today I got to speak to Will Wright, Mr Lucifer's drummer who explained that the other members of the band were Paddy Sargeant, Mick Sharpe and Dave Hirst. He remembers that on one of the nights they played at PJ's with Smile, that a large gang of bikers (we're talking at least 40 of them) turned up looking for trouble, but playing some Eddie Cochrane seemed to placate them...

Smile gigs have not been very well documented. This poster also from Roger is interesting. Ginger Baker (ex Cream and Blind Faith) started his own band in 1969 - but this gig was probably in 1970. I think we can only speculate as to what happened. Would Queen have played instead?

Friday, 11 February 2011

Roger Brokenshire in the 70s

This is a video put on line by my friend Richard who runs

The Globetrotters was a band popular in Cornwall in the 70's, and their lead singer was Roger Brokenshire who sang with Roger Taylor's band The Reaction less than 10 years earlier. There are no known recordings of Roger B singing with The Reaction but this video gives an idea of how exhuberant and engaging he was back then as a frontman...The other thing to mention is that Roger B 's used the name 'The Reaction Showband' later in the decade, but as far as I know he was the only band-member to have played in the original group.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The March of the Black Queen

The best ever Queen song?

Pat Johnstone

I spoke with Pat Johnstone on the phone for more than two hours a couple of nights ago. She had some really fascinating memories of the years either side of Queen's first gig in Truro City Hall in 1970...From working in the Navy Arms, to seeing Freddie sing with Smile at PJ's, to putting Freddie and Brian up in her house in Truro the weekend of the gig, to working in Kensington Market, to setting up the Queen fan club. Thankyou Pat if you're reading this.

Thanks to here is a recent picture of the City Hall. This facade has not changed since Queen played their first gig there....