Recorded in October 1970 at the Indoor Festival of Music, Top Rank Suite, Sunderland with guests Free, Deep Purple, Principal Edward's Magic Theatre and Cochise
A great evening organised by promoter Geoff Docherty who did a fantastic job bringing the top rock bands to the North East of England. Although impossible to know at the time, this was the beginning of a special era.
Free's classic single All Right Now from their Fire And Water album was climbing the charts. Deep Purple were also having huge success with their In Rock album and their hit single Black Night. Principal Edward's Magic Theatre were an amazing collection of artistes originally from Exeter University and the first group to be signed to John Peel's Dandelion record label. Cochise were a great 'country rock' band who had just released their first album (with a rather risque picture on the sleeve). Among the band members was friend of ours guitarist Mick Grabham from Sunderland who later joined Procol Harum.
These bands have become legends and many of the individual members have gone on to be hugely successful in a wide range of fields. Incidentally, the poster above was sold for £600 in a specialist auction at Bonhams auctioneers in London in 2012. Check out this link
We moved away from our usual set list and opened up with this now familiar sounding 12 bar rock song with the type of riffs that every modern young rock guitarist has in their repertoire. Hard to imagine that at the time this sort of guitar playing was new and was the basis of improvisation that launched many a rock guitar hero. When you hear guitarists talking about root notes, minor thirds, fifths, sixths and sevenths, this is where it all started - the blues pentatonic scale.
Back then, they used to say you can't play the guitar if you can't play the blues and it still holds true today. But there's so much more choice now and lots of resources for anyone wanting to learn to play a musical instrument. Just do a search on youtube and you'll find hundreds of useful tutorials. Wish all this had been around when we started playing.
Heart Made Of Stone (c) 2012 Steve Nielson All Rights Reserved