Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

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Rory Bellows
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Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Rory Bellows » 23 Aug 2011, 20:49

Alright playmates? Well......
I was born in August, 1963 in Motherwell, Scotland, which at that time was the heart of heavy industry (steel making, coal mining and all that stuff) in Scotland. We lived in a smaller town (at the time, the population was about 10,000 or so) which was actually in a kind of rural setting (think "Kes") There were lots of other manufacturing sites around - car and truck manufacturing (one major local employer was Cummins engines, which popped up in Corporate Whores DID..), coal cutter manufacturing and even toy assembly factories (Timpo Toys - great for cowboys and indian figues in the late 60s / early 70s). Our first house was one of those pre-war tenement types, and we had an outside WC and all that, but soon we moved to a new council house (almost everyone I knew stayed in local authority housing) which had all mod cons such as inside toilet and underfloor heating downstairs! (but no heating anywhere else,,,,I remember the bedroom windows used to regularly freeze up on the inside! Arrggghhhh). Despite a reasonable supply of jobs, the whole area was very poor, dirty and deprived.... a very big drinking culture and lots of violent religious bigotry as well which I hated (still do, obviously). Always remember I used to play regularly with the kid next door and we became great pals....comes to starting school, and we get sent to different schools. I didn't like that or understand it at all! My parents were very much working class, and money was tight, but I didn't know about that...or care. My old man worked on the factory floor for a machinery company and my mum worked for the national coal board (then she moved into a classroom assistant for science classes in high school). Musically, my first ever memory was this (Three Wheels On My Wagon by the New Christy Minstrels) :



I used to have a big "X" marked on the A-side as I was only about 2 or 3 and couldn't read! - I'd grab in, check the "X" was upright, then chuck it on the "radiogram" radio / record player and jump about I guess.

School was OK, and I muddled along like you do....I made plenty of good pals and some I still see to this day (including Sir Johnny Default of these here boards who live a few doors down the street)
Anyhoo, I'm 9 watching TOTP on a Thursday nite and this comes on. Fuck! (Alice Cooper : Schools Out)



It's a revelation and my life is completely changed! One day on a shopping trip into Glasgow, I pester my mum into buying me my very first album (Schools Out)..which she very kindly does (from Listen Records in Cambridge Street)....imagine my horror when I take the LP out of the very nice desk-type sleeve, and instead of a white paper cover round the vinyl, its a pair of paper womens underwear! Arrgggghhhh. Great days! However, it is a top notch LP, and I love it (still do). Over the next year or so, I aquire more AC LP's....including the swift cash-in "School Days" (what a rip off name, eh?) which was, in fact, the first 2 LP's (Easy Action / Pretties For You) re-packaged. BUT, you should check em out (as pointed out on these boards many times, cos they are great!). So, I'm the AC aficianado....lots of my pals are into Slade, Bowie etc etc. A great time for daft pop music. I think my old man always had an ear for some decent music (despite a big fave for him being "Scottish Dance Music" which was always on on a Saturday at 6pm right after the football on the radio. Some of his stuff was eclectic to say the least (which I loved!), and I'm gonna pick one right here....he used to have this LP, and I have to admit that I did like some of it.... ("Morris On"...no You Tube)

Image

So, life continues in the Alice Cooper household....although, I did lose interest (like AC's band, apparently ...) from "Muscle Of Love" on I guess. I'm now also allowed to go to football games by myself and have a great old time despite (or because of!) all of the fighting / hooliganism on the terraces in the 70s....Again, the hostile bigotry surrounding the "big 2" Glasgow teams was right off-putting, so following our local team was the way to go for us young oiks (and what a team they had in the 70's......Willie Pettigrew, Joe Wark etc etc. Magic!). Again, I still keep in touch with some good pals from those days.
Our holiday's were normally spend at the UK seaside, and one year (at Oban), I got this...on cassette! It was played over and over again....and I did love it at the time ("Queen 2")



I liked the harder rock side of things, I guess...hell, I even bought the 1st Boston LP!
I can also recall really enjoying Alan Freemans Saturday afternoon show....for some reason I can remember listening in the back garden and loving Lone Star's "Bells Of Berlin" from the "Firing on All Six" LP! What's that all about? (I never bought it). Aged 13, my pal Colin (still one of my best friends) got me a ticket to my 1st ever Gig - Uriah Heep (supported by Woody Woodmanses U-Boat) at the legendary Glasgow Apollo (we drank beer, and you could buy all cool badges......people forget that stuff like decent band badges were hard to come by in mid 70's..sometimes you had to go to a gig to get that stuff from the bootleggers outside.....)
And then, a big change kinda crept up in early 1977....not being a music press purchaser at that point (although I think I can remember seeing some imported music mag (Creem?) in our local newsagent which has some New York Dolls story????) I didn't have a clue about this so called "Punk" movement which was happening in far away London (I can't even recall the Grundy TV thing). There was some bloke who had an LP by a weird looking group called the "Stranglers", and this style was called "punk". Fuck, they had short hair! And drainpipe jeans! (this was totally outrageous at the time,,,hard to believe, I know). Wwwwwooooaaahhhhhhhhh!!! Then, my parents were visiting the parents of my (older) pal, Iain...he always had a great record collection and, as he was out on that Saturday nite, I got to play some of his records.....I'll never forget that at the very front of his pile of LP's was Dr Feelgoods "Stupidity" album...I was shocked! Again, aome weird looking people with short hair ! (I know this sounds crazy now...) Hmmmmmm, something radical was clearly going on.......
Next thing was all the publicity surrounding the release of the Pistols "God Save The Queen"....we heard 'cos it made the daily papers...the single would be officially banned..we had to buy it! Upon release, we rushed to buy this prohibited disc (which, obviously, we hadn't heard.....). And failed. I came home with my 1st "Punk" 45......The Jam's "In The City" which I loved and played and played. The first Pistols record I heard on the radio (Radio Luxembourg, fact fans) was "Pretty Vacant" from that summer...I still remember hearing it and how great and thrilling it sounded! I cut my hair. I sourced non-flared (!) jeans (not easy)...and that was it! Over that summer, we become "Punks" and all the old records (well, apart from AC....) are binned. The old Brutus jeans and Simon shirts are chucked out. Went to see some great shows....The Ramones, The Stranglers, The Clash, Rezillos, Buzzcocks etc etc. At this time, I started buying "Sounds" weekly mag to find out more about records and gigs...I found out that The John Peel show on Radio One was THE place to hear all the new stuff, and I never looked back. I was also introduced to Reggae at this time - thru Peel and at all the Punk shows.....loved it! Especially the heavy Dub blasting out VERY LOUD at all the punk shows. Culture's "Two Sevens Clash" was purchased and remains a fave to this day. Around this time, a lot of time was spent hanging around certain record shops in Glasgow (Jeemo's Listen Records and Bruce's Records) with a whole bunch of the punks of the day....(I know Bobby Gillespie and Alan McGee were also there). Anyhoo, some Dub, here:



The Peel show also played some, uh, eclectic stuff which was always great,,,,especially a Scottish bloke called Ivor Cutler....it was so mad, that even my dad liked him! I bought "Jammy Smears" Here is Ivor:




So, next thing is that my pal Iain (a few years older) if fafing about with a cream Fender Strat copy, and announces that he has formed A BAND (!) with some of his pals from school. This is the most exciting thing ever!!!! We get to hang around with them at rehearsal and roadie for them at some local gigs. They are called The Verve (no, not that one), and kind of pre-dated the Mod revival which came later, as they did play some Who covers etc etc. (The Jolt were another local band who had been going slighly longer, and they got signed to Polydor!). The Verve could play very good pretty quick and even had a bunch of more than decent self-penned tunes! Any they attracted some chicks and we got to drink beer! Woooaaaahhhhhhhhh! I need a piece of this, so I persude my mum to get me a guitar (a used black "Avon" Les Paul copy...for about £40 which was a lot then). Having no clue how to play, I ask Iain Verve to show me how. He shows me the "E" chord shape and how to make a barre,,,,,thus you can play almost anything in a major key.....so, I'm off (still no amp, though...). Me and the other Verve roadies form our own punk band,,,The Scream. First song rehearsed was The Buzzcocks "Boredom" and we wrote quite a few original songs (which were mostly derivative rubbish.....I have it on good authority that Paul McCartney was not having sleepless nights at that time...). We got to play a few local pub gigs supporting Verve etc (although we were 15/16 and under age!) which was GREAT fun. We even went into the studio (owned by Middle Of The Road!) to produce our own demo tape which was rubbish. We almost supported the Angelic Upstarts at The Bungalow in Paisley and that was about it (we played once with "H2O" of "Dream to Sleep" hit 45 or something fame). At a summer festival in our town, we got to play to quite a crowd....I heard years later that Norman Blake out of The Fannies and the Bellshill punk crowd were there...and they got chased out of town! Ha! What he though about us, I don't know. One of the other local bands that played was called "Zoom Lenz",,,they were prog, but then suddenly turned into a decent Magazine-influenced band. They released a great single which, improbably, got played on the Old Grey Whistle Test (and played on the John Peel show, natch). The next few years, I dabbled in more bands*, having a great old time. I wanted to get an apprentice job same as all my pals, but I failed all of the interviews / entrance tests! So, I stayed on at school an extra year with no idea what to do....I wasn't really clever enough to go on to further education (and I didn't want to.....which I really regret now), but I managed to get an office job for a new-fangled "electronics" company who were Japanese...I'm still working for a division of that company today (a la James Williamson - punk guitar shredder to exec at huge Japanese Corporation ha ha ha). BTW, around this time I purchased The Transmitters seminal "24 Hours" LP......great stuff Yomp!
Also around this time, I remember going to see Motorhead ...(the"No Sleep" tour)....As we were all Punks and Skinheads, no one would go with me in case we all got beat up by Bikers / Metal guys! So I went myself, and had a great time.......what a weirdo. This was quite a violent time as I am sure some UK posters will remember...what I guess was "The Punk Wars" ...and the rest - regular fights all the time with punks, mods, skins, bikers, metal guys and just your regular Psycho's (think Begbie from Trainspotting...). In the 80's I was also listening to stuff like On-U-Sound, The Birthday Party, Husker Du, APB and very early hip-hop which was really great. First time I heard "The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash on The Wheels Of Steel", I really could not believe how good and innovative it was. Making a record from other peoples records,,,,,cool! At that time, I was promoted and moved down to Reading for a while (saw a Peel "Disco" there and met the great man), another huge favourite was Robert Wyatt, and his "Shipbuilding" 45 can (and did) move me to tears : (Robert Wyatt : Shipbuilding) :

[youtube]B6T9qp9XbRY&playnext=1&list=PLC79E024A66FF2906[/youtube]


In the 2nd half of the 80's, I moved back up to central Scotland and got married (a big mistake)..had 2 smashing daughters in the early 90's then eventually split from then wife.
My dad suddenly died around this time, too, so all in all a traumatic time. I was back in my old house, in my old room, staying with my mum, and looking after the 2 young kids as I has shared custody - in a funny way, it was great for my mum, as she loved the company and was seeing the kids more.

It was around this time that (thanks to J.Default!)I met Gillian..the future Mrs Rory. My life had changed overnight (again). It was (and is) - great! Gillian and I got married in Vegas in 99, and we now have 2 lovely kids who get on great with their elder step-sisters. Musically, at the start of the 90's there was a lot of great CD re-issues coming out (Beefheart, Nick Drake etc etc).....and I was getting into a lot of Waits, too....especially this : (Tom Waits : "I Hope That I don't Fall in Love With You")



Around 2002, I was faffing about on the net, and noticed that Mojo Magazine were on line and that they had a discussion forum. Very interesting - after a while lurking, I eventually had to register in order to discuss some issue regarding B-A-D. Here we are 9 years later, and it's still great! I've met many folks from this board (even Jimbo in JPN and Teabag / Mudshark in Singapore) and had a great time every time......top notch!

My mum died suddenly in 2008, so I have now inherited our old house, and let it out which works great for us. Still funny to go back there, though...

One book : "Punk Rock" by John Robb out of The Membranes / Goldblade. One you can easily re-read once in a while. You need to get it, kids! Go on....

One thing : my guitar

And I bet you thought it would be all Punk records, eh?
Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Heh heh

* Note : one of these bands (48hrs) featured a great pal of mine and Johnny Defaults called Gerry McKay who was our vocalist. Sadly, Gerry died very young - from Leukemia in 1987. I know all of the above will likely read as a rambling mess, but I would really like to dedicate my reminicences to him. I still think about him a lot all these years later. I'm sure Johnny Default will back me up on that as JD also played in some local bands with him.

Here's to ya Gerry!

Your Pal,
R. Bellows
Krusty : "But you gotta come back Mel, we're a team!"
Mel : "No, Krusty. You always treated me rather shabbily. On our last show, you poured liquid nitrogen down my pants and cracked my buttocks with a hammer."

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Jock » 23 Aug 2011, 22:09

Guid wan Boab.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby kath » 23 Aug 2011, 22:18

another wonderful read.

a hint of my overriding obliviousness in the grand scheme of things: finally, i know what all mod cons means.

i was about the same age when i first heard alice, and it changed me forever, too. yeah, muscle of love was the definite dropoff (although i still love the track 'hard hearted alice'. sigh.) gotta say as solo alice goes, welcome to my nightmare is a worthy thing, worth pickin him back up, if only for a moment.

but posting that early queen... yesyesyes. (and yes, i am shuttin up on the rabid queen freak front.)

i had a weird yute, in some ways, culturally open, in other ways, extremely isolated and in my own lil pocket. punk didn't reach me til college, circa 80, 81. but i distinctly remember being traumatized when guys started cutting their hair. i was torn up over it. i'm not sure i've ever really adjusted.

>>>>I have it on good authority that Paul McCartney was not having sleepless nights at that time<<< mwhahahaa.

just for the record: "rambly mess" huh? i'm all over rambly messes.

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby der nister » 24 Aug 2011, 04:05

perfect bookend to Beebsy's remembrances, both really great
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Corporate whore » 24 Aug 2011, 09:21

I'd totally forgotten about 'Four Wheels On My Wagon', but it played a part in my childhood too, although strangly I don't recall the chorus bit at all, just the 'verses'

And now its stuck in my head

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Jeemo » 24 Aug 2011, 10:25

Great stuff Bob.

Just a few thoughts. It wasnt "Jeemo's Listen Records" I only worked there. I will cover it in more detail when I do mine.

The Bungalow Bar is about half a mile from my house, it is now a Tapas/Pizza restuarant. More to come on that.

H20 - I Dream to Sleep, the lead singer Ian ???? went to Paisley Tech, and played at the 21st birthday party of a work mate.

The Jolt - I worked with a guy that was in them, he joined to make them a four piece. Kevin something, nice guy.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Rory Bellows » 24 Aug 2011, 10:36

Just a few thoughts. It wasnt "Jeemo's Listen Records" I only worked there. I will cover it in more detail when I do mine.



Aye, I know.......was just trying to be funny there, Jeemster ;)
Krusty : "But you gotta come back Mel, we're a team!"

Mel : "No, Krusty. You always treated me rather shabbily. On our last show, you poured liquid nitrogen down my pants and cracked my buttocks with a hammer."

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby never/ever » 24 Aug 2011, 10:56

Great read- it's fantastic to get such a cross-cultural bunch of stuff to liste to.

I did find one Morris On-track on the Toob tho'

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby johnnydefault » 24 Aug 2011, 13:35

Great stuff Bob. Very emulsional reading some of that.

Tulloch Road - looking back on it - was pretty decent to grow up on. Most folk knew the score and it was pretty easy to avoid the numpties. The local music scene and the friendships that it threw up were amazing a bit later on as well.

A couple of wee embellishments

The late and very great Gerry McKay a year or so prior to his illness.
Image

Rory Bellows (left) singing at the megabash - a fundraiser for Gerry initially it was to send him and his father to Lourdes (unfortunately Gerry was too ill to go)
Image

The leg-endary Zoom Lens - singer songwriter Wuli Shearer on the right (father of Catriona the BBC Scotland Newsreader)
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The oft-mentioned 'Iain' from the original Verve playing in the local pub The Treble J - or as it was affectionatel known - the flying tumbler
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and Eric from said band - probably playing Bobs black Avon. On the right is bassist Colin Bridges (Wee Joe) - another of our friends who passed away way too young.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Copehead » 24 Aug 2011, 15:09

corporate whore wrote:I'd totally forgotten about 'Four Wheels On My Wagon', but it played a part in my childhood too, although strangly I don't recall the chorus bit at all, just the 'verses'

And now its stuck in my head

Bastard


Me too, but that sounds like a bowdlerised version with the nasty bits about the Cherokees edited out, hence the jumps

There was a line:

Things look bad they look mad, before the But I'm singing a happy song bit that has been cut oyr
Nazi Punks, Nazi Punks, Nazi Punks, Fuck Off

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby McBastard » 24 Aug 2011, 18:16

That's smashing Bob. Nice footnotes from the boy down the road into the bargain.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Pigpen » 24 Aug 2011, 19:47

What a great read. A nice snapshot. I really enjoyed...
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Belle Lettre » 24 Aug 2011, 19:59

Pure dead brilliant. :)
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby BlueMeanie » 26 Aug 2011, 13:59

What a great read young Bellows. Good to see Ivor Cutler too.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Corporate whore » 26 Aug 2011, 14:28

BlueMeanie wrote:What a great read young Bellows. Good to see Ivor Cutler too.


That Cutler track is ace. I have a book of his petry somewhere, I must dig it out again.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby BlueMeanie » 26 Aug 2011, 17:00

I have quite a few. All excellent, if a little bizarre!
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby the masked man » 26 Sep 2011, 22:00

Wow! This is yet another gripping read! I love all of this series.

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby Neil Jung » 30 Sep 2011, 17:30

That was a great read - thanks for taking the time to post it.

Fluff had a thing for Lone Star and often played the session recordings they did which were seen as better than the Roy Thomas Baker (Queen) produced debut. The 2nd album was good - the guitarist later joined UFO me thinks.
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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby trans-chigley express » 01 Oct 2011, 05:45

Rory Bellows wrote: (but no heating anywhere else,,,,I remember the bedroom windows used to regularly freeze up on the inside! Arrggghhhh).


I lived in a council house like that too. I would have to chip away the ice from the window in order to see out. I can't imagine such cold these days when I put on fleece if the temperature drops to +20C!

My best friend from next door was also sent to a different school because he was catholic. I moved house soon after and our paths never crossed but I still remember him well. My first best mate despite being an Evertonian!

Fantastic read, thanks rory.

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Re: Dersert Island Disks : Rory Bellows Aug 24th

Postby LeBaron » 11 Dec 2011, 19:25

McBastard wrote:That's smashing Bob. Nice footnotes from the boy down the road into the bargain.


Indeed. Another great read -- a vivid rendering of a place foreign to me. The pictures from JD were a nice bonus!
Well done, gents!
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