Inside Tracks…again

ON AIRHere’s the link to ‘listen again’ to Gary’s all time top ten if you missed it live on 101.8 WCRFM’s Inside Tracks Show

Thanks to Pete Whitehouse for the invite on and good to see Andy again who was engineering it…here’s my reasons for the songs …

Slade: Cuz I Luv You …1971 – I was 9 when this came out – I luved em’ coz they spoke loike we’ lol :-)…and wrote in their venacular and I remember the school teachers telling us kids off for writing in our books in the same lol :-)…for the next couple of years these were ‘Crazee’…boot boy footstompers…plus a girl I was at school with (Julie Mansell) had an uncle who was one of their roadies…how cool!

Isley Brothers: Tell Me This Is Just A Rumour Baby (CD) hearing this at Coneygre Youth Club, Tipton at a ‘Soul’ night I’d be about 13 / 14 …I’d more than likely heard the song many times before…but this night, seeing all these lads and lasses dancing to it…it was awesome and I knew why it was called ‘soul music’ 

The Jam: Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (CD) I sat looking on a punk from the outside for a while…trying to get to the nitty gritty of what it was about really…I was too young to ‘get it’ really – I wasn’t old enough to go and see these bands in clubs I was only 15 in 1977 and still a ‘soul boy’ really…but then I heard the Jam doing covers of old r&b / soul numbers like Back In My Arms Again and Sweet Soul Music (they were b-sides to their early singles) with a stick of dynamite stuck into them…then Tube Station came out in 1978 – it was my last year at school and I thought JESUS this is it…songs about real life…it was a stunning song wrapped in 3 minutes of pure society angst but with a class arrangement…it was an anthem for the times…one of many.  

The Clash: White Man In Hammersmith Palais (vinyl) simply one of the best songs ever written and one of the most important for me by a band from these shores…1978 there was so much great stuff coming out of the punk / new wave scene and this song with Joe singing about being a white guy attending reggae sound system gigs and it also blended punk drive with a reggae off beat…another true anthem of its time a very powerful song – politically and socially at the time and a big part of the Rock Against Racism scene and it just summed up the punky /reggae party cross over that Bob Marley highlighted as well. 

The Little Roosters: I Need A Witness (vinyl) featuring my long term music mucka from London Gary Lammin. I saw them at JB’s a few times around 1979/80 – they were a little London rockin’ r&b / rock n roll band that were produced by Joe Strummer of The Clash…and also featured at times a female backing vocalist…Alison Moyet 🙂 great live band who blew me away and set me on my music path. I was a drummer for the first few years of my music career and would have walked to London if I’d have had a chance to join these then lol 🙂

Small Faces: Afterglow (CD) my all time favourite band…I’d have walked bare foot on broken glass to have seen these live in the 60s…one of the UKs greatest. This is a brilliant song, band performance and vocal delivery…and when I saw Steve Marriott do this at JBs Dudley the first time he played there in the mid 80s that was it for me lol…if I’d have got run over on the way home etc I’d have died a happy contented man…my appreciation and love of Ronnie Lane as a song writer starts with his early partnership with Steve Marriott…and grows and grows…more to come 🙂 

The Faces: Three Buttoned Hand Me Down (CD) when Marriott left the Small Faces it seemed all over for the remaining members…but then this bit of music magic came out of the ashes…and for a short time one of the greatest bar room blues driven rock n roll bands ever, who at the time of this song were in their element…the good time loose bonhomie boozy style gave every gig a party feel…this style was always something many bands tried to emulate…but couldn pull it off…possibly the only other band being Slade! The Faces in my opinion both rock n rolled and also had a feel for the depths of music such as soul and folk…plus great musicians / singer-songwriters with character. 

The next two selections are from the same time scale really…the mid 80’s…it was the ‘Indie years’ and although I loved some of the bands…I wanted something that was a bit more soulful and earthy and rootsy…well when these two acts came on The Whistle Test I knew there was still a bit of life left in the roots of music 

Green On Red: Keep On Moving (vinyl) …just made me jump up off me sofa in me old flat…it was like Neil Young and Keith Richards had been given some youth serum lol :-)…they were from America…they were called Green On Red…I saw them play The Breedon Bar over Birmingham…they were everything 

Martin Stephenson & The Daintees: Crocodile Cryer (CD) …these were everything too…and they were from Newcastle…to say they were a breath of fresh air is a total understatement – no droning shoe gazing from these – pure unadulterated fun live …Martin Stephenson is truly one of these shores greates exponents of the ‘troubadour’ style…they were known to play for hours 🙂 …to become friends with Martin and get to record an EP with him and play gigs with him around the country is truly one of my happiest achievements…no fame…no fortune…but his respect is something I cherish. I have achieved that with Martin, Gary Lammin and a few others such as Steve Gibbons, Alan Tyler etc and if you’d haver told me that at 17 I’d have been satisfied…so anything else is a bonus 🙂 

Ronnie Lane & Ron Wood: Just For A Moment (vinyl) everything I do, everything I’ve learnt as a songwriter stems from Ronnie Lane’s influence…it is a source I continually touch base with. I could have listed just 10 Ronnie Lane songs for this lol :-)…but this particular one was introduced to me by Gary Lammin back in the early 80’s when I was staying with him and he asked me if I knew the album Mahoney’s Last Stand which was a film soundtrack that Ronnie Lane did with Ron Wood in the early 70s…I didn’t know the album…but I did from that day…this song was and is stunning and always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up – a simply lovely wonderfully crafted song and perfect delivery…:-)


Hope you enjoy the show 🙂

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