By 1969, Newcastle’s legendary Club A’Gogo had come to an end. A new club called ‘Change Is’ opened that year on Bath Lane, Newcastle and featured a mixture of cabaret type acts, bands and dancing. The Mayfair Ballroom continued to be one of the most popular venues in Newcastle with regular appearances by the top touring bands of the day. The Bay Hotel, the Locarno Ballroom on Newcastle Road and the Rink Ballroom in Park Lane were all popular venues in Sunderland and attracted top national and international bands.

Progressive music was starting to become popular and was covered widely by local bands. Music from bands such as Blood, Sweat & Tears, Chicago Transit Authority (later Chicago), Jethro Tull, Santana and Spirit could be heard in clubs and at dances.

January

North east gigs

6/1/69      Family appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
6/1/69      Don Partridge appears at Wetherells, Sunderland
10/1/69    Simon Dupree &The Big Sound appear at Annabels, Sunderland
12/1/69    Jethro Tull appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
13/1/69    Free appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
17/1/69    Amen Corner appear at Locarno, Sunderland
20/1/69    Harmony Grass appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
20/1/69    Solomon King appears at La Strada, Sunderland
26/1/69    Family, Gun and Bonzo Dog Band appear at City Hall, Newcastle
27/1/69    Keef Hartley appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
28/1/69    Barry Ryan appears at Top Rank, Sunderland
31/1/69    Geno Washington and Cupid’s Inspiration appear at the Locarno, Sunderland

Happening Elsewhere

The Beatles perform an impromptu concert on the roof of Apple HQ in Saville Row, London to complete the filming of their “Let It Be” movie.

U.S Police confiscate thirty thousand copies of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ album, declaring the cover to be “pornographic”.

The two virgins - John and Yoko

The two virgins – John and Yoko

With Traffic having split when Steve Winwood quit the previous month, keyboardist Wynder K Frog (Mick Weaver) joins Capaldi, Mason and Wood. They are briefly known as Wooden Frog but they split after a series of unproductive rehearsals and a few uninspired live appearances.

Peter Frampton announces that he is leaving The Herd.

Noel Redding forms a new band, Fat Mattress, but denies that he is leaving the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Jimi Hendrix appears on the BBC TV show ‘A Happening For Lulu’. He is supposed to perform ‘Hey Joe’ but partway through the song he leads the Experience into an unrehearsed rendition of “Sunshine Of Your Love” in tribute to the recently defunct Cream. Lulu is left helpless in the wings as she waits in vain to perform her show finale. Hendrix gleefully shouts “We’re being thrown off the air” as the shows producers cut the broadcast. TV producers accuse Hendrix of being arrogant.

Martin Barre is installed as Jethro Tull’s new guitarist.

Pete Giles quits Giles, Giles and Fripp. The group replace him with Greg Lake (ex-Shy Limbs/ The Gods) and change their name to King Crimson.

On 18th January former Beatles drummer Pete Best wins a defamation lawsuit against The Beatles.

In the charts

1969 chart

____________________________________________________________

February

North east gigs

1/2/69      The Who and Junco Partners appear at Newcastle University
2/2/69      The Who appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
2/2/69      Pink Floyd appear at the Bay Hotel, Sunderland
3/2/69      Pretty Things appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
3/2/69      Marmalade appear at the Fiesta, Stockton
3/2/69      The Foundations appear at Annabels, Sunderland
3/2/69      Dave Berry & The Cruisers appear at La Strada, Sunderland
5/2/69      Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
6/2/69      Moby Grape and Nice appear at Newcastle City Hall
7/2/69      The Nice appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
7/2/69      The Web appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
10/2/69    Karl Denver Trio appear at La Strada, Sunderland
13/2/69    The Casuals appear at the Fiesta, Stockton
14/2/69    The Coasters appear at Annabels, Sunderland
17/2/69    Pink Floyd appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
17/2/69    The Herd appear at Annabels, Sunderland
17/2/69    The Fortunes appear at Wetherells, Sunderland
17/2/69    Acker Bilk appears at La Strada, Sunderland
21/2/69    Ferris Wheel appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
21/2/69    Love Affair and Pleasure Machine appear at Locarno, Sunderland
22/2/69    Circus appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
22/2/69    Deep Purple appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
23/2/69 to 1/3/69    King Crimson appear at Change Is, Newcastle
24/2/69    Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
24/2/69    Ten Years After appear at Newcastle City Hall
26/2/69    Move appear at the Fiesta, Stockton
28/2/69    The Herd appear at the Fiesta, Stockton
28/2/69    Writing On The Wall appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
29/2/69    Simon Dupree & The Big Sound appear at the Fiesta, Stockton

My gigs (with Sneeze)

Fri 07/02/1969 Quay Club, Newcastle
Sat 08/02/1969 Stanley RAOB
Thu 13/02/1969 Cromer Avenue YC, Low Fell
Fri 14/02/1969 Jarrow YMCA
Sat 15/02/1969 Rex Hotel, Whitley Bay
Sun 16/02/1969 Stanley Youth Club
Thu 20/02/1969 Shildon Railway Institute
Fri 21/02/1969 Hirst Central, Ashington
Sat 22/02/1969 Heworth Welfare
Sun 23/02/1969 Impulse Studio (recording)
Wed 26/02/1969 Belvedere, Bishop Aukland
Thu 27/02/1969 Milvain Club, Newcastle
Fri 28/02/1969 Ponteland Training College

Happening Elsewhere

On 3rd February John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr hire Allen Klein as The Beatles new business manager against the wishes of Paul McCartney. McCartney hires Linda Eastman’s father’s law firm Eastman & Eastman as a general legal counsel for Apple.

On 18th February Maurice Gibbs of the Bee Gees marries Lulu.

Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ginger Baker announce the formation of a new ‘supergroup’, Blind Faith.

Blind Faith

Blind Faith

Steve Marriott quits The Small Faces.

The Soft Machine reforms as a trio, with their former Roadie and ex-Wilde Flower Hugh Hopper replacing Kevin Ayers on bass. Their music becomes ever more jazz-rock orientated and experimental, but Robert Wyatt’s unique vocal style ensures that they remain accessible to rock fans.

In the charts

1      Albatross – Fleetwood Mac
10    (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice – Amen Corner
20    Mrs Robinson (EP) – Simon & Garfunkel

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March

North east gigs

1/3/69      Episode Six appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
3/3/69      Black Sabbath and Van Der Graaf Generator appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
8/3/69      Yes appear at Empire Theatre, Sunderland
10/3/69    Spirit Of John Morgan appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
13/3/69    Chicken Shack, Spooky Tooth, Deep Purple appear at Newcastle City Hall
13/3/69    Deep Purple, Chicken Shack and Spooky Tooth appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
16/3/69    Incredible String Band appear at Newcastle City Hall
17/3/69    Spooky Tooth appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
17/3/69    Genesis appear at Club Rokoko, Sunderland
17/3/69    Desmond Decker & The Aces appear at Annabels, Sunderland
21/3/69    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown appear at Locarno, Sunderland
22/3/69    Leviathan appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
24/3/69    Amen Corner appear at Top Rank, Sunderland
24/3/69    Country Joe & The Fish appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
26/3/69    Stevie Wonder, Foundations appear at ABC, Stockton
28/3/69    Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
30/3/69    Free appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
31/3/69    Idle Race appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland

Free appear at Peterlee's Argus Butterfly this month

Free appear at Peterlee’s Argus Butterfly this month

My Gigs (with Sneeze)

Sat 01/03/1969 Haggerston Castle
Mon 03/03/1969 Bedlington Market Place
Thu 06/03/1969 Newbiggin Hall
Fri 07/03/1969 Havelock Hall University
Sat 08/03/1969 St Johns, Whitley Bay
Sun 09/03/1969 St Cuthberts, Seaham
Fri 14/03/1969 Chantry YC, Morpeth
Sat 15/03/1969 Haggerston Castle
Sun 16/03/1969 Townley Arms
Thu 20/03/1969 Newton Aycliffe YC
Fri 21/03/1969 Deneside Youth Centre
Sat 22/03/1969 Haggerston Castle
Sun 23/03/1969 Impulse Studio (recording)
Tue 25/03/1969 Bedlington County School
Wed 26/03/1969 Newbiggin Hall
Thu 27/03/1969 Newburn Memorial Hall
Fri 28/03/1969 Hirst Central, Ashington
Sat 29/03/1969 Haggerston Castle
Sun 30/03/1969 St Patricks, Consett
Mon 31/03/1969 Locarno Ballroom, Sunderland

Happening Elsewhere

On 12th March Paul McCartney marries Linda Eastman in London.

On 20th March John Lennon marries Yoko Ono in a ten minute ceremony in the British Consulate Office, Gibraltar.

Robin Gibb quits the Bee Gees.

The Troggs split up. (They reform in 1972)

The 14th annual Eurovision Song Contest is held in Madrid on 29th March. The first place is tied four way and includes ‘Boom Bang-a-bang’ sung by Lulu.

In the charts

1       Where Do You Go To My Lovely – Peter Sarstedt
10     First Of May – Bee Gees
20     Albatross – Fleetwood Mac

_____________________________________________________________

April

North east gigs

11/4/69    Plastic Penny appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
13/4/69    Hollies appear at Showboat, Middlesbrough
14/4/69    Terry Reid appears at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
19/4/69    Hard Meat appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
21/4/69    Liverpool Scene appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
23/4/69    BB King, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee and Fleetwood Mac appear at Newcastle City Hall
25/4/69    Fairport Convention appear at Sunderland Technical College
26/4/69    Eyes Of Blue appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
28/4/69    The Who appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland

My gigs (with Sneeze)

Sat 05/04/1969 Winnybank Youth Club
Sun 06/04/1969 Belmont WMC
Thu 10/04/1969 Shildon Railway Institute
Fri 11/04/1969 Washington
Sat 12/04/1969 All Saints Church
Mon 14/04/1969 Stanley RAOB
Thu 17/04/1969 Benton Youth Club
Fri 18/04/1969 Jarrow YMCA
Sat 19/04/1969 Barnard Castle YMCA
Sun 20/04/1969 St Dominics, Newcastle
Fri 25/04/1969 Sacred Hearts, Hartlepool
Sat 26/04/1969 Hotspur, Whitley Bay
Sun 27/04/1969 St Cuthberts, Seaham
Mon 28/04/1969 Peterlee Youth Club

Happening Elsewhere

On 22nd April The Who perform the complete version of the rock opera ‘Tommy’ at Dolton, Devon.

Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton announce the formation of Humbie Pie. The Melody Maker headlines “Pop Giants Supergroup”. The other group members are Greg Ridley, who had quit Spooky Tooth, on bass and former Apostolic Intervention drummer Jerry Shirley.

Humble pie

Humble pie

Henry Spinetti replaces Andrew Steele as drummer with The Herd.

Rick Grech quits Family on the eve of a U.S tour to join ‘supergroup’ Blind Faith. Ex-New Animals bassist John Weider replaces him. Family’s tour proves disastrous and is cancelled after a few dates when singer Roger Chapman has his visa revoked.

In the charts

1       I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
10     Windmills Of Your Mind – Noel Harrison
20     First Of May – Bee Gees

_____________________________________________________________

May

North east gigs

5/5/69      Keef Hartley appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
4/5/69      Steam Hammer appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
9/5/69      Mary Wells appears at Annabels, Sunderland
10/5/69    Alan Bown appear at Lamp Glass Cellar, Ashington
11/5/69    Keef Hartley appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
11/5/69    Jethro Tull appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
12/5/69    Bobby Vee appears at Wetherells, Sunderland
12/5/69    Chicken Shack appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
14/5/69    Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and Clouds appear at Newcastle City Hall
16/5/69    Fleetwood Mac appear at Locarno, Sunderland
18/5/69    Taste appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
19/5/69    Breakthru appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
22/5/69    The Tremeloes appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
25/5/69    Clouds appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
26/5/69    Savoy Brown and This years Girl appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
26/5/69    Kiki Dee appears at Wetherells, Sunderland
26/5/69    Alan Bown appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)

Jethro Tull make several appearances in the north east in May

Jethro Tull make several appearances in the north east in May

My gigs (with Sneeze)

Fri 02/05/1969 Northern Counties College
Sun 04/05/1969 Portland Hotel, Ashington
Wed 07/05/1969 Peterlee WMC
Thu 08/05/1969 Shildon Railway Institute
Fri 09/05/1969 Gosforth Rugby Club
Sat 10/05/1969 Peterlee Sports and Social Club
Sun 11/05/1969 Argus Butterfly, Peterlee Keef Hartley
Wed 14/05/1969 Bedlington YMCA
Fri 16/05/1969 Jarrow YMCA
Sat 17/05/1969 Quay Club / Change Is
Wed 21/05/1969 Guidepost Youth Club
Thu 22/05/1969 Boldon Community Centre
Fri 23/05/1969 Seaham Northsea School
Sat 24/05/1969 Rio Grande Cavern Club
Mon 26/05/1969 Barnard Castle YMCA
Fri 30/05/1969 Banquetting Hall, Newcastle
Sat 31/05/1969 Cellar Club, Ashington

Happening Elsewhere

Martin Lamble, drummer with Fairport Convention, is killed when the band’s van crashes on the M1 in the early hours of the morning as they return from a gig at Mothers club in Birmingham. Ashley Hutchings and Richard Thompson are injured while designer Jeannie Franklin (Thompson’s girlfriend) is also killed. Roadie Harvey Bramham, who had fallen asleep at the wheel, is later prosecuted for “dangerous driving” and serves a prison term.

Pete Townsend is arrested and charged with assault after knocking a plainclothes policeman off the stage at New York’s Fillmore East (on 16th May. The cop had been trying to explain that the show had to be stopped owing to a fire. Townsend is bailed the following day.

In the charts

1      Get Back – Beatles (with Billy Preston)
10    Dizzy – Tommy Roe
20    I’m Living In Shame – Diana Ross & The Supremes

_____________________________________________________________

June

North east gigs

2/6/69      Yes appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
5/6/69      The Casuals and Foundations appear at Locarno, Sunderland
6/6/69      Spirit Of John Morgan appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
9/6/69      Mud appear at Wetherells, Sunderland
9/6/69      Three Dog Night appear at bay Hotel, Sunderland
12/6/69    Marmalade appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
13/6/69    Jethro Tull appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
16/6/69    The Nice appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
17/6/69    Jethro Tull appear at Middlesbrough Town Hall
19/6/69    Sam The Sham appear at Annabels, Sunderland
20/6/69    Led Zeppelin, Blodwyn Pig and Liverpool Scene appear at Newcastle City Hall
20/6/69    Jimmy James & The Vagabonds appered at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
23/6/69    Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon appear at Annabels, Sunderland
23/6/69    Aynsley Dunbar appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
26/6/69    Pricipal Edwards Magic Theatre appear at Locarno, Sunderland
27/6/69    Tyrannosaurus Rex and Free appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
30/6/69    Yes appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
30/6/69    Long John Baldry appear at Wetherells, Sunderland

Tyrannosaurus Rex appear at the Bay Hotel, Sunderland on 27th June

Tyrannosaurus Rex appear at the Bay Hotel, Sunderland on 27th June

My gigs (with Sneeze)

Sun 01/06/1969 Change Is
Mon 02/06/1969 Change Is
Tue 03/06/1969 Change Is
Wed 04/06/1969 Change Is
Thu 05/06/1969 Change Is
Fri 06/06/1969 Change Is
Sat 07/06/1969 Change Is
Mon 09/06/1969 Bedlington Social Club
Thu 12/06/1969 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle Marmalade, Animal Farm
Fri 13/06/1969 Whitley Bay, YMCA
Fri 20/06/1969 Newcastle University
Sat 21/06/1969 St Johns, Whitley Bay
Thu 26/06/1969 Shotley Bridge Victory Club
Fri 27/06/1969 Jarrow YMCA
Sat 28/06/1969 Quay Club, Newcastle
Mon 30/06/1969 Rex Hotel, Whitley Bay

Happening Elsewhere

on 2nd June John Lennon and Yoko Ono host a ‘bed-in’ at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. The couple records the song ‘Give Peace A Chance’ live in their suite with Tommy Smothers, Timothy Leary and several others.

Brian Jones quits The Rolling Stones over ‘musical differences’. Mick Taylor, guitarist with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers is announced as Jones replacement.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience disbands following their appearance at the Denver Pop Festival.

Drummer Dave Hynes leaves the Spencer Davis Group. North east drummer, Nigel Olsson from Plastic Penny replaces him.

Mick Taylor joins the Rolling Stones.

Manfred Mann split up. Manfred and Mike Hugg work on advertising jingles, including the famous “full of fitness food” campaign for Ski yoghurt.

Van Der Graaf Generator split up, (not for the first or last time).

In the charts

1      The Ballad Of John And Yoko – Beatles
10    The Boxer – Simon & Garfunkel
20    Behind A Painted Smile – Isley Brothers
_____________________________________________________________

July

North east gigs

3/7/69       The Equals appear at Locarno, Sunderland
7/7/69        Chicken Shack appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
11/7/69     Writing On The Wall appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
11/7/69     The Herd appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
14/7/69     Colosseum appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
18/7/69     White Trash appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
18/7/69     Deep Purple and Thunderclap Newman appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
18/7/69     Marsha Hunt and White Trash appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
18/7/69     The Tremeloes appear at Top Rank, Sunderland
21/7/69     Family appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
24/7/69     The Crystals appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
25/7/69     Third Ear Band appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
25/7/69     Bill Hayley & The Comets appear at Annabels, Sunderland
26/7/69     Yes appear at Kirklevington Country Club
27/7/69     The Who appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
27/7/69     The Move appear at Wetherells, Sunderland
28/7/69     The Who appear at the Locarno, Sunderland

Happening Elsewhere

On 2nd July, after spending the day with his Swedish girlfriend, Anna Wohlin, ex-Rolling Stones guitarist, Brian Jones is found dead in the swimming pool that evening at his home – Cotchford Farm, Sussex.

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

On 5th July the Rolling Stones headline at a free concert in Hyde Park, London just three days after their former guitarist was found dead at his home. Also appearing at the concert are King Crimson, Thurd Ear Band, Screw, Family, Battered Ornaments and Alex Korner’s New Church. The vent attracts a crowd of between 250,000 and 500,0000 fans. It is the Stones’ first public concert in over two years, and is intended as an introduction to new guitarist, Mick Taylor. Circumstances inevitably changed following the death of former member Brian Jones days earlier..

The Beatles record their last ‘proper’ album, “Abbey Road”.

The Spencer Davis Group finally split-up.

Van Der Graaf Generator re-form!

Vocalist Jess Roden quits The Alan Bown group and is replaced by Robert Palmer from Yorkshire group The Mandrakes.

In the charts

1        Something In The Air – Thunderclap Newman
10     Give Peace A Chance – Plastic Ono Band
20     That’s The Way God Planned It – Billy Preston

_____________________________________________________________

August

North east gigs

8/8/69       Thunderclap Newman appear at the Showboat, Middlesbrough
13/8/69     Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and King Crimson appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
15/8/69     Deep Purple, The Gun and Doc K’s Blues Band at the Mayfair, Newcastle
17/8/69     Love Affair appear at Wetherells, Sunderland
22/8/69     Family and Grail appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
29/8/69     Liverpool Scene, The Mooche and Junco Partners appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
31/8/69     Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich appear at Wetherells, Sunderland

The Love Affair appear at Wetherell's, Sunderland. Their single 'Bringing On Back The Good Times' is in the UK charts

The Love Affair appear at Wetherell’s, Sunderland. Their single ‘Bringing On Back The Good Times’ is in the UK charts

Happening Elsewhere

Crazy World Of Arthur Brown members Vincent Crane and Carl Palmer form Atomic Rooster.

Vocalist Rod Evans and bassist Nick Simper are sacked by Deep Purple. Episode 6 members Ian Gillan and Roger Glover replace them.

In the charts

1       Honky Tonk Woman – Rolling Stones
10     Bringing On Back The Good Times – Love Affair
20     Curly – Move

_____________________________________________________________

September

North east gigs

1/9/69       Fat Mattress appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
1/9/69       5th Dimension appear at Manhattan Club, Sunderland
5/9/69       Soft Machine appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
5/9/69       The Fourmost appear at Wetherells, Sunderland
12/9/69     Free and Mott The Hoople appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
12/9/69     Family appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
13/9/69     Bonzo Dog Band appear at the Showboat, Middlesbrough
13/9/69     Yes appear at Kirklevington Country Club
14/9/69     Fleetwood Mac appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
15/9/69     Chicken Shack and Rubber Plant appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
19/9/69     Atomic Rooster appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
21/9/69     Deep Purple appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
22/9/69     The Casuals appear at Wetherells, Sunderland
22/9/69     Richard Kent Style and Georgia Quintet appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
25/9/69     Jethro Tull appear at Newcastle City Hall
26/9/69     Chicken Shack and Principle Edwards appear at Locarno, Sunderland
28/9/69     Eclection and Third Ear Band appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)
29/9/69     Principle Edwards Magic Theatre appear at the Locarno, Sunderland

Happening Elsewhere

Steve Took quits Tyrannosaurus Rex to “do his own thing”. Took is replaced by Micky Finn, who had replied to a Melody Maker advertisement seeking a “gentle guy who can play bongos, bass guitar and vocal harmony”.

Illinois University students publish articles reviving the rumour that Paul McCartney had been killed in a 1966 car crash and had been replaced by a look-alike. The articles claim that clues to McCartney’s supposed death in 1966 could be found among the lyrics and artwork of the Beatles’ recordings. Clue-hunting proved infectious and within a few weeks had become an international phenomenon. The ‘Paul is dead’ urban legend is born and continues for several decades.

Blind Faith split on completion of their U.S tour.

‘Stones In The Park’, Granada TV’s recording of the Rolling Stones performance at the Hyde Park free concert on 5th July is shown on UK TV. While the event was considered a memorable one by some critics, the general feeling was that it was not one of the Stones’ best performances, and the guitars played during the concert were out of tune. In a 1971 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Keith Richards evaluated their performance, “We played pretty bad until near the end, because we hadn’t played for years …. Nobody minded, because they just wanted to hear us play again.”

The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park

The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park

In the charts

1       Bad Moon Rising – Creedance Clearwater Revival
10     Good Morning Starshine – Cast Of Oliver
20     Cloud Nine – Temptations

_____________________________________________________________

October

North east gigs

2/10/69        Love Affair appear at The Rex Hotel, Whitley Bay
3/10/69        Barclay James Harvest and Savoy Brown appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
5/10/69        Simon Dupree and the Big Sound appear at the Showboat, Middlesbrough
6/10/69        Marmalade and the Tremeloes appear at Newcastle City Hall
6/10/69        Pretty Things appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
10/10/69     Nice appear at Newcastle City Hall
10/10/69     Fat Mattress appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
11/10/69     Yes appear at Newcastle University
13/10/69     Pete Brown & Piblokto appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
14/10/69     Colosseum appear at Newcastle City Hall
17/10/69     Family and Man appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
19/10/69     Grumbleweeds appear at La Strada, Sunderland
20/10/69     Writing On The Wall appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
20/10/69     Yes appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
21/10/69     The Troggs appear at Top Rank, Sunderland
24/10/69     Pink Floyd appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
24/10/69     Slade appear at Annabels, Sunderland
24/10/69     Manfred Mann Chapter Three appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
24/10/69     Humble Pie and David Bowie appear at Sunderland Empire
25/10/69     Free appear at Dunelm House, Durham
26/10/69     Incredible String Band appear at Newcastle City Hall
27/10/69     Roy Harper appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
27/10/69     Lovin’ Spoonful appear at Annabels, Sunderland
30/10/69     The Move appear at Top rank, Sunderland
30/10/69     Family and Raw Spirit appear at Rex Hotel, Whitley Bay
31/10/69     Savoy Brown and Barclay James Harvest appear at Locarno, Sunderland

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Thu 02/10/1969 Rex Hotel, Whitley Bay The Love Affair
Fri 17/10/1969 Eustace Percy Hall

Happening Elsewhere

The Jeff Beck Group finally splits after a turbulent couple of years.

The Hollies appear on “The Bobbie Gentry Show” playing country-rock songs.

The Small Faces officially replace Steve Marriott with Rod Stewart. Ron Wood comes in on guitar. The group shorten their name to The Faces (although in the U.S they are still billed as “Small Faces” until after the release of their first album in April 1970).

The Faces with Rod Stewart

The Faces with Rod Stewart

The newly shortened Hawkwind sign a deal with Liberty. They begin recording an album in November with ex-Pretty Thing Dick Taylor as producer.

After struggling along for most of the year without prize asset Peter Frampton, the remaining members of The Herd finally concede defeat and split up.
Tunbridge Wells based psych-pop group Kippington Lodge split up after releasing 5 flop singles. However, members Nick Lowe, Bob Andrews and Brinsley Schwarz immediately form much hyped pub-rock band ‘Brinsley Schwarz’.

Graham Bond is arrested at the Hampstead Country Club for alleged contempt of court arising out of bankruptcy charges made almost two years previously, before he left the UK for an extended stay in America. Bond is remanded in custody at Pentonville prison.

In the charts

1        Je T’Aime .. Moi No Plus – Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg
10     Throw Down A Line – Cliff Richard
20     Viva Bobby Joe – Equals

_____________________________________________________________

November

North east gigs

1/11/69        Sandie Shaw and The Troggs appear at Sunderland Empire
1/11/69        Pentangle appear at Newcastle City Hall
3/11/69        Principle Edwards Magic Theatre appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
4/11/69        Marv Johnson appears at Top Rank Sunderland
7/11/69        Edgar Broughton Band and Zoot Money appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
8/11/69        The Casuals appear at Annabels, Sunderland
10/11/69     The Pretty Things appear at Annabels, Sunderland
14/11/69     Family, Yes and Blossom Toes appear at Newcastle City Hall
14/11/69     Christine Perfect and Mighty Baby appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
18/11/69     Love Affair appear at Annabels, Sunderland
20/11/69     Move, Mr Poobah, Pleasure Machine appear at the Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
21/11/69     1910 Fruitgum Company appear at Annabels, Sunderland
21/11/69     Flowerpot Men appear at the Showboat, Middlesbrough
21/11/69     Free and Quintessence appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
23/11/69     Tyrannosaurus Rex appear at Newcastle City Hall
28/11/69     Graham Bond appear Annabels Sunderland
28/11/69     Tyrannossaurus Rex and Spirit Of John Morgan appear at the Locarno, Sunderland

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Sun 02/11/1969 Shildon Railway Institute
Thu 20/11/1969 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle The Move, Mr Poobah, Pleasure Machine

Happening Elsewhere

The Rolling Stones tour America for the first time in three years, opening at Fort Collins, Colorado.

Ex-Yardbirds Keith Relf and Jim McCarty return in new band Renaissance.

Sax/Flute player Jim King leaves Family. He is replaced by ex-Blossom Toes man John ‘Poli’ Palmer.

Semi-pro Yorkshire vocalist Robert Palmer (ex-Mandrakes) who has replaced Jess Roden in The Alan Bown! records new vocals for “The Alan Bown!” album but the U.S release retains Roden’s vocals.

Rumours about Paul McCartneys alleged death in 1966 revived by Illinois University students in September decline after a contemporary interview with McCartney is published in Life magazine.

In the charts

1        Sugar Sugar – The Archies
10     Love’s Been Good To Me – Frank Sinatra
20     Liquidator – Harry J & The All Stars

Cartoon characters  - The Archies top the UK charts with 'Sugar Sugar'

Cartoon characters – The Archies top the UK charts with ‘Sugar Sugar’


_____________________________________________________________

December

North east gigs

1/12/69      Hard Meat appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
4/12/69      Chicken Shack appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
5/12/69      Barclay James Harvest and Gin House appear at Newcastle Polytechnic
5/12/69       Deep Purple appear at Sunderland Polytechnic
5/12/69       Marv Johnson appears at Annabels, Sunderland
5/12/69      The Pretty Things appear at Seaburn Hall, Sunderland
5/12/69      Moody Blues and Trapeze appear at Odeon, Newcastle
8/12/69      Gypsy appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
9/12/69      Ten Years After, Stone The Crows and Blodwyn Pig appear at Newcastle City Hall
13/12/69    Edgar Broughton Band and Graham Bond appear at Newcastle City Hall
13/12/69    Family appear at Newcastle University
14/12/69    Family appear at Peterlee Jazz Cllub (Argus Butterfly)
14/12/69    The Searchers appear at La Strada, Sunderland
15/12/69    Rare Bird appear at the Locarno, Sunderland
16/12/69    Lou Christie appears at Top Rank, Sunderland
18/12/69    The Drifters appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
19/12/69    The Who appear at Newcastle City Hall
21/12/69    Juicy Lucy appear at Peterlee Jazz Club (Argus Butterfly)
21/12/69    Chicago Transit Authority appear at Newcastle City Hall
22/12/69    Gypsy appear at Locarno, Sunderland
23/12/69    Love Affair, Juncos and Sneeze appear at the Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
27/12/69    Yes appear at Kirklevington Country Club

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Sun 21/12/1969 Argus Butterfly, Peterlee Juicy Lucy
Tue 23/12/1969 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle The Love Affair, Junco Partners
Wed 31/12/1969 Freemasons Arms, Consett

Happening Elsewhere

The Rolling Stones headline at the infamous Altamont Free Festival attended by 300,000 people in California on 6th December. The festival which also featured Santana, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills,Nash & Young was marred by violence, heavy drug taking and the consequential murder of black teenager, Meredith Hunter who had been brandishing a gun in front of the stage when he was stabbed by a Hell’s Angel during the Stone’s performance.

The Stones at Altamont

The Stones at Altamont

Following the split of Blind Faith, Ginger Baker forms his Air Force.

Fat Mattress split up with leader Noel Redding reportedly suffering from nervous exhaustion. The other members re-group with Steve Hammond replacing Redding.

Keith Emerson of The Nice and Greg Lake of King Crimson hatch plans to form a new group while their current outfits play together at San Francisco’s Fillmore West.

In the charts

1       Sugar Sugar – The Archies
10     All I Have To Do Is Dream – Bobby Gentry & Glen Campbell
20     Nobody’s Child – Karen Young
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Go to 1965
Go to 1966
Go to 1967
Go to 1968
Go to 1970
Go to 1971
Go to 1972
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The main sources for the material on the Years pages are as follows: –

  • ‘A Promoter’s Tale – Rock At The Sharp End’ by Geoff Docherty: Omnibus Press ISBN 0-7119-9434-X
  • ‘The Sixties Sounds That Made The North East Swing” by Mel Kirtley: Wearside Books ISBN 0-9525380-3-2
  • “Ballroom Blitz” web site (not currently available)
  • Various web sites containing historic gig listings for individual touring bands of the late sixties and early seventies
    1. Ross Bilton

      February 20, 2017 •

      hello, my Dad (Ron) was the lead singer of the Georgia quintet, have you got any info or clippings, photos etc on this band or know of any places that might have? He is 70 next month so I am trying to gather some old photos etc.
      thanks for any help
      Ross Bilton

    2. Keith FIsher

      March 10, 2017 •

      Hi Rog. Catching up with your site once again: better and better; well done. Looking through my diary for 1970, it is astonishing to see just how many venues existed for local bands - but what is even more astonishing is this list of the national/famous bands that were gigging up here. Every night, on every street corner, you could find live music in abundance; and if you didn't have the money to watch the famous bands, there were plenty of great local bands that could be seen for free. I'm not sure that was really a good thing though, was it? Getting entertained for free I mean. The jury has always been out on that one. Ciao for now, Keith.


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