September 1970 saw the deaths of both Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. It was also the year that an announcement was made that the Beatles had officially broken up.

North east promoter Geoff Docherty continues to book top bands at the Locarno and Bay Hotel in Sunderland. Later in the year he also begins to promote gigs at the Mayfair Ballroom in Newcastle. A dance hall called the Viking at Seahouses, Northumberland becomes a popular north east venue. In Newcastle, the ‘Change Is’ night spot on Bath Lane continues to attract club goers.

January

North east gigs

01/1/70      Edgar Broughton and Principal Edwards appear at Locarno, Sunderland
01/1/70      Quintessence appears at the Mayfair, Newcastle
09/1/70      Manfred Man and Principal Edwards appear at Locarno, Sunderland
09/1/70      White Trash, The Windmill, The Sect and Sneeze appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
12/1/70     John Dummer’s Blues Band appear at Locarno, Sunderland
15/1/70     Led Zeppelin appear at Newcastle City Hall
16/1/70     Quintessence appear at Locarno, Sunderland
16/1/70     Fat Matress and Man appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
19/1/70     Stone The Crows appear at Locarno, Sunderland
21/1/70     Canned Heat and Renaissance appear at Newcastle City Hall
23/1/70     Family and Emily & Muff appear at Locarno, Sunderland
27/1/70     Sect, Junco Partners, Gorilla and Spyda appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
30/1/70     Ten Years After and Junco Partners appear at Locarno, Sunderland

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Fri 09/01/1970 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle White Trash, Windmill, Sect
Tue 13/01/1970 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle Traction, Good Lovin Band

Happening Elsewhere

The Beatles (minus Lennon) hold their final recording session to complete the ‘Let It Be’ soundtrack.

The Move announce plans to transform themselves into The Electric Light Orchestra.

Vocalist Carl Wayne quits The Move. Jeff Lynne replaces him, having elected to remain with The Idle Race when previously invited to join The Move the previous February. Lynne joins the group only after being assured that he will be involved in Roy Wood’s ambitious Electric Light Orchestra project.

Greg Lake hands in his notice to King Crimson, but as a favour he records lead vocals on several tracks intended for the group’s second album, “In The Wake Of Poseidon”.

King Crimson

King Crimson

Guitarist Peter Banks is sacked by Yes. He is replaced several weeks later by ex-Tomorrow & Bodast man Steve Howe.

Organist Gary Wright quits Spooky Tooth.

Simon & Garfunkel release their final album together – Bridge Over Troubled Water. It tops the album charts at regular intervals over the next few years and becomes the best selling album in Britain during the 1970s.

In the charts

1       Two Little Boys – Rolf Harris
10     Come And Get It – Badfinger
20     Leavin’ On A Jet Plane – Peter, Paul & Mary

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

February

North east gigs

1/2/70        Yes appear at Empire Theatre, Sunderland
3/2/70        Sect, Mass Action, Blondie and Envelope appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
6/2/70        Free and Griffin appear at Locarno, Sunderland
13/2/70     Blodwyn Pig and Audience appear at Locarno, Sunderland
14/2/70     Spyda, Junco Parners nad Sneeze appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
20/2/70     John Hiseman’s Colesseum and Jess Roden’s Bronco appear at Locarno, Sunderland
23/2/70     Siren appear at Locarno, Sunderland
24/2/70     Animal Farm, Morning Glory and Sneeze appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
27/2/70     Chicken Shack and Quintessence appear at Locarno, Sunderland
27/2/70     Crazy World Of Arthur Brown appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Sat 14/02/1970 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle Junco Partners, Spyda
Tue 24/02/1970 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle Animal Farm, Morning Glory

Happening Elsewhere

The Who record a live album at Leeds University on 14th February using Pye’s mobile studio.

Steve Winwood abandons plans to release a solo album and reforms Traffic with Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood.

Spooky Tooth split up, considering that they have become stale. The group viewed their album ‘Ceremony’ (a collaboration with Pierre Henry) as a complete failure.

Led Zeppelin perform in Copenhagen, Denmark under the pseudonym The Nobs to avoid being sued by Count Eva von Zeppelin, a descendant of airship designer Ferdinand von Zeppelin.

In the charts

1      Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) – Edison Lighthouse
10     Wand’rin’ Star – Lee Marvin
20     United We Stand – Brotherhood Of Man

Edison Lighthouse top the UK charts

Edison Lighthouse top the UK charts

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March

North east gigs

6/3/70        Edgar Broughton and Juice appear at Locarno, Sunderland
7/3/70        Status Quo appear at Viking, Seahouses
9/3/70        Third Ear Band and Genesis appear at Locarno, Sunderland
9/3/69        Yes appear at Civic Theatre, Darlington
13/3/70     David Bowie and Pricipal Edwards appear at Locarno, Sunderland
11/3/70     Pricipal Edwards Magic Theatre appear at Kirklevington Country Club
14/3/70     Pricipal Edwards Magic Theatre appear at Longlands College, Middlesbrough
16/3/70     Chicken Shack appear at Locarno, Sunderland
19/3/70     Free, Juicy Lucy, Junco Partners and Raw Spirit appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
20/3/70     Blodwyn Pg and Writing On The Wall appear at Locarno, Sunderland
21/3/70     Mott The Hoople appear at Kirklevington Country Club
26/3/70     Ginger Baker’s Airforce appear at Locarno, Sunderland
30/3/70     Clouds appear at Locarno, Sunderland

Happening Elsewhere

David Bowie performs with a new backing group, The Hype, which includes ex-Rats guitarist Mick Ronson.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Family return to the U.S for a tour, but their jinx strikes again when Roger Chapman’s passport is stolen. The band play dates in Canada without him.

King Crimson appear on Top Of The Pops with an ad hoc line up including pianist Keith Tippett, performing their single “Cat Food”.

Jethro Tull turn down an offer of £10,000 to top the bill at a Hampden Park, Glasgow pop festival. Jethro’s manager, Terry Ellis says that the stadium’s 120,000 capacity would mean that the group couldn’t hope to get itself over to a crowd of that size

The Nice split-up after completing a final UK tour and a couple of shows in Germany. Their last concert is The Peace Festival in Berlin, where they are supported by Deep Purple . Keith Emerson goes onto form ELP, Lee Jackson teams up with some old mates from his home town of Newcastle in Jackson Heights, while drummer Brian Davison puts together an avant-garde/jazz influenced outfit, Every Which Way, which features ex-Skip Bifferty singer Graham Bell.

David Bowie marries model Angela Barnett on 19th March

Ireland win the 15th annual Eurovision Song Contest on 21st March. The winning song ‘All Kinds Of Everything’ is sung by Dana.

In the charts

1       Wand’rin’ Star – Lee Marvin
10     Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye – Steam
20     Knock Knock Who’s There – Mary Hopkin

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

April

North east gigs

3/4/70        Taste and Black Sabbath appear at Locarno, Sunderland
8/4/70        Sect, Sneeze, Dogg and Juice appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
9/4/70        Taste and Black Sabbath appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
10/4/70     Edgar Broughton and Juice appear at Locarno, Sunderland
16/4/70     Yes and Graham Bond appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
17/4/70     Groundhogs and Grisby & Dyke appear at Locarno, Sunderland
23/4/70     Taste and Black Sabbath appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
24/4/70     Roy Harper and Humble Pie appear at Locarno, Sunderland
27/4/70     Steamhammer appear at Locarno, Sunderland
30/4/70     Edgar Broughton and Terry Reid appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Sat 25/04/1970 St Peters

Happening Elsewhere

It’s officially announced that The Beatles have split up.

Peter Green quits Fleetwood Mac because “I want to change my life” and “I want to be completely free to do what I like”.

Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac

Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac

Keith Emerson (ex-Nice) and Greg Lake (ex King Crimson) finally team up to form the band they have been planning ever since they met in late ’69 while touring in the U.S with their old groups. They audition drummers and in June Carl Palmer (ex Atomic Rooster) is added to the trio. Meanwhile Lee Jackson begins rehearsals with his own group, to be called Jackson Heights.

Guitarist Peter Banks is sacked by Yes. He’s replaced by ex-Tomorrow and Bodast man Steve Howe.

Jack Bruce joins Tony Williams’ Lifetime for “a few weeks recording”, while ex-Cream colleague Ginger Baker makes extensive changes to the line-up of his Air Force.

In the charts

1       Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
10     Farewell Is A Lonely Sound – Jimmy Ruffin
20     You’re A Good Looking Woman – Joe Dolan

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

May

North east gigs

1/5/70        Keef Hartley and Black Widow appear at Locarno, Sunderland
7/5/70        Colosseum, Man and Raw Spirit appear at Locarno, Sunderland
7/5/70        Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Sect appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
8/5/70        Traffic and If appear at Locarno, Sunderland
13/5/70     Ten Years After appear at Newcastle City Hall
15/5/70     Procol Harum appear at Locarno, Sunderland
15/5/70     Colliseum and Man appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
22/5/70     Radha Krishna Temple appear at Locarno, Sunderland
23/5/70     Free and Bronco appear at Newcastle City Hall
25/5/70     Gypsy appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
29/5/70     Tyrannosaurus Rex appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
29/5/70     Savoy Brown and Juicy Lucy appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle

The Radha Krishna Temple bring a little bit of the east to the Locarno, Sunderland

The Radha Krishna Temple bring a little bit of the east to the Locarno, Sunderland

Happening Elsewhere

On 8th May The Beatles last album ‘Let It Be’ is released.

Pink Floyd suffer the theft of most of their stage equipment in New Orleans.

Spooky Tooth split to follow solo projects.

On 16th May The Who release ‘Live At Leeds’ which is their first live album.

In the charts

1       Back Home – England World Cup Squad
10     Can’t Help Falling In Love – Andy Williams
20     Up The Ladder To The Roof – The Supremes

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

June

North east gigs

5/6/70        Groundhogs appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
5/6/70        The Move and Idle Race appear at Newcastle City Hall
9/6/70        Terry Reid and Fat Mattress (with Noel Redding) appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
12/6/70     Family appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
12/6/70     Edgar Broughton, Quintessence and Dogg appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
15/6/70     Quatermass appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
19/6/70     Savoy Brown and Yellow appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
19/6/70     Terry Reid and Fat Mattress appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
22/6/70     Principal Edwards Magic Theatre appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
26/6/70     Free and Kevin Ayres appear at Top Rank, Sunderland
26/6/70     Rare Bird and Hard Meat appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle

Happening Elsewhere

Status Quo keyboard player Roy Lynes quits the group. The others decide not to replace him, and in the light of their ever decreasing pop/psych success they change musical direction to become purveyors of heads down, no-nonsense, mindless boogie for the next thirty-plus years.

Folk-Rockers The Strawbs add Royal Academy of Music piano student Rick Wakeman to their line-up. Wakeman was already a noted session player, having played Mellotron on David Bowie’s hit ‘Space Oddity’.

The Strawbs

The Strawbs

In the charts

1       Yellow River – Christie
10     Sally Gerry Monroe
20     Down The Dustpipe – Status Quo

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July

North east gigs

3/7/70        Roy Harper, Pretty Things and Brinsley Schwartz appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
10/7/70     Chicken Shack and Matthews Southern Comfort appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
17/7/70     If, Lord Sutch & His Heavy Friends appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
23/7/70     Atomic Rooster and Van Der Graaf Generator appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
31/7/70     Deep Purple and Daddy Longlegs appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle

Deep Purple perform at Newcastle's Mayfair Ballroom on the last day of the month

Deep Purple perform at Newcastle’s Mayfair on the last day of the month

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Wed 08/07/1970 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle Junco Partners, Saratoga, Gollum
Fri 24/07/1970 Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle Jimmy Bence, Don Eddy Trio

Happening Elsewhere

The Rolling Stones contract with Decca Records expires. They still owe one single but deliver the unreleasable “Cocksucker Blues”.

Ex-Family, Blind Faith and Air Force bassist Ric Grech joins Traffic

In the charts

1       In The Summertime – Mungo Jerry
10     Lola – Kinks
20     Love Like A Man – Ten Years After

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

August

North east gigs

7/8/70        Derek & The Dominoes and Writing On The Wall appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
14/8/70     Humble Pie appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
21/8/70     Quintessence, Mott The Hoople and Supertramp appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
28/8/70     Tyrannosaurus Rex and Principle Edwards appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
31/8/70     Yes appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)

Derek and the Dominoes appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle

Derek and the Dominoes appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Fri 21/08/1970 Rennington Farm, Alnwick (with James Lowrie Set)

Happening Elsewhere

The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 takes place at East Afton Farm. Some 60,000 people attend. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.

Mick Abrahams quits Blodwyn Pig. Ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks takes over.

Bassist Nic Potter quits Van Der Graaf Generator. He is not replaced.

The Bee Gees reform as a trio comprising the Gibb brothers.

In the charts

1       The Wonder Of You – Elvis Presley
10     The Tears Of A Clown – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
20     Sweet Inspiration – Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

September

North east gigs

11/9/70     Blodwyn Pig appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
23/9/70     Barclay James Harvest, Steam Hammer and Gin House appear at Newcastle City Hall
27/9/70     Jethro Tull, Procol Harum and Tir Na Nog appear at Newcastle City Hall
27/9/70     Barclay James Harvest and Uriah Heep appear at Redcar Jazz Club (Coatham Hotel)

Happening Elsewhere

On 17th September Jimi Hendrix makes his last ever appearance jamming with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott’s Club in London. He is found dead in a London flat on the 18th, having asphyxiated on his own vomit after taking barbiturates. In the days before his death, Hendrix is reported to have been in poor health, due in part to fatigue caused by overworking, a chronic lack of sleep, and an illness assumed to be influenza related. Insecurities about his personal relationships and disillusionment with the music industry had also contributed to his frustration. Although the details of his final hours and death are disputed, Hendrix spent much of his last day with Monika Dannemann. During the morning of 18th September, she finds him unresponsive in her apartment at the Samarkand Hotel, Notting Hill. She calls for an ambulance at 11:18 a.m. and he is taken to St Marys Abbot’s Hospital where an attempt is made to resuscitate him. He is pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. The post-mortem concludes that Hendrix choked on his own vomit and died of asphyxia while intoxicated with barbiturates. At the subsequent inquest, the coroner, finding no evidence of suicide and lacking sufficient evidence of the circumstances, records an open verdict. Dannemann stated that Hendrix had taken nine of her prescribed sleeping tablets, 18 times the recommended dosage.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix

Veteran r&b groaner Chris Farlowe is a surprise addition to Colosseum. Bassist Tony Reeves quits and is replaced temporarily by Louis Cennamo (of Renaissance) before Mark Clarke steps in permanently.

Brian Auger disbands The Trinity and launches the heavier Oblivion Express.

In the charts

1       The Tears Of A Clown – Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
10     Rainbow – Marmalade
20     Black Knight – Deep Purple

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

October

North east gigs

2/10/70        Keef Hartley, Strawbs and Pink Fairies appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
4/10/70        Emerson Lake & Palmer appear at Newcastle City Hall
9/10/70        White Trash, Windmill and Sect appear at the Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
10/10/70     Mott The Hoople appear at Kirklevington Country Club
16/10/70     Yes appear at Newcastle City Hall
16/10/70     Free, Deep Purple, Principal Edwards, Cochise and Yellow appear at Top rank, Sunderland
22/10/70     Keef Hartley, Strawbs and Pink Fairies appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
22/10/70     The Who appear at ABC, Stockton
23/10/70     Black Sabbath, Manfred Mann and appear at Mayfair, Newcastle
30/10/70     Ten Years After appear at Mayfair, Newcastle

Ten Years After appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle on 30th October

Ten Years After appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle on 30th October

Happening Elsewhere

Gordon Haskell is sacked from King Crimson. He’s replaced by ex-Boz People singer Boz Burrell. Burrell is taught the bass guitar by Robert Fripp.

Marc Bolan abbreviates Tyrannosaurus Rex to T Rex and changes musical direction from psychedelic folk to glam boogie.

Spooky Tooth reform with original members Mike Harrison, Luther Grosvenor and Mike Kellie plus bassist Steve Thompson and keyboardsman John Hawken. They set out on a mammoth 50-date European tour.

In the charts

1       Band Of Gold – Freda Payne
10     Patches – Clarence Carter
20     Gasoline Alley Bred – The Hollies

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November

North east gigs

6/11/70        Tony Williams Lifetime (with Jack Bruce) appear at Newcastle City Hall
13/11/70     Uriah Heep appear at Newcastle Polytechnic
14/11/70     Jackson Heights appear at Kirklevington Country Club
19/11/70     Chicken Shack, Yellow and Traction appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
21/11/70     The Strawbs appear at Kirklevington Country Club
26/11/70     Curved Air appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
27/11/70     The Faces appear at Kirklevington Country Club
28/11/70     Gentle Giant appear at Kirklevington Country Club

Happening Elsewhere

The Rolling Stones rule out the possibility of British concert appearances until the New Year.

Peter Banks quits Blodwyn, only weeks after replacing Mick Abrahams. Reason given is ‘musical differences’.

In the charts

1       Woodstock – Matthews Southern Comfort
10     Black Knight – Deep Purple
20     I’ve Lost You – Elvis Presley

Matthews Southern Comfort top the UK charts with 'Woodstock'

Matthews Southern Comfort top the UK charts with ‘Woodstock’


____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

December

North east gigs

15/12/70     The Who appear at Mayfair Ballroom, Newcastle
17/12/70     Pricipal Edwards Magic Theatre appear at Bay Hotel, Sunderland
18/12/70     Yes appear at Newcastle City Hall
22/12/70     Edgar Broughton Band appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle
30/12/70     Lindisfarne appear at the Mayfair, Newcastle

My gigs (with Sneeze – incomplete records)

Thu 31/12/1970 Middlesbrough

Happening Elsewhere

Jethro Tull bassist Glen Cornick quits and is replaced by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond.

Robin Gibb rejoins The Bee Gees as the brothers settle their differences, however their music grows more syrupy and MOR with each successive release.

Tony Kaye, organist with Yes, breaks his foot when the group’s van is involved in a head-on collision near Basingstoke. He has to be carried on and off stage at gigs for several weeks.

Yes

Yes

In the charts

1       I Hear You Knocking – Dave Edmunds
10     Indian reservation – Don Fardon
20     Woodstock – Matthews Southern Comfort
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Go to 1965
Go to 1966
Go to 1967
Go to 1968
Go to 1969
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

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *