Bauhaus’ official historian Andrew J. Brooksbank attempts to unravel an often overlooked period of creativity, a series of equally important bands that lead (in) directly to the formation of Bauhaus – a very sincere tip of the hat for their help in researching this feature goes out to David Stretton, Roger Rideout, Kevin Haskins and David J.
Note: for the sake of this feature Bauhaus bassist David J. is cited by his real surname of Haskins. In a contrived move to avoid family categorization the Haskins moniker would be dropped during Bauhaus’ early months – primarily expanding the initial letter from his middle name of John into Jay – before shortening it in 1982 to simply J…..
Bauhaus, depending on your point of view, is a name that will forever be synonymous with spearheading the gothic movement of the early eighties – due in part to their nine minute plus 1979 debut single the now near legendary Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Fused with stark, minimalist stage lighting and a pale faced skeletal vampiristic vocalist in Peter Murphy. But Bauhaus was not born overnight, the rhythm section had in fact been playing together since the early Seventies before joining forces with their future guitarist, Daniel Ash early in ’77 when he rehearsed with a third incarnation of a recently deceased local Northampton punk combo called The Submerged Tenth – a band that consisted of bassist David J. Haskins, David’s little brother and future Bauhaus drummer Kevin, guitarist Dave ‘X’ Exton and vocalist Yanis Zakis.
In the early months of 1977 whilst punk rock was rapidly reaching its climax this Northampton four piece were looking to expand their sound by recruiting a second guitarist… a local Bowie fan one Daniel Ash fitted the bill… although this line up was very short lived and never actually played a live show, they almost immediately reformed albeit without Zakis, and renamed themselves The Craze. Vocal duties would be handled by both David Haskins and Daniel Ash. But this is jumping the gun a little so let’s take a little trip back to the summer of 1973….
Britain was bubbling away nicely in a musical melting pot, a myriad of styles, sounds & clothes. Glam was right here, right now – fusing both the real deal together with the Charlatans. Bubblegum and Motown acts from the U.S regularly appearing alongside the very English-ness of acts like Mott The Hoople, Roxy Music and David Essex.
Kicking a ball around was one of the usual pastimes that students at Cherry Orchard Middle School on Birchfield Road East and its close neighbour Weston Favell
School on Booth Lane South, Northampton would regularly employ. The Haskins’ brothers, along with school friends Roger Rideout and Chris Day had put together a band – simply called Jam. Not to be confused with a woking outfit fronted by Paul Weller that would of course play a major part in the burgeoning revolution that was punk rock some years later. Although this line up would soon change, as guitarist Chris Day would shortly be replaced by Cherry Orchard student and occasional football friend of The Haskins’ David Stretton. Jam were for the most part a covers band, playing live sets not only in local home town pubs such as The Racehorse on Abington Square or The Silver Cornet on Welland Way but playing outside of home turf in places such as Stamford, Dunstable, Leicester, Birmingham and Halifax.
Back in the Sixties and Seventies, the norm for any agent was to get their young, fresh band out there, playing the circuit, the drudgery that is the working men’s club’s. Whilst bonding together on-stage Jam also built up a sizeable repertoire, a set, that amongst others included Softer Ride from Status Quo’s 1973 album Hello! Before You Accuse Me although Eric Clapton recorded perhaps the definitive version, it was Bo Diddley’s 1957 original that inspired Jam to take up this number. These along with a dazzling take on The Beatles 1963 cut This Boy (the flip to I want To Hold Your Hand) with terrific vocals provided by both Roger Rideout playing Lennon harmonising to David Stretton’s McCartney. Chuck Berry’s 1958 rocker Sweet Little Sixteen was also played regular during this period with Rideout once again providing a remarkable vocal, along with Stealers Wheel’s 1972 classic Stuck In The middle and a David Haskins original composition entitled Don’t Let Me Down constituted further Jam live cuts. It was inevitable that the ambitious quartet would want to get down on tape, professionally produced recordings, thus, early in ‘74 a studio recording session was booked rather ambitiously at Northampton Sound Recording (NSR) on Spring Gardens, off Giles Street, a studio owned and run by a former BBC studio employee. Here the band proceeded to lay down a handful of the above mentioned songs in Don’t Let Me Down, This Boy and Sweet Little Sixteen. Incidentally Don’t Let Me Down was the first self- penned David Haskins number ever to be recorded with its author providing lead vocals – a decision that caused some minor frictions within the camp, displeasing Roger Rideout but at the same time hugely impressing David Stretton!.
A second studio session took place in the Spring of ‘74 where the band played a brilliant, albeit very nervous, audition under the watchful eye of a handful of representatives from various potentially interested parties, the ultimate goal was of course to secure themselves a deal. Words of encouragement prior to the audition came from the Haskins’ brothers parents’….”try not to create the impression that you are anxious for a deal”…which of course they were…desperately so. Taking place in a studio in London, the band ran through three numbers; I Saw You, a number penned by John Hurd, a relative of Roger’s with vocals handled by Dave Stretton. Followed by Travellin’ On, in the main a David Haskins / Roger Rideout composition with lead vocals this time handled by Roger. The startling Slow Down concluded the session, with vocals once again by Dave Stretton, largely the songs’ composer. Although ultimately unsuccessful, this audition was a quantum leap from their first foray into the studio only a few months
previous, the band now clearly gelling, with a finely tuned sound and clear focused vision, the sixties influences of The Small Faces and Steely Dan etc now diminishing, making way for a raw, fresher sound, that of R&B, perhaps tipping the hat to Canvey Islands’ favourite pub rockers, Dr Feelgood, Travellin’ On and Slow Down in particular adopting Wilko Johnson’s trademark chopping guitar sound.
Taking with them only their guitars, as the studio permitted the band full use of its back-line, in hindsight this may well have been a contributing factor to them failing this audition, due in large to them, according to the panel at least, ‘not quite tour ready’. Despite having played the circuit for a good twelve months with this line up. A subdued and deflated band made the return journey back North to Northampton.
We bought our own van! An old 1960’s Bedford step I believe. We immediately set about converting it into a vehicle befitting a rock n roll band, putting a chipboard partition to separate the equipment from the band and fitting a row of aircraft seats. I vaguely remember some bull horns being hung above the seats…why? Who knows?!
As well as regular bookings playing local pubs and clubs, the band also entertained the troops, playing on a handful of occasions, RAF and USAF air bases, notably RAF Whitering in Peterborough (playing as support to the recently charted Bubblegum Glam act Kenny) and at USAF Chicksands in Bedfordshire.
We were usually billed between very non – P.C. old school comedians and the requisite bingo, we slogged around the country playing many, many working men’s clubs. We really paid our dues as it were but we also had a lot of fun into the bargain! The American Air Force bases, talk about contrast from the grubby working men’s clubs, it was like a different planet! The dressing rooms were actually dressing rooms and not a broom closet and I remember the huge ice machines. We were treated really well and the entire evenings had an air of sophistication, I was only about 12 or 13 so every experience was magnified
However despite their enthusiasm, Jam were shortly to suffer a blow – when an agent from Keri Enterprises (the bands agent / management) witnessed a rehearsal, he made a claim that “you could be the next Bay City Rollers” a statement that left the band reeling with mixed emotions, those of both anger and embarrassment. In hindsight, this remark proved to be a catalyst, the beginning of the end…
By early 1975 both internal and external issues were beginning to take their toll. From within, the age old “musical differences” was a major contributing factor. Although initially the band were able to work through them, however, it was only a matter of time before things would come to a head. These issues were unfortunately
unsustainable and were simply not going to “go away”. In short they would lead to the demise of Jam, who played their last show together at The Racehorse in late the spring of ’75.
Despite their internal differences, Jam almost instantly reformed… without Roger. Not only had they lost a terrific singer/songwriter/guitarist, but more importantly, they had lost “one of the lads”. However, another four piece would shortly spring into life…Exit Roger Rideout, enter whizz kid guitarist Dave ‘X’ Exton and Grab A Shadow was born.
Roger, as well as founding and turning Daro Limited into a very successful furniture business, also became sound engineer for local band August Bank Holiday. He also had stints in Ignition and Memory Lane until 1983 when he was approached by midlands band and Beatles Tribute Accrington Stanley, whom he is still playing with today.
We (Accrington Stanley) are best known as a Beatles tribute act and me being left handed was perfect as a bass player in a Beatles band!
The band have appeared on BBC and ITV television as well as radio playing both their own material and Beatles covers, and in fact Roger was invited by an American band and assorted session musicians to play bass and keys on a series of Beatles covers in Abbey Road studios, London, in studio two where The Beatles recorded most of their Abbey Road output. In the late 1980’s Roger set up his own recording studio, initially a very basic affair but this is now a fully equipped hi-tech studio that he uses to write and record, amongst other projects he has also recorded and engineered tracks for Hank Marvin for his Songs From Evita set.
I am currently writing and recording new material for Dave Stretton, which he is very excited about and is a lot of fun!
The UK singles charts were now dominated this side of the Atlantic by the likes of Wizzard, The Sweet, Alvin Stardust, Gary Glitter, Slade, Leo Sayer and Mud, as well as long established American acts like Diana Ross, Marie Osmond and David Cassidy. One number however stemming from home grown talent that had a significant effect on the young aspiring singer / songwriter David Haskins, albeit twenty years later, was a little solo ditty by former Faces bass player Ronnie Lane entitled How Come. A version of this song constituted part of David’s live set during a series of American solo dates in 1992….
By 1975 England was bored. The aging creature, known as music, had taken a turn for the worse the established rock dinosaurs had now taken to the stadiums.
Both the album, and more importantly (then) the singles chart were dominated by 50’s revival acts like Showaddywaddy and Mud or teenage sensations like Edinburgh’s Bay City Rollers who were now hailed by many as the biggest thing since The Beatles. Britain and the USA were now firmly in the grip of Rollermania whilst rubbing shoulders with Glam in the chart stakes. Glam shone brightly, if briefly, but by late ’75 the original movement leaders (Gary Glitter, Alvin Stardust and Sweet) were fading fast, eventually dying a sad and lonely death within a year or so. Of its two leading lights; Marc Bolan and David Bowie, Bolan’s star had also began to wane and Bowie’s androgynous alter ego, Ziggy Stardust was dead, resurrecting himself gloriously as a Plastic Soul Boy. However, unknown but to few regular visitors to Sex a retro clothes shop on The Kings Road in London, something was stirring. During the fall of ‘75 four kids, regulars of that shop had formed a band that was to give the music industry the biggest kick up the backside it’s ever had before or since…. Sex Pistols.
Grab A Shadow were very much a proto-garage band formed in the wake of Jam’s demise in the early Summer weeks of ’75 with the line up once again featuring The Haskins’ Brothers on bass and drums and Dave’s, Stretton and Exton on guitars. Talking now in 2011 of the rhythm section…
After so long playing tight in crap clubs, they, (the Haskins’ brothers) were really beginning to lock in together, it was very noticeable
With David Stretton and David Haskins now seriously regularly writing original material together they felt confident enough to re-enter Northampton Sound Recording. Laying down a handful of original material, the band recorded five numbers, two Haskins original compositions entitled Don’t Block My View (Haskins on lead vocals) and the Steely Dan influenced Pull It Back Together (a shared vocal initially handled by Stretton before Haskins joins toward the close) along with the manic Terminal Café (written by Exton) and two Stretton penned originals World Of Mine featuring Dave Exton on twelve string guitar and a self-played piano ballad entitled The love Has Gone. The Exton cut Terminal Café was a ballsy Rock n’ Roll number citing a café that turns out to be an anti-chamber to death (very Twilight Zone!) whilst Don’t Block My View was a little tune telling the tale of the mischievous nocturnal activities of a voyeur, with a twist in the tale… being that the object of his affection turns out to be none other than his estranged daughter! At one point Haskins can be heard to harangue Stretton for not coming in on cue with his backing vocal declaring “Where were ya?”. This number offering perhaps more than a nod and a wink to The Small Faces in both its arrangement and vocal delivery. The session itself was recorded very much live as the luxury of overdubs could simply not be afforded. Whilst Roger Rideout gave sterling vocal performances on This Boy (with harmonies by David Stretton) and Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen in Jam, lead vocals in Grab A Shadow were shared and handled by both guitarists (Daves’ Exton and Stretton) and their bass player (David Haskins). Whilst capturing the spirit of Terminal Café on tape and due to the fury and speed of which this proto punk number was delivered Dave Exton’s guitar began to create feedback to which he expressed delight
commenting that he liked the whistling sound to the rather unwelcoming owner / engineer who retorted in a rather grandiose tone and without cracking so much as a smile but yet managing to raise an eyebrow with “you mean acoustic feedback”
The Love Has Gone was a little number I had and wanted to get down on tape then forget about!
I remember been in awe of the entire process, at the end of the session I watched in amazement as the acetate was cut right before our eyes, it was a magical moment to actually hold the acetate in my hands, I actually designed the inner circle artwork inspired by Tales Of Suspense comic books that I used to collect.
Incidentally an acetate of Don’t Block My View and Terminal Café was recently sold on e-bay by David Haskins himself, to help toward the funding of a new solo album resulting in a very healthy $350 down payment.
Although Grab A Shadow would perform largely original material, David Stretton recalls his personal favourite cover they would play live as stemming from the pen of future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, a song made famous in ’65 by the Yardbirds For Your Love. With girlfriends and other distractions driving a wedge into Grab A Shadow it was inevitable that a dissolving of sorts would take place. The general consensus being that it ‘wasn’t really going anywhere’. Although a fairly amicable departure, Stretton clearly recalls David Haskins playing him snippets of his latest ventures and vice versa when-ever they met from time to time…in particular singing the praises of his next band…The Submerged Tenth.
In the early months of ’76, an intrigued David Haskins along with younger brother Kevin made the hour long trip from their home town of Northampton in the Midlands to London’s 100 Club, a tiny Jazz venue on Oxford Street to witness first hand the band every kid within the capitol and its suburbs were talking about…Sex Pistols. Literally within hours of watching that cacophonic event the Haskins’ brothers adopted the punk ethic of do-it-yourself and once again formed a band. In the Summer of that year, and carrying a moniker that signified the ‘lowest of the low’, Northampton’s very own punk band were born…The Submerged Tenth, (a second, later incarnation was simply shortened to The). With the rhythm section firmly in place, Kevin on drums and David
Haskins on bass guitar the services of Grab A Shadow’s Dave “X” Exton were retained for lead / rhythm guitar and a new front man in Yanis Zakis to handle the vocals, the band played a handful of local shows including once again The Racehorse, the very same venue, incidentally, that hosted the last show by one of The Submerged Tenth’s predecessors – Jam.
Yanis was of Latvian / Scottish decent, which is a pretty fiery combination. He was completely wild and would pour lager over the head of anyone in the audience who was not paying attention to him, he would then pour more of the same over himself to diffuse the situation. He also had a tendency to cover his body in shaving cream and corn flakes and roll around on the floor
David J. Haskins
I remember Yanis as like Freddie Mercury and Sid Vicious rolled into one – bizarre but in a good way
The Submerged Tenth wrote chiefly original material with most of the song-writing duties handled by Haskins. The songs were typical (and topical) of the day; The Light Of Night, Boring, Dole Q, All Fucked Up and 9 to 5 to name but a handful, sprinkled with a healthy balance of covers from the likes of Van Morrison (Gloria), The Stooges (Raw Power) The Seeds (Pushing Too Hard), The Velvet Underground (Run, Run, Run) Jonathan Richman’s Pablo Picasso and Roadrunner, the Rolling Stones Let’s Spend The Night Together, Bowie’s Hang Onto Yourself and rather bizarrely a punk take on Petula Clarke’s Downtown. Although The Submerged Tenth were a four piece, David Stretton does have a vague recollection of playing along at one or two of their rehearsals prior to a gig at the Racehorse, a directive that was clearly at the forefront just prior to their demise as during the early months of ’77 and with a sizeable handful of live shows now under their belt a second guitarist was indeed recruited, a local Bowie fan named Daniel Ash…an event seminal in uniting three future Bauhaus members for the very first time. The band with this line up however was once again short lived and never actually played a live show together. Though that would all change in 1978…
After taking time out following the demise of The a third incarnation of The Submerged Tenth was born. The Haskins’ brothers, Ash and Exton were now The Craze, Zakis however was no longer their voice, this time Ash and Haskins would share vocal duties.
In the Spring of ‘78 punk was breathing its last, the main protagonists having splintered into three factions in San Francisco in January, amidst drug dependencies, inflated ego’s and mis-management. During this messy and mighty complicated demise, the Sex Pistols took virtually the whole scene kicking and screaming down with them. However, like the phoenix of legend, its death gave rise to a new sound, that of New Wave.
Although equally short lived The Craze had been the catalyst that saw Ash, Haskins and J.(David Haskins) play live together for the first time. With local venues like The Angel Hotel on Bridge Street and the ever faithful Racehorse playing host. The Craze had also moved with the times and had left much of punks’ three chords and attitude behind them. They had begun experimenting with power pop. In some respects the demise of The Craze indirectly gave rise to Bauhaus. With Ash now itching to get another band together, he contacted a former school friend and fellow Bowie aficionado Peter Murphy (then working as a printer) with a suggestion that they perhaps get together to write some songs. With a union clearly flowering the duo looked at expanding, recruiting a drummer and a bass player to form SR. notably former Craze drummer Kevin Haskins and to play the bass local lad Chris Barber was drafted in. With rehearsal space granted (a mobile classroom at the local comprehensive) The band began running through their small handful of original new numbers Boys, Some Faces, Shows and Harry written by Ash and Murphy. With rehearsals encouraging and their confidence growing, they played a couple of shows in December, notably at Northampton’s Racecourse Pavilion on the Kettering Road.
In previous bands David Haskins had, undeniably been one of the primary driving forces but this time Daniel Ash strived to take the reins, hence recruiting Chris Barber who simply played the bass lines that Ash wanted him to play.
Following a chance encounter with a former band mate Daniel spoke enthusiastically of this new venture he had put together and gave an open invitation to watch the next rehearsal. That former band mate was David Haskins.
David was now playing in a house band specialising in Soul and R&B covers, a group of musos who had lost their bass player and the cream of the local semi-pro music scene and was shortly to leave for Germany to entertain the troops stationed on US air bases there. Despite this engagement he was obviously still on the lookout for something that offered perhaps a little more excitement, so much so that he was one of a handful of respondents to a personal ad placed in the Northampton Chronicle and Echo by future Sinister Duck Alex Green, then looking to recruit members for his Emperors Of Ice Cream project. Whilst showing much enthusiasm for the Emperors David’s mind however was pre-occupied by the band whose rehearsal he had recently witnessed….
That band had now reached a crossroads, with Ash, Murphy and Haskins deliberating over the future of their bass player. A decision had to be made, and fast. It was agreed by all concerned….Chris Barber was to be replaced…by David Haskins.
Was his decision to turn his back on his current gig a difficult one?
Apart from a gnawing feeling that came from the thought of letting them down, it wasn’t difficult at all. Bauhaus, or the band that would become ‘Bauhaus’ had the magic, it was stark music, which I like
David J. Haskins
Renamed by David Haskins prior to their third show (the first with the new line up). The Cromwell in Murphy’s home town of Wellingborough, Northants on New Years Eve 1978 was host to the debut of Bauhaus 1919. Playing, for the most part original material the band trawled through The Stooges Raw Power, a stalwart from The Submerged Tenth’s repertoire a couple of times to make up for lack of original material – a also often employed by Jam when playing to a largely drunken audience! Incidentally this song was also resurrected once again by Murphy during his most recent Dirty Dirt live shows.
The Stooges were a massive influence. I was turned on to them by Bowie, he would rave about Iggy in interviews so we Bowie nuts were instantly intrigued
David J. Haskins
Whilst Bauhaus went on to achieve regular chart success throughout the early 1980’s, initially as a cult act before entering the mainstream in 1982 resulting in a top ten album with The Sky’s Gone Out and a top twenty position within the singles chart with the release of their take on David Bowie’s seminal Ziggy Stardust it’s perhaps time to pay respects to an often overlooked and rarely exposed area of where it all began. To simply acknowledge the unsung heroes that played a big part in the genesis of one of the most influential bands from those hedonistic days….and of Dave Stretton?
I played in a reggae band for about a year with a chap called Tommy Walker, a really cool guy, after that, I formed a band called Filth, we never gigged but we did record a couple of great tracks, but the tape got stolen! We actually got quite good, but the second guitarist left for pastures new. During the mid to late ‘80’s I joined a band called 604 which inadvertently became Steel Hearts which morphed into Love In Exile by ‘89.
Love In Exile recorded a healthy, handful of both original songs and covers between 1989 and 2001 Amongst the covers were a stunning take on Chuck Berry’s Johnny B.Goode and a mediocre run through The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer In The City, which incidentally was actually recorded and presented as a competition entry, held to find the definitive take of said song for inclusion in an Only Fools And Horses movie, for the record, Love In Exiles’ version came third, the music was well received (all guitars played by Stretton) but the vocals however, according to the panel, let the song down.
During their first phase Love In Exile played a plethora of styles, from traditional rock and roll covers (Johnny B goode) to some highly commended original material such as Taking Me Down (written circa ’85) and Caught In The Act (a song that had actually been around from the Grab A Shadow era but not laid down on tape until
1990) as well as taking in traditional Irish folk songs by the likes of Michael Considine (Spansill Hill) complemented by a spectacular vocal by Eughan O’Rielly, giving the song the warmth and feel of Mike Scott’s Waterboys (at their best) and in keeping with the Irish theme, a rather dazzling track recorded at Northampton’s Outrider studio in 1991 entitled Irish Insanity, an instrumental number born of a collective of “mad musicians, that just fell out of the instruments”. But perhaps the most compelling numbers from this period were two self-penned songs entitled Don’t Need You At All and Doctor (the latter, citing the Bauhaus number Silent Hedges within its lyric, purely a Bauhaus plug, a nod to his former band-mates as this track was and still is one of Dave Stretton’s favourite Bauhaus numbers) both taped once again at Outrider in 1992.
I did it all myself, dropped the muso’s, it was just a demo to keep the song from being lost. Not sure how many guitars are on it but they were all kept in the mix.
On a personal level Dave Stretton’s cites the mid 1990’s as Love In Exile’s coming of age. Although like many before then and undoubtedly many more in their wake Love In Exile would sadly remain on-lookers Despite creating some highly original material. Largely Stretton’s baby but adopting the revolving door policy with various musicians coming and going over the years;
Eughan O’Rielly, Alan Savage, Roger Arterton, Phil Beach, Dan Preece, Ashley Major, Pete Hepworth and Aggie Dimitrie. The latter rekindling the Bauhaus link, as he was recruited by former Bauhaus guitarist Daniel Ash to play bass during his first live outing as a solo artist in 1993.
I’m really, really proud of what we did, and very proud of what David and Kevin
eventually achieved, they made it! Unfortunately, the right deal never came my way.I remember sitting in a pub with Dave (Haskins) around 1990, chewing the fat, he had played me a new number he had written, entitled I’ll Be Your Chauffeur, I remember being stunned at the shear quality of this song, saying to him, something along the lines of, “with songs of this calibre, you deserve everything”
Fast forward to November 16th 2012 and David J returns to his roots by playing the tiny (now sadly defunct) Labour club in his birth town of Northampton. The gig, promoted locally by Pat Fish (A.K.A The Jazz Butcher, David’s former boss) and Alex Novak, former art school colleague of David’s, Alex also appeared in Bauhaus’ now legendary Consequences film. A significant event as David J. was joined on stage for the first time since 1975 by his former bandmate Dave Stretton where together with the help of local talent Liam dullaghan and Californian multi-instrumentalist Michael Berg perform 2000 Light Years From Gold Street. The song, a beautiful autobiographical piece written by David J. recalling those early days of kicking around the football, the early bands and the bitter regrets…Gold street was the home of Bauhaus rehearsal space.
In the days leading up to this historic event your author received a frantic phone call one evening from David Stretton questioning the song that he had been given by David J. to “do some Lou Reed all over it” , he had been sent 2000 Light Years From Home by The Rolling Stones by mistake! The real 2000 Light Years… had at this stage only existed as a cassette demo which fortunately I had a copy of, duly sent…one could almost hear the relief down the telephone line.
“Here’s where we practiced, made that glorious din, Vox AC30’s and a bottle of your mothers Gin / but I always remember the old times, back in the day, the working men’s clubs and the smelly old pubs we only too pleased to play…”
-2000 Light Years From Gold Street (David J)-
Following this rekindled friendship David Stretton was invited to California (current home of David J) to lay down a studio take of this musical memoir, it was finally captured on tape in the summer of 2013 at Thunderbird Analogue Studios, Oceanside in Los Angeles. The song was published in April of 2015 by David J via Patreon (the crowdfunding platform that he currently employs for his works) and has more recently appeared on his brand new 2017 vinyl only set Vagabond Songs.
The Clissold Arms on Fortes Road, Muswell Hill, London has the celebrated honour of hosting the very first gig by The Kinks in December 1960 and also their last in June of 1996, that room is now adorned by Kinks memorabilia, it was similarly host to David J during his most recent visit to these shores in June 2015. Playing The Kinks Room would not have felt complete without performing a Kinks number…a booze fuelled rehearsal (of sorts) of the classic Lola took place at Michael Berg’s London flat on 31st May prior to following evening’s performance proper. It was here that three quarters of the original Jam were finally reunited. David Stretton, David (J) Haskins and Roger Rideout only drummer Kevin Haskins was absent from this historical reunion. The number was sound-checked before playing an almost blunder free version to close the evening. The joy on all three musicians’ faces at playing together for the first time in 40 years was evident for all to see. Following the evenings performance and with David J having to leave straight after the gig to head to Krakow in Poland for the next date on his European jaunt, David Stretton and Roger Rideout, still on a high, retired to their hotel and played a private performance of three numbers, the Beatles This Boy (a number from the Jam repertoire last performed in 1974) Eddie Cochran’s Twenty Flight Rock and The Eagles Love Will Keep Us Alive.
David Stretton recently joined Roger Rideout on stage during a charity event in memory of Roger’s late wife Jo, joining for his band for three rock ‘n’ roll numbers…
It was great to be on stage with him again, strange looking across and seeing my old buddy on stage with me again after all this time.
In celebration of David (J) Haskins’ 60th birthday, Darwin Meiners, his manager, recently (and without his knowledge) contacted some of his (Haskins) musical allies and assembled Kanreki! a faultless collection of covers of his own material and compiled them to a double CD, two of the many artists involved were Roger Rideout and David Stretton who recorded new interpretations of J’s Fingers in the Grease and I’ll Be Your Chauffeur. Similarly, and after forty years of playing live music Roger Rideout has just released Dangerous Age, his first set of self-penned songs via his own imprint Rideout Music.com. Largely paying homage to his routes Dangerous Age tips the hat to the 1960’s but with a healthy 21st Century twist by way of Roger playing every instrument and performing all lead, harmonies and backing vocals, a solo album in the very true sense of the word.
Thanks to Dave Stretton, Roger Rideout, Kevin Haskins and David J for their help, enthusiasm and friendship in researching this feature and special thanks Roger for spinning straw into gold! (the audition tape).
David J: Vagabond Songs (double vinyl) featuring Dave Stretton available now via Last Hurrah Records
Roger Rideout: Dangerous Age (CD) available now via RideoutMusic.com
© Andrew J Brooksbank October 2011(updated 2017)
NO PART OF THIS FEATURE TO BE REPRODUCED, EITHER MECHANICAL / PAPER OR OTHERWISE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION:
Please contact Andrew J Brooksbank – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org