Bert's Lumbago

An RPMers tale of a perfect musical Sunday Morning.

One Saturday in May this year marked the 35th anniversary of Jayne and myself, hiring a transit van, and moving to this house.

Sunday mornings are important in this household, despite the fact that we are now both retired, and Sunday is no longer too different to any other day of the week. (Especially since Corona Virus has given me the opportunity to break away from the Archers Omnibus edition).

I mention this as Jayne is a major participant in the audial experiences in our home, as, despite the lock down rules, the various loud speakers about the house are clearly heard by us both.

I am usually up first, (sometimes by a couple of hours). Of course, I have had the first few tracks played by the time Jayne appears. Even though, as I mix pancake batter, with annoying food mixer rattles, whirs and slops, I try to negotiate breakfast preparations without turning the volume up unreasonably high, and annoying the neighbours too much!

In Bawdeswell, our Sunday morning has been marked by happy Hi - (and lo) fi, Involving a number of formats. Vinyl and shellac spinning at 78 - 33⅓ and 45 rpm. Rolling on Ferro, Chrome and standard magnetic Cassettes, Tape, DAT WAV, Mp3 and CD. (I never owned a mini disc player!) Sometimes the music is even live!

Often a theme arises as each track reminds me of another, which follows it. This Sunday morning, (initially unintentionally), I played a game of point to point - California Dreaming to Canning Town.

I started with…

The Mamas & The Papas - Monday Monday

During a hiatus from Traffic, a founder member, Dave Mason, took the time to scoot over to the Hollywood Hills, to hang out with Dave Crosby, and whilst there he recorded a few numbers with another friend, Cass Elliot…

Dave Mason and Mama Cass - Walk To The Point

I was a huge fan of the Classic Psyche Band Traffic in all its various forms,

To me, their music now sums up a feeling of naive, untroubled joy I often felt as a teenager in the 1960s. They are still a favourite band. I saw them play a few times in pubs, clubs, theatres, and and very notably, a glorious gig in sunny Hyde Park.

Sometimes the soundtrack to my life was a bit darker but no less hypnotic…

Jimi Hendrix - All Along The Watch Tower

The guy playing the detuned 12 string guitar on this classic is non other than Dave Mason who played rhythm guitar with Traffic. He often forgot to turn up at gigs and even disappeared for months on end. A great musician if a little unreliable. When Steve Winwood, who (reportedly), had sacked Dave Mason some time before, himself quit Traffic and went off to be a Blind Faith super star, Dave Mason came back from his sojourn in Laurel Canyon to tour the pubs and dive bars of London and Essex.

Anybody remember ‘Wooden Frog’ ? (Mason, Capaldi, Wood & Frog). Formed by Chris Wood & ’Wynder K. Frog’. Essentially Traffic with Steve Winwood replaced by Mick Weaver, (AKA Wynder K.).

Wooden Frog - World in Changes

Like hundreds of other bands, one Friday night, Wooden Frog played my local pub, The Cricketers, (in Southend), and were rather good. (When Traffic played there they had so much equipment that they almost filled the entire bar leaving little room for the audience!)

Mick Weaver also played in the short lived Majik Mijits whom I never saw but wish I had, as not only is it a great name, but they were formed by one of my favourite artists of all time, Steve Marriot. (The man whom, when asked to join the then forming band as singer, both turned the gig down and gave the name to Led Zeppelin).

Steve had recently left the Small Faces...

The Small Faces - Lazy Sunday Afternoon

He was between bands….

Humble Pie - For Your Love

If you have heard of the Mijits you probably already know the legend that, in the original incarnation, the artists involved were chosen for their musical ability, and something else that they all had in common. The tiny Steve Marriot was fed up with comments about his stature when performing with the Small Faces, and he selected his next band to scale! A short lived project, project

They reformed some time around 1980 for a gig at the legendary Bridgehouse pub in Canning Town, Famously ‘the first pub in the word to have its own record label’. Steve Marriot flew back to Britain from The States, specifically for that one gig, a benefit of sorts, for the tragically ill Ronnie Lane.

The stage that night held ‘The Cream’ of British Pub Rock - Mick Green, Dave Hynes, Mick Weaver, Jim Leverton, (who also played with Hendrix and Noel Redding’s Fat Mattress), plus Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott. Due to his M.S. Ronnie Lane couldn’t gig. Because they wouldn’t be able to tour, to support any releases, the Mijits turned down a very lucrative recording contract. Perhaps by coincidence, (?) Without the ex Small Faces, the band that the British music press, had hailed as ‘The Cream of Pub Rock’ morphed into a band called ‘Blind Drunk’.

That's The Way It Goes - Ronnie Lane & Steve Marriott - The Majik Mijits

And with coffee and a Guardian general knowledge Crossword, something to make us both smile -