Ocean / Catz Cradle – Mid 70’s

Supplied by Alan Vale. Photos Hugh Fraser.

Alan Vale… Ocean / Catz Cradle photos outside the church which we used to hire to rehearse back in the day circa 1974 1975. Many thanks again to Hugh Fraser and co. These are from 1″ 25mm ish sample photos edited via Photoshop so a bit pixelated. We did loads gigs around London all great fun, This was as I understand (long time ago) in the Elephant and Castle area!


Catz Cradle mid 70’s

Photos Hugh Fraser – Supplied by Alan Vale

Alan Vale… Many thanks to Hugh Fraser & co yet again. He very kindly sent me some improved photo’s from 1974 1975 re Catz Cradle. Me on my Fender Jazz bass John Cronin on his Fender Telecaster into an HH combo. (Never liked those amps HH, I had to repair it once!). You cannot see Steve Coleman (Rip) on drums he had a Hayman kit with Zilgin cymbals as I remember. Venue was called the ‘Zambesi Club’ in Earls Court. Just one of loads of gigs we did in and around London

Polydor Records letter to Bryan Ferry

source: Neil Mellor https://www.facebook.com/neil.mellor.77

Neil Mellor… Well Polydor fucked that one up….

Derek Clemans… WOW. I must save this for my archive. Thank you.

Graham Bradley… Fucking Brilliant, I hope Hugh Smith is still rocking to James Last.

Chris Cozens… If this is an April Fool it’s brilliant, even down to the BMus!

Roland Clarke… it’s got to be a spoof, though a funny one. In my limited experience, if they don’t like something they don’t often bother replying outside of a standard rejection.

Andy Hemsley… We include a cassette of James Last’s latest album’ – hilarious!

Colin Bell… This made me laugh so much, its so indictive of Polydor then. I was in there very often in this period. There main source of income was (in the UK) Slade & The New Seekers (and soon after The Who) but being a German Company they never quite understood us Brits, shades of Fawlty Towers! Chris Blackwell at Island must have pissed himself if he read this

Rick Startin… To be fair, the first album is very odd indeed.

Leigh Wieland-Boys… So funny! Got to be a spoof!

Mike Guy… & the wonderful Walter Carlos has been the wonderful Wendy Carlos for decades.

Martyn Baker… Pah! Even my band managed to get a £250,000 deal from Polydor…… I think Roxy Music were ultimately more successful though!

Darren Rose… Quelle surprise.

Tony Davis… Still At least they got a James Last tape. We would all kill for that

Jason Stainer… Nice, free James Last tape. What more could anyone want?

Janice Irving… April Fool!

Elaine Roberts… That is priceless!

Neil McGuigan… Must be fake. A free James last album?

Colin Gibb Black Lace… Definitely fake, when we where signed to EMI in 1979 I asked how many sent in demo tapes are actually listened to? The answer was: ‘None, they are too many and record companies just don’t have the time, to get a listen you need an appointment and you may get 5 minutes’

Pete Fisher… Just to inform the doubters, the guy whose post I saw it in, Andrew Kilderry, is an old friend of Ed Bicknell, who used to manage Bryan. Andrew sent it to Ed, who passed it on to Bryan, who in turn confirmed that it’s genuine, and would like to get hold of the original. The letter belongs to Roxy Music’s first agent, but was posted on Twitter by the drummer from Talking Heads, who has an Eno connect. Cheers, Pete

Alan Pepper… I think you can safely say they were ahead of their time. That letter is hilarious

David Nattress… Fabulous – I so hope it’s true, but if it’s a spoof it’s great. But how could you contemplate sending a James Last tape to Bryan and the Roxy guys to listen to, to maybe inspire a different songwriting technique to bring wider appeal? Class!! I so remember the first time I heard the first Roxy album. Like “what is this”. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. Let’s just say it was a very interesting trip. Heard “An Electric Storm” by The White Noise in the same session.

Iain Cobby… Hey , just covered 2 HB from the 1st Album , with Zem Audu (plays with Springsteen) on Sax. Watch this space., still under construction.

John O’Brien… This is 100% a spoof, I know the guy who wrote it. I have worked on the potential of a For Your Pleasure Deluxe Edition and the reference of it on there could not be further form the truth at this point in time.

Martin Richter… but – what happened to the cassette of James Last …?

Elaine Roberts… Had to share this – it’s just priceless!

Chris Hoskins… But to be fair, “Polka-Party” is a classic.



Needles Stylus/Styli – its that one!

Who remembers having to buy a replacement needle for your record player? Nightmare for the retailer, with some customers saying I know what it looks like if I can see it. With a 100 or so, different ones in stock and 100’s more available to special order in, unless you knew the number or had the old one with you, it was a bit of a nightmare.

Matt Thomas… Bloody nightmare working in a record shop

Tony Ham… Still buy them, got a record on the turntable right now.

Lance Collins… Stanton D50. Still got some somewhere .

Dave Nattress… Definitely remember having to buy replacement needles for my first half-decent deck – a Garrard SP24 or 25 or something like. I think there were 2 basic choices Diamond or Sapphire? Testing the memory this is. Also a bit of a fiddle actually doing the change. I had a cheap sort of music centre – stereo, before this, Alba I think and before that a Dansette mono job before the Alba with a 6 record auto-change for singles. Must have needed replacement needles. Way before, my parents had a wind-up 78 playing gramophone with tiny steel needles that didn’t last long?

Robert Searle… Garrard easily better than BSR, at least it played at the right speed.

Nigel Ford… I remember having to buy a “stereo-compatible” one for the Dansette Tempo (still in attic) in order to hear the new stereo albums “properly”, maybe “Their Satanic Majesties” or “Let it Bleed” I seem to remember being one of the first I had….. but then heard it on a good neighbours (RIP Tony) Bang & Oulufsen (? spelling) and SOOOO much better!

Chris Meachen…  I remember getting the fright of my life in the 70’s when I enquired about a replacement stylus for a Shure v15 cartridge, & got a quote of £75! It was actually cheaper to buy another cartridge, complete with stylus.. (it did come in a posh carved box, but even so…)

Roger Collier… I had a V15III. I think it was about £50 in 1976 from Comet. The plastic box resembled an ornate carved chest.

Tim Moose Bruce… Used to get my goldring styli from the Trading Post in Castle st. Got all the kit components and speakers to build my first hifi from there too. Talking of old school stereo stuff, found a shop in Kings rd the other day with a load of old stuff in.

Jan Warren… Still buy them


National Hero, Minotaur – 6th and 7th April 1979 The Carlisle


photo from Jenny Hervey-Moon via Terry Pack – National Hero Paul Kendrick & Terry Pack


supplied by Mick O’Dowd

Terry Pack…  Paul Kendrick & Terry Pack. It was a pop harmony band: a guitar, bass, keys and drums quartet with three voices, doing 50s, 60s and 70s material. I enjoyed it. The drummer you can just make out was Paul ‘Bunny’ Freeman.  Out of shot is Tony Bird.

Mick O’Dowd… Am thinking maybe National Hero or Easy Street?

Terry Pack… That’s right. National Hero. We played night clubs, holiday camps, British Legions and Working Men’s’ Clubs, in the days when there were lots of those gigs, and well paid.

Mick O’Dowd… Thought it might be them as I promoted them at The Carlisle around this time Terry.

Phil Thornton… I have no memory of playing at the Carlisle with Minotaur !!! – did this happen ? was anybody there ?

Mick O’Dowd… Yes it did happen as I put it on. Not full but I made a modest profit on the night Phil.

David Miller… I was there, your Mum and Kaye were there, John Wilde even showed up…. David McKnight, Marc Reynolds and Glen too. Upstairs, wunnit…! I remember that night (April 7th) as a member of Minotaur, I lost my voice but met John Wilde for the first time. One scene was coming to an end and a new one was bubbling up and getting ready to manifest.

Tim Moose Bruce… I remember seeing Loggerhead upstairs at the Carlisle. Prog stuff if I recall. Labrath Roadshow. Great rock music disco

Mick O’Dowd… Any idea where Steve & His Brother are now Tim?

Tim Moose Bruce… I never knew them . I just saw the band that night upstairs in the carlisle. Think the main band that night was Footlose or Slack Alice as they were latterly known when they changed the band name. Harry Randall may remember that night.

Mick O’Dowd… I used Labrath regularly as Steve was very reliable. I would love to know what became of him.

Steve Fox… I’ve just found out what happens when you google your history! Great days, good memories of running the Labrath disco, van loads of gear and tons of records, I’m still in the business repairing and servicing sound gear.

8 Track Tapes – more memories


source: Neil Vazquez  http://doyouremember.com/older-memories/eight-track/

Samuel Freeman… Memories had a 8 track player on my disco deck was hard to get the tapes sometime but sounded great through speakers

Alan Esdaile… they were good for cars and vans.

Colin Norton… I  still have some and a player in my garage 🙂

Madeline Joyce Morton… I drove in to a brick wall, changing mine in the car lol

Roy Penfold… What about the healthy ‘clunk’ as you changed tracks?

Alan Pepper… Mate of mine had one I remember listening to the latest Elton John album on it Caribou ? I remember another guy I worked with had an actual record player inbuilt in his car in the early 60s !!

Tony Davis… I had one in my car and I remember that the Yes Album with Yours Is No Disgrace sounded fantastic. They seemed to be much better sound quality than cassettes.

Alan Esdaile… I can’t believe they sold any of these?

Will Cornell… Correction: 8Ts were, at best, second to LPs as far as sales volume at least here in the US where apparently they took hold more than in other markets. And Alas, the 8T Museum owned by Bucks Burnett here in Dallas, has closed it’s doors. Landlord had plans for the building and tenants had to vacate. It was fun while it lasted.

Keith Veness… Yes in my Ford Cortina 1600 GT

Josie Lawson… I used to have a machine that held those sort of tapes back in 70s…my cousin gave me it. I don’t have now…

Sandi Carlyon… I did. Had a Bread one.

Christina Prentice… Oh my god…haven’t used those since I worked in the Wimpy in Queens Road when I was at school!!!!!

Steve Fox… We just bought a player for our retro car! £15 well spent.

Nick Prince… I had an 8 track player in my first car….

Rob Grain… One player in my Mk3 Cortina 2 litre GXL ( Daytona Yellow with black vinyl of course) and one indoors in my stereo rack. Roxy Music “For Your Pleasure” used to change tracks halfway through The Bogus Man.


Royal East Sussex Hospital Radio disc jockeys – 1975

featuring David West, Alan Elmsleigh, Nick Stevens and Robbie Davies 

Leigh Wieland-Boys… Do you know if Dave West changed his surname from Cox (?) to West & whether his parents ran a hotel in Hastings? He was a friend of my brothers if it is the right person.