Die At 27!


reposted from 2013 – as the documentary 27: Gone Too Soon is being shown on tv.

Erics Fermented Thoughts…….. Die At 27

I was browsing my music collection the other night and thought I would point out how many of my favourite artist died at the age of 27, and how similar their deaths were. Going way back to Robert Johnson he died age 27, it is believed that he was poisoned by a jealous love rival. He died at a cross roads near Greenwood, Mississippi on August 16th 1938. Jimi Hendrix also died age 27 in London on April 5th 1994, he was reported to have drowned in his own vomit that mostly consisted of red wine. It was also reported that he had taken 9 of his girlfriends sleeping pills, this might have led to his inability to wake up and save himself. Kurt Cobain died April 5th 1994 age 27 his friends and family persuaded him to book in a detox center in L.A. on March 30th 1994, he discharged himself the next day and returned to Seattle. Less than 2 weeks later he was found dead with a shotgun wound to the head, no suicide note was found. Brian Jones died July 3rd 1969 aged 27, he was found at the bottom of a swimming pool in East Sussex. Official cause of death was ‘death by misadventure’. Coroners report stated that his heart and liver were enlarged due to drug and alcohol abuse. Jim Morrison died June 29th 1975 age 27. In Paris under French law no autopsy is required if foul play is not suspected. No autopsy was carried out. The most widely held theory is that he snorted his girlfriend’s heroin thinking it was cocaine and overdosed. Janis Joplin died October 4th 1970 age 27 again she was a part of the fast and furious style of the era relying on drugs and alcohol to maintain her image. The official cause of death is listed as an overdose of heroin.

It is hard to believe that all of these artists died at such an early age and achieved such status in the music world. With all these artist there is a raw vulnerability that shows in their music that is missing in most of today’s artists. The music business nowadays is exactly that, a business. Nicely packaged and pigeonholed so that we know what we are getting. The pioneers of pop music were in a very dangerous place. I think that shows in the legacy the have left us.

Eric Harmer.

Paul Richardson… Hendrix died on Sept 18th 1970, Morrison died on July 3rd 1971.

Eric Harmer… you are right Paul, . Sorry about that I must have been on the gin when I wrote this


Jimi Hendrix – Today in 1968 (Jan 21st) Jimi recorded all along the watchtower


Today in 1968, Jimi Hendrix recorded his version of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower at Olympic Studios in London. Rolling Stone Brian Jones also played on the session. It was released on the album Electric Ladyland in September ’68 and reached number five in the British singles charts.

John Wilde…..Magic. first live band I ever saw aged 14. He destroyed his equipment. Windsor, Thames Hotel. 1965. I never recovered.

Chris Meachen….As a kid, Jimi was the person I would have most liked to have met.. What a loss to the world of music…

Pete Fisher…..definitely a jukebox favourite back in the day!

Phil Gill.….I only have to hear the first three chords of the intro and I tingle all over


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andy Qunta…..That would have been great to see JHE at the Pier! Unfortunately we hadn’t moved to Hastings by then. Still at boarding school in fact. However, we did con the school into letting us go to see the famous “Jimi Hendrix Jazz Trio” at the Albert Hall, in Feb ’69! What an experience, literally!

Chris Baker.….I was at the front of the crowd. Totally stunned!

Matt Thomas……When my old dad was working for Ellis Son & Vidlers Wine Merchants he delivered to an old country house somewhere in Kent quite a few crates of wine,it was where Hendrix was staying at the time on his British visit,anyway my dad said that as soon as he started driving through the gates he could smell a very sweet smell lol my poor old dad didnt have a clue

Backtrack 1 – Track Records sampler – 1970

anyone remember the compilation albums from Track Records?

track 1

Side 1:

1. Walk On Gilded Splinters – MARSHA HUNT
4. Pictures Of Lily – THE WHO
5. All Along The Watchtower – JIMI HENDRIX
6. Desdemona – JOHN’S CHILDREN [featuring Marc Bolan of T.Rex]

Side 2:
2. I Can See For Miles – THE WHO
3. Follow Me – EIRE APPARENT
4. It’s Been A Long Time – ANDY ELLISON
5. Call Me Lightning – THE WHO
6. The Wind Cries Mary – JIMI HENDRIX

John Mcewen… I had one many years back. Only track I can remember on it was Armenia city in the sky

Chris Baker… Some great tracks on that one! 🙂

Patrick Lewis… Have got the Backtrack with one side of the Who and one side of Hendrix. Can’t remember what number but has a blue ish cover.

James Turner… I lied just checked and I have backtrack 4 and 5 Who and Hendrix and backtrack 9 The Who.

Mick O’Dowd… Yeah I do. Some weird tracks on some of them but great stuff.

John Storer… Andy Ellison went on to form The Radio Stars and play the Pier second on a bill to Eddie & The Hot Rods. Squeeze were the first band on that night. The Eire Apparent track was produced by Hendrix, who also played on it. The band featured Henry McCullough who went on to be a member of Wings.

Mark Asseenontv Scutchings-Stevens… One of the first albums that I bought ! 🙂

Jan Warren… I still have some!!


Patrick Lewis… Jimi Hendrix’s first two Albums released by Track in their budget range about 1970-71. If I remember they were £1 each at a time when a full price album was about 38/- in old money. Have them both.

Jimi Hendrix Experience autographs & poster – Hastings Pier 22nd October 1967

Jimi Hendrix, Mitch Mitchell & Noel Redding autographs – Hastings Pier 1967 and also ‘Graham Nash’ from the Hollies! Was he backstage that night? Supplied by Mick O’Dowd.




pier poster source… Mick Bean Hastings Old Town Appreciation Group

Brandon Knights…..Hi, does anyone know where I might be able to purchase a copy of this poster? General Manager: R.E.Knights, was my Grandfather and I am a huge Hendrix fan. I was also born in 1967, – so it would mean a lot to me to get a copy framed and hang it on the wall, in the office of my Sound company!  I have also seen other posters & Flyers ( Stones, The Who etc) with Gramp’s name featured, but have been unable to track anything down for sale. – can anybody help?
My first memories of gigs on the Pier were Sham 69 & Siouxsie & The Banshees, who gave me a guitar strap! – I must have been 11 or 12 yrs old: – Very exiting & fond memories.
Such wonderful news that the Pier is being re built!

John Wilde….I’ll buy one.

Chris Farley… Well done with tracking down detailed event of Hastings Pier & Jimmy Hendrix on Oct 1967. – I was there as a teenager still at Bexhill Grammer School – never heard of the Experince or MR J Hendrix at age 17y …

Andre Martin… here is one of the HP advertisements picked at random that clearly shows Robert E Knights as General Manager.


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Jan Warren… Jimi – Always and Forever!!  Jimi, the greatest EVER!! – s’cuse me while I kiss the sky!!

Andy Qunta… Would love to have seen Jimi Hendrix on the pier.

Jenny Tyler… I was there, right at the front. X

Sheila Chamberlain… O’h my goodness I was there standing on a chair!!!!

Ian Mantel… I didn’t move down until 1972 (and would have been too young to go anyway) but does anyone remember this gig?

Mick O’Dowd… I got the autographs, all 12 copies and I’ve even kept one! Doh!

Eric Harmer… Mitch Mitchell lived in Hastings later. I went to his house

John Warner… Met Noel Redding many times at the Star Ballroom Maidstone. He played for a couple of groups based in Kent, The Loving Kind and the Lonely Ones.

Chris Meachen… I remember how the philistines painted over those autographs when the dressing rooms were redecorated.

Catherine Ireland… Graham Nash at Del la War Pavilion July 24th I believe

Alan King… I can get copies of Hendrix / Floyd / Who / Stones & Beatles posters from the Pier gigs – askAlan Esdaile to put you in touch with me if you need / want any of them – can bring them to the next SMART coffee meeting – in the meantime will find out how much they will set you back – don’t think they are too expensive

Peter Fairless… Which Beatles gig was that, then?

Mick O’Dowd…  Probably the phantom one when we got Billy J Kramer instead Pete.

Pete Fairless… Anyone still got an Ian Dury & The Blockheads ticket, I wonder Mick.

Alan Esdaile… I’m still searching for paper cuttings about this. When Ian Drury was advertised on posters for a gig on the pier and tickets being sold but was all a con. As soon as the posters went up, I contacted Stiff Records for some display material for the shop and they knew nothing about the gig and didn’t believe me. I got them to contact Bob Knights and tickets were withdrawn and the police were contacted. Stiff Records did send me some free albums for my help.


Bands We’ve Seen On Hastings Pier – Tony May

hastings pier

Tony May talking about  Bands On Hastings Pier

Hastings Pier may just be a derelict and rusting shell at the moment but its great to know that ‘the old girl’ is far from forgotten in the minds of many in the town and a number of nostalgic groups have popped up since the fire on social media websites like Facebook.

One such group –‘ Bands We’ve Seen On Hastings Pier’ http://www.facebook.com/groups/196962362327/ has proved particularly popular and has become THE place to visit on the Internet for those who desire to wax lyrical about anything to do with the Pier’s illustrious musical past.

Reading through the many posts makes you realise just how special a place Hastings Pier was in its heyday and its amazing to see just how many popular performers have contributed memories and/or photos to the group pages. In fact, almost anyone who has ever meant anything to the musical side of Hastings seems to have joined the conversation at some point and told a story or shared a memory or photograph.

Interestingly, those who had a close association with the Pier in the 1970’s seem to be the most vociferous members and there are numerous posts from Hastings favourites like Phil Thornton, Mick Mepham, Pete Fairless, Johnny Mason (Alan Esdaile), Terry Huggins, Ken Dengate, Robert Wren and a host of others.Don’t for a second though think that the party is an all male affair. Oh No! Plenty of ladies including Pam Shallcross, Yvonne Cleland and Margaret Haywood are regular posters and are just as passionate and chatty regarding their own personal memories.

It never ceases to make me smile when I think of the ‘eclectic’ selection of acts to have appeared on the Pier over the years…One of the weirdest groups of all perhaps was ‘Gong’. A ‘space rock, psychedelic, progressive rock band’, the group was never one to do things by half and Phil Thornton remembers that “UV lights, gliss guitar and paper plates” were all ingredients of the bands stage show.

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Weekend Of Music Talks – The Hub Hastings 28th & 29th March 2015.

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poster supplied by Andre Martin. photos supplied by The Battle for Hastings Pier Facebook page. (1) Andre Martin, (2) Roy Brigden, (3) Archie Lauchlan, (4) Beatrice Rapley, (5) Christian Lloyd.

SAT 28 MARCH 2015

Join Archivist ROY BRIGDEN for an introduction to Hastings Pier’s rich and diverse musical heritage as he shares the latest finds from the pier’s Digital Memory.

Watch music-themed preview scenes from filmmaker ARCHIE LAUCHLAN’S soon-to-be-released documentary ‘Re: A Pier’ as he focuses on Hastings Pier’s links with British pop movements.

Hear author DR. CHRISTIAN LLOYD reading sections from his new book on Jimi Hendrix, featuring newly discovered archival material from North America.

SUN 29 MARCH 2015
Back by popular demand, band promoter and historian ANDRE PALFRY-MARTIN tells us about the history of the ballroom on Hastings Pier. This talk will be followed by a Q&A and discussion, so you can share your memories of Hastings Pier’s ballroom too.


Talks are all in The Hub (the old White Rock Baths) on Hastings seafront, east of Hastings Pier.

Alan Esdaile… Good talk on Saturday from Roy Brigden and Archie Lauchlan preview film. Very pleased they gave a special mention and thanks to Chris Meachen and Mick Mepham for the wealth of photos and posters. Also Roy said Stallion played the pier 15 times in total, more than any other band. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Archie Lauchlan impressive preview video was mainly focusing on Pink Floyd and The Sex Pistols, with Colin Bell and Barry Taylor’s memories. However he managed to get an interview with Nick Mason of Pink Floyd talking about the Hastings gig. He showed a sneak preview of some of the graphics that one of his team is working on and its going to be a must see video when completed.

Andre Martin… Yes we have had an excellent weekend of memories, even with the weather that made us all remember the dash from the Prom to the front entrance, and worse after the show when it was dark and cold as well !!

The Battle for Hastings Pier… New display of archive materials celebrating Hastings Pier’s musical heritage in The Hub. Do pop in and have a look. The Hub is open Wednesdays & Thursdays 1-4pm, and Fridays and Saturdays 11 – 4pm.

Steve Winwood rock stars group photo and Blind Faith.

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© Steve Winwood https://www.facebook.com/stevewinwood?fref=photo&sk=photos

Steve Winwood… (First photo) Steve Winwood with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Burdon, John Mayall, Carl Wayne, Roy Wood, Noel Redding, and Mitch Mitchell. (Second Photo) On this date in 1969, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Steve Winwood assembled in Berkshire for the first rehearsals of the band that would become Blind Faith.

Eric Harmer… What a line up.I met Mitch at his house in battle then he moved to Hastings before his death.

John Wilde… In my opinion the greatest band ever. Their one album (with the infamous artwork)is absolute genius EVERY track a gem. If you never heard it go out and find it. CD available from Ebay. I  had the pleasure of seeing them live twice. Brilliant!

Mick O’Dowd… Would they be able to get away with that album cover these days?

Mick Knights… Showing my age, but I saw their debut in Hyde Park.

John Wilde… Hyde park and Glastonbury free festival 1970. The original cover art still available on the CD.

John Storer… Mere possession of that album cover constitutes an offence under section 1 of the Protection of Children Act 1978 if a court considered it to be “indecent” … so don’t shout about it if you’ve got it! LOL



Jimi Hendrix – Pier poster for sale.

Thanks to Jim Breeds for finding this.


Jim Breeds… Here’s a poster we’ve seen before, but this copy is a bit special. Click through to find out more.

Anyone got a spare $20 – $30,000?


John Wilde…Whoooooaah. THIS is a Holy Relic. Where do I pilgrimage, to touch it?

Alan Esdaile… Here’s the autographs . supplied by Mick O’Dowd . We did question the Graham Nash autograph before and wondered if it was him from the Hollies or someone else?


Peter Millington…I’m not convinced that the Graham Nash signature is right. Below is his autograph from the Hollies visit to Hastings pier on 124th August 1963. I witnessed him and the rest of the original Hollies signing a publicity photograph for me and I still have it under lock and key.


supplied by Peter Millington

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