Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rock'n'Roll Memories - 2 - Long John Baldry

The full title of this post should read "Long John Baldry and the Hoochie Coochie Men, headlining, also with Rod Stewart as five of five on the bill".

In 1964/5 the University of Southampton music scene was divided between R&B and R&R with Friday nights at the old students' Union being dedicated to "jazz" in the form of R&B. So it was that I found myself entranced by a young man with strange hair bent over a microphone crooning the blues with a distinctive husky voice. He was first on in a concert of five acts and his name was Rod Stewart. Yes, the Rod Stewart. He was interesting, he was good, even though he was first on to a crowd yet to form for the headline act. Many years later I saw Rod perform to a packed house at Houston's Summit (~12,000 fans) and could see and hear the same persona from all those years earlier.

Later on, to a packed house, came 6' 7" Long John Baldry and his blues band, the Hoochie Coochie Men. Baldry was one of the mainstays of British Blues and a great exponent of the genre. Ironically he was too good to ever be very successful, with only one real hit to his name at a time when the Stones and others were making one hit after another. Not unlike John Mayall in that respect.

Not long after this particular gig Rod Stewart joined up with LJB and the HHM. But on that night they were separated by three other acts I don't recall one bit. The cream, as they say, does rise to the top!

Earlier Memories: The Yardbirds