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Mothers Club In Erdington, Birmingham

CJ Stone is an author, columnist and feature writer. He has written seven books, and columns and articles for many newspapers and magazines.

Mothers Club in Erdington, Birmingham, an early psychedelic music venue, opened on the 9th of August 1968 with a performance by Duke Sunny, and closed on the 3rd of January 1971, with a blockbusting three-band show by Quintessence, Stonehouse and Happy. The following is a personal record of that club, and that era.

John Peel: "People are amazed to hear that for a few years the best club in Britain was in Erdington."

Roy Harper: "Oh blimey - that was the first club outside London that meant anything at all and that's why there's been this long association with Birmingham. I played there about six times between 1968 and 1970. I have always enjoyed playing here." Brum Beat Magazine 1995


If you remember Mothers, please leave a comment below.

Hair country


I don't know now who suggested we go to Mothers. There was a gang of us, just sixteen years old, and all into this "new" music. Alan Greensall and Robert Russell and Kevin Nurrish and Colin Walker and me: all sporting our brand-new centre-partings as our hair crept unceremoniously over our ears, with little bum-fluff moustaches staining our upper lips. This must have been 1969. The year previously we'd come back from our Summer holidays to find psychedelic graffiti slapped around the walls of our school, in swirling, colourful letters. All you need is love. Turn on, tune in, drop out. Make Love not War. They were heady days, in more ways than one. Hippies never referred to themselves as hippies at all. They called themselves "Heads".

So, anyway, whoever first suggested it, we all trouped off to Mothers, the Mecca for psychedelic music in Birmingham at the time and the only place to see the new bands. The thing is, none of us knew what to expect. We were discussing it beforehand, wondering what to wear. I mean, in those days people still went out fox-trotting on a Friday evening. They dressed up in suits and ties to make a night of it. So, of course, that's what we thought we should do too. We put on our best suits. Mine was a four-buttoned Mod-suit made for me by my grandfather. And Robert Russell's, as I remember, was a two-tone suit of shiny grey. I had on a pair of brogues.

As soon as we got to the queue we knew we'd made a mistake. No one else had suits on at all. They were in battered jeans with triangular, flowery-vents to make them flared, with ragged patches all over them, which hung about the heels sucking up the dirt. And some of them were wearing old stripy blazers or duffel coats two sizes too small. And bangles and beads and badges. And they all had hair. Cascades of hair. Puff-ball frizzes of hair, like mini nuclear explosions on their heads, and beards and sideburns and moustaches to make our feeble attempts look like a joke. It was like we'd walked into a foreign country. Hair country.

It was after that night that I started to dress down, and my Mum became embarrassed at the strange incomprehensible monster I was turning into. She just couldn't understand why I ripped my jeans on purpose, and put patches all over them, when she was quite happy to buy me a new pair. Ah Mothers: they never do understand, do they? So there were two kinds of Mother now: the cool, clubby sort; and then the other sort, the one at home who continued to remind you that you were still only a boy really.

The queue shuffled grumblingly down the alley into a side-entrance, and then we were shepherded into a gloomy room. It was five bob to get in. That's five shillings to you, or 25p. It was five bob for the lesser bands, and twelve and six (55p) for the top-notch superstars. Pink Floyd recorded parts of their live album, Ummagumma there, and Traffic had their world debut there. Led Zeppelin played there, as did many of the top bands of the period.

I remember posters on the walls and the tang of beer. The walls were painted black. There was a set of creaking wooden stairs with posters all the way up. Posters on the ceiling. The bar was as the back, behind a partition. We bought our pints (although we were far too young and certainly didn't look old enough) and went to sit at the front. There were rickety chairs lined up. Dancing was scorned, unless it was Idiot Dancing, that crazed head-shaking twitch that made the performer look like he was just developing Parkinson's disease. Then the band came on. I forget who they were, except they played harmony guitars. They glanced out at the audience and said, "hey look, the straights are here." We were looking over our shoulders wondering who they were talking about. It took a second before we realised it was us. We took compensation from the fact that they called us straights rather than schoolboys. At least it implied we stood for something.

Too cool to talk

Soft Machine: so intellectual that they took their name from a William Burroughs novel

Soft Machine: so intellectual that they took their name from a William Burroughs novel

Actually, on reflection, and after much consideration, I think I do remember the band. They were called the Blossom Toes, and I've put one of their tracks on the top of the page. I even went out and bought their album. They are one of the forgotten bands of the 60s now, which is a pity, because they were good. I know that Robert Russell and Alan Greensall, budding guitarists both, spent the evening straining forward to watch the guitarists' fingers leap about the fret-board like Chinese money-lenders with an abacus. And afterwards we had curry and chips from a takeaway (that was the height of exotica at the time) and then walked home. It took hours. We lived virtually on the other side of Birmingham, in Sheldon. When I got home my parents were still awake. My Dad shouted at me. He said, "what time do you call this?" I said, "I dunno, what time do you call it then?" He said, "don't be so cheeky." It was the beginning of youthful rebellion for me. Mum couldn't sleep, he told me. I guess he was irritated that me being awake was keeping Mum awake, which was keeping him awake.

After that we started going to Mothers on a regular basis, almost every Friday night, and sometimes on a Wednesday too, if I remember. We saw a string of bands. Black Sabbath were virtually the resident band there. Black Sabbath were from just down the road, in Aston. There was the Edgar Broughton Band with their homage to Captain Beefheart.

I remember Blodwyn Pig, who were some sort of off-shoot from Jethro Tull. And the Soft Machine, who were so intellectual that they took their name from a William Burroughs novel, and who appeared at the proms one year. I liked Soft Machine. John Peel was DJ-ing one night. He was already balding, though his hair dangled limply over his shoulders. He was wearing stripy fingerless gloves. He played the whole of one side of Anthem Of The Sun by the Grateful Dead, and never spoke a word. Psychedelic DJs were far too cool to speak, though it made you wonder exactly what they were being paid for.

We saw the Battered Ornaments, who were Pete Brown's band, and the Deviants. The Deviants had once been Mick Farren's band, when they were called The Social Deviants. Mick Farren had an underlying political message. He later went on to write for the NME, and to found the free festival movement with his Phun City benefit festival for the Oz defendants, and has since become a freelance writer of some renown.

In those days several of the bands used to ritually destroy their equipment as the finale of the set. It was a radical statement against the perversity of materialism. The Who did it first, then Jimi Hendrix. The Deviants were so radical that they destroyed their drum kit at the beginning of the set, and had to play rest of the night without. Far-out, man. Cool. This was probably intentional as they were not a particularly good band.

And that's all I remember of Mothers. A cultural eddy in the current of time, some passing moments from the late sixties and early seventies. Will it ever be the same again? Will anything ever be the same?

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After I'd finished writing this I was telling a friend about the club. We were talking about our first hangover. I told him about Mothers and how one night I'd woken up with cramp after drinking beer for the first time.

"Mothers Club?" he asked, puzzled. "Why would you want to go to a Mothers Club?" He was confused. He had visions of groups of Mothers sitting round discussing knitting patterns and child care arrangements.

"No, Mothers as in Mother f***ers," I told him, faintly embarrassed. The spell was broken. I could never hear the name ‘Mothers' again without thinking of the knitting.

The site of what was once Mothers club in Birmingham

The site of what was once Mothers club in Birmingham


© 2008 Christopher James Stone


Steve Draper on November 02, 2018:

Went to the Mothers around 1970 to see Taste. What a band what a guitarist, Rory Gallagher. Very hot and sweaty but the first time I had seen groups away from the big venues like Coverntry Hippodrome (Cream), Birmingham Town Hall (The Flock and Traffic) and De Montfort (reformed Traffic).

Graham on January 31, 2017:

Great memories of Mothers. Me and my mate Pete used to travel from Walsall on a scooter. Saw my first live band there, Roger Chapman's Family. Highlight has to be Pink Floyd on Mothers Day. Remember standing in the queue breathing in the pot laden air. Other bands we saw were Chicago, Colluseum, Ground Hogs, Taste. Happy days, still got my membership card.

Diane on February 05, 2016:

I remember Edgar broughton band, also saw Derek and the dominoes at mothers but saw loads of bands at the Town hall - jethro tull, canned heat, yes to name but a few, back in 1969/1970 happy days

richard guitar69 on November 03, 2015:

The plaque is still there and the building is empty, all the leaves are brown, there are bands once a year at the carnival in July at the moment

tony on November 02, 2015:

although 6 years ago -read your comments doug,hope you doin well.rgds.tony&bren.

tony on October 30, 2015:

read comments above #I remember Paul{born deaf{with his head pressed against the stacks.Said he could feel the music that close


hello Paul!happy daze!

tony on October 30, 2015:

I was there on last night-Got the paper sign above Gents saying"brothers".Sure that band was "stonehouse happy".That was Sunday night.Elton john did the Saturday.Was ther on 1st weds night gig of Black Sabbath,2/6 instead of 5 bob.Lenny on door(all members with cards!)said "if ya don't like em ya can av yer money back!"

Peter Davis on April 09, 2015:

Re Derek Webb you did see Hendrix at Bham odeon April 67 along with walker bros.. Cat Stevens and engelbert doing frankie vaughans "green door". Mothers was a fantastic club went there three times a week and the Carlton before that. Needed a coat of paint but soundwise quality was great. The times people were carried out through the emergency exit on warm nights with full houses many people passing out over the period,but so many memorable nights.there was a book available from erdington library interesting read with a list of every may still be available. I remember so many acts like free,trapeze,fair port convention,jethro Tull, the nice,band of joy with plant and bonham,family,gracious,skid row with the teenager Gary moore and many others. The only act I was disappointed in was john mayall blues breakers mainly because mayalls vocals were dreadful but once out of around150 ain't bad I lived in erdington up 1981 and nothing compares to it now. Robin bilston jbs Dudley have had the occasional big name but most of it now consists of cover bands

Derek Webb on January 08, 2015:

I thought i saw Jimi Hendrix at the Odeon in New Street, it must have been at Mothers - shows what state I was in. Saw Taste there and I think I saw Cream or was that at the Swan in Yardley, brain has gone to S**T . Still listen forward music as well as old stuff. Thanks for the memory's


John Krzeminski on December 22, 2014:

Has anybody got an enlargeable version of the "Complete Mothers Gig Guide" 68-71? Dave Alexander's is barely readable to old, tired eyes. I was 17 when I saw Canned Heat in Sept 68. Came back many, many times thereafter for, Taste, Elton John, Chicago, Pink Floyd, Spirit, Pentangle, Traffic et al. Overriding memories.....rough scrumpy, blacked-out windows, humidity, John Peel, Erskine T and 2 buses home to Balsall Heath

John Twigger on August 27, 2014:

What a fab site ,and the memories . I used to work at Burtons (Tailors ),whose manager was Big Al Johnson( who was well known on the Birmingham music scene , being with Mike Sheridan and the nightriders ) under The Carlton Ballroom , (Mothers) Went there several times on a Saturday morning with my mate Denny Ball(Danny kings Mayfair set Mayfair Set) to audition for various bands ,One I think was for a band to promote Elvis Presley film" Roustabout" , The band were called The Roustabouts. I used to take photos of the bands denny was in and have just dug them out. One photo Taken at mothers features Denny , Danny King and a very youthful Trevor Burton . At this time I remember the Bouncers getting rather uptight when I was taking some photos , but they soon stopped when they realised that I was (with the band) I also used to frequent The Belfry as it was within walking distance(4 miles ) of where I used to live in Falcon Lodge . One night I was rather PxxxxD and thinking of how to get home and I met a wonderful young lady who offered me a lift (I married her and she is still the best person to have ever graced The Belfry and we have been married for 40 years .

peter chappell on August 02, 2014:

mothers was the carlton club originatlly and the moody blues were the resident group. i used to be there 2/3 times a week.

richard guitar69 on June 17, 2014:

I still live here and I fancy doing it as well,trying to reopen it or put a venue in the empty pub what was the Roebuck, they still had bands playing in the Lyndhurst pub in the 1990s which is no longer there, one gig was at mothers cafe last March in the precinct, the Pretty Things are hoping to be playing at Erdington carnival on July 12 as we had a carnival last year on July 13

Duncan Newton on June 15, 2014:

Does anybody fancy joining me in trying to reopen it. Am looking for a development opportunity in Erdington where I live and this sounds perfect.

O'Moracue on June 14, 2014:

My over-riding memory of Mothers was the look of astonishment and horror on my own dear Mothers face as she stood on the far side of the High Street watching her Son and Hair dancing and singing behind the Hare Krishna band as they performed al-fresco before their evening gig.

I'm not sure,but I swear I heard a cock crow trice.

John S on March 30, 2014:

First went to Mothers on a sultry September night to see Canned Heat. It was so hot in there people were passing out all over the place. I don't think the venue would pass today's "elf'n'safety" regs. Great gig as were The Nice, Family & Principal Edwards and many others. One night I saw Duster Bennett - a phenomenally talented one-man blues band. Sadly I was one of about 6 who turned up because it clashed with Cream's farewell concert on the telly. Lovely man- very approachable - I mourned his death. I went to work in Australia in October 69 and came back at the end of 71. No Mothers. I think the halcyon days of progressive music had gone. People were not so nice to each other anymore. Compensation was seeing Captain Beefheart at the Town Hall and Country Joe and the Fish with Dorothy Moskovitz at Barbarellas.

steve cook on September 19, 2012:

me and my school mate george o gara were 15 went to hodge hill saw the animals open for fleetwood mac at mothers when pete green played with them we were drinking mackisons and all the older crowd were stoned it was an all nighter great memory

John Taylor123 on April 05, 2012:

Nice to hear your comments about my old club.

phil on April 04, 2012:

great memories of mothers rory gallagher canned heat on the canned heat gig they had to halt the show it was so hot and with all the condensation they were scared the band was going to be fried

jerry cahill on March 24, 2012:

An unreliable memory tells me I saw Fleetwood Mac there in 1969 or thereabouts still featuring Peter Green. The boy could play. Procul Harum, Argent, John Hiseman's Colusseum and Ten years After with Alvin Lees guitar leaving your ears ringing an hour after you got out. John Peel DJd one night and announced and played "Cliff's Latest Single". Stunned silence as Cliff warbled. About 30 seconds in a great needle scratch and the 45 was frisbeeing across the room. Cheers all round.Moisture running down the painted walls. Fun.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on March 14, 2012:

Glad to hear there's a plaque now. It's a piece of history which deserves to be remembered.

richardguitar69 on March 13, 2012:

There is a plaque there now the furniture shop has opened again

Phill on March 12, 2012:

I'd heard of it and just went one night. Had to catch 2 buses and the Night Service ones back to Shirley. I saw Family a couple of times, Fairport Convention, Soft Machine plus a few more. I did decline to go to see The Who (was the tickets about 19/6d then?)I thought I'd catch them some other time, which I didn't.

richardguitar69 on December 01, 2011:

The furniture shop there has closed down now, the place is empty

Holmes of MEtal on November 30, 2011:

The original source of the Roy Harper quote is Brum Beat Magazine 1995

Rob Horrocks on November 30, 2011:


Did you know about the Home of Metal exhibition.

The show at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery included some original mothers posters.

You can see them HERE,....

I look forward to reading all these comments.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 19, 2011:

We should start a campaign to have a plaque put up.

richard guitar69 on August 19, 2011:

No there's no plaque there either, been upstairs there the once, must do it again just incase they've put one there but I don't think they have, got Pink Floyds ummagumma which they recorded there

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 18, 2011:

Sad really. Is there a plaque to mark where it was? There should be.

richard guitar69 on August 18, 2011:

No groups play here at all these days,there's furniture upstairs in that shop where the bands used to play, this towns like a ghost town,bands don't play no more to quote the specials, like to have been a bit older in the late sixties when I lived here then, even Gene Vincent appeared in this High Street, bands still play in the midlands, you have to travel to see them when I live walking distance from Erdington High Street.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 17, 2011:

Do bands still play above the furniture shop though? And if they do, are they still of the same quality as the ones who played at Mothers. Agree about the drugs though. Don't need them any more. Or rather, to be perfectly honest, just haven't got the stamina.

richard guitar69 on August 17, 2011:

The venue is still there, it's a furniture shop, lived in Erdington until 1970, was eight then, too young to go to Mothers, used to go to the Saturday morning pictures, moved back to Erdington in 85, still live here, got my own flat, shame there isn't much going on here at night, listening to the Grateful Dead right now like all this type of music without having to do drugs.

Phalpin on March 19, 2011:

I saw Roy Harper for the first time at Mothers,he sang acouple of songs, we were sitting on floor somewhere, stoned. People were just milling around, Roy got a bit pissed at the lack of attention and just walked off. I also saw Ozzie, boy he was crazy but then so were we all.

JamesR on October 04, 2010:

Erdington was a place you passed through, now you don't even do that if you can avoid it! we were 21 in 69 so passed by Mothers.

But, the venue was cool, not for me the later incarnation but the earlier 'Carlton' I think on a Wed/Sat, great bands and first time we ever saw UV light, you thought you were cool till it picked up all the white bits....

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on September 13, 2010:

Hi Chris, yes it was the coolest place in Britain back then, outside London that is.

Chris on September 13, 2010:

I can't believe Erdington used to be some cool place, considering the chav-infested place it is now. To know that Black Sabbath and Led actually took time to play where I live, is awesome. Atleast I have something positive to say now when someone asks about where I live.

DB on August 13, 2010:

Yes I remember Amazing Grace I bought it after hearing it at Mothers. It was by the Great Awakening.Released in 1969 on the London label. I bet its worth some money now!!

Carol G on August 10, 2010:

Yes, they really were THE DAYS...I treasured my membership card; kind of swirly purple and yellow design. My first band there was The Who...followed weekly by Family, Taste, Mott the Hoople, and I remember they used to play Amazing Grace, and sometimes the flip side ...Silver something or other just before bands came on. It was so packed, and the sweatiest place on the Planet...wish it wa still there, wish I was 16 again

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on August 08, 2010:

I'm glad so many people are enjoying this and that it seems to have become a site for remembering your experiences of what was probably - no certainly! - the best music venue outside of London at the time. Keep it up! I'm enjoying reading all of your memories too.

Cher on August 08, 2010:

I also stumbled across this site! I was telling my son about my mis-spent youth LOL! Born and bred in Erdington I began by attending the Friendship Hall whilst still at school, but well before leaving, aged just 15, I had become a Mother's addict! I have superb memories of the bands I saw there, and of all the old friends now long lost. I can remember I cried for days after it got shut down! A couple of times we tried the "replacement venue" - Stepmothers at the Belfry, but it was doomed from the start. You can't replicate perfection! A big "Hi" to all fellow Mother lovers - those really were THE days!!!! :)

john saunders on June 27, 2010:

what a place friend nick and myself used to travel to birmingham to go clubing (nothing like it down south)become members god knows how..but when you were a member you walked up the stairs on the left side went straight in ..leaving the rest to ue on the other side

..even got a lift from the owner while triying to get to walverhampton ..great memorys of great music and the heat almost made you pass out..

rhod mortimore on May 19, 2010:

Went to mothers on several occasions.Live in Rugby but went to Brum and after the shows crashed out in the car with my mate Jeff driving back in the morning..Pink floyd,bakerloo,joe cocker,medicine head, John Peel and some black guy DJ who was great.Last time went to see jefro Tull around christmas believe it was the first appearance of Martin Barr.It was Christmas New year time and was usually about 7/6p to get in but I reckon J Tull had just got a hit record and the price went up to 10 bob never forgiven them.

paul edwards on March 11, 2010:

i working at the mothers what i saw pink floyd,black sabbath,led zepplin 'etc,,,, it relly good time,,

i was born deaf i can little bit hear.

ozzy told my boss cus i'am under age. blackman throw me out !!!! i had no money no food for 3 days just walk all the way back home. i was upset but enjoy it !! it golden oldie.......


David Nettleton on September 28, 2009:

DJ'd in Denmark 'til jan 1970 - Pal & I went to Mothers, showed him what a Chilum is, was, via a snapped off Britvic bottle

Stashed the goods under a bin opposite the venue on High Street, fortunatley since 70's old bill were not that 'detective'

Think our first visit was with some Irish guy we later learned was to become Rory Gallagher playing through an AC30 et al!

Entrance for this band called Tasted was, I think 4shillings (20p to you kids today)

the band, the gig was fantastic, especially with the kabul and the red leb the young old bill failed to find!

Also, at some later date, just 'going to Mothers' we saw Big Boy Arthur Crudup, can't remember who he was supposedly supporting though

Twas refreshing to hear Sly & Family Stone Sex Machineby DJ since I'd always played that in Scandinavia

I think, we also saw, heard, Fat Mattress, Blodwyn Pig and I think Spooky Tooth and yes we got in to the very last one, Pink floyd on a Sunday night

Happy days, even now 'sober' (why can't we get the old "weaker" stuff these days - don't you just hate teeenagers?)

DB on August 31, 2009:

I remember the club well and Birmingham City Library have a book written about the club listing every act that was on.

Most memourable was The Family, Free, Elton John (one night playing on an upright piano, he was not impressed!!) Quintessence, finishing their set by playing in the Erdington High Street and many others. The most packed night for me was Pentangle who charged 12/6 (62p) which was a lot of money then.

I had to travel back home to Worcester on the milk train from New Street, leaving at 2.20am and walk home but it was worth it at the time.

johnboy on August 26, 2009:

Great days... saw Elton John at Mothers for five bob !

Baz Smith on July 26, 2009:

Just found this reference to Mothers. It was a great place to play. I was resident there on drums with The Chucks who eventually became The Way Of Life ( mentioned in every book on Led Zep). At that time John Bonham was just another fan asking questions about drumming. After I left for a much better paid jazz gig John followed in my footsteps and joined The Way Of Life and the rest is history as they say. This probably gives the link to Led Zepplin playing at Mothers. Im surprised no one has mentioned Screaming Lord Sutch playing at Mothers as the piano was always demolished and had to be replaced after his performance.

arthur pilkington on July 17, 2009:

great club - saw skid row & taste happy days

Sean Toal on June 23, 2009:

I first went to Mothers to see an American outfit called Steppenwolf, they were soso. Forgive me if I sound blasé but by then I'd already seen the Beatles, the Who (from three feet away), the Small Faces and the Spenser Davis group perform. John Kay the lead singer spoiled the show by refering to guitar feedback as 'weird washing machine music'. I couldn't take him seriously after that. Still 'Born to be Wild' was okay.

However, the little mod sort who walked in was a different kid who came out. I loved the place.

The next band I saw was the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and they were good, that is until Arthur set his hair aflame during 'Fire' and Vincent Crane the organist pissed himself at the sight.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on May 05, 2009:

Glad you liked it Doug. You were lucky living so near. It used to take us about 2 hours to get home. (Sheldon & South Yardley). I think it is still a carpet shop.

Doug Twyford on May 04, 2009:

Just stumbled on this site and an excellent description of Mothers. I grew up on the edge of Erdington and as a little kid used to watch Saturday morning movies at the Palace (wasn't it a penny to get in ?) Then, much older, it was a 25 minute walk to Mothers...down that side ally to queue up...'Clapton is God' grafitti. Grubby...great...fantastic. Long hair, thin, old German WWII greatcoats in the winter. My Mom made me swear that I could never even mention the word 'Mothers' to Dad. Then it was mentioned on the Beeb and we all knew it truly was the place that was the cutting edge...and SUCH an inconspicuous place...fantastic. Wasn't it above a carpet shop? or was that later ?

TonyB on March 25, 2009:

UK's contribution to music will never be forgotten!

Home Of Metal on October 28, 2008: would love to hear from you!

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on July 21, 2008:

Doctor Collis Browns had morphine in it believe it or not. You could still buy morphine over the counter in those days. The banana skins were just stupid. Where did we get that idea from? You should sue over your loss of hearing. Ha!

Alan Greensall on July 21, 2008:

Chris, You are right! The very first time I went was with Robert and Kevin. I have a hazy memory that you parents did not like the idea and you were kept away (you really did suffer from being the oldest, whereas Bob and I were the youngest, so our parents had a much more lenient and laissez-faire approach.

Ah the walks home. It gave us a chance to sober up and we may even have got our hearing back by the time we got home. Unfortunately, one of the Bands you mentioned (Blodwyn Pig) were supporting Colosseum when we went one Saturday. We sat directly in front of the PA, and had a flautist (Alan Lancaster??) blasting into my right ear all night!. The loss of hearing from that night, which was usually temporary, has never really gone away. But a least we had the Chips, with Pickled Onion (6d) before we set off home. In food exploration, Chris took me into areas never explored in my family home. The Stone family were the first to have Vesta Curries. How exotic, how cutting edge was that in 1967! I know i'm deviating but I have so many snippets that are suddenly being resurrected. Remember the first experiments with Doctor-CB cough medicine, and frying banana skins to smoke in Kevins front room? MAD MAGAZINE never made me laugh after that escapade:)

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on July 20, 2008:

Ah Alan, yes, but as I remember it (unless you were going there first without me) the first band were Blossom Toes. They were the ones who described us as "straights". I'd forgotten about Free and about carrying their gear. I do remember the long walks home though and the belated discovery that if you caught a bus into town and then back out again you could be home in half the time. Pass this hub on if you still know anyone. I passed it onto Pam and Joe, but theyr're the only ones I still have any contact with these days.

Alan Greensall on July 20, 2008:

Wow, Just found this hub page. Great to read. 'Mothers' was such a seminal part of our music education. Just to fill in some of the gaps. The first band we attended (and was so embarrassed by our lack of cool) was Pink Floyd. The band with the harmony guitars (that so impressed Robert Russell and I, were the Blossom Toes (playing 'Love Bomb'). We really got into drinking mainly cider (we were so young that beer was not on the top of our likes at the time, or perhaps it was cheaper, i just cant remember). We should not forget that we also saw Free many times. I can remember one Wednesday evening (5 shillings (25p) to get in) We arrived way too early and was just hanging around, when Free arrived with John Peel. We helped them carry in the gear and got a free cider each!. We saw Led Z on their return to the UK just as the Led Z 1 was being released. Needless to say I bought that one.

It was a really good time where we collectively bought albums each experimenting and then sharing the results. Chris of course bought Soft M and Tiny Tim & The Dead (but Bob Dylan was his main focus until Jazz took over) I bought Free - Jeff Beck -Hendrix -Cream Taste. Robert Russell was Led Zep, Free etc. Kevin Nurrish was Spooky Tooth -Deep Purple

We saw so many great bands and solo artists at that little venue, some went onto greatness, some just faded into oblivion. I still have a faded monthly upcoming gig sheet from 1969. These were handed out as you walked into the club. Its a scrappy sheet of paper that I consider a real treasure.

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on June 30, 2008:

Yes, "freaks" was another name. The Soft Machine were from Canterbury, which is about 6 miles from where I live now. My current favourite musician of all time is Robert Wyatt who was the drummer with Soft Machine. Later he fell out of a bedroom window and broke his spine and is now confined to a wheelchair, but he still sings like an angel and writes the MOST interesting music. I'm hoping to get an interview with him and to maybe write a book about the Canterbury Scene at some point. But Birmingham was a different world altogether. Black Sabbath and the Moody Blues. What was your band called. No, let me guess. It was The Cold War Babies.

ColdWarBaby on June 30, 2008:

We also called ourselves "freaks".

"My mask is my master the trumpeter screams. But his voice is so weak as he speaks from his dreams" Why Are We Sleeping by Soft Machine which was an encredibly progressive jazz group. They opened for Jimi Hendrix at the Newport Jazz Festival. They were fantastic!

I began my attempted career as a rock musician around then. I played in some fantastic clubs around Connecticut and New York State. Those were days of hope and promise but we allowed them to be bought by the corporate machine. I only pray we can bring something like that consciousness back to NOW.

Great HUB.

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on June 30, 2008:

Of course I player it, Chris! And I had it on my player at Myspace for several weeks whn I first found the EBB on there. Edgar says the demons have got more powerful because we didn't shout loud enough!

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on June 29, 2008:

Just got the joke Helen, though I don't know what that string of letters mean; ROFLMHOHEF. Enlighten me.

Black Sabbath were never the best of groups though. It was funny seeing them in Mothers cos they were like the local band. Frank Zappa referred to the new clubs as "psychedelic dungeons" in We're Only In It For The Money. I think my hubs already have the makings of an "Old Heads Club".

Creativita on June 29, 2008:

CJ, a wonderful trip (<-- no LSD pun intended) down nostalgia lane. In those days, had you ever heard the story of a young hippie couple in Greenwich Village (the "unusual-people" section of lower Manhattan, New York City)....who were pushing their baby's carriage (pram) along their sidewalk? When, suddenly, the child said, "Mother." The hippie daddy then turned to his wife, exclaiming, "Look, Honey, he said half a word." ROFLMHOHEF -Helen (a.k.a. Creativita)

Constant Walker from Springfield, Oregon on June 29, 2008:

Wow, Zsuzsy; Black Sabbath! And Ozzy is now Lord Osbourne. Oh, the times, they have a-changed.

I'd completely forgotten about hippies referring to themselves as "heads," but as soon as I read that line, I remembered! One of us old farts on HP should start an Old Heads Club. The "kids" (anyone under 30!) will have no idea what we're talking about. Hee-hee!

Fun hub!

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on June 29, 2008:

Ahh! Those were the good old days! Or were they? Summer of 68 my girlfriends Dad brought us along on one of his business trips to just outside of London.(we still lived in Belgium then) Francoise and I were not quite 15 yet. We snuck out of the Hotel. Three blocks over there was one of the ";new"; psychedelic clubs. How we managed to sneek in is beyond me. We just caught the end set of Black Sabbath who were not even supposed to play there. They were having a night off and some fans had begged them onto the stage. Here we were two long stringy haired fourteen year olds standing about ten feet away from the group that became world famous. One of the finest moments of my past. I know we were nowhere near Birmingham but it was around the same time. Great hub CJ! brought back some nice memories. regard Zsuzsy

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on June 29, 2008:

There's an Edgar Broughton track on here. Did you play it?

Steve Andrews from Lisbon, Portugal on June 29, 2008:

I used to go to the Kee Club in Bridgend and Peel used to mention it on Top Gear. I saw Daddy Long Legs there and the Edgar Broughton Band ,who I'd become a huge fan of after I saw them at the IOW. They are still playing and I am on their friends list at Myspace.

I went to Phun City too! This hub really takes me back, Chris!

I am remembering the jeans you threw bleach all over too to make far out whitish blotches. I did that and put triangles of coloured material in the bottoms to make flares. I converted my striped school blazer into a waistcoat by taking the arms off and putting gold tassle brading around the arm holes and I added bronze buttons with an anchor on them to complete the effect. I ended up giving it to a girl called Jane who wanted it. My other stripey blazer you had! lol

Christopher James Stone (author) from Whitstable, UK on June 29, 2008:

That's me. I'm one of those people with funny accents. London was a bit grey in those days. It's very cosmopolitan now with lots of food on offer. I never could stand Rod Stewart myself. I think it had something to do with that haircut. Well anyone who could sing a song called "Do You Thnk I'm Sexy" has to be a dick.

pgrundy on June 29, 2008:

Wow. A thousand years ago, and in Britain yet. You write so well though, I could almost picture it. I was in England once, in 1972. There were all these people there with funny accents and nothing very good to eat. I stayed a month, in London, then came home. Bill, my roomie, was a roadie back in the day. He set up for Rod Stewart once--said he was a total dick, totally full of himself.

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