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With Cream please, at Birmingham University

db84124

Brummophile
It was probably 1967. Was anybody present in the Great Hall of the University of Birmingham when Cream played to an almost packed house? Eric Clapton was wonderful that night; Jack Bruce was extraordinary and Ginger Baker simply stratospheric with a drum solo which must have lasted 20 minutes! Were you there? Can you remember the date?
 

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
Unfortunately I wasn't but boy I would have loved to have been.:wave:
 
L

Linda Knowles

Guest
My husband tells me he saw them at Birmingham Town Hall in the 6o s and that 20 minute drum solo by Ginger Baker was a number called Camel's and Elephants:p

Linda
 

G G Jean

Brummy Wench.
I like Jim would loved to have been there also. I bet your husband enjoyed it Linda. Pete saw them at the Town Hall too maybe the same venue. Jean.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I was in the Great Hall that night, and standing no more than 3 yards from Clapton's Marshall stack. Cream were incredible that evening. The drum-solo was called 'Toad', by the way. I took my new girl-friend, and she said she couldn't hear anything for a week afterwards. The Hall was full almost to suffocating point. I heard afterwards that they had to re-seal most of the windows because of the decibels!

Strangely enough, I've never been able to ascertain the date of that gig, either! Not included in any gig list I've seen. It was either late-1966 or early-1967 if my memory serves.

I saw Cream at the Town Hall gig, too.

Also saw Derek & The Dominoes, but that's another story...in fact, the only band I never saw featuring Clapton in those far-off days was Delaney & Bonnie.

Big Gee
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Correction - Cream weren't performing in the Great Hall at Birmingham Uni, but in the Students Union, at a regular Saturday night 'hop'. I saw some great bands there, including The Who, The Animals, Alan Price, Georgie Fame, John Mayall and many more.

Big Gee
 

JohnO

master brummie
My husband tells me he saw them at Birmingham Town Hall in the 6o s and that 20 minute drum solo by Ginger Baker was a number called Camel's and Elephants:p

Linda

I was there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

However, for the life of me, I can't remember the year...any ideas???
 

JohnO

master brummie
Correction - Cream weren't performing in the Great Hall at Birmingham Uni, but in the Students Union, at a regular Saturday night 'hop'. I saw some great bands there, including The Who, The Animals, Alan Price, Georgie Fame, John Mayall and many more.

Big Gee



I'm deeply envious: John Mayall - the boss! I never did get the chance to see him and the Bluesbreakers, but I've got all the albums. Alas, not on CD, and no turn-table to play them!
 

Big Gee

master brummie
JohnO,

I also saw John Mayall at Mother's in Erdington (twice), first time with Clapton, second time with Mick Taylor. Also at The Crown & Cushion, Perry Barr (believe it or not) again with Clapton. And at The CAT (now Aston University) with Peter Green (but can't be sure...that night is very dim in my memory...).

I'm sure you could get a decent deck off e-bay, mate. Then you could play your BEANO album to your heart's content!

Big Gee
 
W

Wendy

Guest
I saw John Mayall and his Bluesbrakers at Mothers......I met Mick Taylor a few times he drove a Morgan sports car if I remeber right.
I never did get to see Cream......:(
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I saw John Mayall and his Bluesbrakers at Mothers......I met Mick Taylor a few times he drove a Morgan sports car if I remeber right.
I never did get to see Cream......:(


Ahhhhh ye-e-e-e-e-s....interesting!

Tell us more!

Big Gee
 
W

Wendy

Guest
My friend who I won't name I have been trying to contact her for years. She was very attractive and dated Toni Iomi and Carl Wayne. So at least I got to meet them........:D
 

daverock

master brummie
Hi
Did a band called Catch 22 play on the same bill as Cream, if so has anyone any info about the lead singer Roger Guise please.
Cheers
Dave Rock
 
M

Mossy

Guest
22

catch22.jpg
BIRMINGHAM
Last updated March, 2007
Alan Fitzerkeyboards
John Millerdrums
Tony Brownbass guitar
Roger Guisevocal, harmonica
Brian Dufficylead guitar
The five group members seen in the photograph may have had the unique distinction of being the only West Midlands band to support THE CREAM at the original "Marquee" club in London late in 1966. Queues had started from 4 p.m. to see Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce's Cream which had formed in July 1966. Playing to a packed house, the atmosphere was electric. The significance of that night dawned on the members of Catch 22 in later years as Cream became legendary.

Catch 22 had evolved from its early origins as The Rocking Renowns 1961 to 63. The founder members were vocalist/harmonica player Roger Guise (Yardley), lead guitarist Vernon Clarke (Yardley), drummer Terry ? (Yardley), and bass guitarist Alan Fitzer (Sparkhill). John Miller (Erdington) joined in late 1963 from "Johnny West and The Sunsets" after they had disbanded after two years. The group continued with their music which was a mixture of popular hits and R&B and worked most of the West Midlands venues. They also shared venues with many of the local bands mentioned in Laurie Hornsby's "Brum Rocks" books.
The music became more "blues" influenced as Alan Fitzer had a fantastic record collection and the group built up a repertoire of songs. It was at this stage that Vernon Clarke left the group amicably siteing musical differences. Undeterred, the group expanded their personnel by taking on a young lead guitarist Brian Dufficy (Sparkhill) who was "blues" orientated. Tony Brown (Erdington) took over on bass guitar and Alan Fitzer changed to keyboards. Says John Miller; "This really gave us a broader and authentic sound. I also believe that Roger Guise had one of the best blues voices around and was a major part of our blues success".
catch22b.jpg
The group renamed themselves as "The Renowns Blues Band". As a blues band they went further afield. London, Manchester, Nottingham, and Leicester, playing Universities, town halls including Birmingham's Town Hall All-nighter. They were also one of a number of support groups to Graham Bond's "Shotgun Express" which included Julie Driscoll and Alex Harvey as well as an up-and-coming Rod Stewart!
At the beginning of 1966, the band changed the name to Catch 22 with a small 1/2 added. It seemed a good move. After one of John Miller's comical letters to an agent they were offered an audition to support a major group. The audition was in London and 50 groups took part with each playing three numbers. Some weeks later a contract to support CREAM came through. It was a terrific coup and the band were elated; "Ginger Baker was my drummer hero" says John Miller. "We had some press in the Birmingham music paper with some photographs".
After the Cream support event and in early 1967, an agency saw Catch 22 and offered the group contracts in Germany and Forces bases in Europe over 12 months. IT WAS DECISION TIME. Two members declined. The decision was finally made for them one winter's night at 4 am. Having dropped off three members and almost home, the commercial van driven by John Miller hit black ice and ploughed into a concrete lamp post. John was thrown out and had severe concussion that left him with vertigo attacks for some years. Tony Brown had cuts to his head and face. The van was a write off. Says John; "We never played again together although we kept in touch. The memory makes me sad as we were possibly on the verge of major success after all that hard work and it ended so swiftly".
Despite the band's sudden demise, John Miller has no regrets and looks back on those days with justifiable pride and affection; "I had six solid years in an age where music had a dynamic influence on the young and changed society mostly for the good. I had great musical companions who all got on well and played to a high standard and boy did we enjoy it!!!"
Thanks to John Miller for this exclusive story of Catch 22.
If you would like to contribute to this page, please e-mail
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I can't recall any support band the night Cream played at B'ham University. I certainly don't remember a band called Catch 22 - but it's a long time ago, and they say that if you can remember the 1960's you weren't there! Most support bands at the Uni were good bands in themselves - one I recall in particular was New York Public Library. Happy daze!

Big Gee
 

westfieldjonn

New Member
Hi I've only acquainted myself with this site recently and came upon your quote re 'with Cream'. Catch 22 only did one show with Cream which was at the Original London venue The Marquee.What a night that was!! We had auditioned for support for what we thought was John Mayall's Blues band ( 50 bands auditioned ) We were over the moon !! Breaking into the Blues circuit was at times difficult because promoters and agents wanted pop covers bands .Still the ruddy same !! My son is a drummer(&nbsp;Diamond Lil a Wolves based band) &nbsp;and the bands today are expected to play now for nothing !! At least in my day we got paid every gig. You can't put into words the 'Cultural Shock' of Rock and Roll. I have all my photos and memories and recently- contact with members of the 2 bands I was in.<BR>Its good to share it with you. All the best
 
W

Wendy

Guest
Thanks for sharing your memories westfieldjohn. It is a shame about the live bands now my cousin has played in a few bands in the midlands he is a drummer. The last band was Rio. He gigs occasionally now when asked, he told me he gets paid less now than in the 80's. He often meets up with band members and jams at the Hairy Lemon in Mere Green. I hope your son does well the band's seem to be coming back into pubs now...
 

guilbert53

master brummie
I'm deeply envious: John Mayall - the boss! I never did get the chance to see him and the Bluesbreakers, but I've got all the albums. Alas, not on CD, and no turn-table to play them!
I know this comment was posted in 2009, but if anyone wants to listen to music that they have not heard for years then install Spotify. This is a free program that gives access to MILLONS of tracks, and you can listen for free (legally) to them all. There are time limitations (so many hours a month) and you can pay more money if you want to listen for longer, but it is a great place to find those long forgotten albums. Loads of John Mayall (and Cream) in there for example, as well as many other bands from the 60s and 70s, some almost impossible to get on CD.
 
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