Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Tales of Hendrix, The Beatles, Robert Plant, and more

Have you got any tales to tell of great gigs or musical legends in Herefordshire & Worcestershire? Get in touch!

The Beatles play Tenbury Wells
The Beatles in Tenbury Wells High Street
The Beatles in Tenbury Wells High Street

In 1962 The Riverside Club in Tenbury Wells booked a virtually unknown Liverpool Band to play there the following year.

By 1963 The Beatles were the biggest group in the country, but they still honoured their agreement to play this tiny Worcestershire venue.

Read a first hand account of their gig from someone who was there, and see pictures of the stage they played on - unaltered to this day:

Hendrix plays Worcester

Jimi Hendrix as he looked when he played Worcester
Jimi Hendrix as he looked when he played Worcester

Jimi Hendrix came to Worcester to play the Gaumont cinema as part of a package tour supporting The Walker Brothers.

You can read the memories of the man who met the legendary guitarist in Boots - and got a signed copy of his album.

You can also see a picture gallery of the tour programme:

The Stones and The Who at the Hillside Ballroom

Mott the Hoople on Top of the Pops
The Rolling Stones as they were in the early 60s

The Hillside ballroom in Hereford hosted many of the great names of 60s rock.

The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks and Status Quo all played there.

Watching them in the audience were the future members of Mott the Hoople:

Mott the Hoople

Mott the Hoople on Top of the Pops
Mott the Hoople on Top of the Pops

Most of the members of Mott the Hoople come from Herefordshire, and played in various local bands before finding fame.

Read a first-hand account of those early days from Stan Tippens, their first lead singer, and later their road manager.

There's also an account of a gig Mott played in Worcester, supported by Queen:

Band of Joy - two of Led Zeppelin

Band of Joy, featuring Robert Plant and John Bonham
Band of Joy, featuring Robert Plant and John Bonham

Robert Plant and John Bonham played together in the Worcestershire group Band of Joy, before going on to superstardom with Led Zeppelin.

Read more about their pioneering psychedelic light show, and their experimental musical style.

In another musical twist a man who was to be a glam-rock star was briefly their roadie:

The Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders
Chrissie Hynde from the Pretenders, in a more relaxed mood

Hereford has every right to claim The Pretenders as their own, with three out of the four band members coming from the area.

Early in their career the band played the city, and Chrissie Hynde gave some of the audience the rough edge of her tongue.

Guitarist James Honeyman-Scott kept a recording of the gig, and BBC Hereford & Worcester were given access to it - so you can listen to the exchanges between lead singer and hecklers.

BBC Hereford & Worcester's Andrew Marston also went on a nostalgic journey around the city with drummer Martin Chambers.

You can also find out more about local boy James Honeyman-Scott, who died at a tragically early age, and is buried in Herefordshire.

Pink Floyd banned from Ross

Pink Floyd in their Syd Barrett period
Pink Floyd in their Syd Barrett period

Back in 1967 Pink Floyd were booked to play the Top Spot Ballroom in Ross-on-Wye - at the time they were still fronted by the legendary Syd Barrett.

According to one person at the gig they were thrown off stage for being too loud.

You can read two eye-witness accounts of what happened on 31 March 1967.

Eric Clapton plays Martley

Eric Clapton, who once played a small pub in Worcestershire
Eric Clapton, who once played a small pub in Worcestershire

A bizarre bet, involving cricketing legend Ian Botham and guitar hero Eric Clapton, led to the superstar musician playing a wedding reception at a Worcestershire pub.

A local music shop had shock when Clapton turned up to borrow some equipment to play.

The gig was good for everyone, except Eric Clapton's yellow Ferrari:

The house Black Sabbath bought

The opening notes of Paranoid on Bill Ward's old gates
The opening notes of Paranoid on Bill Ward's old gates

In Herefordshire is a house with very distinctive metal gates - they have the opening notes of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" on them.

This is because the house was once owned by the band's drummer Bill Ward.

The man who made the gates tells the tale of village life with Sabbath, and Ozzie Osbourne turning up in the local pub:

Bolan plays Kidderminster

Marc Bolan and Tyrannosaurus Rex
Marc Bolan and Tyrannosaurus Rex

In 1968 Tyrannosaurus Rex, featuring Marc Bolan, played a small club in Kidderminster.

Legend has it that Marc Bolan slept on someone's floor in Kidderminster after the gig.

After he became a glam-rock superstar, Bolan bought himself a big house in Herefordshire - but sadly died before he could move in:

Fleetwood Mac at the Chateau Impney

Fleetwood Mac, before their move to California
Fleetwood Mac, before their move to California

Fleetwood Mac, Tom Jones, and John Peel all appeared at The Chateau Impney near Droitwich in the 1960s.

Like so many English rock festivals this early one fell foul of the weather.

Local rock historian John Combe picks out some of the highlights:

Malvern Winter Gardens

The entrance to the Malvern Winter Gardens
The entrance to the Malvern Winter Gardens

Many great bands played the Malvern Winter Gardens, including Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, AC/DC, The Damned and Joy Division.

The venue had an atmosphere all of its own, once experienced, never forgotten.

Most of the gigs were promoted by Cherry Red, who went on to become a successful independent record label.

You can read some of the memories we've been sent of this Worcestershire venue:

Clifford T Ward

Widely regarded as one of England's finest ever songwriters, this former teacher from Worcestershire was tipped to be a big star.

But he preferred honing his craft at home to the rock and roll lifestyle.

He died in 2001, aged 57, after a long illness.

Captain Beefheart live at Frank Freeman's

Captain Beefheart at Frank Freeman's in Kidderminster
Captain Beefheart at Frank Freeman's in Kidderminster

Frank Freeman's dance club in Kidderminster doesn't sound like the kind of venue to attract big names, but it did.

John Peel used to hitch to Kidderminster from London to DJ there.

A host of famous names also played the venue, including Tyrannosaurus Rex, featuring Marc Bolan.

A legendary bootleg was recorded there, featuring the eccentric Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band.

Chicken Shack

Chicken Shack
Chicken Shack play Frank Freeman's in the 60s

This the legendary Worcestershire rock band, fronted by Stan Webb, has connections to Fleetwood Mac.

Christine Perfect was a member of Chicken Shack, before she went on to superstardom with the 'Rumours' version of Fleetwood Mac.

Read the story of the band who went from Kidderminster to London to Hamburg, and are still rocking.

If you have any memories of great gigs or legendary stars in Herefordshire or Worcestershire, email them to worcester@bbc.co.uk




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