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FEELIN' GOOD Newsletter Issue 36/July 2004

Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.

Dr. Feelgood Information Service

How to supply to the printed newsletter? Look here!

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Coast to Coast

Once again, here I sit with glass of wine in hand compiling the latest offering of Feelin' Good. Once again, I ponder on what news I can impart regarding Britains' greatest R'n'B live act today. The Summer issue is usually at its' slimmest due to the usual festival activities that the Feelgoods take advantage of. After all, when else do they get the chance to play outdoors in fine weather?

The Memorial is always a special show and a special day for the many fans who meet there from all over the globe but there is one couple who will have extra special memories as they choose to get married at the Oyster Fleet on the afternoon. The couple were Kevin and Trina and they chose some special witnesses namely Ann Adley and Steve Waylwyn (one way of ensuring the best guitarist arrived at the gig on time!). I and Dr Feelgood wish them all the best for the future.

We already have a Sister Feelgood (our friend Diane from Wales) but now we have a Mother Feelgood in Christine Atkinson who invited several people to stop off on the way to the Memorial the evening before. I took advantage of this offer and had a great time at ''The Woolpack'' (why are pubs often featured in my editorial?) and on the morn of the Memorial I was found playing football on a field in Peterborough (a rare sight for anyone who knows my level of unfitness).

At this year's memorial we saw the current Dr Feelgood of Robert Kane (vocals), Steve Walwyn (guitar), Phil Mitchell (bass) and Kevin Morris (drums) being joined by special guests such as Dave Bronze and Sparko. It's always good to see Wilko Johnson at the Memorial and this year Gabi and myself had the pleasure of sharing a table with Wilko and Lew Lewis at teatime. The conversation was certainly interesting!

The Memorial itself kicked off with the current Feelgood with old songs such as ''Take a tip'', ''Wind up'' through to ''Help Me''. Steve and Robert left the stage for a refreshment break so who could replace them? Why not have a guitarist vocalist so Wilko Johnson stepped up to thunderous applause singing some of the master's great tunes such as ''Sneakin Suspicion'', ''Back in the night'', ''She does it right'' as well as songs first introduced to the Feelgood set in the Wilko days ''I can tell'' and ''Route 66''. Even more thunderous applause when Lew Lewis took over vocals on ''Boogie on the street'', ''Caravan Man'', ''High Temperature'' and then returning vocal duties to Wilko but staying onstage to play harp for ''Roxette''. A short break before Eddie and the Hot Rods played their full set containing quite a few numbers from their latest CD ''Better Late than Never'' along with the classics ''Do anything you wanna do'', ''Teenage Depression'', ''Gloria'' and even ''I can tell'' (again!!). I would have liked Lew to get up for ''Woolly Bully'' but this was not to be. Robert and Stev returned refreshed along with Kevin and Phil with guests o certain numbers such as Dave Bronze (''Down by the Jetty Blues'') and Sparko (''Nadine'' and ''Down to the Dr's''). I cannot confirm that Phil Mitchell may have been taking another refreshment break at the bar during this line up. I would be absolutely delighted if anyone would like to pen a review and submit it for inclusion in the January newsletter - please!!!

The next time I caught up with the Feelgoods was at Blackpool Winter Gardens and it was the first time we had played in Blackpool for years. As usual we met up with old and new friends, some from near, some from far away though not as far away as the Memorial where people from all over the globe somehow find their way to Canvey. Unfortunately the bar sold out of Guinness and Beer at one point so a trip to the off licence for the band had to be organised.

After the show it was back to the hotel for a party with our friends from Scotland who had made the long journey south where they witnessed that life on the road can be hard work! A late night but everyone managed to be up for breakfast and it was noted that due to the fact the next gig was in Skegness that if John Otway had been here, he would have called it either ''the coast to coast tour'' or ''hankies on the head tour''. Anyhow Phil shared my car as we drove across country to Skegness where we played at the Farm, a new venue a few miles out of Skeggie. Our dressing room had a pool table so Robert and I had a few frames before we found a room with a snooker table. Lee and I often used to play snooker when we could but I hadn't played for years and it showed! Luckily Robert hadn't either and it also showed! The gig was an early one with a stage time of 7pm so afterwards it was weird but certainly pleasant to be driving home in the daylight. Off up to Sunderland to drop Robert off and then I was home by 2am.

A couple of weeks later another early gig this time at Barnard Castle in a pub car park as part of a festival. Unfortunately once again the bar ran out of beer (why don't the people realise Feelgood fans and Dr Feelgood do drink?) but we were looked after well by the promoter Alan. Support at Barnard Castle was ''The Roosters'' a band from Southend who played a few Feelgood tunes as well as some Wilko songs. Not the only connection though as the drummer was a certain Wayne Bronze who has a brother called Dave! One introduction to the Feelgood set over the past few months has been ''Too Much Trouble'' a song wrote by Robert Kane, well he wrote the words and the melody and Steve put the chords together.

In this edition we are honoured to be able to peruse Johnny Green's library where hidden amongst the ''Real Ale guides'' can be found a selection of music books. Johnny has kindly given us a review and some added gems (in his own imitable way!).

That's it for this issue and as always I'm looking for articles from anyone who is willing. The next issue will feature another Doc Word from John Alderdice and hopefully an ''On the Couch'' with Robert and maybe even the next instalment in the Feelgood Dic 'n 'arry!

Keep on Feelin' Good

John Butterfield
[Contact details]
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Books

''A Dysfunctional Success: The Wreckless Eric Manual'' by Eric Goulden

A dysfunctional success - I would have gone the whole wide world to find that title being a pretty dysfunctional example myself of the male homo sapien species. I am also accustomed to being referred to as a blatherskite and a flibbertigibbet but I ask you - what the hell has this got to do with Eric Goulden who is more famous under the moniker of Wreckless Eric. A dysfunctional success is a handy sized book no larger than Feelin Good but obviously a lot thicker with more pages. It tells of Eric's early childhood through to adulthood and his entry into the mad world of Stiff Records. Along the way he meets Lee Brilleaux who is having a drink with Lew Lewis at a club in London, Ian Dury etc. The stories relating to Stiff are I fact shorter than I expected but Eric prefers to forget about them??? The lack of extra pages meant a chunk of his life had to missed out however the book reveals Eric's manager at one point was a certain Johnny Green (absolutely no relation to myself as he took his name from his nickname Johnny Greenglasses (due to his colourful choice of optical aids). Johnny was also the roadie for the Clash for a while.

''Sex & Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll: The Life of Ian Dury''

Richard Balls wrote the first complete, no holds-barred biography of the late, great self-made Essex Lad himself. Along the way there are several references to Dr Feelgood especially as the very first Stiff tour of 1977 was largely inspired by the original Naughty Rhythms tour of 1975. the book also relates how a certain Wilko Johnson was offered membership of The Blockheads following a gig at the Rainbow Theatre. An interesting aside notes that Wilko's favourite bassist was none other than Norman Watt-Roy.

''No Sleep Till Canvey''

Wrote by ''fellow Canvey Island musician, Will Birch, who would later go on to become the world's greatest living music writer'' so says Jim Driver in the sleeve notes for Wilko Johnson's ''Back in the Night'' CD (reviewed in last issue of Feelin' Good). The definitive history of pub rock and the main players such as Dr Feelgood, Eddie & the Hot Rods et al. All Feelgood fans should have this literary tome on their bookshelves - no excuses accepted!!

All books can be purchased from any good bookshop or try Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.de / Amazon.com

Johnny Green

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Go to: Newsletter Issue 37/Oct. 2004
 

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