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FEELIN' GOOD Newsletter Issue 45/Jan. 2007
Published with friendly permission of editor John Butterfield.
Dr. Feelgood Information Service
to supply the printed newsletter? Look here!
Hello once more and in the words of Emerson, Lake and Palmer - "welcome back my friends to the show that never ends" - never thought I'd be quoting ELP lyrics in "fg" (maybe the 20 odd years of managing the Dr Feelgood Information Service is taking their toll).
Another fun filled issue which hopefully will let the people that keep Feelgood on the road know about the latest news on the best live R 'n' B group still treading the boards across the world.
Often I am given advance notice of events that may or may not come off and as such I hang fire before I report on them just in case. Earlier this year I was told of several possibilities of new Feelgood albums including the Repeat Prescription CD which did come off. Watch this space for other news. One thing I couldn't report on was Robert's decision to reform the Alligators a band he fronted along with Hilton Valentine (The Animals) on guitar. This band took their name from the Feelgood's version of "See you Later Alligator". Anyhow Robert has been looking at several projects but he asked me not to announce this one too soon until it actually happened. The idea is that The Alligators are a band who only play when Dr Feelgood are not gigging. The other musicians also appear in other bands too so whilst it has been proved there is enough demand, the Alligators can only play on certain dates. This means that they are pretty exclusive and have only tended to play in the north east so far. They played their first gig in October at the Black Bull in Blaydon where Dr Feelgood played a few years ago. Prior to the gig Robert was interviewed by Radio Newcastle and of course Feelgood had to be mentioned including the tale of how I got a copy of a DVD featuring Robert in the Showbiz Kids and Phil and Kevin's appearance on Revolver. There are some differences in the Alligators line up with Hilton Valentine now living in the USA not being part of the line up although his ex wife Linda is acting as manager/agent. They are definitely worth checking out if they are in your area.
The UK tour was shorter this year but before anyone shouts at the Feelgoods I must tell you this story. Earlier this year Kevin told me that a promoter had asked for Dr Feelgood and Climax Blues Band to allocate the whole of October for a double header bill. They had both done this before in Germany. As time went on the dates which were allocated became fewer and fewer - in fact some dates were cancelled at very short notice causing Dr Feelgood to not appear live much at all in October. This meant that alternative dates could not be found and some towns had not been booked for Nov/Dec as they were part of the October schedule - apologies to the fans who missed out on this opportunity but it really was beyond Feelgoods control. As usual you get a few myths going around such as Dr Feelgood did not want to go on first on the bill. That is ridiculous as we know they were not headliners on both "Naughty Rythym" tours and have appeared on double headers with "Nine Below Zero". Another was that there was no demand and ticket sales were poor. I can confirm that one gig at Redcar was not even advertised and tickets didn't go on sale yet this one was cancelled with a week to go - people cannot buy tickets if the gig is not advertised etc. Sorry to ramble but it annoys me that not only did Dr Feelgood lose work but fans lost the opportunity to see the band all due to other people who failed in the organization department. It seems to be a common problem as our old stable mates Eddie and Hot Rods also had a whole tour in Japan cancelled and also a gig at Redcar.
Luckily there are always new venues opening and inviting the Feelgoods to play. One new venue for the Feelgoods was Carmel College in Darlington and Dr Feelgood played in November. During the sound check the Feelgoods played "Night Time" a pretty old Feelgood song from Gypie days. This was then included in the main set where Robert said it had been considered due to the original 60's version of the song being used in a current "Magners" TV commercial. They played two set to a sold out hall - the first consisted of - Riot, Take a tip, Don't start me talking, I can tell, Baby Jane, Milk & Alcohol, 99 ½, Instinct to survive and Jetty Blues.
Lights Out, Roxette, She does it Right, If my Baby Quits me, Nadine, Back in the Night, All through the city, Going back home, Route 66, Down at the Drs, One more shot, Mad man blues, Bony Moronie / Tequila (they had planned "Great Balls of Fire" but the house music and lights came on early. It was a great venue, great crowd and excellent hospitality from Simon and crew.
Johnny Green interrupting me again with a joke - Why did the Mexican throw his wife off the cliff? He wanted tequila!!!
Anyone who saw the Mad, Bad and dangerous tour in 2005 will be pleased to hear that a DVD is available. The DVD was recorded at Tunbridge Wells on 25th November and track listing is:
1. Intro Banter
2. Really Free
3. Beware Of The Flowers
5. Louisa On A Horse
6. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet
7. All Right
8. Barbed Wire Blues
9. Dr. Dupree
10. She's Good Like That
11. Sneaking Suspicion
12. When I'm Gone
13. Cairo Blues
14. Don't Let Your Daddy Know
15. Back In The Night
16. She Does It Right
17. Otway Banter
19. Body Talk
21. Bunsen Burner
23. Lucky in Love
24. Wouldn't Lay My Guitar Down
25. Hard Ridin' Papa
26. Ooh Baby
27. 2 A.M.
28. Rocket In My Pocket
29. Star-Spangled Banner
30. All Along The Watchtower
31. The Walk
32. Sweet Little Lisa
33. Sharp Dressed Man
34. Crazy Horses
35. Born To Be Wild
36. Rhythm Stick
The DVD can be obtained by sending a cheque for £12 to include P&P made out to S. Monti. This is the UK rate - people outside UK will have to pay additional postage. Order your copy from 23 Somali Road, London, NW2 3RN, UK. If you have access to the internet copies can be purchased on ebay by visiting Monti's shop. Get the DVD and see for yourself what a great 3 hours of Rhythm and Blues Murder before checking the whole show out in January at the Butlin's Rock and Blues festival. Yes, there are plans for the show to be repeated on the Sunday at Skegness!! [Please note: this newsletter / page is from Jan. 2007, so if you read this far later check for availability and current price/rate for the DVD.]
Last issue we reported on a new CD "Down by the Jetty - Collector's edition". This CD is reviewed by Route 66 front man Ian Fawkes. Every year there appears to be some Feelgood compilation released and EMI in Finland decided to produce one called "The EMI Anthology 1974-81". This CD was only released in Finland with Finnish sleeve notes too.
Steve has also set up his own web site www.stevewalwyn.com [External link*].and is well worth a visit.
Thanks to Ian Fawkes for his "On the Couch" with the legendary Johnny Green. Ian has come up with some interesting articles from stories featuring song titles, spoof April Fool article about Feelgood enlisting a new drummer several years ago which actually did fool some people. He also has asked some pretty interesting and probing questions to all the Feelgoods, Whitey and myself. I do have some reservations about the identify of the person who claimed to be JG though. I will let you make your own mind up but right from the beginning alarm bells rang. The JG I know and love did not have enough hair to perm last time I saw him and was not a brandy drinker - preferring very large gins (sometimes bacardi and cokes) and real ale. I have yet to contact the Dog and Duck hostelry but I would not be surprised to be told the real JG may be barred from that establishment. You read the article and decide! Next issue in May will feature an "On the Couch" with the real Ann Adley.
Thanks as usual to the contributers who have excelled in quantity this time. We have two articles each from Ian Fawkes and John Alderdice - Ian providing a review of the Down by the Jetty special edition and On the Couch, John with yet another puzzling puzzle where you have to find Feelgood songs with girls names or animals that feature in Feelgood song titles along with a review dating back to 1984. New contributer Richard Andrews who has very kindly reviewed the Linton festival show in 2006. I have met Richard and his wife many times on the road but could not attend this particular gig. The cover pic is courtesey of John Bishop who was mentioned in the last issue as organizer of the beer festival the Feelgoods had the pleasure to play in 2006.
Anyhow once more it is time to put down the pen and have another drink whilst I look forward to the annual Butlins weekend where the Feelgoods are playing on the Friday night and Saturday afternoon. It's a great place to meet up with old and new friends ("Sun & Moon" Friday afternoon and throughout the weekend). Next issue due in May so please ensure you send your A5 saes.
Keep on Feelin' Good
current address and e-mail address from John is available here
- please keep your address books up-to-date.]
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CD-Review: Dr Feelgood - Repeat Prescription
Back to business, from the best live band out there.
Reviewer: Mr. Rjt Williams - London, UK - 14th September 2006
A word of warning: this is NOT a "best of" collection. Rather, it is an album featuring excellent new versions of old favourites, as the cover clearly states. It is also highly recommended. For the last 35 years, Dr Feelgood has been one of the great live bands. Thankfully, this studio CD captures them as you hear them on stage. Which is how it should be. The last couple of albums (yes, even the live one) have sounded a little dry, almost under-confident, and not at all like the balls-to-the-wall beast that is Feelgood on stage. On this release, however, Kevin Morris hangs off the beat just that perfect fraction to give the band swing, whilst still retaining the drive for which the Feelgoods are rightly famed. Phil Mitchell provides unobstrusive but vital support on bass. Steve Walwyn continues to demonstrate that he is the most under-rated electric guitar player currently on the circuit. Why does this man not receive more credit? He is jaw-droppingly good, constantly sounding on the edge of control, always pulling the listener in unexpected directions. But really, this is Robert Kane's album. Replacing Lee Brilleaux and Pete Gage was never going to be easy. On previous albums, I've never been convinced by his voice, no matter how good he is live. On this one, however, he is astonishing, adding variation and depth where one least expects it. And his harp playing is the best ever featured on a Feelgood album. I totally recommend this album, whether you're a new fan or old. The new approach to old classics like "Milk and Alcohol" only emphasises how good the original songs are. The only reason it doesn't get five stars is that they really should be recording new songs, rather than re-recording old ones. But even with that caveat, this is one of my favourite albums of the year.
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CD-Reviews: Dr Feelgood - Down by the Jetty Collectors Edition
Oyeh! Oyeh! Oyeh!
Reviewer: D. J. H. Thorn - Hull, UK - 6th July 2006
There seem to be a lot of so-called "classic" albums getting the deluxe two-disc treatment at the moment and this is one of the few that deserve it. The band's debut album is well-known for being a mono recording at a time (1974) when that was supposed to be a thing of the past. Yet it remains their best studio album, bettered arguably only by the live set, "Stupidity". Including a stereo mix of the album here is therefore arbitrary but inevitable. It stands up well enough and you may even prefer it if you're not familiar with the original, but it is after all the mono version that made the band successful. Wilko Johnson wrote most of the material and clearly hit a rich vein with stripped-down rhythm beauties such as "She Does It Right". Better still though are the bonus tracks all of which are well up to standard, including a run of live recordings at the end. And then of course, there's "Route 66"...British rhythm and blues at its finest. It's almost worth buying two copies.
Reviewer: A. C. Carradice - Lancaster, UK - 3rd July 2006
If like me, you've become a little jaded with the record companies re-issuing old Dr Feelgood stuff but leaving us 'just having to buy it' for the couple of 'previously unleased' snippets.............. this one will definitely re-whet your appetite! On paper, getting something just because it's been remixed in stereo rather that the original mono might seem a bit of a luxury you can live without! But think again! This is incredible! This remix has a totally different feel to the original and works extremely well on all levels breathing new life into old classics such as 'She does it right' and the fantastic 'Roxette'! Add to that a number of 'alternitive' and 'unreleased' versions and this simply turns into a new classic! No need to think about this one! Just buy it, play it and enjoy! 10 out of 10!
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ON THE COUCH - with Johnny Green
RAll the On the Couchs I have done have been special and interesting , revealing many unknown facts about life in the Dr Feelgood camp and on the road frolics, but I have to confess there has always been one special interview that I have being trying to hammer down since starting on this quest and that is of course an interview with the legendary Johnny Green. After many phone calls, emails and texts answered by someone claiming to be JG's manager (someone putting on an American accent I thought) I managed to get a time and place to actually meet the one and only......
So in the car I climb and head south towards London. I am requested to be at a certain Dog and Duck at midday behind a bookies in the East of the city. I locate the pub and make my entrance. Well, there are 3 people in the tavern, a man with a whippet and half a mild, a city gent type at the bar looking very dapper and a sad individual with permed hair, bell bottoms and a zipped up bomber jacket. I ponder and then make my way towards the smart gent "You must be Johnny" I say. I am met by a puzzled look. The guy with perm jumps in, "Pleased to meet ME, I am Johnny Green, you can call me JG, lets take a seat but first you must buy me the agreed drink and of course the fee.........?" I buy JG the first of what turns out to be many double brandies and we take our pews. I start the interview.
OTC (On the Couch): Well, this really is an honour JG, after reading so much about you in ''Feelin Good'' it is great for a face to face thing so the fans and I can here it from the horses' mouth, so to say.
JG: Yes, well great, never mind that just give me the fee and yes another brandy and we'll get on with it.
OTC: OK, What was your early life like JG and where were you born and bought up?
JG: I was born in Memphis that's Tennesee you know and my folks were big friends of the King, that's Elvis of course. I remember when I was a little child, Elvis curling his lip and blessing me by touching my head, from then on I guess I've been on a Rock n Roll mission.
OTC: Hmmm, I say (what a start, I think, nothing like starting with a bang!) JG: Another brandy please!
OTC: So what was school like?
JG: School was a drag man, I was so bright, you see an IQ of 144 I used to teach the teachers. In music I'd end up writing whole Operas to the amazement of the music teacher and the kids.
OTC: Wow, I say, So how did you get from Memphis to Canvey Island?
JG: Well it was early 72, I was at a creative lull, I got a call from a desperate souding guy who turned out to be Whitey, you know Chris Fenwick. He had a band but they needed licking into shape, he'd heard about me on the grapevine and gave me a call. So I discussed it with the King and he said ''Go for it!'' So I came over to the UK.
OTC: So that band was Dr Feelgood? What did you do?
JG: Well the band needed a focus, for a start I taught Lee how to play the blues harp and then I gave Wilko a whole bunch of songs I had written like ''Roxette'', ''Back in the Night'' and ''She Does it Right''.
OTC: That really is a revelation, so Johnny Green really wrote all the early Feelgood songs?
JG: I guess its time people really knew, more brandy please (another double is downed by JG). Yes, hic, they were going nowhere fast at the time.
OTC: Really, this is rivetting stuff, in fact it turns all the past history on the Feelgoods on its head. What about the Figure and Sparko?
JG: Well they were so shy, I had to grab Figure by the lapels and tell him to ''hit them harder man''. He did as I said.
OTC: Anything else we should know?
JG: Oh yea , moving on a bit, Milk and Alcohol, that was mine as well. Gypie thanks me everytime he sees me, you know. (More brandies follow, by this time things are sounding more and more bizarre!)
JG: Did I tell you about my producing?
OTC: No. JG: Well, I've produced the band a few times. That Richard bloke for Private Practice, that was really me and that Bert De whats his face, that was me as well. MORE BRANDY PLEASE. Things are getting unbelievable by now so I decide to change tact. OTC: Is there anything else you do Johnny?
JG: SAS, (he says boldy) thats me Iraq, middle east, jungle warfare but I dont like to talk about it.
OTC: Okay, well, is there a lady in your life then?
JG: Not at present, I'm between ladies at the moment. I'm studying a few applicants but my past conquests have been Jerry, that's in Hall, Tina, as in Turner. I soon sorted that Ike bloke out you know, oh yea and Cher. MORE BRANDY, HIC, PLEASE Johnny shouts! OTC: This is so interesting, I say, going back to the present what about the Feelgoods in 2006?
JG: Hic, hic, hic..... No thats not my answer, yes lovely boys, they came to me for guidance and I told them to stay on my blue print and it will be fine. Believe in yourself, I said to them.
By this take Johnny is looking and sounding very very drunk, he raises his hand, ''You see'' he says, ''I taught the world to rock and.......''
With that he slumps to the table. I guess the interview is over. I make my way from the pub leaving JG there asleep.
So there you have it folks, I hope things are clearer to you now. That was and is the legend, the one and only JOHNNY GREEN.
~ Ian Fawkes
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A note by webmistress Gabi:
Feelin Good No. 45 also is available as an 13-page-PDF file (708 kb), scanned in A5 size (148 x 210mm) with 300dpi solution, so it should print out properly in its original format. Left out are just the Feelgood itinerary (because more up-to-date right here at the web site), the merchandise list and subscribtion info.
Following parts of this newsletter have been added to other sections of this website
11, 1984 Hofbrauhaus, Leeds/UK went to Feelin'
Good - Old Gig Reviews
July 22, 2006 Linton Music Festival/UK went to Feelin' Good - New Gig Reviews
The letter ''M'' went to Feelgood - Dic 'n' Arry
come: Newsletter Issue 46/May 2007
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