After weeks of trying to get a rock memorabilia exhibition staged at the Ballerina Ballroom I will be holding one next week but it won’t be in Nairn. It will be at the Red Shoes Theatre in Elgin, previously known as the Two Red Shoes Ballroom and once also run by Albert Bonici.

The problem that dogged the exhibition from the outset has been insurance and while I could see no way of dealing with that, there was a simple solution. I’ll be on hand when the theatre is open to answer any questions and maybe even sell something!

One other things is I’m considering running a similar blog to this or even adding an Elgin section to this one. While there would be little difference from 1966 onwards, the Two Red Shoes was playing host to bands from 1962. The Beatles, of course, played there in January 1963. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide.

The actual dates for next week have still to be worked out but I’ll post them here when I do. It also means I can get along to the library in Nairn and get the listing I need from 1970 onwards.



August 19, 2008

The complete listing for 1968 is now online. You’ll get to it from the box on the right. I’ll be adding the video clips tomorrow!

I wonder if anyone can help with this. I’ve an article from The Sun dated October 23, 2000 in which it clearly states “Seven years later Johnny quit the band and they hired unknown musician Elton John.” Checking all the biographies I’ve got on Elton, I can’t find any mention of it.

In 1969/70, I think The Copycats would have been known as My Dear Watson and still playing the Ballerina. Does anyone remember this?

Find A Year

August 18, 2008

It seemed really confusing to have to scroll through every post to get to 1966 for example, so I’ve changed the blog layout. The box to the right of the postings will give the archives. If you want to see 1966, just click on December 1966 and you’ll get the complete year. Hope that makes life easier. If not, please tell me!

Flyers Done!

August 16, 2008

I came up with over 1,400 flyers and all I’ve got left is a small bundle. Everyone that I asked has taken them. The Ballerina Ballroom needless to say, the library and the classroom wine bar. Add to that posters in nearly every shop and office that carries posters and I’ve done as much as I can. All I need to do now is get the missing 6 months online and I’ll be up to date again.

It seems there are more hacks here now than tourists. There was one in the library when I was on the microfiche. Three in the Classroom wine bar and at least one laden snapper, presumably told to go find some pics for the Sundays. I even borrowed one’s laptop to access my mail! I better not say who he worked for!

My great disappointment is that no-one came up to me in the street. I’m here for the last time I think. Tomorrow, I’d intended returning for John Byrne’s film in the evening but he sent me a text this afternoon to say there were none. C’est la vie! Seems he asked Tilda if she had any but there are none to be had. A second screening has been mentioned but I think that’s going to be unlikely.

Ballerina Flyer Day

August 16, 2008

Maybe it’s me being here but the rain has stayed away and is giving Nairn its first dry Highland Games in three years. It’s a quick visit to get flyers passed out in various places in town and what I’d like to call “posters” for the blog but they’re nothing more than A4 sheets that I’m hoping will get input from anyone that sees them.

It’s also a great opportunity for you to stop me in the street and tell me some of your stories or give me advice on how to get a better blog experience up. Okay, I know the answer to that one – TIME! I really will get round to adding some of the gig adverts, pop columns from The Northern Scot and pictures of the North East bands that played here.

Seriously, if you want to, just stop and say hello. You probably can’t miss me. One of the women in landbrokes (honest, I wasn’t betting but asking about their old shop) said she thought John Lennon had walked in. If that isn’t enough of a give away I’ll also be carrying a silver carrier bag full of flyers. Of course, I may not be carrying it if I get rid of them all but I digress.

Failing that, you’ll find me in the library for some time before they shut staring at the microfiche reader and getting the dates for 1967 that are missing from yesterday’s listing. Please don’t call me John, my name’s Roy!

Talking of the pop columns, there’s one fantastic piece around the time that Cream played the Ballerina. Eric Clapton had given an interview to one of the music papers in which he decried the fans in Scotland. On reading it, or more likely hearing of it, Albert Bonici, the promoter defiantly stated that he’d make sure Clapton never played here again! Little did he realize the status Eric would achieve.

Okay, that’s it for now. I’ll see you in town or you can catch up with the missing dates later.


August 15, 2008


This year is incomplete. I’ve been relying on The Northern Scott for listings of Albert Bonici‘s events but they missed out all the Ballerina gigs until May 1967. Since then, I’ve discovered the Nairnshire Telegraph which did list everything. The first part of 1967 will be up as soon as possible. Anyway, until then, enjoy what’s here.

May 05 The Alan Price Set plus The T-Set. The clip above comes from the German TV show “Beat Club” and features Alan Price performing “Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear”.

July 07 Cream plus Newton’s Theory with its Go-Go Girls. The gig was cancelled when the van carrying the band’s equipment failed to turn up.

July 10 Cream return to play their concert. The rare footage above is from the Paris Pop Festival staged last month, the track is “We’re Going Wrong” and shows the band at the peak of their career.

July 21 Pink Floyd. “See Emily Play” was climbing the charts and here the band are miming to it on a Belgian TV show.
July 28 Gino Washington and The Ram Jam Band plus The Copy Cats

August 18 The Small Faces – concert cancelled.
August 31 Zoot Money and his new group Dantalion’s Chariot plus The T-Set

September 08 The Freddie Mack Show
September 15 The Throb plus The Life N’ Soul
September 22 Tony Merrick plus The T-Set

October 06 The Who plus Gideon’s Few. The Who were in the charts with “I Can See For Miles” and here it is In Colour from The Smothers Brothers TV Show.
October 13 The Beatstalkers plus The Rebel Sound

October 20 The Four Shades Of Blue plus The T-Set
October 27 The Tamala Express plus The Beatroute

November 03 The Rhubarb plus The Barons
November 10 Clock-work Orange plus Last Chapter
November 17 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

December 01 The Delroy Williams Show plus Keith Taylor

December 08 The Troggs plus The Throb. Here are the Troggs with their original version of “Love Is All Around” which got to number 5 in October. The promo film is typically surreal for the time but gives great glimpses of the band on stage and in transit to gigs.

December 15 Symon Dupree. Ok, you and I both know that it should be Simon Dupree but the adverts carry a “y”. Here he is with The Big Sound performing “Kites” which hit the top ten last month. The video’s a bit jumpy but it does show exactly how the band were on stage.
December 22 Cash Boutique Queen For 1967. Grand Final
December 25 Aberdeen Students’ Charities’ Campaign present Their Xmas Beatnik Ball with The Circle plus The T-Set
December 29 The 1967 Last Fling with The Middle Earth plus The T-Set