My idea is simple enough. Link the best known ballrooms and rock venues in the world (along with a few obscure ones) and detail their history. List the gigs, the people that played and embed any YouTube clips that relate to the bands or the place at that time.

When I was 14, I got a job as a barman, in one of the busiest dancehalls/ballrooms in Scotland. More than 2,000 people would cram in there, every Friday and Saturday night. The spirit bar, that I worked on (there was a beer bar, as well) had 13 barmen/women which shows just how big and busy it was. 

It was 1971, so I missed the greats of pop and rock but I saw everyone the U.K. charts had to offer and the showbands that filled in when the stars weren’t available. It was noisy, sweaty, loud and violent but it was also GREAT FUN. Who cares then, if I’m just a bit obsessed with the idea that ballrooms and clubs were the way to see bands. I hate stadium gigs. I want to be able to see the sweat on the forehead of a lead singer without it being on a 60 foot screen. I want to be back having fun.

Maybe this is the closest I’ll ever get. Whatever my reasons, I hope you enjoy it and CONTRIBUTE!

If you were there, tell the world about it!

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8 Responses to “The Ballroom Blogs”

  1. Jean Morrison Says:

    I loved the Ballerina, I lived just a few doors down from it on the hill.Some amazing groups appeared, and my friend Doreen and I would rush from school to the hall and usually catch the groups and their roadies unloading their vans. I remember the night the Troggs played, we were right at the front and someone managed to grab Reg’s white bellbottoms and ripped the leg up to the crutch!!!! Those were the days.


  2. Thank you for remebering Beggars Opera.
    It was always special for us to play up North.
    BTW:
    http://www.beggarsopera.co.uk/node/91
    was this picture taken at the Ballerina ballroom ?

    All the best
    Beggars Opera
    xxx


  3. I would like to give a warm and grateful thanks to Albert Bonici. I regarded him as the “treasure of the North” for the very good reason that every band throught his hands would be invited into his office where he would extoll the virtues of drug free living. This was a brave thing to do in those days and he did it with much sincerity.
    Ricky Gardiner
    Beggars Opera

  4. Ronald McKenzie Says:

    I played Hammond organ and guitar with an Inverurie band called Julians Garden. I also played with The Tangerine Machine (Aberdeen based band) Julians played Ballerina in April 1971. If I was allowed to revisit a place and time the Nairn gigs would be near the top of the list. We also played Forres, Elgin, Inverurie Town Hall, Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen. I fondly remember Gordon Hardie the promoter who was based in Aberdeen who was part of the Albert Bonici team. We were great friends with Ted Trowbridge of The Twilight Zone; Jim McKenzie and Billy Steele (Billy Steele Combo); Alan Roberston (The Royal Teens). Julians Garden members were Alex Reid (Vocals), Brian Hosie (Drums – best drummer around), Mike Philip (Bass), Gary Horne (Guitar), and myself on Hammond. We formed in 1967 and disbanded late 1971. I am still playing and you can catch me on You Tube playing with my wife – we play to backing tracks. Still having fun and at 60 years still rocking in the free world. Just go to You Tube and type in “Ron and Joyce Boys Are Back In Town”. That’s me on a Les Paul.

    • Aberdeen expat Says:

      I lived in Aberdeen in late 1960s and remember Ted from Twilight Zone. All the girls fancied him like mad cos he was beautiful. I loved their music too. Saw them at Cowdray Hall. What’s Ted doing these days?

  5. Jane Risdon Says:

    My husband played in Marjorine and I want to thank you for remembering them…they were a Jersey band and travelled all over Europe, North Africa and UK during their time together – first as the Soho Sect, then Cair Paravel and Marjorine and for their last recordings were called Jungle Jim (management’s idea not theirs)…!! If anyone has any recordings or photos of the band or cine film do contact me as we would love to see them….and exchange info and photos maybe? Love to hear from the bands who played with them as well. Love your pages.

  6. T G Mac Says:

    I was a bit young is the sixties to go to the Ballers but I do remember the 70s. Wow where do I start. Fleetwood Mac,Screaming Lord Sutch, Jeno Washington, Stan Webb,Windy Miller,Writing on the Wall,Windy Miller, My Dear Watson to name a few,there were so many other unknown bands or should I say not so well known. I wonder If anyone remembers Slade, that was the Night of Nights. I have never seen a Ballroom ignite like that before. I liked the Doors, Dylan,Stones,Zep,Rory Gallagher,The Dead, I liked heavy sort of rock I guess, although Dylan doesn’t really fit into this.
    Slade in there own way slaughtered the audience with what we loved at the time. ROCK SOLID ROCK

  7. Aberdeen expat Says:

    I also remember Slade playing at Fusion with Radio 1 when they were pretty new. Skived off College for that :o)


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