This was my first memories of Cockney Rebel, which I originally posted on this site when it first started in 2009.
Back in 74 I went with one of my mates (Dave Baker) to buy what I thought was going to be 'Band on the Run'. Once in HMV Dave picked up Psychomodo and despite my protests he insisted on buying it, instead of the aforementioned Wings Album.
I had never heard of Cockney Rebel, despite Dave trying to convince me otherwise by humming the tune to Mr Soft all the way home. I wasn't impressed, since 'Band on the Run' had to be better than this Cockney whatever.
However, once home and the album on my record deck, it was quickly apparent that Dave Baker had taste. The LP was played repeatedly for about 5 hours (especially Ritz, which was just mesmerizing). As a 13 year this was the best music I had ever heard. I was totally hooked and have been eversince.
It seems like yesterday, that I can still remember the screams of dismay from my mum when I felttipped the word 'Psychomodo' on the back of my brand new Wrangler jacket. Oh to be 13 again!
I quickly brought my own copy of Psychomodo and then Human Menagerie, which if possible, was even better. Even today, HM remains my favourite LP of all time and although my wife says it is inappropriate, I long for 'deathtrip' to be played at my funeral. Not that I'm dying but can you think of a more majestic song to go out to.
Mind you the wife will no doubt have the final say, as she did when vetoing my wish to call one of our kids 'Sebastian' as and when they were born. Calling them Emma and Lucy instead!
Cockney Rebel songs have seemingly become integrated with my life. I even once finished with a girlfriend by putting the receiver of the phone to the speaker, as the words 'I said get lost, disappear, get out of my life' (mad mad moonlight live) blasted out.
Sadly Dave Baker died a few years ago. The day after his death, I saw SH and Cockney Rebel in Leamington Spa, which in itself was poignant enough. However when they played Ritz (the first time I can ever remember them doing so in the many concerts I've seen), I can honestly say it brought a tear or two to my eyes.
Having had the music of SH & Cockney Rebel in my life for so long, it seems that every song evokes some sort of memory of days long gone.
Am I just a little obsessive or maybe a little sad or have Cockney Rebel actually gotten under the skin of anyone else?
Hi Rebel.......... just to let you know what has happened to you....
You wrote: Am I just a little obsessive or maybe a little sad or have Cockney Rebel actually gotten under the skin of anyone else?
You are just under the spell you see.!
It dosnt hurt, it is not frightening, it does no harm .. perhaps for some it can get a little lonely when there is quite a distance waiting between gigs though sometimes ....
Just go with the flow and continue to enjoy like the rest
Yay! The wait is over! It's only been 40 f*cking years! Following on from the discussion about the first time I saw Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel live, at the end of the "Best Years Of Our Lives" Tour, Hammersmith Odeon, 1975, I have always been aware that EMI recorded on audio and video, that particular gig. The Video footage was shown in cinemas in the 70s as a "support film", but very few fans ever saw it, because it was never actually advertised, as far as I know, it then disappeared into a black hole somewhere.
The audio recording has sat on a shelf in a vault somewhere ever since, with the exception of the live track of "Sebastion", which EMI put on the B side of "Mr Raffles" in the 70s, just to make sure we fans knew they had recorded it, but weren't going to share the rest of it with us! I had hoped at some stage it would be released, but to be honest, I had given up waiting. Until today!
Today, whilst browsing Amazon, I see that next month they are releasing a "Definative" 4 CD/DVD boxset of "The Best Years Of Our Lives", containing the original album, remastered with bonus tracks, 2 CDs of the final gig of the tour at Hammersmith, and a DVD of the same! To say I'm happy is an understatement! I have pre-ordered my copy from Amazon. What I want to know is, why the f*ck did EMI sit on this material for 40 years before releasing it? I mean, baring in mind, that I was at that gig, and I was only 17 years old at the time, surely some of the other people waiting for its release must have died whilst still waiting !!!
Have watched the Vintage t.v. programme on Thursday night where Steve, Barry and James performed as a threesome on two of Steve's more recent songs. As usual the performance was excellent. What amazed me is that Bob Harris, the presenter, interviewed Steve and was slightly complementary. I can remember the first Old Grey Whistle test set of the original Cockney Rebel,over 40 years ago. At the end of their set Bob Harris made some derogatory remark about the band not being his taste and not expecting much from them. Eat your words Harris. They turned out to be a better band than he predicted. Just shows some people have no taste.
I was first introduced to Steve Harley 40 years ago ,at a works Xmas party,management laid on food and drink,staff brought music,a guy called Mick Metcalf brought Face to Face D/A ,it blew me away,my next purchases were Human Menagerie,and Psychomodo,bought from Herrick & Watson,independent record store in Skegness (still trading)'while on holiday,oh the wait to get home to play it was torture.Mandy from Stamford Music shop always had every new single on pre order for me,no internet then.Still got all the vinyl,all the cd's, VHS & dvd's ,my family say I' m obsessed too,wondering why I can go and see the same concert over and over again,I still get a thrill when I hear the intro to Make me Smile,and like Rebel,Death Trip,will be my funeral song,though not yet I hope.
Thanks for the music Steve,it's got me through a lot over the years.