Hats Off To Harper: Roy Harper & BP Fallon & Dave Cochran, Knebworth Festival England 1975. Memphis-born Dave – who once saw Elvis in a diner – played bass in Roy’s band Trigger with Chris Spedding (guitar) and Bill Bruford (drums). At the festival, Roy also sang ‘Have A Cigar’ with Pink Floyd. Polaroid photographer unknown.
Roy Harper talking to editor Allan Jones in ‘Editor’s Letters’ in the current Uncut magazine:
“At the time, BP Fallon was doing my PR. He knew there hadn’t been a diagnosis, but he’d been with me when the doctors asked what I’d recently been up to that might have made me ill, and I told them I’d tried to bring a still-born lamb back to life by cupping my hands around its mouth and blowing into them. I actually never touched the lamb at all, but in Fallon’s version of events I’d ended up in hospital after giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a sheep.
“This was the story that went out to a ludicrous number of newspapers. Suddenly I’m president of The North-East Lancashire Sheep Shaggers Association. For years, it was the only thing people wanted to talk about, how I nearly died after kissing a sheep. I spent years trying to explain what had happened and in the end just gave up and went along with it. I mean, why not?”
Double Trouble: BP Fallon & Roy Harper in Ålesund, Norway 1975. BP’s snakeskin jacket a present from Steve Marriott, bless him. Photography by Steinar Remme.
Double Bubble: Roy Harper not with a sheep, Continental Hyatt House West Hollywood June 1973 during a Led Zeppelin tour. Photography by
BP Fallon who took some of the shots below – as did Roy Harper:
Led Zeppelin ‘Physical Graffiti’ inner sleeve (1975). Jimmy Page with bandaged left hand and champagne glass in the right and John Bonham and Robert Plant ascloseasthis in a limo, photography by BP Fallon.
Read the complete Allan Jones’ ‘Editor’s Letters’ plus ‘Roy Harper: a candid interview with the mercurial singer, who’s 70 this month’ in Uncut.
00:00 Rattle Yer Jewelry – BP Fallon for play
00:29 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Ronnie Drew
00:39 When The Sun Comes Up (For The Last Time) – Dead Skeletons
07:08 Wild Charms – The Kills
08:23 Blue Shoes – Colm Mac Con Iomaire
11:22 Pots And Pans – The Kills
15:47 We Are Here (Probably) – BP Fallon
16:50 Dead Mantra – Dead Skeletons
25:04 Wild Opal Eyes – The Asteroid #4
29:00 Psycho Dead – Dead Skeletons
34:23 Hail To The Clear Figurines – The Asteroid #4
39:05 Relax And Float Upstream – BP Fallon
40:10 Dead Magick I – Dead Skeletons
44:52 We Fall Away – Sunsplit
50:24 I Couldn’t Sleep For Thinking Of Hank Williams – Henry McCullough
54:13 I Believe In Elvis Presley (acoustic) – BP Fallon & Aaron Lee Tasjan
58:15 Always Carry A Light Bulb – BP Fallon
59:24 Dead Magick II – Dead Skeletons
65:07 And the jingles jangling go auld triangling
Dead Skeletons: Jón Smundur & Henrik Björnsson
& Ryan Carlson Van Kriedt
Dead Skeletons altar
Dead Skeletons vinyl
Dead Skeletons studio
Henry McCullough by lib_lab
I Believe In Elvis Presley: Aaron Lee Tasjan and BP Fallon
and – from The Patti Smith Group – Lenny Kaye
It’s Bob Dylan’s 70th Birthday today. To pay honour to this special occasion, we present this previously-unpublished story.
THE TALE OF BOB DYLAN & JOHNNY THUNDERS & SID & VAN
by BP Fallon Slane Castle, County Meath, Ireland 1984… and beyond
Written NYC July 15/16th 2003
1984 and the Orwellian seer Bob Dylan. Chinwagging with The Big Zee in his trailer before the gig, him asking you ’bout that guitar-toting buzzard Johnny Thunders who you’d introduced him to at a Link Wray show in London some six or seven years before. Dylan had been kinda startled as Johnny reached out for Bob’s wet fish handshake. Said he’d never heard of The New York Dolls, was more interested in where he could get a new coat.
Sid Vicious’ Nancy wobbled up, tits hanging out and eyes closing down. This apparition heaves itself onto Dylan’s skinny bosom, she a sloppy floppy messy deadweight bodybag of mascaraed custard landing heavily onto the poet’s ribcage unprotected by Dylan’s tatty old leather coat that he’s had for ages. Dylan winces.
“Sex!” this clinging eyeshadowed amoeba blurts out to The Voice Of A Generation who twitches like he’s stuck outside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again and as he tries to free himself of this snaily woman he shakes his shoulders, Bob Dylan the frazzle-haired and frazzled creaky old rumba dancer at the YMCA with a junkie on his back.
You explain to Bob that Sex is the clothes shop run by Vivienne Westwood and her partner, the wideboy rock’n’roll manager Malcolm McClaren. “They sell coats and stuff, bondage gear”. Bob perks up perceptively. “Rubber stuff?” he queries. “Malcolm managed the Sex Pistols” you soothe. On cue, The Voice Of Degeneration shrills out like a petulant lost baby seal. “Nance-yyy!” It’s Sid, calling out for his monkey minder and her mind-numbing medicine.
Later that night Sid asks you to be his manager. “Malcolm’s your manager” you point out. Sid had an expedient way to get out of his contract. “I’ll cut his fuckin’ throat”, chortle chortle snivel snot, wipe nose on leather jacket sleeve. At least Sid was polite enough to wipe his dribbling nose on his own leather jacket. You, you’re already managing Johnny Thunders – full-on too much JT junkie bizness, a true-blood Noo Yoik rock’n’roller as magic as Gene Vincent Meets Keef Richards, turning himself to shit with smack.
Johnny and Sid have already played live at The Speakeasy as The Living Dead. Well, Sid climbed up onto Johnny’s stage and stumbled off again. Now they want to call their group The Junkies. Things like that could do your head in. I don’t think Bob Dylan ever got his new coat. The NME had a photo of me’n’Bawb at the Link Wray gig. What can you do?
So now we’re back at Slane watching Paul Brady honoured to show this gnarled lizard how to play The Lakes Of Ponchatrain in this crappy trailer by the banks of the Boyne. Bob does just fine, fumbles and mumbles and shy ‘Aw shucks’ cowpoke grin as his long fingernails scratch at an acoustic guitar.
Now Bob is out in the sunlight by the Boyne’s dancing waters, fondly recalling Liam Clancy and Tommy Makem and Liam’s brothers and the friendship they’d bestowed on him when he first arrived in New York, the huge influence they’d had on him, eulogising The Clancy Brothers as film cameras capture the bashful bard paying tribute to his back pages. The filming, it’s for a Clancy Brothers documentary.
And now you’re standing on the side of the stage with Patsy watching Bob Dylan and his band rockin’ out like electric methedrine with lumps in it and there’s Bono and Ali taking it all in too.
Van Morrison shuffles up to where we’re standing, picks up an acoustic guitar, puts it down, looks grumpy. You look at Bono and he looks at you and the vibe is ‘Aw, fuck, doesn’t look like Van will sing with Dylan now’. But of course Van does, the ornery bastard, goes on and has Dylan singing with him on Van’s own Tupelo Honey, the two voices clashing and meshing and dancing around each other like refreshed lovers probing. The Goat On The Barbed Wire Fence and The Mighty Lion’s Roar are now singing Bob’s It’s All Over Now Baby Blue together and untogether and it’s poetry emotion.
“Take what you have gathered from coincidence…” You know a couple of guys in Dylan’s combo. That’s why you and your girl are here at Slane in such an exulted viewpoint. You trip over a wire causing the PA to stab out a sharp metallic crackle and Dylan jumps back from his mic all shook up and you put on your best ‘What, me?’ face and hide behind Patsy.
There’s Mick Taylor from The Stones twanging majestically, his guitar like liquid mercury. And over there, the keyboards swirl from the fingers of another dear chum from the rock’n’roll daze, this lovely grinning diamond Ian MacLagan, he from The Small Faces/Faces/Stones and more. He wrote about this special day and this night-until-dawn in his book All The Rage, Mac did, this very last night of this European tour.
Ah, yes. Maybe it’s odd but you feel proud of these guys as they play behind Bob Dylan. It’s very warming. Many rivers to cross and they’ve burnt a few bridges, come out from the storm to find the blessed chalice now sometimes free from harm. Instant calmer’s gonna get you. And His Master’s Voice, it’s wheezy and raspy and magic and sinewy like a snake from the Book Of Isiah, curling around Van’s magnificent full-chested roar of redemption. “She’s as sweet as Tupelo honey” indeed. Perfect.
Patsy Dennehy & BP Fallon & Bob Dylan at Slane Castle 1984.
Photography by Nutan Photographic
Van Morrison & Bob Dylan at Slane Castle 1984 by Sean Hennessy
BP Fallon & Bob Dylan at Slane Castle 1984 by Larry ‘Ratso’ Sloman
BP Fallon & Johnny Thunders at The New Inn, Dublin April 1990
by Paul Murphy
“Thunder on the mountain and there’s fires on the moon
A ruckus in the alley and the sun will be here soon
Today’s the day where I’m gonna grab my trombone and blow
Well, there’s hot stuff here and it’s everywhere I go…”
-Bob Dylan, Thunder On The Mountain
In loving memory of Johnny Thunders and of Kevin Dunne who loved Bob and of all who sail ahead of us x
00:00 Venice – BP Fallon & Stefania Pia
01:01 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Jimi Hendrix & Ronnie Drew
01:21 Down In Memphis – Booker T Jones
05:00 Chicken Half – Sugarman 3
08:22 Let Them Knock – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
12:43 BP Fallon’s Wang Dang Doodle – Solomon Burke
12:54 Bright New Way (Skiffle Mix) – Noel Redding & Friends
16:49 Hookers In B – Noel Redding & Friends
20:09 So Long Now – Noel Redding & Friends
23:48 Never Grow So Old (mono demo) – The Daze
26:32 The Church Of Aural Sects – BP Fallon waxes poetic
28:08 The Bronx – Booker T Jones w/ Lou Reed
32:43 The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song – Jeffrey Lewis
39:41 Salute Him When His Birthday Comes – BP Goes Big Zim
40:45 When It Comes To Tears – Pete Cummins
44:36 Shining Star – Henry McCullough
49:45 Matter Of Time – The Low Anthem
53:31 Wang Dang Doodling – Stefania Pia
53:46 The Vamp – Booker T Jones
56:14 I Did It Highway – BP Fallon
57:44 Rent Party – Booker T Jones
61:38 And the jingles jangling go auld triangling
Booker T Jones courtesy Anti- Records
Booker T & The MGs: Duck Dunne & Booker T
& Steve Cropper & Al Jackson Jr courtesy Stax Records
Booker T & The MGs: Green Onions courtesy Stax Records
Booker T & Lou Reed courtesy Anti- Records
Lou Reed by Mick Rock
Noel Redding & Jimi Hendrix
Touring the States together: Jimi Hendrix & Robert Wyatt
of The Soft Machine & Henry McCullough of Eire Apparent
by Linda Eastman
I don’t claim to know the game of politics or indeed most of the story.
If you know nothing you can never be wrong.
Garret Fitzgerald celebrating his 75th birthday with his granddaughters.
He was 85 when he died earlier today.
I liked Garret Fitzgerald.
We were having our makeup done, he and I, at the RTE television studios in Dublin. We were about to go on screen for the Irish tv link-up into Live Aid. It’s July 13th 1985 and much of the world is throbbing to Bob Geldof’s initiative. As we sat there being powdered, he leant towards me and chinwagged away with a calm energy and gentle enthusiasm – and whatever revelations were unfurled what remains in my mind is how gentlemanly, how dignified without being pompous, this man was.
Interesting people are people who are interested and he was, wanted to know everything, then slipping in his own slant on it. There was a professorial aura to him as he sat there in his crafted countryish tweed suit, not really paying attention to the notion of being glammed-up for the nation.
This was not some flash gombeen charlatan pumped-up ex-showband manager with words of sugared oil slithering out of his gobshite mouth – but a cultured gentleman on his second term as Ireland’s Taoiseach who doubtlessly had his own more educated weaponry should the occasion demand.
I drive past his house when I’m in Dublin. Well, when I was in Dublin I used to drive past what now used to be his house. And I’d always flash back to that Live Aid day with a smile.
Garret Fitzgerald and I, we went before the television cameras to drum up more money for Live Aid, not together of course although he was certainly more together than I was. An audacious viewer, evidently moved by the spirit of the occasion of raising as much dosh for Live Aid as possible, phoned in and cheekily offered The Toiseach 500 punts for his tie. Garrett unknotted his top-of-the-line necktie, delighted. Then someone phoned in from Limerick, offering to buy my tie – basically, no literally, a bit of purple string – for 500 punts too. Done! Ridiculous and wonderful.
Garrett, now happily open-shirted and looking almost strange because of it… well, not really but you’d notice he hadn’t a tie on, y’know? Garret, he looks at this piece of string in my hands and for an almost-imperceptible moment he closes his eyes and a smile flirts across his face and God knows what he’s thinking but whatever it is, it’s fine. And then someone buys the bass guitar that Phil Lynott has donated. And then we go back upstairs to the room with illuminated mirrors and get our makeup sponged off…
God bless you, Dr Garret Fitzgerald.
February 9th 1926 – May 19th 2011
Rest in peace, sir.