Tag Archives: tv show

July 5th 1973

“Watched the Burke Special then did some more of the Hist. project”


I had almost totally forgotten about James Burke and his set of techno-science documentaries – all called “The Burke Special” – that littered the TV during the 70’s and early 80’s.

He was a great presenter who managed to educate and entertain in equal measures as he showed us the intricate workings of the world around us.

It’s somewhat spooky timing that his name turns up now… because I first remember him as the BBC’s “space guy” – the reporter they always trotted out to talk on the news whenever there was a new Apollo mission. I wasn’t 100% certain but research backed up my addled brain to confirm that he was indeed the presenter on the day Neil Armstrong & Co landed on the moon… almost 40 years ago on the 20th/21st July 1969 (20th U.S. time, 21st UK time)

Here he is, taking us inside the Apollo Command Module, from some footage that seems to scream 1973…


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November 11th 1972

“ELP CONCERT – BLUDY FANTASTIC (Supp Group Biggles – Steve Palmer)”

So, my very first pop concert was Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

My second pop concert was……. erm… Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends eh?

Apparently, they were BLUDY FANTASTIC!

This show was at the Gaumont Theatre in Southampton.

Built in the 1920’s and originally called the Empire, the theatre had a lively mix of films, stage theatre and musicals until the late 50’s when it changed it’s name to the Gaumont and became more of a variety venue. In the 60’s it let the ‘evils’ of Rock & Roll onto its stage, hosting concerts by, amongst many others, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

The stage didn’t always lend itself well to live shows, mainly because it wasn’t very deep.

That didn’t matter to the 14-year-old me. I was, again, amazed by the armadillo-esque creatures breathing fire from the wings, Carl Palmer’s massive drum set – on a huge riser – and Keith Emerson’s collection of synths, pianos and Hammond organs.

Just as at the Oval a few weeks earlier – and I have no doubt that band did the exactly same set – Emerson stabbed his Hammond with a selection of knives, rocked it backwards and forwards to create weird noises and basically took on the appearance of a long-haired caped madman.

Biggles were a no-hope Prog Rock band that were very briefly about in the 70’s. Carl Palmer’s brother Steve was their drummer.

With acknowledgement to the trivia fanatics amongst you though, I will tell you that the band’s lead singer was Gary Holton, later of glam/punk-rock worthies, The Heavy Metal Kids.

The same Gary Holton who was to appear as dodgy cockney carpenter Wayne in classic TV comedy series Auf Wiedersehen Pet.

I can find nothing by Biggles to share (maybe to your advantage?) but here’s a MySpace Page showcasing a few Heavy Metal Kids songs. Nothing whatsoever to do with my ELP gig in 1972, but still good to get a blast from IMHO!

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