An unexpected photographic helicopter flight with Nick
Easter weekend turned out as a series of unexpected events
for me this year. Having just got over an unexpected filming
which took place on Saturday, Monday afternoon found me
photographing Ross Town, the controversial gas pipeline,
Symonds Yat, The Doward and Wilton and various other local
places from a helicopter.
had just emerged from my bed on Monday morning and was,
rubbing the sleep from my eyes whilst heading for the kettle
when the phone rang. 'Hi Alan, it's Nick Dale from Ross
Lions. Would you like to come flying today - get some shots
of the gas pipeline and aerial shots of the town?' Having
always loved flying - especially in light aircraft and helicopters,
how could I refuse?
o'clock found Nick and I heading for Staverton Airport,
where he regularly flies helicopters with locally owned
we arrived back in the aircraft, over Ross, I used a real
camera but on the way - from takeoff to just approaching
the town, I filmed the flight with a video camera. That
film can be seen by clicking below. The video is best viewed
in full screen mode.
took hundreds of aerial shots of the area and over the next
few weeks, I shall be running a series of aerial photography
shots. Keep watching over this and the next few issues of
Wyenot News - you may see your house from here!
Nick Dean with the 'Heliflight' helicopter used for the afternoon
of photography, G-LUKY., Staverton. Ref: DSC_0030
the 'Dagenham Roundhouse Boys' for a television documentary
was unexpectedly filmed on Saturday afternoon for a future
television documentary about what went on at my teenage
haunt, the famous Dagenham Roundhouse rock music venue,
at which all the big rock bands performed on their road
was back in the late '60s and early '70s that it all took
place. As soon as one walked through the door, the aroma
of patchouli mixed with, let's just say various 'exotic
smoking mixtures' would have you comfortably stoned within
minutes. We were there every Saturday night enjoying the
company of weekly bands like Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, Arthur
Brown's Kingdom Come, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, to name
less than one percent - before they became really famous.
venue was 'The Roundhouse' or 'Village Blues Club'. I did
know that I was going to be filmed at some stage but my
email failed me when the date finally arrived, I found out
about it via a panic phone call the evening before. 'Didn't
you get our emails? We're coming to Ross-on-Wye to film
glad it happened that way really as I would have suffered
dreadful panic attacks. As it was, Friday evening I was
busy and so did not have time to think too much about it.
. . .
documentary type film is being made by my old friends, Harold
Curren (Better known as 'H') and Ken Gascoigne of 'Avec
Design', with the help of Dagenham Council. I would like
to mention Dee Hunt at this stage, the Mayor of Dagenham.
Dee has been keen from the outset at getting the film off
the ground. (I don't personally know you, Dee but I knew
your brothers, Colin and Trevor very well. The Roundhouse
definitely needs to go down in the annals of history and
you're doing a great job to help that cause!)
who have been filmed so far for the movie include: Mick
Box of Uriah Heep, Brian May, the Roundhouse Promoter, local
legend Andy Townsend, Bonny Thompson aka Diamond (Bonny
has since worked with Benny Hill and 'Little and Large',)
John 'Whiskers', Steve Kelly and myself.
up to be filmed next are Mick Abraham of 'Jethro Tull' and
'Blodwyn Pig' fame, Tony McPhee of the 'Groundhogs', Edgar
Broughton from the 'Edgar Broughton Band' (one of my favourite
bands that Rocked the Roundhouse) and Paul Fenn. Paul began
booking the Roundhouse bands at the age of 16 and now has
one of the world's biggest agencies.
voice-over for the film is being recorded by Billy Bragg,
who now has a street named after him in Dagenham. 'Bragg
Close' is now where the old Roundhouse car park stood. Editing
of the film will be performed by students at Barking College.
A DVD with 'extras' (hence the songs) will be released on
the unsuspecting public and the out-takes will be archived
in Dagenham Town Hall.
Saturday, Steve Kelly was filmed in Wales followed by myself,
in Ross-on-Wye. We both gave interviews and song performances.
After the filming was over, I took the film crew along to
the Prince of Wales, where they kindly filmed a couple of
songs performed by The Zebras.
are all separated geographically now - Dagenham, Bristol,
Heathrow, Wales, Ross-on-Wye, Japan but we have remained
in one another's hearts for nearly forty years. That is
what you call true friendship!
Dagenham Roundhouse 'Village' Boys and Girls Today (PG)
Live in Ross-on-Wye: Alan Wood - 'Love Song' and 'Dark Globe'
Dear! My vocals on this are absolutely awful. My stress
levels were climbing rapidly and I should have stuck to
the first take! Although
most retakes were through mistakes due to nerves, not all
of the out-takes were my fault!
didn't like the first go and decided to go at it again -
I sung the same verse twice in Dark Globe, a balloon took
off behind me during the 'Love Song' and, sensing that something
was going on, I turned around during the recording and,
in what would have been absolutely the best take - a nearby
boy racer roared his car engine at the end and I dropped
the final guitar chord.
a result, the vocals begin painfully sharp. I would not
have run this video but Tina likes it - and I'm sure my
mum would have done as well but that's about alll.
Dagenham Roundhouse 'Village' Boys and Girls Today
Blues Club interview: Alan
answers to the interviewer', 'H' Curren's questions are
merged together before the final edit is complete.
the final edit, Billy Bragg will be recording a voice-over
and I am guessing that all of our answers will be mixed.
think one of the best answer to the questions was given
by Bonnie Thompson in her interview below: 'You
can't really explain - people would have to be there and
experience it themselves'.
just about sums it up for me and many of the others.
the lingo of the time, it was, 'far out, man', and I would
not have missed it for the world!
Blues Club' Live in Wales: Steve Kelly - 'Don't You Cry'
Kelly and I have been friends since 1970 and I have fond
memories of Steve and Sue, particularly at the extremely
loud Deep Purple performance. Deep Purple performances were
rumoured for their volume and were extremely near the pain
threshold for most normal human beings with that low ceiling
in the Roundhouse venue.
song, Steve and it's also good to hear your memories of
be in touch later this week. It's not through lack of wanting
to - it has only been through total lack of time. This thing
has taken over my life.
Blues Club interview: Steve Kelly
Kelly remembers Quintessence and Skid Row.
Blues Club interview: ' Promoter: Brian May
May remembers the Hawkwind naked lady.
Blues Club' Interview: Bonnie Thompson (Diamond)
remembers Deep Purple.
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