Hard Rock Cafe Houston Memorabilia
When Clapton left John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in '66, Mayall didn't hold auditions-he called Peter Green. Quite possibly the greatest of the late '60s British blues guitarists (Clapton included), it's inexplicable why he's not a household name like so many of his contemporaries. After leaving Mayall, Peter decided to form his own group. He called it Fleetwood Mac. It was during those early Fleetwood Mac days that he wore this incredible belt with seated Hindu deities engraved in the buckle. Drop what you're doing and go get a Peter Green album right now. We suggest 1969's Then Play On.
Where would we be without the British art school system? We certainly wouldn't have most of the great English rock bands of the late '60s. Art schools were like a slacker incubator in post-war England and nurtured the creativity of at least one member of every great group you can think of. One art school alumni was Eric Clapton. He sketched this very English scene on a 9" by 11" piece of construction paper. It's signed "El" - one of Clapton's many nicknames. "Slowhand" still seems more appropriate to us, though.
This is one of those perfect little time capsule pieces of memorabilia we come across from time to time. Two years before he would team up with Johnny Marr and form one of the greatest British bands of all time, The Smiths, 21 year old Steven Morrissey wrote this note to John Muir - who was working on a book about the New York Dolls. Morrissey was president of his local Dolls fan club in the '70s, so he was understandably excited about potentially being consulted for the book. The James Dean photo is, of course, a great touch and pure Morrissey.
When Randy Newman wrote the song "Short People," he must've ignored the entire history of rock music. This art form is ripe with vertically-challenged stars. The Monkees' Davy Jones is definitely one of them. At 5'3", diminutive Davy liked to get a little boost from time to time. These platforms were just the ticket.
The Human League
Casio VL-1 Keyboard
Here's one for the time capsule. This Casio VL-1 was used on Human League's 1981 hit, "Open Your Heart" and in the composition of "Get Carter." A bizarre little piece of electronic weirdness, the VL-1 had a few extremely primitive keyboard noises, a very goofy-sounding drum machine, and a calculator. Why don't keyboard manufacturers include a calculator with their ultra-high-tech synthesizers these days? What if you need to balance your checkbook while performing Thomas Dolby covers at the local pub on '80s retro night?
This concert contract (things were more informal back then) is for an appearance by the Animals, one of the great and too often overlooked British Invasion bands (with singer Eric Burdon), at the Wakefield Unity Hall on August 21, 1964. Check out point 1 - "No action to be taken by court or otherwise for the failure of the Animals to appear." Just in case a better gig came along.