Nicky Hopkins celebrated in Perivale

Saturday 19 October 2019 saw the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the Perivale childhood home of Nicky Hopkins aka ‘ Rock’s Greatest Session Man’.

The keyboard skills of the one-time Ealing Club regular provided a major contribution to many legendary recordings from Cyril Davies to Spinal Tap, along with Rolling Stones, The Who, the Beatles, the Kinks, Jefferson Airplane, Dusty Springfield and many more.

A crowd of fans, friends and neighbours attended the unveiling at 38 Jordan Road, Perivale, Middlesex UB6 7BX of a plaque to mark Hopkins’ childhood home of Hopkins who died aged 50 in 1994.

The Ealing Civic Society plaque was unveiled by Hopkins’ wife Moira, with The Mayor of Ealing, Dr Councillor Abdullah Gulaid, along with John Wood, who has led the campaign for recognition of Hopkins’ life and work and local councillors Tariq Mahmood and Charan Sharma.

The event was hosted by the current occupants of the house, Tom & Iwona Carroll.

The plaque installation was initiated by the campaigner John Wood (above) with the support of Ealing Civic Society and the kind agreement of Tom and Iwona Carroll.

Classically-trained Hopkins is already remembered in nearby Perivale Park with a memorial bench commissioned by Wood in September 2018.
It was constructed thanks to contributions from fellow musicians and local community groups including the Ealing Club CIC. The next stage in his campaign is to have Hopkins admitted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Wood’s next objective is to have Hopkins admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Like many of his contemporaries, Nicky Hopkins cut his teeth during the R&B boom of the early 1960s and featured on the classic 1963 Cyril Davies Rhythm & Blues All Stars recording Country Line Special.

Nicky had featured in The Savages, Screaming Lord Sutch’s backing band which at the time was one of the most celebrated live line-ups of early 60s London.  

Following his hospitalisation in 1963 from a serious illness, Hopkins became a sought-after session player.

Just a few of of his credits are:  Cyril Davies and  His Rhythm & Blues All Stars (Country Line Special), Screaming Lord Sutch (Jack The Ripper), The Who (Anyway Anyhow Anywhere, Getting In Tune), PP Arnold (The First Cut Is The Deepest), The Kinks (Sunny Afternoon, Days), Dusty Springfield (I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten), The Beatles (Hey Jude, Revolution), The Rolling Stones (Sympathy for the Devil, Angie, Street Fighting Man), Donovan (Barabajagal), Jefferson Airplane (Volunteers), John Lennon (Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Jealous Guy), Joe Cocker (You Are So Beautiful) , Art Garfunkel (I Only Have Eyes For You) and Spinal Tap (Break Like The Sun).

For more on West London’s contribution to the 60s R & B scene please check out the A-Z of Ealing Rock and the film Suburban Steps To Rockland.

38 Jordan Road, Perivale, Middlesex UB6 7BX

Norwegian Fans in Ealing Club Visit

Alistair Young (pictured top right) tells the story of Ealing’s historic Red Room club to a group of 60 Norwegian music fans in a visit arranged on 12 October 2109 to the basement venue organised by Music Heritage London.

Young is co-founder of the Ealing Club Community Interest Company established in 2011 to highlight the music heritage of Ealing, Acton, Hanwell and Southall and to inspire the musicians of the future.

Back in March 1962 the Red Room premises opposite Ealing Broadway Station was the home of the Ealing Blues Club,  the place where electric blues music was first regularly played in the UK. It provided an inspiration and the early experience for a generation of British musicians who became famous around the world as members of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Deep Purple and many more.

The Ealing Club also played a part in creating the sound of rock. A Sunday night in 1963 saw the first public performance ever to use the classic ‘loud’ Marshall JTM45 guitar amplifier, designed and built in nearby Hanwell.

The Norwegian visitors went on to attend a private screening at Ealing’s Classic Cinema Club of Suburban Steps to Rockland, the feature-length documentary about the Red Room’s history.

Robert Hokum's Blues Book List for the 2019 Chiswick Book Festival

Robert Hokum’s Blues Book List

Here’s a list of the books recommended  in Robert Hokum’s Chiswick Book Festival presentation How West London Rocked The World on 18 September 2019:

Alan Lomax – ‘The Land Where The Blues Began’ **

B.B.King with David Ritz – ‘The Autobiography’

Barry Miles – ‘London Calling – a Countercultural History of London Since 1945’

Bill Wyman’s Blues Odyssey

Billy Bragg – ‘Roots Radicals & Rockers – How Skiffle Changed the World’ **

Charles Shaar Murray – ‘Boogie Man: the Adventures of John Lee Hooker’

Dick Heckstall-Smith with Peter Grant – ‘Blowing The Blues – Fifty Years of Playing The British Blues’

Elijah Wald – ‘Escaping the Delta – Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues’ **

Frank Malabe & Bob Weiner – ‘Afro Cuban Rhythms for Drumset’

Gunnar Lindgren – ‘The Arabic Roots of Jazz and Blues’ – Many Musics Action Programme *

Jimi Hendrix – ‘Starting at Zero – His Own Story’

John Zwed  – ‘The Man Who Recorded The World – a biography of Alan Lomax’

Mezz Mezzrow – ‘Really The Blues’

Mo Foster – ‘Play Like Elvis’

Richard Kostelanetz – ‘The B.B. King Companion’

Robert Gordon – ‘Can’t Be Satisfied – The Life and Times of Muddy Waters’

Sharon Lawrence – ‘Jimi Hendrix, the Man, the Magic, the Truth’

Sylviane A. Diouf – ‘What Islam Gave the Blues’ – Published by ‘Renovato’, the Journal of Zaytuna College *

Wikipedia – ‘Origins of The Blues’ *

DVD – Don McGlynn – ‘The Howlin’ Wolf Story – The Secret History of Rock’n’Roll’

* Available free on the Internet.   

** Highly recommended