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Dick Heath View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Alan Fluff Freeman - fond memories?
    Posted: July 16 2004 at 20:39
Aussie DJ Alan Freeman who was a mainstay of  rock on BBC Radio 1 through the 70's, has been mentioned with fond memories by several Brit correspondents recently. Inevitably he went, somebody declared old age and  old rock were not part of Radio 1 - alas we never quite got back to that level of adventure on the Beeb. And too he got  parodied wickedly as half of (the Nice Show's) Smashie  and Nicey. However, his Saturday afternoon shows were a regular and pretty essential treat - for instance, I rediscovered Gentle Gentle when Proclaimation first got played there; Freeman played instrumental jazz rock behind announcements' (so did Tommy Vance, but then  lost his appeal IMHO when he allowed his Friday Rock Show* to be taken over completely by mediocre heavy metal c 1981), and those quizzes i.e. name an obscure rock track, and if you won you got to pick the next obscure track. I never won, but reckoned I must have been close when "few" identified Spooky Tooth's Waiting For The Wind.

Any other memories of Fluff?


*Just reminded myself that Tommy Vance had an even better quiz on The Friday Rock Show . Something called Connections: three unnamed tracks by unnamed bands/artists were played back-to-back which had some connnections (e.g. tracks taken from albums with something  similar in their titles, common musicians etc.). The object was to spot the connection, and also provide the next set of connections, if you won.  Again I never won but I was ready with the next set of connections. I selected a track each from three albums with the same title. So I said the bands or artists here were Climax Chicago Blues Band, Arthur Lee and Starcastle, what is the common album title? Any more for any more?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2004 at 03:25
Dick I was not aware of his death..I'm off to work right now and I'm off to see Todd Rundgren tonight but I will give your post a proper response tomorrow.That is very sad news for me
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2004 at 03:57

I don't think 'Fluff' is dead.This is not a RIP thread is it?

Anyway I remember listening to the Saturday Afternoon Rock Show in the mid seventies.He use to play progressive rock (the only UK based DJ who did) and openend the show with ELP's 'Welcome Back My friends' refrain from KE9.John Peel once said of him 'He was the man who discovered Emerson,Lake and Palmer when they were millionaires and turned them into multi millionaires'.

He returned to BBC Radio 1 in the early nineties still championing prog rock playing the likes of Spocks Beard and IQ on a regular basis on his rock show.Then there was the infamous cull on Radio1 of all DJ's over the age of 30 or so (except John Peel).He then moved to Radio 2 where he hosted a classical music show.

The last I heard he was playing Pavarotti very loud at his nursing home and 'terrorising' the female staff.Not Arf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2004 at 14:54

Dick, You forgot to mention that Mr Vance always bookended the "Friday Night Connection" with "Theme 1" by VDGG. The highlight of the show!

ps "Real to Reel". My Go:- Principle Edwards Magic Theatre, "The Asmoto Running Band"; Steve Hillage, "Green"; and the sound track album "Zabriski Point". Name the connection!

Perception is truth, ergo opinion is fact.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2004 at 17:19

I know Fluff was pretty ill recently, but I'm sure he's very much still with us. Even in the 70's though when he did the Saturday show, he was no spring chicken.

Before the Saturday show, he used to do the top 20 singles rundown. They started some time around 5:50pm on a Sunday, depending how long the 20 songs were. He'd never cut one off to fit the chart into an hour, and the programme always ended exactly at 7pm. Between 5pm and the start of the rundown, he played new releases, remember in those days you didn't hear singles until they were released. How things change, now you're sick of them by the time they hit the shelves! He always managed to slip in a good number of rock tracks, although that said a lot more rock bands featured in the charts anyway. Deep Purple, Free, Black Sabbath, Ten Years After, Vehicle, Chicago (TA), BS&T, Rare Bird, and so on all had big hit singles.

Those first few notes of "March of the Troubadors/Toreadors???" will forever bring a smile to my face, as I will always associate them with the start of the Saturday afternoon show (this is sounding like an obitiary!!).

I wasn't so keen on John Peel, I found much of what he played to be too weird/avante garde for me. Enjoyed his "Festive 50" though, and his appearance on Top of the Pops playing mandolin on "Maggie May" when it was number one.

Talking of top of the pops, have you seen that classic clip from that show, when Dexy's Midnight Runners performed "Jackie Wilson said"? For effect, the show instructed that a picture of Wilson be shown behind the band. When they performed live, behind them was a giant mugshot of Jockie Wilson, the small rotund Scots darts player, with the gummy smile!

LOL

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2004 at 18:15
Originally posted by Easy Livin Easy Livin wrote:

Talking of top of the pops, have you seen that classic clip from that show, when Dexy's Midnight Runners performed "Jackie Wilson said"? For effect, the show instructed that a picture of Wilson be shown behind the band. When they performed live, behind them was a giant mugshot of Jockie Wilson, the small rotund Scots darts player, with the gummy smile!

LOL

 

Hilarious and true!

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 17 2004 at 19:26
Originally posted by Fragile Fragile wrote:

Dick I was not aware of his death..I'm off to work right now and I'm off to see Todd Rundgren tonight but I will give your post a proper response tomorrow.That is very sad news for me



I really hope I hadn't given the impression Fluff had died. As mentioned he had been ill,  and I believe (like Jimmy Young) suffered severe back pain as part of an arthetic condition for a very long time.

He did take the pleasure away from some of those prog classic tracks for some of us. by persistent use of bits as links or segues - I've  only just dared get round to play Frankenstein, without thinking  the keyboard parts had not been played to death. But he more than made up for that with some stonking good music when he first started.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 18 2004 at 11:02

Dick I read it too quickly and I am delighted that 'Fluff Freeman ' is still with us.His Saturday afternoon show from 2pm -6pm in the early 70's was groundbreaking in that he played loads of prog along with other great rock music.He ressurected the show on Friday nights on Virgin for a few years but in their infinite wisdom Virgin took the show off saying it had a very small audience!It was a replica formula he used on the show with the ELP 'Welcome back my friends' and all his other regular features.I first heard the Flower Kings 'Church of your Heart' on his show along with many others.His taste for all things rock at his age  was a joy.He stayed true to the music he dearly loved, unlike that hypocrite John Peel, whose comments on Prog I would seriously take issue with if I ever have the chance to meet him.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2004 at 15:53

I recorded the 1976 rock top 20 which was played over two Saturday afternoons during the 1976 festive period. There were some superb albums in the countdown such as "Ommadawn" - Mike Oldfield, "Olias of Sunhillow" - Jon Anderson, "Live herald" - Steve Hillage and many more. Fluff played lengthy excerpts from each, the length appearing to reflect his own liking or otherwise for a particular album! 

It was just a pity the number one was "The Beach Boys greatest hits", good album but how that become "rock" I don't know.

On the second Saturday, after about two hours of the show, and half way through a Rolling Stones track, an announcer came on an said in a typical BBC voice. Well that's all we've got time for on this waveband, we now present "Your hundred best tunes". You can continue to hear the Alan Freeman show on medium wave. My recording then features a frantic 30 seconds of retuning of the radio! I think at the time Radios 1 and 2 shared the higher quality waveband alternately (I can't remember if it was actually FM by that time), and just cut over at the alloted times.

Not arf!Big smile

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2004 at 16:22

Perception is truth, ergo opinion is fact.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2004 at 16:26
http://www.radiorewind.co.uk/alan_freeman_page.htm for some old recordings of Fluff's show, and the picture of him with TOTT Genesis, which I tried to paste above, but couldn't.
Perception is truth, ergo opinion is fact.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 06:59

I clicked on the "New Band Additions Procedure" link in the FAQ page and ... I arrived here.

Alan Freeman used to do the Saturday Rock Show on Radio 1 I remember. Great show. Not 'arf!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 07:13
Originally posted by emdiar emdiar wrote:

http://www.radiorewind.co.uk/alan_freeman_page.htm for some old recordings of Fluff's show, and the picture of him with TOTT Genesis, which I tried to paste above, but couldn't.


Here you go, fellow 'pop-picker'



And everyone else has said it, so I will too...

Not 'arf!

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 07:23
Does anybody know who was the influence for Harry Enfield's Smashy and Nicey?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 08:42
I always thought Freeman and Blackburn
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 09:28
I used to listen religiously to his show every Saturday afternoon to get my weekly fix. "Hey Fluff, how about some more Heep, Tull, Floyd and Sabbath!"

I remember he had a argument on Juke Box Jury with Johnny Rotten over whether teenagers were all bored or not, which ended with Fluff saying "Oh, shut up Johnny!"

A great man with infectious enthusiasm and long may he continue to frighten the nurses!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 12:12
Originally posted by Easy Livin Easy Livin wrote:

I know Fluff was pretty ill recently, but I'm sure he's very much still with us. Even in the 70's though when he did the Saturday show, he was no spring chicken.

Before the Saturday show, he used to do the top 20 singles rundown. They started some time around 5:50pm on a Sunday, depending how long the 20 songs were. He'd never cut one off to fit the chart into an hour, and the programme always ended exactly at 7pm. Between 5pm and the start of the rundown, he played new releases, remember in those days you didn't hear singles until they were released. How things change, now you're sick of them by the time they hit the shelves! He always managed to slip in a good number of rock tracks, although that said a lot more rock bands featured in the charts anyway. Deep Purple, Free, Black Sabbath, Ten Years After, Vehicle, Chicago (TA), BS&T, Rare Bird, and so on all had big hit singles.

Those first few notes of "March of the Troubadors/Toreadors???" will forever bring a smile to my face, as I will always associate them with the start of the Saturday afternoon show (this is sounding like an obitiary!!).

I wasn't so keen on John Peel, I found much of what he played to be too weird/avante garde for me. Enjoyed his "Festive 50" though, and his appearance on Top of the Pops playing mandolin on "Maggie May" when it was number one.

Talking of top of the pops, have you seen that classic clip from that show, when Dexy's Midnight Runners performed "Jackie Wilson said"? For effect, the show instructed that a picture of Wilson be shown behind the band. When they performed live, behind them was a giant mugshot of Jockie Wilson, the small rotund Scots darts player, with the gummy smile!

LOL

 

I certainly wasn't old enough to remember Alan Freeman's shows, being only 17, but I have heard various interviews with 'Fluff' over the years and some excerpts from his old shows, where he genuinely seemed to love heavy rock and prog music.

I also gather that unlike John Peel, he never dumped prog or heavy rock when punk came along, so Freeman would get much more respect from me for sticking to his guns when all around him were jumping on the nearest bandwagon. Sadly though this attitude probably did him no favours if Radio 1 dumped him, yet Radio 1 seem to me to be very transient, as they don't even seem to play any music more than a few years old....

I have heard bits of his BBC Radio 2 show 'Pick Of The Pops' though, where he used ELP's 'Hoedown' and 'Karn Evil 9', maybe even VDGG's 'Theme One', as the linking music. I remember also an interview with 'Fluff' just after his retirement from large scale broadcasts, where he said 'the fusion of classical and rock music seemed to be a great idea to me', showing his enthusiasm for prog music.

Great photo of Genesis and Alan!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 12:18

He once played an Earth and Fire track for me probably around 1975 on his Saturday afternoon program. I think it was Storm and Thunder. I had sent the request in months before and completely forgot about it. I would normally have been playing for my local cricket team on a Saturday, but I had just got back from holiday. I remember lying in the bath with the radio on and heard my name - good job I was lying down



Edited by CandyAppleRed
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 07 2005 at 12:20

Also, I think I have both the answers for the connections questions...

The common factor between Starcastle, Arthur Lee and Climax Chicago Blues Band is they all had albums called 'Real To Reel', I believe?

And I'm sure that Nick Mason produced 'Green' and 'The Asmoto Running Band'- not sure about the other two albums though....

 

Anyway, I have a connections question;

What connects Gene Vincent, Clifford T.Ward and Medicine Head?

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 10 2005 at 17:45

His Saturday afternoon program was 3 hours of bliss - I listened almost every time whilst at university and taped hundreds of hours of material (sadly, my ex wife threw them all out in a tidying frenzy, which is why she is ex). He used to have John Peel on doing p**s take sketches to advertise his own program; these were often hilarious. He introduced me to The Enid, Gentle Giant, Druid, Gryphon and many other great bands - and he stuck with them through the punk phase.

A great man; may he "live long and prosper". 

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