Just enough to keep you interested.....
latest news first.
17th April 2018. A copy of the book "Tittenhurst Park : Histroy, gardens and architecture" arrived today. I am really chuffed to have been one of the musicians who have recorded there. John Lennon recorded IMAGINE there. John later sold it to Ringo, this was when I recorded there. I have written a few pages for the book.
6th April 2018. I have been approached by a record company, regarding an album they have coming out celebrating 12 string electric guitars. They want to use one of my songs (featuring my Rickenbacker 12 string guitar).The album is being compiled in May and released September 2018. More details to follow.
Above : My Rickenbacker V 64 360 12 string.
January 2018. In December 2017, I wrote a song about Ronnie Lane. I used Ronnie's Zemaitis guitar to record it. The video for it was filmed on Exmoor. I have received some lovely feedback about the song. There is a special set of CDs by RONNIE LANE being issued later this year. I have helped out with some photographs.
December 2017. The BBC have been in touch. They told me the bit I filmed for The Antiques Road Show, will be broadcast here in the U.K. on new Year's Eve, 8pm. I took my ex Marc Bolan/Mike Oldfield Telecaster onto the show. I got to play it too!
Above : On the Antiques Road Show with expert Marc Allum.
November 2017. Universal Music are planning a special RONNIE LANE release in 2018. A number of CDs in a special package that includes a book. I have provided them with some material.
November 2017. I have been helping out Geddy Lee with some information on Zemaitis instruments, for the forthcoming book on his collection. The book is due to be published in 2018, more details to follow.
November 2017. Photograph of my ex Ronnie Lane Zemaitis guitar in the current edition of Shindig magazine.
October 2017. I have been asked to write about Marc Bolan's Gibson Les Paul Standard, for a forthcoming book on the Gibson Les Paul. The book will be published in 2018. Stay tuned for details!
Above : Marc with his Gibson Les Paul Standard. It went through a number of changes, including a few necks! You can read about it in a new book in 2018
22nd September 2017. Had a great night playing a set of Ronnie Lane's songs, on Ronnie's Zemaitis guitar, backed by Adrian Hillier on guitar. The event was celebrating the launch of the Ronnie Lane biography, written by John Hellier and Paolo Hewitt. Stan Lane, Ronnie's brother also attened. I have to say, it was a gas playing at The Alley Cat, in Denmark Street. It was the old Regent Sound building, where the Stones recorded their fisrt album! The Ronnie biography,"Can you show me a dream?" is available from www.wappingwharf.com
Above : On stage at The Alley Cat.
Above : Having a gas at The Alley Cat.
12th August 2017
Above : Live shot of ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR at the recent Bowie festival.
Photograph by Gaz De Vere.
12th August 2017. ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR played at the BOWIE'S BECKENHAM ODDITY FESTIVAL, in Beckenham. A fabulous summer's day, the audience were into all the music.We played some of our own songs, and some David Bowie songs too.
Above : Almost ready to rock, Adrian limbering up on bass.
Above : View from the stage.
Above : Drum roll from Carlton.
Above : With Wendy, who did a brilliant job of organising the event.
29th July 2017. Played outside, raising money for the Devon Air Ambulance.
Above: Playing outside for charity.
23rd July 2017. ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR played at Apulstock festival. We had a great time playing to a really fab crowd.
Above : On stage at Apulstock.
18th June 2017. I was invited to appear on a special edition of the Antiques Roadshow. The BBC put us up in a hotel near Elstree. The filming took place on the set of EastEnders. It is the first time they have allowed this. I had a red pass, so was able to wander anywhere on site. I took my ex Marc Bolan/Mike Oldfield Telecaster with me, and also got to play it on screen. The expert I was allocated was Marc Allum, he was very good, knew his guitars. It will be broadcast in the Autumn.
Above : On set with Marc Allum from Antiques Roadshow.
Above : Being filmed on the EastEnders set.
Above : Playing a bit of guitar for the Antiques Roadshow.
May 2017. I made a promo film in Portmeirion for the song "I am you". The song is from
the ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR album.CLICK HERE TO WATCH CLIP
May 2017. I will be playing with ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR at a Bowie festival in Beckenham on 12th August. We will playing our own songs, plus a couple of David Bowie songs. The event will be streamed live, details to follow.
10th April 2017. Guitarist magazine (May) feature an interesting interview with Mike Oldfield. Mike mentions the Telecaster used to record his first few albums, and how he got the guitar from Marc Bolan. Feel very lucky to be custodian of that very guitar.
March 2017. Scootering magazine gave the ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR album a very good write up.
17th February 2017. I was delighted to be asked by John Fallon of The Steppes, to add some lead guitar to one of his songs. I used my electric sitar, Fender Strat and ex Marc Bolan/Mike Oldfield Tele. Due out on vinyl soon.
Above : In the studio 17th February 2017.
Above : Used my Watkins Sitar on the session.
2016. I would just like to say, I really enjoyed the gigs I played in 2016, in London, Surrey and the West country. I am not listing them all, but I have played solo gigs, ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR gigs and some acoustic duo gigs outdoors, in clubs, theatres and festivals. I have featured a couple of them on here. If you came along to any of them, thank you.
23rd November 2016. I just heard some very sad news. My old band mate and frie d from EYE TO EYE, Malcolm Humphrey passed away earlier this month. He had been fighting a rare form of cancer. We shared some really fun times making music, sometimes Malcolm would leave his keyboards and strum my guitar , while I fretted the chords. EYE TO EYE recorded one single , Malcolm featured on that. A really genuine person. My condolences to his wife Linda and two sons, Robbie and Tom. R.I.P. Malcom.
Above : Malcolm on stage in 1990.
November 2016. There's an article about my musical life in the Small Faces fanzine
Above : Wapping Wharf magazine.
Above : 29th October 2016, one of the acoustic opn air gigs I played..
October 2016. The St Johns Wood Affair album is out now on CD. Available from here, or the St Johns Wood Affair web site. Ordering is very easy. Just send me a message using the CONTACT tab. I will then send you a PAYPAL invoice. You can then decide if you want to pay it. The cost of the CD for the U.K. is eight pounds including postage and packing. Slightly more for overseas.
19th September 2016. If you have a few hours to spare, you can listen to my interview with Simon Calder for his American radio show on MPLS music. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Above : I have been using my Zemaitis Heart hole acoustic for open air acoustic gigs.
30th July 2016. I played on stage by the sea front in Devon, in aid of the Devon Air ambulan Played some of my original songs, plus some classics. All for a good cause.
Above : I love to play a few songs by Ronnie Lane when I play live. A lot of the time I use Ronnie's old Zemaitis guitar to play them on.
11th June 2016. Played a set of Ronnie Lane songs with Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols), Billy Nicholls and Steve Simpson (Slim Chance) at the Small Faces convention. Fantastic event, well organised, lovely audience. Ronnie's brothers Stan, and Ronnie's daughter Alana introduced us. Stan brought along a life size cut out of Ronnie! Photos below.
Above : Left to right, Steve Simpson, Glen Matlock, Keith & Billy Nicholls. Photo Dave Coombs.
Above : Glen and I were having a ball, we are both big Ronnie Lane fans. Photo David Coombs.
Above : On stage playing Ronnie Lane's guitar. Photo by legendary photographer Derek D'Souza.
Above A quick run through in the dressing room, then it's show time!
Above : It was really nice to catch up with Alana Lane (Ronnie's daughter). Billy Nicholls remember Ronnie Lane bringing her on tour as a baby. Gill and John Hellier also in the photo.
31st May 2016. Billy Nicholls popped round this morning. We had a chat and played some Ronnie Lane songs. Billy is one of those amazing vocalists who can just switch to harmony mode. Fantastic voice, this is why he has worked with The Who, Pink Floyd and Ray Davies. He toured with Ronnie Lane, I really enjoyed hearing about their time together.
Above : Billy Nicholls popped round for a chat and a strum.
30th May 2016. Interviewed by Simon Calder for his American radio show. We spoke about some of my adventures in music, playing with St Johns Wood Affair and the 60's band Nirvana. Also chatted about guitars, especially Zemaitis instruments, old and new. Simon said he woud play my music on the show.I will post a link when the show is broadcast, it will be available as a pod cast.
Above : Simon Calder interviewed me for his American radio show.
27th May 2016. Looking forward to Saturday 11th June. I will be playing a set of Ronnie Lane songs at the Small Faces convention in London. I have some special guests with me, Glen Matlock (Sextols, Rich kids and reformed Faces), also Steve Simpson, multi instrumentalist from Slim Chance. Should be a gas.
Above Glen and I on stage a few years ago.
May 2016. There is a two page feature on my ex Ronnie Lane Zemaitis resonator in the current (June) Guitarist magazine, out now! My Zemaitis Disc front is also featured.
Above My ex Ronnie Lane Zemaits resonator featured in the June Guitarist magazine.
15th May 2016. Played at The Lexington in London. The Most also played and the compere for the evening was John Hellier. It was the first gig for bassist Pete. It all went very well, we had a lot of great comments from people. Nice to see some familiar faces in the crowd.
On stage at the Lexington, London 15th May 2016. Photographs by Charlie Jarvis.
You can watch a clip of ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR at the Lexington.
Above: On stage at the Lexington in London. Photo Mick Finch.
5th May 2016. Rehearsed with ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR. Only the second with bass player Pete. Went very well. I thought I would blow the cobwebs off my Gibson Les Paul Standard. I also managed to blow the fuses in the rehearsal studio!
Above Rehearsal 5th May 2016.
20th April 2016. First rehearsal with Pete helping out on bass.Went through our set and it well went swimmingly! You can watch a clip of the band running through the end of FANTASTIC BOOK OF COLOURS. It's a song that I wrote with some stops/starts in it...................and a big ending too, plenty of scope for me to ham it up!
Above Rehearsal 20th April 2016.
April 17th 2016. Looking forward to playing with ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR at the Terry Reid CD launch on 15th May in London. The Most are also playing, should be a great night. It's all for a brilliant charity, THE PETE QUAIFE FOUNDATION.
April 14th 2016. BBC Breakfast featured a photo of my Mike Oldfield/Marc Bolan Telecaster. They gave a quick history of it as part of a promotion for VINYL DAY that was happening on Saturday.
Above Mike Oldfield/ Marc Bolan Telecaster on BBC Breakfast.
April 2nd 2016. I received a request to appear on an album currently being recorded.
I will play on a version of THE POACHER. I will be playing Ronnie Lane's Zemaitis resonator on the song. More details to follow.
March 2016. I have been asked to play a set of RONNIE LANE songs at the SMALL FACES convention on 11th June in London. This is the 20th convention and this is going to be a special celebration, it would have been Ronnie Lane's 70th birthday this year. Steve Simpson of SLIM CHANCE will be joining me on stage. Stay tuned for news of further guests.
23rd March 2016. I heard today that Mick Baker, who played bass with St Johns Wood Affair for a while, has passed away. You could not meet a nicer person. Mick was a talented musician and a people person. It was an honour to play with him.
Above Mick Baker on bass at Apulstock festival 2014.
February2016. I have been working on a very interesting music project. David Quaife, brother of Pete Quaife, THE KINKS bass player.Has given me his late brother's demos of songs he was writing. They are beautiful songs and it has been a rare treat, just to listen to them. I have recorded my version of one of the songs called "10 summer dreams". A great slice of English psychedelia. Stay tuned for more news.
Above : The Kinks, Pete Quaife on one of the first Rickenbacker basses that I saw.
30th December 2015. I received a complimentary copy of THE GREAT BRITISH RECORDING STUDIOS. I was contacted by the author regarding Ronnie Lane's mobile studio, and supplied a photograph, plus scans of the brochure.
2015. I would just like to say, I really enjoyed the gigs I played in 2015, in London, Surrey and the West country. I am not listing them all, but I have played solo gigs, ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR gigs and some acoustic duo gigs outdoors, in clubs, theatres and festivals. I have featured a couple of them on here. If you came along to any of them, thank you.
December 2015 The ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR album is due out 2016, I put together a video for "Electric clouds". The photos that accompany the song were taken of the band in the studio and playing live. CLICK HERE TO WATCH CLIP
17th October 2015 The November issue of Guitarist mag, out today, features the Telecaster that I use in St Johns Wood Affair. It was owned by Mike Oldfield, and used to record Tubular Bells. Mike got the guitar from Marc Bolan!
Above : My Telecaster featured in the November issue of Guitarist magazine.
26th September 2015 Good to meet up with St Johns Wood Affair drummer, Carlton. A lot to chat about, including the release of SJWA's album. I am busy mastering the tracks we have recorded and sorting out the artwork. Also, SJWA have two tracks on the SKY SAXON tribute CD that is due to be released soon.
Above. Met up with SJWA drummer Carlton to chat about various musical projects.
12th September 2015 I really enjoyed playing at the Small Faces convention in London. Charlie Hart and Steve Cradock joined me for a set of Ronnie Lane songs. We had never played together until that evening, it went very well though, after a quick run through in the dressing room. Thanks to Bob who helped out on guitar.
Fabulous live shot taken by David Coombs. Charlie Hart going for it!!
Another super David Coombs live photo from the Small Faces convention 2015.
With Steve Cradock at the S F convenion 2015. Photo by David Coombs.
Above : The audience are always a gas at these shows. Photo by Derek D'Souza.
The audience are just as important as the musicians. It's good to catch up with old friends. It's all about the music and the clothes. Mez was wearing some lovely looking Tassle loafers. He said they were crippling him though! I didn't want to sit down, as I was worried about creasing my jacket. What a tart! Here are a few backstage photos to give you a taste of what it is like......................
Above : With Mez backstage. His Tassle loafers were crippling him!
Above : Fay Hallam of the Fay Hallam Trinity.
Above : John Hellier (who put the event together) and Steve Cradock.
Above : "HEY HEY WE'RE THE CHANCERS!"
Above :With Stan Lane and Steve Cradock.
Above : With Loiuse Turner of the Electric Stars.
Above : With Matt Henshaw and Steve Cradock. Always good to see Matt. Many years ago, when Matt was a teenager, he came up to me at a gig and asked if he could sing THE UNIVERSAL. We had a quick run through in the dressing room and then he was on stage singing it! Lovely to see him doing so well!
Above :Assorted beautiful people backstage.
12th September 2015 I will be playing at THE SMALL FACES convention in central London. Six band celebrating the music of THE SMALL FACES. I will be reuniting with Charlie Hart of SLIM CHANCE, to perform a set of RONNIE LANE songs. I last played with Charlie at The Royal Albert Hall for the RONNIE LANE tribute concert. My friend Bob backing us up on guitar. Should be a gas. Special guests appearing, lots of groovy people.
Above : I often play Ronnie Lane's Zemaitis when I perform his songs, I like to tell a few stories about Ronnie's songs. People old and young love Ronnie's songs.
Above : Watch out for Ronnie Lane's guitar when you see an acoustic show of mine. .
Above : On stage playing my Zemaitis acoustic 12 string during an acoustic show.
May : I have just heard that I will be playing a set of Ronnie Lane songs at the Small Faces convention September 12th in London. It's a special gig, as it is the 50th Anniversary of the band.
2nd April 2015 : In the studio with Ronnie Lane's Zemaitis resonator. Using Ronnie's old guitar and my Zemaitis 12 string acoustic to record a special project!
February 2015 : Received a poster from John Hellier put together by photographer David Coombs. Lovely reminder of my appearance at the Small Faces convention last year.
January 2015 : "Millions like us" CD set arrived from those very nice pople at Cherry Red records. One of my first bands M.I.5 have a track on there.
December 2014 : "The Strat in the Attic 2"book is published. It features two of my guitars My ex Mike Oldfield Telecaster is pictured on the back cover, plus colour photos inside.
November 2014 : The November edition of SCOOTERING magazine features a review of THE SMALL FACES convention that I appeared at in September. Nice review with a name check and a photo. Glen Matlock gets a mention and photo too.
Above :Photos from the recent Small Faces convention from SCOOTERING magazine.
October 2014 : M.I.5 have a track on the forthcoming compilation MILLIONS LIKE US out December 8th 2014 on Cherry Red records.
I have written two stories for the forthcoming book STRAT IN THE ATTIC 2. It's a book containing stories about how collectors manage to find rare guitars. If you have not read volume one, I recommend you get hold of a copy. For the second volume I have written about my Marc Bolan/Mike Oldfield Telecaster, also my 1969 ex Ronnie Lane/Ronnie Wood Zemaitis. I hope you find what I have written interesting.
13th September 2014 : I had a great time playing a set of RONNIE LANE songs at the Small Faces convention / Ronnie Lane Tribute concert DVD launch in London. I was joined on acoustic guitar by local guitarist Bob. Glen Matlock joined us at the end for a super version of Debris. Stan Lane (Ronnie's brother) introduced the band. I used Ronnie Lane's old guitar, custom built for him by Tony Zemaitis in 1971. To see a video clip of DEBRIS CLICK HERE
Above : Last song "Debris" ( Photo by David Coombs).
Above : Stan Lane said a few words before the show and at the end
(Photo by David Coombs).
August 2014 : I am very careful with my photographs. Most of the really good ones, like Bowie being manhandled byThe Police or Keith Moon shortly before he died, are not on the Internet. You may notice I plaster "COPYRIGHT" onto most of the pictures. This is because I get fed up with them appearing in magazines, web sites, newspapers (The Sun), books and E bay without my permission or payment. I was annoyed recently to find one of my photos used in a book. To make matters worse, the photo was caption "Copyright Vintage Guitar magazine". I got in touch with the publisher of the book. They have amended their record to show the photo is mine, they also sent me a copy of the book. I contacted Vintage Guitar magazine. They could not explain how this had happened (in the past I have helped them with information on Zemaitis guitars). They have given me one years subscription to compensate me.
Above : This photo of mine appeared in a book without my permission. I no longer own the two Zemaitis guitars or the Mini Cooper S.
July 2014 : I received a request from a record company to let them use an M.I.5 song on a forthcoming compilation. Looks like it will be TELEVISION SCREEN HEROES. Stay tuned for more details.
July 2014 : A very nice package dropped through the letter box! It's the new RONNIE LANE tribute concert DVD. It's not officially released until August, but I am told you can buy it mail order now! Slim Chance backed a host of stars including, Ronnie Wood, Pete Townshend, Paul Weller, Mick Jones, Glen Matlock etc etc. I am on there singing Anniversary.
Above : Here I am on stage singing Anniversary with SLIM CHANCE. It's out on DVD.
Above : On stage at Apulstock 2014. Thanks to Shutters photography and Makaela
July 2014 : ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR PLAYED AT APULSTOCK 2014. A festival for people with special needs. We had a wonderful time. We set a video camera at the side of the stage. You can see one of our songs. CLICK HERE
April 2014 : I have been asked to appear at the 2014 SMALL FACES convention. It's on the 13th September in central London. I will be playing a short set of Ronnie Lane songs using one of Ronnie's old guitars! Should be a gas! It's also the launch of the RONNIE LANE TRIBUTE CONCERT DVD!ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR will be appearing at APULSTOCK on 19th July 2014.
March 2014 : I finished the video clip for LOVE, LIGHT AND PEACE. The song was recorded in a lovely studio in Dorset. Spike made a contribution to the sound, he also features in the video. Click here to see the video
March 2014 : STONES GEAR is published! The book features every guitar and amp used by THE ROLLING STONES. I gave some help regarding Zemaitis guitars. There is also a photograph of Tony Zemaitis holding my 1980 Zemaitis 12 string in the book.
Above : My 1980 Zemaitis 12 string is featured in the book STONES GEAR.
February 2014 : Added a few final things to LOVE, LIGHT AND PEACE. Both sessions have been filmed and will be incorporated in a video that I am making for the song.
January 2014 : I have been in the studio, recording mainly an acoustic song for ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR's album. It's called LOVE, LIGHT AND PEACE. As well as acoustic guitars, I am playing the Saz ( a Turkish instrument ). Francine is adding a Shruti box (an Indian instrument) to the recording.
Above : Adding vocals to LOVE, LIGHT AND PEACE.
I have been told that the RONNIE LANE ribute concert at The Royal Albert Hall will be released on DVD in the summer of 2014. It's coming out as a triple DVD.
November 2013 : Took delivery of my MORRIS MINOR Hub Cap guitar. It was made by DAVEY CHIVERS. We met Davey at the GUITARS ON THE BEACH event at Lyme Regis. He makes guitars for SEA SICK STEVE. I asked him to make me one like the MORRIS MINOR Hub Cap guitar that Steve plays. It's tuned to open G and great fun to play!
23rd October 2013 : Attended the launch of the VIRGIN 40 exhibition. Mike Oldfield's Telecaster looked great next to his Grammy! Luke Oldfield (Mike's son) came over for a chat. If you are near Southampton Row, London, the exhibition is free and on until 29th October.
Above : Here I am at the Virgin 40 exhibition, met some really nice people there.
Above : MIKE OLDFIELD'S Fender Telecaster, on display at Virgin 40 EXHIBITION.
3rd October 2013 : Virgin records got in touch with me! They are putting together an exhibition celebrating 40 years of VIRGIN. Of course, TUBULAR BELLS is a huge part of their history. They have asked to borrow my ex MIKE OLDFIELD Telecaster. It's the guitar that Mike used to record all of the electric guitar parts on TUBULAR BELLS. Mike wanted two things of his in the exhibition, his Grammy and the guitar that I now own. I was very happy to be able to lend them the guitar.
Above : MIKE OLDFIELD'S Telecaster is off to spend 10 days at VIRGIN 40 exhibition in London.
Ready to rock for charity, at a Dorset beach.
Andy Scott of Sweet playing Ronnie Lane's Zemaitis.
Here I am with Ronnie Lane's 1971 Zemaitis resonator, on the beach in Dorset. The BBC filmed some of us running through songs.
April 20th 2013 : I was sitting in the garden playing HERE COMES THE SUN on a Ukulele, I thought, why not film the song for You Tube.Click here to watch video
April 2013 : Visited Philippe Dubreuille at his workshop in central London. Philippe doesn't make "Ordinary" instruments, he builds extraordinary instruments. I am lucky to own an instrument that he made in 2005. I had a few things tweaked on it and a tuss rod adjustment.
Above. 8th April 2013. With Philippe Dubreuille in his work shop.
November 2012 : Been busy writing and recording demo versions of songs at home. I saw the instrument below in a charity shop. It had strings, so I had to buy it!! I wasn't sure of the tuning, so I invented my own. It's a Turkish instrument called a Baglama or Saz. I used it to record a new acoustic based song called Love light and Peace. Very pleased with the demo and it sounds good with the whole band playing it. We are going back into the studio soon to record it.
Above. A Turkish Baglama, often called a Saz.
September 2012 : Here it is, the video that I put together to go with the St Johns Wood Affair track SKY FOREVER. I filmed the Avebury Stones to compliment the music. The track will appear on the SKY SAXON tribute album, due out soon! CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
July 2012 : Been very busy writing songs for St Johns Wood Affair, recording and playing. We have a new bassisit called Dom. He was a founding member of SQUIRE. Their single "Walking down the Kings Road" was DJ Kid Jensen's record of the week. When Squire broke up, guitarist Steve Baker and I played in CUTTING EDGE together. St Johns Wood Affair have a song called "SKY FOREVER" on the SKY SAXON tribute CD due out soon. I am putting together a promo video for the song. Hope to finish it this month.
7 May 2012 : Went to the launch of the Boat Project's COLLECTIVE SPIRIT. They used the shavings that I donated, from the Jimi Hendrix played Zemaitis on the tiller. The shavings were in a clear container. It amazed me that so many people wanted their photo taken holding the shavings. The Zemaitis shavings were on the BBC news and ITV news this morning. It's approaching ten years since Tony Zemaitis passed away, so it's a nice tribute to him.
Above : The hull of the boat, you can see the various donated wooden items.
Below : One of the helpers with the Hendrix shavings on the tiller.
2 May 2012 : The Guardian newspaper ran an article on The Boat Project. This is a boat made from 1000 items of donated wood. I donated some shavings from a Zemaitis guitar. You can see a photograph of them in todays edition of the paper.
February 2012 : Josh from KCOU.FM radio in America has been playing ELECTRIC CLOUDS by ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR on his show. He got back in touch to ask for more tracks of ours to play. I sent him I AM YOU, he has played it and his listeners like it.
16th January 2012 : I was contacted by Dic Jockey Josh Bohm, of American radio station KCOU.FM. Josh wants to play some of St Johns Wood Affair music on his show. He has a good knowledge of English music (and guitars too). St Johns Wood Affair received a name check on todays show. Josh is going to play ELECTRIC CLOUDS on his next show, he also wants to speak to me on air, when the SKY SAXON tribute CD is released.
8th December 2011 : Visited Luthier John Degay to pick up a beatiful sounding Ukulele that he has made. Spent a great afternoon looking round John's workshop, trying out some of his guitars and playing Ukulele with him.
Above : John making a final adjustment to the nut of the Ukulele that he built.
25th October 2011 : Francine and I were invited to the launch of the FACES book ( a limited edition by Genesis publications). The book is full of photographs that I had not seen before. It really is a work of art. Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones, Mick Hucknall and Sir Peter Blake were there. I managed a chat with all of them, apart from Sir Peter.
Above : Ronnie was on good form and looked really well. His latest paintings had a dark background to them, this made the subjects really stand out. Kenney said to me "Cool jacket!".
Above : Nicky Page is the designer of THE FACES book (and other Genesis publications)
15th September 2011 : Andy Neil, authour of the recent Faces book "Had me a real good time" popped round today. He was researching information on the teenage Rod Stewart. Andy was interested in an old copy of a scrapbook that I was given regarding Rod's band in 1960. While he was here I showed him two of Ronnie Lane's old Zemaitis guitars.
Above : Andy Neil holding Ronnie Lane's 1971 Zemaitis resonator.
17th August 2011 : Visited Genesis Publications in Guildford. They produce beautiful limited edition books. All their publications are hand bound, signed and numbered. I went to have a sneak preview of THE FACES book being published in September. I have placed my order!
Above : Here I am with Bruce Hopkins. I am holding one of the signed inserts (signed by Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McClagan).
23rd & 24thJuly 2011 : Played ROCK THE PARK with ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR. This was a charity event to raise money for HELP FOR HEROES. On the Sunday I was doing a few windmills with my guitar, when it bit back and attacked me. I managed to carry on despite dripping blood every where! Thank you to everyone that turned up and said hello.
Above : On stage playing my Zemaitis 23rd July 2011. Photograph by Martin Hesketh.
Above : Francine on stage 23rd July 2011. Photograph by Martin Hesketh.
Above : Anne on two Korg M1 keyboards at once! Photograph by Martin Hesketh.
Above : The power house known simply as.....CARLTON! Photograph by Martin Hesketh.
Above : My Zemaitis Disc front after it attacked me.Below : Caught up with my old mate Robert Young. His band Epouranios were also playing at ROCK THE PARK 2011
17th July 2011 : I donated some shavings from the 1960 Zemaitis 12 string acoustic used by Jimi Hendrix in 1967, to the BOAT PROJECT. When it was restored the Luthier sent me them. I previously donated some to the Zemaitis museum in Japan. The BOAT PROJECT are celebrating the 2012 London Olympiad by creating a boat out of donated wood. The Hendrix shavings must be the smallest donation!!! Check out www.theboatproject
15th June 2011 : Enjoyed rehearsal with ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR. We filmed rehearsal. You can see a clip of the band playing SKY FOREVER on You Tube. This is our tribute to SKY SAXON of THE SEEDS. Click here to watch the clip
Above : The band rehearse for Rock the Park gig next month.
Above : Keith with Zemaitis Disc front.
Above : Francine at rehearsals 15th June 2011.
11th May2011 : There is now a Keith Smart presence on TWITTER @thekeithsmart
January to May 2011: St Johns Wood Affair have a new bass player, Ken the third.I have been writing songs for the band and we have been rehearsing the set with Ken ready for some more gigs and studio recordings.
2011 : Looking forward to having two tracks on the album dedicated to SKY SAXON of the SEEDS. St Johns Wood Affair play their version of "Where is the entranceway to play" (from the SEEDS album FUTURE) and the album will also feature one of my songs "Sky forever". We have been working on our own album and have quite a few tracks in the can. THE ALBUM IS DUE FOR RELEASE IN THE SUMMER OF 2011.
4th December 2010 : In the studio with ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR. We recorded two songs I AM YOU and FANTASTIC BOOK OF COLOURS.The latter song is one of longest I have recorded. It lasts almost 8 minutes! The end section has a huge guitar solo in it. When I had finished recording I noticed my fingers were bleeding through bending the strings!
Above : A quick photo shoot in the snow between takes.
Above : I used my Epiphone Revolution Casino played through a Vox Pathfinder. James the engineer thought it was a really good guitar sound.
Above : Pat Martin put some amazing bass lines down with his 5 string bass.
4th November 2010 : A stripped down version of St Johns Wood Affair played at Filthy McNastys. Francine, Anne and I backed Patrick Campbell Lyons, Kelli Ali and also played two songs ourselves at the HAPPENING.
To see a clip of ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR playing FLOWERS FOR FRIDAY CLICK HERE
Above : 4th November 2010 : Patrick reads from his book PSYCHEDELIC DAYS. Photograph by Ian Tillotson.
Above : 4th November 2010 I was pleased with the sounds I got from my EKO 12 string. Photograph by Ian Tillotson.
Above : 4th November 2010 Francine sang backing vocals and played tambourine. Photograph by Ian Tillotson.
November 2010 : Patrick Campbell Lyons' new album 13 Dalis is released. I feature on it playing electric 12 string guitar, acoustic 12 string guitar, electric 6 string guitar, bass guitar and backing vocals on some tracks. Shame I didn't get the courtesy of a mention.
October 2010 : My Ronnie Lane Zemaitis resonator appears in VINTAGE GUITAR magazine.
September 2010 : My Mike Oldfield Telecaster appears in VINTAGE GUITAR magazine.
13th August 2010 : Francine and I went to VINTAGE AT GOODWOOD, a mixture of classic clothes, Art and music. I was kindly sent two complimentary tickets. Bumped into Jeff Beck while looking at the classic cars (shook the great mans hand...........hope some magic rubbed off). Francine spotted Sir Peter Blake walking round. I don't generally like to bother people, but I have corresponded with Sir Peter over the years. I introduced myself. He was very humble and gracious. In fact, it was his idea to have our photograph taken!
Above : It was a pleasure to meet Sir Peter Blake. I have visited a lot of his exhibtions. His collages are a inspriration to me.
Ronnie Lane's mobile studio LMS
I have seen photographs of Ronnie Lane's mobile studio. What a a treat to see it restored and up and running as a studio. It's based on an old Airstream caravan that Ronnie imported from the States. The old analogue gear has been installed in it again, a huge CADAC Concert "J" console dominates the space. The studio was used to record some famous albums, Physical Graffiti by Led Zep, Quadrophenia by The Who, Ohh la la by The Faces, Blab and blue by The Stones..................etc etc etc. Eric Clapton told me that the orginal version of Wonderful tonight was recorded in there.
Above : Ronnie Lane's LMS mobile studio.
Heard some familliar songs coming from a marquee, popped inside to see Wilko Johnson's band playing a set. Amazing to see a guitarist that I admire so close. Francine and I were sheltering from the rain when I noticed Andre Barreau from The Bootlegs Beatles. I mentioned to him that I first saw The Bootleg Beatles when they performed in the stage show BEATLEMANIA. We last saw them at Wisley in Surrey a few months ago. He is a superb guitarist and is the musician who plays the slide guitar solo on Robbie William's Angel.
Above : Andre Barreau from The Bootleg Beatles.
The main event of the day was the first performance of the reformed FACES. I didn't really like the idea of Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) singing lead vocals. If you listen to his voice though, it is similar to early Rod. After the first few notes, it was brilliant. Woody was really on form and the whole band looked like they were (in the words of the song) having a real good time. Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) played some Ronnie Lane style bass lines (he was grinning from ear to ear) A treat to see Woody play his Zemaitis Disc front too. Got home at 2 AM. What a day though.
7th August 2010 : I went to the studio to mix CAN I BUY YOUR THOUGHTS.
6th August 2010 : It's my birthday! In the evening Finished mixing SKY FOREVER and finished vocals on CAN I BUY YOUR THOUGHTS.
5th August 2010: Full band in the studio to record backing for SKY FOREVER and CAN I BUY YOUR THOUGHTS.
Above : The instruments I used to record Sky Forever and Can I buy your thoughts? Left to right : Burns Nusonic Bass, Rickenbacker V64 360 12 string, Epiphone Casino Revolution and 1965 EKO 12 string acoustic.
Above : Carlton and Francine during a break in recording.
August 2010 : My guitar collection is pictured in VINTAGE GUITAR magazine.
July 2010 : Vintage Guitar Magazine have featured a photograph of my collection in their August edition. I have not seen a copy myself, but had about thirty e mails last week asking about the various guitars!
July 2010 : The CD celecbrating Rickenbacker instruments is released. My song SOMEDAY ONE DAY is featured on there. If you would like to buy a copy click on the link RICKENBACKER CD
6th July 2010 : Back in the sudio. Replaced the bass on Clouds Hill, also added some 12 string acoustic. Remixed Clouds Hill.
2nd July 2010 : Another studio visit. Final mix of Clouds Hill, The Tripster and Electric Clouds.
22nd June 2010 : I nipped into the studio to add vocals and guitars to Clouds Hill, The Tripster and Electric Clouds.
June 2010 : I heard that my song SOMEDAY ONE DAY is being released on an album celebrating Rickenbacker guitars. I used my V64 360 12 string on the song (as well as a Zemaitis 12 string acoustic). I recorded it at home and it has a good vibe to it. My photo made it onto the back cover too!
Above : Front cover of the CD celebrating Rickenbacker guitars. It's being released in July 2010 .
Above : Back cover of the album celebrating Rickenbacker guitars.
June 2010 : St Johns Wood affair are back in the studio recording three orginal songs, "CLouds Hill", "The Tripster" and "Electric Clouds".
Above : It was nice to get in the fresh air during a break in recording.
Above : I played my Epiphone Revolution Casinio for the recording session. My old EKO 12 string acoustic was also used.
ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR
ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR play psychedelic music, we like to call it mind altering music! What about the name? Three of the members (Keith, Anne and Francine)played with the psychedelic band NIRVANA UK at Felipop in Spain in August 2004. Keith has played guitar with Nirvana UK for many years. When they were looking for a name, Patrick (from Nirvana UK) came up with the ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR name, it's actually one of the songs from their album ALL OF US. As well as original songs the band play covers by their favourite bands (Beatles/Who/Byrds/Seeds/Small Faces/Pink Floyd). They have just been into the studio to record "Where is the entranceway to play?" by the Seeds. It's a track from the SEEDS 1967 album FUTURE. The song was recorded as part of a tribute to SKY SAXON the SEED's bassist and vocalist. More details to follow.
The following photographs were taken 20th May 2010.
Above : ST JOHNS WOOD AFFAIR outside the studio 20th May 2010.
Above : John on bass and I am playing Mike Oldfield/Marc Bolan's old Fender Telecaster. "Where is the entranceway to play", our cover of a SEED's song, starts to come to life.
Above : Anne added some atmospheric keyboard to the SEED's track we were recording.
Above : Francine recording backing vocals for the SEED's song.
Above : I had a dream of the SEED's song being played with the drum part from "Tomorrow never knows" by the Beatles. Carlton played an interpretation of Ringo's drum pattern from the track, it worked really well with the song.
Above : I played my Zemaitis Disc front during the recording session. It really has a bite to it! I have never recorded a cover version before, but had a great time adding strange guitaring (and breathing) to the track. I think Sky Saxon would have approved.
April 2010 : I heard that my song "Someday one day" will be featured on the new CD celebrating the Rickenbacker guitar. I used my Rickenbacker 360 V64 12 string on it. The album is due out soon, more details to follow.
Above : Rickenbacker 360 V64 12 string. Roger Mcguinn signed it for me when I met him.
I recently added an MI5 section to this site. Out of the blue I received an e mail from Brian Taylor who played keyboards with us. I had not heard from Brian since 1983! We met up again 17th March 2010. Brilliant to see Brian again and have a chat about the good old days, mad days actually. So many stories, better not print them here though! Brian is playing in his band The Wrenjacks and one of his sons Chris, is a very talented rapper and songwriter (see www.myspace.com/taylorsmusicuk). Brian and I may even go into the studio to record some more material.
Above : 17th March 2010 MI5 reunion (half the band).
November 2009. I went to visit Danny O'Brien at his new country retreat.
Above : Danny is 6 strings posher than me!
Thank you to Trish and Danny for a super visit (and to Trisha for the ROCK cakes).
2009. Been busy writing and recording new material. I have roped Francine in on backing vocals too. I always make sure I have a guitar near, when we are out and about. Some interesting projects in the pipeline.
December 2008.The Rickenbacker Resource CD is out now. You can order a copy from the following link
The photograph on the inner sleeve is of my Rickenbacker 360 V64 12 string.
November 2008. I just heard that my song RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD is going to be on a CD celebrating Rickenbacker guitars (I used my Rickenbacker 360 V64 12 string on it). I recorded it at home during September 2008 (Francine suppplied backing vocals). The album is due out early December 2008. More details to follow.
November 2008. Delivered my Ronnie Lane resonator to THE HUB in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. It is on loan to the guitar exhibition arranged by guitarist Gordon Giltrap. The exhibition is on until 18th January 2009
August 2008. Put a clip of my Ronnie Lane Zemaitis resonator on YOU TUBE (just type in Keith Smart to find it).
You can see this Zemaitis resonator on display at THE HUB until January 18th 2009.
9th September 2007. Played at the Carling Academy with STONE COLD SOBER (Rod Stewart and the Faces tribute band). It was a great night and a good time was had by all. It's always a brilliant crowd and John Hellier does a fab job of putting it all together. Chris Farlowe closed the show backed by 17 Black.
Above : Russ and I kept our jackets on even though it was boiling!
9th March 2007. Eye to Eye Played at the VIBE in Epsom. They have a good taste in music there, you can tell by the Juke box. I used my Zemaitis Disc front and Rickenbacker V64 360 12 string. The amp I took kept buzzing, I had to keep going up to it and punch it every now and then! I think the audience thought it was part of the show.
Above : On stage at the Vibe in Epsom, Surrey. I have just materialised.
Above : On stage at theVibe,slide on this!
Above : The Rickenbacker appears for the Jingle Jangle songs.
March 2007.CD released "We've got our own best of to do" by Kurious Kurt. The album is a tribute to Ronnie Wood and features versions of songs written by Woody. All the musicians on the album have met him and the accompanying booklet details the stories. There are a number of CD's that make up the set. I appear on one track "OOH LA LA" See www.kuriouskurt.com for more details.
2007 February . The March issue of GUITARIST ran an article on my ex-Ronnie Lane Zemaitis resonator.
16th October 2006. I played a set of Ronnie Lane songs at the 10th Small Faces convention. It was held at the Carling Academy in Islington (I played in Islington last month too!). A freind of mine, John, helped out on guitar. I used the guitar that Tony Zemaitis made for Ronnie Lane. I met up with Stan (Ronnie Lane's brother) and he introduced the set. The place was packed out with Small Faces fans, what a brilliant atmosphere. Thanks to John Hellier and Dean Powell for putting on the show.
Above : Stan looks very dapper, I am wearing my birds muck shirt.
Above : On stage with John helping out on guitar.
2006 October . GUITARIST magazine published with free calendar. My Zemaitis (Japan) Pearl front is featured in it.
18th September 2006. Played at the UNION CHAPEL in Islington at the WHAT COLOUR IS SOUND concert. The night was a tribute to SYD BARRETT. An interesting mix of bands played Syd's songs (plus a few of their Own). Dev from BABYSHAMBLES and Carl from DIRTY PRETTY THINGS took the stage to pay tribute to Syd. Kate Nash had a great quality to her voice. It was an amazing venue complete with light show. Patrick acted as MC and also performed two songs, LOVE SONG (written by Syd) and CAMBRIDGE ROAD, a song Patrick wrote concerning the time Syd walked from Chelsea to Cambridge in 1978. I used my Danelectro guitar, as Syd played one too. An enjoyable night and good to hear the various versions of Syd's songs. I hope the photographs give you a taste of the special evening. The ticket sales helped raise some money for charity.
Above : A quick run through in the Ladies toilet! Who has the loudest shirt?
Above : Waiting to go on stage.
Above : Onstage playing LOVE SONG by Syd Barrett. The Danelectro is the guitar that I got from Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes.
April 2006. I recorded with Patrick (from Nirvana). For the session I used my Hayman 50/50 for the bass part. I played my Zemaitis 12 string acoustic and it sounded really crisp miked up. I also used my Zemaitis Pearl front (made by Kanda), I played lead guitar on the song and also some slide guitar. Patrick tunes his guitar to his own tuning, so I had to spend some time adjusting all of my instruments. I have played on Patrick's solo albums as well as Nirvana albums. He always knows how he wants things to sound
January 2006. In the studio. I played my Zemaitis resonator (made for Ronnie Lane in 1971) on OOH LA LA. I played a solo in standard tuning, then added a slide guitar solo. When they mix the track the producer will be able to blend the two together.This was a session for a CD coming out featuring songs by Ronnie Wood (he co-wrote OOH LA LA with Ronnie Lane). Players from all over the world are featured on the album including the country player Albert Lee. The CD is due out soon.
27th June 2005. I took the Zemaitis (Japan) Pearl front to Guitarist magazine for a photo shoot. The photograph appeared over two pages in a later copy of the magazine. The photographer, Joby Sessions took a very atmospheric picture.
Above : Zemaitis Pearl front. Photograph by Joby Sessions.
27th June 2005. Asked by GUITARIST magazine to write an article about the Gibson Flying V from my collection that belonged to Noel Gallagher (OASIS).
12th June 2005. I was interviewed by GUITAR magazine from Japan.I met up with Kei Tasaka Assistant Editor and photographer Takashi Hoshino at a hotel in London. I brought along a few of my guitars. We sat in the hotel garden and spoke for two and a half hours about Zemaitis guitars and Tony Zemaitis. I hope I managed to convey (with the help of an interpreter) just what an amazing man Tony was. They had not heard that as well as building guitars; Tony had also built two aircraft in his back garden! I was asked what I thought about Kanda Shokai, a Japanese company, buying the name of Zemaitis. I told them I was very happy that the name of Zemaitis would continue. I also pointed out that the company spent a long time researching the guitars until they were happy with them. They really have produced superb instruments based on Tony’s designs. When I brought the Zemaitis pearl front (made by Kanda) out of the case, I saw heads popping up from behind the wall. The attention to detail is incredible. The pearl has been applied just like Tony would have done. GUITAR magazine is the largest in Japan and the photography in each issue is wonderful. I have a few copies and have always admired the way the guitars are pictured, I can’t tell you how good the writing is, as I don’t read Japanese!
Above : Kei with my Zemaitis Pearl front.
This guitar was a gift to me from Mr Suzuki the President of Kanda Shokai.
8th May2005. Guitar magazine visited to photograph my collection. I dragged them all back from the studio and bought guitar stands for each guitar. Jenny Knight interviewed me and Claire took some fab photographs.
Above : Claire gets her camera gear ready (note my soft focus photograph).
Above : Jenny prepares to ask the questions.
August 2004. Francine and I flew out to Spain. I was playing guitar and singing with Nirvana (60’s psychedelic band) at a festival in Northern Spain. Francine supplied backing vocals. The group rehearsed in a London basement during a VERY hot summer in 2004.
Above : On stage with Nirvana at FELIPOP (Francine on backing vocals) festival 13th August 2004
Above : On stage with Nirvana at FELIPOP festival 13th August 2004
24th May 2004. Francine and I were invited to Christies party to celebrate the second auction of ERIC CLAPTON's guitars. Eric does a lot for charity and not always with the public's knowledge. He gave up some amazing instruments to raise money for the CROSSROADS CENTRE. One of the guitars was built by Tony Zemaitis and called IVAN THE TERRIBLE. It eventually sold for a huge amount of money. I contributed to the pages in the catalogue about the guitar. Out of the blue a package arrived from Eric, it was a signed and dedicated copy of the auction catalogue. What a lovely thought.
Above : The huge 12 string that Tony Zemaitis built for Eric, nick named IVAN THE TERRIBLE.
Above : I bumped into Alan Rogan at the Christies party. He has been guitar Tech for some of the greatest guitarists in the world! He took the photograph of Ronnie Wood chatting with me at The Royal Albert Hall in April 2004. He was there as Woody's guitar Tech.
8th April 2004. played at The Royal Albert Hall. Slim Chance, Ronnie Lane’s old band appeared with a number of guest musicians including Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones, Pete Townshend,Paul Weller,Mick Jones (Clash), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and others.
Above : Ronnie Wood signed my Zemaitis 12 string for me. His signature can be seen on the concert photos.
I performed in the second half of the show, singing Anniversay, playing my Zemaitis 12 string acoustic. The evening was to celebrate the music of Ronnie Lane and help out his family. All 6000 tickets were sold. The event was recorded for a CD/DVD/video release. I shared a dressing room with Mick Jones and Glen Matlock. We had our own little sing song back stage. Francine took lots of photos of the day. It was a fabulous day and wonderful tribute to the late great Ronnie Lane. The after show party was a gas and carried on until the early hours of the morning. Francine and I do not drink so we were knocking back the sparkling water. Prior to the concert rehearsals were arranged at Music bank rehearsal studios near Tower Bridge in London. The BBC filmed rehearsals for a forthcoming documentary on Ronnie Lane.
Above : Henry McCulloch has a strum of my guitar at Music bank.
Above : On stage at The Royal Albert Hall. The shirt is by Duchamps. Photo by Sarah.
Above : Mick Jones of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, helps demonstrate how two people can play one guitar at the same time. I am at the Non Smoking end of the guitar.
I have played at the annual Small Faces convention quite a few times. It was there I met Stan Lane. Stan asked me to perform a set of Ronnie Lane songs at his birthday party. Over the years an interesting mix of artists have appeared at the convention but the jewel in the crown for a Small Faces fan had to be the appearance of Stanley Unwin at the 2000 convention. Stanley’s narration on the Small Faces OGDEN’S NUTGONE FLAKE album is pure genius!
Above : Stan Lane has a strum of my guitar at Music bank studio.
2002 Married Francine
Did a bit of rolling without the rocking!