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Bebop Spoken There

Artie Shaw: “I'm not interested in giving people what they want--I'm interested in making music.” – (DownBeat October 15, 1939).

Jason Marsalis: “There's so many places that this music can go and there's a lot yet to be discovered.'” – (DownBeat April 2018)

Today Tuesday March 20


Classic Swing - The Ship, Front St., Monkseaton NE25 8DP. 1pm. Free.


Jam session - Jazz Café, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. Tel: 0191 222 9882. 8:00pm. Free.

Jazz Blowers’ Easter Concert - Hurworth Grange Community Centre, Hurworth Road, Hurworth Place, Darlington DL2 2BN. 7:00pm. £5.00. Concert in the Hadwin Lounge.

To the best of our knowledge, details of the above events are correct but may be subject to alteration.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Richard Grainger remembers working in JG Windows Ltd.

I started in Windows in '68 as a Saturday boy - 'Can you read music? Can you play at least 2 instruments?' Those were the minimum requirements to work with Ronnie Maclean, Hughie [Aitchison], and Lance Liddle although once they'd given me the Jazz Quiz they were ok to let me talk to their friends. 
Their local, where they felt comfortable, was The New Orleans Club on Forth Banks. I used to get in to the shop early to listen to the fine Blue Note stock they had - Ronnie (pictured) said 'If you like Coltrane, listen to what inspired him' so I got access to all the jazz history, pretty much, up to that point'.
Originally posted on Facebook in North East Music History.


Lance said...

Richard! As the last survivor of the Windows triumvirate that you mention, I was the only one who actually could read music and play more than one instrument. In fact, neither could Mr Windows senior or Mr Windows junior play anything other than the cash register! I recall when Ronnie asked for a rise and Hedley Windows huffed and puffed and said, "But you can't read music!"
To which Ronnie played his ace in the hole, "No sir, but I've just sold a grand piano!"
He got his rise.
Windows has changed over the years but it still holds that prime spot in the Central Arcade and will, forever, hold a prime spot in my heart. Me and many other employees and a lot of customers who went on to become friends!

Brian James said...

Hi Richard & Lance. I started there straight after school in 77 until I joined the RAF at the beginning of 1980, I worked in the radio dept with Robert Ingleby, Brian Littlefair, Dennis Carr, Chris Barker etc.

I used to get the bus to and from work with Hughie Aichison every day. A real character who I learned a lot from. A real miss in life.

41 years later I’m making my living as a full time singer/musician. Those days at Windows still have an influence on me. But it is different when I get across from Carlisle to Newcastle and go into the shop.

I’m still in touch via Facebook with Lance (obviously) and also Brian and Chris, in fact Chris lives about 12 miles away from me now.

Great to reminisce

Happy new year.

Steve Andrews said...

To be fair, Lance, Hughie did play the trumpet and the valve-trombone...... But certainly,l neither he or Ronnie could read music - the closest they got was the sleeve notes on the back of an LP!

Richard Grainger said...

One of the first things Ronnie told me was that he'd toured Europe with Teddy Wilson. I'm ashamed to say I'd no idea who Teddy Wilson was.

John Pickard said...

I worked at Windows as a Saturday worker in the instruments department, from around 1965 and I loved it so much I kept the job going until well past my graduation in 1969. Ronnie McLean was my boss in that department and his second in command was bloke called Tommy Whitworth. Ronnie, of course, had his own jazz band and we used to go to the jazz club to see him. I never went to see Tom's 'combo' who were styled (I think) The TW-5 or something similar. My days at Windows were some of the happiest of my young life. Looking back on it, I would have paid to work there. John Pickard

Lance said...

Hi John, I remember you well -did you have a girlfriend called Jen? I took over from Tommy Whitworth who was a bit of an authority on violin makers. He played keyboards, I'm led to understand, in a band called the Silver Dollars who had a minor hit with 'Rainbow' although this was either before or after Tommy's involvement with them and I've been unable to authenticate his connection with the band. He later became a rep for one of the music trade suppliers and played organ at a club in Tynemouth.

John Pickard said...

Hi Lance, I did indeed. Jen became my wife and subsequently my ex-wife. I live in Essex now but I still hanker for the fiords. Tommy was a strange bloke, an accomplished keyboard player but always resented being in Ronnie's shadow. Windows was a wonderful part of my young life. I remember the uniformed commissionaire we had. He was a complete reactionary (even for those days) and used to foam at the mouth at young blokes with long hair. "I'd hang one or two in every city", he used to say. He was ex-army and really hated long-haired blokes with a will - this was in the 60s when long-hair was still relatively new on men. He was handy to have on match days when the town was fully of rowdies and we sometimes got them in the shop.

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About this blog - contact details.

Bebop Spoken Here -- Here, being the north-east of England -- centred in the blues heartland of Newcastle and reaching down to the Tees Delta and looking upwards to the Land of the Kilt.
Not a very original title, I know; not even an accurate one as my taste, whilst centred around the music of Bird and Diz, extends in many directions and I listen to everything from King Oliver to Chick Corea and beyond. Not forgetting the Great American Songbook the contents of which has provided the inspiration for much great jazz and quality popular singing for round about a century.
The idea of this blog is for you to share your thoughts and pass on your comments on discs, gigs, jazz - music in general. If you've been to a gig/concert or heard a CD that knocked you sideways please share your views with us. Tell us about your favourites, your memories, your dislikes.
Lance (Who wishes it to be known that he is not responsible for postings other than his own and that he's not always responsible for them.)
Contact: I look forward to hearing from you.