'Ever since helping* the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1919 to make the first recording we would today recognise as ‘Popular Music’, Hotrod Hector has had a tenuous, if not imaginary link with the world of music.
After having dropped off a young black guitarist at a lonely crossroads, HH went on to New Orleans where he sold Jelly Roll Morton his first piano, and advised a young Louis Armstrong to take up the trumpet.
By the 1930’s, HH had relocated to New York where his living arrangements inspired Benny Goodman’s ‘Caravan Cirribirrin’. To thank him for this, HH introduced drinking companion Gene Krupa to Goodman and a firm friendship and lucrative partnership was born.
At the outbreak of war, HH returned to his native England, determined to help in the fight against the fascist scourge. Disqualified from active service due to his flat feet, he was instead taken on by the top secret Ministry of Entertainment and spent the war years writing morale boosting songs for the likes of George Formby, Gracie Fields and Al Bowlly.
After the war, HH was sought out by musicians such as Humphrey Lyttleton, Wally Whytton, Lonnie Donegan and Ken Colyer. They all knew of his work for the M.o.E. and of his knowledge of what was becoming known and popularised as ‘Traditional Jazz’ and also the blues and country traditions of the deep south of the US.
In the early 50’s, due to a mix up in travelling arrangements, HH found himself back in the US - Memphis Tennessee, to be precise. Whilst there, he persuaded a young backwoods boy that his voice was more than good enough to record a song for his mother’s birthday and sent the young Presley off to a friend of his from before the war - Sam Phillips - and his recording company, Sun Records. And it was another old friend of HH’s that gave Presley his first sensational television appearance.
As rock n roll went from local country swing to global phenomenon in the space of months, HH returned, at the behest of a number of Tin Pan Alley movers and shakers, to the UK. It is no coincidence that within weeks of his return, Joe Brown, Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard all burst upon the UK music scene.
It was while scouring the UK for suitable venues for these new and upcoming rock n roll acts, that HH found himself in the north-west port city of Liverpool. He soon found the suitable venue he had been searching for, and with it, a young rock n roll skiffle band of questionable talent but obvious ambition. He arranged a lengthy residency for them at a friend’s club in Hamburg, before returning to London where he was due to lecture at a number of the capital’s prestigious art schools.
After introducing a certain eager student to the works of auto-destructive artist Gustave Metzger, HH retired for a while to tend bees on the Sussex downs. He was as successful at this as he was with music and wrote a number of notable monographs on the subject.
But he was lured out of retirement when the organisers of a free, New York state based music festival asked him to compile their line-up. For the next 3 years, HH commuted between London, New York and Los Angeles, helping to organise numerous festivals and advise record companies on up and coming artists. It was during a brief respite from these travels that HH was reintroduced to a student he had lectured to some years earlier. Due to a combination of an ear infection, laryngitis and conjunctivitis, the conversation was somewhat one-sided, though HH did manage to convey his love of pinball.
By the beginning of the 70’s, HH had been reunited with another ex-student, to whom he had lent the funds to set up a clothes shop in the King’s Road in west London. This funding was increased later to include a brief sojourn to New York, and the initial management costs of a band he subsequently formed.
In the late 70’s, HH returned to semiretirement and relocated to the Epping farmhouse commune set up by another of his ex-students, where he resided - sometimes acting as mentor or adviser - for a number of years.
More of HH’s biography will appear if, and/or when necessary.
*the word ‘helping’ is used here in it’s loosest sense and should not be construed as legally binding. Also, none of the details in this biography should be considered to be in any way accurate, truthful or factual.'
Role at Future Radio
Bringing the true meaning of 'Alternative' music to the good people of Norwich.....and beyond!
Topics I've participated in:
|podcast||Hotrod Hector's Variety Show 21.07.14||0||5 days 9 hours ago|
|podcast||Hotrod Hector's Variety Show 14.07.14||0||1 week 5 days ago|
|Blog entry||Tonight's Show!||0||2 weeks 11 hours ago|
|podcast||Hotrod Hector's Variety Show 07.07.14||0||2 weeks 6 days ago|
|Blog entry||Tonight's Show!||0||3 weeks 12 hours ago|