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What threads could possibly stitch together
wide-ranging music spaces?

In her book, Dr. Sonja Strode tells a magical tale sewing together her links in an inter–connected world of musicians. On a music–packed journey, like Taliesin’s salmon her ‘telling’ flips its way back and forth places in Wales, London, and the Midlands for the most part, as she lifts the veil on music spaces full of leading lights and others less well–known.

London in the 60s proves to be a significant shaping ‘moment’ in her thinking about music and musicians, as well as other aspects of living culture.

The music–making melting–pots of the Midlands and London in the 60s and early 70s absorbed Dr. Sonja Strode and her musician husband into an alchemical chain of musicians, many of whom are now key players on the world's music stage. Others, albeit lesser known, make up those mesmerising, vibrant, and often innovative music–filled spaces in our local communities.

Offering us some of her special ‘brew’ often sprinkled with humour, she muses over her life, participation in, and love of music from the 50s to the present day.

Read more in Doctor Sonja Strode’s book about music spaces including The Strawbs, Brian Auger, The Band of Joy, Led Zeppelin, The Manic Street Preachers and many more...

 

Excerpts from Doctor Sonja’s Bitches Brew

“At the interface of these changing images of males at the start of the 70s had been groups like Slade and T. Rex constantly battling it out for the number one slot in the British music charts. Both groups were espousing a sense of shared understanding of being in their Donovanesque ‘dare–to–be–different’ apparel, whilst powerful lead singers Noddy Holder and Marc Bolan regaled the ever–increasing band of followers with their own unique vocal brand. ‘Difference’ was now centre stage staring into the mouths of many parents and teachers who, as many had done during the preceding five years, had shivered at the thought their little Janet or John actually liked these so-called pariahs!”

“So, let’s rewind the reel and return to this Pendulum off–shoot morphing–into–The New Yardbirds saga.”

“...back at that Oxford Ball with Forever More, Miles Copeland as usual was dressed immaculately in his sharp suit and sleek, short hair looking more like the Milky Bar Kid than any music manager extraordinaire. That was before his hair changed colour! A lovely fella though. He and I stood there during performances at that Oxford Ball, having a good laugh about all the ‘apparent’ decadence amongst the so–called ‘elite’ of society in that epoch.” (Miles Copeland later went on to manage The Police)

“...splicing – a feat far beyond my expertise, one which demanded keen eyes as well as nifty fingers to ensure the ‘cut’ was in the right place on the then large, round spools of tape. Simon Napier–Bell was particularly adept at this.”

“Clearly those musicians were well rooted in blues, folk, and country music especially, although Alan Gorrie also had a penchant towards Soul music, something which was part and parcel of my ‘Blackwood’ days back in Wales in the 60s and early college days in London – hence my discussions about Soul music with Gorrie during my time at Chiswick. (Alan Gorrie is in the Average White Band)”

“Martin Barre, as I remember him, was a quiet bloke, clearly dedicated to his craft: playing electric guitar. He could be heard endlessly running his fingers along the fret board day after day. (Martin Barre is in Jethro Tull)”

“...we bumped into Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople fame. Mick had not seen him for some time since they had shared accommodation elsewhere in London and played in Pendulum together. This tall, long–haired bloke wearing a deep chestnut brown, fur coat, his ubiquitous shades prominently positioned, waltzed over the interim period of his life since Pendulum days, modestly describing his latest venture: work with Mott The Hoople. I simply can’t remember, dahlins, if Bowie’s name was mentioned as we three teetered on that trottoir.”

“It was there in the voluminous, empty belly of Covent Garden that I was briefly introduced to Jeff Beck, one of the world’s finest guitarists.”

“Some male musicians in the 60s and 70s have played a part in this ‘togetherness of the sexes’ and are still doing so. It is simply unfair to tar them all with the same ‘sexist’ brush, after all gender studies were premised on the belief and evidence that women, as a group, parade wide differences within that group. It is for that very reason that I, and countless other women, even before I was born, have advocated change on the gender front.”

“...A lot of interest in the job emerged. I was lucky enough to be present at the audition, again the only female present at that rendez–vous in north London.”

Charity Donation

– A donation from some of the sales of this book will be given to neurological and cancer research, Children in Need and Oxfam



 
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Dr. Sonja Strode...
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Doctor Sonja's Bitches Brew
Publisher: tuesdaybooks.co.uk
Email: sonjastrode@yahoo.co.uk
No. of pages: 374
ISBN: 978–2–9540755–0–1
Paperback: £7.99
Amazon e–Book: £4.99

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