David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concert film

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a 1973 concert movie by D.A. Pennebaker. It features David Bowie and his backing group The Spiders from Mars performing at the Hammersmith Odeon on 3 July 1973, the last show of the tour and the last of Bowie's as Ziggy Stardust, since he decided to drop the Ziggy persona. The DVD release was later retitled Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: The Motion Picture.


David Bowie had taken the stage persona of Ziggy Stardust, a science fiction based, theatrical, enigmatic, androgynous character and produced two albums during this period. The evening of 3 July was the last show in the English concert tour promoting Bowie's 1973 album Aladdin Sane and the 60th gig in a tour of Britain that started on 12 May, though an American tour was already being booked for the autumn. Very few in Bowie's entourage knew of his decision to drop the Ziggy persona and stop performing for a while; in the band only Mick Ronson had been told a few days before the final night. At the end of the evening, aptly just before the song "Rock 'n' Roll Suicide", Bowie announced that, "Not only is this the last show of the tour, but it's the last show that we'll ever do". The phrasing was deliberately ambiguous, but most of the audience and many London newspapers and magazines took it to mean that Bowie was retiring from music. In fact, he had killed off his Ziggy persona but not his music career. Director Pennebaker had been asked to come to London and film just a few songs but when he saw the first of the two London shows he realised that "there was a full-length film here asking to be made". Though he had only scant knowledge of Bowie's music, apart from Space Oddity, he was impressed by the star's onstage charisma and the range of his songs and quickly prepared to shoot the entire second gig, without knowing that it would include a dramatic final coup. Jeff Beck participated on three songs (two of them forming a medley) midway through the concert but was edited out from the final cut at his own wish. The expanded version of "The Width of a Circle" was shortened by a few minutes for the soundtrack on vinyl and CD. The film was shown a few times at festivals in late 1973 but then disappeared from view until 1983, when it was released on video accompanied by the soundtrack double album. After the rupture between Bowie and Tony Defries' MainMan management company in early 1975, Bowie was reluctant to release or promote any recordings dating from before the Young Americans album as he would have to give half the income from any such recordings to MainMan up to the end of 1982. 

30th Anniversary DVD

1. Hang on to Yourself
2. Ziggy Stardust
3. Watch That Man
4. Wild Eyed Boy from Freecloud
5. All the Young Dudes (originally penned for Mott the Hoople)
6. Oh! You Pretty Things
7. Moonage Daydream
8. Changes"
9. Space Oddity
10. My Death (Jacques Brel, Mort Shuman)  
11. Cracked Actor
12. Time
13. The Width of a Circle
14. Let's Spend the Night Together (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) 
15. Suffragette City
16. White Light/White Heat" (Lou Reed)
17. Rock 'n' Roll Suicide


David Bowie–lead vocals, guitar, mouth harp
Mick Ronson–lead guitar, backing vocals
Trevor Bolder–bass guitar
Mick 'Woody' Woodmansey–drums, percussion

Additional musicians:
Ken Fordham-saxophone, flute
Brian Wilshaw-saxophone, flute
Geoffrey MacCormack-backing vocals, percussion
John Hutchinson-guitar
Mike Garson-piano, organ, mellotron
Sound recording mixed by Tony Visconti

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziggy_Stardust_and_the_Spiders_from_Mars_(film)
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Led Zeppelin: The Untold Story documentary

It has often been said that Led Zeppelin were to the 1970s what The Beatles were to the 1960s. During this decade they achieved global domination and broke records worldwide with their 6 studio albums and epic world tours. They had monumental success, massive influence, and impressive legacy. From performing on the amateur scene and in session studios, to the comparative success of playing in The Yardbirds and Band Of Joy, the collective experiences of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones came together to form the greatest rock band of all time. The Untold Story documentary reveals the often overlooked side of the formative years of the band. Using early performance footage, seldom seen interviews and previously unpublished photographs, as well as contributions from colleagues, friends and associates who worked alongside the future members of Led Zeppelin.

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Ready Steady Go!

Dusty Springfield

Ready Steady Go! (or simply RSG!) was a pioneering British rock/pop music television programme which used to air every Friday evening in the mid-1960s, from August 1963 until December 1966. It was conceived by Elkan Allan, head of Rediffusion TV. Allan's intention was to produce a light entertainment programme that broke away from the "bums and tits" style of light entertainment being transmitted by ATV, at that time. The programme was produced without scenery or costumes and with a minimum of choreography or make-up. Allan recruited a fellow journalist, Francis Hitching, as producer. Hitching was to become a major figure in the world of light entertainment in the 60s. Robert Fleming was the first director, followed by the distinguished documentary director Rollo Gamble then Michael Lindsey Hogg, Daphne Shadwell and Peter Croft. The show gained its highest ratings on 20 March 1964 when it featured The Beatles being interviewed and performing their songs "It Won't Be Long", "You Can't Do That" and "Can't Buy Me Love", the last of which was a hit at the time. Its last episode was broadcast on 23 December 1966. RSG! USA! was a Dick Clark production in 1964. A trademark infringement ended the show after six episodes.

The Beatles (1964)


The show went out early on Friday evenings with the line "The weekend starts here!", and was introduced by The Surfaris' "Wipe Out", later replaced by Manfred Mann's "5-4-3-2-1" (later replaced by Manfred Mann's "Hubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble"). It was more youth-orientated and informal than its BBC rival (from 1964), Top of the Pops. It was particularly notable for featuring the audience prominently as dancers and for the close interaction of artists and audience. Artists appeared on different mini-stages, sometimes on studio gantries and stairs, or on the main floor in the case of solo artists, closely surrounded by the audience members. The producers would choose the audience themselves by going round the London clubs, picking out the best or the most fashionably dressed dancers, and handing them invitations to the next show. This ensured a very hip audience who were in tune with the artists. Initially, RSG! artists mimed to records but by late 1964 some performed live and the show switched to all-live performances in April 1965. It was noted for allowing artists to perform the full version of their songs rather than the short versions demanded by other shows. Despite its popularity in the UK, the programme was never broadcast in the United States, perhaps because it was produced in black-and-white during a period when the American networks, ABC, CBS and NBC were converting to full-colour broadcasting. The show was recorded at small studios in Rediffusion's headquarters in Kingsway, London. Although the company had bigger facilities at Wembley, it was easier to attract stars and audiences to central London. As the studios were compact it was not possible to hide cameras. The ever-present cameras, which were very large with rotating lens turrets rather than zooms, were sometimes incorporated into the action, notably in a Manfred Mann performance of the song Machines which ended with Paul Jones singing crouched on the floor surrounded by menacing cameras. RSG was originally transmitted from Studio 9 at Television House in Kingsway when artists mimed to their records; it later moved to Studio 5 at Wembley, enabling artists to perform live. However, artists' own pre-recorded backing tracks were not allowed by the Musicians' Union so the whole of Studio 5 (normally divided into 5a and 5b) was used so that an orchestra could perform the backing live. The show was hugely popular amongst young people and truly was the start of the weekend for anybody who liked pop music. It had a particular following among the mod youth subculture of the 1960s. In late 1966, the time that the 'beat boom' was fading, the show was cancelled, despite its huge popularity. Many years later the British musician Dave Clark bought the rights to the surviving recordings of the show. Compilations were broadcast on Channel 4 in the 1980s and VHS videos were issued including a Beatles live special and The Sounds of Motown special edition. In 1989 the show was seen for the first time in the US, on Disney Channel. During that time, Disney was a pay channel that aired programming aimed at adults at night. Ready Steady Go! has not been officially released on DVD.

The Beatles live


The most famous presenters were Keith Fordyce and Cathy McGowan, though early shows were introduced by Dusty Springfield. The show was occasionally presented by David Gell and Michael Aldred. McGowan joined after answering an advertisement for "a typical teenager" as adviser. She found herself presenting the show, and in fact her status as a fan was evident in her style; stumbling over lines, losing her cool and her obvious inexperience actually made her more rather than less popular, and by the end she was presenting alone. 

Keith Fordyce

Cathy McGowan

Featured artists

It featured most successful artists of the era, among them The Who, The Beatles, The Hollies, The Zombies, Dusty Springfield, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Walker Brothers, The Kinks, Gerry & the Pacemakers, The Fourmost, The Rolling Stones, Donovan (discovered by RSG!), Helen Shapiro, Otis Redding, The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, Cilla Black, The Searchers, Billy Fury, Lulu, Marvin Gaye, The Beach Boys, Sandie Shaw, Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Lynch, James Brown & The Famous Flames and  The Yardbirds. During the 4 October 1963 episode —The Beatles' first appearance— Paul McCartney judged a contest between four teenage girls miming to Brenda Lee's "Let's Jump the Broomstick" (the group had opened for Lee before becoming famous), choosing 13-year-old Melanie Coe as the winner. Three years later, after Coe's disappearance made the front page of the Daily Mirror, McCartney would immortalize her in a song, using the article as the basis for "She's Leaving Home".

The Beatles (1963)

Jimi Hendrix made his first television appearance in Britain on RSG! with "Hey Joe", performing solo. After this appearance, his club tour sold out and he was quickly added to a nationwide tour headlined by the Walker Brothers. Dusty Springfield devised and introduced the RSG Motown Special in April 1965, featuring the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Miracles and Martha and the Vandellas, which was released as a VHS video in the 1980s. The Supremes performed their "Stop! In the Name of Love" dance routine for the first time on the show. The Who proved particularly popular and in 1966 had an episode to themselves entitled Ready Steady Who. The programme no longer exists, but an EP of the name marked the show (although no recordings were from the show). The Walker Brothers were also popular and had a special live edition in 1966 but again the tape was wiped, although extracts surfaced on YouTube in 2009 proving the group did not mime.

The Who
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70's Italian Prog Rock bands: Banco del Mutuo Soccorso

One of the most important progressive rock bands from Italy, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso (BMS), along with Le Orme and PFM are regarded as the big three of the Rock Progressivo Italiano (RPI) genre. This is not only because of their longevity, musicianship and the level of success they achieved in their own country, but also because each were able to make considerable inroads abroad, something which didn't happen for most of their contemporaries. They were very popular in the 1970s Italian prog scene and they continued making music in the 1980s and 1990s. They are still active, playing live in 2001 and 2008 at NEARfest.


Despite not releasing their first album until 1972, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso actually were formed in 1969. Inspired by progressive rock acts from England, in particular Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, keyboardists Vittorio Nocenzi and his brother Gianni Nocenzi founded the band in Rome. The early line-up fluctuated with various members coming and going before any recorded output was released, including drummer Franco Pontecorvi replaced by Mario Achilli, bassist Fabrizio Falco and guitarist Gianfranco Coletta (ex Chetro & Co) later replaced by Claudio Falco. Some of these musicians had previously played with Gianni Nocenzi in Crash. This early incarnation of the band did, however, record some material but this wouldn't surface until 1989 in the Donna Plautilla album. Joining the Nocenzi brothers for a more stable line-up in 1971 was ex-Fiori di Campo guitarist Marcello Todaro and three members of Le Esperienze, vocalist Francesco Di Giacomo, drummer Pier Luigi Calderoni and bassist Renato D'Angelo. Right from the start the most striking features of their sound was the complex texture provided by the piano, Hammond organ and synthesizers played by the Nocenzi brothers, plus the original vocals di Francesco Di Giacomo. A careful balance of electronic and acoustic instruments, plus the use of reeds (played by some of the members of the band, in addition to their usual instrument), made the sound of BMS increasingly original and innovative, with a blend of rock, jazz and classical music which did not however forsake the Italian melodic tradition. Their eponymous debut album released in 1972, was a remarkably mature piece of inventive symphonic progressive rock with classical influences, featuring excellent musicianship and the emotionally charged vocal delivery of Di Giacomo. The album, housed in a large money box shaped cover, is still one of the most representative examples of the Italian prog, with classical influences based on the twin keyboards interplay and the original voice of Francesco Di Giacomo. R.I.P. (Requiescant in Pace) and Il Giardino del Mago are among their best tracks ever, and Traccia has always been a live classic. Their live activity was constant and they supported the likes of Curved Air and Rory Gallagher when touring Italy, developing a large and dedicated following.

Il Giardino del Mago


The first album was quickly followed up by the equally highly regarded Darwin! in 1972. It's a concept album based on the mankind evolution (a recurring theme in many prog albums of the time) and keeps the same high level of the first album, with nice tracks like the long L'Evoluzione and La Conquista della Posizione Eretta.


La Conquista della Posizione Eretta

In 1973, their third album and another milestone in their production, Io Sono Nato Libero, was released. It has a shaped gatefold cover with a lyric booklet stapled in. Non mi Rompete and La Città Sottile, both from this album, were also released as a single and all these albums entered the top 10 charts being highly successful at the time. The first three albums of BMS are forming a trio of LPs that are essential for the Italian prog genre

Traccia II

A change of guitarist followed shortly after the recording of Io Sono Nato Libero, when Marcello Todaro (guitar) left to join Crystals and was replaced by Rodolfo Maltese (guitar, trumpet, French horn), formerly of Homo Sapiens. Around this time the band attempted to break the international market and released the English sung Banco (1975) on ELP'S Manticore label (together with Premiata Forneria Marconi), still distributed in Italy by Ricordi. In reality the album was largely a compilation, as it consisted of re-recorded songs from their first three albums with the exception of one track, the unreleased L'albero del pane. To promote it they toured the USA and the UK with limited success. Banco was followed in 1976 by Garofano Rosso, a completely instrumental album, soundtrack to the film of the same title, and though the voice of Francesco Di Giacomo is missing, yet the record keeps the distinctive BMS sound, like in the long Suggestioni di un Ritorno in Campagna.

Lasciando la Casa Antica

Another album was released in the same year, Come in un'Ultima Cena (1976), based on the Last supper biblical theme. It was the last album with strong classical influences and some good tracks like Il Ragno and Quando la Buona Gente Dice. This album was also released outside Italy with the English title As in a last supper. 

Quando la Buona Gente Dice

1978 saw the release of another all instrumental album, ...di Terra, this time incorporating the use of an orchestra, the Orchestra dell'Unione Musicisti di Roma. It's a very good album, although not representative of BMS's style. The band also simplified their name to Banco.

Nel Cielo e Nelle Altre Cose Mute

Canto di Primavera (1979) saw bassist Renato D'Angelo being replaced by Gianni Colaiacomo, and after this the band entered a period in the 80s which is of little interest to prog fans, moving in a light commercial pop direction that is distant from their first works. Due to the limited success they had outside Italy with their albums with English lyrics and also due to the shutdown of Manticore in 1977, Banco decided to exploit Di Giacomo's remarkably vocal gifts with more marketable songs. In 1983, Gianni Nocenzi left the band for a solo career and he's never rejoined the band, that kept on playing live, despite a limited record production. The following years saw the coming and going of a number of musicians through a series of critically slated albums, at least amongst the prog community. 

Sono la Bestia

In the 1990s, BMS returned to their prog roots performing live unplugged versions of their 70s tracks and re-recording their acclaimed first album and Darwin! in 1991. In 1994, however they released the lightweight pop rock Il 13. In 1997 a double live CD, Nudo, brings the group to new Italian and international tours, even in Japan. No studio albums have appeared since then, but the band continued with sporadic live activity and released a number of live albums. Perhaps the most interesting of these and the best is Seguendo le Tracce (2005), which captures a stunning concert in Salerno from 1975. In 2002 the band celebrated 30 years since their first album with a great concert in Rome, with Vittorio Nocenzi's brother, Gianni rejoining the band after so long, and a handful of dates, including some unplugged ones, to promote Vittorio's solo album Movimenti. The live CD No Palco, released in 2003 is taken from the Rome event, with the presence of many guests, including Mauro Pagani. The 40-year career of BMS, with the group still playing live, was celebrated by Sony with a box set including a remastered version of the 1972 debut album, a second album with unreleased recordings and an illustrated book. The current line-up consists of vocalist Francesco Di Giacomo, Vittorio Nocenzi on keyboards, guitarists Rodolfo Maltese and Filippo Marcheggiani, drummer Maurizio Masi, bassist Tiziano Ricci and on sax, flute and clarinet Alessandro Papotto

R.I.P. (Requiescant in Pace) live: Festival Avanguardia & Nuove Tendenze, 
Roma 1972 

Studio albums

1972  Banco del Mutuo Soccorso
1972  Darwin!
1973  Io Sono Nato Libero
1975  Banco (English versions of songs from the previous albums)
1976  Garofano Rosso (soundtrack)
1976  Come in un'Ultima Cena
1976  As in a Last Supper (English version of Come in un'Ultima Cena)
1978  ...di Terra (with Orchestra dell'Unione Musicisti di Roma)
1979  Canto di Primavera
1980  Urgentissimo
1981  Buone Notizie
1983  Banco
1985  ...E Via
1989  Donna Plautilla (previously unreleased pre-1972 material)
1989  Non Mettere le Dita nel Naso (under the name Francesco Di Giacomo)
1991  B.M.S. (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, 1991 version)
1991  Darwin (1991 version)
1994  Il 13


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