Quite easy to generally remember off the top of my head what followed. Predicatable Jazz crate digging, unhealthy obsession with blue Note, initially as much for the classic artwork as anything else, and Impulse too, Prestige to a lesser extent. Funnily enough I never abandoned my preference for most more "modern" jazz. The fusion styles which were borne from the sixties avant-garde, their transcendental psychedelic leanings always appealed to me much more than the relatively conservative-looking besuited blowers, pluckers and beaters who Wynton Marsalis thinks represent the real spirit of jazz. Didn't Miles Davis say that "jazz" was a synonym for "shit"? Far more elastic and all-encompassing in my opinion. In any case, I suppose what I'm saying is that I prefer "In A Silent Way' to 'Kind Of Blue', 'A Love Supreme' to 'Blue Trane' etc . . . The spiritual to the concrete etc . . .
Throughout the eighties I got to see most of my heroes, but like typhoid Mary, after I'd appeared in the audience they'd mysteriously shuffle off their mortal coils. Amongst those I had the pleasure and privilege to see were Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach (each at the Royal Festival Hall, I believe Roache's was his first British gig. Art Blakey at Ronny Scott's, didn't have a ticket, queued with Hursty for three hours on a spring Friday evening, the queue stretched for a mile or so by the time they started letting people in. Lucky we were in the first ten, because that's all they let in. John Lee Hooker at The Hammersmith Odeon . . .
Just before I moved down to London I witnessed the infamous Beastie Boys debacle at The Royal Court in Liverpool. The Beasties were riding a wave of negative publicity, chief amongst which was their presence at a Montreaux festival, during which they'd taken a boat on a lake (possible Geneva) during which, tabloids reported, they'd verbally abused a party of paralysed kids. With their patriotic frenzy-whipping still fresh in the minds of the decent British populace, the gutter press set about directing their ire at Brooklyn's finest. It's sad to say that Liverpool fell for this bullshit completely and one hot May Saturday night back in 1987, the sweaty mob made their way down to The Royal Court to confront AdRock, MCA & Mike D. They never stood a chance. Their inflatable plastic cocks and caged go-go girls lasted around five minutes. The beasties offered to take the room and then a riot ensued, the venue was vandalised, and MCA, NOT AdRock (who had to come back to Liverpool six months later to stand trial for his misdemeanour), threw a full can of beer, with force, into the crowd which, apparently, hit someone. Not what I'd paid my money for, but unforgettable nevertheless.
Hip-hop was the next stage in my musical evolution, often the portal of choice to bigger and better things . . .