Trying to Stop George From Having a Night Out – Martin Cloonan

This post is part of an occasional series originating from ‘The Musicians’ Union: A Social History’ – an AHRC and ESRC funded research project based in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. Here, Martin Cloonan describes the Union’s dispute – up to and including appearances in court – with George Formby’s musical director Bill Main, and how they illustrate the legal and political climate around labour relations of the era.  

San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium: From ‘Dance-concerts’ to ‘Concerts’ – Steve Waksman

This week’s guest post is by Steve Waksman, Associate Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College and author of ‘Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience’ and ‘This Ain’t the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk’.

He is currently researching the history of live music in the U.S. from the 19th century to the present and looks here at how archival material about Bill Graham’s legendary Fillmore illustrates changes and tensions in audience behaviour at rock concerts in the 1960s.  

Screen Tests: A historical snapshot of the Musicians’ Union and technological change – John Izod

Today’s post by Professor John Izod, of the University of Stirling, has a historical bent and concerns the fate of musicians employed by cinemas in the 1920s. In many ways the issues facing musicians then were a world apart from those of today although one of the advantages of historical research is that it allows us to take a step back and adopt a broader view, which can reveal patterns that pertain over the longer term – to look back at the resonances between the disruptions to our current status quo and those that it brought about in the past.  

Live Music 101 #1 – The Materialist Approach to Live Music – Simon Frith

The first in a series of posts that detail the themes and ideas developed over the course of research into the history of live music in the UK. Here, Simon Frith takes a materialist approach to live music, examining the factors necessary for a live music event. Simon also offers an initial typology of performance spaces and examines how the venues in which live music events take place have affected the evolution of live music promotion.  

Live music and memory – Simon Frith

Simon Frith reflects on personal experience and its role in our recollection of gigs. He considers physical mementos, such as tickets, and the emotional investment we make in gigs to look at how memory interacts with music, and its history.
 

Pompey Pop – guest post by Dave Allen, University of Portsmouth

In the second of our guest blog posts, Dr Dave Allen from the University of Portsmouth writes about popular music in Portsmouth from 1944 till 1969.  For more about the project, see the website here, or read Dave’s excellent blog. Pompey Pop In 2010 I came to Edinburgh University to describe my project “Pompey Pop” which covers popular music in …