One of the functions of this blog is to share thoughts and experiences on the Home of Metal research process.
It’s proving to be fascinating work. There have been moments when I have felt like the Indiana Jones of Metal on a quest for artefacts and stories.
Finding this advert from page 2 of the Birmingham Mail Monday 25th November 1968 is one example of an occasion when I got that feeling. Jim Simpson who opened Henry’s in September 1968 to ensure that Bakerloo Blues Line had a regular gig has told us that these small adverts (the original is smaller than a matchbox) were the main way of advertising the club. At the time the Mail was the source for all your entertainment information and sold 300,000 copies. Birmingham residents will be interested to hear that as far back as 1968 Thursday was job advert day! The Henry’s advertising campaign started three months ahead of the opening night and worked. On that first night 150 people were unable to get in as the place was backed to the rafters.
There will be more people to thank along the way but I thought I’d kick off with some of those who are closest to home and point you in the direction of some fascinating history resources.
The Birmingham Music Archive has been very helpful to Home of Metal with contributions from the public helping me compile a list of bands who played at Henry’s Blues House.
Bullshead Bob runs a superb blog in which he recounts his recollections of the mid 60’s Birmingham scene. As a musician of the times himself his insights and contacts are first class. A dry Brummie wit makes the monthly postings a joy. Highlights include 1000 words on why the Selmer was better than an AC30.
The Brum Beat website is another great source for 60s Brummage beats/biogs and that’s how I found Mr Bullshead so big thanks to them.
Of particular note among many local history internet spaces is Aston Brooke Through Aston Manor. The volume of stuff on there has meant I’ve spent a great deal of time going through it. Although much of it isn’t directly relevant to Home of Metal it is still fascinating.
Iconosphere is the user name of Daz Cox on the Black Sabbath forum. When he’s not gigging in a great band called Sciattica who play around The Black Country he often finds himself responding to questions from Sabbath fans around the globe who are keen to tap his local knowledge.
Birmingham Central Library archives department is a rich resource and the staff there have been very helpful.