Tuesday, 30 September 2008

THE BOAR'S ROCK - CRAIGIEBANK 1973

This is the Boar's Rock's first day open for business and Bob McLaren (seated) awaits his first customer.
It's February 1973 and the transformation from grocer shop to pub is complete.
I didn't start drinking until around 1974 when I was 16, going to places like the Hansom Cab in town. Being underage meant I chose to stay clear of the Boars Rock because it was our local and I didn't want to bump into my relatives or neighbours! I didn't mind risking the town centre ones underage but I didn't think it was such a good idea to get banned from your own local!! So I just held out until I did turn 18 and along I popped to the Rock to sample it which then lead to me visiting there quite often on Sunday lunchtimes.
The pub, situated in Arbroath Road, is still going strong today.

Photo by DC Thomson.

Monday, 29 September 2008

McLAREN'S - CRAIGIEBANK 1960's

Back in the 60's, Bob McLaren used to run this wee grocer shop called VIVO.
It was located at the Craigiebank shops in Arbroath Road and he & his family also lived above the shop premises.
The picture above was taken in Feb 1969, but in the early 70's Bob fulfilled an ambition he had, that was, to run a pub.
He achieved this in 1973 when he converted the grocer shop into The Boar's Rock, a pub which I'll feature next.

Photo by DC Thomson. Tints by GG.

Friday, 26 September 2008

LYON STREET IN THE 80's

This is how Lyon Street looked back in the 1980's. A typical Dundee street that you would pass without giving it a second glance.
In the early 80's, however, something was brewing at number 39.
A wee social gathering of creative musicians were busy producing acts who would go on to record some classy alternative pop music. This is where Billy Mackenzie & Alan Rankine of The Associates were living back then, along with a few others. In amongst the others were Christine Beveridge & Steve Reid who went on to record as Orbidoig, releasing a couple of singles.
A cross-pollination of The Associates & Orbidoig then created a 3rd act called... 39 Lyon Street. They too released a single - "Kites" - which was a cover of the Simon Dupree hit from the psychedelic 60's.
The article under the photo is the band getting a debut mention in an NME dated June 1981.
Below, is rare footage of Billy singing an acoustic version of "Kites" on French TV.
The original vhs tape was a bit mashed, but it's well worth watching anyway.

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Monday, 22 September 2008

FUN IN THE FERRY

Here's a wee reminder from the mid 70's of the Broughty Ferry go-kart track and crazy-golf course.
Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

THE ORIENTAL - EXCHANGE STREET CORNER

This was a great wee pub, and probably the only Dundee drinking den I could say was "surreal"!!.
On the go in the late 70's - early 80's and situated on the corner of Commercial Street/Exchange street.
It was quite deceptive in appearance because it looked like an old-timer's pub from the outside, but one step indoors and it transported you to a completely different world.
The crazy interior reflected the owner's madcap outlook. They had a "gorilla" theme running throughout the place. Try and envisage this - there were lots of apes hanging from the ceiling from chains, each one wearing the pubs own t-shirt design (King Kong wrecking the Tay bridge) and all had flashing eyes that were synchronised in time with the music!
As if that wasn't zany enough, the walls had an outer space mural that not only had stuff like rockets and planets scattered about it but also included many cartoon characters!!
The music was sometimes played from cassettes chosen by the bar staff and sometimes picked from the jukebox by us who drank there, but both sources were always played at FULL volume and was a mix of punk, rock & pop.
Always a place to have a really good laugh.
The short clip below is a wee visual recreation of their ape theme.

Photo by DC Thomson.
 
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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

JIM KELLY ON GUITAR

Known affectionately by his Dundee mates as "The Welly", Jim Kelly started gigging locally in the mid 60's.
One of the groups he was in during this time was The Honours.
He then left Dundee around 1967 to join "The Luvvers", Lulu's backing band. After a year or so he joined "The Honeybus" who were quite a major chart band, and recorded a couple of albums with them. In 1969 he also released a solo single called "Mary, Mary". He came back to Dundee in 1970 and had more success with rock outfit "The Sleaz Band", gigging & recording. Around 1973 he teamed up with local band "Hunters Key" ( my cousin John Lunan on drums ), and he stayed with them for a few years.
He was also known for his great sense of humour, but his health eventually gave way and he died in the mid 90's.
Here below is a wee tribute vid showcasing the Welly with The Honeybus on a track called "Girl Of Independent Means". The guitar riff intro sounds very similar to David Bowie's 1972 hit "Jean Genie", who coincidentally, was also on the same "Deram" label when this was recorded in 1968..!!

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Friday, 12 September 2008

THE SANDS - BROUGHTY FERRY

Sunday nights were the best nights to pop along to Broughty Ferry hotspot "The Sands" in the late 70's & early 80's musically speaking, because their choice of sounds on Sundays were of a more specialist variety.
So being black based music in the main meant there was a lot of serious funk going down, plenty of hot soul imports spinning and a fair amount of Northern Soul belted out too. They did drop a dollop of chart pop stuff along the way but it was in much smaller portions than you'd get on Fridays & Saturdays.
The atmosphere was better on Sundays too which made it a great way to finish off a weekend's clubbing.
As well as DJ's blasting out the latest dancefloor goodies, The Sands also hosted jazz events on Sunday afternoons and anyone wanting to jam alongside Dundee's top jazz musician, Jimmy Deuchar, were welcome to.
The photos above show The Sands in 2 different phases - the first 2 are its late 70's look with a circular dancefloor - the other 2 are from the early 80's when they extended the dancefloor out to the seating areas and added more lights around the joint.
Combining both the dancefloor and jazz elements of The Sands, below is a track I always associate with my Sunday's spent there. Its a great jazz-funk groove that dates back to 1980 - and I still have my original 12 inch copy of it too!

Photos by DC Thomson.
 
 
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Thursday, 11 September 2008

FLUORESCENT HOOPED SOCKS - 1974

A wee shoe shop in the Murraygate called Lotus sold these hooped socks in 1974.
Hooped socks were already popular with teenagers at that time because of glam-rock music fashions, but those ones were generally referred to as Slade socks because Noddy Holder famously wore them on stage.
Why these ones above stood out from the crowd and differed from Slade socks slightly was because they were fluorescent. This was the first time fluorescent colours had been used in fashion, way before punk and the term Dayglo became known.
The trousers were usually worn "half mast" to show them off!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

OVERGATE MURAL - 1960's

This mural called "Shoppers" was designed by Dundee artist, Ian Eadie, in 1965, and spanned one of the underpasses in the Overgate Shopping Centre.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

THE GROVE - MARKETGAIT - 1980's

This well known disco spot became the Coconut Grove in the mid 80's. It was renamed this when it came under new ownership. Apart from a tweak here & there and a lick of white paint, it was basically the same as it's previous incarnation, The Barracuda. After a couple of years they opted to drop the name "coconut" and it became known just as "The Grove", as in the above picture.
Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.

Monday, 8 September 2008

WINGS - CAIRD HALL - 1975

Paul McCartney & Wings played at the Caird Hall on 23 September 1975, the concert having sold out in advance.
There was a camera crew following Wings around on this tour with the Scottish shows caught on film and inserted into the documentary they were making. I have seen the footage that was taken but didn't manage to identify the Caird Hall, so not sure if the Caird Hall sequence is tucked away somewhere in the vaults!
I do know there is an unofficial audio recording of the Dundee show doing the rounds mind you.
The ad at the top is from a 1975 NME and has the tour dates.
The item underneath the ad is the Caird Hall autograph book which Paul & Linda signed when they were in town that day.
A nice touch of humour by both, with Dundee and the Queen referred too!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

CHEQUERS - NETHERGATE - 1981

Chequers position in the Nethergate was reflected by those who used to drink there - half were townies and half were students.
It opened around 1980 and was a cheery, civilised place to mingle - even on the nights it was crammed.
As well as a jukebox up on the wall, it had "Commedia dell'Arte" themed paintings hanging up around the pub....Pulcinella and the rest of the posse!
Its canopy and interior were done in typical 80's ever popular green, hence this caption colour!

Photo by DC Thomson.

Friday, 5 September 2008

THE CRYPT - PRINCES STREET - 1978

Opened in the late 70's, the Crypt was a fashion boutique run by Billy Mackenzie.
As its name suggests, the shop had a dungeon-like theme which was evident on the inside as well as the outside decor.
There were coffin shaped changing rooms & dead animals indoors (stuffed, of course), with a wrought iron portcullis on the doorway & window outdoors.
The gear was a mix of classy retro clothing and modern designer garments.
The shop then changed to "Plan 2" in the early 80's when Billy's brother took over.
Below is a short film clip of the shop doorway with Billy saying a wee word about it.
Photo by DC Thomson.

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Thursday, 4 September 2008

THE OLD WELLGATE

2 images of the old Wellgate before it became what it is today.
Above picture was taken in the mid 70's when the street was closed down to make way for the demolition team to do their stuff.
Below is footage that was shot in the late 60's showing the street still open for business.


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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

THE OTHER RECORD SHOP - OVERGATE

Some of the albums in the window of this shot of The Other Record Shop, taken in 1984 are - Roger Waters, Psychedelic Furs, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Human League and Echo & the Bunnymen.
The shop also sold concert tickets. There is a poster advertising Bob Dylan tickets on the window, although that was for a gig out of town as Dylan has never played in Dundee.
They also had a variety of rock t-shirts on sale.

Photo by DC Thomson.

Monday, 1 September 2008

MR BEAUJANGLES - WELLGATE

Fashion boutique, Mr Beaujangles, first Dundee store opened in the Overgate in the mid 70's. They then followed that up by adding 2 more shops to their collection - one in the Wellgate and another in Commercial Street. However, when all 3 stores were operating at a later stage, they dropped the "Mr" part from their business name and just settled for being called "Beaujangles". The main reason for this was that they introduced a female clothing section to the stores.
The photo at the top was taken in the mid/late 70's in the Wellgate, when it was still called "Mr Beaujangles" and so too the shop carrier bag from the same era.

Photo by DC Thomson.Tints by GG.