Friday, March 20, 2009

Hats Off to PETE FRAME

This morning while thinking about a subject to write about on rock history I thought it was about time to acknowledge one of my sources, used again and again when researching the music and the artists and performers who have been at this for so many years. While writing up the EAGLES history of two days ago, or the story of FREE and the origins of BAD COMPANY yesterday, I kept going back to the same very reliable source.

Pete Frame has been writing about rock music since the late 1960's. Frame was born in Luton, UK in 1942. He worked for a couple of record companies in the 1970's, but since 1979 he has primarily been a chronicler of rock music, and one of its most valuable and accurate historians. He has written for such publications as Melody Maker and Rolling Stone, but what he is most noted for are his ROCK FAMILY TREES.

The first edition of Rock Family Trees was published in 1980. It covers everything and everyone in rock from Cliff Richard and the Shadows to Blondie, The Sex Pistols, and Elvis Costello and the Attractions. I have an original copy of the book, in soft cover....and it looks like a thirty year old softcover book. The binding is shot, the pages have long fallen out, it sits in a tattered pile to the left of me as I type...and I treasure it with my life. There is no book available that goes into such minute detail in telling the stories of rock bands and their members, which lineup recorded what, who replaced who and when, and how individual bands are related. The original version asks this question..."How are THE EAGLES and WHITESNAKE related"?

Give up?

The common link is TOMMY BOLAN, who replaced JOE WALSH in THE JAMES GANG, and who later replaced RITCHIE BLACKMORE in DEEP PURPLE, where he played with singer DAVID COVERDALE. Coverdale later went on to found WHITESNAKE.

In 1998 Frame published More Rock Family Trees...which I'm FINALLY going to treat myself to on my next birthday.

Frame has done family trees for boxed sets by Jeff Beck, The Byrds, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Yes...and those are just the collections that I own, there have been many more that he has researched and contributed to.

For more information on Pete Frame check this Rogan House publication link.

Thank you Pete Frame....I couldn't write this blog without you!

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