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Jimmy's A Legend

Robert Plant - Pre-Zep History

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thozil   

Found this on the Brumbeat site: http://www.brumbeat.net/letters1.htm

OBS-TWEEDLE

I'm so happy to have found your page. I now live in Anaheim, California but was raised as a kid at the "Three Men In A Boat" pub in Walsall where I remember all these great bands. I played with Robert Plant in a band called "Obs-Tweedle" and Ace Kefford in another "Ace Kefford Stand" as well as in a band called Spread Eagle. I also played for "Sight And Sound" in the early 70s as well as the Terry Reid Band. I was and still am a keyboard player.

It has been such a long time, but Obs-Tweedle actually started when Tommy Burton left. Mac Bailey and the bass player at that time formed a group with another drummer called "The Answer" I also joined. We actually played in Casablanca and Germany where we changed guitarist to a guy from Scotland. I know we changed personnel a few times and when Robert Plant joined, my father who ran the Three Men In A Boat Pub in Walsall suggested "Obs-Tweedle". That was the band that Jimmy Page and Peter Grant came to see at Walsall College and Robert went to what was then "The Yardbirds" and I joined Terry Reid. Sorry I can't remember any other names, but it was 1967 into 1968. When I left Reid, Ace Kefford had just abandoned "The Stand" though Ace and myself did play as the Ace Kefford Stand. Also as Kefford-Bonham and when we got a drummer, we changed our name to "Spread Eagle". We broke up around 1970. I wish I could remember more.

Thank You - Bill Bonham. www.billbonham.com

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glicine   
So is Bill related to the Bonham family, then? I couldn't figure that out from the site.

As i can recall, Bill is John's cousin.

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That was the band that Jimmy Page and Peter Grant came to see at Walsall College

I have an old book called 'Rock Gazetteer' which depicts various music venues in the UK. It references that historic meeting and says the college was called West Midlands College of Higher Education on Gorway Road in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England.

Either the name had changed from Walsall College since then or Bill's recollection is

mistaken on this point.

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I have an old book called 'Rock Gazetteer' which depicts various music venues in the UK. It references that historic meeting and says the college was called West Midlands College of Higher Education on Gorway Road in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England.

Either the name had changed from Walsall College since then or Bill's recollection is

mistaken on this point.

For some reason I always had it in my mind that it was a teacher's college he was performing at but I couldn't tell you where I read it (or thought I did).

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For some reason I always had it in my mind that it was a teacher's college he was performing at but I couldn't tell you where I read it (or thought I did).

A "teacher's training college near Birmingham" is how Robert has often described it.

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thozil   

I know nothing about UK geography, or the education system but Google does...

There is still a Walsall College: http://www.walcat.ac.uk/contact-us/ and one of it's locations is in West Midlands. Plant could have been referring to this place when talking of a West Midlands college. Steve, how can you be sure about the address that you have? I can't imagine anyone specifiying the address in an interview...

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I have an old book called 'Rock Gazetteer' which depicts various music venues in the UK. It references that historic meeting and says the college was called West Midlands College of Higher Education on Gorway Road in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England.

Either the name had changed from Walsall College since then or Bill's recollection is

mistaken on this point.

Are you sure it didn't just say West Midlands College of Education? :unsure: Because there's no such thing as a "College of Higher Education" (or wasn't then), but a College of Ed is/was a teacher training college. It could well have changed its name--most of them did, because of reorganization in the national education system.

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I know nothing about UK geography, or the education system but Google does...

There is still a Walsall College: http://www.walcat.ac.uk/contact-us/ and one of it's locations is in West Midlands. Plant could have been referring to this place when talking of a West Midlands college. Steve, how can you be sure about the address that you have? I can't imagine anyone specifiying the address in an interview...

No, Robert didn't actually refer to the address. It was obtained though online resarch of the entry in the 'Rock Gazetteer' book. Given the question now raised about inclusion of

"Higher" it would seem this is very much open to further examination and debate. That's

the problem with most books about rock history, they are all too often inaccurate! :)

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Here's "West Midlands College" on a map with speculation it is now part of Wolverhapton University:

http://www.absoluteradio.co.uk/music/pilgr...ation/131/desc/

This link confirms it is now part of Wolverhampton University's Walsall campus:

http://www.britishservices.co.uk/furthered...nds/walsall.htm

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant's Record Collection

Mat Snow, Q, May 1990

Back in the Spring of 1968, things aren't looking too rosy for 19-year-oldsinger Robert Plant. His promising group The Band Of Joy have just knocked it on the head, and now he fronts the frankly less than awesome Hobbstweedle (edit: spelled incorrectly).

"I had nowhere to live," Robert recalls of those scuffling days in the blueswailing business, "and the keyboards player's dad had a pub in Wolverhampton with a spare room. The pub was right over the road from Noddy Holder's father's window cleaning business, and Noddy used to be our roadie. We used to go to gigs with Noddy Holder's dad's buckets crashing around on top of the van! And that," he divulges with an audible sigh of relief, "is when I met Pagey..."

Accompanied by his fellow ex-Yardbird, Chris Dreja, Jimmy Page had made the trek to the teachers' training college in Birmingham where Hobbstweedle (edit: sic) were gigging that night. They had plans afoot for a New Yardbirds, and the screaming 'Tweedle had been recommended by Terry Reid as being the man they were after. Pagey was impressed, and invited the impoverished Plant down to his plush Thameside residence in Pangbourne for further investigation "And I had to do this very thing which we're doing now - we played records and talked about them to see how we were placed."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Lenny Kaye on Led Zeppelin" (1977)

"I went up to see him sing," Jimmy reminisced to England's ZigZag, "he was in a group called Obstweedle or Hobbstweedle, something like that [actually, Obbstweedle], who were playing at a teachers training college outside of Birmingham – to an audience of about twelve people... you know, a typical student set up, where drinking is the prime consideration and the group is only of secondary importance." He didn't care for the band's San Francisco outlook, "but Robert was fantastic, and having heard him that night, and having listened to a demo he had given me [of songs recorded with his

previous group, Band of Joy], I realized that without a doubt his voice had an exceptional and very distinctive quality."

Edited by SteveAJones

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swandown   
A "teacher's training college near Birmingham" is how Robert has often described it.

Jimmy Page, 1972: "I went up to see him sing; he was in a group called Obstweedle or Hobbstweedle, something like that, who were playing at a teacher's training college outside of Birmingham to an audience of about 12 people."

Interesting that Jimmy was using the correct name way back then, but for some reason it never stuck.

Meanwhile, the book "Brum Rocked On" has a list of popular music venues in the Birmingham area in the '60s. One of them is Walsall Teacher's Training College. I haven't seen the book but it apparently links the college to both Hobbstweedle and The Band Of Joy.

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Meanwhile, the book "Brum Rocked On" has a list of popular music venues in the Birmingham area in the '60s. One of them is Walsall Teacher's Training College.

Quite possibly the historically accurate name for the venue. Not surprised you posted it, Scott.

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More than you could possibly have wanted to know:

The former teacher training college at Walsall (now part of the University of Wolverhampton) has submitted an outline application to develop the site on Gorway Road. The application goes to the planning committee this Wednesday, 20 November.

The campus was designed by the leading practice Sheppard, Robson and Partners and was built between 1961-64. On tiny budgets, this practice produced numerous education buildings of genuine power and conviction. Pevsner comments that the former teacher training college is the practice’s ‘finest building in the county’ (Buildings of England: Staffordshire, 1974). However, it appears that the campus’s significance has not been recognised by the university and it is proposed that integral buildings be demolished, including the u-planned buildings surrounding the central teaching tower, and possibly the tower itself, which would be replaced by car-parking provision.

The society considers the former teacher training college to be a strong candidate for listing and will be submitting an application to DCMS. We have also written to Walsall Borough Council urging them not to decide this application at their committee on Wednesday. We feel that to make such a decision before the full merits of these buildings have been assessed would be wholly irresponsible.

http://www.c20society.org.uk/docs/press/021118_walsall.html

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Blocoboy   

Newbie on here so apologies for any toe treading.The teacher training College is definitely the Gorway Road Walsall one..John's uncle ran the Three Men in A Boat in the '60s ..it was one the best pub venues in the Black Country..it no longer exists.

Bloxwich born and bred so I can remember the days of Robert,Noddy Holder and Rob Halford all knocking around the same housing estate.

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Newbie on here so apologies for any toe treading.The teacher training College is definitely the Gorway Road Walsall one..John's uncle ran the Three Men in A Boat in the '60s ..it was one the best pub venues in the Black Country..it no longer exists.

Bloxwich born and bred so I can remember the days of Robert,Noddy Holder and Rob Halford all knocking around the same housing estate.

Welcome, and tell us more! :D

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Newbie on here so apologies for any toe treading.The teacher training College is definitely the Gorway Road Walsall one..John's uncle ran the Three Men in A Boat in the '60s ..it was one the best pub venues in the Black Country..it no longer exists.

Bloxwich born and bred so I can remember the days of Robert,Noddy Holder and Rob Halford all knocking around the same housing estate.

Very cool :D

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Blocoboy   

Is their much interest in this sort of stuff on here?.

Midland Beat December 1966-

lee001.jpg

I have a few more Listen things and other stuff can be obtained if wanted.

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Is their much interest in this sort of stuff on here?.

Midland Beat December 1966-

lee001.jpg

I have a few more Listen things and other stuff can be obtained if wanted.

Count me in! Absolutely.

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Nech   
Is their much interest in this sort of stuff on here?.

I have a few more Listen things and other stuff can be obtained if wanted.

By some of us..OF COURSE!!! Bring it on! Thanks.

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