Moyse’s Hall Museum Unearths Pure ‘Rock And Roll’ Gem of Local Music History

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Moyse’s Hall Museum is to host to one of the most fascinating record launches this year after its Loving the 70s Exhibition unearthed one of the quirkiest and most unusual tales of local, and even national, rock and roll history.

Volunteer researcher Aimée Blampied, 28, had no idea when she found a faded local newspaper clipping about a world-record breaking, non-stop, 102 hour musical jam by a young band from Bury St Edmunds in 1970, quite what she had stumbled on.

For not only was the band’s guitarist Steve Vaughan-Williams, now 63, still playing in the town – but is also about to have a single he recorded over 40 years ago re-released by a new East Anglian record label.

Spoke Records contacted Steve after spotting some vintage local TV news of the marathon charity blues jam by the guitarist’s late 60s/early70s band called Smoke, on YouTube, and asked if they could re-release a single the band had recorded called Dreams of Dreams. One of the record label’s founders, Col Wolfe, 42, from Newmarket, had been a fan of the original 1970 Smoke single  – ever since he bought it at record fair 20 years ago, and felt the time was right to release the perfect combination of 70s sounds and production to a whole new generation. Rare copies of the original single, meanwhile  – the Bury band’s only release – have been changing hands privately for up to £700 as the track is still revered by psych-rock music aficionados, regularly played DJs and is still packing dance floors all over the country – unbeknown to Steve.

“We all loved the story of Smoke and gave it pride of place at the entrance of the 70s exhibition,” said Peter Jones, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer

“Steve Vaughan-Williams mentioned the single release to us, quite by surprise, and we thought what better place to hold the official launch for Dreams of Dreams than during our exhibition dedicated to leisure and entertainment in the 70s.”

Moyse’s Hall is one of 11 museums across Suffolk and Hertfordshire to join forces for the two-year ‘Saving the 70s’ project, led by the Association of Suffolk Museums.The project has been awarded a £247,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Researchers also managed to find the original Smoke video by Tom Taylor, one of the early pioneers of pop videos for programmes such as Top of the Pops, and who also lived locally at the time.

Said Steve Vaughan-Williams, from Bury St Edmunds and who now plays in the Bury Folk Collective: “I had a phone call from Spoke this time last year asking if they could re-release my band’s single from 40 years ago! It was certainly a surprise as I hadn’t heard it in as many years, but thought, why not.

“The limited edition record package they have produced is stunning and even includes 4 track including the complete version of Dreams of Dreams, with an extra verse to the original we recorded for Revolution Records in London in 1970. It was wonderful to hear the record again, as it was the extra verse: it was the best one.”

Said Col Wolfe, of Spoke Records: “We set up Spoke records as a hobby between friends to produce vinyl records for bands which we believe really should have made it. For every Rolling Stones there were 100 local bands trying to make it.

 

“Dreams of Dreams is a fantastic record and after seeing the YouTube clip, I contacted Steve because I bought the original single 20 years ago and asked if we could re-release it, because it has always been a favourite.

“Dreams Of Dreams is special because its ability to cross musical genres makes it the perfect 1970s construction.The production is fantastic too, so always guarantees a busy dancefloor. I was at a 60s/mod weekender in Brighton last bank holiday and this track had a couple of hundred people going crazy to it!”

The Dreams of Dreams launch party with Spoke DJ’s playing 70s music including tracks by Smoke, will be held on September 13 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The Loving The 70s exhibition runs until October 24.

Researcher Aimée Blampied said: “I stumbled across the young lads in the local paper at the time. Being a musician myself I was drawn to the story and I had to read through the next few papers trying to find a follow up of the jam! I was so pleased they made the world record, and that I really like the music too!”

About Moyses Hall

Moyse’s Hall has looked out over Bury St Edmunds market place for almost 900 years. The landmark 12th century building’s rich and varied past has included serving as the town gaol, workhouse and police station, first opening as a museum in 1899. Today the museum offers a fascinating view into the past with collections that document the foundation of the early town – from the creation and dissolution of the Abbey, to prison paraphernalia and artefacts providing intriguing insights into superstition and witchcraft.Situated in a beautiful medieval building, Moyse’s Hall Museum houses eclectic collections and exhibitions, and hosts events ranging from themed craft workshops for all the family to historical talks and lectures.

For more events at Moyse’s and across West Suffolk see: http://www.westsuffolkdiary.co.uk/

Smoke-24-hour-jam-770
Photo from Mojo Magazine

The legendary 100 hour Jam in Mojo Magazine.

 

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One thought on “Moyse’s Hall Museum Unearths Pure ‘Rock And Roll’ Gem of Local Music History

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