Cockney class from the man who ‘influenced Hendrix’

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Back on the road continuing a trek that began before Christmas, Joe Brown arrives at Milton Keynes Theatre this Wednesday evening.

But, as the press release relays, it’s a tour that might never have happened, together with the last five and a half decades of music making.

You see, in 1960, Joe was earning a crust touring as lead guitarist with Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent.

But he was also making strides in his own right, and had enjoyed single success with People Gotta Talk and Darktown Strutters Ball.

His manager at that time was Larry Parnes, the first major British rock manager.

He decided to pull Joe from the tour so that he could do his own headline dates.

Whether by luck or by fate, it might well have saved his life.

If Joe had continued with the original plan he would have been in the car crash that robbed Eddie of his.

Joe Brown, the man and the music, might have been a far briefer history.

Instead, thankfully, there are decades and decades of delighting fans and clocking up the music and the memories.

He is a UK guitar pioneer, is Joe: “But there was nobody around in those days to tell you you were doing it wrong,” he says.

His own style including playing the guitar behind his head – which is said to have influenced a certain player by the name of Hendrix!

Revered by fellow players including George Harrison, and Keith Richards, he is also regarded as a master of the ukulele, and his last release, cunningly called The Ukulele Album, demonstrated that passion perfectly.

But there is plenty more to the Cockney geezer than just guitar and ukulele – he is also plays mandolin, mandola, fiddle, trumpet and banjo.

And to think, we struggled with the recorder!

Expect ‘old favourites, rockers and new songs with a twist’ from the man and his band, which features a chip off the old block; son Pete is MD.

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