Sunday, 21 August 2011

Rock n' Roll

Hi everyone

My precious week off work has absolutely whizzed by. I simply can't believe that I have to go back to the dark and gloomy place tomorrow.  Big sighs of Eeyore proportions are being sighed here at Peapods I can tell you.

However, we've had a lovely few days together and although we haven't had a 'holiday' as such, we've packed lots in to the last few days, including very early start boot sales (why is it that I have no problem in getting up at stupid o'clock to go booting but can hardly haul my derriere out of bed by 8am to get to work for 9?!), long walks with the hooligan who shows very slight signs that he is beginning to calm down - although I'm not holding my breath - and a visit to the 'Home of Metal' exhibition in Birmingham.

If you like your music on the heavy side and are interested in the 'old school' rock bands of the early 70s/80s then this will be pretty interesting to you and is worth a visit.  Tucked down inside the depths of  the basement of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, it costs £6.00 to get in (it's free entry into the Museum otherwise so you could certainly justify the cost of entry by touring around the rest of the Galleries and displays during your visit.    Personally I thought that the entry price was a little steep considering that the rest of the Museum is free to visit, but perhaps that's just me being a cheapskate. 

The installation has lots of tour memoribilia, mostly provided by fans of the gendre - and to be honest - I could probably charge £6.00 entry to my house and show you as many tour tickets, concert programmes, teeshirts and leather as was available to view in some of the display cabinets.  However, I'm perhaps being a little churlish here.  The exhibition bought back loads of brilliant memories for me of attending rock gigs and rock nights in sweaty Birmingham clubs and pubs, the smell of patchouli oil and the frisson you got when the first power chord on a Fender Strat was struck as the lights went down. Although I'm not a 'Brummie' by birth, it's endearing to think that a heck of a lot of the big names in rock music cut their collective teeth (fangs?) playing in and around Birmingham and the Black Country. 

Travelling through the exhibition, you begin by viewing elements of the heavy industry which dominated the area, then into a typical 60s/70s front room (with Ozzy on the telly!!).  There was a great 'stage' area complete with wigs, drums and guitars for people to have a jam session of their own.  Another section exhibited some stage costumes  from past Judas Priest and Sabbath tours.  There was footage on a loop showing how Donington Monsters of Rock festival (now known as Download of course) evolved (this was great 'cos I used to go to these and it really is hilarious comparing how the festival is now to how it was back in the day!

The thing that had me tittering like a loon though, was the children's activity area where your offspring could... wait for it..... "colour in Rob Halford" or..... (snigger) "Help Ozzy find his way through the maze".   Rock an' bloomin' ROLL kids!!

Here are a few pics - I didn't take many as it was a little dark inside and my poor ancient camera didn't cope very well.

Fab carpet!!  Groovy telly!

Lots of press cuttings about the rise of the mighty Sabbath

Never a truer word spoken.  I don't know how I'd survive without my music

Rockers 'Uniform'
There was a quote by the side of this jacket from it's owner who stated that "Every metal fan had to choose their back patch carefully.  I liked this one because it made old ladies tut".

Hee hee... a man after my own heart!!

Rob Halford's stage outfit  - leather and studs... what else would you expect really?!

Tony Iommi's jacket

KK Downing's leathers - man he has one tiny bum to get into these babies!
 So there you have it.  We spent a pleasant hour around here before venturing out into the wilds of Birmingham City Centre.  Part of it is still showing some scars of the recent riots with a few store windows boarded up, but on the whole things are getting back to normal.   It's not broken.  Just a little bruised in places. 

We found a  little Chinese buffet restaurant for lunch - all you could eat for six quid.  We didn't manage much though, although the food was nice enough.  Neither of us eat much during the day as we tend ot have our main meal in the evening.  Although the food was adequate enough, I have to say that we deducted points because the coffee was evil  and the girl overseeing proceedings needed an intensive course in customer relations - so we escaped to Druckers for our after lunch coffee!! 

How was your week? 


  1. Well, mine was obviously not as interesting as yours. What ever happened to THRASH Metal? Those wonderful 10 second recordings of pure energy and sweat!

  2. lol - well that was another bit of the display Cro - a Brummie thrash band called Napalm Death grew up out of the ashes of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and they were strongly featured too.

  3. OOh I just got some ideas for my decor at Hillside :-O

  4. Leather and studs wallpaper Kath?? ;)

  5. I've been planning on doing some of this for weeks. Walsall Leather Museum's doing "Hell For Leather" and local heroes, the Priest, have donated all their stage costumes. I'm dying to ogle them. x

  6. It's worth a look Vix - I loved seeing the stage costumes. It never ceases to amaze me how huge these rock gods look on stage but in reality how small they are! It's an eyeopener!!

  7. We had a sofa something like that when I were a lass!

    I like the quote about music, very true

  8. Eee, I remember those carpets!
    Looks like it's interesting, but I'm afraid I hate cities so much it'll never be on my list to visit.