Early days with the singing. 1960s into the 1970s
‘Who the f☝☞♪ am I?’ (Just to let you know!)
I put this Singer’s Tale alongside my music because as I write it all down, it feels like a song, my song, with many verses. Each written Chapter has music at its heart. I sing in my head as I write.
I became Carol Grimes, the name under which I have sung since the late sixties. My name: I chose it. I chose ‘The Singers Tale’ because of Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote his Tales on his way to Canterbury from Southwark. I am staying in Southwark at the moment, within the sound and sight of St Paul’s bells, and spend time on the coast in Kent near Canterbury. There were tales of Cooks and Friars, Lawyers, Nuns, and Millers but not of Singers, so here is my Tale.
A very early track 1969! German TV Beat Club
Below 1965. One of my first Bands
The Race on the way to The Marquee after a drink in The Ship on Wardour Street, Soho in London.
A very early gig…1965 @ The Marquee Club Wardour Street, Soho, London.
There we were, a bunch of close friends, making our early steps in music, a London group, & up the road, at Euston Station, a Whites only Hiring policy was in place and being Gay was illegal .. we were never signed although our gigs were packed? Says a lot about the Swinging 1960s?
A West Indian refused a job at Euston Station will now be employed thereafter managers overturned a ban on black workers.
In his 1965 Sexual Offences Bill, Lord Arran drew heavily upon the findings of the Wolfenden Report (1957) which recommended the decriminalisation of certain homosexual offences.
No mention of Lesbians, but as Queen Victoria said, ‘they do not exist?’
My Tale tells of the life of a Girl, a Woman, a Singer her travels and the Cities of London and Westminster.
Before 1999 she tells the story and after 2000 I take over.
Together we tell the tale with The Boss. A very good idea.
Nasty Nellie Beware of the Bitch.
Frank The Pale Mouse. A coward.
Wicked Will – O – Mina. She is a liability – stay well clear of her.
Guilty Gertie. OH DEAR!
Clara The Clown. She tries to please.
Betty Blues Belter. The singer who is sometimes brave.
Tillie Tea Leaf and Lying Lizzie. Oh Shit.
Junk-Etta. The Addict.
Misery Ivy. A moaning pain in the arse.
Piss Pot Polly. Oh well. Large dry white wine, please.
In the early 80’s I did a show called ‘Lipstick and Lights’ at the Drill Hall, Chenies Street in London. It was a collection of sketches, poems, and songs around my life as a singer, performed with my Band, ‘Eyes Wide Open’ and the wonderful Didi Hopkins.
The Photos above and blow Sheila Burnette
‘The Singers Tale’ takes place in London, with various travels around and about. To Europe, America, Japan, Scandinavia, Poland and Estonia, and always back to London like a Homing Pigeon. Told from early days in the 1940’s and ’50’s as a child in South East London to bed-sit rooms and Squats in Earls Court, Chelsea and ‘The Grove’ in West London during the 1960’s and ’70’s, the early days of the Hippy invasion of the Balearic Islands, long before the rave, club scene it has since become.
A caravan in the Welsh Countryside, a little shack on stilts on the banks of the Sacramento River in the Bay Area of Northern California, to Texas and Tennesee and an Island in the Winter, north of Stockholm, touring Poland before the wall came down in East Germany and the old USSR was dismantled and the Big Boot removed from its occupied Eastern European countries.
As a performer I am always on the move, singing and selling my wares. C.D.s The C.D’s are on sale through my own website and the internet and I have an extensive archive of photographs, reviews, articles, and interviews. I would love to work on a stage show, using excerpts from the book and singing the songs, with an actor a dancer and musicians, using film, images, and animation.