Ashtray on a Motorbike

Intro

 ‘ASHTRAY ON A MOTOR BIKE’

 

The autobiography of Geordie musician, Charles Foskett, charts his course through the Newcastle of the 1950’s to the present day. We see the swinging sixties through the eyes of an artistic teenager as he hones his craft playing alongside such famous names as The Spencer Davis Group, The Animals, Cream, Chris […]

Synopsis of book chapters

CHAPTER 1
Tin Baths and Gas Masks
Vivid memories of early childhood in the north east of England during the 1950’s. Charles draws pictures of extended family life, which could almost be described as Victorian, but remembers with fondness and humour, scenes from a bygone era.

 

CHAPTER 2
From the Pit Pond to Todd’s Nook
The tragic loss of his […]

Tin Baths and Gas Masks

March 1949 – 1953 – I lived at 24 Caroline Street with my mother and grandparents in a big back to back Victorian terrace with washing lines religiously stretched across the back lane, sporting all kinds of ancient grannies’ linen bloomers and pillow cases, just awaiting the coal man’s filthy wagon to drive down and […]

From the Pit Pond to Todd’s Nook

274 Hamilton Street, Fenham.

My new school was to be this big foreboding Victorian building that had turned black over the century with northern bad weather and no doubt being surrounded by chimneys belching out coal smoke and soot 24/7 – I remember Todd’s Nook Secondary Modern looking just like something out of an L.S. Lowry […]

Plaster cast legs, Woodbines and a Rosetti guitar

Three years had passed, it was 1960. I had almost become a country kid but then fate had decided I’d be a townie street kid. I’d failed my eleven plus exams big time and remained second bottom of the B form – the boy who was bottom of the class was definitely a sandwich short […]

Greta’s hole

One Saturday evening, The Howlin’ Blues were booked to play at the Gateshead Y. M. C. A. dance, a monthly event which included as many Y. W’s as Y. M’s. As for how many C’s were present – your guess is as good as mine. I distinctly remember being on stage playing “Smokestack Lightening,” when […]

Top piss taker, song writer and dear old friend of mine…

When 1965 arrived I had been thumping out bass lines to “Smokestack Lightning” and “Spoon Full” with “The Howlin Blues” – we had nailed a residency at Newcastle’s Club Agogo (well almost a residency, every other Monday night in the under 18’s Young-Set lounge). The Animals had already hit the pop charts with “House of […]

All stations Club Ago-go

It was eventually suggested by some visionary that we should record an E. P. and go to London to gig. We couldn’t fail! After all, there were no other groups that were covering such a wide range of material. We had to hit with something – if we didn’t make it as Georgie Fame and […]

Regent Terrace, Gateshead

The funeral came and went. Time passed slowly. Uncle Bob spent all his time drunk and eventually threw my evening cooking into the fireplace. The house smelled dusty and was always dark. The only glimmer of life and light was Beauty, my (now twelve years old) pet budgerigar. Good old Beauty was still hanging in […]

Dog laxatives and Brian Ferry

It was time for some action, time to be found. Time to change from neutral into first gear. I had to earn some money so I could go to London, if I was ever going to make anything of a musical career. I became a glazier for 1 ½ weeks but found it easier to […]