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Billy Jenkins

News Archive

Various articles, features, interviews and archive trivia from the 1970's onwards can also be found at the Billy Jenkins Webzine site.


East/West (Now Wear the Same Vest)
When Producer Tony Met Guitarist Billy
Listening Club Series Four Launched
Film Trailer for 29th September
Billy Films On Show
Recycle Them Blues
'Wulfie' Ad Libs A Billy Ad
Jenkins Writes For Jazz Journal
Listening Club Now On Spotify
An Empty River
Two New Super Heroes In Town


Listening Club Series Three Box Set Binge Now Online
Jenkins in Court
More Obscure Jewels Of The British Jazz Underground
Navigating A Sea Of Turmoil....
Remembering Barry Mitchell and Wing Music
Jazzman John Clarke - Now A 'Ghost On The Road'...

The Joy Of Two Drumkits
Terror On Tour....
Going Back To Hell.....
Mercury Man Realigns With Billy
Billy Back In the Recording Studio


If Only They'd Learned To Play Music....
Listening Club Series Two Box Set Binge Now Online
Big Fights
'Scratches' A Jazzwise Top Twenty Album of The Year

'Scratches of Spain' Reissued As a Download

'I'm Staying In the Car!'

That String Thing.....?

John Jack
Salah Dawson Miller
Drumming The Blues
Billy's Big Basque Blunder
Billy Takes Over BBC R3........
DJ Nick Davies Telephones Billy

Spring Is A'Coming.....
Recording Billy Changed My Life
Billy Snaps...
Into 2017....


A Festive Tale - And Charlie Hart Speaks
Classic 'True Love Collection' Album Relaunched As Download
Exciting New Billy Podcast Series Begins
'Controversial' Uncle David Fondly Remembered
Pigfoot Plays Billy - Live At The Vortex

Steve Morrison - 'Guitar Star'
More Beowulf Mayfield Music Sn-Apps Emerge
Writer Philip Watson Revisits Billy's Invisible Jukebox
London Jazz News Features Billy

Jazzwise Review Vortex Celebration
Vortex Jazz Club Celebrates Billy

2012-2015 can be sourced here

......'Death, Ritual & Resonation' solo guitar download album released.....Thames TV archive captures Jenkins as a 'young fogey'....film fun with poet Ian McMillan...British Jazz CD 1966-90 features Billy...
The Semi-Detached Suburban Home (Music for Low Strung Guitar) released.....Musicians - do you remember them?...Ginger Baker's Nutters CD emerges....and much more!

2008-2011 can be sourced here

.......'Jazz Gives me The Blues' an Album of the Year 2011....Billy with Arthur Smith on BBC R4....... Glasgow Herald feature.....BBC Big Band Play Billy.......Hysteria, Fear & Live Music.....BBC Ban Billy.......BBC Apologise To Billy......and much more!

Various articles, features, interviews and archive trivia from the 1970's onwards can also be found at the Billy Jenkins Webzine site.

East/West (Now Wear the Same Vest)

Billy East West
Beowulf Mayfield captures a confused Jenkins...

Episode 3/Series 4 of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club finds presenter
Beowulf Mayfield recalling the day he spent in 1994 listening and watching Billy recording one of his masterpieces - the 'East/West' album, featuring the Fun Horns of Berlin.

Whilst enjoy
ing this 12 minute 'snap-pod-web-cast' episode here, cast your eyes on the Billy Webzine page - which has a fascinating 1996 interview with the guitarist about the project.

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When Producer Tony Met Guitarist Billy

Tony Messenger
Tony Triptych by Beowulf Mayfield. 

For Episode 2/Series 4 of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club,presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield prised some early memories out of Billy's long time producer Tony Messenger and topped and tailed it with the enticing sound of 'Ronald Reagan', from the 1994 CD album release, 'Entertainment USA'.

Enjoy a 7'45" BJLC 'snap-pod-web-cast' here.

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Listening Club Series Four Launched

Martin France
Martin France photographed by Beowulf Mayfield in 2019.

The ongoing (but occasional) Billy Jenkins Listening Club, the 'audio-autobiographical pod-snap-webcast,' has now launched Series Four online.

Enjoy in this first episode, by clicking on the image or here, an eight minute discourse as presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield and the guitarist discuss the precise number of miles one of Billy's wonderful drummers Martin France actually did drive in 1993....

You can find out more about Martin's work here.

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Film Trailer for 29th September

Religion Is The Blues trailer

Tap the image above for a short trailer for Antonio Rui Ribeiro's one hour documentary 'The Religion is The Blues' - one of several cinematic delights to be enjoyed at Greenwich Studio Theatre on the afternoon of 29th September.

Book your tickets NOW.

50 years of Greenwich Theatre

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Billy Films On Show

Greenwich Theatre
Images by Beowulf Mayfield

Book your tickets now!

 Mr Jenkins may be currently silent and has seemingly withdrawn from public performance, but at 4pm on the 29th September at Greenwich Theatre there is  an afternoon of Billy films.

Featuring rare showings of Antonio Rui Ribeiro’s 2014 documentary ‘The Religion Is The Blues’ and ‘Blues Al Fresco’ - the Blues Collective caught in concert and on camera in 2003 by Phil Vallentin.

Together with an interview and discussion led by BBC R3 jazz presenter and writer Kevin Le Gendre on ‘creativity in this binary digital age’, with photographer and BJ Listening Club pod-snap-caster Beowulf Mayfield - including a showing of some of his ‘music snaps’ inspired by Billy’s music.

A perfect foot tapping, thought provoking and fun way to spent a late autumnal Sunday afternoon!

This iconic venue is celebrating its 50th anniversary and it is fitting that the intimate Studio Theatre (where the films will be shown,) used to be where, in the early 1970's, the teenage Jenkins would listen avidly to the cutting edge Bird-Curtis modern jazz quintet.

Tickets are £13 (including a booking fee).

Book via the box office on
020 8858 7755

Or via the theatre website at www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk

50 years of Greenwich Theatre

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Recycle Them Blues

Recycling Bin YouTube

Mr Mayfield comes up with yet another YouTube 'music-snap' wonder - as he animates the closing track from 'I Am A Man From Lewisham'.

Spank your mouse here - and see if it makes you smile.......

Recycle Blues 1

Recycle 2

Recycle 3

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'Wulfie' Ad Libs A Billy Ad

Wulfie Ad Lib Ad

Tap the image or spank your mouse here - for 98 seconds of Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield musical inspiration!

Is there no end to this man's talents...!?!

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Jenkins Writes For Jazz Journal

Jazz Journal

pank your mouse now on the iconic Jazz Journal iconI
Jazz Journal is the oldest English-language magazine dedicated to the coverage of jazz music. Founded by Sinclair Traill in 1948, it has been published from the UK in web-form only since 19th January 2019, following continuous print publication for seven decades.

Jazz Journal has a team of around 30 writers, some of whom have written for the magazine since the late 1950s, and a rich archive of photographic and editorial material, much of which will gradually be made available on this website.

Billy is therefore honoured that the editor Mark Gilbert has published on the site a short (and typically provocative) self penned piece relating to the film afternoon at Greenwich Theatre Studio on the 29th September.

And in it, he hints at at a couple of reasons why he is currently silent.....

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Listening Club Now On Spotify

BJLC now on Spotify

As well as being able to access the Billy Jenkins Listening Club pod-snap-web-casts from this site or iTunes, you can now listen to then on Spotify.

So now, you can stream endless Jenkins tracks on the Spotify platform, whilst also enjoying some entertaining and informative 'audio autobiographical background' to the guitarist's inspirations and methodology.

All presented, in his inimitable style, by photographer and former jazz critic Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield.

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An Empty River

An Empty River

With Mr Jenkins still seemingly silent as we encounter the new buds of spring in 2019, click the photo above for a one minute and 36 second feast for the eyes and ears, as Beowulf Mayfield captures the sound of the river from the album 'Greenwich' - which the Penguin Guide To Jazz described as
'one of the most distinctive British jazz albums of the 1980's'.

Originally released as a 12" album in 1985 (Wood Wharf Records WWR852), the album has been especially remastered by Andy Le Vien at RMS Studios for digital download direct from virgin vinyl.

Enjoy it all on your favourite streaming site now!

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Two New Super Heroes In Town

Fat Pepole YouTube

It's half term! Grandpa Billy has the grandkids!

What better way to pass the day than to ask photographer Beowulf Mayfield to kindly make a short YouTube promo?

Set to 'Fat People' from the 1982 'Sounds Like Bromley', click the icon to enjoy the 107 seconds result.

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Listening Club Series Three Box Set Binge Now Online

Listening Club Series 3 YT promo

he photographer, writer and web-pod-snapcast wonder Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield continues his inspired analysis of Billy's music - both aurally and in images!

If you enjoy this Series Three Box Set Binge promotional video, tap yourself over to the Billy Jenkins Listening Club main page for not only a Series 3 binge, but all of Series 1 and 2 too.

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Jenkins in Court

Billy in Court
Court scene created by Beowulf Mayfield

The final episode of Series 3 of The Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-pod-webcast (Episode 6) is now online!

And presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield turns judicious and hauls the unrepentant plucker into court.

The charges - 'belittling, irreverence, contempt' and 'not being serious enough'!

It's a fitting climax to the third series of what has been another half dozen audio autobiographical
insights into Billy's work.

Give yourself
10' 40"  to hear the trail played out in authentic courtroom ambience here!

And don't forget you can follow Beowulf's photographic, writing and creative adventures here.

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More Obscure Jewels Of The British Jazz Underground

A new Life Vol.2

It's been three years since Jazzman Records's A New Life collection alerted jazz heads to the existence of an unknown world of British jazz private pressings and indie obscurities.

Back for a second round, compilers Francis Gooding and Duncan Brooker have dug deep into the archives to assemble another ground-breaking collection of Brit jazz anomalies and outliers from the 1970s and 1980s.

A New Life Vol. 2 picks up the story where volume one left off, searching out overlooked jazz gems from across the length and breadth of the British Isles.

When the major labels and the record industry left jazz out in the cold, musicians and jazz enthusiasts took the initiative. Indie labels made space for established artists and experimental outsiders alike, while local groups and youth bands turned to private pressings to document their music and build their own scenes.

From London blues renegade Billy Jenkins's spiritual tribute to Pharoah Sanders and the swinging vocal artistry of Belfast-born Gerry McClelland, to the thunderous big band sound of Leicester's Music Explosion and the modal drama of the Don Rendell Five, A New Life Vol. 2 reveals another fascinating layer of forgotten Brit jazz history.

Fully researched and presented with in depth liner notes, again we bring you the unheard, unorthodox and under-rated sound of the British jazz underground!

Double LP gatefold with free download card inside.

'A New Life Vol. 2'
will be available late October (on 2xLP or CD) from Jazzman Records.

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Navigating A Sea Of Turmoil....

Billy at low tide
Beowulf Mayfield captures Billy reminiscing Thameside.....

The tide goes out. And the tide comes back in....

Episode 5 of Series Three of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast is now online.

And ever patient presenter Beowulf Mayfield teases words out of the guitarist relating to the skills producer Pete Bennett, violinist Dylan Bates and double bassist Steve Watts contributed to the  making of the 2005 released CD album 'When the Crowds Have Gone'- described, at the time,  by The Times music critic John Bungey as, 'his darkest record yet...'.

Click here to give yourself 7' 53" seconds of reflection, despair, but ultimately - recovery. Possibly....

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Remembering Barry Mitchell and Wing Music

Barry Mitchell and Billy
Barry and Billy ripped from a 1997 local newspaper article...

Episode 4 of Series Three of the
Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast is now online.

Billy hasn't appeared on a broadcast since he ran off after presenter Beowulf Mayfield's attempt at retrogressive hypnosis on the guitarist in Episode 1 (Series 3) went a bit Pete Tong.....

But we're pleased to say the guitarist is now back! But - not only has he returned as a teenager, but it seems Wulfie has regressed too....

But that doesn't stop them partaking in a heartfelt tribute to the legendary owner of Wing Music, Barry Mitchell - celebrated on the eponymous track from the 1997 CD album, 'Still...Sounds Like Bromley'.

Enjoy eight and a half minutes of foot tapping joy here.

One man who certainly enjoyed this episode, is Jim Hunt, who took the time to write to Mr Jenkins about his own time working with the late, lamented Barry:

"Absolutely brilliant!

It certainly brought a smile, a roaring laugh (jumping off the 4x12s story) and it did bring a tear or 2!

I worked at Wing for over 10 years and was very close to Barry. Hearing the way you told those stories really brought a lot of great memories flooding back.

I still think of the boss pretty much every day and miss him terribly.  I learned a hell of a lot from him in all sorts of respects.

It’s pretty much all down to him that Planet Guitar exists, if I hadn’t have done my 'apprenticeship' at Wing I certainly wouldn’t be doing the job I love and have all of the knowledge I have!

I loved the way you mention Barry (towards the end of the podcast) standing with a cup of tea in one hand, cigarette in the other and a big smile on his face. That resonated in a big way and I could actually see that image in my head. I had the biggest smile on my face when I heard that! Absolutely brilliant!

I also had a chuckle at the cleaning guitars, making tea, etc for 50p a day. It sounded so similar to my early days at Wing in Sidcup when I was the fresh faced 15 year old Saturday boy. The duties were exactly the same, plus I was also in charge of the vacuum cleaner. From memory I think the daily rate was roughly the same as well!

I really miss the stories that Barry told, so hearing your podcast was incredible. I’m positive he would have loved hearing it and  probably would’ve been able to give you a few more to add in!"

We at bj.com heartily recommend you visit Planet Guitar - to not only read more about Barry and Wing Music (there's a great photograph of young Jim in the store) - but also to check out the guitar tuition and instrument repair services Plant Guitar specialise in!

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Jazzman John Clarke - Now A 'Ghost On The Road'...

     Jazzman John Clarke
Jazzman John Clarke 1948-2018

Sad news reaches us that the inspirational performance poet Jazzman John Clarke has died.

Mr Jenkins very much enjoyed accompanying him and his 'Jazz Circus' in the studio in 2008 for the CD release 'What Jazz Can Do For Your Life'
(Waterline Music Splash 13) and on a handful of SE London live performances.

The guitarist even got John partaking in the occasional game of bowls at Francis Drake BC atop Hilly Fields, about which he wrote a typically delightful poem which hung on the wall of the pavilion for many a year.

Billy was greatly touched when asked if he would write the forward to John's 2012 collection 'All the way from Kathmandu' (Nirala) and, by way of a small tribute, we reprint an extract:

   "I have no time for imitation. Yet John works a genre decades old that, 
     under his pen, becomes refreshed, revitalised, reinvented and reborn.

    He is indeed everybody I meet, his art old as rivers of time. 
    Fired by a muse that burns so bright I fear spontaneous combustion. 

    Careful how you hold this book. It might burn. 
    But beautifully.
    With life.
    And with love."

Other moving words of tribute can be found on the Poetry Society site and at Writeoutloud.

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The Joy Of Two Drumkits

Mike Pickering
Beowulf Mayfield captures Mike Pickering in the groove...

Episode 3 of Series Three of the
Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast is now online.

And with Billy still on the run after presenter Beowulf Mayfield's attempt at
retrogressive hypnosis on the guitarist in Episode 1 went awry, Wulfie went to talk to Blues Collective drummer Mike Pickering about Billy's fascination of sometimes using two stick drummers and especially working with the wonderful Roy Dodds.

Enjoy Episode 3 'A Stick In The Wheel' here!

And follow Beowulf's photographic, writing and creative adventures here

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Terror On Tour....

Billy Wall
Scared Bill picture by Beouwulf Mayfield.

The second episode of Series Three of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snap-cast-web-cast-podcast is now online - and, with guitarist Billy not having yet returned after running off at the end of Episode One and in his continuing absence, presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield unravels a frightening tale penned by the bandleader entitled, 'The Day I (Nearly) Died'....

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Going Back To Hell.....

Daniel and Billy
The guitarist's grandson Daniel Lemmard (captured
by Beowulf Mayfield) and Billy age 3....

He may be musically mute (save the minor diversion of the new 'Ghost Music' piano album), but Mr Jenkins, together with presenter Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield, can't keep away from the broadcast medium, as the Billy Jenkins Listening Club snapcast launches Series Three!

Cast your ears over Episode One, as Beowulf attempts to practise his retrogressive hypnosis on the guitarist (performed by then six year old Daniel Lemmard - Billy's grandson) as they analyse 'First Day In Hell' from the 2002 Blues Collective 'LIFE' album!

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Mercury Man Realigns With Billy

Mercury Man

Around the end of the last century, the local SE London Mercury newspaper would often print a 'postcard home' that,
whilst in some far flung corner of Europe, Jenkins, the reluctant wandering minstrel, would send to their resident columnist Mercury Man.

Merc Man has now resurfaced on the wonderful 853 website, that covers 'public interest journalism for Greenwich and SE London', all brilliantly curated by the editor
Darryl Chamberlain.

853 website
Merc Man wanted to know, amongst other grasshopper musings, 'just why the guitarist had stopped performing' and 'what exactly are these Listening Club podcasts....?'

Tap the link here to not only enjoy Billy's responses, but to feast you eyes on some of Beowulf Mayfield's wonderful photographs and Music Sn-Aps! - all laid out and resourced so delightfully by Mr Chamberlain.

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Billy Back In the Recording Studio

Billy in the studio

Beowulf Mayfield gets an exclusive photograph of the guitarist back at work in Equator Studios - with the master Charlie Hart engineering and producing.

The album, 'Ghost Music', is scheduled for a download release in April.

But what sort of recording it will be....?

For, since his last contemporary recording, the solo low strung guitar album  ‘Death, Ritual & Resonation,  released in 2015, his minor but chronic 'industrially related' physical issues has meant he hardly picks up the instrument.

And he struggles to make sense of digital download sound and how folks perceive and listen to music these days.

We listen forward to it with with 'bated ears'....

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If Only They'd Learned To Play Music....

If Only They'd Learned To Play Music

Beowulf Mayfield does it again with another stop animation......!

'Meridian Council Estate (Vandalise Tourists' Property Not Residents')' from the critically acclaimed 'Greenwich' album, first released in 1985, Wulfie has created a 'kind of morality tale'. Or, as he puts it, (Another) Cautionary Tale - to go with the  bitter sweet story of Slushy The Snowman...!

You can now enjoy the whole album via your favourite streaming site, or by buying from your preferred online store.

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Listening Club Series Two Box Set Binge Now Online

BJLC Series 2 promo video

The photographer, writer and web-pod-snapcast wonder Beowulf 'Wuilfie' Mayfield continues his inspired analysis of Billy's music - both aurally and in images!

If you enjoy this Series Two Box Set Binge promotional video - spank your mouse here to access all six episodes of Series Two.

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Big Fights!

Jenkins and Messenger face off
Beowulf Mayfield captures Billy and producer Tony Messenger
pathetically attempting to look 'tough'....

The final Billy Jenkins Listening Club snapcast of Series 2 (Episode 6), hears Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield fearlessly entering the ring with producer Tony Messenger, as they discuss the guitarist's 'Big Fights' project!

Get a ringside seat here!

Also, do enjoy Beowulf's complimentary one minute animated video Music Sn-App....!

Big Fights Music Sn-app on Youttube

It's knockout!!

And finally, you can enjoy a page all about the Big Fights in the Billy Webzine, by punching the link here.

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'Scratches' A Jazzwise Top Twenty Album of The Year

Scratches of Spain cover

The essential and knowledgable listeners at Jazzwise Magazine have placed 'Scratches of Spain' in their Top Twenty re-issue Albums of 2017 - alongside the likes of Thelonious Monk, Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz and other legends!

Remember, you can now purchase 'Scratches of Spain' on Billy's brand new very own BANDCAMP site. By doing so, you will be helping him to continue his life's work.

Spank this icon NOW!!


'Oh Si!' (as they say in Spanish.....).

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'Scratches of Spain' Reissued As a Download

Scratches of Spain cover

Some call this Jenkins' classic recording.

From the micky-take Miles cover spoof to the pathetic trumpet playing of Skid Solo over such gems as 'Benidorm Motorway Services', 'McDonald's, 'Cuttlefish' and 'Cooking Oil' - it would be hard to disagree. Billy does. But then he would.....

Release on 9th June 2017 worldwide on download only, this 30th anniversary re-release has been skilfully re-mastered by Andy le Vien at RMS directly from  'direct metal master cut' virgin vinyl.

Featuring wonderful musicians like Iain Ballamy. Django Bates, Dave Jago, Ashley Slater, Roy Dodds, Steve Argüelles and many more, the album documents a week long tour of Spain the guitarist undertook whilst playing with drummer Ginger Baker in 1981.

Writer Hans-Jürgen Schaal recently wrote a brilliant analysis in the German Fidelity magazine between this album and the original 1959 Miles Davis album, 'Sketches of Spain' . You can read it here. (use Google Translate on the top left of the page if needed).

As Jenkins is slowly dragged screaming into this digital age, we at bj.com are delighted to announce that you can purchase 'Scratches of Spain' on Billy's brand new very own BANDCAMP site. By doing so, you will be helping him to continue his life's work.

Spank this icon NOW!!


'Oh Si!' (as they say in Spanish.....).

A 'Top Twenty Re-issued Album of 2017' in Jazzwise Magazine!

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'I'm Staying In the Car!'

Billy staying in the car

In the Listening Club episode five, snap cast meister Beowulf 'Wulflie' Mayfield quizzes Billy on the background to the four stanzas that make up 'I'm Staying In The Car'!

And while you're on the Listening Club page, enjoy the short stop animation video that Mr Mayfield created for the same song!

Meanwhile, enjoy reading many of Billy's blues lyrics here.

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That String Thing.....?

Billy in bed
Beowulf Mayfield catches Billy in bed with Bot....

They say he's a jazz guitarist, they say he's a blues guitarist and a composer who brings many 20th Century popular musical styles into his work.....

But why does he sometimes incorporate classical string instruments into his 'aural art' instrumental pieces?

In the episode four Listening Club snap cast, Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield has a sleepover with the musician. Only problem is, the musicians is rather tired and would prefer a bit of shut eye....

Enjoy 5'34" of Those Scary Strings here.

And explore more about Beowulf's photographic, writing and podcast work here.

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John Jack

John Jack
John Jack. Timeless.....

More sad news as we report the passing of a man Billy considered the 'King of British Jazz' - John Jack.

A mover, shaker, record label owner, promoter, distributor, tireless supporter for so many jazz and improvising musicians for over half a century, John diligently distributed Billy's vinyl recordings through his Cadillac Records for about twenty five years.

When John and his wife Shirley came to a Billy gig (which he often did), the guitarist truly felt he was being in the presence of UK Jazz Royalty and honoured with John's knowledge, wisdom and very presence.
You can read more about John's amazing jazz life in a 2007 interview he gave to Tim Wall for his excellent Wall of Sound blog here.

Wonderful words by pianist Mike Westbrook on the essential London Jazz News. site.

Some words and comments from Oliver Weindling at The Vortex here.

John Fordham writes, as ever, a beautifully informed obituary for The Guardian.

And, finally, words from Matthew Wright for Jazzwise - which do indeed describe John's touching final moment......

Thank you, John.

It was a great honour to know you.


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Salah Dawson Miller

Dawson Miller
Dawson. Skin and bone now silent....

Sad news reaches billy.com that hand percussionist Salah Dawson Miller has quietly slipped away.

A somewhat timeless character, he was very much in time both rhythmically and melodically on some of the key VOGC albums of the 1980's.

His hands shaped and caressed the ensemble sound
from the first 1981 VOGC album 'Sounds Like Bromley', through to 'Greenwich', 'Uncommerciality Vol 1', 'Scratches of Spain' and 'Motorway At Night', amongst others.


He had an enduring ability to rationalise potentially fraught musical situations:
“So I was working with this systems band and the time signatures of the music sort of varied between 7/8, 6/4, 13/8, 64/4, 9/8, 72/16....”
                 "So, Dawson, how did you play it...?”
            “Easy! Just counted in ‘ones’....!”


One example of Dawson's magic can be heard at the end of ‘Brilliant’ on  'Uncommerciality Vol 1'.

He was overdubbing the hand drum, but in his frenzied intensity his headphones fell off - yet his spirit guided him perfectly home.
Except when he got there, he didn’t know where to stop. But it sounded so good it was only fitting that his skin and bones should have the final discourse on the subject matter......


Thank you for sharing your life and your musical magic with us.


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Drumming The Blues

Mike Pickering
Beowulf Mayfield captures Mike Pickering
 in 'H.A.P.P.Y.' mode...

Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield is on a roll - as he produces a beautiful brace of Billy-ness....!

The latest Listening Club episode features drummer Mike Pickering - discussing, amongst several fascinating stories, his role in the formation of the Blues Collective in the mid 1990's and, in doing so, how he eventually fulfilled a teenage ambition....

Meanwhile, Wulfie took Billy down to the Greenwich One Way System and tried not to get him run over, as he melds his photographic skills to the opening track from 'Greenwich' - with another carefully crafted
'Music Sn-App'!

Greenwich One Way System
Spank this image for a whirlwind 61 second high energy hit.....!

Explore more about Beowulf's photographic, writing and podcast work here.

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Billy's Big Basque Blunder

Billy Bilbao Bull
Beowulf Mayfield captures 'bull headed in Bilbao' Bill!

Photographer and podcaster (or, 'snap-caster' - as he likes to call them - in keeping with his photographic interests....) Beowulf 'Wulfie' Mayfield continues his collaboration with Billy as he tells the shameful tale of how, many moons ago, Billy totally destroyed a great gig by uttering just two words....

Get thee to the Billy Jenkins Listening Club now! 

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Billy Takes Over BBC R3........

Billy presents a Mixtape
Beowulf Mayfield catches Billy with a curio.....

Yes! It's true!

Mr Jenkins has been given the honour of presenting his own Mixtape on R3's cutting edge 'Late Junction'!

Well, to be honest, it's on at midnight and only for 30 minutes but, being Billy, you can be assured of an entertaining (and hopefully moving) half hour!

Together with his long time producer Tony Messenger, he decided to attempt, within those 30 minutes, six decades of music and sound influences......

It's being broadcast at midnight on Thursday 27th April and then available
online, for a short period, to listen on catch up.

Sounds unmissable!

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DJ Nick Davies Telephones Billy

DJ Nick Davies
DJ Nick Davies - the 'Crazeology' King!

Billy won't come out to play.....

He finds it hard to travel any great distances....

He hates the telephone and he avoids noisy social environments.....

But intrepid jazz, soul and music fanatic, DJ Nick Davies, who broadcasts on Radio Winchcombe, Soul Legends Radio and other outlets, managed to get the reclusive guitarist to break his silence - in an extraordinarily comprehensive telephone conversation, which now be enjoyed online!

Nick's shows run for three hours and, in Billy's featured episode, he put together a superb and intimate Jenkins insight that runs for the last two hours!

Focusing on a look back at his life, career and collaborators as part of the Billy@60 project, Nick also thoughtfully selected some emphatic Billy recordings to enjoy!

You can hear Nick's telephonic 'broaching of the Billy barricade' either via his Crazeology Radio Show link or The Boogie Wonderland Show  !

Oh Yeah!

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Spring Is A'Coming.....

Arrival Of The Tourists photographed by Beowulf Mayfield

And with it, come the tourists...!

Photographer Beowulf Mayfield creates another marvellous 'Music Sn-app' with 'Arrival Of The Tourists', from the 1985 critically acclaimed vinyl album

Personnel and album details here.

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Recording Billy Changed My Life

No brakes.....
No brakes....!                                                                  Photos: Beowulf Mayfield

Billy's long time recording engineer and producer,Tony Messenger (pictured on the left), is featured on the latest Listening Club 'snap-cast' podcast - where he not only explains how working with Billy changed his life, but how it reminded him of careering downhill in his old Volkswagen with no brakes!

And, judging by the colour scheme of his latest Beetle, it was heck of a 'trip'!

Enjoy the ride here.

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Billy Snaps...!!

Billy Lips
Button your lips, Billy!                          Photo: Beowulf Mayfield

Presenter Beowulf Mayfield and Billy Jenkins get in a bit of a ding-dong on their latest 'snap-cast' podcast, as 'Sade's Lips' and 'smooth jazz' create a two way schism for listeners!

Enjoy eight minutes of confused listening - and other previous 'snap-casts' here.

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Into 2017....

Listening Club

As this technological age increasingly bemuses and confuses many, we at Billy.com can assure readers that the guitarist and composer continues along the slippery and ever narrowing path of free thinking creativity!

Whilst the world wide web slowly catches up with the recent download release of the True Love Collection, coming up in the first two months of this new year will be three more new podcasts, presented by Beowulf Mayfield - the next one now online here.

I Lock The
                                  Back Door
'I Lock The Back Door'.........

The podcasts, or, as Wulfie likes to call them, in keeping with his photographic interests, 'snap-casts' -  are an excellent accompaniment to the joys of Billy's recorded oeuvre.

And, with the guitarist's live performances now seemingly consigned to memory and history, these short radio shows let folks hear the man himself (and some of his collaborators)
speak in an up to date setting.

 You can enjoy the Billy Jenkins Listening Club podcasts here.

Thank you for listening!

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A Festive Tale - And Charlie Hart Speaks

Light Of The Blues

Inspired by Billy's music (and, more's point, the wonderful musicians he plays with), photographer Beowulf Mayfield has created a special Low Season Festive Tale for your entertainment!

Spank the photo or the link here now.

Meanwhile, with another of one of his many creative hats on, Beowulf has been round to Equator Studios to interview long time Billy musician and  producer Charlie Hart.

Charlie Hart

This interview is Episode 3 of the Billy Jenkins Listening Club 'snap-casts' - an occasional series of short podcasts that offer a unique aural insight into Billy' music and modus.

Whack that mouse here - d'yer hear!?

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Classic 'True Love Collection' Album Relaunched As Download



Originally released as a CD album in 1998 and
en route back to the blues and his guitar playing roots, BJ started the reverse trend by exploring Seventies Pop tunes.

Django Bates, Iain Ballamy, Martin France, Dave Ramm, Christine Tobin, Steve Watts, The Fun Horns of Berlin and others weave their unique skills over 'Mellow Yellow', 'Everybody's Talkin', 'Feeling Groovy', 'How Deep Is Your Love', 'Sunny' and other imitation paste gems.

When the album was originally released, the respected comedian, writer and long time Billy Listener Stewart Lee interviewed the guitarist for a Sunday Times article.
It tells you all you need to know - and you can read it here.

Now available from iTunes or your favourite download site.

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Exciting New Billy Podcast Series Begins

Billy Listening Club

A new experience in webcasting has arrived! The Billy Jenkins Listening Club podcast!
Presented by Beowulf "Wulfie" Mayfield, who, apart from being a wonderful photographer (amongst many other talents) and someone with 'history' when it comes to creative podcasting, you'll be able to enjoy Billy's occasional thoughts on music, the world and life in general piped direct to your laptop, tablet, smartphone , or whatever you have that's capable of playing an mp3 sound file - you don't need an iPod!

The first episode is on iTunes or you can hear it by visiting here.

Here's the obligatory promotional video trailer...

Listening Club YouTube promo

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'Controversial' Uncle David Fondly Remembered

Jenkins family in the 1970's
A bunch of Jenkins in the early 1970's.
Billy and Uncle David on the right at the rear....

Billy's uncle (and godfather), the Right Re
verend Dr David Jenkins slipped away on the 4th September, aged 91.

He created panic and controversy amongst believers, Margaret Thatcher, her government and the General Synod when Bishop of Durham (1984-94) - with his outspoken, but entirely rational theological observations.

He even had a Spitting Image puppet made of him (something that no doubt tickled him greatly), being depicted in one episode persuading God to become an atheist......

Although their paths did not cross too often, here, Billy recalls a meeting in 1992:

The VOGC were heading across the north of England towards Newcastle having ‘taken’ Lancaster the night before.

 ‘I know a good place to stop’, says BJ. ‘Bishop Auckland.  There’s this little tearoom….’

This turned out to be Auckland Castle, where Billy’s Uncle David lived on the job as the fourth highest official in the Church of England.

They called him the Bishop of Durham. And what good entertainment he had given. He spoke his mind, he spoke of this, he spoke of that (mostly in a somewhat extended and over circumspect rhetoric)  - and the media had lapped it up, giving the C of E unprecedented publicity and putting the issue of religion, belief and faith into the thoughts of thousands who would have never even considered the stuff.

Jenkins led saxophonist Mark Lockheart, double bassist Steve Watts and drummer Martin France down the drive to the large door with matching knocker. Cousin Rebecca opened it.

           ‘Just come to check out the tied cottage before you get booted out’, said the band leader and tearoom expedition leader, as they filed through into the private quarters.

BJ turned to Cousin Rebecca. “I’ve bought you some chocolates....”.

“Yummy!”, she said, eyes lighting up.

Only her face fell when, on closer inspection, the chocolate bars turned out to be the three ‘UNCOMMERCIALITY’ cassette tapes.....

Tea, biscuits and exchanges of family news completed, the Voice of God were given a tour of the north east’s House of God by, well, Billy’s uncle.

He showed them weapons used by his predecessors to repel insubordinates. Yea - faith, hope and charity. Peace and all that. Love Thy Neighbour - if not I will thee stab.

We had the usual C of E sob stor­ies about building upkeep, the need for visitors to contribute hard cash to keep the building maintained and the problems of living ‘above the office’.

               ‘Just like Wood Wharf Rehearsal Studios’, agreed BJ, whilst making certain in his mind that any predecessors he had had never led armies and given the order to crush rebellion.

We were shown his private chapel. Just like a rehearsal room.

The well practised tour of the house ended, unsurprisingly, where we first came in.

Billy could contain himself no longer.

               “I put it to you, Uncle David, that our ‘religion’, which is music, has caused far less distress in the history of mankind than yours. Would you care to comment?”

And for once, Uncle David refused to answer.

Was it because one should not bite the hand that feeds you, or was it because it was an undeniable truth?

The sun shone brightly on the road to Newcastle.....

Uncle David. A life well lived.

Billy and his family's thoughts are with Becca, Debba, Chris, Tim and their families.

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Pigfoot Plays Billy - Live At The Vortex

PIGFOOTJames Allsop
Batchelor, Clarvis and Noble welcome James Allsop (r) to play Billy

The evening of Saturday 1st October at The Vortex in London N16  is the place to be - for a fascinating performance of some of Billy Jenkins' instrumental compositions interpreted by the cutting edge '21st Century Acid Trad' quartet ' Pigfoot - with Chris Batchelor (
trumpet), Liam
Noble (piano), James Allsopp (baritone saxophone) and Paul Clarvis (drums)!

"..stunning in their originality and almost anarchically gleeful sense of fun.
Pigfoot reminded us that this music was once raucously subversive and
intensely joyous."        

 Matthew Wright - londonjazznews.com

established themselves as innovative interpreters of classic New Orleans jazz with their acclaimed 2014 CD ‘21st Century Acid Trad’. At their ongoing ‘Pigfoot Play’ residency at the Vortex they have been extending their repertoire in all directions, with sold out gigs dedicated to Opera, Motown, Elvis ,1972 and Bacharach - each show unique and unmissable.

And now - they play the music of Billy Jenkins!

Chris Batchelor (trumpet) collaborated with Billy on the legendary 'Scratches of Spain' 1987 album release and the 1988 'Motorway At Night' vinyl release. He was also a featured soloist in a London Meets Vienna ensemble that performed Billy's music in Austria towards the end of the last century.

Liam Noble (piano), like Jenkins, a native of the SE London/NW Kent borough of Bromley, have regularly bumped into each other on the European jazz circuit. And even once played with Billy at the original Vortex in Stoke Newington!

James Allsop (baritone saxophone) studied and explored Jenkins' music and methods with the composer at the RAM.

Paul Clavis (drums) may have been Leonard Bernstein's 'first call drummer' when the legendary conductor appeared in London, but for Jenkins, Paul was the  'eleventh call' drummer when the guitarist was urgently trying to find a percussionist for a Blues Collective gig at Ealing Jazz Festival many moons ago. So enjoyable was the result, Jenkins wished he could have worked with him more often!

Book your tickets NOW!!

Pigfoot Plays Billy Jenkins
Saturday 1st October 2016
The Vortex Jazz Club
11 Gillett Square
London, N16 8AZ

Opening hours:
8pm to midnight daily

Call to book
T: 020 7254 4097 (Mon-Fri 12-6pm)
E: info@vortexjazz.co.uk



REMINDER: Billy Jenkins is currently in an ongoing period of silence. His guitar will not be attending. Neither will the person. He is deeply flattered that Pigfoot are playing his music and assures that every single wonderful musician contributing to the evening's music will be worth the entrance fee alone!

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Steve Morrison - 'Guitar Star'

Here Is The Bues

Great to see and hear
guitarist Steve Morrison - Billy's 'twang twin' in 'Here Is The Blues' wowing the celebrity judges on Sky Arts 'Guitar Star'!

Many folks in SE London have known that for years!

Not only is Steve a great guitarist and performer - but a wonderful songwriter and singer too!

Enjoy this clip of Billy & Steve from 2006 as 'Here Is The Blues' stormed the Broadway Theatre (the one in Catford, SE London - not that one...).

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More Beowulf Mayfield Music Sn-Apps Emerge

                                                          Gives Me The

Continuing the music and photographic creations announced here, and commissioned by billy.com and VOTP Records to celebrate Billy@60, camera creative (and musically gifted too) Beowulf Mayfield has produced some more marvellous musical miniatures!

Extracts from another four Billy recordings - all designed
to offer a moment of escapist balm away from our screen dominated lives - can be enjoyed on this site's YouTube page here.

Do forward to all your online buddies - by doing so, you will be helping to spread the sound of Billy's music!

Meanwhile, you can enjoy more of Beowulf's photographs here.

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Writer Philip Watson Re
calls Billy's Invisible Jukebo

The respected writer and journalist Philip Watson has written to the Billy Office:

Hi Billy,

Long time. Only one time. For The Wire. More than 20 years ago. 

Anyway, was just reading London Jazz News, and well, for no other reason I suppose than it’s your 60th, I thought I send you this, one of my absolute favourite Invisible Jukeboxes, from the many I conducted around that time. 

Originally published in November 1992, you can enjoy reading it here.

And, if you so wish, you can also enjoy the soundtrack to the interview.

You can find out  more about Mr Watson and his writing on his website.

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London Jazz News Features Billy

London Jazz News

London Jazz News
editor Sebastian Scotney
had the inspired idea of asking some of Billy's musical collaborators to say a few words about the guitarist and bandleader.

Here's the complete, unexpurgated texts:

The first time I played with Billy was on Scratches Of Spain around 1987. We had a horn section session at Wood Wharf in Greenwich and Billy was directing us by dancing, lurching around gleefully in front of us as we played.

We were improvising on a track called "Cuttlefish" and someone played something that was stylistically inappropriate, maybe a bit too slick, and Billy said "No, a cuttlefish wouldn't say that".

It was funny but profound, and it changed the way I thought about music from that point on.

Chris Batchelor

I would describe Billy’s musical influence on myself and countless others as nothing short of a musical enema!

His music is highly conceptual yet often blindingly simple and always his musical presence radiates high energy and raw emotion.

I will never forget watching his “Big Fight” concert at Weisen Jazz Festival where he fought drummer Steve Noble in 10 separate 3 minute rounds.

Just at the point where the crowd were screaming for Noble (who had produced an air horn from behind his drum kit) Jenkins staggered off the stage and reappeared on a motor bike, put a mic into the exhaust pipe and kick started it to win the match in a cloud of smoke, engine roar and glory!

Then there was the time when we drove around Newington Green in his three wheeler in the middle of a song! Billy was driving while I took an an alto solo (via radio mic) with the band still onstage at the old Jazz Café. The song? ‘Swing Low Sweet Reliant Robin”

Happy birthday Billy!

Iain Ballamy

I was playing a gig with Billy in a jazz club in Amsterdam way back in the last century.  The audience was attentive in the extreme and treating the gig quite rightly as a serious music occasion.  

Billy had other ideas, and in the middle of one of the numbers,  let go of his guitar, grabbed one of Martin France's brushes and proceeded to brush his hair with it. The audience was astonished, I nearly died laughing, but from then on the whole atmosphere warmed up. 

The power of humour!  Thanks, Billy.

all best

Charlie Hart

I got to know Billy doing the Whose Solo Is It Anyway comedy improvising kids show which we did a run of in the Edinburgh Fringe.

I remember vividly an insane kind of very dark satirical dance/guitar/vocal improv during the Michael Jackson tribute round when we played the track Ben through the PA and contestants were invited to to add whatever they felt was necessary.

This was in 1997 so before Jackson was fully understood to be a twisted puppy but Billy presciently nailed the correct vibe and it was both disturbing, musically amazing, and hilarious.

After this great experience I asked Billy to be in Kidsamonium - show for kids that we did for about 5 years all around Europe - in which he played the character of Billy - a small boy who dreamed of flying.

He also used his glove puppet -Shitey - in the show although he used to call him Sooty nearly all of the time. Shitey was dropped down Oren Marshall’s tuba and was treated pretty badly but got to sing a blues.

We had quite a few celebrity guests and visitors at various Kidsamonium shows and I remember vividly Billy discussing Shitey backstage at the Sage with a fascinated Phil Woods who had watched the show and loved it and Shitey in particular.

Early on in the Kidsamonium journey we did our second ever gig at Cheltenham Jazz festival and there was this intended to be beautiful brass piece with no drums called ‘Being a Kid is Crazy Happy and Sad’ in which Billy would run around trying to fly and crashing into stuff for comedic effect until he eventually stormed off in tears.

I was conducting the horns but as soon as the piece started I heard that I had left the snare on on my drums due to it’s buzzing which I knew was going to bug me throughout the whole piece and I was going to feel frustrated that I had missed that important  but minor detail.

Next thing I know Billy has, without missing a beat, deviated from his usual routine and done a hilarious crash landing into the drum kit, and without giving anything away managed to make the whole room collapse in hysterics and also turn off the snare while he was doing it.

That was the thing about Billy and that show, right from there start he was interested in and aware of and thinking about every level staging, narrative, costume, physical theatre, music, everything - from big picture to the tiniest detail and he was 100% totally committed.

For several years when Billy had stopped doing all other gigs he would still do Kidsamonium and we were so lucky to have him.

It was very satisfying that during the second run of Kidsamonium at The Sage we were lucky enough to be able to actually fly Billy during the show which was a total blast.

The KIdsamonium band did a pub gig during the Orkney folk festival in packed bar in Kirkwall Hotel. Despite it being a folk festival we totally blew the roof off and the crowd was totally cheering and Billy was just blistering, just playing amazing world class guitar in a whole range of styles. That was the thing because of all the other stuff it is easy to forget he is just a phenomenal talent and master on the guitar.

When I got the BBC Jazz Award , which was partly for Kidsamonium, I decided to do a performance with the Kidsamonium group which in retrospect was not a great idea as it didn’t go down well with some of the jazz police and meant I had to accept the award in my Kidsamonium outfit - i.e. dressed as a fat Elvis.

However I will never forget the sense of going into battle with that fearless genius by my side.

Pretty much as soon as I got to the mike to accept the award  in my Elvis outfit I could  hear Billy coming out in his flying helmet and in character and he jumped on Paul Gambacini and we were off....!

So happy birthday Billy you crazy wonderful genius.

Tom Bancroft

In the late 1990s, after a "night of the long knives" with my own jump/jive band,
I informed a blues magazine that I was looking for new personnel.

The last person I expected to call and the first who did was Billy.
I only knew him slightly from using his rehearsal studios in Greenwich but we had a good chat about the trials and tribulations of being a bandleader and he helped me
assemble a new line-up and joined the band on guitar.

 His energy and enthusiasm acted as a powerful catalyst in bringing the best out of the rest of the band. We quickly recorded and released an album with some degree of critical success.
Billy and I then started writing together for the next one, and came up with 8 songs which were the basis of the band's first entirely self-penned album.

One track in particular, "The Big Swinging Dick" (about a tall, jazz-playing private detective, obviously) became a minor cult classic.
Another favourite of mine from those sessions was "We Don't Normally Work This Cheap"
about playing downbeat pub gigs.

Billy warned me when he joined that he got bored easily and might leave at any time but he stayed with us for several memorable years and is
remembered very fondly by all of us who played with him.

- Kit Packham, bandleader, One Jump Ahead.

I first met Billy when he ran Wood Wharf rehearsal studios in the 1980’s in Greenwich where I rehearsed with Loose Tubes a few times depping either for Steve Buckley or Iain Ballamy.

I liked his energy, quick thinking, humour and his unique approach to playing guitar (a mixture of blues and free improv, amongst many other influences) and was flattered when he asked me to record with him.

He was very prolific creatively in the 1980’s and 1990’s, releasing many recordings of different projects featuring many Loose Tubes musicians and I remember that time fondly.

The recording we did together was with Steve Watts and Roy Dodds and I hadn’t done anything like it before, or since.

There were also musical contributions from other Loose Tubes members connected with the Wood Wharf musical community.

Entertainment USA consisted of 8 tracks with each being a tribute/portrait/parody of an American icon from Doris Day to Charles Manson.

I loved the grooves set up from Billy, Steve and Roy and had great time playing with this project.

I was also lucky to do a few other gigs/projects with Billy at that time including in Austria at a festival and got the opportunity to experience http://www.dialogue-in-the-dark.com/

Thanks Billy!

He is an inspiration in that he has his own path and follows it regardless of trends.There needs to be more like him. An independent thinker.

I miss you Billy. Happy Birthday!

Martin Speake

I had 6 great years with Billy's VOGC including the 'football season' at the Vortex - ('Leicester City Leaps In', 'Don't Cry for me you Cheatin, b******'), followed by the fashion season in August. (Not a lot of people remember that Billy was composer in residence for Sittingbourne F.C. - 'Bourne to Win').

Django Bates playing piano in a casual loose fitting lime green cotton dress and myself in a - even though I say it myself - a smart twin-set and pearls, alongside him on digital keys. 

Frantic adulation followed everything Django played - ("too many notes?" as the Emperor said to Mozart). However following Billy's 'Dressing Up for Church' and my crunchy Hammond-type solo, and despite Billy and Iain Ballamy simulating crude vomiting sounds, the audience - even though I say ...... - erupted.

A young man close to me at the front shouted "Nice one, Django!". Despite my withering look and contemptuous expletive, he winked at me followed by an obscene suggestion.

If only it were a living.... 

Dave Ramm

I've only known Billy for 32 years so it's difficult to know what to say.

Most of the time I spent with him was playing music and most of that time was spent
trying not to laugh.

My kids love him and so do I.

A hard working man. Definitely not idle.

I hope he lives long enough to officiate at my funeral.

Oren Marshall

Billy has had a big influence on me.
The vinyl collection in particular (and I'm a proud owner of the whole set) really appeals to me: each album is a concept album which doesn't take itself too seriously.

As a teenager, I wrote him fan-mail, and it was an ambition fulfilled when I joined his Blues Collective. I'm glad to call him a friend and mentor!

Happy birthday, Billy! 

Dylan Bates

Looking back I remember Bill as the sandwich maker & caretaker of a rehearsal studio on the banks of the mighty Thames, home to the disco boats that motor past around 2 o’clock in the morning, little did I know I would one day perform on such a boat. That is all thanks to William Jenkins.

For if it wasn’t for he, I would have had a career playing immaculate ejaculate bop jazz, I’d be wearing a suit, playing the great American song book to middle class white septuagenarian audiences all over the north & west, striving towards the inevitable teaching in a college earning almost enough money to pay tax.

That all ended when Bill introduced me to the ‘deconstruction of recognizable genres’ in music. For years I stumbled around  I-VI-II-V chord progressions [that’s 1-6-2-5 for the hard of hearing] only for Bill to completely up end my quest and tell me the only progression of value is I-IV-V [1-4-5]. Bastard.

Therefore my first 10 years of no professional musical education were for nought. There was nothing for it, I had to earn a living somehow, but it would no longer be ‘sophisticated generic jazz to eat pizza too’.

I tried many things, playing with an ‘ecstatic dance ensemble’, playing with people from different cultures [northern & western] & eventually experimenting with boogaloo on a disco boat. I was lost. But then the very person who stole my fabulous career in jazz bass playing came to me and declared that “Religion is the Blues”.

Of course he was wrong but that didn’t stop me following blindly and accepting all dogma without question.

I didn’t flinch when I faithfully wore the black suit & tie of the oppressor at every performance, was told which root note to play & at what point in the tune, and to play a solo while the rest of the band had a chat. All this for the sake of music.

Lucky for me then that I lived to the end of the 20th Century to witness the death of jazz and as a result, the death of everyone's music careers. The good ones went into teaching, the others moved to cheaper areas and I hear some even got a ‘job’.

Just as the blues no longer has any meaning for the new generation and passes into legend, so must Bill Jenkins and one day, someone will stumble upon his large archive of thematic deconstructionist music and say “will someone put all that shit in the skip”

Happy re-birthday Bill!

Thaddeus Kelly

Billy is a true inspiration and a wonderful human being.
I first saw him play in the Blue Elephant Theatre and his approach blew me away.

Totally unique sense of humour and this comes out in his guitar playing and writing.
Of course there is the bowling captain and the humanist funeral director
and so on.............

Happy Birthday mate! xx

Finn Peters

 I first met Billy with Trimmer and Jenkins at a little festival in Druidstone in West Wales In about 1981.They made us laugh like hell and played great music .

The next year I was playing with them and Continued playing with Billy for 10 years and more .  I loved his music and he wrote great tunes with very funny titles .

When we recorded them we got one go at it even if things were wrong we weren’t allowed to have another take !

When we played live he would make a cue by moving his guitar up and down furiously that we had to play free and wild and destroy the tune.

I liked his tunes so much I was always sad that we finished so quickly and dissolved into chaos .

Billy could play the guitar really fast ,faster than anyone !!

I am very proud to have worked and played with him and it still disappoints when other people I work with don’t have his wonderful irreverence and turn their tunes in wonderful free chaos and call them things like “There’s a Ring Road In My  Garden” and “ The Rust On The Screws Of The Churchill Theatre “

A great and lovely man.

Roy Dodds

When I first started working with Billy we would often watch motorsport crash videos. Usually with titles like, "And They Walked Away".

It took me quite a while to work out the significance of these videos to Billy's approach to making music, but I got there in the end.

Motorsport is for aficionados in the sense that, in order to fully appreciate it, you need to understand how much thought and skill goes into things such as; the way the car is set up; the lines through corners, and many other technicalities.

Also, when everything is going smoothly, the tremendous amount of energy which is in the cars motion is practically invisible. However, if for example two open wheels touch, or there is a mechanical failure, all that invisible energy, with its associated danger, explodes into view: cartwheeling cars; flying debris; squealing tyres. Everyone gasps at those bits.

You don't have to be an aficionado. Billy knew how to make sure that two open wheels touched when we were playing.

He called that quality "Kineticism" and he knew exactly what he was doing when he made it happen. He is without doubt one of the cleverest people I know and a musician of exceptional spirit and creativity.

There is only one Billy Jenkins.

Steve Watts

Billy taught me that a boxing glove really can be as powerful as a flat 9, sharp 11, dominant 13th chord, if delivered with the correct, well intentioned momentum.

He hails from the same urban humblings as myself, and showed me that in this case, it's OK to play the blues in really weird ways without degrading the
 Mississippi River.

He's deadly serious about being very silly, which means he gets away with a lot, in the best possible way.

Arthur Lea

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Jazzwise Review Vortex Celebration


Lovely words capturing the special atmosphere, written by VOTP's very own in house admin marvel, Mike Gavin!

Mr Jenkins sends his
deep, profound thanks and appreciation to Oliver, the Vortex and all the wonderful musicians who created such a magical, musical event!

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Vortex Jazz Club Celebrates Billy

Hot news on the Vortex Jazz Club website:

Celebrating Billy Jenkins’ 60th birthday

Mon 4 July 2016, 8PM

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