And far from bringing home tales of sex,drugs and rock n roll from New York, Self Made Man turns the focus on something closer to home.
Read his thoughts right here, every week, exclusively on RUSHONROCK.
Many years from now when all of us are blasting away in that music heaven in the sky, someone will make an exciting discovery.
They’ll find out that under that 21st century monstrosity otherwise known as The Gate in Newcastle’s Newgate Street, is another dwelling place.
And if it’s not exactly in it’s former glory, they’ll hit upon a basement building in remarkably good condition.
For a policeman friend of mine informed me that when the much-loved Mayfair closed its doors for the last time in 1999, it wasn’t demolished or concreted in.
Instead, the fire brigade used foam to seal it, effectively creating a large time capsule which only those of a certain age can still recall.
The Mayfair Ballroom, to give the place its full title, opened its doors in 1961 and as it says on the tin, was initially the place for ballroom dancing.
But those of us of a certain generation remember if for its concerts and its rock nights.
Down that sweeping staircase we headed, past the cloakrooms which charged a ridiculous 20 pence per garment and on to the winding bar area where we were served watered down lager in plastic glasses.
Rock nights every Friday were great but it was the concerts which for me hold the fondest memories.
Ted Nugent, UFO and Rose Tattoo, Ian Gillan, the Tygers of Pang Tang and Blackfoot were just some of the bands I saw at The Mayfair, in the case of UFO, it was the last time, they played the venue before graduating to the City Hall.
I’d love to add AC/DC to that list but sadly, tragically, the night I was scheduled to see the band for the first time was the night a small fire meant the gig was cancelled.
It was no consolation to yours truly _ in fact, it made it even worse _ that 24 hours later, AC/DC were able to play the second of their two nights there but to the delight of those mates of mine who had tickets for it.
To this day, they swear blind, AC/DC, with Bon Scott on lead vocals, were never better than when they played to a capacity crowd at the Mayfair.
The Mayfair was in the 70s and the 80s what, to all intent and purpose, the Carling Academy is today, a venue for bands which had outgrown the pub circuit and were on their way up but not quite big enough to earn a City Hall booking.
The Carling Academy has been a hugely welcome addition to the Tyneside music scene but I doubt it will ever be loved in the way The Mayfair was.
Watching from the balcony not only gave you a wonderful view of the band, it also offered the chance to pour stale beer on those below. Like everyone else, I had nights when I was culprit and also nights as a soaked victim.
That balcony would never pass todays’ health and safety rules with only a flimsy railing to prevent those at the front crashing down on those below.
For those who, like me, still go misty-eyed when recalling such memories, may I recommend, the wonderfully-titled Ballroom Blitz, an excellent website which lists all the band who ever played at The Mayfair.
Set up by Marshall Hall, who played there in 1980, it showcases a book by the same name he is bringing out about the history of one of the North East’s favourite musical haunts. The author is asking for contributions from those who frequented the place and includes his email address on the site.
Perhaps some of you reading this will have your own memories which deserve to be put down in print.