This is Local London, January 12, 2001 11:10:

Remember Fleetwood Mac before the packed stadia and the lighter-waving fans? Bass player Bob Brunning does he was in the line-up when they played their first gig.

Bob, 57, from Colliers Wood, says hes been dining out for years on the fact he was with the Mac, albeit for three months, way back in 1967.

But there is much more to the ex-teacher than his brief moment in the spotlight he is a childrens author, has his own group the De Luxe Blues Band and has just started his second blues club.

Bob casts his mind back to the 7th Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival, now the Reading Festival, when he was part of the original Peter Green led line-up.

I knew I was not going to be a permanent member because Peter Green wanted John McVie in the band but he got cold feet because he was earning a good living with John Mayalls band. I was more than delighted to get into it, he said.

John McVie joined and I got what was a promotion at the time to blues band Savoy Brown. Fleetwood Mac went on to become 39 times more popular, but at the time it looked like Savoy Brown could be massive.

Bob started his musical life supporting a certain Tony Blackburn in Bournemouth before Blackburn became a celebrity DJ.

The grandfather gave up the life of a full-time bluesman to teach, but has been playing in various line-ups and has just recorded his 43rd album.

I never strayed from the music business. Ive always played with bands all the way through my teaching career. Ive played with Charlie Watts and supported the legendary Chuck Berry in Amsterdam, said Bob.

Chuck has a reputation of treating backing musicians badly and not wanting them to be paid but we had a great time. We would have paid to play with him.

Creating an alternative music scene in his neighbourhood, Colliers Wood, is also an ongoing labour of love for Bob, who in November started the new BBs Acoustic Blues Club, which runs every Thursday night in the William Morris pub.

My other blues club in the Colourhouse Theatre has been going for four years every Sunday. I wanted to provide a venue for this sort of music because there is such a dearth of that locally, says Bob.

Bob has remained friends with guitar legend Green, who was seriously ill with schizophrenia but is now back doing what he likes best wielding his axe.

Hes doing fine now. Really everyone was very unhappy that he had this mystery illness. Ive asked him down to the club several times but so far hes yet to come, he adds.


Bob is also preaching the rock gospel, as part of the National Curriculum, to a whole new generation of young music fans who would probably only normally listen to boy bands and pop music. Having written one set of books about music which sold 120,000 copies, he is now preparing another set of six, with subjects including punk, blues and country.

After more than 30 years in the business, music is still very much at the centre of Bobs world.