ANYONE involved in the Newcastle music scene acutely understands the reverence held for Mark Tinson, affectionately known as the city's "Godfather of Rock."
Only a fortnight ago veteran roadie Ross Ferguson, who has worked for Elton John, Tina Turner and INXS, credited Tinson with being "responsible for where I got in my career" and "I'd be dead if it wasn't for him."
Ferguson isn't alone. Tinson was a key component in Newcastle's legendary '70s pub rock scene with the bands A Rabbit and Heroes and he's produced acts which followed in their wake like DV8 and The Screaming Jets.
Over the past three years the 67-year-old has shone the spotlight on Newcastle's rock history.
There was his memoir Too Much Rock'n'Roll: A Life in Music, published in 2018, and there's also been a series of concerts at Lizotte's from Tinson's bands Bluegrass, A Rabbit and Heroes and fellow '70s act Armageddon and Girls On The Radio, featuring Pam Gully, Kate White-Flannery and Tinson's wife Julie Wilson. Tinson also performed with prog-rock legend Mike Rudd, who fronted Spectrum and Ariel.
The highlights from those shows will be released on February 28 on the album, Tinno Live @ Lizotte's.
"I didn't really know if I was going to do anything with it, I just thought I'd archive it and see what happens," Tinson says.
"When COVID happened I had a bit of spare time on my hands. I could spend the time it took to get it where I wanted it."
The album features Heroes' (Pete de Jong, Jim Porteus, Phil Screen and Tinson) original hit Baby's Had A Taste, Mike Rudd performing Spectrum's I'll Be Gone, and Mitch Capone doing Stays In Vegas.
The opportunity to share the stage with Rudd was particularly magical for Tinson.
"For me, he was one of my heroes from way back," he says. "He was doing it before I even thought about doing it. To actually get to play with him was a real treat."
Another special occasion captured on the album is the first live performance in 34 years of Tinson's Maitland high school band, Bluegrass, featuring Phil Walker, Greg Lawler and Bob Hanley.
"We were together in 1969," Tinson says. "To play with those guys was like wow, like putting on an old pair of shoes.
"Just listening to what I was mixing, I thought we're pretty good. You just wonder how good were back then when we were playing all the time or whether we've gotten better over the years, it's hard to say.
"Bob Hanley, I was standing next to that guy in 1969 thinking that's what everyone sings like. It's what all lead singers are like. But it's not. He's particularly good."
Tinson will launch the album on February 28 at Lizotte's with a lunchtime show, featuring a star-studded ensemble of Rudd, Bob Spencer (Skyhooks, The Angels), Les Hall (Ted Mulry Gang), Peter Gray (Mental As Anything), Heroes, Bluegrass, A Rabbit, Girls on the Radio and more.