"I’d like to contribute a bit of history of my own about a Preston band called The Hookers of which I was a member. We formed in 1962 when we were all still at school.
Our first Gig was at the Top Rank and we must have gone down pretty well as we were asked to play nearly every Tuesday night and Saturday morning for quite some time after. We were the first live band ever to play at the Top Rank which caused quite a stir at the time. We soon had quite a following of kids who must have been responsible for chalking our names on numerous walls around Preston.
We also played a lot of the youth clubs, some art school bashes and a cellar club called The *Caves, Prestons’ answer to The Cavern! It was at the Top Rank when a bloke from ‘The Merseybeats’ management came to see us and was interested in us signing with them. Unfortunately Baz Edwards had just decided to join the army so that was that! Incidentally Baz Edwards could give Mick Jagger a run for his money as far as showmanship goes.
When the original Hookers line-up split Paul Varley joined a band called
MBQ - The Modern Blues Quartet who were previously known as The Vogue from Warrington - with Derek Coe and Malcolm Tansley Tyrell - Tans as he was known. I’m not sure who the forth person was but it might have been Pete Illingworth. Maybe somebody could help me with that one. Kev Savage and myself kept the name The Hookers and formed a new band and had quite a succession of good musicians with us - noteably Phil Kehoe - an excellent drummer.
I still see Kev Savage regularly and now and again I bump into Baz Edwards but I haven’t a clue what happened to Jerome Dineen. If anyone knows of him please let me know. Incidentally The Hookers were named after John Lee Hooker and not an American streetwalker!"
Phil Barnes: December 2011