THE SWINGING HANGMEN
The Hangmen: The Matadors
Mick Hogan: Bass Guitar - Vocal. John Entwistle: Lead Guitar -Vocal.
Harry Eastham: Drums.
"The Swinging Hangmen started out life as The Matadors in early 1964 and within months changed their name to the Hangmen and soon after when I took over in September 1964 we had yet another name change to The Swinging Hangmen.
When I joined the band as agent, the original line up was a three piece of lads from the Haslingden area. Around the back-end of 1964, Harry left the band and was replaced by two guys from the Burnley area - Terry Bannister: Drums and Dave Clarke: Lead vocal - now making the band a four piece outfit.
We practiced in the very early days at The Unity Club at top of Church Street, Haslingden - now a private house. Also, I remember trying to sing a number or two at the St Marys Junior School behind Piccadilly Street, and then in the upstairs room of The Thorn Pub and The Bull - both in Haslingden, Bridge End – Helmshore and the Ambulance Hall in Haslingden: A very well known gig on Thursday nights. Blimy! we did have some practice rooms; we were always getting booted-out for being too noisy.
I remember one of the first gigs we did after I became their sgent – The New Hebers WMC in Middleton - 25th September 1964 and again on 1st November. Paid up after the 2nd spot for being too loud. This was not the first time - it happened time and time again. I would tell the guys to turn it down but whenever you said turn it down they just went the other way and turned it up. I suppose looking back now it really wasn’t that loud compared to what you got in the 80s, but probably too much for some of the early 60s patrons.
As the band got on I remember what was to become our intro' number called The Hangman - which was written by John & Mick and it went something like: “We went through the Ch-ur—ch yard, who who who who, ah ah ah ah, Worms crawled in and worms crawled out – who who who who ah ah ah ah….. and on and on - but forgot the rest – can you imagine what we got away with and the kids loved it! I suppose in a way we were a bit daring to say the least for that period!
We did regular spots for Gerry Millman who was the booker for Bill Benny whom if I remember correctly had The Cabaret Club, The Devonshire Club and The New Levenshulme Sporting Club - regular from 16th May 1964. We were always the bottom of the bill, yet regular did the double between the Devonshire and Levenshulme, and on one occasion actually did the Cabaret Club. These were cabaret clubs and great named acts appeared on the bill. Our band was basically used for opening at one club and then closing at the other. I can also remember another name Bill Kerfoot, who I think had something to do with these gigs."
Bryan Yorke: March 2012