including Bill Hart from Lanky Beat and Lankykats.
ALL BRICKED UP!
After a long and arduous campaign Ian Gregson, lead singer fronting Ian & The Rebels from Ormskirk, proudly show off the unique prize from the bands tenacious efforts for their overdue recognition of playing at the world famous Cavern Club in Mathew Street, Liverpool in 1963.
Celebrating In Mathew Street, Liverpool.
Ian Gregson - Keith Hubbard - Roy Smith - Charlie Gallagher - Derek Brough
Due to doctors order's, the original drummer Chris Kenny has been replaced by Charlie.
There are now around 2000 bricks in the iconic attraction, and to qualify for a brick in The Cavern Club Wall of Fame, valid proof or evidence of a performance needs to be provided for an inclusion. The band have powerful memories from the times back in the early sixties but that, it seems is not enough. Nothing could be found - a poster, a news ad', or anything else that could connect the band with playing at the club.
However, and to the rescue, came a vital breakthrough. That's when a local active booking agent, who remembered clearly that all those years ago he had booked them to play on the legendary stage; promply wrote aletter ofconfirmation. The Cavern Club management were then delighted to commission the new brick, adding a little bit more of the story to the history of Mersey Beat.
Bill Hart: October 2014
A LANCASTRIAN LEGACY
On the A58, Bury New Road, Breightmet, Radcliffe, Lancashire.,
It brought back some memories seeing this newspaper article on the death of Johnny Kidd.
He was on his way to appear at the Nevada Ballroom in Bolton when the crash occurred. I was playing there with the Phil Foster Orchestra and we we made aware of the accident during one of our early spots on stage and we had to make some hasty arrangements to change the night's programme to get through and also make the sad announcement known to the audience.
I was looking forward very much to seeing The Pirates again as I was on on the support bill with The Invictorswhen we played the Bolton Press Ball at Bolton Palais in 1964 or 65 - not sure which year now as it was a long time ago. They were great live and also had a guy on Hammond organ.
50 years on, Lankykats Charity Music Collective will celebrating The Fab Four's one and only visit to The ABC Ritz Cinema in Wigan on the 13 October 1964. In addition, The Beatles played venues all over Lancashire but they are few compared to the many they played at home in Liverpool, in Manchester and subsequenly many world wide after becoming internationally famous.
The Nelson Imperial Ballroom or the 'Imp' as it was know locally. Darwen Co-oporative Hall, Blackburn King Georges Hall, Preston Public Hall, the Floral Hall's Fleetwood and Morcambe together with the Queens and ABC Theatre's in Blackpool.
In South Lancashire they played in the Plaza Ballroom, St Helens, The Queens Hall, Widnes, Bell Hall, Warrington, Leigh Casino, the Town Hall, Earlestown, Newton le Willows and the Co-oporative Hall, Middleton together with the Astoria in Oldham; both in location in north Manchester.
Southport in west Lancs was a close-to-home-favourite destination for the earlier incarnations of the Beatles which featured Pete Best and Stuart Sutclifff in their line-up; ala pre Ringo! The Southport Floral Hall, The Queens Hotel which is just over the road opposite. The Little Theatre, The Cambridge Hall now the Southport Arts Centre. Unsung venues like The Glen Park Club on Lord Street, the Air Training Corps (ATC) Club, and the Devonshire Labour Club and the Odeon Cinema where they played on six consecutive nights.
Bill Hart of Lankykats remembers the night in Wigan very well... "All my mates had got their tickets before me and I suppose was a little bit slow on the uptake. However, I luckily got three tickets for the second show starting at 8:35pm; the first show had commenced at 6:20pm.
Together with my sister Elaine age 9 and her mate Maureen 10 and myself as 'big brother' at 17, made our way down Station Road where the fans from the first show were spilling out of the Ritz in their hundreds and mixing with the incoming fans like us.
As kids we had never felt this kind of buzz and exhilaration before, mixing with noise of the diesel engines of the idling buses parked the full length of the street, the dampness underfoot and the tall dimly lit street lamps, we thought though that we'd arrived on another planet!
Next thing we were inside and making our way up the cinema stairs to find our seats. We were on the back row of the 'Gods'. The stage from this vantage point was positively tiny and when the curtain rose and the first act took the stage we didn't quite know what to make of it. However, we soon got in the swing and and has a great time and came away truly grateful that we had made it see the 'Boys' in flesh before they went on to conquer America and to eventually dominate the world of rock 'n roll music."
This was The Beatles' only ever visit to Wigan and the was the fourth date of their 'Star Scene' 1964 British tour. The Mop-Tops were paid £850 for their two 30 minute sets contained 10 songs: Twist And Shout, Money (That's What I Want), Can't Buy Me Love, Things We Said Today, I'm Happy Just To Dance With You, I Should Have Known Better, If I Fell, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day's Night and Long Tall Sally.
The support acts on the tour were The Rustiks, Sounds Incorporated, Michael Haslam, The Remo Four, Tommy Quickly and Mary Wells, and the compere was Bob Bain. The evening's two shows began at 6.20pm and 8.35pm. Both shows were a sell out. A five band rock 'n roll line-up will be playing at The Standish Unity Club Live Lounge in Cross Street, Standish to commemorate this momentous occasion on Thurs 2nd October. Admission is £2 on the door and starts at 8:00pm prompt.
Funds raised to support the five 2014 nominated Lankykats charities and worthy causes.
"The Beatles came to Wigan three months after the release of A Hard Day's Night and three months before the release of Beatles For Sale and played a sell-out performance before hundreds of Wigan fans and a small child called Stuart Maconie; who took along his mum. www.lankybeat.com/programs.html
Ormskirk's Ian & The Rebels have a unique claim to fame at the Cavern Club - but not in the way you might probably think!. One major historical ommision of their glittering past has recently been revealed. As yet there is no official record of the many appearance's they there made prior to the club closing in the 70s - so that means the band don't have their very own cherished brick in The Cavern Wall of Fame on Mathew Street.
To put matters right, they need to find conclusive evidence from somewhere; a Cavern ticket stub, a poster, a small advert' or perhaps clipping from a 1960's newspaper of the day. To date nothing has turned up as yet, but Ian Gregson is determined not to let matter lie.
"We are on a mission, said Ian. I have contacted the Cavern Club, but they are adamant they must have proof and not just our say-so before they can act on our behalf. They say that the historical integrity of the Wall must be maintained at all costs, so until something positive turns up, we will have to wait. I just hope someone, somewhere after reading this, will have a magical 'eureka' moment and get in touch with some good news.
It would certainly solve our problem big-style. Nearly 2000 bands are represented with bricks in the wall and hopefully our Lankykats appearance after all these years will carry some weight with the club's management towards some recognition; after all, we're not called the 'Rebels' for nothing!"
Ian Gregson with his mock 'Ian & The Rebels' brick, which he proudly showed off
recently, when the band made up for a 51 year absence at the Cavern Club in July 2014.
Situated on the NEMS offices wall, Sutherland House in Argyll Street in London's West End next to the London Palladium, the theater where crowd frenzy over a Beatles live TV show in 1963 inspired the term Beatlemania.
It Never Happened as it Should..
"The appearance of Jerry Lee Lewis at Nelson Imp' on October 15 1966, which was due to be the opening date of his UK tour, was cancelled due to his flight from America being delayed. The tour actually commenced the following evening in Bradford.
Screamin' Jay Hawkins plays the sax at the Ricky Tic Club in Windsor
One other that I know definitely didn't happen was Screamin' Jay Hawkins on Saturday Feb 23, 1969. He was due to appear on a double bill with the Fantastic Johnny C. I went to the Imp' that night to be told at the door that only one of them had turned up, and it was the Fantastic Johnny C who appeared that night. I notice you have Johnny C listed as Feb 22, so he may have played two nights - although I doubt it."
Lee Wilkinson: July 2014
Any more stories like this out there in Lankyland?
Sunday afternoon 6 July is a very special occasion for three of the seven Lankykats bands playing this year. For The Topspots, Ian & The Rebels and The Cheetahs will be returning, paying homage and recreating their fondest memories of sixties glory.
Originally Ricky Gleason & The Topspots played extensively in the Cavern and The Topspots too, gigged there in their own
right on many more occasions.
On stage at Cavern back in the early sixties we posed for an advertisement for the
Milk Marketing Board and here we are doing it all over again 50 years on..
Ian & The Rebels too, have a similar claim to fame at the Cavern Club. Unfortuately however, there is no official record of the many appearence's they there made prior to the club closing in the 70s - so that means the band don't have their very own cherished brick in The Cavern Wall of Fame on Mathew Street.
Ian Gregson is adamant that this historical omission will soon be put right. Ian said, "Nearly 2000 bands are represented with bricks in the wall and hopefully our unlikely appearence after all these years will carry some weight with the club's management towards some recognition. We're not called the Rebels for nothing y'know!"
Keith Hubbard: June 2014
The Cheetahs journey by the long and winding road back to Cavern was a totally unexpected wait. Just over a year ago they only had vague and distant memories of their playing in the most famous club in the world in the sixties. Today, after an amazing couple of get-together's at Lankykats after 45 years since playing last, they're heading once more for the dizzy heights rock 'n roll heaven.
Bill Hart: June 2014
ROCK 'n MEMORIAL
The Sixth Generation graced Lankykats back in July 2013.. This is what they were up to last weekend.
The reflection of the white pole in the background is part of the Lincoln Memorial - Washington DC.
I was lead guitar in the resident band there Michael & The Huntsmen. At one time, it actually had a live trio in the front room and our gang in the back room ie; two events on at the same time. One night, Billy Fury came in - so I'm told - and we used to see The Royal Brothers wrestlers in there too on occasions.
The landlord was Tommy Howarth who was a really off-the-wall character. We had various band instruments and equipment, but today, people would die for our 62' Fender Stratocaster's and Jazz Bass's and our Selmer Amps' - which seemed more powerful than Vox stuff. After gigs, I used to go on direct to parties with my guitar after closing, which was very late. Wonderful times.
Wigan Casino alleyway
I used to play in The Eddie Robinson Bandon Friday nights at the Casino. Not many people seem to recall this outfit. We also played at Bolton Casino as well. We were a several-piece band and played mainly 'pops' and Eddie's wife used to sing; it would be about the time of the hit 'Bluebird'. I remember parking my van up the alleyway at the side and nobody bothered, not even when I was joined by some nice company in the back. Great times.
Neil Smith: May 2014
Frank Ifield was never rock 'n roll - but he had something indefinable about him which hit the spot with the 15 year old me when I first heard this voice singing his massive UK No 1 country song, 'I Remember You', back in 1962.
I would put his record on our radiogram and sing along with him for hours. I too could hit those high notes.. but I couldn't yodel for toffee. Of course, there were no such thing as wall-to-wall videos back then, we had to rely on black & white live TV to see from where these wonderful voices came - and I just luvved the socks off Frank's!
Elvis of course dominated the teen music market.. but pure talent of any discription will always shine through in any genre or era.
Experience music history at its best as one of the finest gentlemen of the music world and 60’s icon, Frank Ifield heads to the Epstein Theatre on Wednesday 28th May 2014. In an “in conversation” event he narrates his rise to stardom and is joined on stage by a musician and a singer who will perform a selection of great songs from the era.
Frank came from humble beginnings; singing in Coventry bomb shelters during the war and, after a rollercoaster journey, climbed the ranks of the music industry, eventually topping the bill at Wembley Stadium and at Royal Command Performances and enjoyed success with four number one singles I Remember You, Lovesick Blues, Wayward Wind and I’m Confessin’.
In this special evening, Frank will tell the stories behind his rise to fame, what life was like in the heady days of the ‘60s through to the day it all went bad - when he heard he would never sing again. Audiences will laugh with him as he recalls the problems he had with a young support act called The Beatles, cry when hearing how he had the thing he loved the most in life torn away from him and join in with the numbers that made him famous.
An event not to be missed by anyone who lived through the ‘60s, with a chance to meet the era’s biggest pop star afterwards as he makes himself available for photographs and autographs.
Frank Ifield- The Man Himself
Date: Wednesday 28th May 2014
Ticket price: £16.50
Door Time: 6:30pm
Start Time: 7.30pm
HOW TO BOOK
Box Office: 0844 888 4411* online at www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk*or in person at the Epstein Theatre Box Office from 2pm – 6pm Mon-Thu and 12pm – 6pm Fri & Sat.
It was Harold Pendleton 50 years ago this month who pioneered the original jazz venue which went on to be as world famous as the Cavern Club in Liverpool in the 1960's. A former Boys Brigade drummer, he grew up in Southport where he develped his love of jazz music. Moving south in 1948, as an accountant, he joined the popular London jazz circuit where he became friends of many musicians including Chris Barber and his famous jazz band.
The Marquee Club on Oxford Street was Harold's 1958 creation which upheld the quality traditions of jazz music as well as promoting Dixieland jazz bands. In 1964, just around the corner, he moved the club to its most famous location: 90 Wardour Street, Soho. From here the club helped to develop a new kind of music which attracted the attentions of a new kind of audience.. rythmn and blues.
The band list of fame is both legendary and almost endless.. The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeplin, Pink Floyd to name but a few. But Harold was a visionary too, and it was he who became the father of the National Jazz Festival which soon morphed into and was renamed The Reading Rock Festival in the 1970's. So we Lankylander's can certainly be proud of the vital part and contributions our fellow countyman made to the world of popular music.
Very few 'Lancastrian' bands ever played at The Marquee. It was David John & The Mood and Little Free Rock from Preston, together with The Clayton Squares from Liverpool and solo's Georgie Fame and Lemmy before his Motorhead days who got the honours back then.. but neither however, did that playing honour ever go to The Beatles. More Here.. Click on..
Bill Hart: March 2014: Pic courtesy: The Sunday Express
"Brian Rossi was the frontman with The Wheels throughout the sixties and here he playing drums and doubling-up as the resident compere sometime a little later on. The pic shows The Queens - Dolphin Bar in Cleveleys late 60's early 70's. I left there in 1972 and I didn't see much of him after that. I don't know who the guitar vocalist is.. Maybe your Lanky Beat readers might know?"
John Julian Winstanley: January 2014
I am trying to find out if Anthony Hutchinson played the bass guitar for The Cadillacs during the early 60's?
I would be grateful, if you have any information you have about him, as he is my dad. We lost contact with him over 25 years ago and we are trying to find out, if the band members that he played with are still around, or if there is any memorabilia, i.e. posters etc?
Further to a request on your website, from Maree asking about her dad Anthony Hutchinson who she as had no contact with for tweny five years. She wanted to know if her dad played bass with The Cadillacs? If it was the group from Widnes the answer would be yes. The Cadillacs started out as Rocky Stone & The Pebbles prior to them changing their name. I knew Maree's dad as Tony. He lived in Chesnut Ave, Widnes. I played with Tony in The Cadillacs before joining The Cheetahs.
The Cadillacs eventually became The Addicts who cut a record on the Decca label. Sadly Geoff Keeley who wrote the two songs on the record, passed away earlier this year. Geoff was a great musician and a gentleman.
Graham Lythgoe, Chris Hartley and Bill Hart at Aintree Race Course Guitar Show today. Packed to the rafters and three live bands played too.. One of them was The Kappa Band.. luv to see them at Lankykats..
Thanks to Peter and Gail Ho'arty for the free charity stand..
NOW and THEN it WAS..
"If ever a single picture solves a mystery - this is it! In fact, it's two picture's in one, showing the original Cavern Club in Mathew Street, Liverpool and its street level location to the new version situated further along.
75% of the underground Cavern is allegedly original, however, it is built at right-angles to the street where the former one ran parallel. What I say is - who really cares? It's still the most magical of palace's of rock 'n roll - and long may it reign forever!"
Bill Hart: December 2013
"After The Shadows drummer's Tony Meehan and Brian Bennett, the Beatles Ringo Starr replaced them and he became this 1960ish rookie beat drummers musical inspiration. He was the first to use the now ultra-famous Ludwig Super Classic 'Black Oyster Pearl' Kit.
Not to be outdone however, Clarlie Watts meanwhile, had found the same impressive inspiration too in this luxury kit. With its unique sound and good looks - this - to we novice stickmen in the UK - was the American dream of drum kit heaven come true - and he acquired one too.. However, the same colour kit would just not be seen to do. It had to have different look to mark out a distictive and unique Rolling Stones image from that of the forerunning and trail-blazing stuff of The Beatles.
This is Charlie's Sky Blue Oyster Pearl version - and it's just like mine. However my kit is an October 1967; Charlie's hails much earlier. From these pics, I guess 1964.
Mike Hurst & The Trekkers - Preston The Incas - Widnes
Of course I wasn't alone in my quest to aspire the best of the drummers kit best. World-wide, Ludwig sold many similar and countless kits to the up-and-coming drummer kids like me and now they are a cult-drum-nerd's-collectors item commanding many thousands of £pounds..
At a live gig, as a museum exhibit and as recording kit the 'Super Classic' lives-up to its prestigious flagship title.
American drummer David Walenga of The Sixth Generation found that they still performed admirably. Museum curator Bernie Fullalove with Yvonne Robins in The Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington at 'The Summer and The 60's' Exhibition 2013. And in the studio too.. they still work their magic!
At £450 this kit was expensive. Paradoxically, it has proven itself over the many years, to be one fantastic bargain. This was the cost of the kit that had a 20" Zildjian cymbal with a pair of 14" Hi-hats. The fittings were Rogers as they were deemed superior to Ludwig's own make. I could have put a brand new Morris Mini on the road for the same price, so compare that to todays prices. Not that my band earnings at the time would know it. I bought it 'to go pro'. However, within six months that dream had belly-flopped. It's a rare chance you take and I was young enough to cope, but financially, I soon found I had a morgage to pay, a wife and two children to keep and I still had around £150's worth of outstanding payments on it. Happily, going as a drummer into the social club scene as a second job, soon wiped off the irritating debt.
Originally, I had intended to purchase the Black Oyster Pearl outfit, so getting the Sky Blue Oyster Pearl as it happened, became a something of small lottery. The story goes that I ordered my kit from William Leyland of the L.E. Agency. It had to be collected from London with another order for a second identical kit. The two kits arrived. However, a rarely seen and very sheepish William explained that he couldn't get two Black Pearls; only one - the other being a Sky Blue. So he gambled that one of us would compromise. He was right - in a way! Tom Casey, drummer of The Answers arrived soon after. The second kit was for him. We couldn't agree upon who should get their own kit of choice as we had both ordered and wanted the Black version. William persuaded us to toss a coin for it. 'Agreed. Heads or tails, Bill?' 'Heads.' I lost. Tom made his choice!
I have never, ever regretted that loss of the toss. Why? Because that kit - as time has unfolded - eventually became a part of me. I could never sell it and I would hope that someday it will find its way into a museum or historical archive or similar and preserved for posterity - My Ludwig Sky Blue Oyster Pearl Super Classic: A true piece of rock 'n roll history, band architecture and the legacy of a huge dose of a playing lifetime of musical joy and total 'Satisfaction'."
"Hey Keef.. Wotcha fink of the Ludwig?" "Crap colour Charlie!"
Bill Hart: December 2013
'Warrior of Steel'
Getting together over two years ago, Thunderfoot evolved as a Lankykats 'scratch' band when they first jammed together at The Standish Unity Club. Intitially named The Bedrocks, their drummer Roy Davies - formerly with the 60's band's The Blue Diamonds and Pokie - sadly passed away almost a year ago.
In fitting tribute to Roy, the band was determined to carry on in his name - in fact they carried on in his nickname - which is 'Thunderfoot'. John Bass of The Olympics and Ipso Facto with Graeme Tosh on Keyboards were sensitively recruited and away they went. Colin Edwardson on bass guitar, Mitch Mitchinson of Ipso Facto and Pokie, Keith Wright of The Sportsmen and Mick Hannan of The Trakkerscomplete the line-up on double lead guitars with Mick on lead vocals.
All the band members take on a lead vocal role and are proud to demonstrate their close harmonies in many of their songs. Song writing too is a major strengh of Thunderfoot, which more than completes this polished rock 'n roll talent - as the Youtube video clip above testifies.
Thunderfoot are resident house band at The Swinley Beat Klub, newly formed in The Swinley Club, Coppull Lane, Wigan on the last Thursday of every month.
Wrightington Hospital Radio chief Diane Herring was delighted to receive two unexpected emails last week. The message in them was clear and to the point. "Welcome back and best wishes for the new studio launch on Wednesday 24 July 2013. Shaun O'Loughlin and Sam Tomkins." Wigan Rugby League Football Club.
All the heartache and hard graft of the last 12 months had come to fruition for Chairperson Diane and her hardy team of volunteer broadcasters and helpers. "From that dissapointing moment last year when we were told to shut down the studio and vacate the uninhabitable 18th century old court yard building, we were on a mission. The Hospital Trust offered us some new accomodation just off the entrance hall but we needed to find £20k to fix it all up to the highest standards befitting of the 21st Century," said Dianne. "Off we went to raise the funds in any way we could. We were doing okay and is was slowly paying off, when an unexpected benificiary showed up and offered to fund the full amount on the spot. Now we could get down to the serious business of studio design and construction. It was a first for me! I'd never done a design and build of this sort before. I do sound systems for the likes of Lankykats and clubs and pubs. That's my job.. as well as DJ-ing all over the northwest with The Russ Winstanley Northern Soul Shows, so I just got stuck in with the other volunteers and here we are!
We cobbled the original studio equipment together, introduced some major upgrading and now we are at last on air broadcasting to patients and staff between Wigan's Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and here at Wightington Hospital."
The 'old Studio had been around for 40 years and during that time many personalities had paid a visit. Here Frank Sidebottom shows off Little Frank.
Blitzed! The Old Studio.
Diane also had another heart warming story to tell Lanky Beat. "This week many of the long serving volunteers received due recogntion of their unstinting service to the hospital community.."
Well done to you all.. from me too.. It is an honour to be a part of it all.. And I got the T shirt!
Bill Hart August 2013
PS: The Lanky Beat Show will be back in September with 13 shows planned for broadcast before the new year.
This is a sad story..
Recently on holiday, I went on a River Thames sightseeing cruise to see this.. It's the River Thames Flood Barrier in Woolwich east London. Then I saw this..
The tour guide on board explained this once sea-going vessels' sorry plight in as few dismissive words as it was possible to find. "This 'boat' (no name given) was bought by a speculative Chinese entrepenuer who was hoping to turn it into a floating 'night club'. However, strict Regulations for vessels using the Thames meant he couldn't obtain an appropriate licence for this kind of use."
I recognised it straight away: The Royal Iris. "So it no longer floats and and is bits of it are breaking away and soon it will worth less that it's scrap metal value."
I waited for more information from him. It never came. He prattled on about London being well and truly flooded and under 6 feet of water by now if it were not for 'The Barrier'.
This was formerly a River Mersey ferry boat and.. world famous Merseyside and iconic rock 'n roll cruiser.. The guide was blissfully unaware that he was in the presence of a truly historical rock legend venue. In the early 1060's The 'Iris' played regular host to the many hundreds of local Liverpool groups playing in the area.
Saturday nights and numerous special occasions saw The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Fourmost, Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes, Rory Storm & The Hurricains et al - with their soon to be famous drummer Ringo Starr in their line -up, playing on board the then knicknamed 'Chip Butty Boat' (I'll let you work that one out yourself!).
All these facts were missed out by the young man with the micophone who only seemed concern was for a good tip at at the end of the trip. Indignant, I felt inclined to put these important matters to rights, but then I had second thoughts. 'He's' probably not interested in what an 'ole rocker-roller like me thinks, so I didn't drop him a tip; I scowled at him instead. Sad innit!
"A pic taken in the attic of St Thomas (old) Vicarage in Warrington Road Ashton-in-Makerfield, Nr Wigan. We rehearsed there for a few months prior to our first booking. The Vicarage was used as a youth club for a short time before it was demolished about two years after this photo was taken.
Ian Robinson: Maracas. Alan Hodson: Guitar. Ken Eden: Bass Guitar. Paul Robinson: Drums. Wally 'Walter' Hesketh: Guitar.
Alan (Oggie) has a Hofner Verithin, I have a Framus Star, Wally has a Hofner Galaxy and the drums are Premier. No amps are shown in the pic, at that time I think we had one Vox AC30 which we plugged the three guitars and two mikes into, the Vox had six inputs. Soon afterwards we got three 15 watt Wem amps for the guitars and used the Vox for the mikes." Ken Eden: January 2013
Note from Bill Hart: This pic has been chosen for the front cover of the new LANKY BEAT II Book..
A Couple of Wigan Memory Jerkers..
John Cross: January 2013
A RARE OLE' COLLECTION..
"I came across these LPs in my collection the other day whilst rummaging through for other stuff and they feature some interesting songs and bands. I have a library of LPs and singles, so finding any particular one at request, is virtually impossible; like finding one small book in a Library when the books are not in any order, just randomly shelved.
I have an original album of King Size Taylor & The Dominoes released in the very early part of the sixties; circa 1962. This album was never released in the UK. I also have an original Star-Club album - circa 1964 - which was never released in the UK and the album features a great selection of beat bands.
Probably, one of the most fascinating things (using the word thing because it is not exactly an LP) is a full radio broadcast about The Beatles. This item is a set of vinyl LPs (30 x 12"LP) + hand-typed papers detailing every minute of each vinyl + other papers. This was specifically made for the radio station and has never been issued to any shop for sale. It is a full broadcast which would have lasted weeks - 30+ solid hours of broadcast - featuring interviews with The Beatles and songs -some very obscure - by The Beatles. I believe, it is the only copy of its kind; so you cannot get any rarer.
So to explain the above LP covers: Firstly! The Kinks LP was pressed and released in France. The Hollies LP is a double LP which was pressed and released in Germany. Here are the other four LPs..
'A Whiter Shade of Pale' features:
'The Gibsons', 'The Shapes & Sizes', 'The Truth', + Dave Berry, The Move, Small Faces,
Chris Farlowe, The Animals, The Fortunes, Paul & Barry Ryan.
'3 of the Tops' features three groups:
'The Tremeloes', 'The Love Affair', 'The Marmalade'.
'BEAT of the GROUPS' features:
'The Manchester Playboys', The Dakotas', 'The Rags', 'Dave Gordon & His Rebel Guys'
'The Newcomers', 'Frederic & the Rangers', 'The Royal Four'.
- '40 Star-Club HITS' features:
'King Size Taylor & the Dominoes', 'Ian & the Zodiacs', 'The Searchers', 'Manfred Mann'
'Tony Sheridan & the Beatles' (these are circa 1961 tracks before they signed to EMI),
'The Swinging Blue Jeans', 'Casey Jones & the Governors', 'Lee Curtis & the Allstars',
'Alex Harvey & His Soul Band', 'Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders', 'The Remo Four',
'The Hollies', 'The Dave Clark Five', 'The Tremeloes', 'The Phantom Brothers', 'The Londoners'.
Obviously, the most interesting are the ones connected to Lanky Beat. But, there are some extremely strange bands and interesting tracks. I think, those strange names never had a record deal and never got the chance to release a single, so recordings were made and stored back in the 1960s. I believe, non of the LPs were ever released in the UK."
Ian P: January 2013
RARE MOD.. Volume 4
Just to say thanks for listing my book "Cavern After Hours" on Lanky Beat*. You might also be interested to know further developments with the 'Perfumed Garden' band as below. I have also attached the Rare Mod Album Cover for your reference and also notes from my web site.
Back in 1968 some weeks passed from a previous recording session at Cam records before the Perfumed Garden received an set of acetates from that session. One of the songs recorded during that session was a song called Cover Girl. The group were disappointed with the result and in the end decided, as they could not afford another £35 ( a fortune back in 1968 ) studio session, to chuck the recording away and forget about it. For almost 45 years those recording lay in a dusty attic.
Now almost 45 years later after sitting at the bottom of other recordings, the dust has been blown away and the result...."Cover Girl" has now been remastered and is available on
Rare Mod Volume 4.
Rare Mod is a series of compilation album's available in several formats
including CD. Vinyl LP & MP3 download.
Go to www.acidjazz.co.uk for more details or buy direct from Amazon. HMV. I Tunes. Acid Jazz Ebay and many more retailers throughout the Uk and beyond.
Go get your pieces of history today..
CD's accompany the books..
Volume 1 and 2 of Manfred Kuhlmann's CD's are now available from the above site @ £12 each.
These CD's have got some real blasts from the past and they really are collectors items.
Interesting opinion of Gerry's 'that valve amps are superior to transistor ones!' In one nice word: Bollocks! Inspired by this, I have written down a list of the amps' which I have used over the last 50 years and I have graded the one's I can remember using with marks out of 10. There were some really awful ones and some were/are truly great.
1 FAL TRANNY 15 WATT AMP: SPEAKER BLEW BUT DECENT STARTER: 7 2 WEM 15 WATT VALVE AMP: TOO TOPPY AND NO VOLUME: 6 3 BEL CAVERN TRANNY 50 WATT AMP 4 X 10 INCH SPEAKERS: NEVER ONCE LET ME DOWN ALL THROUGH
IPSO FACTO BAND DAYS: GREAT SOUND: 1O 4 VOX AC 30 VALVE AMP: NOTHING BUT TROUBLE AND NOWHERE NEAR LOUD ENOUGH TO COPE WITH CLUB
BACKING MUSICIANS: 5 5 HH IC100 TRANNY: GREAT AMP. WE ALL HAD EM, LOVED EM AND REGRETTED GETTING RID OF IT. LOUD
AS HELL! NO FAULTS: 10 6 PEAVEY DEUCE VALVE: SOUNDED GREAT JUST BEFORE IT CAUGHT FIRE WHICH IT DID ON A REGULAR
BASIS. 7 PEAVEY HERITAGE VALVE AMP: MORE RELIABLE BUT CRAP SOUND: 7 8 PEAVEY STEREO CHORUS: TRANNY: GOOD DECENT SOUNDING AMP: 9 9 VOX AC 30 VALVE UPGRADED WITH JBL SPEAKERS: OK, BUT NOT LOUD ENOUGH: GAVE IT AWAY TO GERRY
SANDON: 7 10 FENDER TWIN REVERB EX 10CC: GOOD AMP BUT CRIPPLINGLY HEAVY: 9 11 ROLAND JAZZ CHORUS TRANNY: SUPERB AMP: 10 12 PEAVEY BANDIT TRANNY: GREAT CLEAN SOUND AND PORTABLE: 9 13 PEAVEY ENCORE VALVE: SICK OF SPENDIND GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD REPAIRING IT: 4 14 ROLAND CUBE 60 TRANNY: MY CURRANT AMP, LOUD CLEAN LIGHT AND RELIABLE. LOVE IT! 10
'Mitch' in white T shirt rehearses with Ipso Facto in the mid-60s
So there you are Bill. It seems that the popular opinion nowadays is that if you use a tranny amp' its because you can't afford a valve amp. A good amp' is a good amp' period. Valve amps by a decent maker do sound good, but take a lot of looking after. All that heat with no cabinet fan can't be a good thing. Also the louder a valve amp goes, the more valve's is uses and more glass to break.
It's also a misconception that valves are better for R & B. Well! B.B. King uses a Lab series tranny, Albert King a Roland Jazz chorus and Wilko Johnson a HH combo; all trannys and no-one is gonna say those guys have bad tones.
When we played at The Cavern Club, Keith Wright and I had the two Vox AC 30s flat out and they sounded crap: They wouldn't pull the skin off a custard. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT TYPE OF AMP, YOU ARE STILL GONNA SOUND LIKE YOU! The problem is, a lot of folk tend to listen with their eyes. Spending big bucks on a designer valve amp won't make you sound like Jeff Beck or Hank Marvin. Recording however, is another story.
In the Late 1990's, I played with Oggie & The Membranes in a short lived, but fun band. I was using a 50 watt Roland jazz chorus amp' which I loved. It was light, loud great tone, and handled pedals well. Because it was a tranny, I got some stick from a guy who shall remain nameless; "in'tit time tha' geet a proper amp?"
Later on I had a good idea this same guy would be at the gig the next time we played, so.. The speaker grille just lifted off from the Roland. I cut up an old black T shirt and stretched it over the grille. Then, with some dutyfully computer scanning and downloading of logos it looked like a passible Fender Combo amp' from the nineties. We stuck it in a dark corner and did the gig. The guy in question came over and said, "Ten times better that mate!" Oggie nearly ended himself!! I rest my fight case.
Mitch Mitchinson: December 2012
MIGHTY FM 87.7
Southport's Mighty FM Community Radio Station's Phil Roberts presents his rock and country music show with guest Bill Hart of Lanky Beat and Lankykats. Bill explained to Phil's listeners about his quest of putting Lancashire on the world's rock and roll map..
"I was living in Sydney and my son Paul who is a fanatical 'Quo fan; he came out on holiday to visit me. He said that Alan was the only member of Status Quo that he had not met. We discovered he had a recording studio near the harbour bridge. So we went down and knocked on the door. Out came Alan.
He was so nice it was untrue. He stopped recording and invited us in and as he had recently left the 'Quo after many years, he asked what the fans reaction to him leaving had been? It was a wonderful day and made our Paul very happy. I visited Alan again and had a good chat even after Paul came home. In 1986 I came home too and Alan has written often to me ever since. A great person and my pleasure to meet him."
Ronnie Carr: November 2012
Ad's in the News..
Tony Hughes of The Olympics, and The Groovy Kind saved many newspaper clippings from the mid 60s.. Click-on for more..
"59th Street Bridge played the Wigan Casino a few times in the 60's. Once, the stage manager (I think his name was 'Alex' ??), got a small portable tape recorder and set it down at the back of the stage and recorded us. I know this is a one in a million shot - but we'd love to get hold of a copy of that tape !! Any help out there? Thanks Bill..
Niel Brierley: November 2012
I see you have our old 60's Band on front page of Lanky Beat - 59th Street Bridge from the Burnley area. Many thanks for that.
It might interest you and your readers that just like Neil the drummer and Malc' the bass player and I have been singing and recording ever since those black and white days. I've not done a great deal for the past 3 or 4 years due to health issues. However, I still have an active website and - strangely enough since its
Lots of contacts from people that I do remember and also from people that I don't remember! But it's all good fun and continues to bring back all those great memories. I've included a few tracks on the site if anyone else would care to drop in and have a listen...
Maybe a mention on Lanky Beat if possible? Site address below. Keep up the good work Bill - between us - let's keep those memories alive!
Hi Bill - I wonder if any of your gang have any photographs of Jess Greenough's dance band at The Monaco Ballroom at Hindley, near Wigan in the time between Jan 1958 and Dec 1959 when I was the guitarist. At that time, I accompanied on Saturday nights, many of the pop stars of that era and omitted to get any photos of us on the stage. Would anyone out there have any? Jim.
"My old friend Margo Ellis and I were 'Go-Go Cage Dancers' at The Las Vegas Club in Wigan.
Back then in the 60s, we were managed by Margo's cousin Tony Worswick, who managed the club at the time. We practised for hours in our bedroom's and perfected our routines to tracks including 'Paperback Writer by The Beatles' & Wilson Picket's Hour'..
Jennifer Green - nee Gorton : Margo Thompson - nee Ellis
Margo and I were 15 years old and we grudgingly got permission from Margo's mum and my parent's to get a job dancing in a cage! A boy named Kevin McNamara sometimes danced in the middle of us - he was a great mover! We danced at Wigan Rugby League Club before it became the Riverside and got paid £1 - 2 shillings (£1.20) each for our trouble - which was a fortune in those days as we both were earning around £3 a week at Starrs Printers at the time!
We bought our dresses from C & A or Chelsea Girl and Margo's mum went to the Market Hall for curtain fringing to sew on to the dresses - happy days. Tony pulled out all the stops and got us a booking at The Winter Gardens in Blackpool, fame at last! But it was not to be as when my dad learned we would only be home at around after dancing, he said it was far too late and I was far to young to be gallivanting around in a cage in front of all those people. So that was the end of our Go-Go dancing days.
We loved going out to The Court Hall Ballroom, Room At The Top and Bluesville. Sometimes we would go to a club in Chorley. I think was called The Golden Penny? There were groups playing at these venues The Olympics, The Shyms, Brian Rossi & The Wheels, Ipso Facto - such a lot of musical talent. We seemed to spend our entire lives dancing in those days.
Going onto the Lanky Beat site brings back lovely memories of our youth. It's very difficult for our children and grandchildren to comprehend how we were and how it all happened in the sixties - it was such a great era. I think we had the best of times ever!"
Jennifer Gorton: November 2012
60's ROCK PADS..
We all know where John, Paul, George and Ringo used to live... but where did Mick, Keef, Brian, Bill and Charlie live? Here's a website which gives a few answers..
"At this community radio station based in Newton le Willows, I will be presenting my show on Sunday evenings from 6 til' 8 every week and it will include lots of fab music from local groups from the sixties; eg, The Rats,The Beat Boys,Harlem Jonns Reshuffle to name a few. I have also got several live interviews lined up with members of these groups. I am an avid follower of Lanky Beat, really enjoying the content. I would be happy to promote Lanky Beat on the radio as I think more people would love it if they knew about it." Wayne Hill: September 2012
• We have a short feature in the February 2012 issue of Shindig! Magazine.
• The BMA has recently received publicity alongside The Mandrakes in an article for the Scarborough Evening News.
• We are now working with various lecturers and universities in offering the archive as an educational resource for use in existing modules related to popular culture, arts, media and audio engineering.
• We are working with localised youth and arts initiatives in offering the archive for use as part of their educational programs.
• We are endeavouring to promote the archive to the educational director at the British Music Experience (an exhibition of British popular music) based in the O2 bubble in London.
• We are currently producing a short programme for radio broadcast in 2013/14.
The British Music Archive will soonhave it's own channel on www.youtube.com where some selected content can be further enjoyed along with some recently discovered live footage of The Mandrakes featuring Robert Palmer as mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter.
The British Music Archive is now working with www.punkbrighton.co.uk in hosting previously unreleased recordings by bands from the Brighton area in the punk era. Please check the highly entertaining punkbrighton website for more details and for a fascinating look into the punk rock underground music scene in that area during the 1970s.
Please check our Twitter page for updates to the archive (BritMusArc). We are continuously adding artists and updating information.
Dave Allen and Mick Cooper who performed in Portsmouth bands' Rosemary and Heaven respectively have published a book entitled 'Pompey Pop' which showcases a plethora of original photographic memorabilia from Pompey's historical and vibrant music scene. View link: http://www.pompeypop.co.uk/Pompey_Pop/Welcome.html
Fairview studios based in East Riding, Yorkshire has produced a double CD that features numerous acts who ventured into and recorded at this little-known studio. Producer and musician, Keith Herd was the original founder and together with Rick Kemp and Barry Paterson, formed a songwriting team known as Fairview productions writing hits for artists such as Roger Bloom's Hammer. Clients included Robert Palmer, Michael Chapman, Def Leppard and Mick Ronson to name a very few! More details regarding the history of the studio and details on how to obtain the CD itself can be viewed here: http://www.frontroommasters.org/CD.html
Bill Hart who runs the great archival website dedicated to documenting bands from the past in Lancashire has published a book entitled Lanky Beat (named after his website) which can be purchased from:
LALLY STOTT - A message from Sandro Ugolini.. Lally's former drummer.. "I need a favour from you or from someone who knows where it stands Lally Stott, take him a flower by all his Italian friends."
LANKY BEAT Bill meets the 'Godfather' of Northern Soul.. RUSS WINSTANLEY
Bill Hart meets Russ Winstanley..
The journey from his humble beginnings in 1966, of being an unknown rock 'n roll band road manager, to becoming the megastar of Britains Northern Soul movement took just six years - yes! that's Wigan DJ Russ Winstanley.
Wigan band The Kibbos had recruited themselves a rusty old Bedford van and with it more than trusty driver and singer in Russ and off they went - to hit the big time. Moving into the elite ranks of professionalism they changed their name to Rainbow Cottage and never looked back; until packing-in, many years later in 1987.
Russ meanwhile, had spotted a musical gap in the market. In 1973 he saw the popularity and impact being made on Britain's youth by the revolutionary phenomenon of American soul music. It was something very special to buy into - and Russ did just that!
*At The Wigan Casino in 1973, until its closure in 1981, he revolutionised matters with his original idea of putting-on and DJing at the famous Soul All-nighters at Wigan Casino. Four million people passed through the venue which ran four nights per week until December 1981. Both Wigan Casino and Russ Winstanley won many awards for best venue and best DJ. In 1997, Russ compiled Telstar Records northern soul album "Soul Survivors" which has become the biggest selling northern soul compilation ever grossing over £2million. In 1998, his book "Wigan Casino Story" joined the best sellers' list.
Russ with Radio Lancashire producer Diane Herring.
Russ has still been very active, both on the Northern Soul circuit and in radio. He has hosted his own show on BBC GMR and XFM in Manchester, but is now hosting a regular northern soul show on BBC Radio Lancashire on Saturdays 6pm till 8pm. In 2008, Russ has been featured in BBC TV's "Soul Britannia" and 'Dance Britannia' and special Northern Soul features on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4. On the pop scene too he has also toured with Paul Weller and Ocean Colour Scene and worked with Paul & Dean Parrish on the singles 'Left Right and Centre' and 'It'll Never Be Over For Me'. Russ was one of the first promoters in the north-west when he booked The Jam - amongst many others - when he introduced Punk Rock on Thursday nights at Wigan Casino in the mid 1970's. He was also music consultant to the successful play 'Once Upon A Time In Wigan'.
Bill hits the jingle button to kick-off the latest Russ Winstanley Show..
Diane - who is now a fully converted Lankykat - will be bringing Russ along to a future Lankykats night and promises his support and collaboration to its worthy and charitable causes. Thanks Russ and Diane: See you both at Lankykats soon..
Bill Hart: May 2012
CITY THEATRE IS RE-OPENED AND RE-NAMED.. AFTER BEATLES MANAGER BRIAN EPSTEIN.
The cream of the Liverpool Arts and Media world gathered together last night to toast the re-opening of one of city’s long lost jewels. The Epstein Theatre (formerly The Neptune) is re-named after Liverpool’s most successful music entrepreneurs and Beatles Manager, Brian Epstein and has recently undergone a £1.2m refurbishment of the foyer, bar and 380 seater auditorium.
Liverpool music legend Ian McCulloch will be the first act to play at theatre with two intimate acoustic shows in Liverpool on 10 and 11 May. Ian McCulloch said “It’s an honour to be asked to open the venue named after Brian Epstein. I’m looking forward to performing at there for the first time.”
Liverpool City Council opened out tenders for the management contract, which was won in 2011 by the organisers of the popular and respected Liverpool Sound City music festival. CEO of Liverpool Sound City and The Epstein Theatre Dave Pichilingi, last night revealed his plans for the theatre.
A full programme of theatre, music, comedy and dance will be announced for the main auditorium soon, but highlights of the year are already in place for the Autumn season, with the World Premiere of a play based on the life of Brian Epstein titled EPSTEIN, which runs from 15 Nov – 1 Dec. The play is produced by Bill Elms and Jen Heyes Productions Ltd and penned by local writer Andrew Sherlock. The theatre will also see the return of their Christmas Pantomimes with LHK Productions promising a lavish production of Cinderella, from 6 Dec – 6 Jan.
Plans have also been revealed to have regular entertainment in the theatre bar, named Brian’s Bar. The Bar will open throughout the day and is hoped to become the hub of the city’s creative community, plans for open mic comedy and poetry nights and a platform to hear new bands will create an exciting vibe in the bar overlooking Hanover St. Food will be served throughout the day and aims to specialise in serving a wide variety of cheeses, pates, cooked meats and the finest breads, including re-inventing the Ploughman’s.
The bar will host art and photography exhibitions and opens with a photography exhibition by renowned Liverpool photographer Mark McNulty. The work will include his photographs taken over the past 25 years. Joe Flannery, 81, a lifelong friend of Brian Epstein has donated a large photograph of Brian which hangs in the theatre bar. On attending last night’s event, Joe Flannery said: “Brian would have been so proud.”
With days until Liverpool Sound City returns to the city, the organisers are proud to announce the artists
taking to the stage at the city’s new Epstein Theatre as part of this 3 day art and music extravaganza.
From Thursday 17 – Saturday 19May Liverpool will be home to an international music festival and conference, committed to bringing the best new music, film, art and creative talent from all over the world
The Epstein Theatre - Hanover Street - Liverpool - L1 3DY
Lankykats - Copycats 'n Kittens
In 1996ish at the Albion pub in New Brighton, Wirral, The Copycats were part of a packed show for the Merseybeat Story with Harry Prytherch of Liverpool band The Remo Four.
Our line-up that day was John Kendrick: R-I-P, John Cross on my Fender Telecaster rhythm guitar, Carl Hardin on drums and me, Gerry Eccles on lead. Earlier in the afternoon Atomic Kitten played -that was well before the girls had their first ever hit record. The Copycats played later at night.
Roll-up to see my new band Gerry's Hatrics playing at Lankykats and also, news has it that Lankykat John Cross will be bringing his new band 'Junction' to play soon.. We'll keep ya posted.. Yey! Gerry Eccles: April 2012
Horst was the first-ever manager of The Star Club and he also acted as mentor and guide to vulnerable young groups of musician's turning up from Liverpool and the north-west etc in the early 1960's - one such band was The Beatles.. Bill Hart: April 2012
Gerry Eccles of The Envoys shares this fab piece of memorabillia with Lanky Beat readers - Thanks Gerry..
The MV Fredericia on July 4 1964 moving to Ramsey Bay,
the Isle of Man and changing name to Radio Caroline North.. giving the station almost national coverage of the UK.
Downtown Chicargo - Saturday morning market -1967
Bob Nasca sent this pic to Lank Beat for no other reason than to show we Lankylanders a cool glimpse of what it was like in his US hometown during the sixties. These guys are true performers - and they would pitch up every Saturday morning to strut their stuff in the early morning Chicargo sunshine.
Look at the depth of concentration on that drummer's face. The bass player and the lead guitarist are looking tight together and the superb showmanship from the rhythm guitar man is a real eye-catcher. They are using top-notch gear. Not sure about the PA system though.. one mic' on a single stand connected to what..? And could that be a power cable dropping down from the middle window frame?
In the foreground farmer John is temporarily distracted whilst the local 'hood' behind him checks the band out for their star-making potential.. Either that or he's come to collect his 'pitch protection money'. Thanks for the pic Bob! Mmmm.. Fancy that pork chop! Bill Hart: March 2012
? ? ? ? ?
"Who and where is this" No, it's not a quiz question. Lanky Beat would luv to hear from you if you can tell us anything at all about this mystery guitar man - and did he escape unharmed from that sudden bolt of lightning?
February 2012: Duff News.. The House Of Commons passed a bill last Friday whereby publicans do NOT now need a live music licence if the audience capacity is less than 200. Hopefully this will encourage more live music in pubs. And more opportunities for young musicians.. 'AS LONG AS IT IS NOT AMPLIFIED MUSIC AND WHERE ALCOHOL IS ON SALE!'
A Lankykat talks about his mother making tea for Rory Gallagher, jamming with Albert Collins in Florida and stepping in to play bass with John Lee Hooker at the age of 16 in Wigan's Bluesville Club in the 1960's.
Chris Bannister of 'Lost Wax Podcast' interviews legendary musician Michael ‘Mitch’ Mitchinson of Wigan bands Frenz,Ipso Facto and Pokie.
We are a small & casual restaurant in downtown Vancouver and we are looking for solo musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More Jazz, Rock..., & smooth type music, around the world and mixed cultural music. Are you interested to promote your work? Please reply back ASAP.
"Happy new year! I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to promote their restaurant and come to my house to make dinner for my friends and I. This is not a daily job, but only for special events which will eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. More fine dining & exotic meals and mixed Ethnic Fusion cuisine. Are you interested to promote your restaurant? Please reply back ASAP."
Via Facebook: January 2012
An Eve' of Chalk and Cheese..
Natural talent will always cut through like the proverbial hot knife through butter.. and so was last Saturday night when I took to the road back to Wigan to see two former 60's bands in concert - as different in styles as chalk is to cheese.
Garswood is a cool but sleepy-tiny village of two pubs, a social club and a petrol station. In, out and not much shaking it about here on the hill between Wigan in the north, St Helens in the south with the M6 Juction 26 within a midges whisker away.
Now, a £1 entrance fee and an instant leap into the time warp.. Cosy and comfortable they sat - but I felt I had just lowered the average age in here by twenty years - and I'm 65.. Immaculate is the word to describe the 'concert' room. Fitted Axminster, maple dance floor, stage at knee high and bar staff wearing wall-to-wall winning smiles.. The bingo caller is announcingtonight's forthcoming attraction - "'Junction 27' - three lads all the way from Wigan." The reason I am here..
Malc' - Alan B - Alan T.
These three 'lads' are personal friends of mine and we go back to childhood school days and our teen years playing in a group together and starting as the Shyms, then Tynfoil and a more recent manifestation as 'Something Catchy.. On and off we have clocked up for getting on to fifty years. Success is 10% talent and 90% hard work. Or if you like - 100% success = 100% enthusiasm. Whatever way you want to measure it.. success is simply about having a gig to look forward to playing next week. We never needed anything else - fame - that was for somebody else to have a go at; 'eh lads..?'
The band Junction 27 are named after the M6 motorway near to where each of them live and now they are in action playing and getting paid for the first of two 45 minute sets at their very first gig using [for them] a new Cultural Performance Enhancement Unit: Viz-a-viz; backing tracks.
From being a live band for many years with heavy weight gear to lug around, they are now positively light-weight. And light-weight was always the name of the game too when it came to agreement's on choices of preferred music back then as of now.. Harking unashamedly back to the top of the poppermost pop-chart musical era of all time - the 1960's - they sqeezed in a few present day chart toppers too - they quickly established themselves as crowd pleaser's in spades. The audience went on to lap them up.
"Warra doing this New Years Eve?" asked the club's social secretary to the band. That indeed is the ultimate accolade. The one and only measure of success you'll ever need in this business - but it can only happen if you're talented enough and hard working enough to let the hot knife slide through the proverbial butter. Bob-on lads - great stuff- and here's to the next fifty years.
"The shortest of journey on the M6 has to be beween the two access points of the same M6 Junction - No 26. The northern and southern parts must be two miles apart with one in Marus Bridge and the other in Ashton In Makerfield - hence it must hold the record for the 'shortest' distance you can possibly travel on any British Motorway between two junction's - but this is the 'same' junction. I'll let you work that one out! A five minute drive between club car parks nailed it for me - without breaking any of the speed limits - honest!
Paying once again a £1 entrance fee - but this time coughing-up to the most surly faced female I have encountered in years. She had face like a slapped bottom.. like a walrus chewing a nettle it was! No matter though. I'm over it now!
I went in and took the pic above. Copper Kettle were in full flag. The place buzzed like a low flying RAF helicopter display. Goose Green LC - or Goose Gwas as the locals call it - was rocking tonight. 'Nights In White Satin' by the Moody Blues was the show-stopper and the guitar intro' was longest I have ever heard. Luckily, I found myself a seat - next to Mr & Mrs Keith Wright - evergreen rocker's just like me. The lighting rig and the volume of this six-piece outfit were befitting of any major rock concert to which I have ever been and seen.. its just that this setting was smaller than 'Arena's', where such events usually happen - and it was much cosier and intimate too.
There was much movement from crammed-in bodies. Customer's were promenading betwixed tables and bar areas - which is the 'norm' in such a northern place.. A dozen young dancers emerged on the dance floor as Copper Kettle took their well deserved and resounding applause in their stride. Soul music now in the form of 'Midnight Hour' and 'Mustang Sally' filled the dance floor further. It was eleven pm by now - a time not to long ago when a bell would have rung out and shouts of 'last orders please' would be heard - in other words - time to 'double up' on the ale. But not any more. This mixed aged audience were winding up for a big time finish some time preferably early tomorrow morning - a Sunday.
Jimmy Dyke - the lead singer was celebrating his state pension age - and Roy Gaskell the drummer was administering the rights. "We're doing awreet 'ent we," and the crowd roared their fond approval. "Yes Roy, you lads are doing just fine!" I thought - as 'happy birthday to you..' was ringing out.
Another such bunch of talented lads whose longevity is still hacking the hot knife through the butter - sorry! - after nearly fifty years. And still filling the venues too.. after all these years. Oh! I nearly forgot. 'Winston' were on as well - But more about them again - some time soon.."
Many grateful thanks go Winston - for the use of your Fab gear.. Jimmy D.
Thanks for bobbing in to Goose Green and seeing us on Saturday. I play with both bands so I was never off stage that night.
It was great to still attract such an audience, and I wish everyone who turned up sincere thanks - I for one put it down as 'one to remember'.
Next time you come watching us (17th December Goosewaz) introduce yourself, Bill - I'm the one that does the long solo's. If anybody is interested Winston are on at Windle Labour Club, St Helens 27th Aug.
Thanks Bill for a great site. Eddie Leverington: Copper Kettle & Winston’’
Drummers Johnny Sawyer and Bobby Graham do a friendly 'battle of the drums' based on
Gene Krupa's famous drum solo 'Skin Deep' at Butlins Holiday Camp in 1960.
Bobby Graham played here with Billy Gray & The Stormers then onto The Outlaws, Joe Brown & The Bruvvers, Marty Wilde & The Wildcats, The John Barry Sevenand then went on to become the 1960's most prolific rock session drummer of all time. Amongst his countless recording credits are Brenda Lee, The Nashville Teens and The Kinks.In June I962 Brian Epstein had asked him to 'replace Pete Best in The Beatles..' he turned them down. www.bobbygraham.co.uk
"Johnny Sawyer played professionally in his early career with The Squadronaires RAF Band before coming to Leigh from Wales and marrying a local girl. He got a regular job with Leigh's Jess Greenough Orchestra who were resident at the Hindley Monaco Ballroomwith whom he played for many years and then went on to play a few years at Bolton Casino.
He had a great love of jazz and did quite a bit of that with the Wigan Youth Jazz Orchestra and also Leigh Jazz Club which he helped to form. He ran a music shop in Leigh where everyone used to call in for a chat. His most famous caller being the bandleader Andy Prior whom he always advised and believed in. Together they formed the Andy Prior & Johnny Sawyer Orchestra of Leigh. A great man and drummer. Sadly Johnny passed away a couple of years ago."
Ronnie Carr with Bill Hart: February 2011
Johnny checks-out Bobby's 'bow' towards the audience.
Drummer's Nerdy Note:
Both drummer's sticks are an unusually longer length than might be regarded as normal for the time. A 'normal' A5 stick is 16" long. These two pairs of sticks could be up to 2" longer at 18". They were also a 'thin' stick which offered lighter weight and the extra length giving more leverage power. The combinations of a longer and thinner stick meantobtaining quicker and faster uptake
responses as would be essential for a solo as long and intricate as Skin Deep.
Bill Hart: February 2011
Pics courtesy: Ronnie Simms: February 2011
"Who are they?"
Band A Band B Band C
"I am a retired press photographer having worked 42 years for Wigan newspapers. I was a member of Wigan Casino in the beat group days and consequently took a few pictures there. I am currently putting a book together with pictures about my years on the paper's including a section on The Wigan Casino Club and wonder if anyone can identify the three pics that I have attached taken by me in the late 1960s or early 1970s. I think the two sets of twins were on Opportunity Knocks. I would be very grateful for any help from Lanky Beat readers in identification."
Below is a link to one of the best pieces of sound engineering ever. This is a video of street singers from around the world being recorded, overlayed and mixed with one another while singing the song "Stand By Me".
It is a marvel to listen to and watch. They all deserve to be heard. The finished product is tremendous!
Usually, a contract with a major record company allows the artist to release three singles. That given contract would be maintained, re-negotiated, sold to another company - if possible!,etc., depending on the success of the singles.
Many, if not most, 1960s bands failed with their first single - some even failed on the second attempt. It took The Kinks three goes to break the charts - their first single completely flopped and their second single did not do much better, either!
Had two minor hits before scoring big with 'Yeh Yeh..' 14-01-1965: Two weeks at No 1 - 12 weeks in the charts.
Here is a short list, in alphabetical order, of single flops..
Artwoods (All five Decca singles flopped)
Marc Bolan (All early singles flopped) David Bowie (All early singles flopped) The Beach Boys (First four singles were flops) Dave Clark Five (First four singles were flops) Spencer Davis Group (First two singles were flops) The Escorts (All six singles failed) Adam Faith (& the Roulettes) (First two singles flopped) Georgie Flame (& the Blue Flames) (First two singles were very minor hits) Genesis (All three 1960s Decca singles flopped) The Herd (First three singles flopped) The In-Crowd (All three singles flopped) Elton John (First three singles were complete flops) Tom Jones (First single flopped) The Kinks (First two singles flopped) The Long & the Short (Two Decca singles failed) The Love Affair (First single completely flopped) Manfred Mann (First single failed)
The list goes on and on..
If all artists had only been given one chance, therefore, all judgement made from the success or failure of their first single, then most of the famous names would never occurred.
Bands such as; Queen, Slade, Deep Purple, Genesis, U.F.O., Black Sabbath, T. Rex, Alice Cooper, Sweet, Thin Lizzy, ABBA, Samson, New Order, R.E.M., U2, Bon Jovi, A-HA, Take That, Radiohead. All failed to make any impact with their first single.
Probably, regarded as our three top UK male performers - Elton John, Rod Stewart, David Bowie all failed with their first singles - it took them between
3 - 6 years to have a chart hit."
Ian Poulson: January 2011
At Belle Vue with the infamous Bobs rollercoaster in the background.
16th of May 1964.
"Wearing drain-pipe trousers, winkle-picker shoes, hair in a quiff and Diane with a beehive hair-do and flowered dress - we posed to best effect in the old but golden days."
"I am in shock. I have just learned that we have lost Stuart - this within days of the loss of Oggie. two dear old mates - and The Membranes. I’ve already written a couple of stories about Stuart so I’ll just add a couple of memories of him as a kind of eulogy.
Stuart was 17 when I first met him, he was drumming in a band called The Dominant Four. They used to practice in a garage at the back of Stuarts dad’s shop, Kilshaw’s Butchers on Gerard Street in Ashton, it was the first live band I‘d ever seen. On rhythm guitar was Alan Hodson (Oggie), another band member was reputedly Kym Marsh’s dad. (Before Hearsay, Kym used to sing at the Golden Lion, one block up from Kilshaw’s).
Me and my mate Wally Hesketh wanted to start our own band and we got to know Oggie. meeting him regularly in Dickenson’s Temperance Bar in Wigan Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield. Stuart was a regular too. Oggie left. The Dominant Four and we formed Oggie & The Membranes, Stuart followed to join us a year later.
Stuart worked for his dad and he had half-day closing on Wednesdays. I was still at school and used to ‘wag it’ to go off somewhere with him (he could drive). We usually ended up in Liverpool or Manchester or we would go Ten- Pin Bowling in Leigh - that was the nearest bowling alley then, next to the canal. I think it’s a supermarket now?
I used to stay over at Stuart’s house sometimes when his parents had a weekend away - the parties!.. Oh! The parties!.. No - I assure you - we behaved ourselves. Stuart’s mother had a sun-lamp, which is supposed to effectively treat acne. Since I was a sufferer I gave it a go. Of course I overdid it. For the next week I looked like a beetroot and the week after I resembled The Singing Detective. It worked on the acne though. Stuart was in stitches, not giggling, I mean proper laughter. Stuart had a laugh like a machine gun. Later on, he bought a Lotus Elan convertible, a white one with orange stripes. It was the ultimate poser’s car, He used to zip around Ashton, the engine screaming in second gear, frightening the life out of me and everybody else. His party trick was to drive with his left foot on the accelerator and wave his right leg out of the window. He was only slightly mad, unlike some people we know.
Stuart’s dad got a gleaming new Bedford van, which Stuart borrowed to take us to gigs. After playing one Sunday night at The Room at the Top we came down to find it covered in lipstick-graffiti, it took him till after three am to clean it off, then he had to go to work at 5.30 - not a happy bunny. I remember playing the Ocean Room, Blackpool Tower when Stuart’s drum stool collapsed. All that could be seen of him were two little arms sticking out from behind the bass drum, it looked like the drums were playing themselves (the first drum machine?). On another occasion - I think it was the Co-op Ballroom, Farnworth? - the stage had a podium on which Stuart set up his drums. During the last spot there was a terrific crash as his whole kit slid off the podium, then off the stage - snare drum and tom-tom were sent rolling across the dance floor. Keith Moon must have heard about this because shortly afterwards he incorporated something similar into The Who’s act.
I remember 'Never Never', great band. Shaun Groves (not sure if I have got Shaun right?) son of Joe and Beryl (Wayne Groves) still in touch."
"I was sax player in the Ric-Tic Soul Band in the late 80's early 90's. They used to have 'Room At The Top Club' revivals at the Norley Hall Cricket Club, Wigan. We jammed with the drummer from Copper Kettle and some members of other 60's group's who's names I can't remember."
"I was a student at St John Rigby VIth Form College阴> at the same time as Stuart Maconi (BBC Radio & TV broadcaster & Writer). At the time, Stu was lead singer with a punk-ish band, Les Flirts. They performed at the College and at other venues as well. I remember their gig in Pemps Club, Wigan."
Sixties TV Ad.
"There was a young girl from Southend Who had only three-pence to spend But what could be nicer Than a Pendletons Twicer Ice cream with a lolly each end."
"Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames' and Alan Price of The Animals once did a gig at the top of Hall Lane, Hindley, Wigan in the late 60s. It was in held a marquee in a field on the Borsdane Wood side of Hall Lane,
William Leyland of the L E Agency organised it. One of the guests was Jennifer Moss of Coronation Street fame. I had my photo taken with her sat on my knee. It rained very heavily during the evening and most of the night. lan Price stole the show with his song 'The Amazing Dancing Bear'. ^Mark Calder: Wigan World 2008
"At the Castle Youth Club over top of the Tory Club in Hindley, 'The Vaqueros' were regulars and I always found it hard to get out of the Fingers Pub after the break.
I loved 'The Undertakers' from Liverpool. The singer used to climb out of a coffin and they always played 'I'm A Hog For You Baby' and 'Poison Ivy'. The Vulcans from Newton-le-Willows were also regulars.
"'Jump In The Woods' and are currently playing around
Wigan and Skelmersdale.
I have been playing in various bands in and around Wigan since the early ‘70s. 'Jump' is the current line up and we play predominantly ‘70s material (still goes down the best!). Dave the keyboard player is likewise and was a regular at the Wigan Casino’s all-nighter's. Not only were we there at the time, we continue to this day!"
Steve Corless: May 2010
^Are republished by kind permissions of Wigan World
Located at the side of the new building perimeter in
Silk Street, Leigh, opposite the main Post Office.
LEIGH TOWNSHIP AWARD
This award was made to Ronnie Carr for services to the local community.
"Ronnie worked tirelessly for the restoration and commemoration of a now demised Leigh Casino. Sadly the Casino was demolished save for the original headstone situated over the front door.
The Leigh Casino Headstone now stands adjacent to the old site as a tribute to the importance of this famous local venue. Here just about anybody who was anybody in the music business at sometime or other played.. including The Hollies and The Beatles."
Bill Hart: October 2010
Barry Tarbucks 'Sassy' Wigan..
Orrell British Legion was one of the biggest flesh-pots of all time.
People would come from as far away as Hindley which is a fair way when having to bus-it because they halted at the terminus which was just down the road from the Legion. Only running every half-hour, you had to catch the 10.30pm bus back so as not to miss the connection from Wigan or you were walking home.
The Legion was not very big. As usual a square room with the stage at the bottom end of the room, bar at the top end. At the entrance there were two doors one to the main room and one to the games room. Usually tere was no entrance charge; this to get drinks at a reasonable price and lure lots of ladies.
The music was a bit dated but that didn't matter as the object of the night was to pair up with one of the ladies which were a little older than the nymphets that were in Wigan.It had a big car park and it was always full. When you had been going a few weeks you could tell who was with whom and the intrigue they went to hiding that they were already paired up, needless to say most of them were married.
The ladies who were already paired up would dance with men who thought they were in with a chance and it was funny to watch them knowing that he was not in with a chance. On some occasions the person with whom she was paired with would if he thought things were getting a bit too friendly excuse the man she was was dancing with. Then a couple disappeared and then reappeared; no need to elaborate on what had just happened.
Never knew of any trouble there. This was because it would have drawn attention to the people who where going regularly; something most people wanted to avoid. It was unlikely that you would get to know one of the ladies the first time you went as they had to weigh you up first and ask other ladies did they know you and what you were about? All-in-all, not a place for the latest music but one for the getting to know you.
There was another club that was prominent in Wigan too. It was called the King of Clubs and was in a place that most people will not remember but it was one of the places to be when it first opened. It was down a side street joining King Street to Library Street.
The K of C was alive with group's from all over the place. It was not what you would call the best of venues but always full, just a square room with a bar on the left hand side as you went in and a stage at the bottom of the room. I seem to think that it had its own gambling area but not quite sure about that?
(Perhaps Lanky Beat readers would know?).
In those days it seemed that if building space became available someone would turn it into a Club. As is today most of the clubs and music venues where all around the centre of Wigan. Places like New Town Workingmen's Club, Swinley Labour Club and West Ward Labour Club on dance nights all come to mind.
After the groups had moved on in the mid 1970's Wigan's music-scene changed considerably. In town it went from being Night Club's to Fun Pub's - which, to say the least, were somewhat outrageous places.
The Tavern was one of the first to convert from Newtown Workingmen's Club.
This was the latest thing in town in the 1980s and early 1990s; it was your typical layout for a Disco Pub. A long room with dance floor at the bottom no other entertainment other than the music and of course - the ladies.
Clowns Bar was a little different to the other Fun Pubs. This was the first supporting Gay Pub with outlandish dancing performed by the staff on the bar tops and wearing skimpy clothes that left very little to the imagination. Upstairs is where you could take a lady for a quite chat and make future arrangements.
Henry Africa’s Bar was the most outrageous of them all. Openly, the Gay's were not afraid to show they were gay, and the stage acts were so blue that the shows there must have been bordering on the illegal. 'DJ' Davinia was one of the main acts. A transvestite that had the signature song of 'I Am What I Am'. Their clothes touched were they fitted and showed-off lots for-all-to-see. These days its called The Britannia Inn at Almond Brook, Standish. Just another typical pub resturant with a notorious hidden history.
The daddy-of-them-all for gays - as the owner Jimmy Collins was a gay man -was The Mabbs Cross Hotel in Standishgate. You could stop in there all night if you were one-of-the-set. It had a dance floor, three bars and a room that was used for after hour's lock-in's. It was situated in the middle of the Hotel so no one (the police) could see the lights burning and if they did - everyone was passed-off as a Hotel Resident anyway. So typically, it was empty-all-out and into the street at about 4 a.m. in the morning.
"Joe Moss told me about your Lankybeat website the other day and I have just had a quick look at it and I have to say it looks great, what a great idea. I have loads of info and pics about my early links with the Houghton Weavers, The Answers and Rainbow Cottage plus records and live recordings if required. I will start to gather it all together and will be in touch with you soon."
Brian Gibbs: The Answers: June 2010
"Just to say what a great web site. Keep up the good work.
I was with a band in the mid-sixties called The Nutterz. We were based in the sticks in mid-lankyland nr Clitheroe. Three of us are still living in the area but Joe Webbers our drummer moved to South Wales to marry a girl from Cardiff and we lost touch soon after that. I am 60 this year and plan to have a reunion of the band to celebrate. It could be that he might read your site and get back in touch through Lanky Beat and complete the line-up as it was back then, so we can once again be complete Nutterz."
R. Supwood: May 2010
John Lennon's Egg & Chips..
A John Lennon story..
"When I was about five years old, I had a very good mate by the name of Philip Garvin. We stayed friends until we both got married when we lost touch. However, through Friend's Reunited we are now in touch again. Philip’s mum used to work for a firm called ‘Roy Cafe’ and they used to do all the catering for The ABC Ritz Cinema in Wigan, when all the stars used to perform there.
When The Beatles were on, John Lennon asked for his favourite dish, which was double egg and chips. When the food was served John was busy talking as usual and Philip’s mum said to him, ‘Come on John, eat your chips, they’re getting cold.’
John replied, ‘Well sit on ‘em missus and keep them warm.’
Philip’s mum gave him a slap and said, ‘John Lennon or no John Lennon, don’t be cheeky or you‘ll get another slap.’
The best thing about that night was the fact that we had two tickets to see The Beatles. From what I can remember, I couldn’t hear much, but at least I can tell my kid's that I saw the best band in the world!"
Billy Winston: September 2010
GS VINYL RECORDS
'IF GEORGE HASN'T GOT IT -
HE CAN GET IT!'
Vinyl's in stock..
On the middle-left opp' the ramp..
just off Tulketh (main) Street. Southport, Merseyside.
'Just a little thank you to Jack Mathews'.
"In 1972 I had my much loved Shaftesbury twelve-string guitar stolen from The Plaza Night Club in St Helens. Jack was fantastic with me and let me take loads of guitars from the shop in Hallgate, Wigan to try out. I had a Gibson SG, Epiphone Casino, Shergold, Yamaha, until finally, I settled on a Fender Telecaster. You don't get that level of service buying
on the net. Top bloke and he became a good friend.
It was Dawsons Music in Hallgate before they moved into Grimes's Arcade in King Street. Before Dawsons opened in Hallgate, there was another music shop in the same street called Melody House. There was a red Watkins Joker amp' in the window with red vinyl covering. It had a Copycat tape echo built-in and a mic' stand came out of the top.
Mitch Mithinson: August 2010
"Jack used to play piano in the big bands arround the area, namely the Charlie Booth Orchestra at Formby HallAtherton in 1960-63ish and lots more venues of the time. Great gentleman as Mitch said, nothing too much trouble for you. I know he worked at Dawsons and also went into the social clubs backing act's on keyboards etc. Deserves a tribute does our old mate Jack."
Ronnie Carr: August 2010
"Jack Mathews was a great organist, I used to be resident drummer at Scholes LC Wigan well before my Winston days, and when bingo was on at the LC I used to run across the road to the Conservative Club where Jack used to play. I would go on drums and Dougie the drummer went on vibes; it was fantastic. I would only be about 18 at the time, what memories.."