Beatles walking tour 2019

When the Cavern Club opened in 1957, several jazz and pop groups entertained the local youth which was a trend across the UK. The Beatles served as the house band for a total of 292 gigs [afternoons/evenings].
5 August 1961 – Kenny Ball and the Jazzmen shared the bill at the Cavern Club with The Beatles and Remo Four. Their agent, Jack Fallon, first booked The Beatles in March 1962 besides several clubs in London. He also backed the Beatles on Don’t Pass Me By
Cilla Black began as a server in the Cavern until her reputation as a singer caught the eye of Brian Epstein after she got on the Cavern stage with The Beatles.
#Liverpool2019 visitor’s guides are available as well as walking tours and bus tours Our walking tour guide, Rob Downs enjoys showing other Beatles fans around with lots of great antidotes about the Fab Four [mobile #07734 237581]. Besides experiencing the backdrop that influenced early Beatles tunes, Liverpool boast several musicians and vocalists who became hit makers [“wall of fame” photo].
In the early 1960’s, Liverpool and Manchester bands gained popularity in Scotland through music magazines and pirate radio – notably Radio Luxembourg before popular music programs like BBC’s “Top Of The Pops” began featuring new bands in 1964. Scottish promoter Bonici kept up with the trend and was able to secure bookings of several groups that later hit the “big time”.

On my second visit to Liverpool during the “International Pop Overthrow”, I was glad to have seen the Lennon exhibit in the Liverpool Museum, sat in the White Star Pub, met a guy who played with the Merseybeats, and spent time touring the City Centre besides music venues. It was another enjoyable few days in Liverpool with Edgar Road band performing for a second year at the Cavern Club [rebuilt with most of the original bricks] and the Cavern Pub, two places in Liverpool where members of the Beatles performed when starting their music careers. Besides listening to several bands during the Pop Challenge, guitarist Mark Aldridge and I went on a Beatles walk around the dock and City Centre led by Rob Downs [07734 237581], a guy who grew up in Liverpool and is knowledgeable regarding local history besides the Liverpool music scene. Last year, Paul McCartney gave fans a little tour of Liverpool which is worth a watch Paul back in the day:’m%20Sixty-Four

It a great experience for a fan of the Beat era, to see and hear about places that were meaningful to members of the Beatles besides hearing stories and antidotes from our friendly and knowledgeable guide, Rob. The tour covered information that the Beatles bus tour didn’t though it is also well worth the time since you travel through Penny Lane, visit Strawberry Fields, and the childhood homes of the band whilst hearing about their youth in a city challenged after Nazi bombs during WW2. Besides Beatles lyrics referencing Liverpool, Victorian writer Charles Dickens used aspects of Liverpool in compositions, notably Oliver Twist as it is set in a children’s work house.

There are quite a lot of similarities between Dickens and McCartney
If you compare the lives of Dickens and McCartney, you will come across a number of similarities: both of them made the step from a simple (poor) origin to a life full of financial security at an early age, both enormously productive, both a great love for performance, both storytellers, with pleasure writing in the third person: rather about someone else than about themselves. The McCartney songs in the third person are of course abundant: from For No One to Another Day , from Lady Madonna to Rocky Raccoon . And what about the characters who walk around Penny Lane , against the backdrop of the Blue Suburban Skies . Paul McCartney can take us, like no other, into his stories about other people.

Jenny Wren and Mister Bellamy
In which songs do we hear the influence of Charles Dickens? For example in Jenny Wren , a ballad in the finger-picking style of Blackbird , which appeared on the strong strong album Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard (2005). Paul took the title directly from a character from Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend and wrote about the woman who is escaping from her social class. The song also earned him a Grammy nomination.”

Posted in 1960's pop music

The Ferris Wheel

The Ferris Wheel [Bonici Archives photo] were a London based group with a psychedic soul sound in 1967. They were popular throughout the UK with two albums released.

The Ferris Wheel – Biography

“The Ferris Wheel were a London-based band, playing the club circuit with a legion of adoring fans when they were brought to the attention of Pye/Piccadilly record producer John Schroeder. Previously Schroeder had been label manager at Oriole and had negotiated with Berry Gordy and Barney Ales for the release of early Motown product on the Oriole American label. He was therefore an appropriate choice to partner with artists such as The Ferris Wheel due to his appreciation of ‘soul’ music. As a six piece, The Ferris Wheel were larger than most groups of the time.

Dave Sweetman (saxophone) and George Sweetman (bass and vocals) were half brothers of Nassau born Emile Ford. (Emile Ford had been born Emile Sweetman and Dave and George Sweetman regularly billed themselves under the Ford surname.) Along with Ferris Wheel drummer Barry Reeves, Dave and George had been members of Emile’s backing band The Checkmates. (The Checkmates also recorded on their own with an album and a single on Pye’s Piccadilly label and singles on Decca and Parlophone).

Mike Liston (aka Mike Snow) had been guitar and keyboard player with West Five and, shortly after their third and final single was released in March 1966, joined The Ferris Wheel. Mike was also a fine soul singer and became one of Ferris Wheel’s featured vocalists. The other vocalist, and probably the focal one, was Diane Ferraz. She was born in Trinidad but moved to the UK with her family at age 14 and began to sing jazz. In 1965, Diane auditioned for Simon Napier-Bell’s film company to sing on a TV commercial.

Napier-Bell remembered her later and approached Diane who was singing in a small working men’s club in Old Kent Road asking to become her manager as he had wanted to get into management.(Diane was his first signing). Napier-Bell paired her with Nicky Scott and obtained a contract with Columbia records with releases as Diane Ferraz and Nicky Scott. Napier-Bell ensured airplay for the duo by threatening to expose as racist any radio producers who did not include the artists on their playlist.

The pair called it quits in late 1966 and Diane became a member of The Ferris Wheel in spring 1967. Keith Anthony completed the line-up on guitar and initially the group were called Diane Ferraz and Simon’s Triangle since Diane was lead vocalist with a backing band. When some of the other members began to involve themselves more with the singing and music, the group became The Ferris Wheel, with ‘Ferris’ derived from Diane’s name of Ferraz. The group’s reputation as one of the best live acts spread and John Schroeder attended a performance at the Bag O’Nails (where the group worked seven nights a week and were now managed by the Gunnells’ agency).

Soon after signing with Pye, an album was released rather than a single due to the group’s success in the clubs. Later the 45 “I Can’t Break the Habit” was issued, a more pop-orientated song than their typical soul offerings, in order to show off their versatility and with the hope that a more commercial release would chart. Two additional singles were released on Pye and the group also appeared in an exploitation movie “The Touchables”. A tour was made of Italy, France and Germany/Hamburg and upon returning to the UK, Diane Ferraz quit.

Diane had two young children and wanted to be with them while they grew up. The Pye contract had ended and The Ferris Wheel switched to Polydor, with Marsha Hunt on female vocals for a short period and finally Linda Lewis as vocalist. Other late replacements were Bernie Holland (later in Jody Grind), Dennis Elliott (Foreigner) and guitarist Terry Edmund.”
Posted in 1960's pop music

Kool Katz


“Way back in 1959, I was a budding guitarist who has access only to my cousin’s cheap cello style guitar (which he had purchased from his Mum’s “clubbie book”) and on which I learned to play Duane Eddy’s “Peter Gunn.” I was also fascinated by the images of Buddy Holly’s Fender Stratocaster and can remember drawing designs for my own electric guitar on the covers of my school notebooks.

At this time, I would often get free tickets for the Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen, where the acts were, in the main, the usual Scottish entertainers of the day, comedians, novelty acts and a scantily clad line of chorus girls – a dream come true for a virile 16-year-old like me!

On one such visit to the Tivoli, there was a four piece Rock & Roll band, the Kool Katz (pictured), who performed on the bill which was headlined by the comedian Johnny Beattie. I was particularly fascinated by the solid body electric guitar played by the lead guitarist – a Futurama also known as a Grazioso . Fender guitars were not imported to the UK until around 1960 and the guitar he played was the next best copy freely available and which occasionally appeared in the line-up of a few groups of that era. I greatly enjoyed their performance which spurred me on to practice even more on my cheap, borrowed guitar.

Fast forward to 1971 when the comedy TV show “The Comedians” appeared on our screens. One of the comedians featured was Duggie Brown, a particular favorite of mine, whose face struck a “chord” in my memory banks. I was pretty sure that he was the very same lead guitarist of the Kool Katz I had seen at the Tivoli some twelve years earlier. A Google search didn’t help very much in confirming this theory of mine bit it did throw up the fact that he had previously been in a pop group called the Four Imps touring the clubs – this was at least a promising start to my research. It also revealed that Duggie had appeared in numerous TV dramas and soaps from the mid-1970s.

Duggie must be 78 years old now and was unlikely to be on Facebook …or was he? I searched for him and, to my great surprise, up he came with, would you believe it, a profile photo of himself with the Kool Katz group. I sent him a message telling him of my quest for confirmation and he immediately replied that I was, indeed correct about his Tivoli appearances. He also amazed me by remembering the name of the manager of the Tivoli at that time, the name of the landlady with whom the group stayed and the barman George at the North British Hotel where they spent many happy hours after their shows.

Duggie still appears on our screens to this day and, in one of the current Aldi adverts, he shows his “gymnastic prowess” using a farm gate as a pommel horse – it always makes me smile and appreciate the great career he has enjoyed over the past 60 years and more.

Do any other members remember seeing the Kool Katz back in the early days of Rock & Roll or did any of you have the good fortune to own a Futurama/Grazioso guitar?” by Brian Kennedy

Posted in 1960's pop music

Ray Ellington and Mr.B

Ray Ellington [aka Henry Pitts Brown] led a popular swing jazz band in London

Ray Ellington Quartet were a British jazz and swing band who first introduced varieties of popular music to British audiences in the late 1940s. [The Three Bears on 7 inch vinyl].
Ray Ellington “Ellington specialized in jazz but experimented with many other genres throughout the show’s history and his musical style was heavily influenced by the comedic jump blues of Louis Jordan. Ellington’s band was one of the first in the UK to feature the stripped-back guitar/bass/drums/piano format that became the basis of rock and roll, as well as being one of the first groups in Britain to prominently feature the electric guitar. They were also reputedly the first jazz band in the UK to use an amplified guitar, which was produced and introduced by their guitar player, Lauderic Caton. The other members of Ellington’s quartet were Dick Katz (piano) and Coleridge Goode (bass). When guitarist Caton moved on he was succeeded in turn by Laurie Deniz, Australian Don Fraser and Judd Proctor, who was a member of the quartet for 6 years from July 1955”.
“Through records and many radio broadcasts, the name of Ray Ellington began to become known in many households across the country. Come the war, Ray was called up in the spring of 1940 when he joined the RAF as a physical training instructor. On his demobilization, Ray resumed his career, initially working in small groups led by Tito Burns. After a while he fronted his own be-bop group, playing at the Bag O’Nails club. Early in 1947, he rejoined the Harry Roy band for a few months.”  “In 1933 Ellington changed his name from Henry Pitts Brown to Ray Ellington after watching the Duke Ellington Orchestra and began playing in London clubs. In 1947, inspired by American bepop music, he formed the Ray Ellington Quartet. The comedic jazz group was one of the most successful post-war groups and regularly appeared on the Goon Show.”

‘I used to pay 2s 6d a week to a Murphy’s pools agent, who filled out the coupon. One week, I won a few hundred pounds which was quite a lot of money – and it made me feel uneasy. I decided to cancel the coupon and a young journalist named Henry Robertson who worked on the Elgin Courant got to hear of this. He was a good musician who had been to university but had developed TB and was writing newspaper articles while he recuperated in Elgin. We became good friends and to help him raise money to stage the music shows which he put on in local church halls, I organised a Valentine’s Day dance. It made a fair bit of money.

My wife and I were keen dancers, but we had to travel to the Northern Meeting Rooms in Inverness to see the big bands, because they only did the major centres. The circuit was something like: Monday, Edinburgh Palais; Tuesday, Dundee Palais; Wednesday, Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen; Thursday, NMR Inverness; and Friday and Saturday, Green’s Playhouse in Glasgow. No one wanted to know about Elgin.

My brother-in-law [Ugo Ruggeri] had a connection with Tito Burns, the London agent who handled the Ray Ellington Quartet, and Burns said Ellington would come up if three venues could be found. There was still a great demand for dancing at this time so it was not a terrible great risk. The big bands toured once a month so I put the Ellington Quartet in between visits. They did the Beach Ballroom on a Wednesday, the Assembly Rooms Elgin on a Thursday, and Forres on a Friday. It was a big success…’ Albert Bonici Note: Elgin Town Hall [18 July 2020] will host a celebration of the 100th birthday of Albert A Bonici and 60 years since he opened Elgin’s Two Red Shoes Ballroom… call out for musicians who performed in the north of Scotland [1955-80]

In the 1950’s, The Ray Ellington quartet was among dozens of popular jazz bands who toured in the north of Scotland under contract with Scottish promoter Albert A Bonici . The short tour in July 1959 with the swing band was a hit with audiences in Scotland and marked a turning point for the Scottish promoter who had a vision to further his career as a promoter. His sister, Guilia and brother-n-law, Ugo Ruggeri, were residing in London when they introduced Albert to musician/booking agent, Tito Burns, who helped him to secure the booking to bring the popular the Ray Ellington Quartet to the north of Scotland. Just two months after, Mr. Bonici, who had fancied the idea of hosting jazz band dance events as a teenager in Inverness, hosted the 1st Jazz Festival in the north of Scotland which took place at Elgin’s Drill Hall on the 12th of August. This was a milestone for the 39 year old entrepreneur who had put his early aspirations on hold for several years as World War two broke out across Europe [1938].

The intelligent Scottish born son of Italian decent, got his basic education in a Scottish boarding school and attended college graduating as an electrical engineer with honors. After a brief period working as an engineer, he agreed to involve himself with the Bonici family’s cafe business and ice cream sales and soon diversified into various successful ventures though the Clan Perfume line [1945-50] failed over distribution issues. Though partly bankrupt in 1950, Albert who became the facilitator and manager for the Bonici family’s “PC Holding Company” in the mid 1940s, was driven to build a successful portfolio. On the night before his 40th birthday [July 19, 1960], Albert hosted the “Gala Opening Carnival Night” in the newly built Two Red Shoes Ballroom featuring house band Alex. Sutherland Band with vocalist Jean Lambe. Billy Henderson who led a jazz band which included brother Bobby, were part of the band who quickly made a name as a premiere jazz band. Albert Bonici who was renting halls for dances besides hosting music entertainment on a small stage in Park Cafe in the 1950s [inspired by Soho London’s Two ii’s Coffee Shop] had big plans for the small dance floor with a concession area. The promoter’s journey that began with an alliance with friend, Harry Robinson , was gaining momentum with acts like Ray Ellington, Kenny Ball, and another favorite jazz ensemble, Johnny Dankworth Orchestra, who he hosted two weeks earlier. The promoter knew that his perseverance was paying off and the future was bright. Over the years, he introduced many of the top British beat singers and musicians to the north of Scotland including Dusty Springfield, The Beatles, The Hollies, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Them, Sandi Shaw, Moody Blues, Yardbirds, The Cream, and Pink Floyd and a host of others.

Note: On the eve of Albert A Bonici’s 100th birthday anniversary besides the opening of his Two Red Shoes Ballroom, 60 years from the night, there will be a gala celebration with music and entertainment at the Elgin Town Hall – July 18, 2020. Utilize comment section [top of page] if you wish to be included in the line up [personal info and email address kept private]. Further details to be announced

Posted in 1960's pop music

Cabaret comes to town

Elgin, Scotland promoter, Albert Bonici , was booking beat and jazz bands in larger halls in 1967 rather than the popular Two Red Shoes as the UK music industry was changing and music agencies were seeking larger venues for their acts on tour in Scotland. One of the last popular act to play at the “Shoes” that year was The Pink Floyd who complained about the size of the stage and dance floor. As their lighting/video equipment wouldn’t fit on the cramped stage, Grame Nairn stepped in for the normal lighting technician and created special effects for the dancers. Sunday afternoon dances, evening discos and over 25 dances [with live houseband until early ’70s] became the norm. Also, cabaret performers were becoming a popular alternative and a variety of acts were booked into the hall with a 300- 350 capacity. They were a popular alternative to an establishment that once featured popular jazz and beat bands on a regular basis though the business wasn’t as lucrative without the draw of popular music acts. Those who attended dances will remember the last song of the night, “Save The Last Dance For Me” [performed by Ben E King and the Drifters at Elgin Town Hall in the ’80s]

Elgin’s Flamingo room: “Wining, dining, dancing, and cabaret”
The Two Red Shoes closed it’s doors in January 1977 to make way for the Flamingo room which opened in July that year. Renovations were made to redesign the dance floor with suspended wooden planks [box shaped] to bring down the high ceiling in November. Walls were partly painted pink with full length flaminos [designed by Graeme Nairn who also served as band leader for several months]. The Flamino featured table service allowing patrons to bring their own alcohol and there was room for dancing plus a floor show with cabaret acts featuring vocalists, comedians, and London dancers and showgirls. The over 18 club owner, Albert Bonici, hoped that the business would be more financially viable than former Two Red Shoes ballroom but was struggling to payroll staff of dancers and musicians without full liquor licence. Band leader Nairn resigned from his role to pursue his first passion as a graphic designer though replaced by jazz musician Colin Henderson. The cabaret dancers were no longer featured in July, 1978, and the business was closed by October. Graeme Nairn said that it was difficult for Mr. Bonici to end the Two Red Shoes and the Flamingo was a last hurrah. Though selling of the Ballerina Ballroom and closing music venues at the hall, he and nephew John Ruggeri continued to hire musicians and dj’s for other venues including the Eight Acres Hotel, co-owned and managed by Albert Bonici. The impresario continued to work until his sudden death just before his 70th birthday. He was also working on a spy novel though he wasn’t able to complete it.

Two of many illustration/adverts Graeme Nairn created for Albert Bonici

Images below are some of the cabaret acts included in Bonici Archives from British entertainment agencies for educational use only [agencies provided upon request as with various materials presented in SCOTBEAT].
The Flamingo offered guest dancers who worked with the house band and often engaged the band and audience in the act. The LCB Agency [Elgin] occasionally hired novelty acts though it was 1967 when caberet dancers were first employed at the Two Red Shoes, Ballarina Ballroom [Nairn], and various halls in the area. Bandleader Graeme Nairn mentioned an “exotic dancer” who was taken by surprise when told to keep her clothes on as it was “a public place of business”. Many were used to London clubs though continued to work the British cabaret “circuit” stretching to the north of Scotland into mid 1978.
Posted in 1960's pop music

British beat tunes to celebrate Halloween

col29Cut&paste collages copyright DJ Dills –

Irish born Van Morrison was one of hundreds of beat bands who performed to delighted youth in the north of Scotland when he appeared with THEM. Here’s one of his early solo hits, “Moondance”[1970]

‘”Freak out” “A Sticky place to be! A creepy place to be! But be here for the fabulous Manchester beat from The Web. Or for a drop of the hard stuff from the local set, The New Jacobeats.”‘ [A Bonici/NS advert 1967]

“Tis the night when the Mist lie thick over the dance floor! When bats and creepy things fly and crawl through the Devil’s smoke! Hear the beat of the ghostly group with their devilish sound. If you like what’s way out then try this spine chilling, Night of Horror! Only for the stout Hearted and fearless! [A Bonici /NS advert 1967]


catatwindow6ballroomDonovan, ventured out from the north of England in ’65 to perform folk tunes in Glasgow halls where he spent much of his childhood. His agent sent photos and information to Elgin promoter, AA Bonici but nothing came of it. After a performance with Bob Dylan that year, he quickly became an international star hailed as the British answer to Bob Dylan.  Season Of The Witch Bio: col8

Halloween Edition British Pathe druidsdarkstill8

The British beat music was a creative renaissance in the ’60s early ’70s and much of it still holds up today and continues to be part of the cultural horizon in the 21st century.Presented here are some of the British beat tunes of the time selected to celebrate the Halloween season…

Apeman [The Kinks 1970]:

Spooky [Dusty Springfield] beckoning6

burial c.96 ddills

I Fell In Love [The Undertakers Glasgow, 1965] The_Undertakers_2

Above: Pop band The Undertakers who played in Glasgow in ’65, were part of the Merseybeat scene and around Liverpool.

Jack The Ripper [Screaming Lord Sutch and His Savages]

Shakin’ All Over [Johnny Kidd & The Pirates] 1st halloween 95 ccol11

I Put A Spell On You [Alan Price Set] performed at the Two Red Shoes and Elgin Town Hall [when Eric Burdon joined the band renamed “The Animals” though didn’t cover Screamin’ Jay Hawkins hit song until returning to the area in ’70 when Alan Price performed his 1966 cover tune in Aberdeen. “We played support to Alan Price in the Palace Ballroom on 23 April, 1970. He sang all lead vocals that night.” [Bill Cameron/My Dear Watson]

Jay Hawkins “Granddaddy of horror rock” first introduced it to the UK on tour when he was recorded on Granada Television in 1960, four years after writing the haunting song. Scottish vocalist Anne Lennox brought the tune to the attention of new audiences in 2014 when it was featured in “Fifty Shades Of Grey”

House Of The Rising Son [The Animals]  TheExitc96ddillslonelyroadcol16

Strange Brew [Cream] Oregon_territory_copyhalloweenthewell

Wild Thing [The Troggs] Tje

Electric Circus [pictured below]


Elenor Rigby [The Beatles] escalator3

bitten c.03 ddills



hall chaz

Copyright: Charles Addams/ Saturday Evening Post 

Guy Fawkes execution 1606 celebrated as bonfire night in the UK 5 November

All Cut&Paste photo-collage restricted Copyright: DJDills

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Posted in 1960's pop music

beat city Liverpool

love me do

disc for “Please, Please Me.” reprint Liverpool Echo, Tues Dec 9, 1980

paul macca casba “Originally a skiffle group, the band was formed by John Lennon in 1956, and some of his friends from Quarry Bank High. In October 1957 Paul McCartney came on board and a young George Harrison joined later, with the group finally moving away from skiffle, towards rock and roll and evolving into The Beatles in 1960.” When George and Paul co-wrote “In Spite of Danger” no one knew that their compositions would be celebrated world wide. beatles statue (2)

Macca Liverpool

Sir Paul McCartney in Liverpool Here’s a video of Paul touring Liverpool talking us through lyrics from songs written relating to childhood memories…   About Paul’s newest release:

Upon John Lennon’s death in 1980, John Chambers of Liverpool’s Beatles Monument Campaign, said that “the tragedy might at last force the city to recognise the value of the group.” In 2008, Liverpool was celebrated as “European City of Culture” and in 2014, it was reported that the city had a turnover of £81.9m  and 2,335 jobs related to the Beatles legacy alone. In 2015, a statue of the Beatles was donated to the city of Liverpool and placed at the pier head.

Whilst London is known for Tin Pan Alley and a host of recording and broadcasting studios launching careers for beat bands throughout the 1960’s, Liverpool celebrates it’s musical contributions from classical to popular musicians. Recently [May 2018] I had the opportunity of visiting Liverpool with band members and crew of Elgin, Scotland’s “Edgar Road” band and had a great time. The group was one of several groups performing at the Cavern Club and the Cavern Pub during a week of music from morning til after midnight.

mark 2

“It was fabulous and brought back loads of beautiful memories and reminded me of where we started” #PaulMcCartney

The Cavern was rebuilt with most of the original bricks in 1984 thanks to the great interest from Beatles fans who wanted to see where John, Paul, and George performed nearly 300 times before “The Beetles” with Ringo Starr began doing gigs in London [March 1962].  Dec 1981: “Plans were revealed to excavate the buried remains of the Cavern Club cellar. It would form part of a £7-million redevelopment project of the former warehouse site of 8-12 Mathew Street which had housed the Cavern Club up until its closure in 1973.”

The band’s popularity in Liverpool began before The Cavern Club gigs at Litherland Town Hall where they played 20 times beginning on December 27, 1960 after their first trip to Hamburg. The hall was refurbished because of it’s significance but blocked a Beatles plaque as “it could create too much public interest and attract visitors to the building other than the public requiring to use the health center” according to the local NHS.litherland-town-hall-health-centre-image-1-571479505

mark cavern 3

Edgar Road band was among many bands who performed recently at Cavern Club [May 15th] before a gig at the KOKO  London [June 2nd, 2018] Here’s a review from last year: Recordings:

Edgar Road videos:

mark cavern 5

Edgar Road band played two nights in Liverpool [Cavern Club and Cavern Pub] as part of the International Pop Overthrow featuring 130 bands as they celebrated their 16th year organizing the extravaganza [May 15 to May 22, 2018] ” Having won several Scottish Battle of the Band competitions, and having had many of their songs featured in the New Music Scottish Chart Top 40, Edgar Road bring their charismatic performance to IPO Liverpool! The depth of Edgar Road’s sound comes from the combination of keyboards, 2 electric guitars, drums, bass, vocals and backing vocals with the occasional use of acoustic guitars and samples, blended into melodic and anthemic songs with a feel good vibe that can be somewhat contagious! Check out their recently released Looking Glass EP and their IPO showcase to hear what we mean!”

Edgar Road guitarist, lyricist, and lead singer, Mark Conti, impressed the Cavern’s crowd with five of the group’s original songs with harmonies from keyboardist Magdalena Wellenger and bass player/vocalist Michael Byiers. The band were well received as they gained new fans. cavern

Touring Liverpool [May 2018]:

The Beatles Story : “Since it opened its doors on the Albert Dock in 1990, four million people have made a pilgrimage to the Fab Four attraction, injecting an estimated £300m into the Liverpool economy… Today the Albert Dock is one of Liverpool’s most important tourist attractions and a vital component of the city’s UNESCO world heritage Maritime Mercantile City. As well as being the number one tourist attraction in Liverpool, the Albert Dock is also the most visited multi-use attraction in the United Kingdom outside London, with in excess of four million visitors per year. Among the many attractions at the Albert Dock are the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Beatles Story and the Tate Liverpool.”

Beatles history:

A few of us had a pleasant day out on a tour bus in Liverpool – May 2018 Visiting Beatles sites with part of Edgar Road crew [May 2018] Our tour guide, Damion, was a fun Liverpudlian with a good voice, as he sang bits of Beatles songs along the way besides recordings from Beatles tunes relating to their experiences in Liverpool. Penny Lane –


May 2018

Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say “Hello”
On the corner is a banker with a motorcar,
And little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass,
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean,
It’s a clean machine
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer. Meanwhile back
Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray

John Lennon: “His death robs the international music world of a great talent and a vibrant personality. Liverpool especially owes him a debt. Might it now be appropriate to provide a permanent tribute to him – and to the three of the Fab Four – by a memorial, perhaps not of stone but in some way marking those heady years of the sixties when it was all happening.” Liverpool Echo Comment 9 Dec 1080 “He was born in the back streets of Liverpool, the child of a split family, and grew up with his Aunty Mimi. At Quarry Band School he was known as one of the lads. He had a gang and was regarded by some as a bully. It was there that his restless spirit and desire for something different found an outlet in music. He formed The Quarrymen and met Paul McCartney and later George Harrison. He was born into the blitz bombing in Liverpool. His mother was killed when he was a boy and Lennon moved to live in Menlove Avenue.” Peter Trollope, Liverpool Echo, Tuesday Dec 9, 1980

Paul’s boyhood home was not far from John’s [shown here]. After meeting John in 1956, the two became friends besides playing music together and later left the Quarrymen skiffle band to form the Silver Beetles [having been fans of popular US band “The Crickets” who performed in Liverpool].


Strawberry Fields, Liverpool May 2018 Strawberry Fields, Liverpool May 2018 This is where John and Paul used to climb the fence and trees and play as lads.

Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever
Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone
But it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me
Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever
No one I think is in my tree
I mean it must be high or low
That is you can’t, you know, tune in
But it’s all right
That is, I think, it’s not too bad
Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever
Always, no, sometimes think it’s me
But you know I know when it’s a dream
I think, er, no, I mean, er, yes
But it’s all wrong
That is I think I disagree
Let me take you down
‘Cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real
And nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields Forever lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Visiting Beatles Story cafe May 2018 [Maggie from Edgar Road band and David Dills roadie] Note: The original gate from Strawberry Fields girls orphanage is now located here

David Dills at Albert Dock

“Three Cool Cats” at Beatles Story Cafe Liverpool [ roadies Graeme, David, and Edgar Road’s Simon]

sight seeing Liverpool May 2018

sight seeing Liverpool May 2018

sight seeing Liverpool May 2018

Below: a few photos from hanging out on Mathews Street and Cavern Club [with two stages], Cavern Pub, and Sgt. Pepper’s across from the pub.


The statue of John Lennon [in front of Cavern pub where he frequented] was unveiled in 1997. Me with Edgar Road’s Maggie.


Mark Conti of Edgar Road band having thoughts of John Lennon… more about John at a visit to  exhibit:

lava25 The brick wall around the Cavern Pub lists popular bands who performed at the Cavern throughout the years.  “The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, the Yardbirds…back in the 1960s a music revolution was taking place, and Liverpool’s Cavern Club was at the centre of it. “The Best of Cellars” tells the story of the Cavern, beginning with its days as a great jazz club, before the Merseybeat explosion made it the most famous music venue in the world. The Beatles are of course central to the story but the book also features the other great names of the era, and later the likes of Elton John, Thin Lizzy and Queen. With reminiscences from some of the people involved and many wonderful photographs, this is a superb account of the ups and downs of the legendary club.” The Best of Cellars: The Story of the Cavern Club by Phil Thompson

Above photo of a few of the bands who played the Cavern on Mathews Street, Liverpool. The Copycats brick [misspelled Copy Cats] were on tour through the north of England on route to London when they played in Liverpool and Manchester January 1966. Two years earlier, in an arrangement between The Beatles manager Brian Epstein and Copycats manager/promoter, Albert Bonici, the band was prominent in the line-up for The Beatles Shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow in 1964.  Mr Bonici in turn, hosted several bands in Brian Epstein’s stable for Scottish tours.copycats rock

The Copycats are among several Scottish bands who performed at the Cavern on Mathews Street over the years though the structure was closed and reconstructed. They performed two gigs at the Cavern supported by the “Hideaways” [Jan/1966 evening and lunch sessions]. “In 1963, young local band The Hideaways were signed up to the newly founded Cavern Club agency and became the resident group.” Though by 1966, as the Cavern’s popularity was waning with larger venues opening, the group performed for an enthusiastic audience.* Bass player, Bill Cameron, related that soul music and the Motown sound were popular and thus covered songs like James Brown’s “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” and a few from The Impressions with a good falsetto by lead singer, John Stewart with harmonies from rest of the group. *According to TripAdvisor The Cavern Club is currently the 8th most popular attraction.


lava11DSCF1833Edgar Road and crew had a great time in Liverpool and felt very welcome by the citizens of a city proud of its heritage. Below is an article from Liverpool Echo [Tuesday 9 Dec, 1980] about the death of John Lennon. A statue commemorating the Beatles besides one of John Lennon [by Cavern Pub] was created as article suggests.

lennon1lava1lava2lava3 DSCF1800lava31lava32lava8lava7lava6lava4 Yellow Submarine:

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines
So we sailed up to the sun
Till we found a sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
And our friends are all aboard
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
(Full speed ahead Mr. Boatswain, full speed ahead
Full speed ahead it is, Sergeant.
Cut the cable, drop the cable
Aye, Sir, aye
Captain, captain)
[The BeaTles]
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Posted in 1960's pop music