Harry of Elgin

Alistair from the Northern Scot newspaper contacted me in December [2017] when gathering info regarding Harry Robinson [Robertson] who grew up in Elgin, Scotland and made his career in the entertainment biz.

Harry Robinson [NS]

Harry Robinson [NS]

https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/harry-robinson-musiciancomposer/ and https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/hoots-mon-harry-robinson/

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Posted in 1960's pop music

Andi Lothian Beatlemania

Though Andy Lothian Jr. had the opportunity of working with Scotland’s top promoter, Albert Bonici in the early ’60s, it was Jack Fallon of Cana Variety/London who worked with the promoter to secure the Beatles bookings in Scotland though it was not the start of “Beatlemania” as promoter, Andy Lothian Jr. suggests in his recent interview with the BBC. Before The Beatles became a touring band in 1963, promoter Tony Calder was introducing the Beatles recording “Love Me Do” to the disco scene around London when he sent out copies of the tune. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-42564203 Also, booking agent/promoter Jack Fallon was booking the band into clubs around the city before helping to arrange their first tour in Scotland for Albert Bonici. https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/albert-and-brian-bring-beatlemania-to-scotland/  Jack Fallon, who was inducted to the London Hall of Fame in 2015, was also recognized by the Beatles when he played the fiddle on their 1968 recording,  “Don’t Pass Me By”. https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/fallonbonici/ Along with Aberdeen promoter Gordon Hardie, Andy Lothian’s first time seeing the Beatles was upon  co-managing the Beatles gig in the Bridge of Allan. Gordon, who hired the Beach Ballroom to present the Beatles and other groups, explained how Mr. B set up tour patterns to attract talent to come to Scotland for a week or 10 days. https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/scottish-news/256514/we-track-down-the-scots-fans-who-enjoyed-the-beatles-magical-mystery-tour-50-years-on/  Gordon Hardie, thought the Beatles were too loud [powerful amps in a small venue] though Lothian realized they had something special. According to Andy Lothian jr, he met Brian Epstein in January 1963, the day after The Beatles first tour of Scotland when accompanying Mr. Bonici who flew to Liverpool to sign the Beatles for return visits to Scotland. In an earlier interview, Andy states that he negotiated terms to play in Dundee where he was based. Mr. Lothian also became editor for The Scottish Beat magazine [sponsored by his employer Malcolm Nixon Agency].

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05rtcp4 In light of BBC1 broadcast [31Dec17] where Andi Lothian says that he brought the Beatles to Scotland besides maintaining that “Beatlemania started in Dundee”.  I am re-posting documents that indicate that it was promoter Albert Bonici who brought the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and other popular groups to Scotland in the 1960s. When spending an afternoon with Gordon Hardie, I asked him about his and colleague Andy Lothian’s working relationship with Albert Bonici. He related that both of them often worked for Albert’s LCB Agency besides their own business ventures. Both promoter worked as free-lance when managing a venue for Albert and would have to pay basic cost of the gig and hall fees from ticket sales. Most tasked were done by staff members and they  managed venues since Mr. Bonici was often in his Elgin office working into the wee hours of the evening. Tasks from ticket sales, working with rented halls, to handing out pack packages, were part of the functions of the impasario’s team. He would dictate letters to his secretary, meet daily with the concessions manager, even send out staff to poster advertisements regarding coming events.

Albert Bonici also worked with other promoters throughout the north of Scotland with similar agreements though he used staff members to run shows in Elgin and Nairn. Neil Patterson was the promoter who managed programs at Bonici’s own Two Red Shoes though their was a full staff to performed various functions from operating lights to watching the door. The resident band leader also kept an eye on the operation and pointed out good talent along the way.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09l52qv/scotlands-big-night-out [available to 22Jan18]  The presenter reports that Lothian “pulled off a greater feat” than a Twist marathon in Dundee in 1962 when he signed the Beatles to play in Scotland.  Andi Lothian: “I brought the Beatles to Scotland in 1963 and lost money on it… the Beatles arrived and nobody noticed”. As The Beatles bookings in Scotland were paid for by Albert Bonici who recovered the basic amount he paid per show from those who managed the shows. The presenter said that Mr. Lothian “lost a mint in Elgin”. Albert Bonici owned the Two Red Shoes Ballroom [300 floor capacity and concession area] and though only 80 tickets sold in the first half according to band leader Alex.Sutherland, a ticket taker told me that their were about 200 after the nearby tavern closed. Though promoter Bonici had to pay the house-band, he made money on concessions besides tickets sold.

Beatles in Glasgow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdftSAnH8dw Beatles home movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzcJpcIpYTo Dusty interviews Beatles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vl1OH2dXwg

Andy Lothian Jr.  appeared a as “Andy Lothian and his The East Coast Jazzmen with Sheila on vocal” at Albert Bonici’s Two Red Shoes Ballroom on 15 June 1961. The band didn’t gain notoriety though Andy Lothian was hired by Albert Bonici to help manage some of his bookings. There were local promoters throughout Scotland that Mr. Bonici worked with to maintain and develop this business [LCB Agency]. He had promoters sell tickets and manage programs and subtracted the basic cost of a single gig. This usually worked out for colleagues, though they didn’t always make money off the deal.  When The Beatles booked for a “New Years Dance” in Keith followed by four more shows, no one knew that it would be one of the coldest Scotish winters with snow storms and ice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOb7aSy0jDU Andy Lothian interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17rmIWXViFE and https://vimeo.com/84891860
‘”The first time Scottish concert promoter Andi Lothian booked the Beatles, in the frozen January of 1963, only 15 people showed up. The next time he brought them north of the border, to Glasgow Odeon on 5 October, they had scored a No 1 album and three No 1 singles, and it was as if a hurricane had blown into town. The night almost unraveled when nervous local police insisted Lothian bring the Beatles on early to satisfy rowdily impatient fans, even though his bouncers were still in the pub. “The girls were beginning to overwhelm us,” remembers Lothian, now 73 and a business consultant. “I saw one of them almost getting to Ringo’s drumkit and then I saw 40 drunk bouncers tearing down the aisles. It was like the Relief of Mafeking! It was absolute pandemonium. Girls fainting, screaming, wet seats. The whole hall went into some kind of state, almost like collective hypnotism. I’d never seen anything like it.” A Radio Scotland reporter turned to Lothian and gasped, “For God’s sake Andi, what’s happening?” Thinking on his feet, the promoter replied, “Don’t worry, it’s only… Beatlemania.” The coinage is usually attributed to a Daily Mirror story about the Beatles’ London Palladium concert eight days later but Lothian insists it came from him, via Radio Scotland. Either way, the phenomenon predated the label. Throughout 1963 there had been reports of teenage girls screaming, crying, fainting and chasing the band down the street; police escorts were already required. But catchy new words have a magical power in the media. Once it caught on, it seemed to cement the phenomenon in the collective imagination.”‘ https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/sep/29/beatlemania-screamers-fandom-teenagers-hysteria

Besides seeking followers as an inspirational speaker as “entrepreneur and founder of Insights Discovery” https://vimeo.com/84891860 Andi Lothian Andi [aka Andy Lothian Jr] seeks to cement his name in Beatles history through several interviews relating to the early days of The Beatles on tour in Scotland. I have addressed in earlier posts though will reiterate in light of the recent BBC 1 broadcast https://www.bbc.co.uk/…/ep…/b09l52qv/scotlands-big-night-out [31Jan2017] where he takes credit for the work of promoter Albert Bonici, I will attempt to separate fact from fiction. Listening to various interviews with Andi Lothian, it is easy to spot inconsistencies in his testimony which contradict the paper trail. He states in on interview that he and Albert Bonici hired the Beatles for a 10 day tour of Scotland, that he settled on a set amount of £500 per night to get the Beatles back, and so-forth. It is impassible that Bonici took Lothian with him when flying down to Liverpool to negotiate further tours in Scotland though it is an embellished version when Andi speaks about his involvement with the Beatles tours…
Whilst Andi Lothian now claims that he brought the Beatles to Scotland and lost money on the deal, it was actually Elgin promoter, Albert Bonici who arranged the booking through his friend and associate, Jack Fallon.

According to personal communications between Cana Variety’s Jack Fallon and Albert Bonici, it was noted on a few occasions that Malcolm Nixon put off some of the localized promoters in Scotland which gave Mr. Bonici an advantage. However, Nixon hired young agents to man the new Dundee office including Andy Lothian Jr, who had run shows for Albert and eventually started his own promotions known as ALP [Andy Lothian Promotions]. According to Andy, he accompanied Albert Bonici on his first trip to see Brian Epstein. The intent of the visit was to negotiate tours featuring the Beatles besides co-hosting other bands. In 1964, Lothian was editor for “The Scottish Beat” for Malcolm Nixon in Dundee. Albert who did a joint show with Andy in Dundee that summer, advertised in the periodical. Editor Lothian listed Malcolm Nixon Agency and Albert Bonici as the two largest promotion agencies in Scotland. By the end of 1962, Albert Bonici through his London booking connection Cana Variety Agency, was posed to bring many of the emerging jazz and beat bands into Scotland which included a new group to hit Luxembourg radio’s top 20, The Beatles.

‘I was a jazz man and didn’t really listen to the pop groups much. On the Monday, I travelled to Aberdeen Station and was picked up by my associate, Gordon Hardie. We went as usual to Chivas Restaurant in Union Street, only this time we were surrounded by waitresses clambering, “Who are these Beatles?” The group had apparently visited the restaurant earlier in the day and made a great impression. I don’t know if it was their personalities or the smart blue suits and rain coats into which the name “Beatle” was sewn, but they had certainly impressed the girls, and that made an impression on me.’ [Albert Bonici, Promoter/entrepreneur] https://bonici.wordpress.com/

Securing the Beatles for Scotland gigs:

Jack Fallon – 6 February, 1963: Dear Albert, This is just a recap letter on some of the points we are discussing. “THE BEETLES. As you will see by the charts, this group are in the charts in three places, jumping in at number 9 with their latest record. He [Brian Epstein] is asking £100 for a period in April, £150 for a period in May, available May 11th – 15th; let me know.” Note: Brian Epstein replied to Albert’s response through Jack at Cana Variety 6 March. Mr. Epstein’s correspondence is currently missing from the Bonici Archives.

By the start of 1962, the Two Red Shoes Ballroom had become a popular place to go for top entertainment in the north of Scotland. Ron Murray, a regular to the hall, was aged 33 when he and his wife went to the Beatles performance at “boots”. “We [the attendees] liked the Beatles… they were fun to listen to. They looked smart [smartly dressed] with matching navy blue suits, “winkle pickers” [pointed toed shoes], and smart-looking hair cuts.” By then, music fans were regularly lining up around the hall for venues though their January appearance was during one of the coldest winters in Scotland. Here’s a bit of my notes regarding the early days of the Beatles when they started touring here in Scotland…

“a five night trip around various Scottish towns” thanks to a contract signed between Brian Epstein and Albert Bonici through Jack Fallon’s Cana Variety Agency in November of 1962. The original advert [12 Dec 62] billed the Beatles with the Dave Sisters [Dale] but they took another date. By the end of the month, the Beatles song “Love Me Do” was becoming popular and Bonici then coined, “Love Me Do boys” to promote the band in Scotland. John took the opportunity to fly back to Liverpool for a few hours, returning to Scotland early on the morning of the 3rd in time to get to the Elgin gig.

Albert Bonici would have likely seen the Photo-Cast advert to book the Beatles in November 1962 as the 1963 Edition was released early [the acts had until August ’62 to get their photos to press]. Jack Fallon of Cana Variety, London also advised Albert about new acts and had already booked the Beatles into his dance halls.

b5

Bonici – Fallon correspondence

 

Above is a reproduction of the first contract signed between Brian Epstein and Albert Bonici [1962] as The Beatles [with Ringo Starr] were to embark on their first tour of Scotland. The booking was handled through Jack Fallon at Cana Variety Agency in London. Albert Bonici who began promoting bands with London contact Tito Burns, had been working with Jack Fallon since the late 1950s.

Albert Bonici who originally hailed from Inverness, Scotland began promoting musicians and vocalists regularly in the mid ’50s though did a charity event with friend Henry Roberson [aka producer Harry Robinson] in 1952. He built a stage in the family owned cafe, the Park Cafe where Harry Robinson performed piano recitals and musicals. The modest stage was also frequented by various local talent including jazz entertainer Alex. Sutherland who became the first band leader of The Two Red Shoes which opened in the summer of 1960 in Elgin, Scotland.

In 1962, Albert  was concerned about a rival agency Malcolm Nixon who had begun pushing acts into the north of Scotland. He wrote to Jack that he may have to offer 10 day tours instead of 5 which became the case in 1963 after the Beatles did their short tour. He had already added a clause that gave him rights to represent return acts in Scotland which included The Beatles to the chagrin of his rivals. However, in the course of renegotiating the Beatles return to Scotland, Albert agreed to dismiss the clause after Brian Epstein agreed to having Mr. Bonici’s young band, The Copycats, on the bill for The Beatles Show. Brian continued to let Albert oversee the Beatles gigs in Scotland.

The first Beatles mini tour of Scotland was to begin in Keith and finish in Aberdeen but didn’t happen as planned as the snow delayed them and they first played at the Two Red Shoes, Elgin. The Keith gig, billed as a New Year’s Dance [2 Jan 63] with The Beatles and Johnny and The Copycats, went on minus the “Love Me Do” boys. The tour which began on the 3rd in Elgin was originally billed as a “pop package” [Northern Scot -1Dec62] was planned as The Beatles with the Dale Sisters. Instead, the show went on with the Alex. Sutherland sextet [Two Red Shoes house-band] and the Beatles did two sets. (The Dale Sisters trio performed on the 2nd in nearby Forres and at the Two Red Shoes the following week).

Beginning with the 3 Jan ’63 performance in Elgin,  the  group toured extensively and appeared on several UK television programs in that year. By 1964, they gained international success after agreeing to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York. Here they are live at the Cavern Club singing Beautiful Dreamer with Ringo on the drums http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_md_z_g8sk Long time business associate, Jack Fallon, acted as a go between to book acts for Albert from his London office.

Joe, editor of the exhaustive Beatles site, http://www.beatlesbible.com/ wrote: “Jack Fallon was (with Bill Reid) one half of Jaybee, which ran a number of clubs across Britain in the early 60s. The Beatles played at a number of their venues. Fallon also played fiddle on Don’t Pass Me By on the White Album.” “Fallon was also involved in the industry as a booker/promoter, having established the booking agency Cana Variety in 1952. Cana booked primarily jazz artists in its early stages but expanded to rock acts in the 1960s, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Perhaps it was because of a long association during their early years of gigging, Fallon was asked by the Beatles to play fiddle on the song “Don’t Pass Me By”. Fallon continued to play jazz locally in London and in the studios into the 1990s. He published a memoir entitled From the Topin 2005, and died the following year at age 90.” After the first and second contracts were signed between AA Bonici and Brian Epstein, the two men brought several acts into Scotland and held mutual respect for each other. They both acted in a professional manner as Brian and Albert worked together to give several musicians an opportunity to build a fan base in Scotland. The tour was to commence with a New Year’s Dance in Longmore Hall, Keith with The Beatles and The Copycats sharing a bill 2Jan63. The Copycats who were already fans when Liverpool lads began charting with Love Me Do, were disappointed when it was a no show for the Beatles because of snowy conditions. However, Mr. Bonici made it up to the teenaged Johnny and The Copycats when they shared a bill the following year.

Above: This Beatles photo was the first  that most booking agents and promoters saw. Photos had to be in by August 1962 for distribution and book would have hit the market by November when Bonici sought to book them through Cana Variety – London.

The Beatles were dubbed “Love Me Do boys” by AA Bonici in December 1962 as the song got into Luxembourg Radio’s top 20 just before their 1963 touring began.  During their January tour of Scotland, Aberdeen beat fans took notice of them around town in their collarless suits before their performance. They had charisma and a smart look besides dynamic arrangements of cover tunes and a few compositions of their own in their performances.

The Beatles were meant to start a five day tour in Keith where they had played as a back-up band before reforming the group with Ringo Starr under Brian Epstein’s guidance. Because of snow conditions, their New Year’s show was canceled and they played their first performance at Elgin’s Two Red Shoes on the 3rd of January, 1963. A original band member from Alex Sutherland’s group, told me that they were impressed with their take on popular covers of the time. Though it was the dead of winter, their thursday night performance attracted 200 according to one of the ticket takers. Promoter Albert Bonici dubbed them, “Love Me Do boys” as Love Me Do was their first song which entered the charts, though Please, Please, Me soon took the number one stop on Luxembourg radio.

Fit Like, New York?: An Irreverent History of Rock Music in Aberdeen and North East Scotland [written by Peter Innes/published by Aberdeen Journals, 1997] is an interesting read and includes this bit about Aberdeen promoter Gordon Hardie and The Beatles first tour that finished with a performance at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom. Ten years after the book was written, Gordon told me that he worked for Albert Bonici on several occasion and that it was Albert who brought the Beatles to Scotland besides many other musicians.

In an interview with Jim Wilke [published in Blue Suede Brogans] Mr. Bonici said that The Beatles were paid £300 per night for shows in 1963 and £1000 per night in 1964 though document below eludes to Brian Epstein asking for £200. According to co-promoter Andy Lothian who announced the Beatles in Dundee said Albert Bonici paid £500 for shows [unverified]. In any case, Albert Bonici [with an exclusive contract later renegotiated] stepped up to the plate to sponsor the Beatles mini-tours in Scotland. Though a large sum in those days, it was a calculated risk as he wanted exclusive rights whenever the Beatles played in Scotland. Unfortunately for fans, Albert was not confident that young beat music fans would be willing to pay a large ticket price in the north of Scotland so the group didn’t make a second appearance in Aberdeen.  Note: The Beatles were paid £42 a night in the January tour and the Aberdeen Beatles appearance cost 6 shillings a ticket during that first tour of Scotland 1963 [less than £1].

 

promotion photo from 1962 was seen by promoter Albert Bonici and booked them in November and promoted the show as “Love Me Do Boys” when their first song climbed the charts on Luxembourg radio

Jack Fallon – 6 February, 1963: Dear Albert, This is just a recap letter on some of the points we are discussing. “THE BEETLES. As you will see by the charts, this group are in the charts in three places, jumping in at number 9 with their latest record. He [Brian Epstein] is asking £100 for a period in April, £150 for a period in May, available May 11th – 15th; let me know.” Note: Brian Epstein replied to Albert’s response through Jack at Cana Variety 6 March. Mr. Epstein’s correspondence is currently missing from the Bonici Archives. Also see: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/beatles-tour-contract-nov63/

From Fit Like New York – Peter Innes

Bonici – Fallon correspondence

Bonici – Fallon correspondence c.Bonici Archives

 

nixon oct 62c.Bonici Archivesrolling stones 64

C. Bonici Archives.

In an effort to keep his business viable against competitor Malcolm Nixon Agency [London and Dundee], Albert Bonici began signing groups for up to 10 day tours [8 evening of work] in 1962 though only signed signed The Beatles for 5 days of work.

Note that in January 1964, it was made clear that Albert Bonici remained at the helm when working with Andy Lothian Jr.

beatles-contr-lamb c.Bonici Archives The Beatles returned to Scotland for gigs in 1963 and 1964. Though Albert Bonici agreed to drop his “exclusive rights” clause concerning the Beatles shows in Scotland during negotiations, Brian Epstein continued to accept Mr. Bonici’s terms concerning the Beatles and other acts from Liverpool.


Promoter Gordon Hardie kept diaries of groups booked through LCB Agency which included The Springfields, The Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. He and Andy Lothian Jr were promoters who worked with Mr. Bonici  though Gordon had his own promotion business [Stag] and Andy who was associated on with a Malcolm Nixon agency [Dundee] started his own business in 1964

Beatles reflect on Edinburgh performance [1964] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB0xqtSQjWg

After managing a successful Beatles performance in Dundee, Andy Lothian Jr. gained recognition as a pop promoter working along side Scotland’s premiere promoter/impresario Albert Bonici. My guess is that there was a fall out between the two men as they severed their business relationship. One of the other popular acts Mr. Bonici shared with Andy Lothian was The Rolling Stones when Albert designed another “pop package” of bands/vocalists rise. https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/rolling-stone-1964/  In 1965, Albert arranged a second of several trips the Rolling Stones made to Aberdeen where they were well received. https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/stones-in-aberdeen/

More of my research/writing on the Beatles with negotiations, adverts, contract, etc. : https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/beatles-tour-scotland/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/scottish-beatles-tour-1963/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/fallonbonici/

https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/the-beatles-1963-advert/https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/scottish-beat-february-1964/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/the-silver-beetles-in-fraserburgh/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-silver-beetles-1960-part-1/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/silver-beetles-part-2/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/johnny-gentle-and-the-silver-beetles/

 

 

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Posted in 1960's pop music

The Beatles and The Who at Scotland’s Two Red Shoes

“It is where Keith Moon cleared a cafe with a stink bomb, Van Morrison lost his jewellery after being ‘captured’ by screaming fans and The Beatles launched their first UK tour on a freezing January night. The pleasantly sedate town of Elgin on the Moray coast, known for its ruined cathedral and expensive cashmere shops, may seem like an unlikely place for the rising pop and rock stars of the 1960s to gravitate. But the town, thanks to the efforts of local music promoter and cafe owner Albert Bonici, became a magnet for new musical talent trying to push their singles up the charts.”… “It was a life’s ambition of Bonici, who was born in Inverness, to work in the music industry with his LCB Agency forged through close contacts in London and an eagle eye on what music fans were buying. Bonici’s parents owned the Park Cafe in the town with the businessman to later model it on the 2i’s cafe in Soho where the impresario would return to time and time again to strike deals and secure bookings. Burgers were put on the menu at the Elgin joint, where his parents’ soft ice-cream was considered the best around, a small stage was built, vinyl booths were added – and the kids loved it. Bands, including The Beatles, would be fed here during the intervals of their shows at the Two Red Shoes Ballroom, which Bonici opened up next door in 1960. Elgin man David Dills has spent the past nine years researching the music scene in the north of Scotland and will present an exhibition of his work, published on his Scotbeat blog, in the town this weekend.”
http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/when-the-who-s-keith-moon-was-kicked-out-a-cafe-in-elgin-1-4613300 Notes: it was the late ’70s that the Two Red Shoes closed and “kidnapping” THEM [with Van Morrison] was agreed upon with Aberdeen Student Union who brought them to their Elgin office.

ns who's whoFriday, 15 December 2017 Northern-Scot, Elgin, Scotlandns who's who 2

scotbeat event1

The Beatles at the Two Red Shoes event was a success and featured some good music of the ’60s. I displayed four tables worth of materials from the ’60s in Elgin including the Norco Ltd. [first Scottish label] and the etched metal and plastic print blocks of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and several other bands including local favorites like My Dear Watson and Eddie Lepard and The Leopards featured on SCOTBEAT… For updates you can find me at https://www.facebook.com/scot.beat.1

park cafeAbove is spouse Angela at the street level to the stage door at top of stairs where The Springfields, Beatles, Who, Lulu, Moody Blues, Yardbirds, Cream, and The Pink Floyd played in their early careers. As do young people living around Elgin in the ’60s, Angela remembers the heydays of the Two Red Shoes and the Park Cafe fondly.

trs flyer

THE BEATLES Jan 1963 ‘I was a jazz man and didn’t really listen to the pop groups much. On the Monday, I travelled to Aberdeen Station and was picked up by my associate, Gordon Hardie. We went as usual to Chivas Restaurant in Union Street, only this time we were surrounded by waitresses clamouring, “Who are these Beatles?” The group had apparently visited the restaurant earlier in the day and made a great impression. I don’t know if it was their personalities or the smart blue suits and rain coats into which the name “Beatle” was sewn, but they had certainly impressed the girls, and that made an impression on me.’ [ quotes from Albert Bonici]
When the Beatles performed in Elgin Scotland’s Two Red Shoes Ballroom, they were well received by band leader Alex Sutherland who reported back to impresario Albert Bonici who booked the band for their first tour of 1963. It was said that the “Love Me Do” boys [with song charting #17 on Luxembourg’s top 20] performed good arrangements of cover tunes besides their original compositions. However, it was a mixed reaction in the dance hall as not everyone was keen on the group’s first performance of 1963. Amongst the audience at the Two Red Shoes that night was David Hay who wrote: “There was a poor turnout on the night about 70 max. [80 by Alex.Sutherland’s count]. The Beatles amplifiers were too powerful for the small 2 Red Shoes. We were students at Aberdeen Uni and were home for the Xmas holiday and during the Beatles gig, my 4 pals and me retired to the bar [concessions area looking over the dance floor]. None of us were terribly impressed with the Beatles and thought they wouldn’t get anywhere. How wrong we were.” Another person who attended that night, told me that he didn’t feel that their first performance went that well. Though not everyone was impressed by their first week on the road, they were already gaining a following by the end of their short tour at Aberdeen’s Beach Ballroom. See https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-beatles-first-visit-to-scotland/ and https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/the-beatles-show/
When George Harrison “Scotland had been our first glimpse of show business, a faint hope.” he may have been speaking of the Silver Beetles Scottish tour as Johnny Gentle’s back up band, but could be applied to John, Paul, and George’s return to Scotland as the Beatles. Ringo Starr, who became the drummer for The Beatles six months earlier, complained that the hall was odd-shaped and that some were distractions in the audience who attended the gig on a rather cold winter evening on 3 January, 1963.

By the end of the five evenings of their first Scotland tour, they gained a following and promoter Bonici flew to Liverpool to meet with Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, to negotiate further tours.
Though some entertainers including the Pink Floyd complained about the small stage and the small dog-shaped dance floor, the Two Red Shoes was popular in Scotland and accommodated hundreds of new acts from jazz musicians to beat groups. Albert Bonici, whose biography is featured on https://scotbeat.wordpress.com brought music and cabaret acts throughout Scotland from Glasgow to Orkney Island though regularly booked the north of Scotland from Nairn to Aberdeen with the help of local promoters.
Besides featuring two guest bands on tour each week, their were dozens of local bands used to support the more known acts. He also managed several musicians and founded Norco Records Ltd, Scotland’s first independent record label which featured a variety of music styles.
Thanks for visiting SCOTBEAT and hope its a great 2018 to you! Here’s “supermash” Christmas and New Year’s wishes from The BEATles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUvCPkp0H0U https://andrewgoutman.com/beatles-merry-christmas/

https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/the-who-1965/
https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/beatles-tour-scotland/ Note: Use Scotbeat search engine for more blog posts on the Beetles and Beatles.

Posted in 1960's pop music

Nazareth rocks

Nazareth had several major hits by 1973

Nazareth  merged out of Scottish band “The Shadettes” [named for The Shadows] continues to maintain a following

‘ “I remember the exact date that we turned full-time,” reminisces Nazareth bassist Pete Agnew. “It was the first of July 1971 and our manager told us, ‘Turn pro, and I’ll pay you the same salary as you’re earning now’. We were all married at the time, so although it wasn’t much money it made things a lot easier for us to get really started.”

“But we took some persuading,” confides vocalist Dan McCafferty with a grin. “We had already a few regular gigs and were making some nice spondoolah on top of the day-jobs. We decided we’d give it a year; if it didn’t work out then we could all just go back to work. And it’s something we do to this very day – every first of July, either Pete or I rings the other and says, ‘D’ya fancy giving it another 12 months?’”

“Daniel McCafferty and Peter Agnew actually met on their very first day at school, aged five. Asked to share a double-desk together they’ve been best friends ever since. For the overwhelming majority of that time they’ve also liked the same music and been in bands together.” ‘http://www.daveling.co.uk/doc-nazareth.htm#article

Love Leads To Madness [2015]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXO_dxpMz4E Bad Bad Boy [1973]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU14_6Ekq9g

‘”The original four-piece band of Nazareth started out in 1968 in Dunfermline, SCOTLAND, with Dan McCafferty on vocals, Manny Charlton on guitar, Pete Agnew on bass and Darrel Sweet on drums. At that time the group began to write their own songs, but it wasn’t until the summer of 1971 that they quit their day jobs and moved away from home to a shabby communal flat in London. [note: changed name from Shadettes to Nazareth in 1970]

With their first record deal they recorded two albums that were a minor success. The 1971 self-titled debut may stun fans who are accustomed to the hard-driving Rock and gritty power ballads that characterize Nazareth’s more popular work.”Exercises”, the band’s sophomore effort, followed a year later and was a collection of mostly acoustic tracks with lush harmonies and little sign of their Hard-Rock potential.

It wasn’t until they teamed-up with Roger Glover of Deep Purple as producer that things started to really happen. First came “Razamanaz”, the band’s first album that climbed into the U.K. Top 20 chart, spearheaded by two smashes, “Broken Down Angel” and “Bad Bad Boy”.’ http://100xr.com/artists/N/Nazareth.htm

“Nazareth evolved from The Shadettes, a hard-working band based in Dunfermline Scotland with a long illustrious history of support duties at the [Kinema] ballroom. Manuel ‘Manny’ Charlton had previously played with Mike Satan & The Hellcats, The Red Hawks and The Marshmallow 400 before joining The Shadettes in 1968 and it was he who first suggested that they begin to play their own material. They changed their name to Nazareth in February 1970 as they completed a residency at the ballroom and commenced another at the Bellville Hotel just across the road where, in the foyer, they heard the source of their new name in the opening line of a song called ‘The Weight’ (Sept 1968) by ‘The Band’. (“I pulled into Nazareth, was feeling ’bout half past dead”).” http://www.kinemagigz.com/’n’.htm#Nazareth

 

[But allegedly Pete Agnew, the bass player, has a different story. There is a Convent/childrens’ home orphanage called Nazareth House and it was famous for the Nuns’ and priests’ sexual abuse and child cruelty back in the sixties … some cases are still coming forward today. Anyway the band were looking for a name which was hard and cruel and heavy so Dan Mcafferty the singer said “why not Nazareth”. They looked in astonishment why Nazareth? Nazareth said Dan you can’t get more hard and heavy than that].

Nazareth 1975: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDE1eFZffo0

Viglante Man [Nazareth 1973] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh8qgw4SZsk

The name Nazareth was adopted from a hit tune from The Weight in 1968. Two members of the group were part of The Shadettes, a name conceived by one of the groups mentors, The Shadows who came to fame as Cliff Richard’s back up band on Oh Boy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYwiBJou5no the early British TV music program. Shadows hit “Apache”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzgbcyfJgfQ

History of Shadettes and Nazareth: http://www.nazarethdirect.co.uk/website/the-band/nazareth-history/ http://www.daveling.co.uk/doc-nazareth.htm Nazareth top 10: http://ultimateclassicrock.com/nazareth-songs/

[Photo archive – Bygone Dunfermline] ‘ “FOR more than 40 years Dan McCafferty has not only been the hard-edged voice of legendary Scottish rockers Nazareth but, with fellow original member Pete Agnew, he has taken the band through the ups and downs of an ever-fickle music industry, to remain one of the most explosive and exciting live bands out there.
With a UK tour under way, including a gig at The Brook in Southampton on March 21, the band are still delivering the goods in the form of hard rock tunes, mixed with heartfelt ballads and their unwavering sense of fun.
“We still love playing live; it’s the best part of the job and the fun part of our day. For that couple of hours each night we can forget about the other things going on in our lives and just enjoy the moment, and I hope the fans can get into that sense of things as well,” he says.
Formed in Dunfermline in the early 60s and originally known as the Shadettes, they changed their name to Nazareth in 1968. The band was heavily influenced by the American R&B invasion then sweeping the UK.
“Me and Pete were into soul music in the early days, we both loved Otis Reading, Sam & Dave that kind of thing, and then we heard the Rolling Stones and things changed.
“They made a difference, they had that edge, their music wasn’t perfect, there was bum notes and mistakes, but it was raw and exciting. They made us think, if they can do it we can do it as well.”
Struggling to find local gigs, the band kept on going, for no other reason than, as McCafferty explains “if you wanted to eat, you had to work.” The boys from Scotland finally moved to London in 1970, and soon released their self-titled first album.”‘ http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/leisure/music/interviews/9578385.INTERVIEW__Dan_McCafferty__Nazareth/

Video interviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq6DfSvtLw0 http://kashrockitmusic.com/artist/the%20shadettes.html

Posted in 1960's pop music

Terry Russell – Scottish vocalist

Terry Russell was managed by LCB Agency and recorded on BBC radio and Grampian television besides Norco Records Ltd. https://soundcloud.com/albert-bonici/terry-russell-with-the-jimmy https://soundcloud.com/albert-bonici

related post: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/norco-records/

Terrance “Terry” H Russell who hailed from Aberdeenshire, Scotland before a solo career, was part of the final Jacobeats line-up before the group disbanded and the New Jacobeats were formed. (below: the last line-up of Jacobeats included Graeme Nairne [lead], Rae Rodgers [bass], Ian Young [drums], and Deirdre Cameron and Terry [vocals]). Graeme remembers great times working with Terry with the Jacobeats, the first pop band to wear tartans. They shared a love of R&B though the band did a mix of pop songs and ballads. Lorna remembers Terry’s onstage antics and a time when he was pulled off stage by excited fans…

When Terry joined the Jacobeats, founding members John Rennie and Dougie MacLennon were still with the band [originally known as Apaches] and was hired following an audition for Albert Bonici, Alex. Sutherland, and Jacobeat band members when Sheila left to get married. Lorna and Deirdre Cameron who were also auditioned were also hired as vocalists. Coincidently, they knew Terry quite well as their fathers were childhood friends. Terry was a bit mischievous when with the group and teased the fans in his kilt and breaking manager Bonici’s rule about never turning your back to the audience…

When The Jacobeats were disbanding, Terry decided to pursue a solo career and found it lonely without his former band-mates though decides to carry on Albert’s secretary Aileen handled some of the acts with Mr. Bonici’s “LCB Agency” including young Terry Russell when he began touring as a solo act in late 1966.

note from Aileen Allan [LCB Agency – Christmas 1966]

Manager/promoter Albert Bonici wrote letters to Terry Russell whilst he was touring.

Above: first of three letters from Albert Bonici regarding working as an entertainer

Besides working out food, housing, transportation, taxes, etc. for Terry Russell on the road, LCB Agency’s Aileen Allan wrote introduction letters to promote the young vocalist.

At one point, Ms Allan gave the young vocalist advise about his choice of numbers though ultimately he keeps variety in his show. In a letter to Terry [14Mar67], Aileen advises him to speak with Ian Hamilton who booked Terry at various clubs. His complaint was that Terry was that he wanted him to sing only Scottish tunes and wear his tartan regalia throughout; “Ian advises that you cut all the odd stuff out altogether and do a completely Scottish programme”. Aileen also added, “I can understand the bit about wanting the Scottish programme because I prefer you doing it as well. I think it looks in a way, silly to see a chap in full highland outfit doing pops… I think there’s plenty yelling yobs doing ballad & pop songs whereas a good singer will be remembered and show more of himself doing stuff like Campbelltown Loch, Morag of Dunvegan, etc.” Terry wrote, “I received your letter about the comments Ian Hamilton made. I disagree about what he says about a whole Scottish programme, but I’ll drop in and see him and talk it over with him.” It was Albert Bonici who came up with the idea to dress a beat band in tartan regalia and changed the name of the founding band members from Apaches to Jacobeats. https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/the-diamonds-apaches-and-jacobeats/

introducing Terry Russell [1967]

introducing Terry Russell [1967]

introducing Terry Russell [1967]

introducing Terry Russell [Oct 1967] after his birthday [Terrance H Russell 30 Sep 1948]

 

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BEAT on Orkney Island

Popular local band from Orkey Island were the Alphabeats heard playing to appreciative citizens of the Island: “The Alphabeats in the Cosmo. (Dave) Alan Hale has put together this excellent homage to the heyday of the Cosmo Ballroom in Kirkwall.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01Y2vNIquJI  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThJ8RlriozY

Note: Alphabeats members Alan Keldie was killed in a motor accident 25Jan71 [age 27], Brian Peace died in a drowning accident 19Jun77 [age 29], and Robert Swanney died in last ten years.

The Nomads were first in Orkney to record pop music [I’m Coming Home/Hey Little Girl] L-R: Brian Peace, Ken Ross, Roy Wood, Ian Farquhar [photo copyright “Images in Time” V.2&3]

“The Nomads were the first [beat band] to appear. The Kossacks started in early ’60s and lasted two or three years. The Alphabeats came into being in the mid 1960’s starting as a four piece band. We were the support act to several famous bands that came to Orkney in the ’60s. They included Sounds Incorporated, Christian St Peters, Four Pennies, David & Jonathan, The Luvvers minus Lulu, and Neil Landon & The Burnettes – all good fun and enjoyable. I called it a day on 31 Dec 1969 and the band continued for about a year or 18 months before becoming basis for a band called the Orcades…” Robert Milne [former member of Alphabeats and The Kossacks]

The Kossacks were Bobby Corsie,Colin Omand,Rob Milne,Alan Kelday and me- started off as the Echoes with Colin,me,Jim Park and Wullie Winnick.The Nomads were Ken Ross,Roy Wood,Ian Farquhar and Brian Peace- they were the first band to keep going for some time.The Dominoes started in the West Mainland and moved on to Saturday nights in the Cosmo later on in the sixties.If I mind right the Vampires were Dimmy Kelday and some others. And that’s how Rock and Roll was born.” John Schollay [Orkney Past and Present]

Elgin, Scotland promoter, Albert Bonici, was known for hosting most of the top British musicians and vocalists to the north of Scotland from the mid 1950’s to mid 1970’s. Besides recording several Scottish musicians on the Norco Records label, he is noted for sponsoring the Beatles tours in Scotland 1963-64. Albert had flown to Orkney Islands on several occassions though not to manage venues. Besides various concessions, he sold ice cream to vendors on the island besides scheduling acts on tour. I heard a story from nephew, John Ruggeri, how “Uncle Albert” returned from Orkney in a shuttle airplane with a paper sack of money on his lap…

Besides the Faley brothers of Glasgow who sent acts to Thurso, Albert Bonici booked some top beat groups in Wick besides sending some out to Kirkwall, Orkney Island to perform for inhabitants in this sparsely populated part of the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirkwall

Kirkwall was host to beat music venues in the 1960’s… Innes [Fit Like, New York?] recorded John Rennie’s recollection of traveling with The Jacobeats in ’64 when they did a gig on Orkey Island:

 

The Orcades Dance Band played at dances, weddings, etc from 1971-81 L to R: Ruby Chalmers [aka Rendall] became a national radio broadcaster and recording artist, Robert Swanney, Albert Linklater, Jim “Mosh” Marwick, and Brian Peace.  [photo copyright “Images in Time” V.2&3]

Thorfinn Football Club held a Beat Festival in the Phoenix Cinema, once a month for four months during 1964. The concerts, arranged by Ernie Donaldson, were very well attended and the local artistes played to full houses. Some of them are seen here about to fly off “on tour”. Back row, L to R: Hazel Ground water, Jill Leonard, Bertha Flett and Olive Flett. Front row L to R: Davie Sinclair, Bobby Leslie, Roy Wood, Ivy Corsie, Bobby Corsie, Ian Farquhar, and John Schollay. [photo copyright “Images in Time” V.2&3]

Shuttle airplanes made it possible for bands on tour to visit the island and local bands going abroad as an alternative to catching the ferry to the mainland. From the back L to R: Elizabeth Tait, Anna davidson, Isobel Herdman, Michael Corsie, Ernie Donaldson, Alan Keldie, Pete Davidson, Colin Omand, Eddie Black, and Robert Milne.  [photo copyright “Images in Time” V.2&3]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3IiYwiu_3E

Eddie Peace’s Band at a dance in the Royal Hotel, Kirwall. The band members are, L to R: Mike “Piker” Parkins, Jimmy “Dimmy” Kelday, Sandy Windwick, Jim “mosh” Marwick, and Eddile Peace. The band played at various funtions in the ’50’s and ’60s. [photo copyright “Images in Time” V.2&3]  Local music has continued to thrive on Orkey Islands with a popular folk festival https://www.visitscotland.com/about/uniquely-scottish/traditional-folk-music/ and talented people from the area https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K71kcknO2pY  More about life on Orkney http://www.orkney.com/about/nature/seasons

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Posted in 1960's pop music

british soul 1960’s

 

The Exits [Bonici Archives]

http://www.manchesterbeat.com/groups/exits/exits.php

“Widespread British interest in soul music developed after the advent of rock and roll from the mid-1950s and the subsequent interest in American music. In the early 1960s, rhythm and blues, including soul, was particularly popular among some members of the beat music boom, including the Beatles,[1] and among bands of who contributed to the British blues boom, including the Spencer Davis Group, the Small Faces, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and the Who. Most of these were popular with members of the Mod subculture, out of which grew the northern soul movement, in which northern English youths avidly collected and played rare soul records.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_soul

There was a plitria of American black soul singers and musicians who made deep impressions in modern western culture  http://rateyourmusic.com/list/goldwax317/1960s_soul_music__my_personal_top_500/ whilst lesser known British bands were putting their own stamp on “soul” music.

The Copycats [aka My Dear Watson] by Fiddler’s Bow at Port Knockie near their homes in neighboring Buckie, Scotland.

https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/the-copycats/ Whilst The Copycats who trained under jazz band leader Alex. Sutherland and began with pop songs in ’63, were dubbed “instigators of soul in a British music magazine (Progressive, NS- 1 July ’67)  there were many British and American bands who toured Scotland and the UK. Like beat music, soul music became popular in Scotland as with the whole of the UK.

In 1968, American R&B and soul singer, Clyde McPhatter, was living in England and represented by Class Managements Ltd when performing around the UK. Years before he became a solo act, the Drifters were founded as his back up band. Thank You Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcaqeucv1nc Such A Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjNF079Jc68 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyde_McPhatter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dcaqeucv1nc

http://theflirtations.uk/about.html Nothing But a Heartache https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8zu9Y5DgWE The Flirtations were an American group who made an impression in the UK on tour. They became the resident vocalists on BBC’s, It’s Cliff Richard” in 1972″ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flirtations_(R%26B_musical_group [Nothing But A Heartache]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMPzgCLNCHs

The Rolling Stones and the Animals are amongst top British band who injected soul into their unique sound. Alan Price who founded the Alan Price Combo, The Animals, and the Alan Price Set had a bluesy, soulful sound going on. I Put A Spell On You [Alan Price]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ4ZGGt-1rs

Alan Price [top left]

 

Dusty Springfield who was first introduced in the British scene as folk singers The Springfields, was a fan of Motown and became known for her soulful tunes. “In 1964 Springfield became the first British Invasion act after the Beatles to chart well in the US.[4] A string of US and British hits followed.[4] In 1965 Springfield hosted a television show The Sound of Motown which has been widely credited with introducing what was called “The Sound of Young America” to British audiences.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_soul#1960s

Equals became best known for their ’60s hit, “Baby, Come Back” though continued to develop a following in the early ’70s

Equals intro page sent to promoters in early 1970s

 

Though hailed from Bermudia and the USA, they were a ’60s r&b and soul band signed with Gale Agency London in early ’70s “best of contempory rhythm ‘n blues/soul and featuring the outstanding talents of Tina Ray”


from Southern Headway advert from Avenue Artistes Ltd announcing new discs from Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich [Fontana] and the Soul Agents “Don’t Break It Up” 1965 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-Tebe_3Zoo following their ’64 hit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiVQlWsI2ic


 

The Foundations were amongst the British soul bands who performed in Scotland when mixed race bands were considered a novelty.

 

The foundations were featured on Top Of The Pops and became internationally known. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Foundations

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