Scottish tours ’64/’65

There were summer music events in tents in Scotland the 1960s but promoters were weary of health issues  because of the lack of cleaning facilities. Alternatively, promoter Albert Bonici rented large halls for popular venues from the Highlands to Aberdeenshire though many talented folk continued to play in the Two Red Shoes, the small ballroom in Elgin which could squeeze in 500 hundred dancers before stricter safety regulations lowered capacity in public venues. In 1970, Bonici purchased The Ballerina Ballroom in Nairn which held 1,200 people which provided a larger venue to host popular bands whilst he continued to sponsor dance events at the Two Red Shoes.

In 1964, as “beat” music was still catching on, several of the “Mersey Beat” and other newly formed Brittish groups were making their way to Scotland after Epstein and Bonici played their part in the finacial success of the Beatles. Brian Epstein’s “golden boy” Tommy Quickly and the Remo Four” didn’t manage to make a major splash like the “fab four” but many careers were being established in Great Britain as they went on to international fame.
That year The Hollies played Elgin Town Hall [July 9] and The Kinks and The Copy Cats who played Town Hall [Oct 20] were a hit with the Scots. 1964 was a great time for music around Moray with local bands, Mersey Side bands, and popular musicians coming up from London. Towards the end of the year,Lulu and The Luvers, The Jacobeats, Leapards, and Brian Epstein’s The Rustics and the The Deacons all appeared at the Two Red Shoes. Meanwhile, Bonici booked the Kinks, The Hollies, Mary Anne Faithful together besides another “pop package” that featured Freddy and The Dreamers, and THE Herman’s Hermits, along with The Rolling Stones on June 17th.

1965 was also a great year for music at the Two Red shoes, with bands including The Moody Blues [Feb 11], Jimmy Nicol [who drummed for the Beatles], The Who, The What, Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames, Brian Poole and The Tremeloes; Swinging Blue Jeans, Julie Grant; The Shades; Jacobites; Vic Roys; The Mighty Avengers; The Searchers [Elgin Town Hall]; Mike Cadillac and the Playboys: Johnny Anger and The Wild Ones; Lulu and The Luvvers [who played Two Red Shoes a few times]: The Puppets; The Animals; and The Silhouttes; The Cresters; The Blue Flames; and Gerry and The Pacemakers [Elgin Town Hall].
Promoter Albert Bonici, who brought much of the beat music to Scotland through the ’60s besides swing jazz, was more than a successful entrepreneur who wasn’t afraid to push boundries. Those who knew him have told me how he listened to and cared about the youth. He loved his work and was not motivated by greed.  Here’s early gigs with The Who and The Kinksp>

6 May 1965 Elgin Two Red Shoes Ballroom
7 THE WHO tour in NE Scotland: May 1965 Kirkcaldy Raith Ballroom
8 May 1965 Strathclyde

My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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