https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caithness” In the 1960s and 70s the likes of The Silver Beetles, Rod Stewart and Status Quo all descended upon the county. In the 1990s, an Ian McCulloch-free Echo & The Bunnymen turned up in Thurso, as did a young Snow Patrol, the latter leaving town just as perplexed as the audience they played to.” http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/a-beacon-for-talent-1-1151010
Because the British Government built a large-scale nuclear reactor at nearby Dounreay at the tip of Scotland in 1954, the workers sought music and entertainment at the end a long week. Beside being active with new comers seeking work, the area also became home to the Admiralty Reactor Test Establishment that brought in the British and American Navy besides the local and Gaelic incomers. One of the most famous entertainers to perform there, was Sir Rod Stewart when he was just beginning his music career.
“VETERAN rock star Rod Stewart https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Stewart http://www.rodstewartfanclub.com/about_rod/bio/bio_60.php officially became a Sir when he was knighted this week over 50 years since he performed at Thurso Town Hall as a teenager. The 18-year-old appeared at the venue in the autumn of 1963 with his group as part of a Jimmy Powell and The Five Dimensions https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy-Di1qpDdk making a mini tour of Scotland [PYE Records managed by Malcolm Nixon]. His trip north was recalled this week by journalist Bill Mowat, who was editor of the Caithness Courier in the 1960s.” http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/News/Thurso-memories-of-Sir-Rod-Stewart-14102016.htm
The beat movement made inroads throughout Scotland from the Glasgow area to many small towns and villages and even to Thurso and Orkey Islands beyond. In 1967, the Opium Trail was a popular local band in Thurso, Scotland that caught the imagination of young Scots.
BBC Television footage Opium Trail
Ron Gesch, one of the members who performed with the OT on BBC, is currently a singer/songwriter in the Christian Rock genre https://www.reverbnation.com/rongesch
Ron Geschwind webpages: Intro: http://www.rgcgraphics.com/radioman3rdclass/rgeschwind/trail.htm History: http://rgcgraphics.com/OPTrail2/Local%20Publish/BackGround/background.html Photos: http://rgcgraphics.com/OPTrail2/Local%20Publish/Pictures/pictures.html
For updates from the OT line-up, refer to http://rgcgraphics.com/OPTrail2/Updates.html
“Another local outfit seen on the small screen was the exotically named Opium Trail, recorded by the BBC at a Scapa House gig performing Sam and Dave’s soul standard, Hold On I’m Coming, then a big favourite with Caithness teens. The Opium Trail included Detroit-born guitarist Ron Gershwin, Graham Walker, Roger Niven, Mike Sutherland and singer Spike Milligan, who was later replaced by ‘Five One’, otherwise Fred Wilson. Later travellers on The Opium Trail were Alastair Macleod and Duncan Gray. The Trail started out playing chart hits, R&B standards and a few dated but popular Shadows instrumentals.” http://www.internet-promotions.co.uk/archives/northlands/north5.htm