The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more – 29th Oct 1966 by Andre Martin

As we move to the end of the month of October, life returns to normal, we have had the re-enactment of the battle, the visit from the current Queen and many dignitaries from around the world all leaving their mark, its Saturday 29th October 1966. The Happy Ballroom is again very quiet and there is just not much happening on the Pier. No doubt the Pier Company are still trying to find out who walked over the Triodome earlier in the year after a gig in the Happy Ballroom and made a small hole in the roof, as the rain was now coming into the building ? It certainly given a good test over the last couple of days, the Royal Visit was somewhat wet!  The Weekend would have started for some with our trip to “Ready Steady Go” and this week’s show would have included the Dave Clark Five, Bobby Goldsboro, Edwin Starr and The Troggs and Cathy and Keith keeping order. The Witch Doctor in Marine Court is running a reduced programme at the moment, and Saturday it’s the turn of Twickenham based Downliners Sect to head the entertainment on Saturday Night, the other big event in the week would have to be the return of that mad mad from Maidstone with all his crazy activities and a few good records thrown in as well – Yes you know who I mean – Steve Maxted. The BBC this weekend – Radio Light Programme: Saturday. Children’s favourites with Leslie Crowther, Saturday Clubs guests this week included Manfred Mann, Zoot Moneys Big Roll Band, Brian Poole, Kenny Ball, The Three People, Stevie Lewis and the Johnny Arthey Band with Brian Matthew. Lunchtime it’s David Frost, followed by Music from the Movies, Swingalong, Music Parade and Saturday Bandstand. In th3e evening we have Have a Go, A Night at the Music-Hall, from Stockholm Nord-Ring, Time for Old Time, The Phil Moss Orchestra, Graham Dalley & His Music and Pete’s Party with Pete Murray & records.
Sunday – Easy Beat, with Keith Fordyce, Lunchtime 12 noon 3 way link up for Family Favourites with London, Koln & BFBS Cyprus. The Navy Lark, The Clitheroe Kid and the Billy Cotton Band Show, Semprini and Pick of The Pops, were the afternoon show. Movie Go Round Pt 1 featured “After the Fox” with Peter Sellars, Victor Mature & Brett Ekland. Evening continued with Top of The Form, Singe Something Simple. Open House with Desmond Carrington, Sunday Half-Hour, Movie Go Round Pt 2, The Frankie Howerd Show, David Hughes with his choice of records and ending with The Jazz Scene.
Television would have included Saturday – Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs and his panel Rita Tushingham, Moira Lister, Adam Faith & Johnny Devlin. Dr Who, Dixon of Dock Green, Film “The Man in The Iron Mask”, the Val Doonican Show, the Lucy Show, Match of the Day and The Late Show. BBC 2 The Danny Kaye Show, “Breaking Point” a thriller in five parts, Theatre 625, and the Midnight Movie was “ Crashout” with William Bendix On Sunday after the educational programmes around mid-afternoon – Film Matinee “ Men with Wings” Fred MacMurray. The Best of Bilko: Cherokee Ernie, The Woman in White, Sooty, Where was Moses a religious quiz competition, Songs of Praise, Film “ They Were not Divided “ a tribute to the Guards Armoured Division, Billy Cotton Music Hall, The Leeds international Piano Competition 1966, the look of the Week ,Pirate Radio this weekend would have included top 5 from Radio Caroline South – Hollies: Stop,Stop,Stop. Four Tops: Reach Out, Paul Jones: High Time, Bobby Darin: If I were a Carpenter and Herman’s Hermits: NO Milk today. Radio London with Tony Blackburn Hollies: Stop, Stop,Stop. Four Tops: Reach Out, Bobby Darin: If I were A carpenter, Temptations: Beauty is Only Skin Deep and Cilla Black: A Fool am I .
I have in the back of my mind that there was a college Halloween Dance on the Friday Night, but I cannot find any information, I remember that somewhere at this point in time there was a do at the Dolphin Ballroom featuring the Searchers plus ?? Well it was 50 years ago!! Next weekend it would be Battle Bonfire Night, and that I do recall so until next week and the next look back at Hastings some 50 years ago, you all take care if you are “Trick or Treating” watch out, there are some strange people about!! Heh Heh!!            Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Stevie Zee with Pete Shaw – Beach Concert Hastings – 2000

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photos © Eddie Hazell Estate . photos for sale for donation to St Michaels Hospice.

Peter Shaw…..Hey guys, that’s the indomitable Stevie Zee with me behind my ’68 Ludwig…bass was I think occupied by Sir Colin Gibson…but it could’ve been Meister Terry Pack! Stevie, Colin and I performed at an internet televised gig from a London club after Colin and I took part in a rather delicious up market meal!  Great energy from The Zee!!

Phil Gill….Stevie Zee with Peter James Shaw on drums and me on bass.I remember Sambalanco had consumed all the hospitality beer by the time we got off stage

Ralph Town…..Stevie zee…really great guitarist.He used to have a second hand music store in Claremont,just down from the keyboards place

Pete Shaw….Aha, sorry Phil Gill, elements of my memory fail me! But, I do remember that Stevie Zee often used a face, so well known to us, of Bruce Forsythe in pain whilst cracking out searing guitar solos in one of those chords and keys that he knew…!! But, again, I did enjoy the gigs!!

Terry Pack….I played with Stevie for most of 1999. We did a lot of gigs up north with Chris Sharley on drums, including Burnley Blues Festival. My last gig was The Black Horse Festival that year. I think he went back to Spain…

Pete Shaw… There I am…dark glasses on sit tin’ behind my ole Ludwig at The Beach concert!

Happy Birthday to Denny Laine – 29th October from Colin Bell.


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wings 1976 photo: other photos supplied by Colin Bell

Colin Bell… I’d like to wish a big Happy Birthday today (29th) to Denny! Earlier in the week I wrote in the SMART Sounds review that 1967 was/is my favourite year for music. It was hearing Denny’s ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ played 5 times on the trot! by Johnnie Walker on Radio Caroline in April ’67 that made me want to get in the music business. It remains my all time favourite record. I always wanted to meet/work with him and in 1996 I finally got to interview him on the radio. We got on very well and shortly afterwards I was asked to supply the artistes for a festival in Tunbridge Wells. I duly organised Suzi Quatro, Peter Sarstedt and Denny to appear (amongst others). Denny put a band together (including some Rubettes members) and did a great gig. These photo’s were taken at the sound check where I attempted (and I do mean attempted!) to sing a few lines of ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ thus finally fulfilling a lifetimes wish. He’s a great guy and an amazing musician and still going strong in the States. Here’s to many more birthdays.

Alan Esdaile… Now if we could only find a recording of Colin’s version!

Mick O’Dowd… By the sound of things I reckon Colin might pay a king’s ransom to suppress it.

Colin Fox… I had a friend who was rewiring the Eastbourne Hippadrome when Wings were rehearsing there for their next tour, and Denny and other members weren’t slow in coming forward about what they thought of Paul McCartney.

Neil Steadman… I’ve got this track on a K tel compilation! It’s either on 20 or 22 dynamic hits.


The Blind Lemonfoot Mango Men – Sunday 30th Oct 2016 at The Horse & Groom


Phil Little… Announcing a new Blues Band in Hastings and St Leonards. The Blind Lemonfoot Mango Men. First gig at The Horse and Groom, 4 Mercatoria, St Leonards on Sunday 30th October 2016. 4.00pm. All Blues, from Robert Johnson and Howlin Wolf to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan plus many others. Excellent Beer !

Bobby Vee dies aged 73


Alan Esdaile… R.I.P. Bobby Vee

Jim Breeds… It’s one of those days 

Dennis Torrance… Yes R.I.P Bobby vee

Chris Giles… R.I.P. Bobby Vee

Andre Martin… This is another sad day – so many good artistes passing on. RIP

Virginia Davis… R.I.P Booby Vee

Josie Lawson… I loved Bobby Vee and his songs…R.I.P. Bobby Vee and condolences to all his family and friends from the UK.”

Mick Knights… One of the first LP’s I ever bought was Bobby Vee meets The Cricketts

Steve Maxted… 2 absolute classics

Jim Breeds… I didn’t know this: “[his] career was born when he took a midwestern stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ’n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson.


SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell. Reviewing cd’s Lets Go Down And Blow Our Minds – The British Psychedelic Sounds Of 1967 (3cd Set) and In The Year 2525 Zager & Evans

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In anticipation next year of the 50th anniversary of the ‘Summer of Love’ comes this superb 4 hour 3 cd set. Compiled by David Wells who also compiled the ‘I’m A Freak’ comp reviewed earlier this year on these pages. If I was asked (and I have been many times!) what was the best year for music? without hesitation I answer 1967. Pop/Rock music hit an all time creative high, Sgt.Pepper, say no more. But away from the obvious, bands (or groups!) all over Britain experimented like never before. Soul, Folk, R’n’B, Pop Acts some with the help of chemicals (allegedly!) embraced psychedelia, donned kaftans, beads, tye dye shirts and generally blissed out. Not by a long chalk were they all successful in the commercial sense, but that’s not the point, some bands like the Cornwall based obscure T.J.Assembly pressed just 25 copies of their record as a momento of a unique moment in time for them. I love that attitude. There are many obscure and wonderful bands and tracks to bathe in on this 80 track compilation, for example The Attack Geranium Pond Dantalians Chariot The Late and Tintern Abbey to name but a few. However there is also oodles of ‘names’ to enjoy and not with the obvious overcompiled tracks, Arthur Brown’s ‘Give Him A Flower’ being a personal favourite which brings back some very happy memories! The Alan Bown, Episode Six, Johns Children, Spencer Davis, The Pretty Things, David Bowie, Honeybus, Procol Harum, The Move, are just some of the other artists giving of their creative best. If you have any interest in psyche at all you will be in seventh heaven here. As I mentioned earlier 1967 was and is my favourite year for music and indeed the year I took my first steps into the music biz. This release is a wonderful reminder of halcyon days, can’t believe its been 50 years! Enjoy.

IN THE YEAR 2525 (THE RCA MASTERS 1969/70) Zager & Evans
Skipping forward in time two years to 1969, another momentous year, Armstrong on the moon, Vietnam protests, and the release of the prophetically worded ‘In The Year 2525’. Indeed the lyrics seem even more relevant today than back in the day. The excellent sleeve notes point out that in fact ITY2525 was actually written in 1964 even more remarkable! This release contains two albums, 2525 Exordium & Terminus and 1970’s Zager & Evans. ITY2525 was of course a worldwide hit, No.1 on both sides of the Atlantic and spawned 60 covers in 7 languages. I guess however Z & E still fall into the ‘one hit wonder’ category. However listening to this release its clear that they had a lot more to offer. All the 24 tracks on this release were written by Evans and his talent for storytelling is self evident. Of the two albums the first one is a gentle, wistful affair ‘In The Land Of The Green’ being a good example, and at odds with the lead track. However 1970’s Zager & Evans is a different story altogether opening with the ultra trippy ‘Overture’ its like they went backwards to 1967! But then as the sleevenotes again inform us a lot of the material was written before 2525, whatever, for me the second album is far more experimental and interesting. The follow up single to 2525 included here (in 2 versions) is ‘Mr. Turnkey’ a song that unsurprisingly didn’t gain airplay given its subject matter (rape). Evans clearly had a dark dystopian side. Certainly an interesting and thought provoking listen overall.
For more information go to

Til next time……  Colin

Free – All Right Now – Great Band, Great Track, Great Video.

Andy Qunta… Fabulous!

Eric Harmer… What a great song and band.

Dennis Torrance… Good to see Bad Company going back on the road again

Jan Warren… Oh Free!! – one of my all-time favourite bands, brilliant!!

Pete Prescott… My favourite band. This song will be played at my funeral. I saw them in September 72 with Martin holiday at Fairfield hall Croydon. What a band !

Eric Harmer…  I love ” my brother jake” as well, two great vocal performances Pete

Jan Warren… Yeah Pete, I saw them at Fairfield Hall, Croydon, can’t remember the exact date but it was the very early 70s!!

Pete Prescott… I have a fantastic book on free with every date they did. It’s signed by the author plus Rabbit and David Kossoff (Paul’s father )

Robert Searle… Real thing

Andy Qunta… I saw Free in 1969 at the Toby Jug pub in Tolworth, near Epsom, Surrey, where Tone & I were at boarding school. Had to sneak out of school in school uniform, and change into jeans in the car park under the bowling alley next to the pub! Anyway, it was well worth it, as of course Free were brilliant! In 2007 I saw Paul Rodgers at a gig in Hollywood, and got to meet him after the show and chat a bit. I told him the story of seeing Free at the pub in ’69. The guitar player from his band, Howard Leese, overheard the conversation and said to me, with wild-eyed wonder “Wow! You saw Free play live! Wow!”


supplied by Andy Qunta

Pete Prescott… Wow ! What a story ! After seeing Free I saw Bad Company on their first tour and at Charlton. Then I saw the third tour and the last one in 79. I’ve seen him solo a few times and I’m seeing Bad Co this Saturday at the 02 ! I worked with one of his ex band members who told a few stories (can’t tell them in fb) amazing singer. I wish I had seen free with you and Tony.

Andy Qunta… Yes, wish you’d been there, Pete! It was before All Right Now, it was just after their 2nd album came out. Have fun seeing Bad Co at the O2! Seen them a few times too, including a few months ago, and they’re always brilliant! Of course I’m in a Bad Co/Free tribute band now! Fun stuff to play, & pretend like it’s the real thing!

Dead Or Alive singer Pete Burns dies.


2012 photo, source: AndyCrazyTeen

Alan Esdaile… Oh no not another one. R.I.P. Pete Burns.

Teresa Qunta…  Loved Pete. 

Jim Breeds… I think he’s answered his own question

Caz Simpson… He cracked me up with his quote…’You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, you can lead a whore to culture but you can’t make her think’. X