The Happy Ballroom Hastings Pier & more – 31st Dec 1966 by Andre Martin

Well here we are at the last day of 1966 – Its Saturday 31st December 1966, and I know that I may have already mentioned the New Years Eve, I thought that I would add some more to give you all a feel of what it was like 50 years ago this weekend. The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier is again in a situation of being closed, they had briefly opened the Ballroom for Christmas Eve, and then it was closed –no doubt they are suffering the economic downturn in the country. Friday night would have started off with the TV and a visit to Ready Steady Go, but as we all know – this has gone with the last transmission on Christmas Eve 24th.
The Witch Doctor was geared up for an excellent night as always, but I cannot find any trace of advertising of bands etc, I know that it took place as I was in the end persuaded to go along by two old friends of mine – John & Phil, but I have no idea of who played. And I must add, this loss of memory was not induced by excessive consumptions of alcohol, what I do recall was that it was packed and everybody was having a good time. One good thing about having this on a Saturday Night was that it went well past Midnight and January 1st was not yet a Bank Holiday in England, so nobody had to get up the next morning and go to work. The BBC offerings for the weekend included – on The Light Programme, Saturday: Saturday Club with Brian Matthew and his guests were Mindbenders, Julie Rogers, Guy Darrell, Geno Washington, O’Hara Playboys and The Alex Welsh Band. This was followed by Call it Country, the Jack Jackson Show, Music from the Movies, Swing along, and Greetings from Around Europe. Later we had Those Were The Days, The Stubby Kaye Show, Forces Star time from RNAS Lossiemouth [Home for many years of the aircraft from HMS Arch Royal & HMS Eagle, when not at sea] and at 10.00pm Alan Freeman hosted “Swing into the New Year” with a visit to Scotland. Sunday: Easy Beat, Two Way Family Favourites – London & Koln, the usual afternoon of comedy and music and at 4.00pm Pick of The Pops with Fluff. The evening continued very much as a normal Sunday with Grand Hotel, Men from the Ministry and Jazz Scene.
Television that weekend – Saturday: Grandstand, Juke Box Jury with guests Simon Dee, Alan Freeman, Pete Murray and Jimmy Saville with David Jacobs with the bell! Dr Who, The Monkeys, The Film was High Adventure and this was followed by Val Doonican, Match of The Day, Joyce Grenville and at 0.01am “ Entertainment from Scotland “ Over on BBC 2, we had Rugby Special, Mozart for NYE, International Cabaret and the Midnight Movie –“Night in the City”
On Sunday, the film was “Going My Way” with Bing Crosby, International Sky Jumping, Billy Smarts Circus, Sooty, and later film – “Bell Book & Candle. Regular Sunday night viewers would have been expecting Dr Findlay Casebook, with all the goings’ on in Tannochbrae And the evening ended with New Years Day Concert from Vienna.
The Pirates were trying to keep the music going with Radio Caroline South – Johnny Walker and Top 40, including the Troggs, Donovan – Sunshine Superman, DDDBMT, The Who and Elvis –I wish it would be Christmas all the time. Over on Radio London – Tony Blackburn with the Fab 40 – DDDBMT, Troggs, Cliff Richard – In The Country, Temptations – I know that I am Loosing You and Young Rascals – Too many Fish in The Sea.
That bring us all to the change over 1966 to 1967, and as I have said before a lot to look forwards to and memories to look back on. Until my next blog – have a safe and happy evening. For many Normal Service and the diets will resume very shortly !!                                  Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2016

The Hastings Flyer – gig guide and events listing for Hastings


New gig guide and events website for Hastings.

Andre Martin… Wrong Loco – it should be a Southern Schools Class Locomotive from the old West St Leonards Depot !

Paul Huggett… Very much needed, if lackadaisical venue managers can be arsed with providing the info. “Live music every Friday” is not good enough!

Salvation Sunday mp3’s lost recordings from Martyn Baker & The Weeping Crocodiles talk

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supplied by Martyn Baker                        supplied by Eric Cawthraw

Phil Thornton…..great Bexhill band ! they started out as the ‘weeping crocodiles’ complete with ironing boards for their synths ( its an 80’s thing !)

Dave Miller……As The Weeping Crocodiles, they could count some champion leg-wrestlers in their number….

John Storer…..Had a copy of The Weeping Crocodiles debut on cassette and it had my all-time favourite album title … “There’s More To Life Than Snogging, Barry”

Stephen Winterbottom… John, Its stephen winterbottom.. I was in the Weeping Crocodiles and have been desperate to get a copy of that tape for 30 years!! You dont still have one do you??

John Storer… Have sent Stephen a rather disappointing email …. had the cassette until about 4 years ago when it got dumped during a clear out of our garage.

Alan Esdaile… Anyone else help and got a copy of the cassette? Also would be interested in anyone has any photos?

Read more

Can’t Stand The Heat – Cassette 1987


supplied by Pete Fisher featuring Pete Fisher, Robert Masters & Chris Hawkins

Link to tracks & other bands …

Pete Fisher…Can’t Stand The Heat Where Are You Now – Kitchen Studios 1987. My home-made cassette cover…if you look closely, on the right you might recognize Hastings harbour with my guitar floating above it, and on the left is the guitar I used to play in Pueblo back in 72-74, picture in my bedroom in Quarry Road…our house was called “Rockholme”..

Alan Esdaile… Interesting mix on the above link which includes Mae West and Pueblo from 1974.

Chris Farlowe with the Norman Beaker Band – Pavilion Hailsham 15th Jan 2017

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Those of you who can cast your minds back to the mid sixties may well remember Chris Farlowe’s fine band , the Thunderbirds which featured amongst others the great guitarist Albert Lee and drummer Carl Palmer (later of Emerson – Lake and Palmer fame). However success for Chris didn’t come until a few years later when he teamed up with Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones’ manager, and consequently got to record some Jagger/Richards compositions that included “Out of Time”, undoubtedly his biggest hit single as it raced to number one. A string of chart successes followed, notably the Mike d’Abo (Manfred Mann) penned (and revived for Ricky Gervais & The Office!) “Handbags and Gladrags”
During his career Chris Farlowe has fronted such celebrated bands as Colosseum and Atomic Rooster and today with the Norman Beaker Band you’ll find “the white man with a black man’s voice” as he was once described, more soulful than ever
BOOKING INFO – IN PERSON AT THE HAILSHAM PAVILION – BY TELEPHONE – 01323 841414 or online… or further information

John Wilde… Wow! He is still gigging?!

Leigh Wieland Boys… Have seen him live three times in the past few years, fantastic performer!

Andre Martin… Saw him last year and he was still as good, if not better, than June 1966 when I first saw himn live in action on Hastings Pier [ we really did lead the way] a great vocalst.

Colin Fox… You can hear Jagger singing backing vocals on Out Of Time. Mike D’Abo I believe was from Bexhill his brother Noel played bass with some local bands. The band I was with supported Chris Farlowe in the 60’s at the Catacomb club in Eastbourne. Great entertainers.

Andre Martin… Noel was with Tony & The Defiants for a while, the d’Abo family leved in Bexhill Old Town and both Carol and Noel went to Hastings College and all the ususal haunts in the mid 60s – bothin Hastings 7 Eastbourne. Remember the Catacomb Club.


George Michael dies aged 53


Jim Breeds… Died peacefully at home, they’re saying.

Virginia Davis…  Not another one. Awful year for music

Jan Warren… OMG, this is unbelievable ………. its just tooooooo much??!!

Dennis Torrance… It’s just to much to take

Chris Giles… Flipping eck …..

Sandra Bryant… In shock

Wendy Weaver… Another 5 days in 2016 – how many more?

Jan Warren… Exactly Wendy, this year has been tragic for music, its unbelievable how many “greats” we’ve lost this year??!! – 2016 seems to have become the modern day “27 club”?! – its all toooooooo much

Alan Esdaile… I don’t know what to say. This is shocking, only 53. R.I.P. George.

Ernest Ballard… Yes shocked here too

Mike Curtis… R.I.P. George Michael.

Jane Dorsett… very sad, only 53. RIP George.

Rick Parfitt from Status Quo dies


In Sweden 2007. photo by: Håkan Henriksson (Narking)

Allyson Breeds… 2016 has been officially crap 🙁

Chris Giles… Oh no that’s terribly sad …..

Nick Prince… Great shame. I admired him and Quo greatly. Clearly there was more to the announcement that they would no longer tour after 2016. RIP Rick Parfitt of Status Quo. (12 October 1948- 24 December 2016). Status Quo played Hastings Pier, Hastings Beer Festival and in addition to that, the underwater scenes for their 2013 film “Bula Quo” and video to the title song “Bula Bula Quo” were filmed at the Bluereef Aquarium in Hastings

Chris Giles… Yes there probably was Nick….. He was a big part of my Hastings pier years and obviously being a bit of a biker ….I always danced to quo …used to go to Brighton and see them as well… Hating 2016

Alan Esdaile… Terrible news.

Andy Ives… Rest peacefully

Ernest Ballard… He was ill but it wasn’t expected

Patricia Wapshott… Terrible news , really liked him .

Phil Thornton… RIP Rick !

Chris van Rock… Sad

Claire Davis… Remember them at the beer festival, good evening

Jan Warren… Oh god, another one gone ……………. 🙁 R.I.P. Rick 

Dennis Torrance… Lost so many this year my thoughts with Ricks family at this sad time.

Jon McCallion… Devastating news

Barry French… Just feel awful, another great taken from us. R.I.P. Rick.

Steve Reents… One of my favorite bands. Rest in peace my friend.

Francis Rossi – Status Quo Facebook Page… I was not ready for this. Rick Parfitt had been a part of my story for fifty years. Without doubt the longest relationship of my life: this was also the most satisfying, frustrating, creative and fluid. From those early days, we worked together to create the Quo sound, look and hits. We spent years on the road, on the stage and in the studio, rarely far from each other, honing what we did.

We were a team, a double act, a partnership and yet also two very different people, handling the pressures of growing older, constant touring, dealing with success and keeping the creative flame burning in different ways. He developed his own sound, his own style, casually inspiring a generation of players.

Rick was the archetypal rock star, one of the originals, he never lost his joy, his mischievous edge and his penchant for living life at high speed, high volume, high risk. His life was never boring, he was louder and faster and more carefree than the rest of us. There were any number of incidents along the way, times when he strayed into areas of true danger and yet still losing him now is still a shock. Even in a year that has claimed so many of our best, including now George Michael, Rick Parfitt stands out. I was not ready for this.



Sunny Afternoon The Kinks musical – review by Darren Johnson


I’m not normally a huge fan of musicals. However, I am a huge fan of The Kinks so when the opportunity to see Sunny Afternoon came up I was never going to say no. With most musicals I generally find the mix of dialogue and song unconvincing…. continue reading here…

Alan Esdaile… I’ve seen a few clips and looks great. I always thought that The Kinks would be the ideal act to appear on the new pier. Especially now the brothers are talking again. Rumours that they may appear at Glastonbury next year.

Darren Johnson…. Apparently the rumours of a Kinks reformation have been dismissed but they have acknowledged they are discussing working together!

Andre Martin… Well they visited us back in 1964 when on the way up, so an appearance again would be very much in keeping with the track record of the Pier – will have to watch the space that sticks out into the sea !

Darren Johnson… It would be wonderfully apt to see them do a Hastings Pier gig together. I was lucky enough to see Ray join his brother on stage in Islington last year for a blast of “You Really Got Me”

Dave Weeks… Going Wednesday