The Who – In Hastings – Looking for information

Andy Gunton is working on the next edition of The Stinger magazine and looking for information on The Who, especially the gig on Hastings Pier on the 20th July 1969. This was the day that Apollo 11 landed on the Moon and was a warm up gig for The Who’s performance at Woodstock. On the night they played a lot of Tommy, before playing some other hits. Or perhaps you went to the gig when they played The Witchdoctor Club? If anyone was at either of those gigs, or any others that The Who played in Hastings, or has any memorabilia, he would like to hear from you. Contact Andy at or happy to pass on any messages.


Alan Esdaile….. I saw The Who 3 times and every gig was excellent. One of the main things I remember is Roger Daltrey swinging his microphone virtually into the centre of the ballroom and then catching it. Later on I did try copying it and managed to ruin a few microphones!

Kurt Helge Andersen…..The Who played The Witch Doctor Club on 4 th of August 65 – BBC made a film from that concert and is can be seen on a DVD nowadays – I was there so see if you can spot me.

Andy Qunta….I  wish I had seen any, or preferably all, of those gigs!

Mick O’Dowd…..I was at The Pier concert where they played Tommy for the first half that didn’t go down too well as no-one knew it. Soon as they played their hits the place errupted!

Gary Kinch….Got to agree with that Andy Q and Alan. Saw them a few time myself in the 70’s. Also saw them at Brighton a few years ago. Loads of 60 something year old Mods there,  keen to recapture the spirit I suppose. Bet they didn’t sleep on the beach though.

Jim Breeds…..I last saw them at Glastonbury on 24th June 2007. It lashed down and blew hard. Know what I mean about very cold rain being driven horizontally into your face? Yeah, that. Apart from the rain and my Allyson getting lost in the crowd for ½ hour after going to the loo it was great. In fact, they were bloody awesome. And they did My Generation.

Kurt Helge Andersen… Denmark we say: “If you remember it, you weren’t there” – it was on my second or third day coming in from Denmark, where the only pop and beatmusic had the nickname”barbed wire music” and the local groups only played cover versions of UK and US hits.
I had heard almost nothing about The Who – only that “Can’t Explain” sounded like The Kinks. An older student said we should go for it – both for the music and hopefully to get to know somebody from Hastings, which we didn’t that night 🙂 it was so crowded – the band didn’t play as loud as later and the was no real dancing, just moving around and people jumping into each other. Everybody was friendly, but the whole thing was much to overwhelming for a 17 year old danish guy, who had never experienced neither UK or a real pop concert : I got the hang of it later that autumn, and I think I liked The Yardbirds-show better than The Who – but we played “My Generation” ten times a night on the Juke Box at The Nest Club that had been recommanded to me by someone. A very sweet married couple had that place as a small coffee bar upstairs and a very small and complete dark square room downstairs, where the only lights came from the Juke Box.
Luckily I got myself a girlfriend there and we spent almost every evening at The Nest dancing and holding hands. Only when we played soccer, I had to cancel the date, and I was always afraid to be alone the next day – but that never happened.
I had a great time in Hastings and St. Leonards-on-Sea attending The Continental College at Cumberland Gardens – a time, I shall never forget – and excuse me for my English – it was so long ago that most of you weren’t born yet 🙂 but maybe planned 😉

Samisen – final line up around 1976



supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….One of the later line-ups of Samisen (and I think the final line-up). Probably around 1976…The percussionist I still cannot identify, or indeed the vocalist in the earlier photos I posted. Dave Kent is the man on keyboards and also played acoustic guitar. I believe that the bass player at this time was Steve Turner (Not the Steve Turner who wrote the Observer column)… still trying to find more photos of the band.

Ken Dengate…..hat looks very much like my old school friend, Dave Kent. His mum and dad ran ‘Eileens Treasure Trove’ in Kings Road, and much later a shop in Tower Road. A Graham Barrat was also an old schoolfriend (don’t know if it’s the same one). His dad had the pub in St. Georges Road that was where the Jehovas Witnesses place was built. Later on his parents had The Inn At Crowhurst. There were also two Steve Turners in my class, again not sure if it was either of them. Don’t suppose any of that’s any help to you. I did a bit of ‘rehearsing’ with Dave in the basement of the shop in Kings Road in the late 70’s. Cheers

Sarah Harvey….You have got it spot on I believe …. this version of Samisen also rehearsed in the basement of the Treasure Trove in Kings Road…. Graham Barratt also, I knew his dad had a pub although I knew him when he lived in flats in Bohemia Road. Steve Turner lived in Baldslow Road and had an older brother who I have seen about town relatively recently. The drummer is still a mystery.

Read moreSamisen – final line up around 1976

Kingbathmat – Looking for Keyboard player 2014 tour

Bernard Jeffery writes…..-Kingbathmat are looking for a Keyboard player. We are a Psychedelic Progressive Heavy Rock band based in the Hastings area. We are booked at Festivals in Europe and Britain in 2014. A good opportunity for someone to join a critically acclaimed band. Must have professional quality equipment. Contact him direct or happy to pass on any messages.


Zig Zag Cover with Ian Hunter


supplied by Philip John

Philip John….Another Zig Zag cover this time number 22 and thanks to everyone for making me so welcome at the meeting yesterday. Ian playing the original cross guitar. Ex Buddy Guy I believe, correct me if I’m wrong.

Pete Prescott….he had that guitar when i saw mott at the oval cricket ground festival in sep 71.amazing day ! the who faces atomic rooster ameria. .

Mick O’Dowd….Nice to see you Phillip. Spread the word!

Ted Crouch and his Band



all cuttings Andre Palfrey-martin collection


photo supplied by Janine Anne Hemsley

Janine Anne Hemsley…..Ted started working with Dance Bands from the late 50s onwards. He ran several of his own bands every night of the week at different venues. I started working with him in 1973 and we did tea dances ,private functions and the spectacular Easter Bonnet parade,for many years on Hastings Pier. Wonderful memories indeed.

SMART 9 report

Another great afternoon and good to see workmen on the pier. Among the new people this time were Conan Howard who used to play in Samisen, Allen Watts who was roadie for Tich, Wesley and loads of others bands,  Chris Stovold who had some brilliant old magazine to show, including the first issue of Zig Zag magazine with Sandy Denny on the cover. Philip John had some amazing tales to tell about life on the road with Mott The Hoople and others and his books is definately a must called  ‘You Rocked, We Rolled’. With talk about the Folk Festival taking place in May, Mick Mepham unearthed the programme from the original Hastings Folk Festival with Tom Paxton headliing. Anyone remember that?  Andre Martin was talking about the success of the  BBC tv programme  The End Of The Pier Show which everyone enjoyed. Andy Gunton arrived with the new music magazine The Stinger which everyone was positive about. Phil Gill confirmed Stallion are playing The Carlisle on April 11th.  Pete Prescott with his amazing scrapbooks and leaflets for The Beatles Day 2014 which looks set to be the biggest and best. Other talk was about The Teenbeats playing The Carlisle, Peter Millington was talking about memories of Ore Youth Club. Other people in attendance were Mick O’Dowd, Geoff Peckham, Tony Qunta, Ray & Anita Medhurst, Chris Sambrook, Sarah Harvey, Ann Gill, Jon McCallion & Yvonne Cleland. Apolgise to anyone I missed as they were still arriving when I left! Barry Taylor was unable to attend but wanted me to mention he is organising a Blues Festival later in the year and anyone interested please contact him.

Sarah Harvey…..Fantastic afternoon at the SMART get-together on Friday and thank you Alan for organising it. The diversity of musical memories that I heard was fascinating. Wonderful people with such interesting backgrounds.

Tony Qunta….Sounds like fun! Sorry I couldn’t be there. Hope to make it to one of these meetings one of these days!

Mick O’Dowd….I can only echo previous comments. Full marks to Alan’s organising abilities. Nice to see yet more new faces and if it carries on like this we might be hiring the New Pier Ballroom for our meets! Fantastic atmosphere and a chance to put faces to the names seen on the web page and Facebook. Roll on the next!

What happens at a SMART meet by Mick O’Dowd

Constantly getting asked what happens at the SMART meet with odd questions like.. will I have to stand up and talk, I only talk about the 60’s so will I fit in, I’m not from Hastings so am I allowed to come, I got thrown out of a band they were in 40 years ago so not sure they will still talk to me etc, etc. IF YOU LOVE MUSIC YOUR WELCOME.

Here’s Mick O’Dowd report on SMART 9 to explain more….

With the broadcasting by the BBC of “The End Of The Pier Show” about  Hastings Pier there appears to be a resurgent interest in all things musical in Hastings. This is highlighted by a surge of interest in our group and website and was very evident in the new faces turning up at the  “meet” at The White Rock Hotel on Friday. For those not in the know this is a  monthly meeting of anybody interested in music and musical memories broadly associated with the local area from the 1960’s to the present time. Completely informal and no forward topics to be discussed, we meet over a coffee/beer and talk to each and anyone we like at about anything Some people bring posters/handbills/tickets of past gigs that they have been to and some just  bring themselves to share memories of past happenings and report on new enterprises as did Andy Gunton with his new magazine called “The Stinger” which appears to have hit the right blend of gigs and interviews. It’s also FREE which makes it all the more appealing! Look out for it. Anyone new to the group is always welcomed by Alan Esdaile and introduced to all present and then it’s find the chat that takes your fancy No one is left sitting in the corner!  One of the strange items that did the rounds this week was a weird sheet  apparently circulated some years back by a band called Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias. Very strange! Tony Qunta turned up with 2 guitars over his shoulder this month on his way to a gig.  This is also time to put faces to names and here, among others, was Mick Mepham, Sarah Harvey, Pete Prescott, Phil & Ann Gill,Andre Palfrey-Martin, Conan Howard, Allen Watts, Chris Stovold, Geoff Peckham, Ray & Anita Medhurst, Chris Sambrook, Philip John, Peter Millington, Jon McCallion & Yvonne Cleland.  All very amiable and interesting people to chat to. There was a nice relaxed feel to the afternoon and pleasantly accompanied by the delicious coffee served up by The White Rock Hotel in the Terrace Bar. We look forward to seeing any new faces next time but for a taster check out the website or facebook page(SMART). by Mick O’Dowd