Tony May talking about Bands On Hastings Pier
Hastings Pier may just be a derelict and rusting shell at the moment but its great to know that ‘the old girl’ is far from forgotten in the minds of many in the town and a number of nostalgic groups have popped up since the fire on social media websites like Facebook.
One such group –‘ Bands We’ve Seen On Hastings Pier’ http://www.facebook.com/groups/196962362327/ has proved particularly popular and has become THE place to visit on the Internet for those who desire to wax lyrical about anything to do with the Pier’s illustrious musical past.
Reading through the many posts makes you realise just how special a place Hastings Pier was in its heyday and its amazing to see just how many popular performers have contributed memories and/or photos to the group pages. In fact, almost anyone who has ever meant anything to the musical side of Hastings seems to have joined the conversation at some point and told a story or shared a memory or photograph.
Interestingly, those who had a close association with the Pier in the 1970’s seem to be the most vociferous members and there are numerous posts from Hastings favourites like Phil Thornton, Mick Mepham, Pete Fairless, Johnny Mason (Alan Esdaile), Terry Huggins, Ken Dengate, Robert Wren and a host of others.Don’t for a second though think that the party is an all male affair. Oh No! Plenty of ladies including Pam Shallcross, Yvonne Cleland and Margaret Haywood are regular posters and are just as passionate and chatty regarding their own personal memories.
It never ceases to make me smile when I think of the ‘eclectic’ selection of acts to have appeared on the Pier over the years…One of the weirdest groups of all perhaps was ‘Gong’. A ‘space rock, psychedelic, progressive rock band’, the group was never one to do things by half and Phil Thornton remembers that “UV lights, gliss guitar and paper plates” were all ingredients of the bands stage show.