Who remembers Hastings Musical Exchange in Claremont Hastings?

Adverts from Hastings Music Files supplied by Phil Little

Who remembers Hastings Musical Exchange run by Ernest Ballard? Anyone got any photos of the shop?

Ernest Ballard… Thats over 20 years ago now

Terry Pack… I bought a Vox amp and 2×15 cabinet there in 1973 or 74. My friend and I carried them to Hastings station and took them back to Bexhill on the train.

Phil Gill… I bought a Marshalll Powercel bass cabinet from Leisure Music in Hastings in 1977. It had a 15” speaker with a scoop, it was 4’ tall, 3’ wide and 2’ deep and weighed a ton. I didn’t drive or have a car. I have no clue how I managed to get it home.

Terry Pack… My cabinet had castors on it, but it didn’t like rough surfaces. Nonetheless, I carted it the 1/2 mile from my mum’s in Reginald Road to the Salvation Army Youth Club in Station Road every Sunday for a rehearsal with Rob Welch and Ivan Priddy (and for a while Kim Carter with my trio/quartet ‘Red’. I was younger than the others, and much less schooled (Kim had grade 8 piano, I think, Ivan had had lots of tuition and Rob was alarmingly intellectual and an aficionado of Robert Fripp). Despite all of this, I was the leader/bassist/singer of a rather good band.

Phil Gill… Fabulous. My cabinet got me the sack from The Escalators. I used it on all the England gigs, (with my Selmer Treble & Bass 50 valve amp), including all the support gigs we did with The Enid. All of those were in big rooms at provincial theatres or university gigs, so there was plenty of room to site the backline towards the back of the stage, and it sounded great. Fast forward to The Escalators ska band at The Windsor Castle pub in London. It was a really tiny stage and I was right in front of my cabinet. It sounded great on stage, but the design of it meant that the sound didn’t develop until it hit the back of the room. Consequently, 50 feet away at the back of the room, British Movement skinheads (it was a Ska band ) were being pinned to the back wall by the sheer force of the bass. Our friend Ray went ballistic, (his pal Johnny Gus was there), lots of head slapping ensued and the following day I was an ex-Escalator. Killer bass sound though.

Ernest Ballard… Great story that one Guess the memory is better than keeping the job in the band. So funny Phil

Terry Pack… My set up for The Hollywood Killers was a Fender head with two 18s(!?) and a Fretless Rickenbacker 4001. A year later with The Enid I was using a 100 watt HiWatt into two Orange 4/12s. We bought six of these from The Bay City Rollers. They were made of incredibly thick plywood and weighed a ton. We also had a homemade mixing desk and multi core that weighed tons and were really difficult to move. The desk had to go in and out of the cellar at The Lodge. The crew loved it.

Kim Carter…  I had forgotten about those band practices at the Youth Club in Bexhill. I remember buying a Farfisa Organ at the Musical Exchange, plus a Moog Satellite synth.

Mark Hardwick… Ernie used to drum with us in a band (The Riverboys)

Ernest Ballard… Hey hey Hello Mark. The Riverboys. Yes forgot I played in this great Rockabilly band

The River Boys – Kiss My Baby Goodbye 1987

riverboys 1 riverboys 2 riverboys 3

riverboys 4

photos supplied by Colin Brown Eastbourne Bands from 1960 on.

Colin Brown… 4 photo’s of a Record Produced in Eastbourne 1987. “The River Boys ” 12″ Vinyl 33 & 45

Ernest Ballard… I played with the River Boys towards the end of my time in Hastings. Big Barry on guitar was so much fun to be around. Threatening to cut my long hair off to suit the bands image. Mark was on bass. The mention of ICC on the post related to ICC international Christian recording studio in Eastbourne if you didn’t already know. So live in the studio. Part of Kings Church in Hastings. Which was established in Hastings at the indoor Tennis courts up on the Ridge which I believe is still there. They had indoor cricket nets too I believe. I have a River Boys shirt somewhere I’ll try and take a picture of it.

Slayve – Circa 1979


supplied by Ernest Ballard

Ernest Ballard… Left to right. Paul Tanner, Mark Freeman (Dec) Ernest Ballard , Steve Simpson. Band called Slayve. Circa 1979. Taken at White Horses. One of our first gigs was at The Crypt Hastings.

Chris Barrett… Great picture Ern.

Alan Esdaile… Going for the menacing look Ernest?

Ernest Ballard… I learnt that look when I lived in London playing in a rock band with attitude lol. Found it in an old suitcase I unpacked from the loft