Moody Blues St Leonards and Eastbourne 1960’s

supplied by John Busbridge

John Busbridge… Signed Photo of Moody Blues given to me by the Moody Blues backstage at the Continental Club in Eastbourne ! My Favourite Band at that time! Saw them three times! Once at the continental club in Eastbourne and twice at the Witch Doctor

Ashley Davies… Still listen to on the threshold of a dream album which is 50 years old great band

John Busbridge… I even started to learn the flute at the time!

Alan Esdaile… Struggling to read this John. Does it say a date. Looks like birthday night

John Busbridge… 1st Birthday Night Friday 16th July 1965. Tickets 7/6

Chris Meachen… Got a lift off them once.. Budgie took me halfway to Coventry, then the Moodies let me ride with them from the services to somewhere near my destination..

Baz Cooper… Did they sign the photo and then say, “Go Now!” ???

Dave Nattress… Baz – now there’s a “Question”

Baz Cooper… Yes, isn’t life strange?! Lovely to see these old photos from days of future past! On a sadder note, it is just on 12 months ago that Ray Thomas died

Colin Norton… Why do we never get an answer? …..


Moody Blues – Witch Doctor 1st Birthday night 16th July 1965

Lloyd Johnson… I went to this gig!…the WERE Magnificent with Denny Laine.

Colin Bell… Even remastered ‘Go Now’ still suffers bloody awful distortion. I asked Denny about this in the 90’s and even he admitted the original ‘master’ was distorted! Still a great record though.

John Busbridge… I was there, I still have the ticket and a signed photograph! And the original LP

Bob Cockburn… They were excellent that night!!

David Edwards… In the midst of so much guitar led pap this came along with the driving piano and Denny’s unique vocals, wonderful!!

Stuart Tanner… Remember it well.

Mick O’Dowd… The REAL Moody Blues with Denny Laine! I seemed to vaguely remember going to this.

Judith Monk… I was there.

Witch Doctor – what the stars say but NO Moody Blues! July 1966





Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Andre Martin…..The Witch Doctor advertisement you have posted for July 1966 – which gives the Moody Blues as appearing -did not take place- having checked through the newspapers, see attached. All that I can think happened, was that this had been the original plan to get the Moodys back again, but as the 1966-1066 Programme book must have been planned and printed well in advance, something changed – perhaps the Moody Blue were on tour out of the country, who knows – in the end it was the Birds who topped the bill on that 3rd Birthday Party Night.

Mick Knights….the most likely reason for cancelation was a bands sudden increase in popularity (single climbing the charts) and the booking fee increasing by the same ratio. Seem to remember the same effect in reverse, when not enough tickets were sold to cover the bands fee.

Andre Martin….Mick -That’s what I thought, so I checked with their website and it would seem that Summer 66 was a ” troubled” time, with band members changing, so it would have been a logical move by management to pull dates. I don’t think we will ever know for sure.

Mick O’Dowd… I remember having a Witch Doctor flyer for this event which was the 2nd anniversary. 10/- entry (50p). Wanted to go but was working elsewhere that night. Never heard any reviews or talk afterwards.

John Warner… Alan Haven, the London director of the company that owned the Witchdoctor, sadly passed away.

Steve Maxted… sorry to hear that John

Jerry Fuentes… The Moodies performed in Prestatyn at the Royal Lido on July 18, 1966.

John Busbridge… was there, even got my ticket, saw the Moody Blues there twice and once at the Continental Club in Eastbourne where we went back stage with them.

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 Happy Ballroom and more – Sat 17th July 1965 by Andre Martin

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

After a short break, I am back, is Saturday 17th July 1965 – but nothing much has happened in the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, I have searched with Steve Peak, the management meeting minutes, as we are jointly writing a book on The History of Hastings pier for the Pier Trust [publication is planned for later in the year] and there is nothing mentioned about the Entertainments? From the press we can see that The Old Time Music Hall and Wrestling made up the programme for the Ballroom in the week – something must happen soon ???
The weekend would have started off with the ITV – Ready Steady Go and this week with both Cathy and Keith at the controls, the artists include – The Animals “ Gotta get out of this Place” : Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames “Like we used to be” : Dusty Springfield “ Middle of nowhere” : Inez & Charlie Foxx : Nina Simone, another excellent line up.
The Witch Doctor was just to enter its second year, as on 16th July topping the bill that night were The Moody Blues, and I can recall that night, the club was packed, and I mean packed ! it was HOT but the atmosphere was just sensational, at this point, if I could have contact Lloyd Johnson, I am sure that he would have been able to live a garment by garment detail of just what the boys we wearing, all I can recall was dark blue mohair suits – but very smart, their whole show was just the Best!! In support was one of the clubs favourite bands from Folkestone – The Lonely Ones. Not a bad night for only 7/6d !
Saturday continued with the two group shows, and this week the Top of the Bill were – Davy Jones and The Lower Third, supported by The Sultans. The Sunday Club: The Five of One. And Friday live music was supplied by another favourite of The Witch Doctors patrons – George Bean & The Runners. The remaining nights, plus both Saturday and Sunday afternoons were filled with records by the resident team of spinners keeping everybody entertained.
Radio played a great role in the entertainment of the young and not so old in the town, Pirates were heard everywhere – Radio Caroline and London were the two prime stations. The BBC was not doing too bad, as they had the resources, even if those in charge were very set in their ways, and ran the Corporation like a Government Department. Saturday had a great selection of shows. Saturday Club at 10..00am this week presented Billy Fury, Dusty Springfield, Herman’s Hermits, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Gamblers, The Echos and The Ladybirds all presented by Brian Matthews. 2.00pm it was Saturday Swings – Tom Jones & The Squires, Elkie Brooks, The Boston Dexters, Ian Russell and The Saturday Sound. 4.00pm was a change with the introduction of “The Folk Room” with The Overlanders, The Strawberry Hill Boys and Friday Brown with Don Spencer as the compere.
Sunday it was Easy Beat – 10.31am this week the Johnny Howard Band with Laura Lee, Danny Street and Tony Stevens plus a few releases and guests with Keith Fordyce. Lunchtime it would have been what has been described as a National Treasure in the format of Two Way Family Favourites – this week keeping the UK via London and BAOR Germany {Cologne} together with record requests and messages. Another of the Sunday highlights would have been Alan “Fluff” Freemen with Top of The Pops another programme that was destined fo prosperity in the history of the British Music Industry.
Television features were Saturday night –Juke Box Jury – with David Jacobs chairing the weekly half hour show and the panel this week was Ray Brooks, Angela Douglas Stubby Kaye and Millie. Over on ABC was Thank Your Lucky Stars, which this week included not only Brian Matthews, but Jim Dale, Dusty Springfield, Dave Clark Five, Billy Fury, Kenny Ball and His Jazz Men, Pete Murray, Janice Nicholls, Helen Shapiro, The Searchers, The Seekers and Mark Wynter.
So for any of you who around at the time, it was another good week, I was lucky with the Moody Blues on the Friday, as I was roistered for early morning starts 06.00am with the buses, but when you had been having a good night out, getting up was hard work, and to get to the Depot on time – I must thank my Dad, who was often up and about getting men to jobs, that I was never given the opportunity to oversleep!! Adding it all up it was a great time to be around.
As we reach August in the next few days, and with the return of Carnival FM I will have to find and dust down some of my favourite records, CDs and MP3’ and make sure that I can find the “Time Machine” last seen last August in the Old Town, I am sure that we remembered to bring this when we moved house recently !! so until the next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom keep a watch out for the work on the Pier, the base has now gone down for the new information/educational centre and how things have been progressing. Also on Monday I went to the HUB to be interviewed about the Pier only to find the place full of yellow tee shirts and the Seafront Rickshaw project getting its official opening – good luck to all involved it’s a great idea and a great tourist attraction. Till next week you all take great care of yourselves.

Andre Palfrey-Martin@2015

Jim Hobbs… I used Go Now for many years as a play-out track at gigs.