all cuttings Andre Palfrey-martin collection, pier crowd photo Coz ‘Swoz’ Booth from Alex Chapman West Marina To Hastings Pier.
Dateline – August Bank Holiday 1st August 1964, and here we are all poised for another great weekend in The Happy Ballroom – headline act this weekend The Rolling Stones, making their 3rd visit to Hastings, and this was going to be a good night, as they had just had 2 weeks in the no 1 spot on the UK Charts with “It’s All Over Now “ – a number penned by Bobby & Shirley Womack and had been originally released in the US by the Valentinos. The Stones had raved about this song when they first heard this on the Murray the K Show earlier that year. For those who like FACTS – it was The Beatles, with “ A Hard Day’s Night” that had pushed The Stones off the No 1 spot the previous week. Because of the popularity the prices had risen to 10/- admission. The supporting bands were The Worrying Kind and The Sabres – both of which were well know to the patrons of the Happy Ballroom. So nothing very different than a normal Saturday night in The Happy Ballroom – but as we all know things were about to change. Because of the very recent chart success of The Stones, more than normal crowds began to arrive at the Pier, also being a Bank Holiday extra visitors, looking for a long weekend added to the interest. Because of the numbers of fans it was agreed that to get the band onto the Ballroom, different tactics should be used, and in this instance the famous disused ambulance delivery would be used. I have attached with this amongst the photos, a copy from the after-action report from the Police giving more details of this activity. Well as we all now know, this was going to be the start of a very different weekend for Hastings, and one that would be branded – Second Battle of Hastings. The night before – 31st July – Ready Steady Go would include – –The Kinks – “You Really Got Me.”
–Manfred Mann – “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.”–The Four Pennies – ” Found Out The Hard Way.”
–Kenny Lynch – “What Am I To You” (or “My Own Two Feet”). -Simon Scott – “Move It Baby.”
–Peter Lee Stirling –The Shevelles -The Leroys
This had set the musical scene for the Bank Holiday. Along the seafront at the very recently opened The Witch Doctor, was planning a weekend that would have included Saturday night – from Coventry “ The Avengers “ and Sunday “ John Lees Ground Hoggs”. Andre Martin
Clifford Rose……I’d like to have seen the Alex Harvey Soul Band. Same Alex Harvey before the rock band.
Andre Martin… The crowd photo, just prior to the Rolling Stones Appearing in the Happy Ballroom, this was part of the build up to the second Battle of Hastings as the press and TV branded the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Sue Verrall… The Sabres supporting wow !!!
Ad supplied by Andy Gunton
Andy Gunton… I was sent this photo by a friend earlier, I think it’s from January 1964? He found it while doing some musical research, not sure where.
Andre Martin… For some reason it’s been printed on red, this was the second visit from the boys in 1964
Alan Esdaile… The only other thoughts I have is, was it an ad in a What’s On type magazine?
Jill Caine… Awwwww memories!! I woz there.
Mick O’Dowd… This is a colour version of the Observer ad.
Mick Knights… I do remember that I couldn’t afford the 2/6 entrance!
Martin Richter… rolling who…..?
Jill Caine… I was there. behind the bar until the Stones came and then into the ballroom to see them!!!
Glenn Piper… Pity I was only 7 at the time
Gavin Martin… Long haired layabouts .. They look like gurls. I wouldn’t let my great grandmother anywhere near them
Pauline Lindsay… I was there to and remember it well.
Helen Kingshott… I was there to
Peter Fairless… Their Decca EP was released the day before, ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ and ‘Money’ on the ‘A ‘ side, ‘Poison Ivy’ and this on the ‘B’ side. One of our favourites…
Terry Haddon… Me as well Pauline,great night
Bob Laurie.. Opened with “King Bee” as I remember! Cycled over from Bexhill in the freezing cold to see!
Lloyd Johnson… I was there…saw them twice on the Pier….they arrived in an Ambulance and ran up the left side of the Pier to the ballroom. I saw them jump out of the ambulance whilst we were queuing to get in….
David Bargioni… Yep, I was there too.
all supplied by Andre Palfrey-martin collection
Andre Martin….Happy Ballroom History Lesson – Saturday 11 April 1964 – and what an interesting weekend this was going to be, for a kick-off it was the second visit from the Rolling Stones, and for many it would be a start of the weeks wait for the release of the first album by the boys “ The Rolling Stones Album” – Alan would have had copies in The Disc Jockey this coming Thursday if not before. I have located an early publicity photo of the group from these early days.
We all know how the band had been attracting followers over the weeks, since their first appearance in the Happy Ballroom, the previous January 18th, when they had been backed by “The Four Aces”. The Hastings Observer added even more information about this second appearance, and I have attached for your perusal and appreciation.
The support act this time was “The Falcons” and this is where we are spoilt for choice, as there are listed several bands under that name. Firstly I need to establish these were NOT the American Soul act of the same name, from Detroit and included in their line up Wilson Puckett and Eddie Floyd !
The British offerings, included “ The Falcons” from Rosyth in Scotland, who were semi-professional and their line up mainly from apprentices in the Naval Dockyard, they did playing from some of the American Bases in the north and at one time went on a short tour of the USAF Clubs in France.
Birmingham features in the mix, with a group “ The Falcons” who included in their line up one Ulysses Adrian Wood – who would go onto become a interesting and entraining member of “Wizzard” who I remember booking on the Pier in the early 70s, with my partner Paul Casson.
The group that most probably would have been “The Falcons” appearing on Hastings Pier that Saturday night, would have come from Eastleigh nr Southampton and included in their line up an up and coming artiste who was to go and make his name with such as The Tornados and from the production stable of Joe Meek – Heinz. I have found a photo of the very young group taken in 1960 and have added to the story.
You will have from time to time come across the mentioning in the Happy Ballroom Advertisements’ of the Rock & Roll or Twisting Nights, that were run by John Hodgson, it is rare that we get many mentions of the groups of played at these regular mid-week functions, but please see this weeks press report as that fills in one of the gaps.
John Storer…..I see the following week, The Rattles were playing. They had a big hit 6 years later with “The Witch” and, like the Stones, are still touring and making the occasional album.
Andre Martin…Die Geschichte von der Happy Ballroom – Das wird Teil der nächsten Wochen.
Jeanette Steve Jones…..Ja, echt Super
Olli Laasanen … Hastings Pier was built in 1872. It flourished during late Victorian era. It was first time destroyed by fire in 1917. It’s prime time was in 1930’s. Rolling Stones had a gig there on 1964. There was severe storm damages during 1990’s. The fire destroyed in in 2010. I took this picture in 1978, during a calm July day.
© olli laasanen http://%20www.ollilaasanen.wordpress.com
Jill Caine… I was there!! Serving in the bar until the Stones came on, then I was in the ballroom with everyone else!!
John Duddridge… I was also there. What a brilliant night, when the Stones came on I got moved from the back of the ballroom to about halfway to the front caused by the surge of fans. My main concern was not to spill my beer which I had probably bought from Jill a bit earlier. Great times.
Christine Toms… I was there brought the Stones in by speedboat to avoid the fans
David Bargioni… I was there…..with Andre.
Jackie Hersee… I was there
The Hastings Observer printed this in 2011. Can anyone confirm this?
ROCK legends The Rolling Stones played one of their earliest gigs right here in Hastings.
However, it was not as you might expect in the pier’s ballroom or the now closed Crypt. Oh no, perhaps the biggest band to ever play in 1066 Country made their bow on stage at a debutante’s ball in the depths of the town’s network of caves.
Wildman guitarist Keith Richards has recently released an autobiography in which the iconic axeman reveals the band visited Hastings back in July 1963 for a gig in what is now Smugglers’ Adventure.
This would have been less than a year after the band’s first concert and just weeks after they were signed by their now infamous long-time manager Andrew Loog Oldham.
News of the subterranean performance came as a complete shock to the caves’ current custodian Trevor White, who is manager of The Smugglers’ Adventure.
He told the Observer: “We knew the caves had been used for a variety of musical performances over the centuries ranging from dances in the 18th century to regular jazz evenings in the fifties and sixties
“However, none of us realised that the great Rolling Stones had played here and now we’re desperately trying to find out more about it and see if we can trace anyone who may have been here to watch them play.
“The details are a little sketchy, and Keith may not have the best of memories for everything that happened to him in the sixties, but there’s definitely enough information in the book to prove that it did take place.”
In fact, any memories Richards does have of the event are far from glowing. In his book the guitarist – famed for his hedonistic rock and roll lifestyle, says the gig had taken place the night before a performance at the Wisbech Corn Exchange in Cambridgeshire.
He wrote: “By the greatest contrast known to rock-and-roll audiences, the previous night we’d played a debutante’s ball at Hastings caves, for somebody called Lady Lampson, all via Andrew Oldham, an awfully super-duper, upper crusty affair doing a lowlife bash in Hastings caves, which are quite big.”
And, according to his book, Life, the concert didn’t end well after someone asked the former Stones’ keyboardist, Ian Stewart, to play Moon River and a fight broke out.
“It’s extraordinary to think that one of the biggest bands in the world played here in Hastings and none of us were aware of it,” said Mr White – who was delighted with the revelation despite the less than glowing reference Richards gave the town.
“I’ve been working in the caves for more than 10 years now and I’m always discovering fascinating new information about them.”
n Did you attend Lady Lampson’s ball? Perhaps you saw another top band play in a strange local location? Email email@example.com
Peter Fairless….Oh, yeah, if it was in Keith’s book, it was probably true. He’s the one, bizarrely, with the good memory!
Andre Palfrey-martin….Now I have read this, I do recall that about this time, there was a rumour that somebody from the Rolling Stones had been taken to A&E at the RESH after playing at a private function in the Caves.
Mick O’Dowd….The rumour was originally featured in “The Face” column of one liner bits of news in NME I think but it said that it was St.Clements Hall for a debutante’s “coming out” party but it could easily have been St Clement’s Caves.
Peter Fairless…. Nice to see this come up again! As an additional bit of information, not that it actually confirms the gig taking place but does add more support… Lady Lampson, later Lady Killearn, who is supposed to have organised the ball lived at Etchingham, so it’s going to have been Hastings, not Chislehurst, if it happened!
Andre Martin…. That was a rumour about the Stones, we think that the caves they were referring to back in the 1960s were at Chistlehurst .
Steve Turner… The deb ball was for Roxana ‘Bunty’ Lampson. I spoke to a photographer who was there. In his book Rolling With the Stones Bill Wyman says that they couldn’t play because Brian Jones was sick on the way down in their van. The photographer said it was because the electric supply wasn’t powerful enough. I’d like to find out more. It seems definite that the Stones came down though.
Anyone fancy a trip to California?
Joe Knight… Why couldn’t they chose CAMBER SANDS
Neil Steadman… How much are the tickets?
Alan Esdaile… It looks like $399 plus fees for a three day pass, plus the cost of getting their, accommodation etc but the biggest problem will be getting your hands on a ticket.
Neil Steadman… Norwegian airlines look reasonable, £450 return.
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.
supplied by Philip John
Philip John…..Going through a pack of press cuttings i found this Archive account of the Stones in Hyde Park back in ’69. I think it really catches the changes taking place at that time.
I remember I was there with an old school friend, Paul Dobson who later developed the RSD Sound system company. We travelled up from Cheshunt Herts by train, I was wearing a pair of curtains my mother had brought back from India, poncho style ( think Clint in ‘A Fist Full of Dollars’,) over a purple shirt, jeans and fringed boots, I really thought I looked the business till we got to the park and found ourselves surrounded by thousands of very cool London groovers who could spot out of towners right away.
That aside we had a great day, the sound wasn’t all that good but this was the Stones live in concert and me and Paul along with thousands of others were part of it.
Anyone else got memories of that concert ?
Alan Esdaile…..I was there. Loved King Crimson. I remember wearing my Woodstock armband which I got from Atlantic Records for joining the uptightoutasight club and a hippy bell round my neck!
Anne Wells……I helped run the uptightoutasight (Atlantic/Stax appreciation club) while working for Polydor (incorporating Atlantic, Stax etc) in London in 1968-69. Probably posted off your armband !(as only 3 of us ran it). Also went to the Stones Hyde Park concert.
Alan Esdaile…..Excellent, Anne. Its bizarre what triggers these odd memories. I even remember the record that was sent to me – Brook Benton Rainy Night In Georgia. Coming back to the Stones gig another great band that does not seem to get any mentions nowadays is ‘ Family’. They were really good.
Redstar Richter….not me – but my partner is in the official film 🙂
John Wilde….Family, great band Alan, saw them many times, thanks for the reminder.
Geoff Peckham… I missed the Stones’ one, but went to the Blind Faith concert at Hyde Park. Also on the bill were: Donovan, Ritchie Havens, Third Ear Band and the ubiquitous Edgar Broughton. A fab day out
Wendy Weaver… I was there. Long way for the stage. I remember the cargo nets up to the front of he stage and bouncers throwing girls back into the crowd.