Nashville Teens – The Witch Doctor 17th July 1964.

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all cuttings Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

Andre Martin…..OK Mick – time to wallow in memories – from the Hastings Observer July 1964

Mick Knights….I was there, a innocent 15 year old!!! The first steps I ever took on a dance floor were there, the tune was Pretty Woman and the young lady didn’t hang around for a second one!!!!

Andre Martin… For those of you who follow The History of The Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier on “Bands we’ve seen on Hastings Pier “you will know that we have moved to the start of a period of change and great competition, and I could not let this week go, without posting something of what was going to happen – The arrival of The Witch Doctor. I do not intent to write a weekly blog of who, what, where and when – but this was the weekend -17th/18th July 1964, FIFTY YEARS AGO. These had been some simple trails posted in the Hastings & St Leonards Observer, but I don’t think that many people had any idea of exactly what the Witch Doctor was going to be. We were soon to find out – in simple terms it was very difference to what we had experienced in the past in Hastings & St Leonards, it brought the entertainment potential right bang up to date. The ownership of the club can be traced back to Manchester and the Chain of nightclubs called Mr Smiths, these were expanding into the South and in particular around London, operating under the name of The Witch Doctor, and for whatever reason, we end up with one in St Leonards, in Marine Court, above the Dolphin Ballroom. The Opening night featured The Nashville Teens as Top of the Bill, but what was to make even more publicity, that went national the next day, was the story of a young lady from Hastings, the daughter of a well know lawyer who ended up in London with the lead vocalist from the group and being returned home by the Metropolitan Police – have withheld the names and the file is sealed. If the readers want to find out more, I will leave that to you. With this new venue in place the entertainment scene in the area would change quite dramatically and we would become all part of this change, leaving us to this day with memories both good and bad, happy and sad.Above are a few images from the local newspaper from all those years ago, I apologise that some of the images are poor – but this was 50 years ago, and the quality of newsprint in those days, does not survive well.

Peter Fairless… Was it open long enough, with enough visiting acts, to sustain it’s own group? What do people think?

Andre Martin…The Witch Doctor 17 July 1964 – 7 October 1967 – it was closed for refurbishment and Opened as the Cobweb till Dec 1970. Lots of visiting acts, etc small compared to the Pier, maximum around about 450 [ slightly more when using the Bob Knights method counting attenders !

Peter Fairless… Is the space still there, Andre?

Andre Martin… Converted back to offices in the 1970s, when the club was moved in name to the old town and re opened as the Aquarius – the site in Marine was badly damaged on NYE 70 with a bad fire.

Terry Wallis… I think I saw Nashville Teens and may have been opening night? Mind you I would have only been 15 then, perhaps I dreamed I went! 😀

Alan Esdaile… interesting they are advertising a band 4 plus 1, is this the same as unit 4 plus 2 which one less musician?

Steve Maxted… what a gem, to see a billing of the opening night of the Witchdoctor. Andre has a wealth of information, well done.

Ronald Burgoyne… I was there.

 

The Manish Boys – with Davy Jones (David Bowie) – Witch Doctor 30th Jan 1965

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leaflet source: http://www.bowiewonderworld.com/tours/tour58.htm

supplied by Rod Smith Hastings and Area, Past and Present Facebook Page and Ad supplied by Andre Martin

Rod Smith… “Apparently, David Bowie never played in Hastings but did play four times in St Leonards, at The Witch Doctor, Marine Court. On 13th Nov. 1964 and 30th January 1965 as Davy Jones & The Manish Boys. On 17th July 1965 as Davy Jones and The Lower Third. The final time was when he had become David Bowie and appeared there as David Bowie and The Buzz on 3rd September 1966. This is the leaflet from their site for 30th Jan.1965”

Jim Breeds… Good stuff.

Mick O’Dowd… This should help clear the fact that he didn’t appear with The Konrads on Hastings Pier with Tony Rivers & The Castaways.

The Cresters & The Confederates – The Witch Doctor – 24th October 1964

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supplied by Peter Millington http://pet842.wix.com/jinks-the-group

Mick Knights….Now that does take me back, I was there on the opening night to see the Nashville Teens!! The first steps I ever took on a dance floor were there, the tune was Pretty Woman and the young lady didn’t hang around for a second one!!!!

Peter Millington… The Cresters were so under-rated, we (The Confederates) were “gob smacked” they were fantastic! They were superb and such good individual musicians.

Mike Curtis… I saw Dave Curtis and The Tremors when I was on holiday at Butlins Clacton in 1963. First live band I ever saw.

 

Neil Landon & The Burnettes 29th August 1964, Alexis Korner 30th August 1964- Witch Doctor

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… From The Witch Doctor in 1964, one of the bands that Neil played with before the Lonely Ones.

Gerry Fortsch… I was very impressed with this club, I was never very trendy in truth I looked more like a hairy beatnik. I did catch the Small Faces though.

The Herd – The Witch Doctor 28th August 1966

Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Paul Morfey… Still got the single, almost 50 years old. Great song, great era in English music!!

Mick O’Dowd… Great group. One of my faves even though they were short-lived. At least Frampton went on from being “The Face of 67” to being a very talented artist.

Lloyd Johnson… Before they became The Herd some of them were in a band called The Preachers. The Preachers also played The Witchdoctor around 1964.It was my mate Dave Muriel’s 21 Birthday and they were friends of his so they came to Hastings early and played his birthday party the evening before The Witchdoctor at The Pamdor Club above the Coffee bar in Queen’s road.There were around 20 or so of us.Les Martin who ran The Club kindly let Dave have his party there.

The Sons Of Man, The Lonely Ones, Cathy McGowan Show featuring the Equals. Witch Doctor. 1965

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Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… the Equals with Eddie Grant, appeared on the Cathy McGowan Show one Sunday at the Witch Doctor. For some unknown reason, I thought this had been in the afternoon, but the advert tells otherwise. Although the Equals are not billed, they appeared as Guests.

Barry M Dyke….  remember not seeing Eddie Grant and the Equals twice. Apparently Mr. Grant was too idle to travel to Hastings. Pre booked ticket money was, eventually, refunded.

Mick Knights… I danced my socks of at the Cathy McGowan show, but failed to get a ticket for Ready Steady Go. Not bitter or anything!!!!

Yvonne Cleland… I saw Eddy Grant on the pier and it was brilliant!

Mick O’Dowd… Eddie owned a flay in Devonshire Place in the late 70’s as I was introduced to him by a guy who was his plugger/confidente when I worked at Bonitas. Remember the Sunday Club gig.

Alan Esdaile…  I saw The Equals on Hastings Pier, I think once was an allnighter and the other time was The Sunday Club and they were excellent.

Lynn Graham… Those were the days. The Witch Doctor was my second home:) not that my mum knew of course! Hehe.

Trevor Spears… The Lonely ones excellent band!

Them – Witch Doctor 30th April 1965

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Ad Andre Palfrey-martin collection. photo London Records Ad 1965

John Storer…Does this get votes as one of the most influential singles ever? both tracks are now standards and both sound as brilliant today as they did back then. “Gloria” was the b-side to “Baby Please Don’t Go” when it was released in the UK but the tracks were reversed when the single was released in the States. Yet it was “BPDG” as a b-side that caught the imagination of many American bands and it was a cover of that song by The Amboy Dukes in 1967 that brought a certain Mr Ted Nugent to prominence.

Andy Qunta…..Funnily enough, Gloria was the B-side to Baby Please Don’t Go, although it is perhaps the better-known one now. I like both, but I still prefer the A-side!  By the way, they say that if you drop a guitar down the stairs, sooner or later it will play Gloria!

Len……Saw ‘Them’ in the club upstairs above the Fiesta Coffee Bar, on the day they played the Witch Doctor.

Alan Esdaile….Anyone remember seeing Van Morrison at The White Rock Theatre in 1991?

Mick O’Dowd…..Yes I was there. Fantastic show from The Master and if I remember Mike Cotton Sound were a more than adequate band.

 

The Birds – Valentines Day – Witch Doctor 1966

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supplied by Robert Wren

Alan Esdaile… Anyone tell us anymore about The Birds? The American band was spelt ‘The Byrds’ but I think it could be this version…..

John Storer….The bassist in this clip is Kim Gardner who was the “Gardner” in Ashton Gardner & Dyke who had a hit around 1970 with “The Resurrection Shuffle” Groovy clip, by the way ….

Robert Wren….Ronnie Wood.

Andre Martin…..This is the British BIRDS and this is 1966, there was some confusion at the time about the 2 groups.They came from West London, and Ronnie Wood was in the original line up – here is potted history – The Birds were a popular rhythm and blues band in the United Kingdom during the mid-1960s, although they recorded fewer than a dozen songs and released only four singles. Starting out with a hard R&B sound, they later began infusing it with Motown-style vocal harmonies he best known former member of The Birds is Ronnie Wood, who went on to join the Jeff Beck Group, Faces and later The Rolling Stones.

Will Cornell…..Your Birds (w. Ron Wood) predated our Byrds by a little I think, and that’s why McGuinn used a “y”–that and he didn’t want UK audiences to think they were chicks.

Eric Cawthraw… just catching up on some of my SMART site reading and noticed the Witch Doctor posting for this. Well at the moment I’m reading ‘Rock On Wood’,  about Ronnie Wood obviously. A damn good read it is too. There is a lot in the book about the British 60s R&B band the Birds – I see they are also on the same add. This explains the item on the bottom left of the book’s inner sleeve cover that says “Don’t blame me, I was at The Witch Doctor”. See for yourself! I believe there was a right old whoo-ha over the name when the American Byrds came to tour. I believe our Birds were highly respected on London circuit in the mid-sixties. I’m too young to know! [Delusional again]. Anybody got some more music reading to recommend?

Ronnie Wood001 Birds Witch Doctor001

supplied by Eric Cawthraw