Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Starrlite Beatles to Recreate Rooftop Concert in Hastings!

The Starrlite Beatles recreate the classic Beatles rooftop gig of '69 atop of The White Rock Hotel, Hastings.

Join us on Hastings promenade to see us perform a very special set of the rooftop hits and more!

This special event is a warm up for Hastings Beatles Day which will see us performing alongside local Beatles acts and fans in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support at The White Rock Theatre, the next day.

6th April 2013
Showtime - 1pm
The White Rock Hotel Rooftop.

For more information visit:

Friday, 29 March 2013

Out on Monday! - Ringo at the Ryman

Ringo At The Ryman, filmed on July 7, 2012, celebrates Ringo’s birthday with an extra special line-up featuring great players and touching on some unforgettable classic hits spanning four decades – from Steve Lukather (Toto), Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel), Gregg Rolie (Journey, Santana), Todd Rundgren and Gregg Bissonette.

The set list is undeniably familiar: “Yellow Submarine,” “Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Act Naturally,” and his bandmates’ contributions “Kyrie Eleison,” “Roseanna,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Bang the Drum All Day,” alongside a special guest appearance from Joe Walsh performing “Rocky Mountain Way” amongst others.

Ringo at the Ryman is out on Monday 1st April! Pre-order now!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Review: James -- and Paul! -- at the Ambassadors Theatre

Review by Lynda-Louise Lee

A Beatle, a Rolling Stone and a Beatle’s Son. Not a line up you expect to see in a small theatre in a London backstreet for twenty quid.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
But that is exactly what the lucky audience of James McCartney’s tour preview witnessed last night at The Ambassadors Theatre.

Sir Paul’s son James is set to release his first full length album, ME as he embarks upon a forty-seven date, twenty-seven state tour of the USA but with support from friend and fellow musician, Ronnie Wood, and with friends and family cheering loudly from their seats James soon realised he was in perfect company as he nervously presented his new material to an audience that would have screamed and whistled no matter what he sang.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
James’ interaction with the audience highlighted his shyness but his inability to explain the reasons behind his songs was soon helped by the assistance of Wood asking his inspiration and what he was thinking whilst writing.

Along with tracks from his new album, James performed his previously released singles Angel and My Friend and dedicated a couple of songs to his “mum and dad”.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
And it was during this introduction that “Dad” crept out of his seat and onto stage to surprise son James.

Having shocked  the audience into an irrupting frenzy, Sir Paul then made his way behind the piano and after a heartfelt thank you from his son, played backing vocals and piano to the last few songs.

You would think with a Rolling Stone and a Beatle onstage, James’ thunder would have been somewhat stolen, but Ronnie Wood and Sir Paul made it clear from that the night was James’ and all attention was on him whilst they played in the background, only attracting attention to then direct it right back to James “Isn’t he a talent?” - a question that was then bounced back and fourth between the three of them for the next few moments whilst the audience loudly agreed.

c. Lynda-Louise Lee
The support and cheeky banter between the three had obviously put James at ease as he then rocked his way through a finale of Rock and Roll and New York Times, causing more “What’s it about James?” jokes from Ronnie and Sir Paul.

After the show, Sir Paul, Ronnie and James, arm in arm with sister Stella fought their way with friends and family through the crowds of fans and paparazzi for an aftershow party at The Ivy.

It was clear in his performance that James has found his own voice and despite his father helping in the production of ME (out now) his individual talent and musicianship is clearly now his own. A singer / songwriter, in his own write…. 

Full Set-List

1- Mexico (with Ronnie)
2- Life's A Pill
3- Snap Out Of It
4- Butterfly
5- Bluebell (piano)
6- You And Me Individually
7- Old Man
8- Wisteria
9- Home
10- Angel
11- Snow (with Ronnie)
12- Wings of A Lightest Weight (with Ronnie)
13- As Strong As You (with Ronnie and Paul)
14- It's All About Rock N Roll (with Ronnie and Paul)

15- My Friend
16- New York Times (with Ronnie and Paul

The BBFC would like to thank Lynda-Louise Lee for sharing this account of last night's show, and for allowing us to publish her photographs.  Please do not reproduce or download anything, including photos, in this article without the express permission of the copyright holder.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

"The Teacher - The Tony Sheridan Story" Out Now!

Out now!

Alan Mann's latest book takes the form of interviews between Alan (a childhood friend of Tony's) and Tony, covering all periods of his life, including of course his relationship with the Beatles in Hamburg. 

Available from Alan's website here 
or from the City Book Shop website:

Buy your copy now!  

Alan Mann, who lives in Little Melton just outside Norwich, has been interested in early rock n roll and pop music for decades and the result has been a series of books that stand as a tribute to some of the greatest artists ever.

An A to Z on Buddy Holly, a book contrasting the careers of Holly and Elvis Presley and now a new biography of former Beatle Tony Sheridan have all flowed from the pen of the unassuming Mann who admits that his twin obsessions for music and writing have led him down a new career path since retiring as a bank manager in 1993.

"I had spent a lifetime as a banker and realised when I retired that I wanted to be a writer. I found that I could channel my artistic desire through the music that I loved," he said.

Alan is the son of well known Norfolk artist John Mann from whom he believes he has inherited an artistic outlook on life. He was captivated by Holly's music from the time he first heard it in 1957. Ironically despite spending so much time writing about Holly, Alan never saw him perform.

"When he appeared on television in the programme Off the Record I was at night school. I missed his appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium as we didn't have ITV and then I didn't get to Ipswich when he played a concert there," Alan said, pointing out that in those far off days video recorders didn't exist.

Eventually Alan decided to channel his efforts into writing about the artist:

"There was always something in Buddy's voice that was special, a kind of timeless quality that has survived even 50 years after his death. You just have to listen to classics like "It Doesn't Matter Anymore," "Everyday" and "True Love Ways" to hear that timeless quality that has influenced so many artists over the years. Some of the early rock n roll like Bill Haley has aged but Holly's music has endured. It has had a lot to do with the fact that he wrote his own songs. He was creating music and in many ways was the antitheses of a rock star - even making it fashionable to wear glasses.

"There have been some remarkable artists from Texas but to me Holly was the best. Had he have lived I believe he would have kept up with the times and maybe have become a top producer. I was 19 when he died and I remember the sadness I felt."

So Alan's lasting memorial to a man he never met began to take shape many years later. 

"When the first book was published in 1994 there weren't many biographies of Buddy Holly on the market. I had all the information and knew so much about this guy that I decided to publish the book. When I wanted to update it I had numerous rejection letters from publishers until Aurum stepped in. It is often felt that Buddy Holly has a bigger fan base in the UK than in America but his popularity soared with the film The Buddy Holly Story, the stage musical Buddy and Don McLean who referred to Holly's death as 'the day the music died' in his song American Pie."

During his research and meetings with members of Buddy's family and his backing band The Crickets, Alan found out a lot more about Buddy the person:

"He was very charismatic on stage. Offstage he was quite quiet but there was always plenty of humour about him. For me his musical legacy can be summed up in the words of the Abba song 'Thank you for the music'. If he had lived I think he would have become a great humanitarian."

With the biography of Holly behind him Alan then set about his next project looking at the linked lives of Buddy and Elvis Presley despite the fact that Presley went on record as saying the two had never met, although they did share the bill on one occasion in Holly's home town of Lubbock, Texas.

Alan found that there were plenty of parallels between the two legends. "Elvis and Buddy - Linked Lives" was published by Music Mentor books in 2002 and took a detailed look at the artists' early years, comparing their backgrounds and influences and chronicling the parallels of their lives, careers and tragic deaths.

With the Holly and Presley published, Alan turned to an artist much closer to home for his next and current biography. He remembered a pal from his schooldays at the CNS in Norwich with the exotic name of Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity.

"This guy just couldn't keep still. You would certainly say that he had the music in him. We lived close to each other for a while. When skiffle music came out it just blew him away. I can remember seeing him perform at the Blue Room in Prince of Wales Road, Norwich" Alan said.

Anthony McGinnity was destined to have his own place in rock music history. The boy from Norwich changed his name to Tony Sheridan and played an important part in the developing history of a little known Liverpudlian band by the name of the Beatles.

Alan has spent the last four years piecing together a biography on "Norwich's Beatle" with the full co-operation of Tony Sheridan himself. Today Alan's study is awash with notes written by Sheridan as part of an aborted autobiography.

"Over the years we kept in touch and Tony came back for CNS re-unions. Four years ago he came back to one re-union and picked up a guitar and started to play. I realised that he has written a wealth of songs and there was a lot more to the guy than met the eye. There never has been a biography of Tony Sheridan and I was keen to put that omission right. 

"I am delighted to say that Tony co-operated fully and the biography has been written with his blessing and is currently with the publishers and due for release later this year."

"Today Tony is something of a maverick. He refers to himself as a troubadour and hates the commercial aspect of the music business. He has lived a fascinating life and there are so many stories to tell from his early days with the Beatles and their first recordings, through the time when he entertained American forces in Vietnam and was reported missing believed killed to the present day," Alan added

The book's title, "The Teacher", is a reference to Tony's ability with the guitar, something that greatly influenced George Harrison and the other Beatles. 

Alan Mann is hoping that the Sheridan biography will attract interest from Beatles fans throughout the world and in particular those who remember Tony Sheridan in Norwich, Liverpool and maybe even Germany. 

For more information on Alan Mann and to buy his books, visit his website at

Competition Winners Announced!

We are delighted to announce the names of the five lucky winners in our recent competition to win a copy of Angie McCartney's book!

Congratulations to Danilo Cavaliere, Andrew Joynson, Peter Byrne, Anne-Marie Trace and Jamie Pinnow!

Your books are on their way to you!

Watch this space for our next competition!!  We have a copy of a great DVD to give away - Becoming The Beatles.  Details of how to win will be posted very soon!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Rod Davis Discusses "And In The End"

By Rod Davis

In May 2013 a fascinating Lennon play, “And in the End” is due to open in London.

I first got to know the author, Sandy Marshall, in about 2001 when he was first researching the play and originally I was rather sceptical, assuming that he was just another American jumping on the Lennon bandwagon. How wrong was I! To start with Sandy has serious credentials in the shape of couple of Emmy awards and he quickly proved to me that he does not do things by halves. He had managed to interview people like Astrid and Julia, Klaus Voorman, Alan Williams and many others, although this in itself does not necessarily win an automatic seal of approval I admit. He had even borrowed a bicycle and cycled around Woolton and Allerton just to experience what John and Paul would have felt!

Valentine Pelka as John Lennon
by Shannon
Sandy sent me his early script drafts to read through and I was able to make some comments which I am pleased to say he found useful. Now and then I found a phrase which I was convinced John would never have used and which I thought was an Americanism which had somehow crept in by accident. However for each example I questioned Sandy was able to refer me to the actual text of an interview by John in which he used those same words absolutely unchanged. Sandy pointed out to me that John had lived in the US for many years and thus was certain to have picked up more than a few Americanisms during that time - I was suitably impressed.

The subject of the play is rather a sombre one in that it deals with what goes through John's mind between the moment he is shot and when he actually dies. This does not mean however that there is no lightness or humour in the play, far from it. When Sandy was casting for the part of Lennon in London in 2004 I was present when Valentine Pelka, the actor who finally got the part was auditioned, it was immediately obvious that he was just perfect, even down to the way he held his cigarette! It later emerged that he was married to a Japanese girl and they had a son called Jude! Val has a long list of credits to his name including the role of Kronos in "Highlander: The Series" and a part in Roman Polanski's "The Pianist" to mention but two. On stage Val makes a very convincing John Lennon.

Rod Davis, Sandy Marshall and Valentine
Pelka in Edinburgh
I first saw "And in the end" when it was produced as part of the Edinburgh fringe in 2004 and I was very impressed indeed, as was fellow Quarryman Eric Griffiths. It received many enthusiastic reviews and it seemed to be ready to make a major impact. There was a limited run in Australia in 2006 but then other projects intervened, including Sandy's award winning biography of his father, who was a famous magician.

Now it seems that the play is at last going to have the opportunity it deserves in that it is going to be put on in London at the Jermyn Street Theatre for a four week run from May 7 to June 1. Val Pelka is very much looking forward to playing the role of John once again and I myself am looking forward to seeing the latest version of the play which has evolved from the first staging which I saw in Edinburgh.

Hair Peace Bed Peace

You might like to read this 2004 interview with Sandy Marshall in which he talks about the play:

For more information on the play, including how to buy tickets, visit the website which has been created by the renowned Beatle artist Shannon:

I feel certain that dedicated Beatles fans will appreciate the play as much as Eric and I did.

To further show their support for And In the End, Rod Davis will be performing, along with the other Quarrymen, at a special launch event on Monday May 6 at the St James Studio.  Tickets, priced £15, are on sale now but are selling fast!  For more information on this special concert, and to buy tickets, visit

Monday, 25 March 2013

"The Beatles Show" returns to Dublin!


Written and Directed by Stephen Kennedy.
Odessa Club, 13 Dame Court, Dublin 2.
April 22nd – 25th at 8pm.
April 27th – 28th at 2.30pm.
Tickets €16 (including booking fee)
Available from:

Following its sold out run at the New Theatre last October, The Beatles Show returns to Dublin for six performances in April. This time the venue is the Odessa Club in Dame Court – right in the heart of the city – and tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

The Beatles Show consists of three Beatle-related plays – Lennon v McCartney / Death and The Beatles Fan / John Lennon’s Last Day – plus the music of The Beatles performed live by Vyvienne Long and The Newspaper Taxi Men.


Since the dawn of Time human beings have gathered in pubs and argued about who is greater – John Lennon or Paul McCartney. Now, finally, here at last, and not a moment too soon, is a short play that definitively sorts out the argument once and for all. Well… sort of…

LENNON v McCARTNEY was performed a number of times on the main stage at the Adelphi in Liverpool at the 2010 International Beatle Week. It has also been performed at the Scottish Beatles Weekend, the Black Box Theatre in Belfast, the Flat Lake Festival, the Donegal Beatles Festival, the Project Arts Centre, Whelan’s, the Village, the Workman’s Club, and many other places.

“Fabulously written and brilliantly acted. This is an acute observation of pub culture, pop culture and male friendship.” Reviewed by the Dublin Book Festival 2011.


How much would you know about The Beatles if your life depended on it?

DEATH AND THE BEATLES FAN is a short play that takes a comic look at what happens when Death attempts to collect the soul of a hardcore Beatles’ fan who has no interest in dying.

“This really is the great stage play that The Seventh Seal could have been... if only Ingmar Bergman had been aware of The Beatles in 1957!” (Quote kindly supplied by a non-existent theatre critic.)


This piece is the most complete account of John Lennon’s last day that has ever been presented. It is not a play in the traditional sense – and is probably best described as a work of ‘documentary theatre’. Basically, with the use of a single actor, a simple stage set, some projected images and some very rare audio clips, this piece guides the audience through the strange and tragic events of John Lennon’s last day.

“My work won’t be finished till I’m dead and buried – and I hope that’s a long long time.”

Words spoken by John Lennon in an interview on Monday, December 8th, 1980 – just a few hours before his death.

Seamus Brennan in 'John Lennon's Last Day'


Vyvienne Long is a superb cellist and singer-songwriter who first came to prominence on the Irish music scene when she worked with Damien Rice on his albums O and 9. In 2006, Vyvienne released her debut EP, Birdtalk, which was a huge success and completely sold out within months. In 2010, Vyvienne reached a whole new audience when she released her excellent debut album, Caterpillar Sarabande, and appeared on television shows such as The Late Late Show, Other Voices and The View. Vyvienne has also built up an impressive reputation with her talent for covering other people’s songs – and her interpretations of The Beatles’ songs are nothing short of stunning. Check out her amazing cover version of ‘And I Love Her’ on YouTube.


The Newspaper Taxi Men are one of the very best Beatle tribute bands in Ireland. They have recently played brilliant support slots for John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen at the Village and Scotland’s Revolver at the Workman’s Club, and we are thrilled to have them back as part of The Beatles Show at the Odessa Club. These guys are pure quality.

Writer and Director of The Beatles Show

Stephen Kennedy’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in various publications – including the Irish Times, the Stinging Fly and Books Ireland – and his plays have been performed throughout Ireland and the UK. Stephen has been nominated for the Hennessy XO Literary Awards and the RTE PJ O’Connor Awards; and, in 2010, his short play, Should've Gone to Lourdes, was presented at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington DC by Fishamble Theatre Company.

Stephen also organises Nighthawks at the Cobalt – a monthly arts club in Dublin that presents different kinds of music, comedy, performance poetry, short fiction, short film and short theatre. Nighthawks has been running for almost five years now and every show has sold out completely.

Not surprisingly, Stephen is also a Beatles fanatic. His short play, Lennon v McCartney, has been performed a number of times on the main stage at the Adelphi in Liverpool at International Beatle Week. It has also been performed at the Scottish Beatles Weekend, the Black Box Theatre in Belfast, the Flat Lake Festival, the Donegal Beatles Festival, the Project Arts Centre, Whelan’s, the Village, the Workman’s Club, and many other places.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Star of New Lennon Play Visits St Peter's Church Hall!

Valentine Pelka, star of And In the End: The Death and Life of John Lennon, which will open at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London on May 7 visited Liverpool recently.  The purpose of his visit, he said, was to try to get the feel and atmosphere of the places that were so important to John's youth and the early years of the Beatles.

Valentine Pelka and Colin Hanton at St Peter's Church Hall, Woolton
As well as taking the National Trust tour of Mendips and Forthlin Road, Valentine visited St Peter's Church Hall, where John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney by Ivan Vaughan, and was shown around by none other than Quarrymen drummer, Colin Hanton!

Colin shared memories of John, and of playing with the Quarrymen back in the 1950s.  He talked about Paul watching the Quarrymen as they performed at the Church fete on July 6 1957, and of rehearsing with John and Paul in the front room at Mendips.

The Quarrymen have all been closely involved with the production of And In The End. An article by Rod Davis, in which he discusses his support for this play will be published on the BBFC website shortly so watch this space!

The Quarrymen are also showing their support by appearing at a special launch event on Monday May 6 at the St James Studio.  Tickets, priced £15, are on sale now but are selling fast!  For more information on this special concert, and to buy tickets, visit

For further information, and to buy tickets for And In The End visit

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Q Magazine - 50th Anniversary Special

Q Magazine - out on 26th March featuring rare and unseen photographs in its 50th Anniversary Special!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Buying at Auctions -- An Update

Last year, we noticed an set of autographs for sale by an auction house in Ireland. The auction house claimed that the card contained a full set of autographs, but we pointed out that the 'Paul' autograph had actually been done by John. We received some quite angry communications from the auction house, doubting our word and criticising us for suggesting that ANY item bought from an auction should be independently verified. It was therefore very interesting when we noticed that the set of autographs is once more for sale (by a different auctioneer, but with the same original seller) and with the description now corrected:

Our original point was that, if you are considering buying something from an auction, you should always get it independently verified and no reputable auctioneers will object to that. That point still stands, and we applaud this auction house for taking the trouble to verify the autographs on this card. We think it's a great item!

To see our original story, click

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

"And In the End: The Death and Life of John Lennon"

Marshall + Cole Theatricals Ltd presents


Written and Directed by Alexander Marshall
Lighting Design Andy Grange
Set and Costume Design Alexander McPherson
Art Direction Shannon
Sound Design Phil Lee

Starring Valentine Pelka as John Lennon

7 May – 1 June
Jermyn Street Theatre

Monday – Saturday 7.30 pm
Saturday Matinee 3.30pm

TICKETS £18 (concessions £16)
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT (book by 14 April) £15
Box office 0207 287 2875 and online at

December 8, 1980, 10.52pm New York City, The Dakota Apartments. Five bonechilling gunshots ring out, shattering the stillness of the night. One of the most iconic figures of the 20th century lies in a pool of blood struggling for life. Time stops.

Fighting to stay alive, John Lennon finds himself caught in a limbo between life and death. As his former years flash before him, Gatekeepers of his past help him confront the five stages of death – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Written by Emmy Award-winner Alexander Marshall and starring Valentine Pelka, And In The End is a searching, uplifting and humorous insight into the death and life of one of the most influential rock musicians of all time.

Former RSC member, Valentine Pelka’s performance as John Lennon was critically acclaimed both at The Edinburgh Fringe and in Australia. His recent credits include Churchill’s POW, a new drama documentary for Channel 4 and the role of Charles Pearce in Howard Brenton’s Epsom Downs for Salisbury Playhouse. On TV, he is perhaps best known for his roles of Kronos in The Highlander and as Colonel Luis Montoya in The Queen of Swords. Film work includes Roman Polanski’s The Piano and Disney’s Under the Tuscan Sun.

Alexander Marshall’s previous directing credits include Fooling Buddha, American Gypsy, and Jadoo. He is the US end of the Anglo-American production team Marshall + Cole Theatricals Ltd. Giles Cole is the UK end of the team. Their work has included the sold out and acclaimed stage biography of Terence Rattigan The Art of Concealment by Giles Cole (also at Jermyn Street Theatre), Short Guys With Glasses and Seeing With the Mind’s Eye in Chicago and Max Maven Thinking In Person Off-Broadway. Marshall is a two-time Emmy Award-winner and in 2011 he won the Benjamin Franklin Award for his biography Beating A Dead Horse: The Life and Times of Jay Marshall.

And In The End follows Jermyn Street Theatre’s Artistic Director, Anthony Biggs' production of Frederick Lonsdale’s On Approval in April

Monday, 18 March 2013

Easter Craft Fair at Penny Lane!

Celebrate Easter with The Beatles in The Cavern!

CELEBRATE EASTER WITH THE BEATLES at the Cavern Club, Liverpool!

Don't miss a weekend of live music this Easter with our very own fab Beatles tribute band, the Cavern Club Beatles. Shows in the Cavern Live Lounge on Friday 29, Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 March. Tickets are limited so book now.

The Beatles played the Cavern Club 292 times, from February 1961 to August 1963.  The Cavern's resident Beatle band The CAVERN CLUB BEATLES, will take you from those early Cavern days through to Let It Be and beyond.The show takes place theatre style in the Cavern Live Lounge, the very stage that Sir Paul McCartney played on his return to this historic venue in 1999.

Seating is unreserved and pre–booking strongly recommended.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Cavern Club website at

Sunday, 17 March 2013

John and George Honoured with Blue Plaque

By Ernie Sutton

On 17th March Both John Lennon and George Harrison were honoured with a blue plaque at the old Apple boutique in Baker Street, London.

John had previously been honoured with a blue plaque at the same location, but this was replaced with one for both John & George.  The old plaque was later auctioned at the Heritage Foundation lunch at the Marriott Hotel, Regents Park.

Apple in 1968
The old Apple Boutique is situated on the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street in the Marylebone district of London. It opened on 7th December 1967, following a launch party held two days earlier, which John and George attended with their wives. Other notables at the party were Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Cilla Black.

The boutique was a disaster. Initially run by Pete Shotton, an old school friend of John’s, and Jenny Boyd, sister of George’s wife Pattie.  Stock was disappearing and not being paid for and in July 1968 the shop closed with everything being given away.Perhaps the most famous moment in the short history of this venture was the wonderful mural on the outside walls painted by “The Fool”.

Local residents were outraged at such a design lowering the tone of the area and in the end Apple were ordered to change the design. They opted for an all white wall in the end.

Having arrived at 11am following a visit to The Beatles Coffee Shop, London Beatles Store and the London Beatles Day at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel just a few yards away, I saw a man putting the final touches to the covering that would later reveal the plaque.

There was rain in the air but that didn’t deter people from turning up, as the crowd steadily grew and some pedestrians walking by wondering what was happening.

John Altman

We were expecting Michelle Collins, the Eastenders, and Coronation Street actress, Jess Conrad and our good friend Rod Davis, one of the original Quarrymen to appear to perform the unveiling at mid-day.  However, about half an hour before the unveiling a taxi pulled up and Eastenders bad boy Nick Cotton (alias John Altman) appeared. John had played George Harrison in the 1979 film “Birth of The Beatles”.

Rick Wakeman

As mid day approached a hoard of famous faces started to appear. Frank Allen, from The Searchers, in a very snazzy multi-coloured jacket, Rick Wakeman from Yes, Jess Conrad, our good friend Tony Bramwell, Jeffrey Holland, who is Vice President of the foundation and probably best known for his role of Spike Dixon in the 1980’s BBC comedy Hi De Hi, and Vicki Michelle herself (Yvette in the 1980’s BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo).

L-R: Jeffrey Holland, Rick Wakeman, Jess Conrad, Vikki Michelle,
Frank Allen, John Altman (behind Frank), Tony Bramwell
Also there were Dave Stark and Glen Knowler from the wonderful band The Trembling Wilburys, and of course Rod Davis.

Rod Davis, from John's original Quarrymen
After a countdown the rope was pulled to reveal the plaque, and spontaneous applause broke out.  There is still a great fondness for The Beatles and this seemed a fitting tribute to both John and George.  It was great to see fan club members there too John Eustace and Dave Hemms, as well as Mad Day Outer Mike Darwood, and our very own Richard Porter.

As the party made their way to their cars I felt that although this event had only taken a few minutes, it was something I was privileged to have attended.

The Heritage Foundation evolved from Comic Heritage which was founded in 1994, to its current form at the turn of this century. It aims to pay tribute to those British stars who continue to bring joy to millions of people, by holding various events as well as raising money for their charity The Arts and Entertainment Charitable Trust’. The current President is Vicki Michelle, and past Presidents include the much missed Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

A Season of Gallery Talks at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has launched a new weekly Gallery Talk program every Tuesday at 1 p.m. Lending a more in-depth look at artists and their personal collection items, each curator or docent-lead tour is complimentary with Museum admission and will take place in different exhibition areas from week to week. The initial series schedule is below.

Gallery Talk attendees will be encouraged to share their experience by utilizing Twitter hashtags #gallerytalk and #rockhall to “tweet while you tour.”

Schedule of Upcoming Gallery Talks:
Tuesdays: April 2, April 23
Exhibit: The Beatles

The Beatles’ impact on rock and roll, and on popular culture in general, cannot be overstated. The Beatles revived rock and roll, which many people thought was dead, and greatly expanded its musical and lyrical boundaries. Beginning in the Beatles exhibit area, this Gallery Talk features the story of one of the biggest bands in rock and roll history.

Tuesdays: March 19, April 9, April 30
Exhibit: Jimi Hendrix and Psychedelic San Francisco

This Gallery Talk begins in the Cities and Sounds: San Francisco – Somebody to Love (1965 – 1969) exhibit. San Francisco served as a magnet for musicians, artists and social rebels in the mid-to-late Sixties. The city’s innovative and popular musical groups –Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Santana – changed the way music was performed and experienced. The talk then moves to the life and music of Jimi Hendrix, arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music who expanded the range and vocabulary of the electric guitar into areas no musician had ever ventured before.

Tuesdays: March 26, April 16
Elvis and the 1950s

This Gallery Talk begins in the ELVIS exhibit, highlighting different chapters in his career. The story then moves to the Cities and Sounds: Memphis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (1948 – 1959), where the story of Sun Records and the city of Memphis shaped the development of early rock music with artists such as Elvis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. This tour concludes in the Rave On: Rock and Roll’s Early Years exhibit, featuring the pioneering artists of the 1950s, who provided the template for rock and roll – its driving beat, fashion consciousness, minimalist instrumentation and independent spirit.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Memories of the Jac -- Can You Help?

For one night only, the spirit of The Jac is back

The Jacaranda: Beyond the Music will be coming to Liverpool in April

Two final year Music Journalism students from the University of Huddersfield have decided to celebrate The Jacaranda’s rich history. The iconic music venue was opened in 1958 by Allan Williams serving the function of a coffee bar. It unexpectedly closed in November 2011 to the dismay of many who classed the Jac as their regular haunt.  

“We’re delighted to be working on this,” says Chynna Sampson, one of the event organisers.  “We’re both passionate about music and this felt like something quite natural to do as we’ve both spent a lot of time in Liverpool, so it’s a venue we’re interested in learning more about.”

Chynna Sampson and Natalie Longworth, decided to do this for their practical project which forms part of their Music Journalism degree. Do you have any memories of The Jacaranda that you’d like to share? Chynna and Natalie urge those who visited The Jac and have a story to tell to contribute to their exhibition.  If you’re willing to speak about your experiences please come forward and interact via email, Twitter or by posting on The Jacaranda: Beyond the Music’s Facebook wall.

Natalie Longworth said: “We’re looking to get as many people as possible involved. If you have any images, stories or memorabilia that you’d like to share with us, then we want to hear from you.”

For more information, or to share your memories visit the project's Facebook page at Twitter page at:  
  or email

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Merseybeat Story, Fort Perch Rock

The Silver Fox Cafe, Newnham

Warm and welcoming cafe and restaurant near Newnham

Thinking of heading out for lunch? At the Silver Fox Cafe we offer delicious traditional British food and a huge selection of speciality teas and coffees.
Originally a silver fox breeding farm, our family run establishment was turned into a transport hub in 1947, dedicating itself to feeding passing travellers and workmen with wholesome food as they journeyed through.
During the 1960s, the importance of the A48 grew as it became the main route into South Wales. This led to heady days for the cafe as famous faces were regularly and routinely served as they travelled to Wales for concerts and events.
In recent years we have developed the Silver Fox Cafe into both a softly furnished cafe and a sit down restaurant providing mouth watering home cooked food. In addition you can call us today for exceptional quality catering services for a range of occasions and we are currently preparing a range of events that the cafe will host in the next year.

Some of the stars that have passed through our cafe:

  • Richard Burton
  • Tom Jones
  • Shirley Bassey
  • The Beatles
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Status Quo
We are always happy to talk about the history of the Silver Fox so please pop in and see us today.

For more information on the cafe, visit the website at