Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rockers' Reunion

This week's The Reunion on Radi0 4 featured five of the original British rock and rollers who played at the 2 I's coffee bar in Old Compton Street, Soho, in the late fifties and early sixties. Vince Eager, Marty Wilde, Terry Dene, Bruce Welch and Clem Cattini told presenter Sue MacGregor about a time when British rock and roll was in its infancy. There were fond memories of Billy Fury and Eddie Cochran and the early TV shows such as Oh Boy, and Vince Eager recalled how he had resisted the sexual approaches of Mr Parnes Shillings and Pence - Larry Parnes, who gave many of the early rockers their stage names. Bruce recalled how the Teds had turned on him and the other Shadows because their girlfriends had fancied Cliff, and Terry spoke openly about the difficulties he faced when he was called up for National Service which led to a nervous breakdown and an early exit. An audio clip was played of Marty's mother talking about the success of her son Reg (Marty's real name), and Clem reminisced about how the Tornados' Telstar topped the charts in the US - something Cliff and the Shads never achieved.

Altogether a fascinating programme, with plenty of music clips from the era. The five originals chose Billy Fury's Maybe Tomorrow as their theme song for the show - a good choice I thought.


At 9:56 am , Blogger Dave C said...

Coincidental with the broadcast of this programme I had been reading Pete Frame's 'Restless Generation' which fleshes out the stories of the participants and expands on the programme’s subject matter. Any fears I might have held about recommending the book were assuaged at last night's meet-up after listening to the fulsome praise of The Strongest Link. His words “Throw away all the other books on the birth of British rock ‘n’ roll” were still ringing in my ears as he disappeared into the late night West End throngs, puffing away an yet another cigarette.


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