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FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16 2016
Nearly a year gone by already... Graham Lowe & Dennis Weller with Chris, signing copies of Backstage Pass : Redcar Jazz Club in the Book Corner in Saltburn last year. photo by Neil
From a review of Sunset Be Glory in the December 2016 issue of Coastal View & Moor News - If you are unable to read it here, you can find it on page 41
Singer and drummer Denny Chatto, a bandmate back in the day, sharing a joke with Chris out on the river Ouse in York. Denny had been the vocalist when Chris was the drummer in Candy Factory in the early 70s, paying their dues flogging up and down the country in a Ford Transit, prisoners of the white lines on the highway, hostage to many a club audience. Denny's currently with Scarborough band Trigger.
photo by Susan Wilson
Chris with legendary singer Terry Reid before Terry's intimate gig at Tea, Toast & Post in Robin Hood's Bay on North Yorkshire coast. Perhaps the greatest singer you've never heard of, Terry was discovered by Graham Nash of the Hollies when he was 15 years old, then opened for the Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner & B.B. King right across the USA when he was 16, and even sang at Mick Jagger's wedding to Bianca. Chris hadn't seen Terry for 40 years and was astounded when he could still mesmerise a room full of musos with his songs and stories for over two and a half hours, performing solo, his voice as subtle and evocative as ever, a sheer delight.
Chris and his wife Sue managed to catch up with Jeff Bannister of the Liverpool hit-makers The Swinging Blue Jeans who were headlining the last night of the annual autumn Whitby 60s festival, supported by a surprisingly good Vanity Fayre and Mud II. As usual, the SBJ's played a rousing set which left little room on the dance floor. Jeff's had a long and illustrious career including stints with The John Barry Seven and The Alan Bown Set, as well as providing keyboards on many sessions and tours. He also helped Chris on the Redcar Jazz Club book.
Chris with Jeff Bannister (left) of the the Swinging Blue Jeans and (centre) Jim Rodford of Argent then later the Kinks and presently with the brought-back-to-life Zombies at Whitby's 60s festival. Jim was deputising for the Swinging Blue Jeans regular bassman, Pete Oakman.
photo by Susan Wilson
A long time coming - A man who featured heavily in the Redcar Jazz Club book. Author Chris finally got to meet the legendary Chris Farlowe last night in Middlesbrough after his rousing set backed by the New Amen Corner. Chris recalled his days headlining at the Jazz Club and commented he absolutely loved playing there. Spotted a few other familiar faces in the crowd too. Photo by Denny Chatto
Chris was thrilled to have been sent this review of Backstage Pass : Redcar Jazz Club by Brian Kelly, host of the Breakfast Show on Coast Radio, serving Tauranga and Coromandel which appeared in The Vinyl Word column of New Zealand Herald.
WATCH THE VIDEO - TURN THE SOUND UP !!
JUST THREE MINUTES OF YOUR TIME
The book Chris collaborated on with photographers Dennis Weller and Graham Lowe - Backstage Pass : Redcar Jazz Club - just won't go away. In a response to requests, Chris and Dennis Weller have created a video to provide a taster of the the book's stunning images. And if you've forgotten what life was like in the 1960s, then this book will certainly remind you, and if you didn't know, then you are about to find out. There is more information on the Redcar Jazz Club Book page of this website. It also now includes a foreword by Ed Bicknell, former manager of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Bryan Ferry, Scott Walker and Gerry Rafferty among others.
Chris was pleased to reconnect with keyboard player and vocalist Jeff Bannister of The Swinging Blue Jeans just after he came off stage at the 60's Festival at Skegness. The SBJs turned up the heat to have the 3,000 strong audience in the packed venue all on their feet and rocking. Then they went next door and did it all over again to another capacity audience of 2,500 . Jeff is also an accomplished author and you can find his books on Amazon, notably his memories of playing in the Alan Bown Set during the heady days of the 60s. Photo by Denny Chatto
2019 March 30
Chris with John Verity of The John Verity Band just after he came off stage after playing a fret burning set overlaid with soaring vocals at Saltburn Blues Club. John reminisced that it had been supporting Terry Reid at Redcar Jazz Club that had inspired him to develop his own singing and his first gig as lead vocalist had been opening for Jimi Hendrix in America. In the 1970s fame had come knocking when he was chosen to replace Russ Ballard in Argent for a few years, until eventually striking out on his own with The John Verity Band, whose members often included ex-Argent stars drummer Bob Henrit and bass player Jim Rodford. The years haven't been wasted as he has continued to refine and develop his style. photo by Denny Chatto
2020 August 12th
What an unpredictable year! However, Chris has been trying to put lock down time to good use. Since the publication of Backstage Pass : Redcar Jazz Club, in response to requests, he has been collecting material on local bands, resulting in a new book which will be published soon. Watch this space!
2020 August 23rd
NEXT PROMO :
We're still workin' on it. Info will be available as and when necessary...
2020 August 30th
SON OF PROMO :
More news soon...
2020 September 6th
THE PROMO RETURNS...
Boys in the Bands will be almost as big as 12" vinyl and over 180 pages...
2020 September 13th
THE PROMO... Boys in the Bands will be almost as big as 12" vinyl and over 180 pages. 200 photographs, 350 memorabilia illustrations, 60 band family trees, 300 quotes from local musicans, 30,000 word narrative. MORE INFO on Boys in the Bands page - see site contents
2020 September 20th
YET ANOTHER PROMO... Boys in the Bands will be almost as big as 12" vinyl and over 180 pages. 200 photographs, 350 memorabilia illustrations, 60 band family trees, 300 quotes from local musicans, 30,000 word narrative. MORE INFO on Boys in the Bands page - see site contents
2020 September 27th PROMO FROM THE BLACK LAGOON ... Coming soon...
2020 October 3rd PROMO FROM THE BLACK LAGOON MEETS GODZILLA ... Coming soon... very soon... more info on Boys in The Bands page (see site contents)
2020 October 11th SON OF PROMO RIDES AGAIN ... Coming soon... very soon... more info on Boys in The Bands page (see site contents)
2020 October 18th SON OF PROMO RIDES AGAIN TOWARD THE BLACK LAGOON ... Coming soon... Hopefully this is the last promo you'll see before we have the real thing.... more info on Boys in The Bands page (see site contents)
2020 October 14th - after the announcement Backstage Pass is back in print, Hartlepool Life ran a double page feature. You can find it here in page 18/19 https://www.hartlepoollife.co.uk/ The new edition contains a foreword by Ed Bicknell, ex-manager of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Scott Walker, Gerry Rafferty and Bryan Ferry.
2020 October 12th - BACKSTAGE PASS : REDCAR JAZZ CLUB is back in print. Available only from the website : www.redcarjazzclubmedia.com
2020 October 19th After HARTLEPOOL LIFE printed the article about the new edition of BACKSTAGE PASS : REDCAR JAZZ CLUB, Arts editor Ian Monaghan informed us it had also run in the newspaper's sister publications, Stockton & Billingham Life, and East Durham Life !
2020 October Issue 126 : Now & Then Magazine.
BOYS IN THE BANDS : Click cover above to take you to the book's page
Above : Chris with Malcolm Buckton of The Skyliners & Government. “A great book for me that is full of treasured memories. Both the venues and the fans made this a great era to be involved in the music business. I know how much time it took to do our timeline and family trees, and that is only a very small part of this informative book.” Malcolm Buckton, bass guitarist
Above : Chris with Merv Jones of Del & The Falcons, The Denmen, The Injection, Rivers Invitation, Starlite Band, Back Door, Fabulosa Brothers and more. “…spent the last three hours totally absorbed, it’s a great read.” Merv Jones, drummer
Above : Chris with Ray Brown of The Renegades and Freelanders. “ A superb piece of work… an enormous amount of work and effort… the proof lies between the covers.” Dennis Weller, photographer
Above : Denny Chatto of The Fireflies, The Machine, Candy Factory and others with Chris. “Superb book very well researched and brilliantly written. Reading it takes me back to those great days in the sixties and it brings back memories of all those great ‘Beat Groups’ in our local area,” Denny Chatto drummer & singer
Above : John McCoy of The Crawdaddies, Real McCoy and Tramline with Chris. “WOW ! and again WOW.....!!! ...superb attention to detail. It's not just for Teesside the minutiae refs to equipment etc is of global interest.” John McCoy, singer and promoter
Above : Chris with Denny Chatto of The Fireflys, Mike Walls of The Delmonts, Ray Brown and John Blench of The Freelanders.
“...spent last night engrossed. I have to congratulate you on not only the exhaustive detail, but your brilliant descriptions of that atmospheric period.” Mike Gutteridge, singer & guitarist.
Above : Terry Carter of The Atoms with Chris.
“ I've been eagerly awaiting this since I first heard about it and I must say the book far exceeds all my expectations. The format and content is superb, full of wonderful photos, memorabilia and anecdotes from band members. The photos and stories are interspersed with some great images of guitar catalogues, musical equipment, adverts, flyers, tickets, promo cards etc. All this is perfectly backed up by Chris's excellent narrative of how the music scene evolved over those 10 years. I have books covering the 60s music scene in other parts of the country, but without any bias this is by far the best. This book is an absolute MUST for anybody who was there at the time but I'm sure it would also appeal to anybody who is interested in local live music from the best era ever. I'm pretty sure anybody reading it will come across somebody they know in this book.” Terry Carter, guitarist
Above : Chris with Terry Sidgwick of The Phantoms, Crawdaddies, The Real McCoy, Tramline & Rivers Invitation.
BOYS IN THE BANDS : “…a brilliant piece of work dedicated to all the amazing musicians in the north east in the sixties. I had the time of my life then and I still carry it with me today.” Terry Sidgwick, bass guitarist & singer.
Above : Two Delmonts in the hand with Chris. Drummer Dave Hopwood (left) and drummer Mike Walls (right), both of whom occupied the driving seat in The Delmonts through the years, and who are featured in Chris' upcoming book - Boys In The Bands
Above : Chris with drummer Terry Popple of The Kalvins and Tramline and later went on to play with The Movies and Van Morrison.
Below : Drummer and percussionist Ottie McLoughlin of The Crawdaddies, Real McCoy, Rivers Invitation and Fabulosa Brothers with Chris. Ottie has kept the Fabulosa name alive, organising functions along with Linda Zivanaris which feature many of Teesside's top musicians, to raise much needed funds for the Trinity Holistic Centre at Middlesbrough's James Cook Hospital
Below : left to right : 2020 gathering. Denny Chatto of the Fireflys & Machine back in the day, drummer Stuart Mott of State Assembly, and Chris of the Wheel. Stuart's bandmate Terry Pattison relates the tale of State Assembly's horrendous trip to Turkey in Chris' new book Boys In The Bands, and other assorted catastrophes.
“Thanks for having the energy, tenacity and perseverance to produce such a great piece. A truly remarkable tome… It is a magnificent chronicle of the more than 125 bands (or ‘groups’) which populated the region between 1960 and 1970, and a bit before and after. So great to see so many familiar old names, and read the fabulous anecdotes and authoritative narrative that Chris has assembled, not to mention the many ‘family tree’ details that connected so many of my contemporaries during that special era in popular music history in north eastern U.K.” Colin Bradley, singer & guitarist
Spotted in Hartlepool Life - Thanks to Arts editor Ian Monaghan
BOYS IN THE BAND : Reviews are in & even the photographers who worked on the other one liked it...
“ A superb piece of work… an enormous amount of work and effort… the proof lies between the covers.” Dennis Weller, photographer
“… fantastic amount of work there and bloody good value for money…” Graham Lowe, photographer
November 28, 2020 Krimo Bouabda
Boys in The Bands is a sister book to the well-received Backstage Pass: Redcar Jazz Club. Chris Scott Wilson gathers stories of groups that flourished on Teesside, many of whom supported many famous bands on stage at the Jazz Club, but also filled local dance floors through the 1960s. Endlessly reconfiguring, the close knit musical community on Teesside forever sought that elusive line-up that would yield a successful formula.
This book is : Almost as big as a vinyl LP & 180 pages. Contains a 30,000 word narrative tells what it was like to be in a local band in that explosive golden musical decade of the 60s. It’s crammed with over 200 photos, 60 band family trees, over 350 illustrations of memorabilia and 300 quotes from musicians who recall yearning to own their first instruments and then persevering with endless hours of repetitive practice before braving what could be some of the toughest audiences in the country.
The 1960s were arguably the most explosive and innovative years of the 20th century, musically and artistically. Popular music in the early 1950s had meant solo singers and big bands, playing intricate arrangements to sedate audiences in theatres. By the late 1950s seats in the same theatres were being torn up by teenagers before they jived up and down the aisles to rock ‘n’ roll, performed by hip-swivelling singers with small backing groups, designing and refining the template for future band line-ups. But when the next decade dawned, the one which would come to be known as the swingin’ 60s, well it didn’t look like it was going to swing at all.
Rock ‘n’ Roll’s sharp edges imported from America had been chipped away and the more readily available British version just seemed a little too soft, and the charts had become dominated by instrumentals and sugary pop ballads. But away from Tin Pan Alley, a generation of musicians was preparing to wrest control – although it would take time – from the hands of the professionals, not only performing, but writing and producing their own material.
Be it rock ‘n’ roll, pop, soul, blues, heavy rock or progressive, budding musicians by the river Tees were determined to rock too. Quick studies, it hadn’t taken them long to realise any youth who could learn a few chords or batter out a rhythm could escape the relentless toil of Teesside’s steel works or chemical industries. Or they hoped they could.
By the 1960s a multitude of pubs, youth clubs, village and town halls, workingmen’s’ clubs and then The Outlook, Mister McCoys and the Bailey’s nightclub circuit provided the venues for local bands to strut their stuff, many working four or five nights a week. A day off was almost a luxury. Most of the musicians were content to have a laugh, earn a few pounds, and attract a few girls, but others, more ambitious, sought wider horizons to conquer.
But they all started here, on Teesside, learning their craft, honing their musical chops, learning how to work a crowd, and if they got to be good enough, they became The Boys In The Bands.
The book is available now from www.chrisscottwilson.co.uk.
December 2020 Chris guested on Gary Philipson's Mid Morning Show, talking about Teesside's flourishing music scene in the 1960s.
NEW YEAR 2021
Over several shows during the Christmas and New Year period, radio presenter Paul Goffy Gough commented and reviwed not only Boys In The Bands but also the earlier Backstage Pass: Redcar Jazz Club on BBC Radio Tees.
New bookshop opened in the Market Square at Loftus - Good luck Paul with the venture!
It has been a difficult year, hasn't it? Reality got switched around. Trying to keep it normal, I know it's great to able to buy books off the internet - whatever you want right at your fingertips, just a click away. That's been a lifesaver during the last twelve months - but unless you're already familiar with what you're looking to buy, you can't really see what you're getting for your hard earned money, can you? There's nothing like going into a bookshop, eyeing those rows of fresh block lettered shiny spines then picking out and handling your prospective purchase. Ebooks seem to devalue the valuable words that should be between the covers. Books in actuality are just so much better. Real books feel right; I mean just rifle those pages. As someone said to me - real books just have more magic. So... When those Covid restrictions get lifted, you know where you need to go. Turn over a new leaf - go to the bookshop.
Editor Ian Tyas tells me next month- May 2021 - Saltburn's Talk Of The Town celebrates its 20th Anniversary. We'd just like to add our congratulations on the magazine's longevity. A terrific achievement, and long may it continue.
Thanks to John Roberts for this review in the Esk Valley magazine...
Originally published in 1983, I have long resisted republishing the History of Saltburn, always concerning myself with the next project rather than the last. However, two of my most recent books – Backstage Pass : Redcar jazz Club & Boys In The Bands – have dealt with the 1960s, necessitating much reflection, cautiously peering back over my shoulder to relive those times in order to effectively write about them. These things become intertwined and I realised History of Saltburn was the first non-fiction book I wrote, a great challenge. Ever since it disappeared from the shelves people have been asking when it would be back in print, and while the down-side of Covid-19 has been to restrict my freedom, the up-side has been having the time to revisit this book, add material, extra photos and a map to hopefully improve it.
HISTORY OF SALTBURN Click cover above to take you to the book's page
Originally published in hardback in the UK by Robert Hale as Black Horse Westerns, five of Chris' titles were picked up by Boson Books of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and republished world-wide as eBooks, then Boson became an imprint of Biting Duck Press, based in California & Canada. In January 2021 Biting Duck agreed to release the rights back to Chris and the titles are being made available as eBooks through Amazon at specially reduced rates. If you don't have a Kindle, you can download an app from Amazon. See the blue circle near the top of this news column. Happy trails....
"Why isn't there a book with modern pictures of Saltburn?" we were asked. Well there is now. A full colour souvenir book to remind you of your visit to one of the jewels of the North Yorkshire coast. Over 50 photographs by Michael Hampson, plus over 30 illustrations of memorabilia, posters and postcards, with accompanying potted histories. Remember your childhood holidays? Where did you want to go? To the seaside, of course. And you wanted those days to last forever. Now they will. You can take them home with you. Available at Holly Blue, Saltburn, Book Corner, Saltburn, Guisborough Bookshop, Chapter One, Loftus, The Whitby Bookshop and Holman's Bookshop in Whitby. ...