The 1960s would be the era of the beat groups, not only in London, Liverpool and Manchester, but also ‘up north’.
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.
This book is :
Almost as big as a vinyl LP & 180 pages
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
Contains 60 band family trees
Over 350 illustrations of memorabilia
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.
See bottom of page for how to buy this book
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 suppported those famous bands on stage at the Jazz Club, but also filled local dance floors through the 1960s. Endlessly recon-figuring, the close knit musical community on Teesside forever sought that elusive line-up that would yield a successful formula.
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.
A sample of what they said about Chris' last book,
Backstage Pass : Redcar Jazz Club...
"The authors and brilliant photographs have vividly captured a moment in time." Ed Bicknell.
Former manager of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, Scott Walker, Gerry Rafferty and Bryan Ferry
"Christopher Wilson has written & collated a genuinely touching & refreshing stroll down Memory Lane
with this fabulous book... A must have & a must read..." David Coverdale Whitesnake
“As you turn through the pages, you can feel the 1960s swinging… superbly illustrated with
vintage memorabilia as well as the photographs” Chris Lloyd. The Northern Echo
“…a really great piece of work…” John McCoy, singer & promoter.
“Beautifully produced and presented” Forrie Cairns, The Clyde Valley Stompers
"A good read, catalogue and history book. Great times by the sea.” Zoot Money, musician
"This amazing book... If you love music history you will absolutely love this book." Brian Kelly DJ
Coast Radio, New Zealand
“produced with love and a real passion for the history of this iconic venue” Waterstone’s Book Store.
There are more reviews on the (click here) Redcar Jazz Club book page
(including dust jacket and complimentary bookmark) £29.99 + p&p
Also available, but only by preorder :
(including dust jacket and complimentary bookmark) £34.99 + p&p
If you require a copy, please pre-register your interest so sufficient copies
are available. Email Chris, send him a message on Facebook,
or email through the contact page on this website
The book will also be available (but only in softcover)
from the following stockists:
Book Corner, Milton Street, Saltburn
Holmans Bookshop, Skinner St, Whitby
Guisborough Bookshop, Chaloner St Guisborough
Sound It Out Records, Stockton
Worthy Pearson, Gt Ayton
Whitby Bookshop, Church St, Whitby
other outlets will be listed when known