Alan Haven

Some Alan Haven links (courtesy Gordon Tulley)
“Alan Haven is a breath of fresh air in a world of music that is intent on putting performers in strangulating categories. The only category Alan Haven belongs to is that of extreme talent and there's not enough of that around today”., November 1, 1965) — The Beatles began taping the television special The Music Of Lennon & McCartney today at Granada TV Centre in Manchester for airing on Dec. 16, 1965.
The guests included Cilla Black, Peter and Gordon, Lulu, Henry Mancini, Esther Phillips, Fritz Spiegl, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Alan Haven, the George Martin Orchestra, Dick Rivers, and Peter Sellers.
Alan Haven , Fontana Records - Image 
Lush tune by Alan Haven the jazz organist from Lancashire. He previously worked with John Barry on many a Bond film score. Preferring a Lowrey organ to a Hammond, this very-sixties number was used by Radio Caroline North (moored between Liverpool and the Isle Of Man) as a DJ jingle. 

Possibly the last recording of Alan

Great video showing Alan play Hard Days Night


Alan Haven became a professional musician on leaving school in Prestwich Manchester around the mid 1950's.

Largely self taught apart from a six month course in theory and harmony he found himself playing piano at venues like "The Ritz Ballroom" Manchester for Mecca Leisure.

He then discovered the electric organ.

Alan bought a Lowrey Heritage organ with Leslie speakers and rehearsed for months. At first a novelty, his use of organ in jazz soon established him as a greatly respected jazz musician and all this happened when he was in his early twenItes. He then teamed up with drummer Tony Crombie and together they played and recorded their brand of jazz for many years.

In years to come Alan was to play with the likes of Ben Webster, Maynard Ferguson, Ronnie Scott, Stephan Grappelli and countless other famous names in jazz. He played on the soundtracks of two James Bond films "Goldfinger" and "From Russia with Love" and appeared on many TV shows in England and the US.

During the 1960s he recorded "Image" a sophisticated laid back track which which was used as DJ Bob Stewart's theme tune on "Radio Caroline", later Tony Blackburn also used it on his radio programme.

The track became an anthem in discotheques around the world. Both Dave Eager and Jimmy Savile used to close off the evening with the track.

Alan is the organ masterforce behind the score to the film "The Knack and how to get it" composed by John Barry in 1965.


He did more organ work on a black comedy entitled "A Jolly Bad Fellow" (They All Died Laughing) also by Barry.

He was resident organ player at Annie Ross' London jazz club called Annie's Room during the 1960s. He recorded 'Live At Annie's Room' (Fontana, 1966) as well as a number of cover versions on 'Through 'til Two' (Fontana, 1967)

During the 1980's/90's Alan was based mostly in Spain playing at corporate events and organ festivals in Torremolinos night clubs.

Over 14 albums later, Alan Haven is still living and playing his music around the world. He has just completed a new album based on "The Big Band Sounds" of Count Basie, etc.

Alan has his own website -


Alan used to play turnaround band at Bolton Palais in late 59/60. There was a revolving stage and the big band played their set and then the stage turned arround and on came the Alan Haven Trio, who were really brilliant.

If I am not mistaken he used to wear leopardskin coat and it really caught the eye.

Good on ya mate,glad to see you are still playing.


Ronnie Carr

When I was a fixture at the Palace Theatre Club in Offerton, Alan used to sometimes drop in.  He was promoting Lowery Organs at the time and in fact Pete Marsh, our organist at the Palace, ended up buying one.  Lowery were trying for a slice of the Hammond B3 market and model that Pete bought had a built-in Lesley speaker and made an acceptable Hammond sound.  As far as Mal the drummer and I were concerned, the best thing about Alan's visits was that he would take over from Pete on the organ bench and we'd play some jazz.  Pete was a great musician but by his own admission, he was no jazzer.  To Mal and I, Alan was as good as Jimmy Smith or Brother Jack McDuff.    

Pete Crooks

I saw Alan with Tony Crombie at the Amber Moon Club in Manchester around 1965. I was also a big Jimmy Smith fan at the time and appreciated Alan's different sound, being Lowry rather than the ubiquitous Hammond.

I also had his record of "Image" and also a vocal version of "In my mother's eyes" although the singing was (sorry) not so hot. Still his organ playing more than compensates! Good to hear he is still playing.

Bob Ainsworth

Myself and my wife remember with great fondness the fabulous saturday nights at the Bolton Palais when Phil Moss was resident band! Alan Haven was the hightlight of the night, taking and playing requests, along with singer {very tall girl whos name escapes me}

This is where Ii met my wife after one of our beer fueled nights out [all my mates from Kearsley used to get the bus from the Blackhorse Pub in Farnworth] and hit about 10 pubs from the Balmoral opposite the Odeon [New Zealand Chief, Wheatsheaf, back to Swan Tap etc terminating at the Peel.

Brian Nuttall

I have always been a great fan Alan Haven from the early days in the sixties and always enjoyed his giging sessions on tour whenever I got the chance to see him perform down in the London area.

Being a keen organist myself he inspired me into developing my own style - but alas, I was never able to reach the extremity Alan could put his Lowery Heritage through - even though I purchased the same model which he used I could never get mine to perform in the same way. I'm sure it was me not the organ. This brings me onto the point I really want to make 'Alan, please go back to how you used to perform'. Okay, one has to develope with the times I suppose but for me Alan Haven could make that Ol' Heritage talk, sing, shout, go soft, go loud.

He could get anything out of that 'Victorian Clothes Closet' (To quote Spike Milligan's sleeve note on St Elmo's Fire) refering to the Leslie Cab.

It's not the same anymore with all these added backing tracks - give me the good ol' Alan Haven Trio anyday like with Robin Jones on drums - Tony Utar on added percussion and his Lordship Captain Alan at the helm. Alan is still one of our greatest jazz organist and he can provide great music without all these super sonic add on things. Even I sound good with those. Alan can actually play foot bass pedals like a bass player so 'Who needs Jack Bruce' as over heard at the Bull's Head at Barns Bridge at one session.

No need to practise anymore Alan.

You are still the greatest of the 'steam organ'.


It's Alan Haven and one other member of his trio and their wives with my mum and dad in the Bolton Palais.
My dad who's in the dinner suit, was the manager of the Palais. The woman on the far right is Alan's wife. I thik her name was Ella. The picture was taken in 1961.
Kind Regards
Bill McLeish Jnr

I grew up in Maidstone Kent where the local live music scene was weekend dances Saturdays and Sundays at the Star Ballroom and the one nighter package shows which toured in the late 50's and 60's played the Granada.

For a period Alan Haven managed the Ballroom dances circa 62/4 on behalf an organisation called the London Jazz Club, although despite the name all the bands were 60's favourites.

Alan played organ between name bands, as it was the time of the Mods he was seen as super cool with Mohair suites. 

Roger E

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Comments (9)

Topic: Alan Haven
steve says...
i remember seeing him play at the dimly lit sinaloa in mojacar spain , what a show , what a guy
13th January 2015 10:01am
Gordon Tulley says...
“With All Due Respect” Another music legend chooses a direct funeral. John Lennon in 1980 was probably the first Express Cremation ever and along with Bowie another talented entertainer from a different genre was buried last week too at a none ... Read More
17th January 2016 5:55pm
Paul Mason says...
I regret to inform you that the jazz organist Alan Haven died on 7th January at the age of 80. On YouTube there exists a video of him playing Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Alan Haven 1935-2016 RIP.
28th July 2016 5:10am
Alan D. Jackson says...
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Alan Haven. I also recall his performances at the Bolton Palais. Most off I used to go down to the "Blue Note Club' which stood next to the Waldorf in Manchester. Through Fred Fielder I was able to ... Read More
4th August 2016 9:45pm
Dave Harm says...
I got to know Alan in 2010 and we became friends until his death... his last creative work was a CD using my words (poems) - the CD is entitled "12" and is Alan's last original works...
23rd August 2016 8:01am
ron whyte says...
I had the pleasure of knowing Alan in the late 70s and again in the last 10 years of his life, he taught me more about playing in those brief times together at the keyboard than years of study, I was lucky, privileged and honored to call him my ... Read More
24th November 2016 4:40pm
Bernard Cromarty (Farnworth) says...
Sadly, Bolton Astoria Palais de Danse is in the process of being demolished... we tried our best to prevent it, but to no avail.
23rd September 2017 6:53am
John (Swinton Manchester) says...
Like many others I used to enjoy Alans music when he played at the Palais, Bolton. I remember the Phil Moss band ,but I have a vague memory of a band lead by Peter Leigh , can anyone confirm firm this or is my memory playing tricks with me . We ... Read More
17th November 2017 12:36pm
David Slater (Flimwell East Sussex) says...
When I lived in Bolton. Alan inspired me and gave the jazz changes to "Moonglow" What nights we had at The Palais. Sadly Alan has passed on and I now play a Tyros 4 but I think of him when I play "Moonglow" at gigs.
10th February 2018 3:29am


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