Bobby and the Blue Diamonds
Bobby Allen and The Blue Diamonds
drums, replaced Joe
Bobby and the Blue Diamonds were a Stockport group, formed in about 1962.
As with most local groups, we formed to play youth clubs and functions but mostly to meet girls. Of course we became quite proficient and then branched out to play in Manchester, at the usual clubs: Bodega, Jungfrou, Oasis, Twisted Wheel, etc.
In Stockport we played at the Manor Lounge, doubled with the Kingfisher, owned by Reg Pickstock. Happy days.
We decided to get an agent and came under the management of Derek Oultram Entertainments, in association with The George Cooper Organisation (London) who represented big artists at that time, includig Joe Brown, Johnny Kidd, Marty Wild, Jess Conrad and even Bert Wheedon, and way down the list, us.
We were in high company at this time.
In 1963/4 we decided to turn pro. Two members of the group didn't take the plunge and so we started to audition for a drummer and bass player.
The very talented drummer we chose was Ronnie Pirelie/Clary. He was with Deek Rivers and the Big Sound. Deek was sadly killed in an accident.
We needed a bass player to complete the new lineup. At the auditions was a young lad who came with his parents. He looked about 14 but turned out to be 17. He had a Hofner Verethin bass.
We had already decided on a player when this lad got up and asked if hecould audition. We were suprised that he was old enough and when he played he was the most superb bass player I had listened to.
It turned out that he was the lead violin with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Hiss name was Ronald Burke and he went on to become one of world famous Lindsay String Quartet - but for now he became our bass player.
He is a great lad and even now talks fondly of his days in pop. Who says pop and classical dont mix! It did and still does. In fact he is still an avid fan of Jimi Hendrix.
We went on to spend time in Germany where we worked hard and played hard. A great time was had by all.
Returning to the Uk we gigged all over the place and then did some recording with Joe Meek, in Holloway Road above a leather shop.
Joe Meek was to have an amazing career and had lots of number ones, with artists like Heinz, The Applejacks and many more. Sadly he shot hmself - that's rock and roll, I suppose.
We didn't carry on to long after this and went on to persue our own course in life and follow our own dreams.
This picture shows all the band except Ron Birks who was just out of shot on the right on stage in Baumholder, Germany. The girl is Maxine Daniels, a female vocalist who was with us for the first two months in Germany. It was a contractual thing that we had to have at least one female member.
Great to see this page. Bob Harrison was, and still is, a dear family friend.
I remember the Blue Diamonds playing at the same time as my first group The Orphans. We are all from Stockport, and we all played the same venues.
I remember Bryn Keatings (Bob's bosom buddy) making PA columns for Bobby and the Diamonds ... they had about 20 speakers each in them!
We all used TVM amps in those days, which gave out more heat than an electric fire!
When the Diamonds broke up, guitarists Chris and Arthur Barry formed The Cyclones, with which I played drums for a while. Bob Harrison also went on to join different bands, and I hope he will add these in the "later groups" section.
As I say, we go back a long way, and Bob still looks great today!
Thanks for the kind comments Rob.
We used to make the speakers out of old television speakers. I think they could manage to put out about six watts each,and lasted only for the one gig.
Fortunately we had an ongoing supply,as my sister worked for the local tv shop and they used to let us have the old teles. I hope to add to the site as soon as I can remember what happened next - ha ha.
I think it will include my resident days at Bredbury Hall, and beyond. Was with Savoury Duck, I'm the one with the marracas.
What a great site this is. Keep rockin.
I never had the pleasure of seeing Bobby & The Blue Diomonds" but I did have the priveledge of playing in Bobs band "The Mixture" which we reformed back in 1987. The original bass player "Roger Mycock" (The Deltones) was working in the south and I depped for him pending his return. He didn't and it became the longest depping job of of all time.
I'm still in touch with Bob and the other Mixtures. He still has one of the finest singing voices ever, great pity he's not singing these days. It didn't matter what key it was in, Bob just sang it!and if he didn't know the words? He just made them up! Only a complete anarack would have known.
Great artist and glad to say, a good pal.
All the best to everyone. Bob - See you for a beer in the Nursery soon.
The Classics Band
I played with Bobby and the Blue Diamonds (bass)for a couple of months just before their departure to Germany.Alas my fiance at the time give me the ultimatum that if I went with band abroad our future wedding plans where off.I did not go and still did not marry the girl.I am now living out my twilight years in Cyprus.
Chris Barry on stage at Baumholder, Germany
I only played with the Blue Diamonds for a few gigs but here's the record
June 20th 1964 played at the Astoria, my cut was 1 pound 10 shillings
June 21 booking unknown,my cut 1 pound 10 shillings
.June 26th Lotus club Stafford,my cut 1 pound 16 shillings
June 27th Manor Lounge Stockport, my cut 2 pounds 18 shillings (big money but Ii noted i had to pay 6 shillings to get my girl friend in)
July 4th Empress club my cut 1 pound 14 shillings
July 5th som where in Warrington (even bigger money 3 pounds 13 shillings.)
July 9th Manor lounge 2 pounds 9 shillings
July 10th a country club 1 pound 5shillings.
July 11th The Bodega and also Mr Smiths on thesame night 2 pounds 1 shilling
The last gig I did was on July 12th unknown 1 pound 13 shillings and sixpence.
I have kept this till the last.
We played at the Offerton Palace on the 3rd July and I have noted that after we finished playing the bailiffs came and took the drummers drums away.
Ahhh memories! I was the lead guitarists (Chris Barry) girl friend for all the Blue Diamond years. Bob & Fran, Kevin & Brenda (the Snow Queen) Ron Birks (lovely lad but never a girl with him) and of course Ron and Yvonne!!!
All of us had brill times going in the van to gigs - I was with Chris when they went to play to the American Troops in Germany and we were married on 30 July 1966 - separated 24 years later, but still good friends.
Thanks for the memories.
I can't believe Lynda got on here before me!! She always did get there first!
I was Lead guitarist with the Blue Diamonds although Kevin and I used to both play lead and both play rhythm at various times.
Great memories reading these pages.
I can confirm that Bob never sang the same words to any song two nights running but he sang his made up words so convincingly nobody ever noticed!
I've dug out a couple of photos taken on stage at Baumholder in Germany in the days when we all had hair! Pictues above.
A quick message to Kevin, seeing this has filled me with malorious alacrement! (Private joke)
Well how nice to hear from Chris and Lynda. Great days. All those happy memories from nearly fifty years ago,where did the time go? Fran and Ii got divorced in 1973 but remain very good pals.
I went on to marry again, and divorced again. I just love the wedding cake I guess - ha ha.
Went on to be with several bands, including The Mixtures, Savoury Duck and lots more which I hope to add at a later date.
I have three sons all happily married, six grandchildren, three of each.
If anybody has any news with regard the other members, I would love to hear from them.I still live in Heaton Moor and would love to meet up if possible. Contact me at 01614314110.
Keep rockin,and thanks to Paul for this superb site.
Hey guy's - this site brings back some memories. I can still remember the group practicing in Belmont School Youth Club. Then when the gigs started to come in, panic to get the convoy ready.
Two Ford forward control vans plus one ex gpo van with the rubber mudguards. Bob and I were self employed property repairing during the day, then clean out the van and it was transport for the P.A. system and Rons drums.
Love to hear from any of the gang my e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes to all.
Thanks for the addition to the site Bryn. We had a rare old time,on and off the road. The band owed a great deal to Keatings and Harrison, property repairers of the parish.
What a great time we had. I'm proud to have you as a pal and long may we reign.
Sorry to hear of passing of Rony Clarey (also known as Vince Pirelli) who was the drummer with Deke Rivers and The Big Sound (and was also the drummer with The Blue Diamonds and The Javelins). Rony passed away on 17th September 2011, aged 66 years.
Our best wishes to Yvonne and family.
Sad to hear that Ronni Clarey, drummer with the Blue Diamonds has passed away recently. RIP - his humour will be sadly missed.
Love to Yvonne and family.
Bob and pals.
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