Vocalist Pete Taylor continues from his My Story pages ...
After a couple of months we changed our names to Pete and The Persuaders - a change of name a change of luck.
The line up was Peter Taylor (vocals), Sidney Overett (lead guitar), Brian Valentine (rhythm), Martin Sleater (bass) and Dennis Ashton (drums).
We worked very hard and with lots of practice, auditions, talent comps, and the like, we became very popular in the Manchester area.
We had a chance to audition for the Decca record company which we were all very excited about.
On Friday 23rd August 1963, we had a gig at a pub called The Queens Arms in a small village in Doveholes in Derbyshire.
That same night, The Beatles were appearing about three miles away in Buxton and naturally we expected to be playing to an empty house but this was not the case.
We had a full house and lots of fun but this was not to last.
We left The Queens at about 12:15am on the 24th August, with a friend of the group at the wheel but we didn’t reach home.
Our van left the road and hit a cottage killing Sid Overett (19yrs old), and Brian Valentine (17yrs old). The rest of the group were seriously injured and hospitalised in the Stockport Infirmary.
The next few months were, at the least, traumatic.
We had, of course, lost our van and most of our stage equipment in the crash and due to help from The Beatles, Danny (Mr Moonriver) Williams, Karl Denver and many other Manchester artists, also many clubs in the area putting on charity shows for us, we were eventually able to reform the group, under the name of Pete Taylor and The New Persuaders with two new members whose surnames I cannot recall, the lead guitarist was Vic and the rhythm was called Peter.
Unfortunately, due to our past experience, I was unable to settle and I was not happy with the sound that we were getting, so I left the group in the middle of 1964 and for the next 18 months or so I didn’t do anything in the entertainment business.
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Really sad to hear of Pete's passing, I was his bass player in The Javelins (one of those whose name he couldn't recall) and the last time I saw him he was laid low with Pneumonia, then i went to oz so lost touch, but have never forgot him RIP Pete
It is with great sadness that I let everyone know that Pete Taylor lead singer with the persuaders passed away today the 8th dec. Pete WAS the persuaders,without him it didn't function,not just a great voice,but a true gent,a lovely guy who will be sadly missed by his lovely family that he loved and cared so much about,and all his old band mates from various bands,,goodbye my friend,your old drummer,Denis Ashton. R.I.P.pete.xx
I am Sid Overett's brother.I remember the early days so well, met all the members of the group, but most of all I remember the tragic night when nobody came home, in fact this is the first time I have ever talked about it.I did run into Dave and Sheena a few years later when I was living in Jersey. Would love hear from them now, most of all I remember the jam sessions in the tiny room near Dave Thorpe's house, happy day's, thank's for bringing it all back, it was a whole new world just cut short,PS does Dave still have the lambretta? anyway all for now, hope to hear. Sheena if you are out there love to hear from you.
Hi Nic I was a good friend of Sid's and he would often come to my house with his guitar and sometimes he would sit in, if one of our guitarists was off sick. I was one of the coffin bearers at his funeral. Sid was one of the nicest guys I ever met and I will never forget the morning Dave Thorpe came to my house in Greenheys, to tell me the bad news
I used to live round the corner from Pete, my dad was an electronics engineer and once made, from a kit, a 100watt Bass Amp For Martin Slater, and did the odd repair for Val and the rest of the group. I went with them on many occasion to their gigs.
It would be great to see Pete again and have a catch up. I am now in my 70th year.