"I remember as Bobby and the Blue Diamonds, going into Johnny Roadhouses on many occasions on Saturday and Mr X (name removed to protect the innocent!) would lend us gear for gigs, usually a tvm as I recall. It was about twenty watts.
We had to have it back Monday before Johnny got in. It was a close shave on many occasions. Thanks a lot Mr X.
I think that most bands are in debt to Johnny Roadhouse for turning a blind eye and I thank all concerned. I went on to join several bands, including The Mixture and Savoury Duck. I still do some recording.
Best of luck, in the words of my pal Pete Maclaine "KEEP ROCKIN"
Just a touch of trivia maybe but in 1957/58 I and a friend went to Mr Roadhouses shop to make an advert for T.V.
It was for Ozone bleach, of course Mr Roadhouse accompanied us both on the piano and it was shown several times.
It was a very memorable experience of which I will never forget. It also led to me having singing lessons with Mr Roadhouse and the odd baby sitting job for him.
Eileen Clarke nee Dickinson
You've obviously been mailed about the sad news of Johnny Roadhouse passing away on Saturday 11/04/09.
Almost full page tribute in tonight's edition of the Manchester Evening News.
Apparently he was 88 years of age and died in his sleep at Manchester Royal Infirmary following a short illness.
Sad news for all us musos.
I bought my 8 piece Ludwig rocker kit off him 20 years ago. It's still in the spare bedroom and is dusted off periodically for a bit of a thrashing to get rid of lifes' stresses and bring back happy memories and thoughts of what could have been in those halcyon years of the '60s.
Can't take our memories away can they, pal ?
At some time in the late fifties or early sixties John Mayall had a small record business in the room above the JR Emporium. Here he used to sell quite rare blues albums that he used import from the States. He would bring them in, copy them on to tape for himself and then sell them in the shop.
Sadly I could never afford to buy any of them but I do have a few records, mostly 78s, that he sold while he was still at the Art School, just across All Saint's Park from Mr. Roadhouse. A man with an eye for business is Mr. Mayall.
When I moved down here to the Cotswolds and started gigging, several people, when they found that I came from Manchester, asked me if I knew Johnny Roadhouse. That's how famous he was. Or is the word infamous?
I used to go from home into Manchester on Saturdays with a friend to shop and walk down Oxford Street to gorp in music shop windows. One evening we noticed that Johnny's shop was still open as he and his partner was cashing up his till. He said that we should go upstairs, plug in anything we liked. I came down with a Framus Star bass and asked about it. Next week I returned with my Colorama and asked if he would part/ex it.
Johnny looked my up and down, asked what school I went to (Central Grammar) and took out a 'Rent Book'. He told me to leave the guitar, take the bass and just come back when I had some money and bring the book in until paid off!
I worked with Johnny on occasions and reminded him of this - sadly others, offered the same deal, did not pay off their arrangement. A truly great man.
While managing the Pecussion Centre I was having lunch with Barratt`s manager and he told me he used to manage Johnny`s shop. I asked why he left.
He said the last straw was when,before he finished one Saturday, he spent a couple of hours cleaning the shop, leaving it"Like a new pin". Coming in on Monday morning he was pleased to find Johnny had put a motor car engine "very oily" on the counter.
I (or rather my dad!) bought my first electric guitar from JR's shop. It was a Rosetti Solid 7, the single cutaway version. My pal had the double cutaway version but they didn't have one in stock when I went. Some weeks earlier I went in with my father to look around. Johnny's brother Bill was managing the shop. He pointed to some sheet music and said I could have any guitar in the shop if I could read it. Of course I couldn't.
Just then (must have been around 1960/1 and solid guitars were not as common then) a sales rep came in and asked if Bill needed any "planks"! My father thereafter always referred to my guitars as planks!
Does anyone remember there being a recording studio at the shop? I used to go up the stairs for jam sessions on Saturdays, and I'm sure I passed a studio door on my way up.
I recall going to Johnny Roadhouse's shop,
sittuated about hundred yards or so past the BBC on Oxford Rd.
At first glance it looked like a junk shop -
this would be early sixties when it appeares that Johnny himself was a well known and well respected musician who played either sax or trumpet. I am sure somebody will correct me in this.
Anyway it transpires that he had recording
facilities. Tthis was in the days when my ego was much bigger than my talent, any way the upshot was I booked myself in for a recording session and as I walked into the shop he asked me where my backing group was. At the time I didn't have one. I didn't even bring an ampliflier = I intended to make a record for a girlfriend of the time and sat there with an acoustic guitar and played the theme from
Juke Box Jury [was it called Walk Don'r Run?)
Any way when it was finished he gave me a ball of black wool and said this is you in reverse. I just felt that Johnny's shop warrented a mention.
I got my first electric guitar from Johnny Roadhouse around 1960. It was a Rossetti Lucky seven single cutaway. Clearly a bad copy of a Gibson. I can recognize that now. It seemed to be made of tea chest plywood.
My contribution to this story is that it was Johnny Roadhouse senior that sold me the guitar. And the Futurama I got a couple of years later.
I haven't seen any mention of him here. Johnny junior was there, of course. A strange shop but definitely worth going to.