"I saw The Who there the week they were No.1 with 'My Generation'.
I went there with my first real girl friend Lynda. I was wearing my new green sweater with a white polo shirt underneath, a pair of deliciously faded Wranglers and Chukka boots.
When we bought tickets The Who weren't even in the charts so we paid only 6 bob for them. The place was packed with about 300 Mods and we managed to get right down near the stage. The Who had to fight their way through the crowd to the stage, led of course by Keith Moon who was wearing a white sweater with a Pop Art design created in insulation tape. Townsend had his Union Jacket on.
They were onstage barely half an hour but managed to smash most of the equipement in that time. At the moment when Daltrey stuttered "Why don't you all F-F-F-Fade Away" we didn't - we were at the very centre of it all and left with our ears ringing.
40 years on I can still relive it as though it were yesterday.
Bill Cox (Bolton Mod)
The Beachcomber 4/1/07
I saw The Moody Blues (with Denny Laine) who were late turning up. The word was the Beachcomber wasn't going to pay them but they played anyway for all the fans. A real piano, too! Great gig.
That same year I saw Lulu and the Luvvers there. She recently visited Bolton again but not with the Luvvers, and the tickets at the Reebok Stadium were a little more than the six bob at the Beachcomber.
Don't forget there was a Beachcomber in Preston, same company, this was the one I regularly frequented, easyer to get to for me, but went to Bolton a few times.
So many memories it's frightening. No safety regs. in place then. Stage in the cellar, together with coffee bar. Had to be a teatotal venue seeing we all were about sixteen. Had to clamour your way through two tunnels up to second level and then up a really narrow flight of stairs to the top floor.
Saw all the great groups there, but the best was Lulu. She was on the raised stage singing'Shout' whilst I was standing directing in front of her looking up at her knickers. Sad I know but I was only sixteen. (62 now). I'm preety certain that round this time a doorman was knifed and subsequently died whilst on duty at the club. Does anyone else remember this?
Could write a book about the place and my memories but it's getting late...Good Night
I remember well The Beachcomber - Eddie Grindrod (owner), John (crewcut) head bouncer/manager, queing to get in in the rain, pretending to be 16 when only 14yrs 6 months, soft drinks and 5 bob in your pocket and best of all the pinball machine. I can still remember the model HEATWAVE !!!
Bell bottom jeans, dancing to early Beatles songs etc. Saw The Drifters there one time.
What about the Boneyard? That was a motley club.
Anyway graduated to Manchester in 1966, the big city! Rowntrees Spring Gardens, Top of the Town, DiscoTakis, Rowntrees Sound, then Time and Place and Annabels, Twisted Wheel (both venues), Blinkers, etc.
The tax man can't confiscate memories.
re Beachcomber - I remember it before a dj was installed permanently.
ps I saw the Rolling Stones at the Oasis Club before they had a first hit record.
Malcolm H Holt
I remember "upstairs" being open daytimes during the week.
Spent many a happy hour wagging in there .
I think you'll find Allan when the doorman was killed it was the Cromwellian. A very sad occasion causing the club to close a bit later and change decour and name to the Playmate Club.
My husband knew the bouncer that was stabbed at the club - he was called Bobby Warren. It probably was a fire hazard but it was brill! This and Bury Palais is where all the tops groups were!
I remember seeing Hermans Hermits there quite a few times and some good local groups, Ian Dean and the Brystols were one of them, had some great nights there.
I used to bunk off school to go to the beachcomber (or the Boneyard) at lunchtime. Listening to Bob Dylan, Soul etc.
We used to meet up outside Prestons of Bolton and have a drink at the Swan hotel or Man & Scythe before going in to the Beachcomber. I met my (now) wife there. Our first house was next door to The Warren family and on the night of Bobby's death looked after his younger sister whilst his parents went to identifying him. The next day the press were all over us.
One early memory of the Beachcomber was seeing a group called 'The Warriors'. Great Beatles sound. The lead singer was Jon Anderton, later in Yes then Jon and Vangelis. Used to leave the club and my girlfriend and go on to the Twisted Wheel club in Manchester to the Saturday all-nighter Top soul venue, Alan Bown set, James and Bobby Purify etc. Plus loads of soul imports from the U.S.A..
We would meet at the Man & Scythe, and visit the Brass Cat (Golden Lion) and the Three Crowns, not to drink, just to check out who was where and who was out. Then down to the Beachcomber...my God, Health and Safety would have had a field day. Steep rickety steps down to tunnels packed with kids, usually Mods, trying to look cool.I remember Ian Dean and The Bristols and also two lads who danced together in the most amazing routines..I think they called themselves The Beach Boys(after the venue)maybe someone else can help with info. Everyone would stop to watch them...amazing dancers.
Stu Francis, the comedian, was a regular clubber...he was still at school then.Eddie Grindrod,the manager was usually on the door and was picky about who was let in.Everyone seemed to go home by the late trains then and Trinity Street station was packed with clubbers going home on trains all over the place..plenty of rowdy behaviour and punch ups as I recall...but it was absolutely the best time to be young!
I ADORED the Beachcomber. I went Every Friday night with my best friend Lorraine. Saturday, usually the Seven stars at Heywood with my boyfriend John and a group of friends. Sunday was Bolton Palais, again with Lorraine. I saw Long John Baldry at the 'Comber' as we called it. I was stood in front of him chewing gum when he suddenly stopped singing and told me to get that gum out of my mouth!
Happy days that I would to relive. Someone referred to the bouncer who was stabbed and died at the door. I wonder if it was still the Beachcomber then, as I had started work as a receptionist at the Palais and remember the his colleagues coming round to all the clubs collecting for his family and by then I had married and had my Daughter. Almost sure by that time it had become Maxwell's Plum. Not a patch on the old place.
Wow, just read the comments on the Beachcomber. What memories. I was there when the Who played, managed to get one of Keith Moons drum Stick. Wish I still had it. Cannot remember which night we used to go on. What a death trap it was, didn't think of that then, just too busy having a fab time. Up and down those rickety stairs we went. I remember the smelly loos that used to hang over the river croal. How great it was being young in the 60s. Palais (after a swift half in the Founders arms) on Monday, Thursday and Sundays. I worked for a while in the cloakrooms. The Navada, dancing, on a Saturday night.
Norma Derbyshire (Hallam)
I met my first real boyfriend, Barry, at the Beachcomber in Bolton in 1964 so have fond memories of it. He was so gorgeous with his smart Burtons suits and straight black hair that stood up slightly at the top of his head. A true mod! We used to go there once a week to see bands, dance and snog on a comfy couch in one of the top rooms. It was like a big house with lots of rooms with different atmospheres. One room was decorated with nets and shells and all sorts of things you might find on a beach. It was magical. The staircases were narrow - domestic scale - and a lot of people smoked! You could never get away with it these days, with all the fire regulations. The bands played in the basement, which was the biggest room - just roughly decorated, with a small stage in one corner.
As other people have said, there were some brilliant nights. I remember seeing Herman and the Hermits too.
Pics courtesy Geoff Mann
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I remember Outrage and Val Weaver from the College of Art. Not sure he was really called Jimmy. He idolised Jimmy Smith because of the way he played the Hammond Organ. He was fanatical about keyboards. Wonder where he is now?
Lots of bands were formed at Bolton College of Art during the early 60s including blues unit Atlanta Roots who were regular performers at the Beachcomber and of course Val Weaver's band Outrage. The other Art School member of Outrage was drummer Tom Dewhurst - both these guys were in the same class as me from 1961-63. A bloke called Bonner was form teacher. Don't think the Rockin' Vicars ever appeared at the Beachy who were once fronted by Lemmy from Motorhead - no doubt someone out there is better imformed!
I was the bass player in Outrage and the guitarist Rod Gerrard,who now lives in Colorado was my best pal from the age of 17.Still in touch daily and he has only just stopped playing after the best part of 50 years including stints with Hermans Hermits,Wayne Fontana and countless others whereas my new band Nail em down are just going out again playing Ronnie Lane type stuff.Outrage were managed from the Beachcomber by Don Read whos offices were on the upper floor.Still trying to contact both Val and Tom without luck.Val moved south after his father ,who WAS called Jimmy died.Nice to know someone still remembers us.See you at a Nail em Down gig.We are acoustic and a lot quieter than Outrage. Dont be afraid to introduce yourself,Geoff Parkinson
Hello,I was the bass player in Outrage and have been trying to make contact with Val Weaver and Tom Dewhurst for 50 years.Yesterday I managed to contact Tom who now lives in Monmouthshire and is a well known artist with works in the National Gallery and exhibitions worldwide.Unfortunately Val Died of a heart attack at 59 a few years back and will be sadly missed as someone who occupied a special place in my past,Geoff Parkinson
Hello Geoff Thanks for passing on the news about Val, though sad to hear he has gone and at such a young age. You are so right about him being quirky! I remember him as quite zany but SO passionate about the Hammond. Glad to hear you are still playing and performing. Jan Bradshaw
Hello Graham,I am the bass player from Outrage and yesterday after 50 years I finally made contact with Tom Dewhurst,a well known artist in his own right now,who informed me that Val had died of a heart attack aged 59 a few years back,He was a quirky character as most gifted Hammond players seem to be and occupied a special part in my past and will always be fondly remembered as will our rehearsals and appearances at the Beachcomber and the pastie shop round the corner where we used to get our health food????,Regards,Geoff Parkinson
Sad to hear of Val - he was a great bloke. He use to pick me up from my works in Radcliffe on his way home from his family crumpet business many years ago. Never stopped chatting always the gasser, always the comic. Once met Val and Tom at Rivvy barn 1966 or was '67? - anyway 6' 7" Long John Baldrey was top of bill just before he hit the big time - I wonder if anyone out there remembers this. Val and Tom along with their girlfriends took me home later that night - must have been during their brief band years. A sad loss - God bless VW.
Hi GrahamYes remember it well it was the Bolton Rag Ball and I m sure that PINK FLOYD where on the same bill among others. A great night except when I found out that LFB was gay, but still had a great chat with him from a safe distance of course.Oh happy daysCheersTonyPs does any one remember The Grape Vine band with nipper Earnshaw taking hell out of his drum kit? He gave me his Wheel membership card when he left Notlob thanks Ian
I went once to the Beachcomber to see a touring show called the Steampacket featuring Long John Baldry, supported ,as I recal by Rod Stewart, with Reg Dwight (Elton John) on keyboard, and I think Brian Auger and Judy Driscoll. This must have been early Sixties. Great Show.