My clubbing began at " THE RINK " in Birchfields, a roller skating rink that was just dipping its toes in the entertainment water at the time.
Here I saw " THE PRETTY THINGS ", "THE IN CROWD " and also had a ticket to see " TOM JONES " but he got a hit with " ITS NOT UNUSUAL " and bailed on the gig.
The first club I went to in town was " THE HEAVEN AND HELL " which was situated close to where Chorlton Street bus station now sits.
I never saw any bands at this club but the music was always the thing and there were some interesting times to be had for a lad of seventeen especially downstairs or " HELL ", what with the total darkness and all.
The next clubs were the ones that really turned me on to LIVE music were " THE CAVERN " in Cromford Court where I saw, among others , " THE GROUNDHOGS " (still gigging as far as I know ), " THE EDGAR BROUGHTON BAND " (out demons out !) and "THE STEAM PACKET " with jULIE DRISCOL AND THE BRIAN AUGER TRINITY , LONG JOHN BALDRY ,AND THE KING OF THE MODS ROD STEWART.
Then there was " THE TWISTED WHEEL " at that time on Brazenose Street where I first saw " THE GROUNDHOGS " supporting " JOHN LEE HOOKER ". There seemed to be legends on at some club every weekend in those days.
Just a couple of hundred yards away from " THE WHEEL " round the corner in Jacksons Row was " THE OASIS " where I saw a very young looking " IKE AND TINA TURNER " - not to mention places like " THE MAJESTIC " on Deansgate, " BEAT CITY " on Fountain street.
MANCHESTER was a terrific place to have spent one's youth - later getting into the seventies the main venue was " THE FREE TRADE HALL " but that is another story .
I went to the Cavern every week, all nighters too. I remember the Pretty Things playing the cavern they where joined on stage by Mick Jagger. I think he did two numbers with them, could have been more.
Re Mick Jagger joining Pretty Things on stage at the allnighter at the Cavern. I was there, it was great ... Dick Taylor of the Pretty Things was one of the founder members of the Stones.
They were in the Manchester area for a gig so Brian Jones and Mick Jagger called in to see their mates and Mick got on stage for a couple of numbers Wow ... trouble was it was a hard act for the Pretty Things to follow after that.
Incidentally my cavern card has Dick Taylor's autograph on the front from an earlier Pretty Things gig. I was there for the Kinks, Bo Diddley, 4 plus 1 and most of the other great groups.
I used to go every night and most allnighters too. Loved the Heaven and Hell and Twisted Wheel and Oasis.
Unforgettable nights at the Cavern included seeing The Kinks do a memorable performance of their most famous songs, 'You Really Got Me' and 'All day and all of thre Night' over and over again to a sweaty, packed-out audience.
Watching 'Little Walter' the Blues harmonica-player swig from a bottle of Gin whilst pausing to drunkenly rub, dare I say it, his organ all over his mouth.
Talking to Sister Rosetta Tharpe after a great gospel singing performance.
Witnessing The Walker Brothers walk off stage at a sparsely attended all-nighter, with Scott Walker throwing his microphone on the floor in disgust due to the handful of people watching not bothering to applaud.
Does anyone remember about 1963/4 an american film company MGM ? making a film about the English music scene and coming to Manchester's Cavern. We all were asked to go outside in groups of 3 or 4 whilst they filmed us. They also did Liverpool and London. Did the film ever come out ? It would be great to see it.
I remember going to to the cavern on a regular basis and being let in by the bouncers for a couple of embassy coupons and used to go the all nighters on a saturday night.
One of the best nights though was going to see The Pretty Things when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards came in and got on stage and played along with them - all for 2/6p.
One of contributors mentioned the Cavern in Cromford street when the Kinks were playing, I remember watching the Kinks on stage stood next to the Rolling Stones.
I well remember the night the Kinks played the Cavern, I was right at the very front and even holding Ray Davies's hand while he was singing, a rather jealous girl stood behind me took exception to this and proceeded to rip the arm off my leather jacket, but it was all worth it.
I met my future husband Pete at the Cavern and he remembers the night Bo Didley and the Duchess his glamourous sister were on stage when there were problems with the plug on Bo's amp falling from the roof socket, Pete stood on stage holding the plug in position while the Duchess gyrated around him, he has had a thing about black satin pants ever since.
I went to the Cavern in Manchester a few times and I remember seeing The Swinging Blue Jeans one night, they were fantastic, they had just released You're No Good,they sounded just like their records.
It was a small venue so one got a really good close-up view of the groups, I can still see the Blue Jeans in their blue denim! Saw Manfred Mann as well, Paul Jones stood near me when I was getting something from the cloakroom!I remember one occasion as I was going in the bouncer took my studded belt off me, so I was uncomfortable all night watching some group and trying to hold my trousers up.Oh yeah three of the Four Pennies,turned up they were supposed to play but they said one of them was in hospital so they just stayed around for a while then left. My mate went to see Eden Kane there and he said there were loads of coppers to hold back the expected crowds of screaming girls ,but hardly anyone bothered him!
A lot of these clubs insisted that you had to wear a tie, and a lot of them used to turn you away if you didnt wear one.I was looking forward to seeing Freddie and the Dreamers at the newly opened New Century Hall and one of the bouncers on the door wouldnt let me in because I didnt have a tie on, can you believe that.
Oddly enough sometimes it was our longish hair,and usually some of the groups had longer hair? Wearing a collar and tie in some of those places it used to be roasting.
The Manchester cavern was another of the clubs I went to in the early sixties All nighters were good although a pain waiting to get the firt bus on Sunday to get home. Pherhaps someone could help me as memories get cloudy. There was a DJ who had an ex army jeep and on one occassion in the early hours would take people for a spin around the City centre. I can remember he always wore a big parker jacket I seem to recall someone said this was Dave Lee Travis??
I and some mates saw Manfred Mann at the Cavern, I think near the end of 1964 sometime around the Stones played the Palace if my memory serves right.
We were yokels from the Cheshire backwoods and came into Manchester for the all-nighters at the Wheel, Cavern and Heaven and Hell where there was a police raid one night. The cops demanded that all weapons and pills were piled up in the centre of the floor - they made a decent sized mound. Good times!
I remember the Cavern in the sixties. We went to see the Undertakers,with their coffins.
The dj was Dave Lee Travis, he would turn up in his open top jeep. Big George was the doorman.
It became popular when the Twisted Wheel closed and became a soul club. All us hippies had nowhere to go.
I have great memories of the music in Manchester, in my youth (l960's) and I worked at the Cavern around 1964, 1965 and loved the groups. I remember Ginger Baker and a Blues singer from America whose name I unfortunately can't recall. Graham Nash,(a Salford lad no less) was great, along with the Beatles and Mick Jagger. And, I do recall seeing the Rolling Stones at the Oasis.
Brenda (Costello) Braun
I agree with Brenda, they had some great acts. After the Wheel closed (Brazennose St) we had nowhere to go, long hair and black clothes, the cavern was a lifesaver.
Still playing our music. Great days.
Does anyone know what happened to Wendy who was the Cavern owner Davids' wife?
I was her neighbour and adopted 'nephew' and used to go down to the club with them. Being only 12, I had to stay behind he scenes when the club started to fill up but was privileged to have been the errand boy for many of the acts that appeared. I'd be sent to get the cokes and food,cigs etc from the bar.
I remember once being backstage with the Pretty Things and there were dozens of girls outside the fire doors which led onto Cromford Court. Somebody told me to get the autograph books and bring them in to be signed.'Course as soon as the door opened half an inch and they caught a glimpse of Phil May, they went wild. I was pushed out and the door closed behind me..." Oh please please give this to Phil, I'll do anything..". If only I'd been a just few years older.... ;-)
Peter Byrne, you spoke of Doorman BIG George ... 6'4" and 18 stone was very big then.
That was my Dad, unfortunately he died early 2009, heart attack, running a pub, behind a bar and pulling a pint for a customer ... 69 years old.
In November 1964 he was running the Cromford door (with Jimmy "Swords"..anyway, one night at home I was sick, Doctor came out, gave my (8 months pregnant) Mum a prescripton, she got the bus into town where she went to the Cromford. Dave Lee Travis (of course wearing his parker) took her in his Jeep across town to the all night chemist.
I remember a photo of Dad stood in front of Mick Jagger (Guarding him) who did a guest appearance on a tiny stage about a foot high...their heads were about the same level even though Mick was on the stage. I would sell my soul for a copy of that photo.
Thank you David, it is very sad to hear of your dad's passing. I will always have great memories about our time at the cavern, and your dad, he was an important part of all our time in the sixties.
The Cavern and The Brazenose St Twisted Wheel were my home from home' from '64 through to '65 if you 'ducked and dived' a bit and went to one of the all nighters you could stay in Manchester from sat afternoon (Lewis'record dept and The Cona) through to Sunday morning (breakfast at Victoria Station's cafe.) First band I ever saw at the Cavern were The Merseybeats.
The band I saw more than any other .. The magnificent and mad Pretty Things!!
The high spot? .. The Stones at the gig and Jagger getting up with them for a song.
And the low? Viv Prince absolutely legless and useless, so the support band's drummer (The Chasers?) sat in.
I remember The change of name to The Jigsaw and .. Horror !!! NO LONG HAIR !!! MODS ONLY
Just found your page. Like many people I spent most of my youth in town.
Best band I saw was The Pretty Things - my no1. Saw them at the Cavern and Heaven and Hell.
Happy days. You mention Graham Clegg a lot. I worked for him a few years ago but did not know his 60s connection - would love to hear from him and Pauline.
The Pretty Things are still going strong and are playing around the country. They are still amazing live - Phil May is still in the band.
David Lioyd, I'm sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. I worked with him at the Cavern back in the 60s - I was on the Door with George and Dave Hall. Good times. Take care.
From the section on the Cavern Club in M/c which Mike Sweeney wrote re Viv Prince being legless and the drummer of The Chasers taking over that was me - John Mills, Mike knows me as 'Mileo'. That was a lifetime ago and my memory isn't what it used to be but thanks M/c Beat.