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Emulating England

Some of you know I’m a cricket nut so I’ve enjoyed all those centuries in Australia yesterday and today

I was saying to my wife Lou that this site gets lots of visits – regularly up in the nineties per day – but never yet over 100. Well today it got 142 (and maybe a few more yet?) which is our record

So many, many thanks for your interest and support – but what’s up, is it too cold to go out?


Coffee Bars

Thanks to Ron Pryce for his recent comment (see below) on the new website and the coffee bars. I had been told about the Milano/Delmonicos mistake in my original booklet “Here Come the Sixties” and there are a few other things – corrections, additions and updates that people have noticed – all most welcome.

Ref the new Website, I made the decision to post the EXACT original text under the years (1956-9 and individually 1961, 1962 ….1969) because that booklet has now gone – I have two copies left and that’s it, so I thought it was an idea to make it available as was

I need to decide now whether to begin changing the text to update it (my likely preference) OR treat it as somewhat sacrosanct and add (for example) asterisks and amendment boxes for each year.

So, (a bit like X Factor) I’m asking for preferences – what do you think? As I say, I’ll probably alter the original (incidentally, Mick’s already done a very good job of putting mine into the style of his Calendar pages) but if people prefer amendments separately that’s fine

AND – following Ron’s comment – how about more Coffee bar stories, including Juke Box favourites?



This is a photo from Pompey circa 1962/3 it shows some of the local beatnik/jazz/CND (etc) crowd – lots of duffle coats, donkey jackets, college scarves and other fashions of that period among certain people. But the guy in the middle is wearing leather and has a rather exotic hairstyle ….

Well it’s Rod (embryonic Mod) Stewart who met up with the Pompey crowd at a jazz festival and spent some time in the city in the early ’60s. I’ve seen a whole collection of photos of him in Southsea/Havant/Portsdown Hill etc and met with some of the local guys from around then.

At present we’re going to resist publishing all these pix on the Web as they could be exploited but we’re looking at other possibilities. In the meantime – and with the recent delightful addition of Emmett Hennessy’s recollections – I’m putting together an account of the young man in and around Pompey which I will put up on the new website some time this week, with more details of this picture.

If you wish to add anything to the recollections of Emmett, Chris F or David G please add comments here. I have a list of most of the gigs he did with Steam Packet, the Soul Agents and LJB but what about Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions? They played at Kimbells in 1964 and I think Rod may have been with them …



Hi – I’ve been promising this and it’s up. Now two weeks ago I couldn’t even spell Web Designer so it’s not perfect and I’m happy to take comments and any additional info and materials. I’ll leave it alone for 2/3 weeks and then gather everything together and tweak stuff. In the meantime, I shall keep this Blog going for now. You’ll find the Website at


And MANY thanks to Mick Cooper for all his help and hard work – any problems are my responsibility




MEANWHILE: SATURDAY, 2pm, City Museum Popular Music and Sci Fi

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Three things:

1. Saturday week (27 November, 2 pm) I’m doing a talk at the City Museum on popular music and science fiction. It links with their current exhibition. Lots of Spotnicks, Telstar, Pink Floyd etc (and it’s free)

2. Mick Cooper and I have made good progress in discussions with a publisher. We hope to publish a Pompey Pop picture book in maybe 9/10 months. If you’ve any photos that you think should be in there, let us know. We have most things but would love early Manfred Mann in Portsmouth, ditto Roadrunners/Simon Dupree, Teapots/Wrong Direction, Blackout/Gold Dust dynasty plus pix of the Parlour, Indigo Vat and Thorngate and anything about the folk scene.

3. I’m making progress on a ‘real’ website which will be easier to navigate and which will have a greater range of information. That may be ‘up’ in a matter of weeks.


Rod the Mod update

On 13 July I posted a request from outside for info about Rod Stewart’s early days. Sadly the guy who asked never followed it up but David Glass has added two very interesting tales and Chris Fosbrook another – and since you’d have to trawl back through this site to come across them, I’d like to reproduce them here with (first) a couple of comments from me.

I’m pretty sure the gig they’re referring to came at Christmas 1964. In my “Here Come the 60s” booklet, I wrote, “the Rendezvous celebrated its first rhythm & blues Christmas with Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, and folk blues artist Emmett Hennessy (“from (London’s) famous Roundhouse” – pictured below). I missed the fact that LJB didn’t turn up because I took the info from a News advert so thanks to David for that.

David Glass:

I saw Rod at Portsmouth’s Rendezvous Club. He sang with the Hoochie Coochie Men. Long John Baldry was meant to be there, but didn’t turn up. The guitarist had mislaid his instrument and had to borrow one from a support band (can’t remember who they were), and made some silly remark about what an inferior guitar it was. Another person on the bill was a folk singer called Emmett Hennessy

I went along with a crowd from the North End billiard hall – just along London Road. They were a somewhat macho lot, and I remember it was very wintry and Rod made a rather camp remark about the fact he was wearing a coat because it was a bit cold. The opinion of several in our group (among them might have been Dave Allen’s old school chum, the chukka-booted Peter Tilford) was that Rod Stewart was “a poof who couldn’t sing, and would never have a hit record”.

Chris Fosbrook

I remember going to the gig where Rod Stewart, who was Long John Baldry’s “featured” singer replaced him for most of the evening as LJB didn’t turn up.  I remember being quite miffed at not being able to see LJB, but from what I remember Rod put on a excellent blues set and in the end I don’t think LJB was missed. Unfortunately I can’t remember who else was on the bill.

(Chris and I have figured out that we both went to the Rendezvous (Oddfellows Hall, Kingston Road) for the first time on the same evening – October 1964 to see the Moody Blues (who had just released “Go Now.

Here, finally another Rendezvous link. The Hoochie Coochie Men were regular visitors – the Downliners Sect came even more regularly and their first harmonica player Ray Sone left (replaced by Pip Harvey) and joined up for a time in a duo with Emmett Hennessy. Below from a scrapbook collage I made over 45 years ago is a picture of Ray Sone and a Studio 51 advert for Ray and Emmettt (I knew it would come in handy one day)

Thanks to Dave and Chris – I love these stories! And Dave’s right about the billiard hall bunch and Pete (aka “Stand Still) – but they were good fun even in their drape jackets and chukka boots

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Golden Oldies

Earlier this year there was a very successful exhibition at the City Museum, the Birth of British Rock which included lots of local memories. The exhibition was nominated in the top six in last night’s News Guide Awards. Sadly we were ousted by the Dinosaur but here’s a group of us who participated in the exhibition – in the bar at the King’s Theatre before the ceremony.

Left to right: Colin Quaintance (Cadillacs, Southern Sounds), David Barber (Helen Shapiro memorabilia), Brian Hatchard (Cadillacs), David Boltwood aka ‘Danny Raven’ (Renegades), Dave Allen, Colin Wood (Renegades, J Crow Combo) and Mick Cooper (Soul Society, Heaven), photo – Lou Allen.

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TONY HART (let there be drums)

This is the Chiz Bishop Quartet at the Savoy in in 1956 for the annual MU evening. The drummer is Tony Hart. His widow was in touch with me recently but I wasn’t able to download (and then upload) the pictures she sent of Tony. I’ve obtained this one recently from Mick Cooper so here’s Tony, who continued to play around the area for decades.

The quartet was Chiz Bishop (piano/accordion), Ricky Wicheloe (alto/clarinet), Ray Lott (bass) and Tony.

With quartets I’m intrigued to know about their usual material – it’s not a swing band and it’s not trad/revival so … ???