Calling Pete … Calling Pete …

Cross that is. It’s all my fault. I get myself a local reputation for knowing about pop so when Davy Jones dies I get a call from the News asking did I know him (no) and did I like his music (same answer I’m afraid). So I’m not wanting to be a misery guts in these circumstances and I recall that Pete Cross put an interesting tale on the Comment (Feb 18) ….

So, Pete, check your emails because the News want to speak to you – and I guess if anyone else has a good story you could email the News too – I was useless.

RIP Davy




The Dynachords:
Top left Jock McCloud (bass), right Tony Hennen (drums) Bottom left Ade
Bartholomew (LG), middle Vern Rogers (RG) right Don Bonser (V).

from Mick who I think got it via something called facebook (??) from Sheila whose husband played in the band – mainly from Gosport/Fareham I think

Now I really must do that guitar practice


Birdcage beginnings

Alan Williams has spoken to his pal Bob Yates (in Australia) – Bob was involved at the ‘Cage in the early days and the story is as follows:

Gary Farr and Rikki Farr were both Winchester College boys (ha! and you thought I was posh PC) so both had Hampshire links although they lived in Brighton. Rikki accompanied Gary & his T-Bones when they appeared at the Savoy (I cannot track this gig down but they certainly played pre-Birdcage at the Rendezvous) and was impressed by the enthusiasm of the audience so he decided Pompey was ideal to open a new club.

He enrolled Robin Beste and crucially mum, Mrs Beste plus guys from the Flamingo in Soho notably Tony Harris – plus secretary Pauline Mason who had worked for promoter Bernard Delfont and off they went. The Drayton bunch including Bob Beard, Pete ‘Brady’ Boardman, ‘Birdy’ and Bob Yates were involved from the start and Brady plus former Pirate DJ “Boss Cat” Bruce were the original DJs. Bob’s memory is that while Nicholas Hoogstraten may have been around in the Birdcage days (he too came from Brighton) he was only involved in the business when it changed (after August 1967) into the Brave New World which opened at the end of that year.

The T-Bones played the first Birdcage gig in late February 1965 at Kimbells and exactly two-and-a-half years later Joyce Bond played the final night at the club which had moved to Eastney after the first six months.

Leave a comment

More ton-ups at Bert’s

Ace bass Colin Wood writes (and draws above)

“Hi Dave, trawling through earlier pages of the blog, I spotted The Peaceful Fifties and comments about Bert’s Kaff. How did I miss that! I used to go to Bert’s in the early 60’s. The bikes could already be running, the rider jumped on and had to reach the magic ton on the straight. Then “earoling” round Johnson’s roundabout and back to the cafe before the record finished. I am a member of a local bike club and one of the members used to do the other Bert’s “rite of passage”-hitting a ton past Bert’s approaching Portchester (then a crossroads). He didn’t notice a speed cop on his tail and after being “lairy” with the ensuing court’s magistrate, spent a night in the cells.I drew a cartoon for the club’s magazine after lots of reminiscing and all and sundry saying they would love to see photos of Bert’s in it’ heyday. Anyway to make a long story slightly shorter,could you ask any bloggers if they have any snaps?”


Down at the Club(s)

Mick found these on Facebook. I’m not much for ‘clubbing’ and I don’t think I went to either but – strange coincidence – I’ve just spoken on the ‘phone to Helen who is Ray Bradbear’s daughter. I know Ray and Helen is a longtime friend of mine who now lives in London.

As for David Lloyd, is he the tennis man, ‘Bumble’ the cricket commentator or someone entirely different – a bit like this Dave Allen?

1 Comment

Chuck – no luck?

Thanks to Pete Cross for these but this is one of the tours that Mick found (see Comments below) which went to Southampton not Portsmouth. I’m enquiring for my radio show this week but it seems that Chuck didn’t get here until some time in the 1970s when as Paul comments his performances were not always the best. Great 45s though!

1 Comment

Good Morning

I’ve had a crazy week so far, band rehearsal (gig Saturday), day in Brighton, very busy at Hampshire Cricket with a new sponsorship deal (are you watching Fratton Park?) but now I’ve got a day free so, guitar playing (promise Marc!) and lots of updates about Chuck Berry, Bert’s Cafe, local nightclubs and the origins of the Birdcage. It’ll all be there in a couple of hours or so and thanks for your patience. It’s also the anniversary of MRA and I signing the final papers on our house in 2008 – so is that the first anniversary or the fourth?


More Questions

(and where are the Mysterians?)

this is from Nigel (I’ve said I’m sure NH was not involved from the start and probably not until it moved to Eastney which was post August 1965):

“For my new book I am researching for the chapter about the Birdcage, there isn’t much information about the early days but Nick Hoogstraten’s name comes up. I expect most of us have heard of him. In a past blog John Roberts wrote, ‘….in Pompey he was known as the guy who started up (and owned) The Birdcage!’ Owning and starting up are two different activities; does anyone know if he bought the building and then personally started the club through a love of music or did he just own the building and someone else start the club independently? Did Rikki Farr buy it from him or rent it from him and start the club? or did he take over from Nick Hoogstraten? or was there another scenario? Any information or memories about the Birdcage or the Brave New World would be useful. I remember parking my Lambretta near a posh car in the road opposite the Birdcage one evening, Nick Hoogstraten got out and I followed him down the road to the club. Born in February 1945 he was two years older than me, by 1968 (aged 23) he was Britain’s youngest millionaire with a portfolio of over 300 properties – I had a knackered Lambretta! I would also welcome people’s memories about the Village in Charlotte Street and Apache boutique on the corner of Marmion and Palmerston Roads, has anyone got a photo of Apache?. ”

(one of?) The churches in Eastney (maybe St James) published a newsletter that once included a piece about the early Birdcage days – no mention of NH, it was rather more Robin Beste (and his mum)