Tell Laura


I can recall being at the Birdcage on the night Southern ITV turned up to film – and that the Alan Price Set played – but until I got Geoff’s diary I had completely forgotten that they came, for whatever bizarre reason, not to film a documentary about the club or the band but to do some kind of special about Ricky Valance. Here’s the entry (1966) – although for years I’ve tried to find it in their Archives, with no luck.

Geoff diary ITV.jpg

Incidentally the tick indicates that Geoff went – which makes this 1965 entry (again) most interesting:

Geoff diary Bo D?.jpg


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

10 thoughts on “Tell Laura

  1. I was there that night !

  2. Interesting. Several things struck me about this. First the diverse musical styles promoted, second that Ricky Valance was still a “Draw” and third the prices. I assume that is 7/6d to get in. With an average wage of 16 pounds a week for adults and much less for apprentices and teenage workers that is a sizable % of income. But then I recall Bennetts were charging 2/6d for a genuine Fender Guitar Pick (Plectrum).

  3. typical Rodders at Bennetts !!! The Ricky Valence night -I `m sure Hambledon`s best known resident Fred Dinenage was in attendance with the Southern Film crew- Ricky was , I think, down on his uppers after just the one hit “Tell Laura” five years previously (a lovely cheerful old tune if ever I heard one)-there was quite a bit on ex RAF man R. Valence on You Tube a few years back- . What a delight the Alan Price Set were with ex BBC John Peel producer Paul(y) Walters in the line up – I can recall a bunch of us pestering him to put his take on Motown`s “Aint That Peculiar” on his debut album which he did and that great organ sound on “I put a spell on you” ( typical organ on sale in Bennetts but probably cheaper down the road — my boy my boy!!)

    • Alan Price was the reason I changed from playing guitar to organ ! Hearing his solo on “House of the Rising ” did it for me, flogged the guitars and purchased a Vox Continental organ (bright red on a chrome stand) , the colour of the keys were in reverse to a piano ie. black keys were white, white keys were……..you guessed it…..black !
      Then us organ boys..Mick Cooper, Dave Mussell etc, eventually went to the real thing, a Hammond Organ, a wonderful introduction to having a hernia in later life.
      Incidently Mr Cross, all the music shops charged roughly the same for their goods, the world of discounting hadn’t arrived. Fender guitars were regulated until a big London company called CBS took over supplying us. We were all forced into buying so many different models and in exchange, we were allowed a different mark up, hence the start of a price war. We could also display our new display material courtesy of CBS, announcing we were now a Fender Soundhouse As good as the Fender range was, some were “stickers”, in other words, they gathered dust.
      Finally, the Fender supplier to UK (CBS) were nothing to do with our local CBS Entertainment Agency.

  4. Is this the gig that you were never sure took place .Dave?
    If so,if the St Louis Checks supported then AW should know the answer!
    Was this October 2nd 1965?
    If so I didn’t move to Pompey till nearly a year later but did see Bo Diddley at the Starlight Ballroom In Greenford Middlesex(now Greater London)around that time

    • That’s it Mr G. Geoff the very thorough diarist swears he saw Bo that night. All the other evidence stacks up against him – while for reasons entirely beyond my comprehension, I didn’t go. It might be a mystery for ever!

      As for the Ricky Valance event – I think they just pinched a lively venue for maybe an hour early evening while most of us mods were as mystified as when the Floyd first came!. Alan Price was the ‘real’ event and it was a fabulous band, doing R&B and Blue Note style jazz stuff – incidentally PC it was JOHN Walters on trumpet (flugelhorn?) but yes, later John Peel’s producer.

      Great days, whoever turned up!

  5. wanted to see if you spotted that!!Quite right- I got mixed up with Paul (y) Walters or Waters who was wogan`s producer

  6. As a massive Bo Diddley fan, I can state categorically that he didn’t appear at the ‘Cage. Although it was said that he was ill he did appear at either the Marquee or the Flamingo at the same time. I’ll have to consult my copy of ‘London Live’ which is at work. It’s got all the gig listings for the Marquee in there, and some really wonderful photos..

  7. Rod, my friendly local music store has a Vox Continental sitting on the showroom floor. The twin of yours. its one of those instruments that defines a change at point in time. I do remember the Hammond you had. Back in the late 70s here I had a keyboard player who used a Hammond and a Leslie cab. Carrying that up an outside fire escape to a 2nd floor gig in 95F bright sunshine ensured a short tenure for that guy. aah my hernia mesh is twingeing just to think of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s