Tony Crane - singer and guitarist of the Merseybeats


Though the Merseybeats had no chart success in North America, in Britain they were a hit making band in the 1960s, and remain a favourite act on the oldies circuit. In their native Liverpool, they traded off with the Beatles as the resident band at the Cavern Club. “Sorrow,” one of their hits when they were called the Merseys, was quoted in a song by the Beatles and covered by David Bowie, who also had a hit with it. Here is The Merseybeats official website.

I interviewed founding member Tony Crane in his hotel in the Wirral, a peninsula across the Mersey River from downtown Liverpool, on June 30, 2013. He was a gentleman. The interview has been edited.

Craig Morrison : What kind of music did you have in your home ? What was the musical environment when you were growing up ?

Tony Crane : I was part of large family. I was the baby, the last of six sisters and two brothers. So obviously, as I was growing up, I had older sisters, older brothers. They were all very musical and were buying records all the time, and buying sheet music, because that was the main thing when I was a little tiny kid. A lot of their influences rubbed off on me. I was into all the music.

I was born in 1945, and my memory goes almost that far back, to when I was two, three years old, liking all the music, all the dance band music and people like that. When I got to about five or six, I suddenly realized that there was people like Johnnie Ray around. I couldn’t believe my ears, what I was listening to, this was fabulous. Two of my sisters were really into Mario Lanza, and I got into Mario Lanza and I still think he’s the best singer of all time. Oh, undoubtedly. There’s no question on that.

CM : What records of his particularly impressed you ?

TC : “Be My Love” [1950] is the one that stuck out to me. He made his name by singing opera. As soon as he made his name big, he started doing a few ballads, different things.

A few years ago I got to know Al Martino and was chatting to him quite a lot, ’cause he kept coming over to England to do tours. The promoter who put the tour on used to promote me doing solo tours called Reelin’ and Rockin’. Al Martino told me that he used to share an apartment with Mario Lanza, which I didn’t know. When Mario Lanza started getting hit records, he was worried that Al Martino was still looking for his break. He kept getting sent all these songs all the time, and when he got sent this song called “Here in My Heart,” he offered it to Al Martino [in 1952]. He said, “You need a hit record, what about singing this song ?” And it worked. That was the first ever #1 up the [newly formed UK Singles] charts, from sheet music to the Hit Parade. I thought that was a fabulous story.

When I was very, very young, I really thought Mario Lanza was marvelous. And as a little kid I’d do impressions of Mario Lanza when we had a party. I’d do an impression of Johnnie Ray and go down on one knee : “The Little White Cloud that Cried.”

Then I wanted to be a trumpet player, because I used to see a guy on English television called Eddie Calvert, “the man with the golden trumpet.” He had number one records. I used to watch him on television and he looked fantastic with this golden trumpet, with all the lights on it, and I’m thinking “Wow, that’s what I want to do.” As well as sing. So I joined the local church band. I was only eight years old or something, and I used to go marching with the band every Sunday. It looked strange ‘cause I was about this big and everybody else was six foot. I carried on like that for a while, but then, ’55, ’56, I suddenly heard these records that were coming out by Elvis. I was never really into Bill Haley. When he did “Rock Around the Clock” I went to see the film [Blackboard Jungle, 1955]. I shouldn’t’ve been able to see the film ; I think it was an X-rated film. Everyone said, “This music is called rock and roll.” The music was good. I liked it, but it sounded like swing music to me. Boogie-woogie had been out for many years, and the dance bands.

Then my sisters took me to the cinema to see Love Me Tender [1956] and I think that changed everybody’s lives. Once I saw Elvis, that was it then. I thought that’s what I want to be like. I think everybody did, I mean everyone who’d ever saw him. He was so good looking and his voice was fantastic, and playing the guitar. He had all the girls. And all the girls were screaming in the theatre ! I’m thinking, “I’ll have some of that. I wouldn’t mind that. I’d love them to be screaming for me.” I pleaded with my parents to buy me a guitar, which they bought. It was, in English money, two and six a week. Two shillings, six pence a week, on the back of one of the magazines. You could pay it weekly, ‘cause my parents didn’t have much money anyway. That’s all they could really afford. I never played the trumpet again, ever, just pushed it to one side. That just changed my life.

CM : Were you in Liverpool ?

TC : In Liverpool, in the south end of Liverpool. I was still at home obviously. As it worked out later, I lived walking distance from the Cavern Club. I wanted to do that, get a guitar, and then I really wanted to do things. I went in a few competitions. I went on holiday to the Isle of Man and I sang a song and came second in that. I was trying to figure out how to get a break. Everyone was saying, “You’re too young. Wait till you’re a bit older, wait till you’re 15 or 16.”

CM : What song did you sing on that contest ?

TC : I sang “Endless Sleep.”

CM : By Jody Reynolds [a hit in the summer of 1958].

TC : Jody Reynolds, yeah. It was a hit in the UK by Marty Wilde. I’d loved the two versions. I knew both versions, oh yeah. Jody Reynolds was fabulous. I think what it was, people didn’t understand, ‘cause you had to sing with no backing. Just stand up on stage and sing your song.

CM : Did you have your guitar ?

TC : No, no, just straight-up singing, yeah. It was a bit of a strange song to pick. You couldn’t get anyone clapping along or anything.

CM : It’s a fairly slow song.

TC : Yeah, that’s right.

CM : Did you sing it again later, with your band ?

TC : Yes, yeah, oh yeah. I love the song. It’s such a great record. Anyway, when I left school—I left school a year early, at 15—I went straight into a clerical job at the Royal Liver Building. It’s a famous building. Every time you see a photograph with the Liverpool waterfront, that’s the building you see. It’s got the clocks and it has the Liver bird on top. That’s the symbol of the Liverpool football club ; see the shield, it has a Liver bird. Anything to do with Liverpool they show this Liver bird.

early Merseybeats - left to right : Tony Crane, Aaron Williams, John Banks, Billy Kinsley - photo source

I was delighted working there, but all the time I was working there I was trying to get a break. I started a duo with my cousin. We played a few clubs and YMCAs and things like that. We couldn’t play pubs ; we were too young. That wasn’t quite working. We were a clash : he wanted to be the lead singer, and I wanted to be the lead singer. He wanted to be the lead guitarist, and I wanted to be the lead guitar. So it lasted for a short while, and then I got introduced to a work friend in the Royal Liver Buildings. He said to me, I know a person who’d just suit you, ’cause I was talking about getting somebody to sing with. He said, “His name’s Billy Kinsley. He’s still at school, but he sings just like Buddy Holly, and he loves Billy Fury and he sings just like Billy Fury.” I said, “Okay, we’ll have a meeting.” So we met one evening, and run through a few songs. It was like magic, because we both liked the Everly Brothers. I didn’t realize that anybody else liked them as much as I did. He did, and knew all the songs. So did I. As soon as we said let’s try a few singing together, he said, “I prefer to take the top harmony.” I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” We just clicked. We suddenly realized that we could sound just like the Everly Brothers, no problem at all. It was just instant. We went, “Wow ! We’ll have to do something here.” So then I parted company with my cousin. Billy and I got together and we started rehearsing almost every night, to work out a show. The first couple of nights, it was just the two of us. Billy didn’t really play an instrument, but we got him a bass guitar. I knew the rudiments of a bass guitar anyway, so I showed him that to start him off, and he took to it, quite. He was really good.

CM : In what year would this be ?

TC : It’d be early ’61. I was nearly 16, and Billy was 14, still at school of course. What we’d do, he’d come and meet me at my lunch hour at work, and we’d go and have chips or something and a cup of tea. We’d dream about where we’re gonna go, and make notes and say, yeah, this time next year, we’re gonna be resident on such a place and everything. At the time, I’d never even been to the Cavern. While we were trying to work out which way we were gonna go forward, we realized that to get more work we would have to have a drummer and to add another guitarist. So we included a drummer and a guitarist. In the meantime, I happened to go down to the Cavern Club to see this band who were copying Cliff Richard and the Shadows. But while I was waiting for them, this other band came on, called the Beatles. I’d heard about them, but the things I’d heard about them made me not want to see them.

CM : What had you heard ?

TC : They said they were scruffy, and their jeans were falling apart, and they used to just drink soup on stage, with all these cups and things lined up on top of the piano that was on stage in the Cavern. They weren’t taking it very seriously. I thought, that’s not right. ’Cause at the time in the UK, everyone was trying to be like Cliff Richard and the Shadows, with nice suits, and Cliff was trying to do Elvis. Everyone was the same. Before I’d actually seen them, we thought we’d be unique by having two lead singers, or possibly three when we brought the other guy in. We thought, no one’s doing that. But then when I saw them, I thought, they’re doing our act ! They were taking turns apiece singing. Paul always took the first song. John took the second song, and then George, and then it’s to go back to Paul again. I said, no, that’s what we’re doing, no ! Oh ! We’re not unique. But then I realized how good they were, once I saw the show. That changed my life again. I thought, that’s the way — that’s the way we’re going.

CM : What about the band that you came to see ?

TC : They were Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers [their biggest hit was an instrumental, “Can Can 62,” in late 1962]. The singer used to sing like Cliff Richard and all the band used to do all the steps like the Shadows. I thought they were good, I mean, they were just another band impersonating Cliff and the Shadows. But then all that went out the window.

CM : ‘Cause the Beatles weren’t doing that.

TC : No, no, not at all. That’s why they were so different. What impressed me as well with them is, we thought we’re the only ones around — we decided ourselves to stay away from the charts, try and find songs which we’ll call our own. Not necessarily written by ourselves, but B-sides and album tracks off people, instead of doing their big hit records. When I saw the Beatles, that’s what they were doing. They were doing some hits, some number ones. But I was very impressed with their choice of songs. They were doing obscure songs I’d never heard of. What’s that ? Oh, it’s on the B-side of such a record. But mainly rock and roll.

photo : Brian Epstein ran NEMS - North End Music Stores

CM : When you were looking for your repertoire and getting these records, were you buying them at shops or borrowing them from friends ?

TC : Yeah, we were borrowing them. Where are all these records coming from ? Someone said, “Oh, you need to go to NEMS [North End Music Stores] and ask them what they just got in. And you go in a little box and put the headphones on, and listen to these records.” But we liked every single one they got in, it was amazing. Brian Epstein’s company was one of the only shops that would import a lot of these obscure record labels from America. That’s when we suddenly heard of people like Arthur Alexander, and Barrett Strong [“Money”], which was the first Motown record, wasn’t it ?

When we formed the band, we were called The Mavericks, and we worked as The Mavericks. But we were doing our act, the rock and roll and everything else ; we weren’t doing country or anything.

CM : And you never did skiffle ?

TC : No, no, no. Everybody did at school, you gotta when you’re at school, I think everybody did. There’s always somebody who brought a tea chest with a brush handle on it, with a string, and did that. But it never really appealed to me. Lonnie Donegan was the one that was really big in the UK. I liked him, he was very good, but the songs didn’t do much to me. They didn’t have any soul. The early Elvis stuff, and the Everly Brothers, and Jerry Lee Lewis and everything else. That’s where it all came from. And people should never forget Little Richard. I know they go on about Chuck Berry. John Lennon said that if they change the name of rock and roll, they should call it Chuck Berry. I think they should call it Little Richard. He was the one, ‘cause he wrote all those fantastic rock and roll songs. To this day, everyone who sings a rock and roll song, if they don’t impersonate Elvis, they try and sound like Little Richard. Everyone does. It’s just, the way it is, from Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney, everyone. Every time Paul McCartney sings a rock and roll song to this day, he has Little Richard in his mind, to try and sound like him. He’d tell you that as well.

CM : And Roy Young.

TC : Yeah, of course. Fabulous piano player. Great singer. He was more the Jerry Lee Lewis style, but singing like Little Richard. No one could get Little Richard out their minds. Rock and roll to me was Little Richard’s voice and those songs, those 12-bar songs that he wrote : “Long Tall Sally” and “Rip it Up.” You can’t get much better than them.

In the foreground : Ray McFall, the owner of the Cavern Club, and Bob Wooler, outside the Cavern Club, 1964 - photo source

We were playing ‘round Liverpool as the Mavericks. Billy still hadn’t seen the Beatles by then. Bob Wooler, who was the booking agent at the Cavern, saw us play. We played somewhere around Liverpool and he happened to be there and he said, “Oh, you’re just what I want. I’d love you to come and be resident at the Cavern Club.” I said, “I’ve only been there once. Haven’t you got residents ?” He said, “We’ve got a band called the Beatles resident there, and Gerry and the Pacemakers play there sometimes, but there’s no one else really resident there. Could you do it ?” And I went, “How many times do you want us to play there ?” He said, “It’ll be about five times a week. Lunchtime sessions and evening sessions.” I said, “Okay, that sounds great then.” Lot of work. That was when I had to make the decision to go professional and give up my job, because I tried doing the lunchtime sessions and going back to work, ‘cause it was walking distance, well, running distance, and it wasn’t quite working. I was getting back late every day.

CM : When you would do a lunchtime session, would that be the same day you’d do an evening session, or would they be on different days ?

TC : Sometimes it would. What we would do is, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday one week we would do the lunchtime session. We’d alternate with the Beatles ; they’d do it Tuesday and Thursday. Then the next week the Beatles would do Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and we did it Tuesday and Thursday. For the evening sessions, we’d alternate with them anyway. One night would be the Beatles guest night, starring the Beatles. This week’s guests : the Merseybeats. Another night it would be the Merseybeats guest night, starring the Merseybeats. This week’s guests : the Beatles, with little letters underneath. It’s funny that, because there’s an advert in the paper. People have blown it up as a poster, and they’re in a lot of pubs around the London area, these music theme pubs. I’d forgotten about it till I saw it recently. They’re saying, “Oh, look at this, you were at the top of the bill, and the Beatles were your guests.” I said “Oh, that’s just the way it was,” they were still the main band.

CM : Come back tomorrow, it’ll be the opposite.

TC : They got paid more than us

CM : Oh, they did ?

TC : Yeah. We’d all go around to NEMS and see what new records had come in, and we’d quickly learn them and do them the same night. We’d have like a competition, us and the Beatles. If we did a song before them, they’d say, “Oh, that’s a Merseybeats’ song - leave it alone.” And we’d do the same if the Beatles did one, but the other bands didn’t care. They’d heard the Beatles do a song, and go, “Wow, that’s a great song, we’ll do that.” But us and the Beatles always left each other to do our own thing. There wasn’t any rivalry or anything. There was with a lot of the other bands, but we were just delighted, we were so young, absolutely delighted, being residents at the Cavern and playing here, there, and everywhere. What a way to grow up ! That was even before we’d had a hit. That was fantastic. We realized that everybody in Liverpool went to the Cavern, we were controlled by the Cavern really, that was it.

Bob Wooler was the guy who said, “I don’t like your name, it’s too country and western. I’ll think of a new name for you.” He thought of the Megatons at one time. He said, “Guaranteed to go down like a bomb” [we laugh]. “Ah, I don’t know. It’s a bit too corny.” Then he thought of the Pacifics. We were the Pacifics for about a week. Then he said, “I am gonna launch you in a big show.” In Aintree Institute it was, in Liverpool. Big show ! He said, “There’s gonna be all sorts of top people on, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and you’ll be top of the bill.” I went, “Oh, oops.” He said, “You’ve got to be launched and then we call tell everyone you’re gonna be residents at the Cavern.” So I was waiting eagerly for the Liverpool Echo paper to come out. When it came out on the Wednesday— that’s when all the adverts went in ; we were on on the Friday—I was disgusted, I said, “He hasn’t put us on.” So I ran all the way to the Cavern to tell him. He was there, getting ready in the afternoon. He said, “You are on it !” I said, “No we’re not ! There’s this new band on called the Merseybeats. Who are they ?” He said, “That’s your new name !” I went, “Oh ! Didn’t realize.”

CM : Did you like the name ?

TC : It was a bit weird at first ! I said, “Why have you called us that ? You might as well have called us the Liverpool Echoes or the Daily Posts. Because it was just the name of a paper, you see. The music wasn’t called anything like that then. It wasn’t called anything. It’s just rock n’ roll. They weren’t even called bands then even.

CM : They called them groups.

TC : They just always called them groups. And the Mersey Beat was just a paper, as you know. All it did was it listed all the venues around Merseyside, where all the bands were playing, who was on where, when they were on, everything else. There wasn’t much writing, just interspersed with a little story every now and again. ‘Such a band are trying to get a recording contract, so they’re going down to London next week,’ that was all they’d put in. I was a bit shocked. He said, “No, you’ll grow to like it ! It’ll be great. I’ve had permission of Bill Harry [founder of Mersey Beat] to use the name.” I said, “Umm, okay.” We started becoming resident on the Cavern. John Lennon said, “I love your name. Who thought of that ?” I said, Bob Wooler. He said, “Oh, typical. Bob Wooler, he‘ll think of everything.” Bob Wooler virtually got a lot of the Beatles first songs. He’d find these obscure records for them to do on stage—eventually other people recorded them—things like “I’ll Be There” by Bobby Darin, what’s the other one ? “Hippy Hippy Shake,” he found that, by Chan Romero. We used to play that at the Cavern every night. Of course the Beatles did it on stage. They opened the show with it every night. The Swinging Blue Jeans suddenly did it. They were a jazz band, skiffle and jazz, really.

CM : I would like to interview [Swinging Blue Jeans vocalist and guitarist] Ray Ennis.

TC : Yeah, he’s great friend, Ray. They started a lot before us, in the late ‘50s, so he’ll have a lot about when they started. They started with skiffle, then they brought a jazz band banjo in. The guys used to play double-bass. Dixieland type jazz. Of course, once they saw the Beatles make it, and other people starting to make it, they went, “Oops, we need to do a rock and roll song,” and that’s why they did “Hippy Hippy Shake.” I’ll find his number for you. He’s got some great stories. He’s a character, you see. When he was on stage, he used to be telling stories in between the songs, telling jokes.

We’re up to the time when we were resident on the Cavern. That was marvelous then. We became such good friends with The Beatles. If we were both on at the same day, say we were on at the lunchtime session, and the Beatles were on that evening, they’d ask us, would we mind leaving our equipment. So they could use it in the evening, and we’d do the same with them, ‘cause we used the same type of equipment, the Vox amplifiers and everything. The drummer, Pete Best, would always bring his own snare. Once Brian Epstein took them over, he started getting them bookings outside the Liverpool area. Wherever he booked them, they wanted us on the same bill as them, to open up for them, which was great. I enjoyed that, cause we never really played that side of Liverpool. We played in Birkenhead and over here in the Wirral. We became really close. They called us the kids, looking after us as kids, ‘cause we were two or three years younger, but that meant a lot then. I was 16 and the Beatles were 19 and 20, or 21, a big difference.

The Merseybeats at the Cavern Club, Liverpool. Left to right : Aaron Williams (partially hidden), Billy Kinsley, John Banks, Tony Crane. - picture source

I remember the day that the Beatles were saying, “We’ve got a possible recording contract.” They were telling us all about it. “Do you know we’ve been down [to London]. Decca turned us down, everything else. I think we’re gonna get one with Parlophone, but they’ve sent us some songs to learn, because he reckoned these were going to be hits.” They turned up at one of our lunchtime sessions, watched us playing, and then came in afterwards and said, “Could we possibly use your gear again ?” I said, ‘I don’t think you’re playing tonight, are you ?” They said, “Oh no no, we’ve gotta rehearse these songs that they’ve sent us.” So, I said, “Is it okay if we stay around ?” ’Cause we weren’t going anywhere.

CM : Was it closed to the public at that point ?

TC : Yeah, as soon as the lunchtime set had finished, everyone goes out. Ten past two, I think it was. Then they got on stage, sat around learning these songs. The first one they did was “How Do You Do It ?,” which had been sent to them, saying it written by somebody who had a good track record of writing hit records. John Lennon sang it. It was just amazing. They kept shouting to us, “What do you think of this one ?” And I would say, “Rubbish !”

CM : So you weren’t being genuine when you said it was rubbish ?

TC : No, it was just what we said to each other. “What a load of rubbish.” But it sounded great, ‘cause they’d sing it together, and then John Lennon would take the lead part. It sounded fabulous. Anyway, they finished that song, tried a couple of others. But then they were saying to each other, “We should try and do our own, for this first one, one of our own.” Apparently, they had played their own songs to the record company and the record company didn’t like them, so they sent them this one. Then Brian came in the rehearsal and said, “What you think, then, lads ?” And they said, “I don’t really… I think we should persevere and say definitely do one of our own.” They had to fight for that. ’cause they wanted this “How Do You Do It ?” That was nice, seeing all that, and that brought us in to what was happening on the record scene. Then, Brian had said to us, “Don’t worry, you’re gonna be next. Looks like we’ve got this recording contract all tied up now, so we’ll work on your songs.” While we were working on it, we got a bit annoyed that he wouldn’t buy us suits. ’Cause he bought the Beatles new suits and we didn’t like the idea, so we were a bit, really annoyed. Sounds stupid.

CM : What were you wearing then instead ?

TC : We were wearing what we always did : leather waist-coats, black ties, white shirts. That was our attire then. But all of the sudden, the Beatles had these fabulous suits made, and all these different things. I kept saying to him, “It’s about time you spent some money on us.” And he said, “Oh no, there’s plenty of time. Let me sort the lads out first.” Anyway, he wouldn’t do it.

The day they changed, well, sacked, Pete Best, we actually had been taken over—no formal contract—but Brian Epstein said, “I want to look after you and get you a recording contract.” Then we were waiting outside the office one day for a meeting with him in NEMS, and the girl said, “You’ll have to wait outside, because he’s having an important meeting with someone.” The next minute the door flew open, and it was Pete Best, come running out. We went, “Oh, hi Pete,” and he just completely ignored us and walked past. Brian came out and he was pretty upset. He said, “I’m sorry lads, we can’t have a conversation with you now, you have to come back tomorrow.” We said, “Okay.” Then we found out. He explained to us, he said to Pete Best, “I’m going to change you. None of the lads will tell you themselves. I’m going to change you.” There’s conflicting stories about the reason. I think it was mainly because when they did record, they were using a session drummer, and they wanted someone a bit more experienced recording. Anyway, that was the story we heard. But to soften the blow, he said, “What I’m going to do with you, if you don’t mind, I’ll take you out the Beatles and I’ll put you in the Merseybeats, because they’re the next band I’m going to get a recording contract and make them big.” His answer was, “I’m not joining those kids.” As it happened, we wouldn’t have had him anyway. We were quite happy with the drummer we had, John Banks, and he was great. We thought he was the best drummer around.

I’ll tell you something about John Banks, Keith Moon [of the Who] idolized John Banks. When we did live shows, John was the first wild drummer, doing all this, and Keith Moon used to come to a lot of our shows when we were around. Eventually we had the same management, so we became very close.

Pete Best just said no, turned it down. That’s in a couple of books there. We left Brian Epstein then. We went to the competition to win a recording contract. We won the recording contract for Decca Records. Bob Wooler, who had us under his wing ’cause he knew we’d left Brian, said, “I don’t think you should take that. Don’t take that contract at all, because they’ve turned down the Beatles, they’re signing up everyone.”

CM : They took the Tremeloes instead of the Beatles.

TC : Because they turned the Beatles down, they went and signed everybody. I heard they had signed up about 300 bands, it was ridiculous. Bob Wooler said, “Don’t do that, wait and get the right label, the right contract.” We were playing at the Cavern one day, doing a lunchtime session, and we didn’t know there was this A&R [artist and repertoire] man had came up from London, from Phillips records. They were going to form a new label, under the Phillips label, called Fontana Records, and they were looking for a band from Liverpool to sign up. I think that they’d already earmarked Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders from Manchester. They wanted one band from Manchester, one band from Liverpool, to launch this new label. So, they came in while we were doing our session, watched all of our session, and then Rob [?] said, “There’s a few bands come here to audition ; can they use your gear ?” We said okay, and so, one by one, these bands auditioned, and we stayed. I can’t remember who they were, to be honest. They were local bands, yeah. I thought they were okay, they were fine. Never thought anything of it, we just stayed at the back, having a coke or something. When all the auditions finished, Bob Wooler called us then, “This A&R man wants to have a word with you.” “Oh, it’s to thank us for using the gear.” “No, no, he’s got something important to say.” And Bob Wooler [introduced him]. He said, “I’m not offering a contract to any of the bands, but I’d like to offer one to the Merseybeats.” And we went, “But we haven’t auditioned.” He said, “Yes, you did, I just saw your show.” ’Cause we were on stage for 40 minutes, or 50 minutes.

CM : And you didn’t even know he was there at the time ?

TC : Didn’t know. “He thinks you’re absolutely fabulous, and he thinks you’ll make a good recording band.” “Will you be ready to go down to London, to do some sessions in a week’s time ?” So we had to quickly try and get some songs together for what we were gonna record. All we had really was the songs from our stage act, which is what we did. We went down and recorded four songs. They ended up being our first single, and the B-side of our second single. It was a bit strange at first because we classed ourselves as a rock n’ roll band. Interspersed with all the rock n’ roll, we’d do the occasional ballad, like an Everly Brothers song, or a Shirelles song, something like that. All the fans that followed us around, used to give us all presents. If they asked us to do, for instance, “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes, they’d come with little dolls, like a baby with a request written on it. At home I used to have a cupboard full of all these presents. But we realized, the fans, it’s the ballads they really liked. No one else was doing these slow songs. The girls liked them. One of the songs we recorded which was very popular on stage was “Fortune Teller,” which we thought that’s undoubtedly going to be the first single. It was such a popular song. We did it in harmony, it was rhythm and blues, and it was great. We also recorded “It’s Love That Really Counts,” which was a Shirelles ballad, written by Burt Bacharach, a beautiful song. The A&R said, “What I want you to do is take these two records, two acetate copies, and next time you’re on the Cavern, on your night, when it’s full, get people to vote what should be the A-side, and what should be the B-side.” I said, “That’s easy, they’re gonna vote for ‘Fortune Teller,’’ ‘cause that was the up-tempo one. Anyway, we went back, played the records to the crowd, and then we sang them live, we played them live.

CM : You played the record first, and then sang them after ?

TC : Yeah ! We played the records and no one voted. So, we sang them and Bob Wooler compered and said, “Come on, let’s vote now, what do you think should be the A-side ?” To our surprise, they all voted “It’s Love That Really Counts.” Immediately we got labeled as a ballad band. We thought we were a rock n’ roll band, rhythm and blues.

Because that was successful, we were told the follow-up had to be another ballad. We said, “Well now, let’s do an up-tempo one. We’re giving out the wrong signals to people.” But when he heard this song, “I Think of You,” the A&R man said, “I’ve heard this song’s been written especially for you, by a guy called Peter Lee Stirling.” He later recorded himself, under the name of Daniel Boone, and he had lots of hit records, “Beautiful Sunday” [1972], and things like that. But he was an unknown songwriter then. He’d put this song forward. It was just him and a guitar, singing. What we had to do was think of an arrangement for the song. We said we liked it, but it was one of those songs where it’ll either be a massive hit or it won’t sell a copy, ’cause it was Latin American tempo, it was a ballad, and everyone was doing up-tempo stuff at the time. The Beatles had never brought a ballad out by then, towards the end of ‘63. We went in, recorded it and we all decided it needed a tune played in between the verses. We came up with this tune [sings the melodic line]. We thought it was a bit similar to something else, but it fitted the song, and I think that’s what made the song, because it introduced the song. We went out the recording studio saying the same thing, “That’ll either be a massive hit, or it won’t sell a copy.”

photo : The Beatles on Jukebox Jury

It came out, I think it was November of ’63, or early December. It crept in to the charts, in the top 40, which didn’t mean a thing then - it had to be in the top 20 or nothing. The recording company were looking for some way to get a break, and they found out that the four Beatles were going to be the panel on Jukebox Jury [a television show on the BBC]. Jukebox Jury had four different panelists every week, people in the music business or critics, people like that. So they thought, “Right !” We didn’t know this. They were going to play it as a new record, even though it had been out for a few weeks. When you pressed the jukebox, and the record would come on, the Beatles would have to talk about it and vote, but it was the last record on the show. “That’s the new record by the Merseybeats, but you haven’t got time to talk about it. We’re running out of time, can you just vote ?” They all jumped out of their seats and went, “Hit ! Hit ! They’re our mates ! They’re friends ! Big hit !” The next week, it jumped into, I think, the top 20. It crept right up the charts. We owe them an awful lot for that, and it made the record known. It was already playing on the radio, but there’s probably 20 million people watching this Jukebox Jury. So it’s a lot of people that suddenly realized, “Wow, yeah, that’s that record by the Beatles’ favourite band.” ‘Cause they used to put that in lifelines, “Who’s your favourite group ?” “The Merseybeats.” That really helped for the second record, and that turned out to be our biggest selling record of all of them, amazing. It stayed in the charts for about 40 weeks or something, a long period. It never quite got to number one, because when it was up there, I think the Beatles were number one or number two, the Searchers with “Needles and Pins” had come out. We couldn’t get past them, but it sold more than the hits that were number one. We stayed in touch over the years. We kept meeting each other, and it was great. A little story I’ll tell you now about John Lennon. When the Beatles moved away and stopped playing the Cavern, they came back for one night, did you know ? To the Cavern, in ‘63

CM : One last time ?

TC : Yeah. They’d already had a few hits and we’d had one record out. In August ’63 they came back to the Cavern, just to do one farewell performance, and everything went wrong for them, it was amazing. We were on just before them. They had a couple of smaller name bands on. We were on, I thought, in the best spot, the middle spot. We did our spot, went off. They were arguing in the dressing room. John was saying, “We shouldn’t have done it. We shouldn’t have come tonight, look at this.” He went, “I thought it was fabulous lads, I loved your show. If we’re any as good as that.” They were getting a bit nervous about coming back. We were warning them : “It’s soaking wet everywhere,” ’cause it was that many people they let in. They shouldn’t have done, fire regulations or anything. All the walls used to sweat in the Cavern, so the stage was very slippery as well, there’s pools of water on stage, very dangerous. I said, “We were nearly slipping there, so just be careful.” “Okay,” John Lennon was saying, “I know we shouldn’t have come back here.” Anyway, they went on and halfway through the first song, everything fused, everything went off, pitch black. They couldn’t carry on with the show. Pitch black, everything went. Power failure. Everything was wet, all the electrics, everything went off. John Lennon was really shouting now, “I told you we shouldn’t have gone back here, it always goes wrong.” Anyway, they had a laugh then on stage, they got everybody clapping, and I think Paul went on the piano. There’s always an upright piano there. They had a good sing song. Anyway, they finally got it finished and got off, but they weren’t pleased at all.

CM : Did the power come back on later ?

TC : Yeah, eventually, yes. I was pleased, ’cause we’d gone down so well. Our show was great. We were pleased with that, but it was a shame for them. The biggest band in the world had just been on and everything went wrong for them. That was the last time, till Paul played there [again] with his band.

CM : They tore the Cavern Club down and eventually reconstructed it for the tourists. Have you been back to look at it ?

TC : We started doing an anniversary concert there. It’s in the new part at the back, big stage. We started it on our 50th anniversary. We started in ’61, so 2011, we did the first one. We played September that year. We did September last year, and we’re booked to do another one, September this year.

CM : Is Billy still with you ?

TC : Oh yeah, yeah ! Billy’s still with us. It was great because he was doing his own thing. He was working [with others], it must be 25 years. He left the band at the end of the ‘60s, and he didn’t come back into the band until, I think, it was ’92 or ’93.

CM : Did you carry on with out him ?

TC : Oh yeah. For a while, it was called Tony Crane and the Merseybeats, mainly because the people who are booking, they wanted my name on the contract, because there are so many bands now calling themselves the same and there’s no originals in them.

CM : There’s a few going like that now. That’s what happened with Ray Ennis’s band, there was a controversy.

TC : I’ll let him tell you the story about that. What I heard, he sold the name when he retired. But he didn’t own the name to sell it. The other lad in the band, he’d copyrighted it, because he reckoned that Ray told him, “I’ll never work as the Swinging Blue Jeans again.” So he registered the name, so there’d be no conflict. I think there was a court case in the end. I think Ray lost… it’s incredible. He can use the name Ray Ennis and The Blue Jeans but he can’t use “Swinging.” I just hate all that. We’ve had lots over the years. Bands starting, calling themselves a name very similar to ours, but selling themselves out as if they are the Merseybeats. We had a band start called The New Merseys. I own “The Merseys” and “The Merseybeats.”

CM : You go out as The Merseys also.

Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert - photo source

TC : That’s another story. In ’65, the hits were slowing down a little bit, and we didn’t have a manager at the time. We were playing at a club in London. We didn’t know that this guy Kit Lambert was in the venue that night, with Chris Stamp, looking at it because they were going to book this new band. They were called the High Numbers and then they were going to be called the Who. He was on just to look at the venue, but was so impressed with us. He said, “How come you’re not still top of the charts ?” We said, “Don’t know, but we haven’t got a manager.” “Any chance of me becoming your manager ?” I said, “What have you got ? What history have you got ?” “Well, nothing, but we’re gonna make The Who big stars and we’d like to put you back at the top of the charts again.” I said, “You’ve got no history. I’ll tell you what to do.” We did a deal with him. I said, “If you can get The Who, within six months, to number one on the charts, that day they’re number one, we’ll sign a contract with you. You can become our manager.” He said, “Okay,” so we shook on the deal.

Six months later, to the day, I bought this paper, The Disc. “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” by The Who wasn’t number one in the NME [New Musical Express] or Melody Maker, but it was number one in this Disc paper. I thought, “Hmm, I’m going to get a phone-call today, aren’t I ?” I was waiting then. That afternoon, the phone rang. “Can you guess who this is ?” I said, “Is it Kit ?” ‘Yes.” I said, “So, are we still on then ? ’Cause, you know, we got a deal.” He said, “I’ll be up tomorrow.” He came up from London with contracts to sign. He said, “I want you in the recording studio next week. We’re going to put some songs down.” As quickly as that ! We were still under Fontana, you see. He wanted to do a deal then with the record company. He said, “I’ll have a word with them to see, can I be your producer ? We’ll make the records and license them to them.” Because we weren’t having any hit records then, the hits had all dried up, they were delighted for any deal. So they said, “Fine, okay, you can do it.” Then we went in to a couple of different studios, recording songs that we were doing live. Kit Lambert liked them, thought they were great. The first record he brought out was, “I Love You, Yes I Do,” with him producing it. That got us back into the charts, only to number 18, I think it was, but that’s pretty good if the last one didn’t even get in the top 40. We were going the right way then. Towards the end of ’65 we brought out another record called “I Stand Accused,” which incidentally Keith Moon was playing on, playing a gong on it. We had the same management ; we were going to the same shows. But it only got to 30-something in the charts, so we said, “We’ll have to do something different.”

As we got into ’66, two of the lads left. They got a bit fed up with the business and everything else. When the two lads left, Aaron Williams, who was the guitarist, and John Banks, the drummer, we were looking around for new members. Kit Lambert, who was managing us, says, “No, don’t do that. Stay as a duo, ’cause you started off just the two of you. Let’s just stay like that and we’ll shorten the name from the Merseybeats to The Merseys.” Everyone was calling us the Merseys, like the Rolling Stones were called the Stones. “Well, okay, we’ll give it a go.” He said, “I’ve got an idea. We’ll form a backing band, all with very young kids, and we’ll have two drummers.” We said, “That would be great.” He said, “But you stop playing the guitars, and come from either side of the stage and all that.”

CM : So you were just singing ?

TC : Just singing then ! So, we did a couple shows like that, and all the girls were screaming. We formed this band. He wanted them called the Fruit-Eating Bears. I didn’t’ like the name he called them.

CM : The Fruit-Eating Bears ?

TC : I don’t know where he got that from, but the average age was 17, in the band, they were all 16 and 17.

CM : Just like when you started.

TC : When we started. Before we came on, the band came on. The girls were screaming already at these young lads, like a boy band. Then they would announce us, then all the music would go all over the place, and the lights would go down, and two spotlights would hit. They were very theatrical, because Chris Stamp, he’d come from films, and they were both into films, the Assistant Director, and different things like that. So they looked at everything visually. That’s why all the Who, all the ideas and everything came from them. We did a few shows like that, as The Merseys, and we realized the crowd would be going berserk. They were going mad with this stage act that we had. We did our own lights and everything. We had a lighting guy doing everything for us, and that was a big part of the show. We did complete blackouts, and then a little spotlight would just pick one of us out. All the girls would scream and then we’d touch hands, Billy and I. He was very blond so he’d wear all black, and I was very dark so I’d wear all yellow or white. Anyway, it was all very theatrical, and we were enjoying this. He said, “What I’m gonna do, I’m gonna launch you properly, on a big tour, with the Who, with the Spencer Davis Group, and a brand new band that’s just been formed, called Cream. You need a great song, an up-tempo one, to launch you on this tour.”

We were looking for a song. We were sitting in the office one day, planning the tour. There was Kit Lambert, Chris Stamp, myself and Billy, and Robert Stigwood, the agent who did Jesus Christ Superstar, and looked after the Bee Gees, and looked after Cream. We were there at Belgravia [in West London], in his office all having a meeting. He said, “Have you found a song yet ?” We said, “We’ve got some ideas.” We were thinking about “A Shot of Rhythm and Blues” [by Arthur Alexander] and this, that, and the other. Then the tour manager of the Who came in to sit in on the meeting, and said, “Oh, I’ve heard a great song. It’s called ’Sorrow.’ Have a listen to this.” It was on the B-side of the McCoys’ version of “Fever.” We played it, and went, “Not much in it, really.” He said, “You two lads’ll do it great. Work on it with your harmonies and everything else.” “Okay, we’ll go away and have a work on it.” We worked out this arrangement, and we said, “This could work, this’ll be great.”

We said, “If we’re not going to be playing guitars, we may as well not play on the record. Let’s bring in all our favourite session men to do it.” I was in awe of Jimmy Page, who was only a session guy at the time. We met him in a club, and I said, “Would you like to play on our new record ?” He said, “Yeah, if you pay me a session fee.” I said, “Ah great, we’ve got you. We need a bass player now.” He said, “I’ll only play if you use my mate, John Paul Jones.” So we had them. The top session drummer at the time was Clem Cattini from the Tornados. And he said, “You have to have Clem. He plays on all the records, all the hit records.” So we had him. Then Kit Lambert wanted the opening [sings melody] played on an upright bass, with a bow. John Paul Jones said, “I can’t do that. The best person to get is Jack Bruce.” So Jack Bruce came in—this is before Cream formed you see—played the bow, played all the cello parts, but it was a bass actually, and recorded it, that version. Took it to the record company, and the record company said, “Hmm, we like the song, we like your arrangement, but we see it more with brass, like a big brass section on it.” So we went back and talked about it, and said, “We’ll just add brass on to that version,” ’cause we thought it was great. Kit Lambert talked to this arranger, and he said, “No, if you’re going to have brass on it, the brass needs to do the lead break in the middle, instead of a guitar. It needs to be full brass.” So we went back again. We couldn’t get Jimmy Page then—he was booked to do something else—but John Paul Jones played on it. Clem Cattini played on drums ; Jack Bruce still played the opening. There was a full brass section.

What had happened in the meantime, the Musician’s Union had gone out on strike, and they laid down law. They said, “The day you record the backing has got to be the same day you do the vocal. It has to be recorded at the same time.” So we couldn’t do any sort of overdubs or anything. It was a bit strange, because we’d always put the backing down, then done the vocals separately with the headphones on, listening to it. But we had to do it all at the same time. Hence, when you hear the record now, it’s got a very good live feel, ’cause it was live, everyone.

CM : Did you sing it live at the same time ?

TC : We sang it live, but we were allowed to double-track what we sang. But we couldn’t change what we put on at the same time, so what you hear on the record is exactly what we did live with the band. All we were allowed to do is track the vocals, not change anything, not put any extra harmonies on it, just double-track it. That was strange, then, but when we started doing the tour, we never thought any more about it.

We started the tour, and within a week the record had come out, and it was in the top 10 within no time, ’cause we were plugging it every night, playing to all different styles of people around the country. It was on the main playlist. It played every day on the radio. It was very radio friendly. It was good for the Radio One to play, or the BBC live program. By the end of the tour, it was number four on the charts, and the silver disc, and the gold disc, and everything else later for it. It was great, that really launched us on the scene. There’s another story as well. On the tour, Cream died every night !

CM : Really ?

TC : Oh yeah. No one was ready for them. There were young girls who’d come to see us, or see the Who, and they were screaming like mad. And all of a sudden, these guys were ignoring the crowd, doing 20 minute guitar solos, and not announcing any songs or anything. They weren’t ready for them. But things went a bit quiet [for us] after that tour and after getting into the charts. We carried on as The Merseys for a couple years, made some more records, didn’t do very well.

The biggest disappointment was, because the Beatles thought “Sorrow” was one of the best records they’d ever heard, they openly admit that, they put it in all the books and things. John Lennon was on the phone all the time, saying, “Can I record your follow-up to ‘Sorrow’ ? Do one of our songs, and I want to produce it.” So, we’d go around to Abbey Road, and sit with them, sit around while they were recording something else. Paul was always in the box upstairs. When they put something down, he’d go and mix the backing track with George Martin. We’d sit around in a circle with John and George and Ringo, and play, playing guitars, just saying, “What about this song ? Remember that ? You do this one good.” And [John] saying, “Let me play it.” He’d come up with all these great versions. One particular time we were doing it—which made me realize what good song writers they were—I said, “What have you recorded ?” ‘Cause I couldn’t hear it ; it was up in the control box. He said, “We’re doing a backing track for this song we’re doing on Friday.” And this was Wednesday ! I said, “Where is it ?” He said, “It’s something that’s going around the world, on a video link, or something.” I said, “Have you finished this song ?” “No,” he said, “There’s plenty of time.” Every now and again, Paul’d pop his head around the door, “John, have you written any lyrics yet for this song ?” He said, “There’s plenty of time !” When you see them doing “All You Need is Love,” you’ll see John with these little scraps of paper, looking at them, reading the words. He must have just written them before they did it. And fantastic lyrics as well ! Unbelievable. That’s one thing to make you realize how good he was at lyrics. You get so much in Bob Dylan, with his play on words. But that was fantastic.

Then it was a big disappointment, because we agreed to do the follow-up, a [Beatle] song called, “I’ll Be Back” [sings : ‘You know, if you break my heart, I’ll go, but I’ll be back again”]. John did the arrangement. He said, “Do it this way,” and so we rehearsed it, got it ready. Kit Lambert didn’t like the idea. He made the excuse, “You can’t have someone from EMI recording in Phillips Studio,” and all this. That’s a bit silly. Then we found out why. He wanted us to record a Pete Townsend song, ’cause he thought he’d make more money out of it. I said, “Well, let’s have a listen to the song.” I heard the song that he wanted us to do : “So Sad About Us,” and it was quite good, it was great. I said, “If I were you then, just use the backing track that Pete had put down, because it was a fabulous backing track he did, all guitars, and just put our voices on it.” “Oh no.” He had the idea of doing it with a full orchestra. It was over produced, over this, over that. He came up with an idea of, instead of doing it in straight-forward harmony, the two of us sing the low harmony, two of us sing the high harmony. But it didn’t blend then, you’ve got no blend. We did that as the follow up, and John Lennon was very disappointed.

CM : And you were too ?

TC : Oh, very ! I couldn’t believe it. I said, “How can you do that ?” It would have been unique. Once we decided on the song, George was saying, “Any chance of me playing guitar ?” Ringo said, “You’re bound to need a drummer, aren’t you ?” I said, “Will anyone mind ?” He said, “That’s up to us.” So, they were going to play on it. I don’t think Paul would have played on it, but the others wanted to play on it. That would have been the only one in history that they would’ve played on besides their own.

CM : George Harrison paid you a big tribute. He quoted “Sorrow” in “It’s All Too Much,” one of his own songs : ”With your long blond long hair…”

TC : George said, “You going to the premiere of Yellow Submarine ?” I said, “I’m not sure if we can make it.” He said, “Ah, pity you can’t. I got a surprise for you.” He never told us what it was, and then we found out. It’s at the end of the film Yellow Submarine, the song’s played, and it comes in then, doesn’t it ? Yeah, he loved it, he’s put “Sorrow” down as the best record he’d ever heard. He couldn’t believe it.

CM : And David Bowie later did it and had a hit with it.

TC : He did. He paid us a compliment as well. He asked the record company, “Can I do an album of all my favourite songs from the 60’s ?” It was only just in the ’70s anyway. They expected him to do Beatles’ songs, but he didn’t. He did all different things, and he said his number one favourite song from all the ’60’s, including the Beatles, was “Sorrow.” He said, “Can I do a version of that ?” They said, “Yeah, and we’ll bring it out on a single as well.” That was his fave. Pin Ups was the album, wasn’t it ? [In 1973, Pin Ups made #1 on the UK Album Chart, and “Sorrow” made #3 on the UK Singles Chart.]

CM : What effect did that have on your career at that moment ?

TC : It was weird. At first I was flattered. Then I started thinking negative, “As long as people eventually don’t think it was only him who did it.” If you ever heard the song by the McCoys, it has no relation to the one we did. We changed it that much. All harmonies, we even changed the words. All that bit at the end [sings : “with your long blond hair, I couldn’t sleep last night”], that was all added on by us, in the studio. We found out later that we could’ve asked for half the royalties, by ‘arranged by the Merseys.’ After being a hit with us, then it was a hit with David Bowie, in same version as ours. Then Status Quo did a version, and somebody else did a version, and then somebody else, so we could have had an awful lot of money in royalties for us. But I was flattered that, whoever did a version of it, they did our version. Didn’t do it anything at all like the McCoys. People know now, after all these years, that it was the version that we did everyone was copying, and doing a tribute to.

Anyway, since then, I’ve carried on as the Merseybeats. Billy left towards the end of the ‘60’s, went on and did Liverpool Express, and had lots of hit records, mainly in South America, and he had some in this country. I plodded along, just doing all the clubs, doing all the cabaret clubs and working in Germany, and working in Scandinavia, doing different things.

What people are doing at the moment for these tours abroad, they’re trying to cut down on the flights and the accommodation, so they’re just taking one person from a band, or two. That’s why Billy J [Kramer] does it, Terry Sylvester [of the Hollies] does it, and Joey Molland with Badfinger, he does things on his own. It’s the way of the world now. We’ve just been offered a tour of Australia, only Billy and I. They’re gonna supply the band from Australia. It will include people like Mike Pender, the voice of the Searchers, and different solo people. It makes sense in a way, which I don’t mind doing. We’ve done a few like that, and quite good.

I do quite a few on my own as well. In two weeks I’m going to Finland to do a show. The former Swinging Blue Jeans are gonna back everybody, you got one of the Hollies, you got Brian Poole of the Tremeloes, one of the Kinks, so it’s a big ‘60s show. I’ll just go and do half an hour on my own with them backing me. One of the guys at the band will do harmonies. I’ve done a few like that ; I really enjoyed it. I did a big theatre tour, oh, it must be six years ago now, called Reelin’ and Rockin’. That was great because it was all lead singers from the ‘60s, all with a big band backing them. It was a proper band, with all the brass and everything. The Nolan Sisters, really big stars, were just hired to do backing singing for us on the stage. There was me, Dave Dee from Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick and Tich, there was Wayne Fontana, Brian Poole, Dave Berry, and Mike Pender of the Searchers. I enjoyed that so much. It was a non-stop show, an old boys show. One person would go on and open up, and go, “Hi, welcome to the show,” and do a song, then he’d announce the next person, he’d go off, and they’d come on. As one song finished, the band counted in the next song, so you’d have to walk on one side, then you’d sing and walk off on the other. Typical Wayne Fontana, he’s like away with the fairies ; when it’s his time to come on stage, he was always in the green room, having a cup of tea. “Ah, I can’t make it.” So, myself and Dave Dee stayed at the side of the stage all the way through the show. If somebody didn’t turn up, we’d go on and sing their song. That was good fun. You had to learn all their songs. I was just billed as Tony Crane, and that was it. Every theatre was packed out. I did about three tours with them, for about three years, and then the promoter folded it up then.

photo : Craig Morrison and Tony Crane, 2013

CM : You’ve had a remarkable life.

TC : Yeah, I like doing different things. I don’t like doing nothing. I like keeping busy.

CM : Well, you have this hotel now.

TC : I’ve got most of the buildings up in Hoylake, the town hall, and all those other buildings. I did that by accident. I love old buildings ; I adore old buildings. If I read about something that’s gonna be knocked down, I’ll go and try to save it. I’ve helped quite a few people save buildings and that, and I’m doing a lot for charity now, cause I think after all these years I should give something back.

CM : Yes, that’s a good thing to do.

TC : I started my own charity. It’s called Invisible Injuries ; that was by accident again. I knew someone who’d been to Afghanistan and came back and he was so troubled. Not physically injured, he was just lunatic. He’d have good days and bad days. Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTS. I do lots of fundraising now for it. It’s a program. Some of the people who’re being changed in the program, they become the teachers, cause they’ve experienced it all, they know what to say, they know how to get into your subconscious.

CM : Very important work. Thank-you for your time and hospitality. It’s been wonderful talking to you.

TC : It’s fabulous.

comments or questions ? email me

I have posted interviews with members of British invasion bands, psychedelic bands, 1950s hit makers, folk, blues, country and jazz musicians. To go to the index page, click here.

you may be interested to read Psychedelic Music in San Francisco : Style, Context, and Evolution by Craig Morrison, available as a download from for less than $5

is an ethnomusicologist, teacher, author, and musician
based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
7 Nights Music Communications, 2006