By Beryl Marsden
I was too young to go to Hamburg with the Undertakers, so I got left behind. I sang with a few bands including Howie Casey – with Derry and Freddie. Around this time Bob Wooler brought Brian Epstein to see me, but I decided to go with Joe Flannery instead.
I used to go to the Cavern as much as possible as well as singing there. I loved the Big Three and the Beatles. When Pete got sacked I was told not to go to see them, although it was a mean thing to do (Pete joined our band Lee Curtis & the All Stars), it was too much to ask.
When I was sixteen Joe got a special license as my chaperone to go to Hamburg. I sang at the Star Club. As I would be getting out of bed the rest of the guys were just getting in. As a treat Joe hid me sometimes so I could watch Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry etc and he even took me to a glam club – or so I thought – it was a Gay club.
I suppose it was a bit wild but it all seemed quite normal.
On returning from Germany I thought I’d give London a go. I told my Mum I was going to the chippy and got on the milk train with my two best mates. We got jobs as chambermaids that day, living in.
A couple of weeks later I met Tony Stratton Smith in a pub in Wardour Street. He was just starting in the music business. I signed with him because he promised not to make me dress like a Barbie doll!
I sang at the Pickwick Club with Paddy, Klaus & Gibson, then had Howie Casey and the Crew as a backing band, made a couple of records and toured with the Beatles on their last U.K. tour.
Tony was approached by the Gunnells for my contract to form a band with Rod Stewart, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, etc. We gigged a lot and played at their clubs with the top London bands and American artists. We made a record and then went on our merry way.
I then toured Europe with She Trinity, came back to Liverpool and joined Paddy Chambers with Sinbad for a while. Then I formed Gambler and then the Beryl Marsden Band. I had got married and had three beautiful children, but my marriage wasn’t meant to be.
At the beginning of 1978 I returned to London and found Buddhism after the unhappiness I had been through to understand why was a breath of fresh air. I met some great people. At this time Sandie Shaw and I became friends. We met at a Buddhist meeting. We both care about World Peace and have a great mentor – Daisaku Ikeda, who is the president of the worldwide movement for peace: SGI.
I toured with Martha Reeves as a Vandella, sang with John Lennon on the track ‘Instant Karma’, worked with my dear friend, Phil Sawyer, he was in Shotgun Express for a while on the project ‘Beautiful World’. We had hits in Europe.