From Bumblies To Cryin’ Shames

By George Robinson  

George Robinson 2002I was born in Norris Green, Liverpool on December 26 1943 and attended Broad Square School and then on to Roscoe Garfield.

As with most of the Liverpool musicians, it was early rock 'n' roll artistes who started my interest in music, especially Buddy Holly and Lonnie Donegan.

I remember studying the picture on the cover of the 'Chirping Crickets' album: the guitar that Holly was holding baffled me - I hadn't seen one like it before, it seemed to be made of plastic.

My first guitar was a cheap secondhand acoustic from Stanleys in Scotland Road. A lot of early skifflers bought guitars at the same place.

My brother-in-law Norman Eastwood was in one of the first Liverpool groups, playing tea-chest bass for the Black Cat Trio + One. They played mostly cinemas and church halls during the late 1950s.

Another lad living near our house, Sidney Nugent, played a few chords, and I learned a bit from him, including the intro to Cliff Richard's 'Move It.'

Tony Waddington also lived nearby - about 1960 he did a great version of 'Be-Bop-A-Lula' on his homemade guitar, and at that time he taught me the intro to 'Rock Around With Ollie Vee.' I still play it his way to this day.

I joined the Casbah in 1959. It was over the road from where I lived. Like Many others, I paid sixpence to go and see the skiffle group. I had no idea until later that it was the Beatles.

My working life started in 1960 at the Municipal Buildings, Dale Street. One of my workmates was Don Andrew from the Remo Four. He was older than me and had to teach me the job.

From him I found out what a Fender guitar was, although nobody in Liverpool had one yet, to my knowledge.

Everything in the office was covered in pictures of Yogi Bear, the popular cartoon character, wearing big black glasses and playing a red Fender. Don was a good cartoonist.

My haunts as a teenager were the Holy Rosary and the Orrell Park Ballroom.

It was in 1960, after seeing the Shadows perform, that I decided I wanted to be a bass player (Jet Harris had a real Fender bass with a tortoise shell pick guard).

I became a Shadows fanatic, and still am. I bought every record of theirs.

My first bass was a Fender like Jet Harris: it was purchased at Cranes music shop. It cost £120 on HP; it was slightly more expensive for a Sunburst colour.

The salesman was Joe Butler, bass player with Sonny Webb & the Cascades. All I had to do was learn to play it!

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