Carol and the Memories


Carol Loftus and friendsGeoff has been playing bass guitar since a motorcycle accident when he was 17 forced him to give up his dream of being a lead guitarist. He has played with many bands over the years starting off with the Image in 1964. In 1965 the band were invited to play a three month tour of Japan and managed to acquire quite a good following while over there. Geoff met and married Carol in October 1969 they have one daughter Donna. In 1979 Geoff and his family went to live in Holland. He joined a band over there called the Rysdykes and played with them for a couple of years before returning to the U.K. in 1986. After that he and Carol formed several bands until finally today: the Memories.

The other members are: Frank van Russell on lead guitar. He was born Manchester in 1953 and took up guitar at age of nine. He is self taught with very little formal training. His first band was a Blues and Rock outfit called Circi Centrifuge who performed their own material. He next formed Kraken in 1969 which comprised Frank Van Russell (lead) Rick Hinkes (vocal) Chas Hulme (bass) and Jeff Skinner (drums). Later he had three piece brass section, with John Mayall’s brother as roadie! They were often booked, but rarely paid, so it never paid off! He worked the Manchester circuit until 1975 and then set up Holy City Studios in Darwen from1976-80. It was a small 8 track facility. He formed Frank and Dave, a premier East Lancashire punk folk group with David Rogan between the years 1977-80. There was lots of plagiarism and spitting! Frank hibernated between 1980 and 2006 and then met Carol and Geoff and became a born again Memory. He says, “I’m happy playing the tunes I can remember!”

Gary McInnes, also on lead guitar: Gary met Carol and Geoff at the Charity Jam Night run by Merseycats, and joined the Memories. He first started to learn guitar after seeing the Rolling Stones at Knebworth in 1975, but says “I gave up when I couldn't play the F chord!” After eventual success, he never looked back and has been hopelessly obsessed ever since. He’s played all kinds of music in many bands, rock n roll, country, Irish, blues, pop and once in a comedy band. Now through Merseycats he’s come full circle to once again enjoy the music of the Sixties. He adds, “I just love those Beatles. Apart from all the usual clubs and pubs, I’ve played the Matthew Street Festival twice, the Morecombe International Country Music Festival once, and been at the Colne Blues Festival. I can play guitars, drums, a little keyboard and have done a few gigs on bass: some vocals. too. I simply I love music and playing live.”

Arty Davies on drums has performed with numerous Liverpool outfits ranging from the Dominoes to the Flamingo’s and his own personal story is included on the Mersey Beat site.

How Carol actually came to record is an interesting tale. When the Walker Brothers were appearing at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre, 19-years-old Carol slipped past the doorkeeper and gave Gary Leeds a copy of her demo disc. He then said that the Walker Brothers would come along to the Blue Angel Club the next night to listen to her group. The demo disc next found itself in the hands of the Walker Brothers recording manager Johnny Stewart, who decided to record the group, although asking them to change their name from the Five Aces. They then adopted the name Carol & the Memories and their single was issued on CBS Records. One reviewer wrote: “There is just one little thing to mar Carol’s sunny horizon. Most people who have heard the record consider the ‘B’ side better than the ‘A’. Having heard the disc, I must admit I agree.”

In a newspaper interview, Gary told a reporter, “I’ve got a new voice. I found it in Liverpool. I met this girl – and has she got a voice! I brought her to London and introduced her to my own recording manager at CBS. He was so impressed he put her on record with a number called ‘Tears On My Pillow.’

He described how she slipped into their dressing room with a copy of a demo she had made, singing the Nancy Sinatra hit ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking.’ “She came in and asked for Scott’s autograph’, he said. “And then asked if we would like to hear a record. Next day I went round to a club and watched her act. I was impressed, so I decided to ask her to London.

“It can take so long for people to get anywhere without any help, and I think this girl has a voice that deserves a break.”

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