Paddy, Klaus & Gibson: The Last Farewell

By Bill Harry  

John Frankland, Klaus Voormann & Pete BestWhen Klaus Voormann opened an exhibition of his paintings at the John Lennon Gallery in Liverpool in August 2000, he decided to contact a number of his former friends for a reunion dinner.

His main hope was to meet up with his former team-mates in Paddy, Klaus & Gibson - Paddy Chambers and Gibson Kemp.

Klaus also invited John Frankland, formerly vocalist and rhythm guitarist with Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes. John was later to join the Eyes when the five-man line-up comprised himself, Klaus Voormann, Gibson Kemp, Paddy Chambers and Johnny Phillips. This was later slimmed down to Paddy, Klaus & Gibson.

John became the Liverpool musician who appeared more times in Hamburg than any other Mersey artist.

Virginia Harry and Pete Best Also invited were Pete and Roag Best and Virginia and I.

The pleasant meal took place at a new restaurant beneath the Philharmonic Hall in Hope Street.

We all anticipated Paddy's arrival. We knew that he had been ill with cancer, but he'd accepted the invitation. However, the message came that he was too ill to attend. He died several weeks later.

Then came a message that Gibson Kemp was also unable to attend. Gibson runs a pub in Radlett, a nice village outside London (where Henry Henriod also lived), and found that his chef had left him in the lurch, which meant he had to remain behind and attend to the food chores himself.

It's sad that the trio were unable to gather together for one last farewell dinner.

Paddy, Klaus & Gibson had originally formed in 1965. They were initially managed by Don Paul, a former member of the vocal group the Viscounts.

Paul approached Tony Stratton Smith and agreed to give him 10 percent of his 25 percent management commission in exchange for £250, which he urgently needed to buy equipment for the group.

Stratton Smith, affectionately known as 'Stratters' agreed and set to work on the first of the several groups he was to manage, immediately securing them a residency at London's Pickwick Club, a haunt of celebrities, including Paul McCartney and Jane Asher.

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