Paddy Chambers

   

Paddy ChambersOne of the most respected musicians of the Mersey Sound era, Patrick John Chambers was born in Liverpool on April 30 1944. A lead guitarist/vocalist, he began his music career when he co-founded a group called the Creoles early in 1961. He next joined Steve Bennett & the Syndicate in July 1961 and at the age of 16 went down to London with them. 

They appeared at the 2 1's coffee bar and one or two other venues, and also cut some demo discs in a studio in Chinatown. However, they ran out of money and returned to Liverpool. Paddy left to join a jazz trio in Paris for a brief time. He was then recruited as a member of the Wolfgang Combo. This was an outfit formed by members of Karl Terry & the Cruisers. When the offer to tour U.S. bases in France came along, several of the members were unable to go because they were too young, so Terry recruited Paddy and female vocalist Nicolette Moran.

He next joined Faron's Flamingos, who were also appearing in U.S. air force bases in France. The Flamingos had the prospect of becoming a major act outside Liverpool and their opportunity came when they recorded a potential chart-topper with 'Do You Love Me.' Unfortunately, the record label Oriole relegated this to the flipside of 'See If She Cares', and Brian Poole & the Tremeloes and the Dave Clarke Five were given a kick start to their careers by recording versions of 'Do You Love Me', which were almost identical to that of the Flamingos.

Utterly dejected, the band split up and in November 1963, Paddy, along with Faron, joined Johnny Hutchinson in the Big Three. As the two were only paid wages by Hutchinson they felt like hired hands and left. For a spell Paddy became lead guitarist with the Krew. This had been originally a trio from Birmingham. Howie Casey had joined them, replacing their guitarist, then Paddy joined them and they appeared on gigs on the Continent.

Paddy next teamed up with Gibson Kemp and Lewis Collins in the Eyes, initially enjoying a residency at the Maggie May club in Seel Street. When Collins quit they were joined by Klaus Voormann and became known as Paddy, Klaus & Gibson. They were originally signed to Tony Stratton-Smith who had great faith in the group's potential, but the Beatles recommended them to Brian Epstein, who bought out Stratton-Smith's contract in 1965, then took over as manager and virtually ruined their career. They disbanded in May 1966.

Paddy was to recall this episode of his career when he discussed it with Ray Coleman for the book 'Brian Epstein: The Man Who Made The Beatles.' he said of Epstein, "I basically don't think he gave the band anything in management. I don't think he had a clue. But it was obvious after a while that he was getting emotionally very hung up on me and I tried my best to cope with it. I actually ended up in bed with him one day but after about five minutes I said: 'Brian, I just can't handle this' and I got up and walked out. "We got £50 a week from NEMS as a retainer whether we worked or not. And that's all we ever got because we never worked. It was a joke as far as the business was concerned."

He went straight into the Escorts and Paul McCartney produced the group recording the Miracles number 'Head To Toe', with the 'B' side an original number by Paddy called 'Night Time.'

He later left the Escorts to team up with Beryl Marsden and former members of the Fix in a band called Sinbad, who had a residency at the Victoriana club. During their residency they provided the support to a number of the artists booked at the club, including Jimi Hendrix, Mary Wells, Joe Cocker and the Crickets. Later, Paddy became manager of the Wooky Hollow club and then began managing local groups. He and his wife Joy had a daughter and a grandson.

Sadly, Paddy, the archetypal Liverpool musician, died on Monday September 18 2000, following a long battle against cancer. he was 56 years old.

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