Gerry’s American Trip

By Bill Harry  

May 22 1964

Gerry Marsden and his parentsAfter ten hectic days in America and Canada, being mobbed wherever he went, Gerry Marsden relaxed in an armchair at his Dingle home and said: "It was fab - I still can't get over the reception which the kids gave us."

Gerry spent a few quiet days at home last week with his family before leaving for Blackpool last Saturday for a weeks' appearances at the North Pier.

He said, "America, especially New York, is great, but it's always good to get home - and we missed our Liverpool fans."

Talking about his trip, Gerry said that he had been a little worried before the group's first live appearance in Toronto. "But I needn't have bothered," he added, "the audience were great and set the mood for our whole stay over there."

The boys did three live shows, two in Canada in Montreal and Toronto, and one in Massachusetts, and also did a live Ed Sullivan TV show. Gerry added, "Ed was so pleased with the way we went down that he asked us to record another show before we left, which we did."

During their stay in New York, the group had quite a lot of spare time and they spent their leisure hours seeing the sights.

Gerry said, "We visited Harlem and the Bowery, and shopped along Fifth Avenue and Broadway." But he remarked that everything was so expensive in the States - "It cost about £2.5/- for a bucket of ice at our hotel," he said.

"I was disappointed in the American clothes, too," said Gerry. "I didn't think they were as good as our English ones, so I didn't buy any suits or clothes of any kind. Anyway, most good American clothes are now sttled like English suits so there wasn't any point in buying anything."

But he did buy an automatic shoe polisher, an automatic carving knife for his mother, souvenir dolls and baseball gloves and bats.

During the day the boys gave press conferences, and evenings were often spent visiting the night spots. Gerry said, "We went to see Sammy Davis Jr, Peggy Lee, Gene Krupa and Dizzy Gillespie at various clubs, and had a chat with them afterwards. It was great meeting so many people I've always admired," Gerry added.

Another highlight of their trip was the visit of the Liverpool football team to New York whilst they were there. Said Gerry: "We invited the team to see the Ed Sullivan show, and it was nice to have a chat with them about our home town - though most of the players seem to hail from Scotland!"

But it was the fans that Gerry remembers best. "They were fantastic," he said. "We had a chauffeur driven Cadillac to take us round New York, complete with telephone, and the kids found out the number and kept ringing up whilst we were in the car!"

Wherever they went, the boys had a bodyguard of 12 hefty men, "but we still got mobbed," laughed Gerry. "We had police guarding the hotel, the lift and our room, and there were fans crawling up drainpipes and in through the cellars to get to see us."

Two shirts which Gerry sent to the laundry were returned with letters from fans inside. Said Gerry: "I didn't discover one of the letters until after I returned home - quite a surprise!"

Frequently all the hotel's telephone lines were jammed with calls for Gerry & the Pacemakers, and their road manager had a full-time job answering them all.

Gerry's latest disc 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' was released whilst he was over there. He said: "It's too early yet to see what it will do, but it jumped from nowhere to No. 5 in the New York charts whilst we were there."

Speaking of future plans, Gerry said he was looking forward to filming in Liverpool shortly, and after that he hoped to take a holiday. "I shall probably be going to the Canary Islands," he said.

There are also possibilities that he may go back to America for a tour later this year or early next year, Gerry said.

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