Behind The Scenes 1

By Bob Azurdia  

May 22 1964

Mike PenderIt looks as if Spencer Lloyd Mason is a young man who'll have to be taken very seriously indeed.

He took over the Mojos and when they had moderate success everyone said "Well done, Spen", ever so politely.

Then the Mojos started climbing and everyone took notice. It was "Spen this" and "Spen that" and three bags full - but there was still the sneaking feeling that Spen and the Mojos would be a nine-days-in-the-charts wonder.

But Spen then took over that knockout group The Griff Parry 5. And the Nocturnes. The Roadrunners too have signed for Liverpool's latest wonder boy and his last signing has been the Hillsiders, who look remarkably like Sonny Webb's Cascades again.

But the biggest news is to come. Spencer Lloyd Mason has formed the first independent record company on Merseyside and their first release is due out almost at once.

The new label is called simply 'SLM' - "I just like my own name" cracked Spen - and recordings will be made at the Olympic Studios.

Spencer, who at 23 is the same age as American millionaire Phil Spector, has an American A&R man in Mike Stone.

"This is not the end of my plans either", said Spen. "There are still bigger schemes afoot which at the moment are being negotiated."

If the idea of a Liverpool studio succeeds it could be the greatest thing to happen locally since Epstein signed the Beatles.

It would certainly be further reaching and would have more lasting effect.

What a fantastic session there was in the wee small hours of the Blue Angel recently.

After appearing at the Empire on the Roy Orbison Show, Tony Sheridan who was once backed by the Beat Boys, alias you-know-who, decided he wanted to play some more.

Others in the "Let's give a free show" mood included several of Earl Preston's Realms, Johnny Guitar, Rory Storm and Freddie Starr - and they started.

Maybe they are still playing. They were when I left them after four in the morning and they seemed good for hours. But it was worth every second of my lost beauty sleep.

Peter Feldman of the Profiles tells me that though the group are making quite a name in Liverpool they would like more out of town bookings.

"We play regularly at the Basement", he says, "and that's not a bad thing - but it means our audiences and following is limited. We hope in the not too distant future to appear more often elsewhere."

I agree with Peter - get out and get known. For years the Swinging Bluejeans stuck to the Mardi Gra and the Downbeat - and got a tremendous following. But it was only when they hit the road with a vengeance that they made any impact on the charts. It could be something the same for the Profiles.

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