Behind the Scenes 6
On the subject of folk generally and TONY DAVIS in particular I have to report
that his sister – the talented JOAN DAVIS of THE LEESIDERS – has just left the
Joan. A founder-member of THE SPINNERS some years ago, went off to college to
become a teacher and when she returned she teamed up with the folk-group which
sing each Sunday in Birkenhead.
Now Joan, 23, has gone to Scotland, to where her mother went to live some time
back, and will take up teaching again in Greenock.
But I shouldn’t wonder if she tried to form a folk-singing group on the banks of
the Clyde once she’s got her guitar unpacked!
Ending their weekly folk sessions at the Gregsons Wells till September were THE
SPINNERS last week – and it marked the end of an era.
For from September the boys – MICK GROVES, TONY DAVIS, CLIFF HALL and HUGH JONES
– are to turn full-time professional.
“We went into it pretty thoroughly,” says Mick, “and found that we couldn’t
really afford not to turn professional.
“We were turning down so many out-of-town bookings and so many TV engagements
that it was becoming ridiculous.”
“Tony, incidentally, tells me that the group have no fixed rate of charging for
“We ask what we think people are able to pay,” he said. “If they can afford a
good fee – then they’ve got to pay it, otherwise we’ll ask for less.”
He added that in fact the group are willing to perform for barely expenses in
certain places where they know they’ll be appreciated and the club inviting them
can’t afford to pay!
Both BRIAN REDMAN and JEN JOHNSON of THE HILLSIDERS – now resident at the Blue
Angel – tell me that they owe quite a bit to THE ROLLING STONES.
At least, they say that their kind of music owes a lot to the Stones, since it’s
only since the Rolling Stones really started being noticed that they got through
“The Stones have introduced people to C&W,” said Brian seriously, “before they
started playing stuff like ‘It’s All Over Now’ no one took a lot of interest in
our music – but now it seems that we’re almost in fashion.”
True enough, mate, and by appreciative sounds made by the recent local
Hillsiders’ audiences, I’d say that Hillsiders’ music could stand out as a
fashion-setter in its own right, Rolling Stones or not.
Is Liverpool going to get a film premier for GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS’ film ‘Ferry
Across The Mersey’?
The answer, it seems, according to the rules of ‘What’s My Line?’ is “a loose
I asked MAUREEN GREGSON, Press Officer for Subafilms, last week before the unit
stopped shooting, what was going to happen – and she said she really didn’t
“It all depends on the director,” said Maureen. “If he thinks the film should
have a Liverpool premier, then it will. If he doesn’t, then it won’t”
She added that what she expected to happen would be the same as in the case of
‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ the BEATLES’ film, when there was a premier in London
early in the week and a later one – a Northern premier it was billed – in
I maintain that even though this may be economically the best thing for
Subafilms and for BRIAN EPSTEIN, and even for GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS, it is not
the best thing for the city.
It was the first beat film to be filmed in Liverpool – the city without which
the film would never have been conceived.
It is one of the few films which is peculiarly personal to Liverpool – and is,
frankly, of little interest elsewhere.
It should have its world premier in Liverpool and its Southern premier in London