Four Days in
Liverpool For the Stones
By Bill Harry
Mersey Beat: September 24 1964
Last week the Rolling Stones were in Liverpool for four days. With a show in Liverpool, Chester, Manchester and Wigan. They based themselves at the Adelphi Hotel and took the opportunity of meeting up with many of their old friends on Merseyside.
In their dressing room at the Empire Theatre they were delighted to see Derry Wilkie again and discussed numerous things with him. Charlie Watts was interested to hear that Alexis Korner was resident at the Hope Hall and mentioned that Alexis had shaved off his famous moustache.
Songwriter Eddie Francis was with Derry, and the Stones told him that they were always on the lookout for original material.
Following the show, the cast went up to Nicky Crouch's home in Orrell Park for a party that Nicky was holding for Inez Foxx who had celebrated her birthday a few days earlier.
Bill, Charlie, Mick and Brian - Keith was absent - were glad of the opportunity of relaxing and found the evening very enjoyable.
We had a chat with Charlie about their first film. He told us that they still needed a scriptwriter and that the lack of one was the only thing delaying the film. "We'd prefer the film to be in black-and-white rather than colour," Charlie said, "and we would like it to be dramatic.
Charlie became involved in a discussion of Modern Jazz with Spencer Mason, and we took the opportunity of chatting with Mike Berry, who talked of the numerous times he'd appeared in Liverpool and remembered the time Brian Epstein booked him for several Merseyside appearances.
The Mojos were sitting in a corner holding drinks and discussing the current pop scene, so we went over and started chatting with Terry O'Toole. Terry has three brothers - Ray, Bernard and John - and two sisters - Marie and Lilian. "But I'm the only one who has taken music seriously," he said. "Ray used to play guitar, so we played together at weddings and parties. "I teamed up with a fellow called Johnny McGhee and we played in a jazz group at the White Eagle, Catherine Street. After a while I moved down to London for about a year and tried to join a group. I was unsuccessful and had about eight different jobs.
"Soon after I came back to Liverpool, Adrian Lord, who lived close by me, came around one day and asked me to join the Mojos."
The party carried on successfully into the early hours of the morning, and a late arrival was Tommy Quickly.
Inex And Charlie
The next night the Mojos were in the Blue Angel with Charlie Foxx, discussing the incident at Chester when someone fired a shot through their dressing room window. "I doubt if the person who fired knew who was in the room," commented Nicky.
Stu James was particularly pleased because the Mojos had had a very successful night at Chester ABC.
When Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, Bill Wyman and Inez Foxx arrived they went downstairs to listen to the group.
There were members of various Mersey groups downstairs - Earl Preston's Realms, the Escorts, Rory Storm, the Hillsiders and the Remo Four - and everyone seemed very impressed with the Pawns, who were on stage with their newest member Howie Casey.
Upstairs, newspaper reporters were discussing the news they'd heard that the Stones' co-manager Andrew Oldham had eloped, and we drifted downstairs. The Pawns were in fine form and Brian Jones told us: "They're far better than half the groups coming out of London."
Earl Preston became involved in a discussion with Mick Jagger about the pop scene in general and the Beatles in particular.
Earl thought Mick didn't think the Beatles were so great these days, but Brian told us: "You know how we feel about the Beatles - they're the greatest. But since this recent poll where we were voted above the Beatles in Britain, people are trying to make something of it. It doesn't mean anything. "Besides, whenever groups get together they always have arguments about the scene."
We could see Brian's point. Members of groups who are dedicated to their music always have strong viewpoints and they like discussions with other musicians, but people who don't know much about music who happen to be listening always take things too literally.
The atmosphere of the club became more colourful when the Pawns had finished playing. the Stones got up from their seats and took the stage. In the absence of Charlie Watts, Brian Low, drummer with Scottish outfit the Blues System, took his place.
The Stones really began to whip up some excitement with their music which was wild, soulful and full of life. A close friend of theirs, Denny Flynn, told me that Charlie was at an antique dealer's house in West Derby discussing antique guns, of which he's a collector.
At the sound of the music, everyone from upstairs came down to watch and later on, Charlie Watts came into the club.
He sat down near the front of the stage listening for a moment, but the excitement of the music was too much and he took his place on the drums.