Bill Haley Pays Tribute to Liverpool

By Geoff Leack  

Mersey Beat: October 8 1964

Bill HaleyBill Haley, the man who started it all, is a very busy man, and said to me recently that he is probably the most travelled man in the business. Ever since he burst the seams of the pop world with rock 'n' roll, he's been working 50 weeks out of every year, and has played in every country in the world.

"I spend about four months of each year in South America", he said, "and do a great deal of television and radio work there in Spanish." He told me that he'd just recorded a song called 'Liverpool' in Mexico, which is a tribute to the Mersey sound and which he describes as a 'semi-rock instrumental.'

Commenting on the beat scene in general, Bill said: "Although the presentation is slightly different, and the music has more drive, it's still basically rock 'n' roll, and I think the standard of British groups is terrifically high. Dixieland music and Country and Western are easily recognisable, but there is not really much difference between the music I play and the so called modern music."

The most amazing thing that he found when he came to England he said, was the way the kids today scream rather than applaud. Apparently audiences in America wait until a number is finished before they show their appreciation, but over here, said Bill, they really go wild from the beginning of each tune. 

Speaking on the subject of groups he said that when he was playing at the Star Club in Hamburg a while ago, he was tremendously impressed with Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes and can't understand why he hasn't become very big in this country. Other groups he met over in Germany he speaks highly of are the Undertakers and the Searchers.

I asked him what he thought of the success that his re-released record 'Rock Around The Clock' had enjoyed and he said: "I was really very surprised, and in fact I had no idea they were going to re-release it. The first I knew about it was when I picked up a newspaper and found it was No.2 in the Australian hit parade. Since then it's got back into the charts in many other countries of the world and this is a good thing." He went on to say: "The fact that people are accepting it and that it is selling so well seems to indicate that there could be a swing back to the basic rock sound and the whole musical cycle could start all over again."

Back Next Spring
The tour that Bill Haley and the Comets are doing in this country ends in about a weeks time, and he's been asked to return again as soon as possible. "I like this country very much and would like to stay a lot longer", he said, "but I'm so busy that I don't think I'll be able to get back here before next spring."

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