By Les Braid
December 12 1964
Not being the type who can sit down and immediately put my thought to paper, I usually dread writing newspaper articles. However, when BILL HARRY asked THE BLUE JEANS to contribute to a series of article to MERSEY BEAT I jumped at the chance to be first. Reason for the sudden change? I've been forbidden to speak for the next six weeks.
The enforced silence is a result of the water skiing accident I had while on holiday in Majorca last August. It's taken me nearly four months to find out I had a broken jaw.
At the time, a Spanish doctor told me that I had badly bruised my jaw bone, but things have got steadily worse. After a two-hour harmonica playing session for the recording of our new single 'It Isn't There' I found that I couldn't open my mouth.
After the session some fans were waiting outside the EMI studio and one asked me which titles we had recorded. My jaw was locked, and I tried to tell her of my predicament in sign language by pointing to my mouth. She didn't get the message and must have thought that I was carrying secrecy too far.
Soon I'll be going into Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool, to get things patched up, but at the moment I'm looking forward to a Scottish tour starting on December 17.
I always enjoy going to Scotland - the audiences are as enthusiastic as you'll find anywhere - though during our last trip north of the border we had one of our most embarrassing experiences.
After finishing a late night concert we were all relaxing in our hotel when a complete stranger came in and asked us back to his place for what he called 'a grand supper.'
You can't refuse an offer like that - particularly when it comes from a Scotsman standing about 6ft 4in and looking decidedly fierce.
RAY, RALPH, NORMAN and myself piled into our host's car and settled down for the ride. I'm not a cynic, but I am always wary when people offer me something for nothing. Sure enough, there was a catch.
It turned out that the man's father was a songwriter and he wanted us to see if we were interested in recording his old dad's latest composition.
After a long drive into bleak countryside he showed us into the living room of a very ancient mansion, and introduced us to his father who looked even older than the house.
Having served us with 'a grand supper' - pork pies (still wrapped in cellophane) and luke-warm cocoa - the old fella tottered over to a wheezy harmonium and began croaking out his composition.
It was a grudge song, the like of which I've never heard before - urging people to avenge the brave
Scottish warriors slain by the puny Englishmen. It was uncommercial with a capital U, particularly as the angry words were sung to a tune that sounded suspiciously like 'Boiled Beef and Carrots.'
When the old man had finished, his son brought his brawny fist down on the table and asked us what we thought of the song.
As the atmosphere was by now a little tense, and we didn't fancy the 12-mile walk back to town, we heaped praise on the old man's composition and promised to record it as soon as we could.
All four of us heaved a simultaneous sigh of relief when we were back in the safety of our hotel. I've still got the words and music of the old man's 'masterpiece', so if any group wants to record original material that's guaranteed to start a war between England and Scotland will they please contact me.