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  #11  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:28 AM
thornbeck thornbeck is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch Progressive Jazz Walnut 1972 Stop Sign

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Originally Posted by robbiemurray View Post
Our only other claim to fame was backing the Beatles on a couple of occasions, but that was before they made it big!
That's awesome! Did you get a chance to chat with any of them?

-Tim
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  #12  
Old 11-22-2013, 09:24 AM
robbiemurray robbiemurray is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch Progressive Jazz Walnut 1972 Stop Sign

"That's awesome! Did you get a chance to chat with any of them?"


Of course: in those days there were 6 hour gigs on Friday nights (8pm-2am) all over Scotland and northern England with 4 or 5 bands, mostly playing covers of the charts and perhaps a bit of Rock & Roll, Soul, R&B or eventually Motown (that's how the Beatles & Stones started)

There was little rivalry, and we would all get drunk together over the course of the night - everyone was wasted by the end of the gig. We also shared the bill with Gerry & the Pacemakers, Freddie & the Dreamers, Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas, The Searchers, The Merseybeats and many more who would go on to be part of the Liverpool Boom. For me, the best band was the Animals who had a massive hit with The House of The Rising Sun, and I also really liked The Yardbirds with Eric Clapton, and Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, who were much jazzier, and more to my taste.

Most gigs were 4 hours, and if it was just one band, we'd play straight through with one 15 minute break. We were unusual in having a saxophone player as well as the usual 3 guitars & drums, which made us very popular with the officers, NCOs and Airmen at our local USAF base, and the sailors at the US Navy Polaris submarine base in the Holy Loch - we played for the Officers and the Chiefs, but mostly the Enlisted Men. We were quite naive regarding the North / South divide in the US, so readily agreed when asked to play 'Dixie' a la Duane Eddy. The result was utter carnage, as the entire club erupted into the biggest fight imaginable, until the Shore Patrol arrived. Now there were guys who you would want on your side if trouble arose - they just waded straight in and soon there were bodies being thrown in to the meat wagon ten a penny and off to the brig ….

When all had calmed down, the Chief, (who seemed to be 8 feet tall and weigh 20 Stones) lined us up and ordered that never again should we play that tune in any US military club. We never did. When a sub came in after a 90 day tour without surfacing, the guys wanted to party, so would hire the local village hall, fill it with food & free booze and book us. The locals would lock up their daughters, so a couple of coach loads of old boilers from Glasgow would arrive on the ferry to provide female companionship for the returning sailors. We saw some sights, and on more than one occasion had to get off the stage, pack the gear into the van, and hotfoot it down the road, as the entire hall was just a battlefield …… (We always insisted on being paid before we started, just in case war broke out)

As I said earlier, happy days!

Robbie

Last edited by robbiemurray; 12-05-2013 at 04:29 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2013, 12:13 PM
larryz larryz is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch Progressive Jazz Walnut 1972 Stop Sign

Awesome story Robbie, thank you. Drinking with the Beatles. Can't get much better than that. Wow, really. I believe Brian Epstein managed a couple of those bands, as well as George Martin producing some of their music. Thanks for sharing that story. Any Seven Sinners music make it to vinyl? If so I'd love to hear it.
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2013, 03:50 AM
robbiemurray robbiemurray is offline
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Default Re: Gretsch Progressive Jazz Walnut 1972 Stop Sign

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Originally Posted by larryz View Post
Any Seven Sinners music make it to vinyl? If so I'd love to hear it.
Only a demo, lost in the mists of time! The other band members wanted to turn pro, but I was too risk averse, so they stayed in the coal mines and I trained to be a Sheriff Officer. As soon as I qualified, however, I had the opportunity to go to sea, and couldn't resist it, so ironically, despite being the stumbling block to turning pro, I ended up being the only one to do so ...
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