1960: Rock ‘n’ Roll comes to the Grosvenor

February 1960 saw rock ‘n’ roll come to the Grosvenor Ballroom on Saturday nights. Until then, Saturday evenings had featured dance bands.

For the first three weeks Stanley Dale is shown as the promoter, but after this the adverts are under a heading of Eddie Friday presents – though it seems likely that Stanley Dale continued to be involved for some months. Stanley Dale managed Johnny Kidd and the Pirates through his company Associated London Scripts until January 1962 – the period in which Johnny Kidd and the Pirates made most of the Aylesbury appearances. Later, in October 1962, Stanley Dale made a bid to buy the Grosvenor Ballroom (see below).

Johnny Kidd ad 1960

Playing that first night were Johnny Kidd and the Pirates and Terry Anton and his Rhythm Rockers. This same combination played for each of the next three weeks, and both went on to be regulars in Aylesbury. The Bucks Advertiser reported that the attendance was 560 for the opening night, and by the third week a “sell out” was reported.

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates played 48 times in Aylesbury, including nine times at the Sunday Club that Eddie Friday started in May 1960. That month also saw Johnny Kidd and the Pirates in the studio recording “Shakin’ All Over” which took the band to No. 1 in the singles chart.

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates – Skakin’ All Over

Guitarist Alan Caddy and drummer Clem Cattini were later in the Tornados, after leaving the Pirates. Cattini went on to be a session drummer – and has played on 44 UK no. 1 singles. He also played on Lou Reed’s debut solo album  which was recorded in London in 1971/1972 with London session musicians, including Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe.

Clem Cattini – Guardian article 2010

Another group making regular appearances was Mike West and the Silhouettes. Mike West had previously played with Johnny Kidd and the PIrates, but had left to form his own group, which included guitarist Tony Doherty who had also been a Pirate.

Also appearing were Red-E-Lewis and the Redcaps who at some stage included Jimmy Page as guitarist. There is some confusion with the Red-E-Lewis band and Neil Christian and the Crusaders.

Clem Cattini (drummer with Johnny Kidd) wrote in “Trampled Under Foot: The Power and Excess of Led Zeppelin”:
I was touring with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. We used to play this place in Aylesbury and Jimmy [Page] was in Neil Christian and the Crusaders, which was the support band. He was only fifteen and he was already a phenomenal player.

I have found no record of Neil Christian and the Crusaders playing in Aylesbury. As Clem joined the Pirates in 1960 (source: Johnny Kidd and the Pirates website – Timeline), it may be that he is referring to Red-E-Lewis and the Recaps.

On October 14th, the Bucks Advertiser carried a front page story under the title “Aylesbury Grosvenor Surprise – Rock ‘n’ Roll Man: £20,000 Bid For Ballroom”.

It was reported that Stan Dale had made an offer to buy the hall – and he had plans for it. He is quoted as saying “The building is out of date … The future of the site could involve the spending of £250,000 over a three- to five- year period, and could be made to fit in with the whole scheme of the town, including a supermarket, flats and an entertainment centre.”

Although the article reported that the deal was due to be clinched that week, it did not go ahead. Click on image to enlarge.

Bid for Grosvenor

The following is a list of 1960 gigs at the Grosvenor.  It is possible that there were some changes to the artists who actually appeared due to last minute cancellations, etc.; details have been checked as far as possible, but if you have any corrections or additions please let us know! Looking at the list, it is obvious that there was a regular rotation of a relatively small number of groups during the year.

DateClubArtist 1Artist 2
6/2/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
13/2/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
20/2/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
27/2/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Saxons
5/3/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
12/3/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
19/3/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
26/3/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersMartin Jae and the Hi Five
2/4/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
9/4/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
16/4/1960Red-E-Lewis and the RedcapsTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
30/4/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
7/5/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
8/5/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
14/5/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
15/5/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
21/5/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
22/5/1960Sunday ClubTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
28/5/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesBobby Tempest and the Lyrics
29/5/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
4/6/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesBobby Tempest and the Lyrics
5/6/1960Sunday ClubTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
11/6/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesRed-E-Lewis and the Redcaps
12/6/1960Sunday ClubTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
18/6/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersMike West and the Silhouettes
19/6/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
25/6/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
26/6/1960Sunday ClubRed-E-Lewis and the Redcaps
2/7/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
3/7/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
9/7/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
10/7/1960Sunday ClubCreole ComboThe Blue Knights
16/7/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersMike West and the Silhouettes
17/7/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
23/7/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersMike West and the Silhouettes
24/7/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
30/7/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersMike West and the Silhouettes
31/7/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
6/8/1960Mike West and the SilhouettesThe Avalons
7/8/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
13/8/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
14/8/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
20/8/1960Mike West and the SilhouettesThe Avalons
21/8/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
27/8/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
28/8/1960Sunday ClubSmokey Dean and the Dean Aces
3/9/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesSmokey Dean and the Dean Aces
4/9/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
10/9/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
11/9/1960Sunday ClubSmokey Dean and the Dean Aces
17/9/1960Smokey Dean and the Dean AcesMike West and the Silhouettes
18/9/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
24/9/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
25/9/1960Sunday ClubSmokey Dean and the Dean Aces
1/10/1960The QuaversMike West and the Silhouettes
2/10/1960Sunday ClubTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
8/10/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
9/10/1960Sunday ClubSmokey Dean and the Dean Aces
15/10/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
16/10/1960Sunday ClubTerry Anton and the Rhythm Rockers
22/10/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersSmokey Dean and the Dean Aces
23/10/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
29/10/1960Dean Shannon and the Dean AcesBilly Gray and the Graymen
30/10/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
5/11/1960Dean Shannon and the Dean AcesThe Al Kline Five
6/11/1960Sunday ClubJohnny Kidd and the Pirates
12/11/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersMike West and the Silhouettes
13/11/1960Sunday ClubDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
19/11/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
20/11/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
26/11/1960The VictorsDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
27/11/1960Sunday ClubDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
3/12/1960Terry Anton and the Rhythm RockersThe Al Kline Five
4/12/1960Sunday ClubDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
10/12/1960Mike West and the SilhouettesRay Dexter and the Summits
11/12/1960Sunday ClubDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
17/12/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesDean Shannon and the Dean Aces
18/12/1960Sunday ClubMike West and the Silhouettes
24/12/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesMike West and the Silhouettes
26/12/1960Dean Shannon and the Dean AcesThe Brian Wood Five, Terry Young and the Thunderbirds, Brian Gold and the Blue Knights
31/12/1960Johnny Kidd and the PiratesPierce Rogers and the Overlanders, Mike West and the Silhouettes, Rocky Lane and the Victors

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