Big names in a bygone era

The front cover of My Back Pages

The front cover of My Back Pages

Doris: to the mayorality born

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If you were born in or about 1947, then a new book called My Back Pages - Portsmouth 1962-1972 by Nigel Grundy about the Portsmouth music scene in the period between when The Beatles first came on the scene and when music got boring will interest you.

Many of the anecdotes are very amusing, such as when Eric Burdon of The Animals was leaning on a lamp post in Kingston Road and asked Nigel’s friend Graham Laker for a tanner to buy some chips.

Taken from the stage at South Parade Pier, the theatre is something else that was lost when it caught fire in 1974. The ornate balcony area level with the stage can be seen to the rear.

Taken from the stage at South Parade Pier, the theatre is something else that was lost when it caught fire in 1974. The ornate balcony area level with the stage can be seen to the rear.

Well-known local DJ Pete Cross tells of how he became a DJ and of his time at the Tricorn Club and Nero’s, complete with photographs.

Pete is now broadcasting on Angel 101.1.

Black Sabbath appeared at the pier in October 1970 and the entrance fee was just 50p. July 4, 1970 saw the Tipner Music Festival, which appears to have been a complete let-down. Tickets at just a pound would have let you see Uriah Heep, East of Eden, Gentle Giant and The Strawbs among many others.

Held at the dog track, Target Road, Tipner from midday until 11pm, it seems there were just a few hundred paying customers.

Mind you, the promoters should have seen what happened just a few months earlier. Jon Isherwood organised the Southern Folk Festival, again at the dog track.

Isherwood was expecting 15,000 people to attend but there were barely 200! His open letter to The News telling of the apathy in the Portsmouth area is printed in full.

The book also contains many photographs of the two events.

The infamous Birdcage at Eastney is featured too. What always amazes me, even after all these years, is the amount of groups that later became famous that appeared in clubs in the city.

The Who, Pink Floyd, Humphrey Lyttleton, Ten Years After, Chris Farlow and even The Singing Postman all appeared in the city at sometime in the 1960s.

Full of photographs of the local area, clubs and pubs, the book is a wonderful nostalgic look back to a period when things were not quite so serious.

It’s stocked by WH Smith in Palmerston Road, Southsea Gallery in Albert Road, Waterstone’s in Commercial Road, or is available from the author’s website imagesafloat.com

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