Hope you are all well. Here we are at the end of another year as I write this letter. Looking back at my opening lines from the last newsletter (116), I obviously spoke too soon; I mentioned the warmest day of the year so far; since then it has hardly stopped raining.
Anyway let’s move on and catch up with what has happened and what’s in the pipeline.
60’s GOLD TOUR
Again this last Autumn tour has been hugely successful, with most venues boasting full houses. Due to Chip Hawkes being unwell, his place on the line-up was taken by Chris Farlowe who played two shows, the majority being filled by Steve Ellis (of Love Affair). Thanks to these two artists who came on board at short notice. Thanks must also be given to The Pacemakers who work incredibly hard at backing Chris Farlowe, Steve Ellis, P.J. Proby and of course our own Gerry.
Gerry was back on top form headlining the tour. I managed to catch a couple of shows and at both he was given a standing ovation.
Gerry and The Pacemakers have also played several Gerry Cross The Mersey gigs in between the Gold Tour. These being mainly rescheduled from the Spring and Summer.
Gerry has joined with a host of stars to record The Hollies 1969 classic ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’. The song was first aired at Goodison Park the home of Everton Football club to show their solidarity with their Liverpool Football club neighbours. The idea to make a charity single was initiated by amongst others former Liverpool Lord Mayor and MP Steve Rotheram and project manager Pete Byrne. From there it snowballed. Apart from Liverpool musicians who included Sir Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson, Mel C, Rebecca Ferguson, Peter Hooton and of course Gerry, other artists were approached by legendary record producer Guy Chambers.
These included Robbie Williams, Paloma Faith and Beverley Knight.
Gerry travelled down to London, that same night Gerry was back at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall as part of the 60’s Gold Tour. Everybody involved with the single has given their time free and all monies raised are to support the Hillsborough families fight for justice and to raise funds for any future legal costs.
The single was premiered at St. Georges Hall, Liverpool at the end of November where artists, including Gerry and representatives of the families attended.
A video to compliment the single was released a few days later and can be seen on www.youtube.com . It would be great if this single, which is released on December 17th, could become the Christmas No 1 for 2012. The Hollies reached No 3 in 1969, so let’s hope this version can climb two rungs above it and become Liverpool’s 51st No 1 and raise large funds for the families of the 96.
It is envisaged that a documentary of the making of the single will follow.
Gerry has always been involved with the Hillsborough Families with his first involvement being the charity single in 1989 of his own ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’. On this single, he was joined by Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson and The Christians and it was produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman.
As I am sure most of you who attended the 60’s Gold Tour will have noticed, Bass Player Garth Watt Roy has left the band. Unfortunately Garth has suffered with his back for a while now and he was finding it very hard on stage and also driving to the gigs. I am sure you will join with me in wishing Garth all the very best for the future and thank him for the part he played in the band.
As a replacement we welcome Joe Mitchell and as we have seen already an accomplished musician who has fitted in perfectly.
The current line up is:-
Tony Young – keyboards, Guitar, vocals.
Steve Thompson – Lead Guitar, vocals
Joe Mitchell – Bass guitar, vocals
Nick Woolgar – Drums
2013 PLANS (50th ANNIVERSARY YEAR SINCE TOPPING THE CHARTS)
Gerry will travel to Australia in late February where he will commence an 18 date tour entitled ‘50th Anniversary Farewell Tour’. The tour starts in Queensland on the February 28th and culminates in Perth on March 23rd.
Gerry then follows onto New Zealand where he is joined by fellow Merseybeaters, The Searchers with whom he will perform 10 shows between March 27th and April 7th.
After a break Gerry and The Pacemakers will be back on the road in the U.K. during April and early May with their Gerry Cross the Mersey Shows.
Late May and June they are visiting the U.S.A. and Canada.
In the autumn they will be joining forces again with The Searchers on their 50th Anniversary Tour, along with The Fortunes, PJ Proby, Brian Poole and Chip Hawkes.
Gerry appeared on BBC Breakfast on October 25th whilst touring with the 60’s Gold Tour.
Gerry was featured in the BBC documentary 62 Love Me Do which was based around the Beatles first release ‘Love Me Do’ in October 1962. It showed news, world events and everyday life in 1962 as well as showbiz news. This documentary is often repeated on BBC Four.
Gerry and The Pacemakers single ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ entered the pop charts at No 12 on September 16th last.
I was sent a copy of the programme relating to the BBC Last Night Of The Proms concert which was held at The Royal Albert Hall in September. On one particular page was an article on Carousel ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ There was a picture of Gerry and his band (so the caption said), but in actual fact it was a picture of Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas. A fauxpas by the BBC. Thanks to Garry High who sent me this. He wrote to the BBC director of the Proms, but heard nothing!!!!!!
GOLDEN YEAR 2013
As mentioned last time, a few more milestones in Gerry’s career.
1965. Gerry appears in the American TV show ‘Shindig’ alongside Jack Jones and Woody Allen. Sell out U.S. tour commences on April 29th at The Brooklyn Fox Theatre in New York.
1967. Gerry stars in West End Musical ‘Charlie Girl’ alongside Dame Anna Neagle and Derek Nimmo.
1970. Appears regularly on Childrens’ TV with ‘The Sooty Show’ and ‘Hold The Front Page’.
Stars in another musical ‘Pull Both Ends’ about life in a Christmas Cracker factory.
1973. June 28th 13,000 people pack Madison Square Garden New York for a sixties nostalgia show starring Gerry and The Pacemakers, Hermans Hermits, Wayne Fontana and The Searchers.
1981. At the memorial service for Liverpool Football club manager Bill Shankly at Liverpool Cathedral, the most moving moment as Gerry singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ for my pal Shanks. God Bless Him.
Many more milestones next time.
Finally, Gerry has asked me to thank you for the cards and good wishes sent to him for his 70th Birthday.
On behalf of Gerry, Ian Ashton (Gerry’s P.A.) The Pacemakers, Robert (Gerry’s Manager) and myself, I would like to wish you all and your families a very Happy Christmas and Healthy New Year.
Thanks once again for your continued support and loyalty.
Until Next Time,