As mentioned last time, the ‘Gerry Cross The Mersey’ shows were to follow a different format. Myself, along with my wife Jean, were at the last show of the spring Tour at The Forum, Billingham and what a show. First up were The Pacemakers with their covers of some of the greatest 60’s hits. This had people clapping and singing along and set us all up for a great night. As individuals, these guys are great musicians and great singers. I particularly enjoyed Joe singing Handbags and Gladrags, despite the fact he was suffering with flu!!
After the Pacemakers finished to rapturous applause, it was the turn of a new girl, Rachel Sinnetta. When she walked on stage, I thought it was Sandie Shaw. Her set included songs by Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark to name a few and she even took her shoes off to perform a Sandie Shaw hit. She was excellent and added a new dimension to the show. Rachel closed the first half to enthusiastic applause.
After the interval it was time for the man the crowd had all come to see.
Gerry came onto the stage to a crescendo of applause and was straight into ‘How Do You Do It?’ I hadn’t seen Gerry on stage for twelve months as a result of his illness, but his voice was as strong as ever and he was on top form. He went through the hits and it was good to hear his rendition of the Eagles ‘Peaceful Easy Feeling’. As always he chats and jokes with the audience often on a one to one basis. After ‘Walk Alone’ he left the stage to a standing ovation. It was great to see him back and everyone went home after a great evening.
There are dates this September for more Gerry Cross The Mersey Shows and also from February through to May 2016.
From October 6th to November 16th the All Star 60’s show will take to the road.
Please note that Gerry will only be appearing at the Scottish venues, namely Perth Concert Hall on November 2nd, The Music Hall Aberdeen on the 3rd, and the Pavilion Theatre Glasgow on the 4th. The bill at the Scottish venues will also include Brian Poole and The Tremeloes , ( with original members Chip Hawkes and Dave Munden), The Troggs and Badfinger. The venues where Gerry is not performing, The Pacemakers will still be on the bill along with the Ivy League as well as the afore mentioned.
On July 9th, Gerry was the honoured guest at a special charity showing of his 1964 film Ferry Cross The Mersey. The venue was the new Museum of Liverpool situated at the Pier Head, where of course you board the famous Ferry to cross the Mersey. So it was very appropriate. The event was organised by the charity Clapperboard and before the film was shown, Gerry took part in a question and answer forum which was chaired by Merseybeat officinado and author Spencer Leigh. Amongst the guests were Merseybeat songstress Beryl Marsden (no relation), Dean Sullivan (of Brookside fame) and Margaret Marsden (wife of the late Fred Marsden, original Pacemaker’s drummer and Gerry’s brother).
If you ever visit Liverpool, the museum at the Pier Head is well worth seeing, as it shows Liverpool life and there is a section on the Merseybeat scene with several artefacts including one of Gerry’s first guitars.
Gerry was featured in the Daily Express a couple of months ago as The Celebrity Traveller. He stated how he loves Australia and New Zealand and his worst trip (though he was working) was in 1965 when he went to Warsaw to perform on a television show. He also mentioned that he loves America, but also his love for Liverpool as it is constantly changing. Gerry was pictured at Mijas in Spain where he has a family home. A nice article.
Gerry recorded an interview for a BBC4 TV documentary entitled ‘How To Make A Number One Record’. It has been shown several times on TV and no doubt will be repeated in the future. It shows clips of him singing his first three No 1’s. He went on to say that with him being the first recording artist to have his first three records at No1, it is something that will always be associated with him and it will stay with him forever.
I don’t know if you ever watch Pointless on BBC1, it is on most evenings around teatime. If you don’t know the formula, the contestants have to answer questions that a random sample of people have not given the answer to. Anyway, recently the jackpot question was to name any Gerry and The Pacemakers top forty singles that were pointless. The contestants answered Ferry Cross The Mersey, which was a high points score. The answers that were Pointless were ‘I’ll Be There’ Walk Hand In Hand, It’s Gonna Be Alright and surprisingly, I’m The One.
Gerry will be celebrating his 73rd birthday on September 24th as will Pacemaker Tony Young who will be 55. We send them both our best wishes.
Gerry and his wife Pauline will be celebrating their Golden Wedding on October 11th and we also wish them all the best for this special day. What a milestone and they say showbiz marriages don’t last!! Well done to them both.
My thanks to Gerry and Ian Ashton for their help with this newsletter.
Best wishes, Phil Tucker.
As I am about to post this newsletter, I have just heard of the sad news of the passing of Cilla Black at the age of 72. For those of us who remember the 60’s Merseybeat days, she was the cloakroom attendant at the world famous Cavern club and was encouraged to get up on stage by the likes of Gerry and The Beatles. One of her favourite songs to perform in those early days was Fever. After being signed up by Brian Epstein, she first toured with Gerry and The Pacemakers and her first acting role was in Gerry’s film Ferry Cross The Mersey.
Gerry appeared on ITVs Good Morning Britain on August 3rd which featured tributes from fellow artists and the public. Gerry said that he knew she would always make it and become a big star.
Cilla had a holiday home in Spain only a few miles from Gerry. Gerry’s wife Pauline and Cilla were very close friends as they had both worked together in Liverpool since leaving school and would visit the Cavern on a lunch time. The rest as they say is history.
Our condolences go out to Cilla’s family and friends.