rambling of an aging bassman

3. The Blackhawks

Now we had a proper group and away we went! Hitting all the local high spots from 1958 to 1961 that was also a time of fast change. Every day something new, and the biggest thing to change the world of music for every, was drifting over from the USA ---- the Fender Stratocaster !

This was the Holy Grail, the shape, the sound ,the Image and a new invention that was a fantastic addition to creating new sounds - the Tremolo Bar! This bar allowed you to move all the strings up and down to give a 'Twangy' shimmering sound that completed the guitarists arsenal of effects. Now the problem. In 1958 my income was £1 Five shillings per week that was from a part time job after school 15 shillings plus 10 bob a week I was making from playing, mega bucks!

Now, if you could manage to buy a Strat which were like 'Hens Teeth' there was a little matter of a price tag of nearly £200! It may have been a million, totally out of my reach. Luckily other guitar makers came up with a solution that could be fitted to old guitars like mine, the Palm Tremolo! And a more realistic price of a Fiver I was up and running! Good old Framus.

Bernie Holloway my best mate was very lucky to have 'Royalty' for a father, the god of all and plenty, he was the local Tally man! Bernie therefore was able to get things for the group on the 'drip' and this gave us an 'edge' over other bands as we had the latest gear and instruments, apart from a Strat! We got kitted out for our first colour photos in Gold Bomber Jackets, Lilac Jeans, Silver Sued Winkle picker shoes and multicolour ties!! All right, you may have noticed from the photo that my keeks are half way up my legs but I am a big lad and Bernie is small and everything was, wholesale! Also I am playing Bernies Blue Solid Lucky Severn Guitar with white floating pickups and George is playing one of the very first Strats that came into Liverpool. This was loaned by a local sailor who had just brought it back from the states.

We had plenty of work and played four to six times a week and had a great time and leant a great deal about performing.

The next step? Making a record!

Next: We Make A Record

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