Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper  Mersey Beat

Dave Dee Sixties City

Picture the scene. Acres of cornflakes on tables covered by polythene sheets. The New Faces sitting by the kitchen sipping tea:The Silkie and The Four Pennies playing poker: Dave Dee, pint bottle of pale ale clutched firmly and semi-circled by Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich - drinking a toast. They toasted their favourite hotel manager, Peggy. It was her last night at the 'group' hotel where she's been for two years. Dave Dee and company were her favourites - they'd been cornflaking there since they were known as Dave Dee and The Bostons. Dave Dee says: "Work? It's great, but so tiring. Biggest drag is not having any time off. We're working on an LP which makes it worse. Still… "And our show? We can't do our show in lots of places because it's been a case of so many girls screaming and doing their nuts. The thing is that there's a lot of patter in our act. TALKING to an audience - and if you get all the screaming, you can't talk! Sure our humour is slightly blue but we're not offensive in any way, 'cos we do it so it won't be offensive. SWINGING CHAIN! For instance, we like to do our latest record by announcing 'If the chain is swinging then the seat's still warm!' The reaction is a laugh. On the stage show, everyone starts clapping after it."

And the future? "Going well. We're keeping our fingers crossed for the States. If we go over, we're not going to make anything out of it as far as money goes, but we don't lose either. You've got to speculate to accumulate." The boys obviously believe in promotion. Said Dave: "We're going to France and Germany just for TV shows. Once again - promotion." Actually, the boys have been abroad before. "We did Germany twice. In Hanover, Cologne and Hamburg. We did Hamburg three years ago as Dave Dee and The Bostons and got about £25 a week each. We sweated in the Top Ten Club for two months, working eight hours a night. We appreciated that a little bit more when we got back. It was hard work and a drag. But it did us good! You have time to experiment there. The audience didn't know you were experimenting. Actually, we could do well in Germany because our records sell well there. "First date in France is on May 13th We've been before on holiday but this time we're not having enough time to look round. We like doing the sites, like Versailles, in small doses. "Everything we've got has been through hard work. Pain, suffering and the will to keep going because one day you'll make it - every group hopes for that big break.

Dave Dee   Dave Dee Our break came because we met our managers - two better blokes you couldn't wish to have." Dave paused momentarily. "I want to have my own transport café one day. I've been in so many diabolical ones, being charged exorbitant prices. Yes, I'll genuinely invest in one and give good service. "And I want recognition for the group. So we can go to most countries and have people say 'There's Dozy' and 'There's Beaky,' not have people say 'I know you're in a group but who are you?' We've been going so long but only lately have people recognised us, It's the satisfaction of knowing you're somebody and not just another face." "I want to become a wealthy old age pensioner because I hate the thought of being old and having nowt and not being able to afford a gas fire. "I also want enough money to be able to repay my parents for keeping me going through the hard times in this business. I've always had them help me out with money - it's the same with any group unless they've got financial backing. The parents of all of us have helped. "And I'd like a month off from this work and go round the world and really burn it up, have a good time. I want to be able to go into any place, no matter how much it costs and really burn it up."

About the group history, Dave Dee said: "I didn't think we'd ever make it. We got in a rut - and worked five or six nights a week - but it was a straight line. Never getting any better. You see all these rubbishy groups making it - and we figured that 'You Make It Move' was our last bash. We were going to call it a day because we'd had a good run and would call it quits. "I didn't know what I'd do if we finished. Dozy and Beaky were going to join other groups. Mick was going into the motor trade and Tich into painting. Still, we think we can sustain our success because it's not a thing that has happened overnight. We've got all the experience and talent to back it up. That's enough. If you can entertain and keep people happy, you can be around for a long time. "I'm not saying we can be top all the time because no one stays on top all the time. The thing is there's so many other things you can do. Become another Goons, or Marx Brothers. Anything like that, because you can't be a pop group all the time. Age will catch up with you sometime or other. "We've made plans for this already, we've been planning. We hope to go into films and other things away from pop music."

Note: This article was published in 9th April 1966. The hotel mentioned at the beginning of the article was The Madison Hotel in Paddington. When Virginia and I moved to London we lived in an ensuite room at The Madison for nine months. It was a hotel frequented by groups and artists, and 'regulars' while we lived there included Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich, The Four Pennies, Hedgehoppers Anonymous, Ayesha and others. I became particularly friendly with Dave Dee and at the time I managed The Four Pennies. Before he was a pop star Dave was a policeman who was first on the scene in April 1960 when Eddie Cochran died in a car crash and Gene Vincent was severely injured. The police station held some of the items from the car including Vincent's guitar and Dave used to play it. He later left the group to become an A&R man and was also to become founder of a charity for disabled children. He passed away at the age of 67 of prostate cancer in January 2009.

Mersey Beat Magazine Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.

Article Text Bill Harry       Original Graphics SixtiesCity      Other individual owner copyrights may apply to Photographic Images

UK web hosting by Velnet Domain names | Search Engine Submission by Haabaa website directory | Submit Express | Web Hosting Shop