Friday, December 08, 2006


In 1969 Jimmy and I did a summer season in Margate, Kent. It was at the Golden Garter Saloon. I remember staying up all night to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. At the end of the season I briefly moved back to Cleveleys, to my old address almost on the seafront. My bedroom was the little window right above the front door. I soon decided to move to London. I never went back to live in Cleveleys, so this is the last place I stayed. The guesthouse was owned by Mrs Heaton and was just two doors down from where I had lived with my parents. Mrs Heaton's daughter and son-in-law had a place in London so I went to live with them. This was in East Dulwich. While here, I heard The Beatles Abbey Rd. album for the first time. I think this year marked the big turning point in my life for I found a job with the Detroits Irish Showband and eventually, a recording contract with Philips Fontana..

Thursday, December 07, 2006

At the Dolphin Bar

It's amazing how many times, when I'm looking for material, that I go back and look at the Dolphin Bar. There were many talented acts with so much original material. I can review that in my mind and sometimes it gives me great ideas of things I can do. Sometimes it's just little guitar tricks that I learned from people like Billy Street. Billy was one of those guitarists who had a way of making everything he did look great.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Speedak, Blackpool

Here is another Speedak photograph. It was probably taken during the same session as the others. Jimmy is holding his Hofner or Hohner guitar. I don't remember which, but as you can see, it is highly customized. On the body of the guitar you will see the tooled leather. Jimmy did all his own work. This was probably done before the Telecaster owned by Waylon Jennings. On the neck Jimmy put his name. I think I remember him doing this with old pearl buttons that he located. I would have to ask to know for sure. Nevertheless, you can see he is incredibly talented. Sometimes he even made our stage clothes.
This photo is about 38 years old and I'm holding the same Gretsch Chet Atkins guitar that I played last night at the Beef Baron in Baldwin, Georgia. A guitar I have now owned for over 40 years. The sound it produces still amazes me.