Sixties tour is Gerry Marsden’s last

Gerry Marsden, taking part in his last Sixties Gold Tour. Photo: Contributed

Gerry Marsden, taking part in his last Sixties Gold Tour. Photo: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Gerry Marsden talks about life on the road with the Sixties Gold Tour and why this one will be his last.

The line-up this year is stellar, with artists who have clocked up more than 50 Top 30 hits between them.

Vanity Fare, who scored in the latter years of the decade with hits like I Live For The Sun, Hitchin’ a Ride (which spawned a dance craze in the States) and Early In The Morning (the latter paid going gold) will be performing as well as backing other artists.

Love Affair’s Steve Ellis - known for songs like Everlasting Love, Rainbow Valley and Bringing On Back The Good Times - is one of the artists Vanity Fare will be backing, along with Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.

Brian was the original lead singer with The Tremeloes before leaving for a solo career. His place was taken by Chip Hawkes as the hits continued. Drummer Dave Munden also sang lead on some hits with his amazingly high voice.

The Tremeloes hit the top of the charts twice with Do You Love Me? and Silence Is Golden. Other hits included Call Me Number One, Even The Bad Times Are Good and Here Comes My Baby.

The Searchers were formed in 1959, the same year as The Tremeloes, and with the distinctive Rickenbacker guitar sound courtesy of John McNally, had hits galore during the 1960s.

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They enjoyed a trio of chart-toppers with Needles And Pins, Sweets For My Sweet and Don’t Throw Your Love Away, as well as many others. John is still in the band alongside bassist Frank Allen, who joined in 1964.

Top of the bill is Gerry And The Pacemakers, who made history as the first Liverpool band to reach number one. They were also the first band to have their first three singles reach the top of the charts – a feat not equalled until the 1980s when fellow Scousers Frankie Goes To Hollywood managed it.

Their hits included How Do You Do It?, I Like It, You’ll Never Walk Alone - which were their three chart-toppers - I’m The One and Ferry Cross The Mersey.

“There is no top of the bill really,” Gerry, who still lives on Merseyside, tells me from his home. “It’s all a great team.”

The thing about this tour is that Gerry, who will celebrate his 75th birthday just before, says it will be his last. Although he won’t be retiring completely.

“I’m going to stop doing the one-night stands. I’ve been doing it for long enough and I’m doing this one last tour as a thank you to the fans for coming out and supporting us for all these years.

“I’ll still be doing music. For instance, my Gerry Cross The Mersey shows will continue and I’ve been asked to write a second autobiography.”

With such a long career, he has lots of stories to tell.

“Yeah. I must have a million, it’s just remembering them all,” he laughs. “It’s all been entertaining and that’s what it’s all about. It’s not like a business – it’s a fun thing.”

There must be some highlights?

“Oh definitely. Our first three records getting to number one, meeting the Queen was brilliant and getting the MBE. Of course my association with Liverpool football team is a great thing for me.”

About the show Gerry says they’ll be playing as many of the hits as they can. Does he have any favourites among his hits?

“I have actually. Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying, Ferry Cross The Mersey and You’ll Never Walk Alone. But I like them all – you don’t record songs you don’t like.”

Will the final show be emotional?

“I think it’ll all be emotional as it’ll be the last time I play at many of these theatres and the last one (in Leeds) definitely will. I’ve been very lucky in my career to have worked with and met so many great people and this will be all good fun.”

• You can see the Sixties Gold Tour, with Vanity Fare, Steve Ellis, Brian Pools and The Tremeloes, The Searchers and Gerry and The Pacemakers at the Ipswich Regent on October 8; the Theatre Royal, Norwich, October 15 and Cambridge Corn Exchange on November 8.