1961 Mixed fortunes, a mutiny, then a fresh start
January 9th Central Pier, Morecambe - The show in total ran between eight in the evening and two the following morning, breaks notwithstanding!  Entrance fee was 5/6 (five shillings and sixpence, or 27.5p in today's money).
January 30th Assembly Halls, Melksham, Wilts.  Then back to The Smoke for a recording session the following day.
January 31st Two cuts are recorded today, possibly for a new single, but ultimately will be canned for 22 years.  The poppy "More Of The Same" is contrasted by the smouldering "I Just Want to Make Love To You" with Kidds' voice probably at its most potent.  It would take the likes of the Rolling Stones to see this type of music gain a more public acceptance, but they were at least two years away from their first single.
February 2nd, Thursday Alan Caddy's 21st birthday - receives a AC15 amplifier.  He later owned the second Gibson guitar in the country - a Gibson ES355 TD Blond (Joe Brown owned the first).

Gig at the Majestic Ballroom, Bradford.  "Dancing 8 - 12".  Tickets were available to buy from the "Majestic Erricks", opposite Bradford Town Hall.  Local supporting groups were the Dingo's Rock 'n' Rhythm group, and the self-explanatory Crescent Jazz Band.

February 12 During February and March the group took part on a Granada tour with Gene Vincent, kicking off this evening at the Granada, East Ham.  Also on the tour were - Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages; Johnny Duncan and his Blue Grass Boys; Mark Wynter; Michael Cox; Terry Dene; Danny Rivers; Chris Wayne and the Echoes; Rory Blackwell; Vince Taylor and the Playboys.  Comperés were Mike and Bernie Winters. 

First dates included -
Feb 27, Kingston
Feb 28th, Dartford;
March 1st, Greenford;
March 2nd, Woolwich;
March 3rd, Sutton;
March 5th, Rugby.

February 27 Granada Ballroom, Kingston - Future Pirates Mick Green, Johnny Spence and Frank Farley (plus a young Jimmy Page) bunk in for free.  Spence, Farley and Johnny Patto would be inspired to go on to back Cuddly Dudley as a trio, cutting a single "Sittin' On A Train".  Kidd's friend Johnny Irving was the groups' Road Manager, driving them to gigs.
March 24, Friday

RELEASE: "Linda Lu" / "Let's Talk About Us" (HMV POP 853), released on the day the group played the Central Pier, Morecambe.  This was now some five months after they were recorded, the heavy touring commitments of the band probably stemmed any creative juices for an original title.

Nevertheless the pop press seems to take to the song, one review stating that it was "A strong and clever performance of a number that has plenty of difference about it.  Johnny lets fly with power and punch, aided by a welcome quantity of inventiveness".

April 14th The Assembly Rooms, Tamworth - "Teen Beat".
April The group promote "Linda Lu" on "Juke Box Jury", hosted by David Jacobs.  Although hidden from the panel, the audience can clearly see Kidd & co who wince on the jury delivering their verdict of a MISS.  Previously, "Shakin' All Over" had been voted a 'miss', so maybe this wasn't too much of a downer for the boys expectations, at least at the time.

TRIVIA:  David Jacobs would later present to the Tornados (with Caddy and Catinni) for their million-selling "Telstar", despite the fact that he'd previously introduced it on his radio show by saying "I'm sorry I have to play this..."

May 05th, Thursday Mike West and the Silhouettes appear at the Assembly Rooms in Tamworth.  Also on the bill are Danny Storm, plus the oddly-named Baby Bubbly David Da Costa.
May 25th A rare recording session for the lads today.  Three songs are tracked, two of which are "Bad Case Of Love", and "You Can Have Her", which were probably taken straight out of the band's current stage act.  The third is a Kidd original, "Please Don't Bring Me Down".  This version doesn't quite gel enough to make it as a single - that would happen a few months later on it's second attempt.  All the songs lack a bit of polish, but could have been ideal candidates for an interesting EP release, as by now there is enough unreleased "in the can".
May 27th, Saturday Appearance on "Thank your Lucky Stars", hosted by Pete Murray.  It featured Ronnie Hilton, George Chisholm and the Tradsters, Cleo Laine, Audrey Jeans and The Springfields apart from Kiss & co.

"Thank your Lucky Stars" is screened on the ITV channel between 5:45 – 6:10 pm but is not not networked as some of the regional ITV stations have not bought into it and show their own choice of programme instead.

Pop programming was still rare but the television companies would soon be aware of its increasing importance among the teenagers of the land.  Pretty soon the make-up of the Sixties would change forever, perhaps a direct result of people having enough of the lean  times experienced in the post-war years.

June 9th, Friday Central Pier, Morecambe - Another evening running between 8pm and 2am.

Read Brian Gregg's account of an encounter with local Teds at a North London gig....

August 17th, Friday "Please Don't Bring Me Down" is recorded in Abbey Road for the second time, a cleaner recording with Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar duties.  The previous attempt sounded closer to the band's live sound, but was considered a bit too rough for single release.  The B-side, "So What" features Morgan "Thunderclap" Jones on piano.  The keyboards added another dimension to the groups' sound and the track turns out to be a minor classic,
September 15th RELEASE: "Please Don't Bring Me Down" / "So What" (HMV POP 919).  After two years of recording, this single would become Kidd's second chat miss. 
September After the comparative failure of "Linda Lu" the feeling was beginning to grow that perhaps the best days of the group were over - especially now the hits have petered out.  Over a meal, Caddy, Gregg and Catinni give notice to Kidd that they are about to defect to Colin Hicks as his Cabin Boys on a tour to Italy.  Catinni had been unsure but was persuaded by the others that either all go or none.  They are replaced by Johnny Patto (Lead), Johnny Spence (bass) and Frank Farley (drums), previously with Cuddly Dudley and Red E. Lewis under the name the Redcaps.  Patto is lower-left in the photo.
JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES #3 Johnny Kidd (vocals); Johnny Patto (lead); Johnnie Spence (bass); Frank Farley (drums).
October 09th Teen Beat at the Assembly Rooms in Tamworth - Glen Dale, Roy Young, Robby Hood and His Merry Men; Admission is only 3/6.  "Mike West and the Silhouettes" appeared at the same venue earlier this year.
November 6th Another tour of the country kicks off in Kilmarnock with other Scottish dates soon after, but soon becomes the familiar cross-country event as most tours are in these times.  Their companions were headliner Gene Vincent, plus Jess Conrad, and Johnny Duncan and the Bluegrass Boys.
November 6th Another tour of the country kicks off in Kilmarnock with other Scottish dates soon after, but soon becomes the familiar cross-country event as most tours are in these times.  Their companions were headliner Gene Vincent, plus Jess Conrad, and Johnny Duncan and the Bluegrass Boys.

Also, the Tamworth Assembly Rooms were once again hosts to the differently-spelled "Robbie Hood and the Merrymen", plus Buddy Britten and Glen Dale.  7:30pm - 10:30pm for the princely sum of 3/6 (three shillings and sixpence - a bargain!).  Members of Britten's groups' later line-ups would of course become members of the New Pirates in 1966.

December 1st Kidd goes 'solo' into the studio for two tracks, backed by the Mike Sammes singers and orchestra.  Clive Westlake's blues-tinged "Hurry On Back To Love" becomes the next single, coupled with the equally remarkable "I Want That" with its shrill, tearing saxophone solo.
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