1962 Rock 'n' Roll is dead, long live R 'n' B
January Stanley Dale sells Johnny Kidd's contract to the George Cooper Organisation.  Other acts already on Cooper's roster include Joe Brown, Marty Wilde, Bert Weedon, Jess Conrad, and later on the Tornados and Heinz.  Dale - like other promoters - would organise tours around the country with a selection of his acts, and Johnny Kidd was one likely to pack 'em in at a venue.  Not that Health & Safety and Welfare were prime considerations - despite a dearth of fast roads various groups huddled in their vans would travel hundreds of miles between gigs sometimes, like from Southampton to Carlisle.  Johnny Irving, or "Irvo" - top friend of Kidd - was the groups "Roadie", or main chauffer, equipment carrier and set-up technician.
January 11 Granada Cinema, East Ham

Joe Brown, who was previewing his upcoming new single "A Picture Of You", was not an easy performer to follow.  The climaxing highlight was a routine where he played the guitar behind the back of his head (years before Hendrix).  Johnny Kidd and the Pirates were one of a few acts that could match Brown.  Dressed in all-black leather outfits they opened up with "Please Don't Touch" and soon had the audience on their side.

Shane Fenton and his group were halfway through their run of hits - read their story here.

January 19 RELEASE: "Hurry On Back To Love"/"I Want That".  This R'n'B record (before the term as well-known) was first promoted on ATV Television on an edition of "Thank Your Lucky Stars".  It was also promoted on "Juke Box Jury, "Disc-A-Go-Go" and a special EMI spectacular on Radio Luxembourg.  None of these shows are known to exist.  One reviewer noted that if this disc broke big for Kidd, he wouldn't be surprised to see many other top bands follow the R'n'B course instead of Rock 'n' Roll or Pop.

Around this time Johnny Patto (right) leaves the Pirates due to illness - he is suffering from severe ulcers - and is replaced by an old mate of Spence and Farley's, Mick Green, who was once a Wayfaring Stranger with Farley and Spence back in 1958.  Patto would re-appear as a member of the Frays in a couple of years' time.

JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES #4 Johnny Kidd (vocals); Mick Green (lead); Johnnie Spence (bass); Frank Farley (drums).  (January 1962 - March 1964)
Date unknown TV appearance - "Beat The Border" (Border Television).  A great set included, "Please Don't touch"; "If You Were The Only Girl In The World"; "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues"; "A Little Bit Of Soap"; Linda Lu"; "I Can Tell"; You Got What It Takes"; "Shakin' All Over"; "Feel So Fine".  All believed wiped.

Photo - Johnny Spence (bass); Frank Farley (drums); Johnny Kidd; Mick Green (guitar).

March 4th, Sunday Dudley Hippodrome, West Midlands.  Johnny & co. closed the first half, and appeared with Vince Eager, Nelson Keene, The Echoes, Bert Weedon, Roly Daniels, and Tommy Bruce.  The host was John Smith.  Johnny remembers that the first time Tommy Bruce shared a big bill with him the poor lad was a quivering wreck!
April 10th Carfax Assembly Rooms, Oxford
April 27th "Rock 'n' Twist" at Crayford Town Hall.  Admission 5/-.
May 2nd Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff.  Promoter: Don Arden

Jerry Lee Lewis (headliner), plus Johnny Kidd & The Pirates; The Viscounts; Vince Eager; The Echoes; Mark Eden; Dave Reid (compéré).  Piccadilly  newcomer Danny Storm also joined the tour.

Sunday 29th April - City Hall, Newcastle 
Monday April 30th - De Montford, Leicester
Read a review of this show here.
Tuesday May 1st - Town Hall, Birmingham
Wednesday May 2nd - Sophia Gardens Pavilion, Cardiff
Thusday May 3rd - King Georges Hall, Blackburn
Friday May 4th - Gaiety, Grimsby (JLL + Echoes only)
Saturday May 5th - Guildhall, Portsmsouth
Sunday May 6th - Danillo, Cannock
Monday May 7th - Essoldo, Brighton
Tuesday May 8th - Colston Hall, Bristol
Wednesday May 9th - City Hall, Sheffield
Thursday May 10th - St. Georges Hall, Bradford
Saturday May 12th - Theatre Royal, Norwich
Sunday May 13th - Cecil cinema, Hull
Monday May 14th - Majestic Cinema, Mitcham
Tuesday May 15th - Essoldo, tunbridge Wells
Friday May 18th - St. Andrews Hall, Glasgow
Sunday May 20th - Torquay Princess

May 10th


(The Victorian-built) St George's Hall, Bradford.  The Jerry Lee Lewis "Great Balls Of Fire" tour included - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates; The Viscounts; Vince Eager; The Echoes; Mark Eden; Danny Storm; Buddy Britten.  Dave Reid was the compéré.

Kidd and co featured a new number in their show, Bruce Channel's "Hey Baby!" and closed the first half of each show.  Lewis was not happy about having them on "his" tour as they were giving him a real run for his money in terms of audience reaction, especially as their slot was before he came onstage.

This tour was Lewis' first return to UK shores after his disastrous tour in 1958 after he's married his 13-year old cousin (at that time legal in the US state he came from).

May 14th Taking a break from the Jerry Lee Lewis tour, the first of four consecutive dates at the Cavern, Liverpool.  Johnny Kidd was the first southern beat group to be booked at this legendary club (Emile Ford, The John Barry Seven and The Shadows were the previous southern acts), the next week it was the turn of Mike Berry and the Outlaws.  Kidd was un-nerved in that members of big local groups filled each audience, taking notes...!  While appearing here their van was broken into and suits and equipment stolen, the third such incident in 1962 alone.

Mick Green remembers that the stage was not wood, but concrete and he tried to warn Kidd off from throwing his cutlass, which he did anyway.  The prop bounced off the stage, into the audience, and road manager Johnny Irving had a time chasing one lad round Liverpool who ran off with it!  After numerous complaints from venue managers, plus the fact that insurance was increasingly pricey and difficult to get hold of, this side of Johnny's act had to be dropped.

June 4th Bruce channel commences a four week tour, initially at Granada theatres, then two weeks of dance hall dates.

Bruce channel (headliner), plus Johnny Kidd & The Pirates; Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers; Frank Ifield; Dick charlesworth; Jackie Lynn; The Barons; Jack & Tommy Scott; Bobby Shafto; Beryl Bryden.  Compéré was Dis Disley.

04th - Maidstone (right)
05th - Aylesbury
06th - Bedford
07th - Mansfield
08th - Grantham
09th - Tooting
10th - Walthamstow
11th - Dartford
12th - Kettering
13th - Woolwich (right)
14th - Kingston
15th - Harrow
16th - Slough
17th - Rugby

18th - Town Hall, Cheltenham (right)
19th - Imperial Hall, Waltham Cross
20th - Town Hall, Oxford

On Thursday 21st June, Channel and the Barons broke with the tour to play at the Tower Ballroom, Liverpool, along with the Beatles.  Delbert McClinton, Channel's harmonica player, took time between shows teaching John Lennon how to play.

22nd - Plaza Ballroom, Norwich
23rd - Corn Exchange, Wisbech

24th - Colston Hall, Bristol - At Colston Hall, Bristol, on 24th June Frank Farley remembers that his drums were set up on a rostrum consisting of four sections pushed together.  When Kidd threw his cutlass, his stool slipped between sections, making him kick the drums over.  It was doubly embarrassing as the audience were behind him as well as in front....

25th - Majestic Ballroom, Reading
26th - Public Hall, Wallington
29th - Co-Operative Hall, Gravesend
30th - Wilton Hall, Bletchley

July Johnny and the boys partake in a short tour of Hamburg.  With top Liverpool bands making the musical ante very competitive there was little room for being slack.  The trip sharpened up Kidd and the Pirates and also discovered more tunes that the Mersey bands were already playing.  At the end of this trip, it was probably no surprise that "Shakin' All Over" was top of the German Hit Parade.
July 28th A Pop magazine article on the Pirates as a group refers to their days of rehearsing in their previous incarnation of the Wayfaring Strangers and mentions how rehearsing together and working out new sounds is currently just as important to them.  It goes on to sat "Their efforts have resulted in their waxing an HMV single and their hoping to emulate the Shadows!" - is this reference to "Popeye", "Spanish Armada" or "String Picnic" which were though to have been recorded as either run-throughs or recording balance tests, rather than a full-blown session for a potential single?
August 10 The Cavern organised a special Liverpool riverboat Shuffle aboard MV Royal Iris.  Johnny and the Pirates were supported by the Beatles and the (pre-Billy J. Kramer) Dakotas.  Pete Best was booted out of the pre-fab four within the week.
September 26th, Tuesday Almost ten months since Kidd recorded anything for HMV, although the break had seen an unprecedented advance in his groups style and sound.  As a unit they are tuned up a treat thanks to the hard gigging and the competitive Hamburg trip in the Summer.  The latter  presented an opportunity to filch some material off the Mersey bands and today the group cut the remarkable "I Can Tell" with Green's breathtaking solo.  This is Mick Green's, Johnny Spence and Frank Farley's first recording as Pirates.
September 29th, Friday Floral Hall, Morecambe.  Support was the local Alan Taylor Orchestra.  Admission was 3/- (15p) on the door from 7:00pm
October 7th, Sunday Southall Community Centre, backed by local band Terry Franks and the Avalons.  Future Pirate Nick simper was among many local musicians who came to watch the influential Kidd and the Pirates.
October 17th Three weeks after their Pirate recording debut comes another visit to Abbey Road to cut a version of Arthur Alexander's "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues".  Some subtle double-tracking bolster the guitar sound a tad  most ten months since Kidd recorded anything for HMV, although the break had seen an unprecedented advance in his groups style and sound.  This was Mick Green's, Johnny Spence and Frank Farley's first recording as Pirates, and today they cut the remarkable "I Can Tell" with Green's breathtaking solo.
November 13th


City Hall, Sheffield.
B. Bumble and the Stingers
Joe Brown and his Bruvvers
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Vince Eager
Chris Wayne and the Echoes
Bobby Shafto
November 9th




RELEASE: "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues"/"I Can Tell" (HMV POP 1088).  This R'n'B powerhouse coupling shows off the new band on record for the first time, having benefited by their recent Hamburg trip. 

To promote the release, the group recorded a Rhythm 'n' Blues set for BBC Radio and on Saturday November 16th appeared on ITV's "Thank your Lucky Stars".  Also, a short Granada tour was set up, including the Tornados (with Clem Catinni and Alan Caddy), who were still doing well in the charts with "Telstar".  Also appearing were Joe Brown and the Bruvvers; The Echoes; Chris Wayne; Bobby Shafto; Vince Eager; B. Bumble & The Stingers (headliners).

November 30th The California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire.
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, plus local support from Philip De Ford, plus The Zephyrs.  Admission is a mere 3/6 into one of the largest venues of its type in the country.
November 17th - Saturday "Thank your Lucky Stars"
Host - Brian Matthews

Max Bygraves;
Pat Boone;
The Kaye Sisters;
Joe Brown;
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.
December 10th Robbie Hood and the Merrymen make an appearance at Tamworth's Assembly Rooms, supported by the Swinging Deltas.
December 14th The Tornados with Alan Caddy and Clem Catinni on board top the US Charts - the first UK pop group proper to do so.
December 15th, Sat The Tornados (with Alan Caddy and Clem Catinni on board) are presented with a gold disc on tv's "Thank your Lucky Stars" after topping the million sales with "Telstar".  A week later they top the US Charts - the first UK pop group to do so.
December 16th, Sun Something goes here....
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