1963 A storming return to the charts and a bright future
Dates unknown - Putney Ballroom, St. Mary's Hall, Putney
The Boathouse at Q (Kew Bridge)

Kidd buys an Echolette echo machine off the Hustlers vocalist Malcolm Fox.  It didn't last long though, as the tape kept breaking.

The photo shows Kidd at Hartlepool, sometime during this year, supported by local band Tony and the Meazzis.

January 10th Two months after release, "A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues" hits the UK charts for one week at no 48.  This track is popular around Liverpool (a breathless version features on Gerry & The Pacemakers debut LP) but Kidd's classic take got in there first.  It comes as a breath of hope as it is two years since his last charting entry, "Linda Lu".
January 29th, Tues Windsor Ex-Serviceman's Club "Grand Opening Nite".  The club had only opened the previous week with a show starring Joe Brown And The Bruvvers.
January 31st, Thursday The Pirates cut Greens' "Spanish Armada" and "Popeye" (essentially studio and stage warm-ups) which still exist but remain unreleased.  The same session produces Kidd's pounding version of Ritchie Barrett's "Some Other Guy" which was inexplicably withheld.  Annoying when the big Three's demo take will be released in a couple of months' time and will make the charts (#37 to be precise).  Future Pirate Nick Simper sees the band play this cut live and is inspired formed his group "The Some Other Guys".
February 1st, Friday "People And Places", a new Granada light entertainment-cum-current affairs programme places its featured guests in themed settings.  Kidd and his Pirates theme is - wait for it - on board a boat sailing along the Manchester Ship Canal!
March 16th, Saturday Big Beat Star Spectacular at the New Memorial Hall, Atherstone.  Danny Storm, Robby Hood and the Merrymen, Clifton All Stars Rock Band.
March 21st, Thursday Scunthorpe Baths.  Support act Terry Franks and the Avalons.  It was decided that as both bands were making mostly the same journey home, the Avalons vehicle would follow the Pirate's van.  The latter was pinkish-buff, except for the back door which was black and empblazoned with a skull & crossbones.  The trip back south was affected by a "pea-souper" fog and took the Avalons 10 hours, once they split from Kidd's company. and at the first stop the transport cafe had the biggest mugs seen.  The Avalon's drummer mentioned that Frank Farley should get the bug 'un, the latter threatening to hang, draw and quarter him in return.
March 27th Cardiff.  Support was by mates Nero and the Gladiators who - renamed to simply the Gladiators - were recently signed to HMV and had just got the excellent instrumental coupling "Bleak House"/"Tovarich" released.
April 27th Robbie Hood and the Lawmen appear at the Co-Operative Ballroom, Nuneaton.  Is this the same Robbie Hood?
April 29th A "Super Rock, Jive and Twist Night" at the Rubery Social Club, supported by the Rockin' Corvettes and the Cimmarons.  (The latter band featured lead guitarist Rick Price who went on to the Move and Wizzard with Roy Wood.)  6/- admission, ticket-only.  Future New Pirate Nick Simper met Kidd and obtained his autograph.  He still remembers this first meeting with his idol as rather special.
May 11th St. Josephs Youth Club Dance, Reddish, Stockport.  Also on the bill were Carol Kay, and the Dynachords.
May 16th Gordon Mills' "I'll Never Get Over You" and the Kidd-Green collaboration "Then I Got Everything" are recorded at Abbey Road.  The latter was the last recorded song (part) written by Kidd.  Mick Green later noted that he often tried cajoling Kidd into writing more but nothing more was presented in finished form.  Green's name would go on to adorn many Dakotas cuts after he joined them in 1964.
May 26th, Sunday The Cavern, Liverpool.  Johnny and the guys were one of the first non-Liverpool bands to play this famous venue.
June 14th RELEASE: "I'll Never Get Over You"/"Then I Got Everything", (HMV POP 1173).  The first take of the A-side started off quicker, but slowed a bit toward it's final version.  An "edit" piece of the final chord riff that ends the song was put on once everyone was satisfied with the rest of the recording.  An unconfirmed rumour has it that ace session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan may have been brought in to 'improve' the guitar, however, any results remain under lock and key and as we all know Green's confident playing graced the final mix.

The writer was Gordon Mills, a member of the Viscounts who placed their original Buddy Holly-esque version on a flipside, and who would later unleash Tom Jones onto an unsuspecting world, whose physical stage act was doubtless influenced by the Guv'nor.

June 15th The California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Robby Hood (Mike West) and the Merry Men
Peter Nelson and the Travellers Saturday Night Special Date
admission 6/6
June 20 The Breaks Youth Club in Hatfield.
June 21 The California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Wayne Gibson and the Dynamic Sound
The Saracens Big Beat Night
admission 4/6
June 30th, Sunday The Oasis, Manchester.  The Oasis was the largest coffee bar and rhythm club in the North.  Young Peter Noone was so impressed by the group he formed Herman’s Hermits.  Local pre-Hollies band the Dolphins often played this venue and were influenced enough to stop Graham Nash plugging in his rhythm guitar.  In fact their single "Stay" features only Tony Hicks' guitar.
July 6th, Saturday "Thank your Lucky Stars"
ABC Lucky Stars (Summer Spin) 6:05 - 6:45 pm
Host: Pete Murray
Craig Douglas,
The Springfields,
Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band,
Rolf Harris,
Dorothy Baker,
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates,
spin-a-disc Sam Costa
July 25 "I'll Never Get Over You" reaches its highest chart placing in the UK charts, and in terms of raw sales becomes Kidd's largest hit to date, despite some heavy competition.  Reviews of the disc were generally very favourable, and their hopes were fully realised when it reached number 4.  The flip, "Then I Got Everything" was considered by one reviewer to be the better side and urged readers to flip the record over!
August 09, Friday

The group leave for Hamburg for a two-week spell at the Star Club.  On the following Tuesday (13th) they will fly back to the UK to appear on Associated Rediffusion twice-weekly Television's series, "Tuesday Rendezvous".  This is an essentially under 12's programme hosted by Howard Williams (later looking after Basil Brush), Bert Weedon and Muriel Young which nevertheless featured many top pop acts of the day.
August 30 Rediffusion TV: Ready Steady Go!
Episode 4:
The Springfields;
Johnny Kidd & the Pirates

A tiny article in one of the UK Pop papers reports that HMV are to record a live LP of the group during their visit to the Star Club during their Christmas visit.

September 2nd, Monday Johnny Kidd was one of the first acts to be signed up to appear at "The Pop Ball", held at the Lyceum Ballroom, London, on this day.  After the show, they chatted and posed for photos with Freddie and the Dreamers, plus Jean Burnnette.
September 7th, Saturday Today's dated "DISC" magazine contained an article, written by Johnny, about his experiences over in Hamburg, and how they were so good he snapped up an opportunity to do another stint - over the Christmas period!

You can read the rest rest of the article here.

September 8th, Sunday Kidd was lucky to escape serious injury when a car he was a passenger in somersaulted on the London to Dover road.  Frank Farley recalled Johnny's luck with cars was not good.

"Johnny was a very fast driver when he was behind the wheel.  In those days you didn't have an MOT certificate for your car or anything.  Bald tyres were the norm.  Johnny was fated I believe in some way.  Whichever vehicle he went in, whether he was driving or whatever, it had a mishap.  I can recall one incident when Johnny was driving.  We were, in fact, in the car with him.  We weren't going fast as there was thick snow covering the Yorkshire Moors.  It was the early hours of the morning.  All of a sudden we hit a lamp post.  It was the only lamp post for about fifty miles.  That's got to be unlucky."

September 10th, Tuesday The group go into the Paris Theatre in Regent Street to record the two sides of their current single "I'll Never Get Over You" and "Then I Got everything" for their appearance on "Pop Go The Beatles", at the BBC's Maida Vale studios (right) that very evening.  "Pop Go The Beatles" ran for fifteen weeks, from 5:00pm to 5:00pm, the fab four playing host each week to one of the top groups of the day.  The show allowed the Beatles to play numbers that their own output normally overshadowed.
September Johnny and his girlfriend Jean move in together in South Harrow, Middlesex.  The new home is ideally placed for the recording studios and London airport, and his mate Lord Sutch is only around the corner (or so).  One famous resident was "Carry On" actor Kenneth Connor.  In his later life Connor when asked about Johnny Kidd the neighbour, Connor remarked that he had never actually met Kidd, but remembered that he kept an immaculate lawn.....

Johnny Kidd was featured in this months' edition of "Hit Parade" which proudly boasted on the front cover - "All the latest news, views and reviews hot from the pop front!"

September 15th Kidd & his gang appear on Lance Percival's radio show "You're Joking Of course" along with girl duo the Caravelles.
September 19th Grays, Essex.  Supported by The Sundowners.  The following day the Pop Buccaneers were appearing in Coventry.  It's not unusual for a early-1960's touring band to put 70,000 miles per year under their belts.  The Pirates current touring van is a Commer similar to the one pictured, although it was an unreliable runner which required the services of the local milkman to push-start it on more than one occasion - not ideal in his new home area....
September 29th Peter Flee-Rakkers wedding, to which Johnny, the Tornados and a host of other artists were invited.  Kidd looked immaculate in a suit and top hat, which was complemented by his trademark eye-patch!  His wedding gift was a dozen cut-glasses, which Peter has kept polished to this day.
October 11th Abbey Road Studios.  Four numbers on this day are tracked - and all would see release.  "Hungry For Love" and "Ecstasy" were cut for the upcoming follow-up to "I'll Never Get Over You", while "My Babe" and "Casting My Spell" are two powerhouse performances by the Pirates without Kidd, both recorded in one take each.  This was part of a plan to split singer from group, though this was abandoned for the time being as groups seem to be definitely "in" at the moment.
October 16th St George's Hall, Bradford
John Leyton
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
The Saints
The Voltaires
Mike Sagar
The Tornados
Garth Cawood (compere)
October 21st, Monday The Granada, Mansfield
Joe Brown and his Bruvvers
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
The Big Three
Dee Dee Sharp
The Sundowners
Ted King (compere)
October 25th


"Go Man Go", lunchtime radio broadcast.  The show's residents were the David Ede Band and the programme was recorded at the Playhouse Theatre in the Haymarket.
The Granada, Greenford
Joe Brown and his Bruvvers
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
The Saints
Dee Dee Sharp
The Sundowners
Ted King (compere)
This gig was followed by two more on this tour, at Dartford and Edmonton ad are remarkable as Heinz split his trousers at all three, in different places!
November 5th

The Granada, East Ham, London
Joe Brown and his Bruvvers
The Tornados
Bee Bumble And The Stingers
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Vince Eager
Chris Wayne and the Echoes
Bobby Shafto

November 8th RELEASE: "Hungry For Love"/"Ecstasy", (HMV POP 1228).  Topside composed by Gordon Mills, this follow-up to Kidd's biggest hit whilst not quite hitting the same mark, still made for a reasonably satisfactory end of a successful year.  Everyone was on top form, Mick Green contributing a tight, economical solo on top of Frank Farley and Johnny Spence's ever-reliable foundation.  The flipside was a cover of a Ben E. king song.
9th November, Saturday  5:50 – 6:35 pm "Thank your Lucky Stars"
Host: Brian Matthew
Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas,
Joe Brown,
Freddie & The Dreamers,
Dion Di Mucci,
The Caravelles,
Johnny Kidd & The Pirates,
The Viscounts,
Timi Yuro,
Janice Nicholls,
spin-a-disc Joe Henderson
15th November, Friday Kidd and the Pirates join the "Billy J. Kramer Pop Parade" tour that kicks off in Luton.  Also appearing were the Fourmost; Houston Wells and the Marksmen; Tommy Quickly; the Caravelles; the Marauders.  The Dakotas, Billy's resident backing group were given second billing credited in their own right, probably due to their own success in 1963 with their instrumental "The Cruel Sea".  The Compere was Ted King.

After the tour ended, Kidd commented in an interview that the Pirates were due to cut their own single and that soon he would be cutting an LP and that the company [HMV] were giving him a 'free hand' with it.

November 28 "Hungry For Love" stays in the UK Top Fifty for ten weeks, but only reaches a disappointing number 20.  Nevertheless, it rounds off what has probably been Kidd's most successful year chart-wise.
December 02nd, Monday The Pavilion, Bath.  7.30pm-10.30pm.  Admission 4/6.  "2 groups at every session".

Bristol instrumental group the Eagles who were local-ish were on the week previous, while the Hollies were on the week before, having broken the Top Twenty with their cover of the coaster's "Searchin".  The Hollies had been influenced enough by Kidd and his Pirates to prevent Graham Nash plugging in his guitar to let lead guitarist Tony Hicks take it all on a-la Mick Green - check out their third single "Stay" where he carries all guitar duties.

December 07 "Disc" magazine features a self-penned article by the Kidd regarding the recent good fortunes, a great tour and looking forward to the Star Club where he will record a live LP, which has been planned for months.  A previous magazine piece mention that it will be live EP, but also mentions Kidd's hopes to do a studio LP early in the New Year.
December 13 The California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Russ Sainty and the Nu-Notes
The Telstars
Adm 5/-

Sales of Kidd's second EP, simply titled "Johnny Kidd" are healthy - maybe sales are that good that it impacts the progress of the current single ("Hungry For Love", which also appears here), keeping it from advancing further.  Indeed the original EP from 1960 begins shifting faster than ever as well, proving that new Kidd material would be welcomed.

The following day's "Record Mirror" runs a feature on Kidd and the Pirates where Kidd theorises that it is the song which must sell for his success, rather than himself.  Read the whole article here.                                                         

December 19 City Hall, Salisbury, Wilts.  Johnny & co were supported by local band the Bob Charles Combo.  The website states that they "work closely with Salisbury promoters and amateur groups to help give local talent exposure throughout the year".
December 21 Hastings Pier, Sussex.  Johnny was asked about his top ten Rock 'n' Roll acts - he numbered the Pirates amongst them!
December 24 The gang leave for Hamburg where they will begin a two-week stint at the Star Club.  Their recording company label HMV, were to have recorded material for a live LP (or EP, depending on source) during this tour of the Star Club, but it didn't come off.  Presumably this idea was shelved when the idea re-focussed on Kidd and co recording a fully-fledged studio LP in the New Year, a great shame as it would have made an invaluable record of a Kidd live performance, plus in the event an LP of any description would remain unreleased.
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