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Gaumont's place in pop history realised

10:00 01 September 2007

THEY were pivotal moments in pop history when now-legendary acts such as The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix performed in a humble high street venue in Suffolk.
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THEY were pivotal moments in pop history when now-legendary acts such as The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix performed in a humble high street venue in Suffolk.

And, as they took to the stage at the old Gaumont Cinema in Ipswich, met with fans or chatted to journalists, they were captured by the photographers of the East Anglian Daily Times.

For many newspapers which similarly covered the acts in their area, rock 'n' roll was not considered important in the 1960s and some even ditched their archive photos when they moved offices.

But, luckily, the EADT did not make that mistake, and now the images have been collected together in a new book, Legends On Tour - The Pop Package Tours Of The 1960s.

Among them are images of the most famous name of all - The Beatles - when they trod the boards of the little cinema - now the Regent Theatre - during whistle-stop tours in 1963 and 1964.

And on April 1, 1967, the Jimi Hendrix Experience wowed the Ipswich public at the Gaumont during their month-long tour with The Walker Brothers, Cat Stevens and Engelbert Humperdinck.

These were the days when the top stars weren't too proud to play high street venues as they built their careers gigging towns up and down the country before the super stadiums and festivals took over.

The book has a special section on the Beatles' UK tours and that chapter includes several photos of the Fab Four at the Ipswich Gaumont when they topped the bill there on Saturday, October 31, 1964.

The photos, from the EADT's archives, show The Beatles being interviewed before the shows.

Author Martin Creasy said the Ipswich Gaumont is included in six of the seven other tours featured in the book.

He said: “I'm a journalist on the Aldershot News in Hampshire and many of the photos from the seven tours featured in the book are from our newspaper archives.

“It's incredible to think that the 30-odd photos taken of Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, the Walkers and Engelbert in Aldershot were not published at the time, but rock 'n' roll wasn't considered important by most local papers back in the 1960s.

“In fact, the Aldershot paper did quite well to send a photographer along in the first place. Many big city evening newspapers didn't bother unless The Beatles were in town, and a surprising number of newspapers binned their old photos for space reasons when they moved offices.

“Thankfully, the East Anglian Daily Times didn't make that mistake and The Beatles photos from Ipswich are a nice addition to that chapter.”

Among the other big names to appear on the old Gaumont stage and in the book are Roy Orbison, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, Gene Pitney, The Hollies, Herman's Hermits, The Troggs and The Searchers.

Legends is available on the internet and at all good book shops.

The Ipswich Gaumont concerts featured in the book:

Wednesday May 22, 1963: Roy Orbison, The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Terry Young Six, Erkey Grant, Ian Crawford, David Macbeth and Louise Cordet. Compere Tony Marsh.

Saturday October 31, 1964: The Beatles, Mary Wells, Sounds Incorporated, Tommy Quickly, The Remo Four and The Rustiks. Compere Bob Bain.

Sunday May 16, 1965: The Kinks, The Yardbirds, Goldie and the Gingerbreads, the Riot Squad, the Mickey Finn.

Monday October 24, 1966: The Hollies, The Small Faces, Paul Jones, Paul and Barry Ryan, The Nashville Teens, Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers, Robb Storme and the Whispers. Compere Ray Cameron.

Sunday March 12, 1967: Gene Pitney, The Troggs, Sounds Incorporated, David Garrick, Normie Rowe, The Loot.

Wednesday April 5, 1967: Roy Orbison, The Small Faces, Paul and Barry Ryan, The Settlers, P P Arnold, Sonny Childe and TNT, Robb Storme and the Whispers.

Saturday April 1, 1967: The Walker Brothers, Engelbert Humperdinck, Cat Stevens, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Californians, The Quotations. Compere Nicky Jones.

Sunday, November 19, 1967: Engelbert Humperdinck, the Rockin' Berries, Gig Galon, and Lance Percival.

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