I am writing like crazy to finish my book FANTASIES OF A GERIATRIC DJ. The story continues.
"Billy J Kramer ? Have you really got him performing at your pub ?
"I have indeed."
"Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas, that is amazing !"
Gordon smiled. I could hear his smile coming down the phone. "Actually It's Billy J Kramer and the New Dakotas these days."
"Little Children, Trains And Boats And Planes, Look Through Any Window," I quoted some of the great British rock and roll singer's greatest hits. This performance was certainly something I fully intended to headline on New City Sounds. One way or another I just had to get Billy J into the studio for an interview. No, better idea, I would take Double Decker Disco, park it outside the pub and interview the great Billy J Kramer there.
"What's the name of your pub Gordon ? In my excitement I had forgotten to ask.
"It's The While Hard on Whaddon Way in Bletchley."
"Little Children, The Robo Brothers know that song," Geoffrey said.
"I've got an idea," Billy whispered to his brother. "I'll tell you later when Dad's not listening."
Gordon's pub was a bit smaller than Peaches but it was everything Peaches Night Club was not. "I am just the manager," Gordon explained, "I am not the landlord so I have to do what the brewery tell me to do but they give me a pretty free hand."
"Looks to me that you are doing a good job."
"I am," he smiled. "The same brewery runs Peaches and I am working towards persuading the bosses to let me take over there as manager."
"But it's not as good as your pub."
"it will be when I am in charge, besides I do not see why I can't manage both, The White Hart and Peaches Night Club !"
This man had ambition.
Larna came home from the first day of her teaching practice exploding with news. I listened wasting to hear how she got on in the classroom, what the kids were like and so on but that was not the cause of her effervescence.
"Oh Max your Leon School may have its disco but Radcliffe School has The Radcliffe Rollers."
"Roller skates ?"
"No silly, The Radcliffe Rollers are a steel band like they have in the Caribbean."
"I have never been to the Caribbean."
"You don't need to Max, just come to Wolverton and The Radcliffe School. Max you have just got to hear them."
I did hear them and I will tell you all about that but first I had better finish the story of Billy J Kramer. There's quite a bit I need to tell you quite a bit."
I guess that Billy J was the same age as my brother. Big Brother Jimmy was no longer a rock and roll star but a business man. Billy J was a rock and roll star all the way to his Y-fronts ! As soon as the performance was over I would write to Elvis Presley and tell my friend all about it.
My two sons were getting increasingly hard to say NO to. I was hesitant about their coming to The White Hart, after all they were under age but Gordon said it would be fine and legal if they were part of the show. I did not think about it then but as I write now I am sure Billy and Geoffrey must have contacted Gordon without my knowing it and fixed everything.
Billy J sang Little Children to the delight of the crowd at The White Hart. The Robo Brothers took to the stage with their own composition We Are The Children, they were not children, certainly not little children, but the applause eclipsed Billy J. After the applause the three sang Little Children in its original form.
"I don't actually have a recording contract any more," Billy explained. "But I quite fancy making a new record , Billy J and the Robo Brothers."
It was a nice idea. We exchanged phone numbers and I said I would think about it. My sons were not prepared to let me think for long. And then...............
"Jim, I need you to help me get two recording contracts."
"For your sons ?"
"That's one contract," I explained, "The other is for The Radcliffe Rollers."
"The Who ?"
"No, not The Who, The Radcliffe Rollers."
"You had better come and see me."
Entering his office I was met with: "So you have three acts," Jim began. "Billy J Kramer, The Robo Brothers and these kids from Radcliffe School in Wolverton"
I could see Jim's mind working and knew that one way or another he was about to turn the dial right up to eleven.
"This is Max Robinson from New City Sounds Radio, I wonder if it would be possible for me to bring Jim Marshall from Marshall Amplification to your school to see The Radcliffe Rollers."
"I will get our head of music to call you back."
He called you back just fifteen minutes later. "Tomorrow, after school we have a rehearsal, could you make it here for four o'clock ?"
"I can but I will have to ask Jim."
Jim changed his diary. The moment The Radcliffe Rollers had struck up the first few bars of music Jim turned the volume up to one hundred and eleven.
"Never mind about finding a recording company," Jim said. "You and me are going to setup our own record label. We have got three fantastic acts. I've got a recording studio at the factory..."
"I've got studios at the radio, obviously."
Jim held up his hand. "Hear me out. This will be independent of New City Sounds, we don't want Milton Keynes Development Corporation involved. I own Marshall Amplification outright so we use what we want but this will be nothing to don with the company. You will own half and I will own half."
I was doing my best to keep up.
"We will call the label R and M Records - Robinson and Marshall. Distribution will be easy and I know exactly how we will launch the label and snatch the top three places in the chart, who takes number two and who takes number three."
"Yes Jim," that was all I could manage to say. Then it occurred to me that my brother owned a national chain of record shops.
Billy J Kramer released Little Children, The Robo Brothers sand Teenager In Love and The Radcliffe Rollers covered Michael Jackson's Ben.
You know what a serendipity moment is don't you ? A sudden flash of inspiration. That would be a good name for a song don't you think ? Serendipity. Jim Marshall's entire life was serendipity.
"You know of Ceasar's Palace Night Club in Luton ?"
"I have heard of it but it is outside New City Sounds area."
"I hope you have heard of it, it's the current Club Of The Year. It's capacity of one thousand five hundred is sold out for Easter Sunday, I have arranged for our three acts to be the warm up for the main act and we will launch R and M Records.
"Who is the main act then ?"
"The Bay City Rollers ?"
"Cliff Richard ?"
"Don't be silly !"
"Well who is it ? It aint Elvis 'cos he would have told me."
"Not Elvis, no. Not quite as big as The King but not far off."
"Who then ?"