Thursday, March 15, 2007

Missed It By That Much

If you were kicking around the British Islands in the 1950s, and some knacker asked you who was going to be a big star someday, I doubt you would have said the Beatles. You certainly wouldn't have heard of the Rolling Stones. People in the know might have offered Gerry Marsden, and his Pacemakers.

The video is the real deal. I like Gerry figuring out the hard way that a boom mike might be a no-no in a crowded club. He belts it out in the music hall tradition, in an unaffected Liverpool twang.

Brian Epstein went into the Cavern Club in Liverpool to discover his Silver Beatles and make his fortune, and found the lilliputian Liverpudlian Gerry Marsden, standing on a packing crate because the microphone stand wouldn't lower to his height, sitting in and singing along with his friends Paul, George, John, and Pete Best, the Beatle's first drummer.

Pete missed it by that much. Gerry and The Pacemakers had their cup of coffee in the big leagues, and faded back to obscurity. Still, it's lovely to hear Ferry Cross The Mersey, and see a bit of that luminous postwar explosion of pop, still in its footling cradle.

Good on ya, Gerry.

1 comment:

Teri said...

They made a movie you know. It was titled Ferry Cross the Mersey and wasn't bad (and maybe the years have dimmed the bad spots.) I used to own their albums and loved his voice.