The Escorts
Lingering Liverpool Loyalties
by Peter R. McCormack

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At The Mardis Gras - Photo 1963 Bill Harry
L to R: Pete Clark (drums) Terry Sylvester (guitar)
John Kinrade (guitar) and Mike Gregory (bass)

A Rare Moment At The Iron Door

Mike Gregory, of The Escorts, kindly sent along information regarding the groups' perfomance at the Iron Door and at the Cavern Club. Gregory wrote

"I vaguely remember playing at the Iron Door only once with the Escorts - we were sort of favourites of the Cavern and there was some rivalry between them and I think Bob Wooler wanted us for himself.

A review of adverts from the Liverpool Echo has indicated that The Escorts may have played on two occasions at the Iron Door. Nontheless, Gregory raises an interesting point with regard to the tendency for some owners and managers to encourge popular groups to perform exclusively at a particular club. While there were many clubs in Liverpool, the business was very competitive and those venues with the most popular groups stood to be the most successful. Thanks to the fine documentation of Mr. Bill Harry, musicologist extraordinaire, The Escorts were indeed popular and were rated with in the top ten groups at one point during the early 1960s by Mersey Beat fans.

As an illustration of the loyalty of some groups for particular clubs, Mike Gregory offered the following.

It was pretty much the same with the bands who were looked after by the Peppemint Lounge. They seemed to favour bands like "Tiffany's Thoughts" and "Denny Seyton." We were managed by a guy called Jim Ireland who also looked after "The Swinging Bluejeans", "The Kinsleys", and "Cy Tucker's Friars" to name a few. We played at his venues, which were the Mardi Gras, The Downbeat Club (later the Victoriana) and The Babalou. Everybody looked after their own artists but the Cavern could pick and choose. We played there 121 times I think."

Not many artists spend time discussing the instruments they played in the 1960s. He played a Rickenbacker Rose-Morris Model 1999 bass and Terry Sylvester had a Rickenbacker Rose-Morris Model 1997 six-string. Mike Gregory offered these comments about the groups' interest in Rickenbackers.

"I really loved that Rickenbacker. I swapped my 1961 Fender Precision Bass with Billy Kinsley for it. It had an incredible action and a really accessible neck for when you wanted to play up the "dusty end". The damping pad at the bridge was a great idea too as you could put it on or off as you wished. The one on the Fender was attached permanently to the bridge cover. I hope the person who stole it has had a lousy life."

October 10, 2004 - Revised October 15, 2008
2001-2008 Peter McCormack. All rights reserved.

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