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The Silver Beetles live: St Thomas’ Hall, Keith, Scotland

The Silver Beetles had another day off from the Scotland tour with Johnny Gentle on 24 May 1960, which gave drummer Tommy Moore a chance to recover from his road accident the previous day. But they continued the next day with a performance in Keith, Banffshire.

That was our first professional gig: on a tour of dance halls miles up in the North of Scotland, around Inverness. We felt, ‘Yippee, we’ve got a gig!’ Then we realised that we were playing to nobody in little halls, until the pubs cleared out when about five Scottish Teds would come in and look at us. That was all. Nothing happened. We didn’t really know anything. It was sad, because we were like orphans. Our shoes were full of holes and our trousers were a mess, while Johnny Gentle had a posh suit. I remember trying to play to ‘Won’t you wear my ring around your neck?’ – he was doing Elvis’s ‘Teddy Bear’ – and we were crummy. The band was horrible, an embarrassment. We didn’t have amplifiers or anything.

What little pay we did get was used to take care of the hotels. And we all slept in the van. We would argue about space. There weren’t enough seats in the van, and somebody had to sit on the inside of the mudguard on the back wheel. Usually Stu.

Last updated: 24 January 2024
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