GERRY MARSDEN of GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS


Interviewed by Michael Skywood Clifford

How do you relax from the pressures of being famous?

Yes, there’s a lot of pressures in this business and you need to find ways to unwind and relax. After all the incredible fantastic days of 1965 when we appeared on the Royal Command performance in 1965 and had “How do you do it,” our first number one hit record at the same time, you might think life has slowed down a bit now – but I’m busier than ever.

For example, I’m currently working on a new LP which should be released next June. The problem is that there’s little time for recording because we’re so busy all the time. We’ve recently been touring in Australia, the United States, Canada, and Singapore. I like to spend two days a week between writing and being with my kids. The problem with recording is when you’ve finished touring the last place you want to be is in a recording studio.

What’s the worst thing about touring?

Not looking after yourself and eating regularly. You end just living on sandwiches, so I always make sure I get to the hotel early and get a good meal. Of course I love touring. Although I rarely do any partying at the end of the night these days. I always tend to arrive at a gig about fifteen minutes before we go on. I get a little nervous for about two seconds before I go on stage but when I’m on it’s great fun. Then I drive back. I find driving is a good way to relax.

But what keeps me really sane is to soak in the bath for half an hour with a book and then get out and clip off all my toes nails. I really enjoy that. I don’t think I’ve every told anyone that before. After I’ve done that I feel I can conquer the world. 

Every artist has a story about touring. Tell me one of yours 

Some crazy things can happen when you are touring. I was gigging at Churchill, which is a small place near Melbourne, Australia, and I was late changing into all my stage gear. Eventually I got all my stuff on and rushed on stage in front of an enormous audience. Suddenly after three numbers one of my team called me over and informed me my flies were very noticeably undone. No wonder why they were screaming and laughing.

Do you do anything else to offset the music ?

I also need to have creative hobbies. I’m a bit of an outdoor man. I do clay pigeon shooting, archery, scuba diving and play a lot of tennis. I also love Jetski-ing. I like being outside and I get a good variety of landscape. I’m lucky enough to have a home in Spain, Anglesea and Chester.

What about writing songs?

Besides writing my own compositions for the next album the boys in the band are writing too. The Pacemakers are all different to the original line-up, but nevertheless they’ve all been with me for ten years. On bass: Andy Cairns, On keyboards: Kevin Jackson, On drums: Sean Fitzpatrick, and yours truly on guitar.

How would you describe your music?

Although we were a famous part of the Liverpool sound in the 60s, you can’t pigeon hole our music as Liverpool any more, it’s too varied. We’re quite up to date with modern technology, using sequencers and the works on tour. The whole show is enormous.

How do you remember the 60s? 

The 60s were an incredible time and people have asked me which musical act was the greatest of the 60s. It must have been John Lennon. He comes first. He had fantastic stage presence. He was also a great mate. Paul was number two but John was definitely number one.

The star that would come next – even though not from the 60s – would have to be Phil Collins. A tremendous talent. Sometimes the public just don’t recognise real talent to the extent it should be.

(Gerry Marsden appeared with the Pacemakers at Hamilton Nightclub to a packed audience)

 

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