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The Searchers, Falmouth Friday 3rd August 2012

Guy Mackenzie with Frank Allen of The Searchers
Frank Allen and Guy Mackenzie: “Now pay attention…”
Guy Mackenzie with Frank Allen of The Searchers
“…it’s like this…”
Guy Mackenzie with Frank Allen of The Searchers
“…and maybe a bit like this…”
Guy Mackenzie with Frank Allen of The Searchers
“…or perhaps like this…”
Guy Mackenzie with Frank Allen of The Searchers
“…and I did what I could.”
Guy Mackenzie with Frank Allen of The Searchers
But the conversation didn’t go like that at all…!

…We were discussing contradictions, inaccuracies and the missing end of Roger Cooper’s last sentence in the “Great British Electric Guitar Bible”!!

Also Frank’s first instruments — his first bass which was a Gibson EB 1 which is now on display in the Hard Rock Cafe, Reyjavik.

Guy Mackenzie with The Searchers Guy Mackenzie … with the Searchers who are still playing to packed out venues (including Falmouth!) all over the world and have been voted No. 1 60s band by the readers of Beat Magazine in 2012 — 50 years after the band split with Johnny Sandon!
Posted in Frank Allen, The Searchers

Mo Foster’s Book Launch, Dingwalls, London NW1. Tuesday 13th September 2011 “British Rock Guitar”

Mo, definitely one of the nicest guys in the business, pictured with his immaculate Dallas Tuxedo bass. But why did he give me the job of recording his speech? No pressure, right!


Bill Wyman who told me that he bought his own Dallas Tuxedo bass in 1961 and, after he’d bought his Framus Star bass in 1962, cut down the body and refretted it telling me he’d made the “first fretless bass in the UK”. It is now on display in his “Sticky Fingers” restaurant in Kensington.

Frank Allen, looking every bit the star that he is, with Paul Jones, ex vocalist with Manfred Mann, who is still touring today and looking great too!

Paul Day pictured with Colin Green and his delightful wife Christine. Colin was one of the first ever users of a Burns built guitar (the first Burns Weill?) almost the same as my Burns “Ike Isaacs” which he bought in January 1959 after his aunt had lent him the money to purchase it. But his parents wouldn’t let him play it in the house so he played it in the garden shed!

Keith West (and friend), if you are old enough to remember the 60s who can ever forget “Grocer Jack” officially known as “Excerpt from a Teenage Opera”, and it was great to meet him too – almost 4 years after I bought my Fenton Weill Dualmaster bass of him courtesy of ebay!


Last, but certainly not least, The Rapiers now in their 26th year as a top flight R ‘n’ R band and it was great to speak to John Tuck and hear about his collection of drum kits. But I shouldn’t reveal that the “Gretsch” which he uses on stage is actually a Slingerland!

Who else was there? Chas McDevitt – can it really be over 54 years ago (1957) that he appeared with Nancy Whiskey on the Ed Sullivan show? Barry Gibson – who is still so successfully marketing Burns guitars and,luckily, his wife agreed to “babysit” that night! Jason How of Rotosound – did he know that it was his father’s early association with Jim Burns and Ike Isaacs which resulted in Alan Wooton terminating their agreement to build Supersound and Supersound “Ike Isaacs” guitars in December 1958? Bruce Welch – Of course I asked him if he’d ever heard of Supersound guitars (he hadn’t) but he told me that he couldn’t remember what had happened to either his Vega or Grimshaw guitars after he got his first Fender in 1959.

Posted in Bill Wyman, Colin Green, Frank Allen, John Tuck, Keith West, Manfred Mann, Mo Foster, Paul Day, Paul Jones, The Rapiers

solid silver 60′s show croydon, thursday 21st may 2009

Wayne Fontana (with Amanda and Iona) definitely larger than life and despite his "record" one of the really good guys and a great entertainer too!
Wayne Fontana (with Amanda and Iona) definitely larger than life and despite his “record” one of the really good guys and a great entertainer too!
The Merseybeats. Tony Crane and Dave Goldberg (ex Liverpool Express) and owners of Gibson Firebirds to die for...
The Merseybeats. Tony Crane and Dave Goldberg (ex Liverpool Express) and owners of Gibson Firebirds to die for…
John Walker (The Walker Brothers) with Amanda - but Iona just couldn't hold that camera steady!
John Walker (The Walker Brothers) with Amanda – but Iona just couldn’t hold that camera steady!
Frank Allen with Spencer James (The Searchers) last but certainly not least, and looking younger than ever
Frank Allen with Spencer James (The Searchers) last but certainly not least, and looking younger than ever
Posted in Dave Goldberg, Frank Allen, John Walker, Spencer James, The Merseybeats, The Walker Brothers, Tony Crane, Wayne Fontana

frank allen, cornwall march 14th 2009

With Amanda and Scarlet (7 months) getting her first guitar lesson
With Amanda and Scarlet (7 months) getting her first guitar lesson
and with my 1961 Fenton Weill Deluxe
and with my 1961 Fenton Weill Deluxe
My Guyatone LG50/ Star EG 80 with, evidently unusually, a straight neck!
My Guyatone LG50/ Star EG 80 with, evidently unusually, a straight neck!
With my much appreciated Grimshaw .....bass, of course!
With my much appreciated Grimshaw …..bass, of course!
"Holding the baby!" ....with Scarlet and Amanda
“Holding the baby!” ….with Scarlet and Amanda
Where it all began ....with the Skyways at Eastcote 1959 and Cliff Bennett's Futurama Grazioso , Brian St. George with Frank's Hofner club 50--and 5 years before The Searchers!
Where it all began ….with the Skyways at Eastcote 1959 and Cliff Bennett’s Futurama Grazioso , Brian St. George with Frank’s Hofner club 50–and 5 years before The Searchers!
Posted in Brian St George, Frank Allen, Skyways

frank allen, guitar collector, author and bass guitarist of the searchers since 1964…

With Frank Allen, Saturday 30th August 2008, Truro
With Frank Allen, Saturday 30th August 2008, Truro
The Searchers - Frank's enormous Burns Bison bass seemed to dwarf him!
The Searchers – Frank’s enormous Burns Bison bass seemed to dwarf him!
Frank and his early 50s Fender Precision replica specially made by Norway's Martin Olsen
Frank and his early 50s Fender Precision replica specially made by Norway’s Martin Olsen
Part of Frank's guitar collection
Part of Frank’s guitar collection
Posted in Frank Allen, The Searchers