On this day… 21 Jul 1961

I played the Mermaid Theatre, accompanying Royston Ellis

On this day in 1961, the poetry at The Mermaid Festival was fully underway in London, with readings by William Empson, Louis MacNiece, Sir Ralph Richardson and Dame Flora Robson.

I appeared on electric guitar with Royston Ellis, a British beat poet/beatnik with a fusion of poetry and music and this was quite unique set amongst the other poetry readings. Royston had visited a number of Neil Christian and The Crusader’s gigs and alluded to the lifestyle in the first chapter of his book The Big Beat Scene, published the same year.

He also hung out with The Silver Beetles in Liverpool, pre- Hamburg.

'Jet Black' by Neil Christian and the Crusaders circa 1960.