Bryan Bennion has sent rare photos from the time he went to the Strutt Arms to watch live music.
Pictured here are Gary Farr and the T-Bones, who Bryan saw three times. Gary Farr is the singer on the left with blond hair, with Lead Guitarist Vince Weatherall.
As well as being a band in their own right, they served as the backing band for American R&B acts such as Moses Allison, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf.
As Bryan recalls: ‘Lead singer Gary Farr – who was the son of Tommy Farr, Welsh Heavyweight Boxing Champion – whipped up a storm and used to swing from the rafters.
After he went solo, he was able to perform at the famous 1970 Isle of Wight Music Festival as his brother Rikki Farr was the promoter.’
Sadly, Bryan can’t recall Rod Stewart appearing at the Strutt Arms, though your webmaster was assured by the late Arthur Coyne of BBC Radio Derby’s Jazz show (brother of the great Kevin Coyne) that Rod appeared there as part of Long John Baldry’s band (see picture).
Bryan spoke to a couple of old Derby School friends who he knew went with him – Stew Osborne and Pete Wilson – and they confirmed that they also saw Ronnie Jones and The Night-Timers at the Strutt in 1965.
The band sang a mixture of the latest James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding hits.
Bryan also saw The Alan Price Set, the band he formed after he left The Animals.
Here are more of Bryan’s memories: ‘People who I recall from those times were: Eric ‘Noggy’ Stone, who used to strip to his waist and then stand on his head against the wall; Rod Patton; Stew Osborne; Martin Smith; Pete Wilson; Johnny Weir; and Ian Livingstone.
Somebody had an ingenious way of getting in free… If you wanted to go to the toilet, they used to stamp your hand with a rubber stamp and ink pad. By doing a reverse while it was still wet and then another reverse with someone else, they got a pass-out that would fool most people; it was a bit smudged but allowed us to get in free.’
Can anyone else remember going to the Strutt Arms to see live music?