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In pictures: Roger Eagle Liverpool book launch

Faces from city's musical almanac in warm and fuzzy gathering. Pix: Wes Storey

Published on August 11th 2012.

In pictures: Roger Eagle Liverpool book launch

THERE they were, a room full of some of the most best known faces in Liverpool's musical almanac.

David Balfe, Jayne Casey, Pete Fulwell, Elliot Rashman, Norman Killon, Bernie Connor, Geoff Davies, Al Peters, Henry Priestman, John Campbell, Martin Dempsey, Doreen Allen... just a selection of the names that are compulsorily checked off each and every time a fresh chronicle of THAT time in the city is knocked out.

But all were there at The Picket to celebrate the one name in their midst who was there in anecdotal form only: Roger Eagle.

It could be said that none of them would have been there but for Eagle. In truth, none would have been there but for Bill Sykes, musician turned author, who took it upon himself to pen a mighty tome on Eagle, Eric's founder and a lot more: Sit Down! Listen to This!


It received its Liverpool launch here on Thursday evening and, hosted in conjunction with Liverpool Confidential, everything was warm: the weather, the banter, the tributes, the Red Stripe.

Probe Records founder and friend Geoff Davies recalled the days when the defunct Liverpool Stadium was under Eagle's watch and bands like Captain Beefheart, Led Zeppelin and Mott The Hoople were commonplace turns. And he spoke of the origins of the legendary shop and its relationship with the Mathew Street club which closed for good in 1979 (and is no relation to the venue which has claimed the same name today).

Elliot RashmanElliot RashmanElliot Rashman, former manager of Simply Red and the Happy Mondays, mentioned his Manchester schoolboy days when he first met the R&B loving colossus at The Magic Village. Later on, in Liverpool, he “gave me Mick Hucknall - a mixed blessing!”, he smiled. Hucknall, at the time, was a gifted young blues singer in The Frantic Elevators, another Eagle-inspired band at Adams club in Seel Street.

“We aren't Liverpool and Manchester, we are one city, the North West,” Rashman insisted.

To Jayne Casey, Eagle was a father figure who took the bald, bolshy, black-lipsticked teenager under his wing only a year after she had left a children's home. Back in 1977, he instructed her, the young Pete Wylie and the even younger Ian Broudie, to make a pact never to listen to “them” (The Beatles). To her knowledge, she said, the pact has never been broken.

Pete Fulwell, Eagle's former partner at Eric's (as was Ken Testi), made a rare appearance which was lapped up by a crowd that also included authors Paul Du Noyer and Kevin Sampson.

Initially reluctant, he took to the stage and spoke eloquently of his enduring love of the the big man, the 6ft 4 inspiration and king of the blues compilation tape, for whom music was more important than life and who died in 1999. “He still owes me money!”

Alan PetersAlan Peters has got his mojo working

Celebrating his own 69th birthday, it was all rounded off by some impromptu blues harp from Alan Peters, he of R&B band The Lawnmower. Eagle created the group and named it, on a whim, as a vehicle for Peters and Hucknall back in 1982. Ten days later, they were supporting Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee at Adams, to be followed by Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. Like practically everyone else in the room, Peters still has his mojo working, just differently these days.

For as Fulwell pointed out, the faces in the room may have looked familiar but not a single molecule of any of them remains from back in that day. 

Legacy. Now that's intact.

Pictures by the very talented Wesley Storey who just happened to have his camera bag and took them for us. His website is here and you really should think about booking him.

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AnonymousAugust 12th 2012.

Cool night. More like this please

Elliot RashmanAugust 12th 2012.

Don't know if previous comments made it so here goes again
Forgive any repetition.
A sweet warm evening, full of sweet warm people. A great time was had by ALL. A distinguished and honourable mention in dispatches goes to the Awesome Jayne Casey. You are so lucky to have such a fabulous champion of all things Creative in the city. Liverpool should Cherish and Honour Jayne for all her immense efforts over the years. Sincere thanks go to Angie Sammons for her sparky and intelligent steering of the evening from the Picket sofa.
Liverpool - Still the Greatest city in this South-east obsessed, Damned Nation of ours.
Thanks to Rodger's friends and acquaintances for making it a night to savour.
To all Baltic Creatives - This is a Liberated Zone: Defend it with your lives!
E x

Man at the backAugust 12th 2012.

Hear hear, Elliot, to all of that. Your own contribution to the evening was sterling mate and we could do with more like you in this city!

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