Memories of Rolling Stones' Pendle gigs rekindled

Memories of Rolling Stones' Pendle gigs rekindled

Memories of Rolling Stones' Pendle gigs rekindled

First published in News

A LIFELONG Rolling Stones fan is appealing for information about the band's two gigs in Pendle to ensure memories will 'not fade away'.

Richard Houghton, 54, is compiling a ‘people’s history’ of the world's greatest rock 'n' roll band and is keen to speak to anyone who attended either of their two performances at Nelson’s Imperial Ballroom.

In early 1964, the band began their first tour as headliners. They gigged extensively in this year, performing more than 300 times and due to high demand, they were often forced to perform twice on the same day.

When they played the Imp for the first time on May 1, 1964, the band were celebrating their first top 10 hit - a cover of Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away.

Richard, who has seen the Stones live 20 times, said: “I am really interested to hear people’s memories of the gigs at the Imp.

“I’m a massive fan and own around 200 books about the Stones but I found that very little has been written about the earliest fans.

“I know that they have some great stories to tell and I want to compile the memories that people have of those early performances.”

The Imp had a capacity for 2,000 and achieved legendary status in the 60s, managing to book such quality acts as The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Tom Jones, Otis Redding and The Stones.

The huge hanger-like building was lauded for it’s acoustics as it’s high, unpinned ceiling meant the venue had a sound quality no other could match.

In 1976, The Imp was totally destroyed in a huge blaze but while the building no longer stands, Richard hopes that the memories will last a lifetime.

“The Stones came back to Nelson and played the 'Imp' again on July 25, 1964.

“A ticket cost eight shillings and sixpence or 43p in advance or nine and six (48p) on the door.

“The gig was the day after a concert by The Stones in Blackpool ended in a riot and had to be abandoned after guitarist Keith Richards reacted to being spat at by members of the crowd by kicking one of the audience in the face!

“Never a dull moment with the Stones and I just can’t wait to hear people’s memories of the shows at the Imp.”

To get in touch with Richard, email richardmhoughton@gmail.com

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