The Prowlers were a five-piece, formed early in 1964 with the idea
of playing Chicago style electric blues, rocked up a bit - the sort of
the thing the Stones and other bands were doing in their early
days. We all lived in Birkenhead and rehearsed in the cellar of the
bass-player's house. We started playing around the area in the
spring; youth clubs, students' and other dances, clubs like the
Kraal, Cubik, Left Bank and even the River Mersey cruise ship,
Royal Iris. There were ballrooms including the Tower in New
Brighton and the Majestic Birkenhead. We built up a good
following and late in the year got the chance to go to Germany.
This was an opportunity to become full-time musicians so we went
for a month to the Star Palast, Kiel in January '65.
During that month we backed black American singer, Davy Jones,
for one night because his band got stuck in the snow coming from
Sweden. In 1961 Davy played a gig at the Cavern and was backed
by the Beatles before they became famous (see photos below).
We also played alongside Goldie and the Gingerbreads who were
a very classy American girl band (who later did well in the UK) and
alongside Freddie Fingers Lee’s band with Ian Hunter as its bass
player. Ian emerged in the 1970s as Mott the Hoople's frontman.
He and Freddie got part way through writing a song for us but it
didn't get finished. Ian and Freddie shared our apartment for a
week or two while their van was being fixed.
When we came back after our first month away we were anxious to
find out if our popularity had suffered while we had been away but
we played a great show at Birkenhead Technical College Hall to
an over-capacity audience (mainly screaming girls) and a lot of
people had to be turned away. The local paper published an
The Poster was sent to me by Ray O'Brien
Vince chatted with Phil Norman 9th October