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Where: Birmingham, London, Stevenage and London (England)
When: November 6, 7, 9 and 11, 1966
Written by: Tony Papard

The following article appeared in issue #2 of Lewis Scene in March 1972. This was the publication of the Jerry Lee Lewis Fan Club (UK), joint Presidents Pam and Malcolm Temple, Vice President was Breathless Dan Coffey. This issue also included a 'Remember When' section with part of an unissued Shaking Keyboard, the previous title of the UK Fan Club mag, when it was run by Martin Affleck. This includes a detailed description of the recording of the Tom Jones Show. Originally 'Lovin Up A Storm' was to be included in the medley with Tom Jones, but this was substituted with 'Down The Line' due to copyright problems. 

My article in the 'Remember When' section follows: 

REMEMBER WHEN - This issue Tony Papard remembers Jerry's 1966 tour and gives some indication of what we can expect in April. 

The last extensive tour Jerry did in this country was in November 1966. In one short week I saw Jerry at four venues - it was one of the wildest, most hectic weeks of my life. 

On Sunday November 6th I turned up at the New Victoria cinema in London with my brother and we caught the Fan Club's special coach up to Birmingham to see Jerry's show there that nite. Everything went OK until we got about three-quarters of the way up the M1. The coach pulled in at the Blue Boar Service Area and waited and waited. Something had gone wrong with it - a leaky fuel tank I think - and the driver refused to go any further until another coach arrived from London. Anyway we finally arrived at the theater just near Birmingham's Bullring Center, and the entire coachload of fans swarmed off the coach, charged across the road into the theater, straight past a startled staff in the foyer who looked dazed as we charged by them waving tickets in the air and into the packed auditourum, where the opening strains of 'Lovin' Up A Storm' (Jerry's second number that night) were ringing out. The excitement in that theater was electric - and up there on stage sat the one and only King of Rock'n'Roll pumpin' the old ivories and hollerin' for all he was worth. As we all rushed down the center aisle cheering, me waving a Confederate flag, most of the audience and Jerry himself looked round to see what was happening - and when they saw it was another contingent of fans the cheering grew even louder. I don't remember what happened after that except that we all stood cheering and clapping as Jerry rocked thru one great number after another. It was a fantastic show, but only a mild foreshadow of what was to follow the next nite at Wimbledon Theater. 

I went to both early and late performances and both were packed. On the bill with Jerry were Lee Dorsey, who closed the first half and couldn't understand why no-one seemed interested to hear him sing his latest hit 'Working In A Coalmine', and a number of British groups including a then unknown outfit from Australia called The Bee Gees. They came on just before Jerry and were given a pretty rough reception. Jerry was announced to thunderous applause, and as he walked on the whole audience leapt to its feet. He was in top form and the first show was pretty wild with Jerry really rocking it up. At the end of this performance I managed to get in at the stage door and go up to the dressing room to see Jerry - it was the first time I had met him in person, tho' not the last I'm glad to say. He was sitting there in an armchair looking as relaxed as if he'd been there all evening, instead of having just put on a wild show and then done an interview for the pirate radion station Radio England. We had to wait till this interview was over before we could go in and see Jerry. He seemed really glad to see us - gave that famous grin of his and shook hands. I was too excited to say much except tell him he had put on a great show, he autographed some photos for me, then we went downstairs and started lining up for the second show. Well if the first show was good the second show just defied description! It was the wildest show I've ever seen Jerry perform, and that's saying something. Jerry responded to the packed audience, which was in a state of wild rockin' hysteria from the very start. He opened with a rocker and then a few country numbers, then he turned to the audience and hollered 'D'you wann hear Rock'n'Roll or Country?' 'Rock'n'Roll!' everyone screamed back, and man - rock'n'roll was what we got! His voice that nite was as wild and rasping as on the 'Star-Club' album, and he did a whole string of rocking number without stop - I can't possibly remember them all now but they included Hound Dog, Long Tall Sally, Hiogh School Confidential, Mean Woman Blues, Great Balls of Fire, Shakin' and Good Golly Miss Molly. I'd give anything to hear a recording of that show. At this frantic pace it wasn't long before crowds of cats had invaded the stage, and the show finished in a chaotic climax such as I have never seen before or since! As Jerry stood on the piano shakin' and screamin', shaking a warning finger at over-enthusiastic fans standing round the piano who wanted to climb up on top with him, the stage was a seething mass of jiving fans and battling police who had suddenly appeared from nowhere and were trying to stop the show, but Jerry just went on rocking! Police helmets started flying, and finally they brought the curtain down with a large section of the audience behind the curtain with Jerry, who rocked on unseen by the remainder of the audience until the end of the number! This show must surely go down as one of the wildest ever put on in this country since the '50s. 

(Set lists for Wimbledon Theater, November 7th, 1966 were as follows: 1st show: Little Queenie, You Win Again, Mean Woman Blues, Lovin' Up A Storm, Your Cheatin' Heart, What'd I Say, Great Balls of Fire, High School Confidential, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, Good Golly Miss Molly. 2nd show: Little Queenie, You Win Again, Jenny Jenny, Hi Heel Sneakers, Lewis Boogie, Mean Woman Blues, Down The Line, Great Balls of Fire, High School Confidential, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On. 10 numbers each show, so about 30, 35 minutes - 40 maximum! Hound Dog and Long Tall Sally were not in either set - my memory 6 years on was obviously deceiving me as I later found the original program on which I'd written down the numbers directly after the show.) 

Two days later on the 9th Jerry was appearing at the Locarno ballroom. (Stevenage, Hertfordshire.) The place was packed, mostly with teenyboppers for whom this was just their weekly dance and wo had no idea what lay in store for them. The Lewis fans crowded round the stage, and by the time Jerry appeared you couldn't move from the position you happened to be in. He did a great selection of rock and country numbers - including a very suggestive 'Whole Lotta Shakin'' in which he wiggled his hips in a manner which may well have shocked some of the elder patrons gazing down from the balcony, and he did an encore of Good Golly Miss Molly. One of the teenyboppers who had never seen Jerry before was afterwards heard to remark on how great he was 'so young and goodlooking too', and wanted to investigate his records. I saw loads of these kids walking away in a daze - miming Jerry's fantastic hand movements as if to convince themselves it had all really happened. 

The last time I saw Jerry on this tour was at a venue 'thrown - in' at the last moment at the Flamingo All-niter Club in Wardour Street. Long before the Club opened a huge queue had formed and mods passing by looked quite blank when they asked who was performing that nite to cause such a queue and were told 'Jerry Lee Lewis'. Jerry didn't come on until the early hours and was very tired since he had already done a show up North that evening and had just bombed down the motorway for this performance. He had to force his way thru the crowd onto the stage still in his raincoat - there was no stagedoor or dressing room. The place was stifling hot with all the people packed in, the ones at the back climbed on each other's shoulders to get a better view, and halfway thru Jerry's set a large portion of the ceiling came down as fans clung on to it for support! Despite the terrible conditions Jerry put on a great show, but he was obviously tired and when pressed to do another encore just pleaded to the audience to let him go and get some sleep before flying home in the morning. The audience understood and reached out to pat him on the back as he forced his way back thru the seething crowd and outside to his car. 

(Set list: Just Because, Your Cheatin' Heart, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Together Again, Ubangi Stomp, Mean Woman Blues, Great Balls of Fire, Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On, Good Golly Miss Molly. 9 numbers, again about 30 minutes.) 

So ended that last, truly memorable tour by Jerry Lee. I'm sure the forthcoming tour will be every bit as exciting.



Last update: August 17, 2007
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