Tuesday 29 March 2016


At long last Dave Lodge has published his autobiography. Best known in rock n roll & 60s circles as being personal manager to Tommy Bruce, Dave enjoyed a sporting career as a rugby player, in speedway and a successful triathlete.
The book "The Long Road" charts Dave's life plus the many people that he has come into contact with over the years, including - Jet Harris, Billie Davis, Jess Conrad, Ricky Valance, Clem Cattinni, Danny Williams, Dannny Rivers, Tommy Bruce, Brian Poole, Tony Crane and many more.
The book can be purchased from davelodgeauthor@gmail.com or Amazon and other outlets.
This is Dave's second book having written Tommy Bruce's biography "Have Gravel Will Travel" which has continued to sell and sell and has had to be republished to cope with demand.


Bright-More Promotions Present
The Merseybeats Live At
The Platform, Morecambe
Saturday 26-3-2016 By Dave Lodge

Thanks to Tony Crane of the Merseybeats and Golly Goulding of Bright-More Promotions , I was invited to launch my book 'The Long Road' on this special night. When I arrived at the venue an hour before the start time of 7.30pm the fans were already queuing round the building.
The first half of the evening saw us being entertained by the Monkeymen a lively 4 piece outfit who gave us music from the 50's 60' and 70's, interspersed with humorous asides between band members, After an hour they gave way to the exciting Paul Hayes Collection. As always they were well received by the audience. Paul took this opportunity to tell the audience that he was making his last performance with the band due work commitments. He then introduced his replacement Michael who is clearly a talented vocalist. He was also the MC for the night.
There was a tremendous atmosphere in the room as we waited for the Merseybeats to take the stage. Their arrival was greeted by a huge round of applause that continued well into the first song. The place was jumping from start to finish of their performance the talent of these guys is amazing right through from Tony Crane Lead vocals and Lead Guitar, Billy Kinsley Rhythm Guitar, Bob Packham Bass Guitar and backing vocals, Tony's son Adrian on Keyboards to Lou Rosnthal on drums and percussion their musical ability is of the highest calibre. Add to that the incredible vocal harmonies that Billy and Tony have been providing since before The Mereybeats started more than 50 years ago, Bob's own vocal contributions added to his skills on guitar and Adrian's excellent contribution on keyboards and you are hearing the very best of sixties music, performed by the best exponents of the sound you will ever hear.
It would be easy to forget Billy's talent as a musician when you are listening to his voice, but suddenly you are reminded by a brilliant piece of work on harmonica or Rhythm Guitar, to enhance a particular song.
Speaking of individual skill I have to mention Adrian's brilliant cameo on Lead Guitar on the occasion he stepped away from his Keyboard. The talent in the Crane family has to heard to be believed.
The musical selection as we have come to expect is superb, they are singing their hits, 'I Think Of You' , Sorrow, the incredibly haunting performance of 'Don't Turn Around' made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as always. But that's not all added to their own wealth of hit's they also pay tribute to and sing the songs of other sixties stars, The Walker Brothers, The Beatles and as Billy himself said the incredible Everley Brothers to name but three.
But don't be deceived The Merseybeats are in my opinion the best vocal harmony group of their generation but, wow can they Rock and Roll, the dance floor was full of people jiving and just dancing in there own way, lost in the sheer joy of the wonderful music being played by this fabulous band.
There is another side to the members of the band, they don't forget their friends, Billy introduced the fans to an old Primary School friend who was in the audience and dedicated a song to him. Then Tony introduced the The old Troy Shondelle song dedicating it to his friend Dave Lodge. This song is very special to Tony and I for very different and private reasons so I was deeply moved that he did this, though not surprised as I know him to be a thoroughly decent man. That said it must be at least twenty years since he last performed this song at it maybe another twenty before he performs it again.
They ended the show with the anthem, 'You'll Never Walk Alone' as Billy said this song is not about football , it is about justice and I am sure every person there knew where he was coming from.
What an incredible night if you take my advice if you see The Merseybeats advertised, beg or borrow do what ever it takes to get the money to go and see them, because whatever it costs they are worth every penny!!!

Saturday 20 February 2016


Chris Fender Black's ( Chris Veness) Funeral
Tuesday  16th  February 2016
Herongate Wood Green Cemetery
Brentwood, Essex. CM13 3 SE

11 November 1938- 26-January 2016

On Tuesday 16th February 2016  the funeral of  Chris Black one of the great  Rock and Roll Guitarist's was held, we said farewell  to much loved friend but not to his memory or his music.
As with everything in Chris's life his funeral was a huge event, as it should be for a man who was larger than life, a man who towered over Rock and Roll Music in the UK.
From the day he first picked an old guitar out of the rubble after a World War Two bombing raid Chris Black knew he would play  and love Rock and Roll  all his life.
He was influenced so he told me by the playing of Bill Doggett Scotty Moore, Bill Haley and later Duane Eddie. Influenced no doubt, but he developed  his own style and that style excited people for more than 50 years.
 In a career that started with gigs down in Chilsehurst Caves in Kent and took Chris through his National Service to working in clubs and theatres throughout the UK and Europe Chris was always innovative.  He shared the stage with so many of  the names of the 50's and 60's  including Brian  Poole, Tommy Bruce, Don Lang, Heinz, Ricky Valance, Jess Conrad, Screamin' Lord Sutch, and Wee Willie Harris to name just a few.

His funeral reflected  everything that was good about Chris, loving father, loyal friend, musician and not least his love for the birds and the environment.
Held at The Herongate Wood,  Green Cemetery where a tree is planted with every burial so that  everything over the years returns to nature. Chris would love that the cycle of life is being renewed.

The service itself was typically  Chris as  the 100's in attendance entered and circled the small chapel the sound of  Chris and his beloved guitar 'Brenda The Fender, playing 'Peter Gunn' rang out and the scene was set for us to hear instalments of Chris's life narrated by the Celebrant, Steven Heath. There were also personal memories from Chris's children, grandchildren and friends  'Lord' Peter Stockton and Bob Burgos, interspersed with more music. 'Rock and Roll parts  1& 2'  a recording by Bill Doggett,  and 'Ghost Rider's in the Sky', and  3-30  Blues,  played  by  Chris.  Pam Ayres poem,  'I Wish I'd Looked After Me Teeth, brought  laughter  from the congregation. Exit from the chapel was accompanied by the sound of Chris playing 'Sleepwalk'.

 We walked to the graveside  and there said our farewell with the  Lords  Prayer.
 The family and Chris's loved ones were joined for the service  by his many fans and representatives of the music world including Brian Poole  lead singer from the Tremeloes, Dave Lodge manager of late Tommy Bruce and Mick Clarke original bass player from The Rubettes.

Those of you who would like to donate to Chris's favourite charity, The Essex Wildlife Trust are invited to do so by going to www.justgiving.com/ewt/donate. If you wish you can personalise the donation with a message in memory of Chris.

Monday 17 August 2015




Watch for additional updates...
Frank will recount his amazing career, interspersed with some incredible stories of his life and work in show business.

Sunday 12 July 2015



Written by his former manager Dave Lodge, "Have Gravel will Travel" the official Tommy Bruce biography has due to popular demand has been reprinted and available from Amazon or from the author.

The Official Tommy Bruce Biography
The amazing story of how a young cockney lad went from ‘barra boy’ to a teen singing idol. A unique insight into the 1960’s rock ‘n’ roll scene when Tommy Bruce and contemporaries such as Billy Fury, Johnny Kidd and Joe Brown were doing the rounds together. In this fickle world of show business many friendships don’t stand the test of time. Not so that of Tommy Bruce and Dave Lodge, his manager, friend and author of this biography. We see how their partnership has endured since the 1960’s unhampered by contracts, surviving on friendship through the highs and lows. The book is a testimony to Tommy’s affable style both on and off stage making him a well-loved character in the industry for the past five decades.

Sunday 7 June 2015


Another great night at Theatre Severn Shrewsbury seeing the legend that is Elkie Brooks.
She has been telling us for 38 years that Pearl's A Singer but then so is Elkie mixing jazz, blues, rock in an energetic performance that was a raw as one could get - no big stage sets, no major lighting effects, not even an introduction as she took to the stage and belted out number upon number acknowledging the almost sell out audience.
Celebrating her 70th birthday during this tour, like a bottle of fine wine (lilac or otherwise) Elkie gets better with age.

Sunday 1 March 2015

Billie Davis, Eric Haydock & Gidea Park

This show has been rescheduled to Friday 3rd July (not10th April)- Introducing the fabulous miss Billie Davis live in concert with original founder member, and the voice on most of the hit records-Eric Haydock (formerly ofThe Hollies the show is backed by top 60's beach boys tribute band "Gidea Park". Tickets-£12:00.