Monday, 3 April 2017

War Baby ......... stories by Eddy Newport no 34 .............. the party

Yesterday Eddy wrote about playing in the band and this is the continuatio pf the story adapted from  his book, History of a War Baby.

Tony Unc at the Flyn's party
Tony (Unc) the piano player left the band too and Ron went into a pub in Woolwich called the Queen Arms in Burrage Road and joined a pub pianist and worked every weekend. Tony asked me to join him in playing in and around pubs in Woolwich.

I was very flattered with this and for a time, we played together doing his rock and roll music. We were booked to play by a family called Flynn.

This family had notoriety at the time, especially with the police. This family took us under their wing and we played at various parties in pubs around the area.

We would play for drinks and during the evening they would pass a pint glass around to put money in and we did very well out of these takings. Getting the kit to the gigs was often left to my dad and his motorbike and sidecar. I gained a lot of experience and confidence in doing these gigs. With the proceeds, I added to my drum kit a couple of tom-toms.

Soon after that, I was to do my last gig with Tony. Once more we were booked to play at a Flynn’s party and an extension was applied for from the council for the pub to be open until midnight. The local police objected, the party went on and had to finish when the pub closed at 10:30 pm.

Tony and I played our usual stuff. This party was to celebrate the coming home of a member of the Flynn’s family from prison. I found out much later on that there were special guests at that party the Cray twins Ronnie and Reggie.

Unknown to the public then, but, later on, they were to become famous in a murder trial. I did not know that at the time. We were told we were on to a good fee for the evening and at the end of the gig we asked to go back to the family house and get the money, as the guy who was to pay us did not have any cash on him.

Tony and I went and hung around the house for a bit and Tony said he had been paid but not in full he paid me some money. He said he had to pick up the rest the following day. He would meet me in a pub in Woolwich and pay me what he owed me.

I went to the pub and to my disappointment Tony did not show up. I found later he had got a place in a university and was leaving the area to go and get a degree. I never saw him again.

Many years later I went to Woolwich whilst on a working trip and met, by chance, a member of the Flynn family in a pub.

He remembered the party and he told me about the Cray brothers being there and he said he paid Tony £10 for the evening gig; I only got paid £1, so Tony still owes me £4, a lot on money in 1958.

© Eddy Newport 2017

Pictures;  Tony (nickname Unc.) at the Flynn’s party where the Cray twins were guests. Tony did me out of £4 and I never saw him again. (Note the primitive amplifier on the piano) courtesy of  Eddy Newport

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