We thought we’d look back at some of the amazing musical events that have taken place locally over the years. Looking back, which of these big names do you recognise…
Goth-rockers The Cure (Friday I’m In Love, Just Like Heaven etc.) played at a Carshalton Park Open Air Concert in 1979, soon after the release of their first album. The band met as school friends in Crawley. The event was organised in those days by the Carshalton Carnival Committee. Robert Smith said in 2006, “It’s so pitiful when ‘goth’ is still tagged onto the name the Cure”, and added, “We’re not categorisable.”
Pictured above is Jeff Lynne from ELO (Mr Blue Sky, Livin’ Thing) who played their first live concert opposite West Croydon station at the Fox and Hounds pub on April 15 1972. The band holds the record for having the most Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hits without a number one single of any band in US chart history. I’ve heard that ELO played in Carshalton Park, but I can’t find specific reference to the event. Were you there? please enter in comments below.
Screaming Lord Sutch appeared a few times on stage at the Carshalton Park Rock ‘n’ Roll festival in 1971, rising from inside a Coffin. He even recorded a live album here. He was known as an english musician and famous for being a flamboyant serial parliamentary candidate.
In Sutton, the Rolling Stones (Paint it Black, Gimme Shelter) performed at The Winning Post pub in Sutton High street (formerly The Red Lion). They played several gigs here and on 23 January 1963, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman became permanent members of the band, at this venue. Later they were spotted by a noted Soviet-born music promoter, Giorgio Gomelsky, who was in the audience during an historic early gig in 1963. In 2011, Sutton Council added the Winning Post to a list of buildings and structures of local significance. Bill Wyman from the Stones did a programme for the BBC and filmed outside about 7 years ago
Just up the road from Carshalton Park, was where David Bowie (Under Pressure, Changes, Ashes to Ashes) played, at Wallington Public Hall. This was at the beginning of his Ziggy Stardust tour. The tour took place in the United Kingdom, North America, and Japan in 1972–73, to promote the studio albums The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Aladdin Sane. The picture above is Bowie on stage at Wallington, wearing a similar outfit to that which appeared on the cover of the Starman single.
On 8 June 1965 The Who (Pinball Wizard, My Generation) played at Wallington Public Hall.
Perhaps the most notorious musician to play at Wallington Public Halls was the American star Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire) on 28 May 1963. Music critic Robert Christgau has said of Lewis: “His drive, his timing, his offhand vocal power, his unmistakable boogie-plus piano, and his absolute confidence in the face of the void make Jerry Lee the quintessential rock and roller.”
Some other famous names to make it to Stafford Road included Johnny Kidd (Shakin’ All Over), Gene Vincent (Be-Bop-a-Lula), the Rolling Stones , Eric Clapton (Wonderful Tonight, Layla), Manfred Mann (Blinded by the light, Ha Ha Said the Clown), Billy Fury (Halfway to Paradise), Jimmy Page (Stairway to Heaven), The Kinks (Lola, Sunny Afternoon, Come Dancing), and local-lad-made-good, Jeff Beck (Hi Ho Silver Lining), who was born in Wallington, and Status Quo (whatever you want, rockin’ all over the world). Some members of Status Quo were once spotted drinking with Oliver Reed in The Greyhound in Carshalton.
And here’s another musical connection to the area – in around 1948, a young Cliff Richard (Summer Holiday, Bachelor Boy, Living Doll) lived at Windborough Road, Carshalton-on-the-Hill and went to Stanley Park Juniors. Later on, he was a trustee of the Missionary Mart (now called Emmaus) in Stafford Road, Wallington. Pictured above with The Shadows in 1962.
Talking of Carshalton-on-the-Hill… in 1981 there was BBC Arena documentary focussing on the legendary BBC Radio presenter John Peel. Filmed here, following the exploits of new bands on Brambledown Road.
More musical connections… Helen Shapiro appeared on stage at Carshalton Public Halls (the cryer). Noel coward played as a child on stage at a lost venue in Sutton.
That’s it! Who have we missed? Is there anything more current than this? Leave your comments below to keep a record (no pun intended) of events, or if you have pics or memories. The images in this blog post aren’t from the actual events, apart from David Bowie. Some images are from Getty. We’ve been unable to find where to attribute all images. Wallington Public Halls has been demolished.