Andy Howells pays tribute to Gerry Marsden MBE
Gerry Marsden MBE who with his band, The Pacemakers made history in 1963 by reaching number one with their first three records How Do You Do It? I Like It and You’ll Never Walk Alone has died after a short illness.
Gerry and The Pacemakers along with The Beatles, Cilla Black and The Searchers broke new ground and sounds in the British popular music charts during 1963 as Liverpool acts stormed the charts. The new sounds would ultimately go on to lead what would be termed as The British Invasion of America in 1964.
Gerry Marsden, Roy Orbison & The Beatles
As a lifelong fan of 60s music, it was a thrill to review Gerry and The Pacemakers on no less than three occasions when they visited Newport.
To see (and hear) a genuine 60s legend in action was pure magic, as were Gerry’s anecdotes of lending his dark glasses to Roy Orbison while on a UK tour with him in 1963. The Big O took a liking to the glasses and kept them as part of his stage act – Gerry apparently never saw his glasses again!
Similarly, Gerry would say at shows “I’m often asked why I never sing any Beatles songs – well, they never sang any of mine!”
Gerry was in fact great friends with The Beatles as far back as the late 1950s as they played gigs in Liverpool. When I interviewed Gerry some years ago, he confirmed there was no rivalry and that he and The Pacemakers had even shared the stage with the Fab Four at the Cavern Club.
Gerry & The Pacemakers Iconic Hit, You’ll Never Walk Alone
When talking to Gerry about his hit-making days, I mentioned that one of the most powerful moments was his pause before the climax of You’ll Never Walk Alone. a track that has gained mortality sung from the terraces of Anfield Football ground since the 1960s. “That’s how we planned it,” replied Gerry with great assurance.
Gerry Marsden was a man who knew and loved his music and certainly provided his fans with music memories that will continue to delight for decades to come!
Gerry Marsden MBE September 24 1942 – January 3 2021