The George Peckham Story
Part One: Growing Up in Liverpool
By George Peckham  

Would you trust this man to play lead guitar on your album?I was brought up in and around Liverpool and up to the Sixties I played with pals trying to learn guitar and to form a group. I did form a group called the Renegades. At first I was on guitar and my friend from school Peter Jones was on lead guitar. Our drummer was Bob Evans of Bob Evans & his Five Shillings fame. He was a great driving drummer. On bass guitar was David Harrop who later had to leave the band as it was just a bit too much for him. I had been teaching my younger brother Derek to play rhythm guitar and when Dave Harrop decided to leave my brother jumped in to play the bass, and I was surprised he was reasonable.

I had to build a bass cabinet for him as he only had a 15 watt Gibson single speaker amplifier and that was for rhythm, so off I went and bought an 18” bass driver speaker. Then I went to the local wood yard to get wood for four sides and a top and bottom (I had seen Adrian Barber of the Big Three, who made cabinets for bands and they sounded powerful and loud). I noticed that Adrian used Kapok padding and weights in the base of the cabinets to help with the transmission on the bass end and of course stopped the cabinet traveling across the stage too. He had also cut a bass port in the lower front of the cabinet which he told me helped the air to move in and out and gave better transmission.

Whilst playing in many of the clubs and dance halls I remember seeing a band called the Beatles who had been doing gigs in Germany and each time they came back they seemed to have a more driving beat and looked more like motorbikers with their leather jackets and leather trousers, but it didn’t deter from their music at all.

We did a gig at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton one night and low and behold who else was on the bill but the up and coming Beatles. After we had done our spot Paul McCartney came up to us and asked if we would lend him our bass amp and speaker as his had failed backstage. In those days it was no problem as bands used to help each other out.

They played their gig and a few comments were pointed out at me for leaving George some Coasters numbers for him to sing (as we did a lot of the Coasters numbers). Later on after the gig had finished Paul McCartney came up to my brother and asked him if he would sell the bass set up to him, but we wouldn’t. That has been my brothers claim to fame ever since!

Later on I gave up the Renegades as I had seen a group around Liverpool called the Pawns. They had a singer called Dave Percy who I thought had the most magnificent voice that I had ever heard and equally a fantastic drummer named Sid Knapper. They told me that the bass player was leaving and were not sure how things would go. I chatted to them for a few hours explaining that I would dearly love to join their band on guitar and vocals.

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