If I were to select one venue that could be considered the ‘home of The Bachelors’ it would have to be the massive 3000+ seat Blackpool Opera House. The promoter Harold Fielding had exclusive rights to the theatre on Sundays between May and October. He booked The Bachelors for three nights (2 shows each) in 1965 which sold out completely.
1966 was a ‘no go’ as they were already appearing 200 meters up the road at the ABC theatre. But, for the following three summers they were Fielding’s main attraction at the Opera House with no less than 18 twice nightly performances. They starred at that venue in their own summer season in 1970, but were back in 1971 for ten Sunday concerts. This deal continued at the same pace for the rest of the decade.
John Stokes loved playing the Blackpool Opera House and his recollections of the venue are vivid;
“Depending on where we were playing for the summer we would drive or fly to Blackpool with our own drummer and Musical Director. We had to be there for a band call at 14.00, perform two shows and get back to where we came from in time for our resident show on Monday.
I was always knocked out by the fact that over 6000 people had come to see us in one evening and the audience reaction was always amazing. But the thing that sticks most in my memory is the middle-aged couple who had the same two front row seats opposite my microphone for first house every time we played there. “
As a teenager I saw them at that venue almost every time they were there. Their road manager, Billy Livingston, used to recruit me to help carry their instruments into the theatre from the massive Humber Estate Car they used to get around.
He paid me 6d for that or 9d if he also sent me scurrying off to a shop to buy his pipe cleaners! I felt very important!