Fifty years ago, at the dawn of the Swinging Sixties, Royston Ellis was a spokesman for Britain's teenage generation. Aged 16, he hung around coffee bars and jazz clubs in Soho, chronicling in poetry the life he saw around him. Gradually, he also became closely associated with the emerging music scene. In 1959, he teamed up with Cliff Richard's group, the Drifters, and appeared with them on television and stage shows performing his unique brand of 'rocketry' (rock'n'roll poetry). In 1960, he was backed by the Beetles (as they then were) in Liverpool, and by Jimmy Page at London's Mermaid Theatre. Before leaving the UK in 1961 to explore the world, Ellis penned the first-ever books on Cliff ("Driftin' with Cliff Richard") and the Shadows ("The Shadows by Themselves"), as well as "The Big Beat Scene", the first contemporary account of the teenage music scene in Britain. Written before the emergence of the Beatles and without the benefit of hindsight, this fascinating document provides a unique, first-hand insight into the popularity and relevance of jazz, skiffle and rock'n'roll at a time when Cliff Richard & The Shadows were at the cutting edge of pop, and the social attitudes of the time.
Used availability for Royston Ellis's The Big Beat Scene
June 2010 : UK Paperback