Billy Haley and The Comets

An excerpt taken from Sax, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Comets had a young guitar player who had just joined the band and was a little too cocky for our liking.

On the Star Club stage, there was a backline of Fender guitar amps in place, but for some reason the new guitarist wanted the lead guitar amp moved.  He was acting like a right idiot! The members of our band gave each other a knowing glance and decided it was ‘initiation time’. We walked up on stage and picked up our young American friend. We carried him up the aisle, humming the death march as we went,


and headed straight out of the front door with The Comets in pursuit. He had no idea who we were or what we were doing at this point. We turned right and went down the Grosse Freiheit for about 30 yards, still humming the death march.  It was Sunday, and the streets were packed as usual; we had created quite a spectacle and folk had started gathering to see what the commotion was. We turned into the Flunder Courtyard to a pool surrounded by a high wall. All the time the guitarist was screaming at the top of his voice, “PUT ME

DOWN, FOR GOD’S SAKE, PUT ME DOWN!” As we approached the pool, we did indeed put him down, with an almighty splash, drenching half The Comets in the process! They were dripping wet, and everyone was rolling with laughter. Thankfully they took it in the spirit in which it had been intended. We laughed all the way back to the Star Club introducing each other as we went.

From that day on Bill Haley and The Comets became great friends of ours, and we would meet several times after.


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Angie McCartney

McCartney Multimedia, Inc.

…His unfailing sense of humour was what always shone through it all. He is still so utterly professional, on time, on cue, and with the odd, muttered observations of some of the shenanigans that his fellow performers would get up to.

Pete Postlethwaite OBE


… on that particular night we had Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Beatles and The Undertakers on the bill. The Undertakers did them all. They were the best, they were brilliant. Their speakers were shaped like coffins, they wore stovepipe hats and they had saxophones as well as guitars.

Spencer Leigh

BBC Radio Presenter & Author

The Undertakers were different from the other Merseybeat bands as they got away from the three guitars and drums lineup with the beefy saxophone of Brian Jones. Brian played on many hit records and is highly regarded in the industry.

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Sax, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll is published by Mouse Media

About the authors

Diane Tremarco is a former musician who runs Mouse Media, a graphic and web design studio in Merseyside. Diane has held the position of Editor on several regional magazines and has had a regular column in a National Magazine.

Brian ‘Saxophone’ Jones is a phenominal musician and one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet. Still playing regularly around Merseyside, he is looking forward to sharing his story with the world from December 2018.