Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title
Hereward Kaye composer singer song writer title

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Stars Fell on Stockton



Stockton Theatre


Stars Fell on Stockton - 1963

November 22nd, Dallas, and the man in the motorcade they call The President is in his last minute. Five thousand miles away on the stage of the Stockton Globe, Jimmy Tarbuck, popular compere, prowls in the spotlight.
“Four young lads from Liverpool, where else?” he crows, only for his words to drown in a sea of screams as one of the four sticks his Chelsea boot through the crack in the curtain. Fidgeting on the lip of my tip up seat, ten years old and flanked by my sisters, I feel I’m about to explode.


“John!”...Tarby kicks into countdown.
Back in Dallas the hired assassin introduces warm cheek to cool metal stock and settles to deadly stillness, a Praying Mantis over a gun. Only the barrel moves. Kennedy’s munificent waving hand blurs across the north east quadrant of the sights.
His magnificent brain rides the epicentre, primed to implode.
The killer’s forefinger tightens upon the trigger.
The trigger starts to move. Fate’s swollen waters sway in awesome pause.
The world holds its breath.
I feel like I’m gonna die.


With the crack of a marksman’s shot, and the opening chugga-chugga of Twist and Shout, time releases its breath and the scream seems to last forever. This is history in full flood, a moment in carnage. In a slomo blur of black & white, the President’s head flips back onto the open top, riding in the wrong direction on a CIA bullet.

Blasted back into my bucket seat, riddled with rock and roll, my life has just begun. I’m rafting the white water of adrenaline.

The Beatles 1963

John’s right in front of me, wrenching out words like tortured metal and pulling stupid faces. Paul’s on the left, his violin bass pointing up at his eyebrow, which he arches in mock innocence, maliciously stirring the soup of screams. George commutes between the two, his shiny Gretch black as a Cadillac. A big guitar. A big, slow grin. Big hair. Ringo’s on the drum riser behind his grey Ludwig kit, Beatles logo on his bass drum, fringe flopping down every time he hits the snare.
Matching hair, matching suits, matching amps – though Paul’s was bigger – Wizard of Oz lighting, electric guitars and the world at their feet.
Biting on my fist I check the sisters. Ros is sobbing, Corky wailing ‘George!’ hand outstretched in supplication.
The Beatles do the ‘ooo’ thing they nicked from Little Richard, sending a tidal wave through the soup and another batch of fainted girls into the arms of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade in the aisles.
“Shurrup!” yells John, the hard knock.
“Could you just perhaps, you know,” asks Paul, reasonably, “just scream a little quieter, so we can hear what we’re doing?” The eyebrow arches fatally.
“We’ve written another….SHURRUP!…we’ve written another song. For Ringo! But he hasn’t learnt it yet, ‘ave yer, Ringo?”
“Can I just say,” says Paul, “would you mind not throwing any more jellybabies?” “We’ve had lots and lots and lots of jellybabies and we don’t like them anymore.”
“This is the last one!”
“Last one!”
“Cos we can’t hear ourselves!”
“It’s our new single.”
“We ‘ope you like it as much as the larst one.” John the sarcastic, John the hardcase, John the clown.
“It’s called I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”

Starry eyed I crawled from the wreckage, an avalanche of screams ringing in my ears. From Dallas emanated a cavalcade of sirens to freeze time itself to the spot.
Dad picked us up, grave-faced with the news, but who cared? His Old World was as dead as a Kennedy.
My baby heart was beating in four/four and the future had a soundtrack.



Web design and occasional backing singing: Nicky Furre - See