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Sixties and out.

Byline: DAVID POWELL Daily Post Reporter

IT'S been 51 years since The Ivy League entered the charts with Funny How Love Can Be in 1965. Bass player Jon Brennan joined the band four years later but still has a tale to tell about meeting The Beatles, touring with The Kinks and being envious of The Hollies.

The Ivy League's latest tour sees them in North Wales alongside Herman's Hermits, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Fortunes and Chris Farlowe. Also on the bill are The New Amen Corner and Alan Mosca from Freddie and the Dreamers.

But Dad-of-four Jon, 69, who has four grandchildren, is happy to stir memories of the early days from his Bolton home.

He remembers being at a gig in The Oasis Club in Manchester and The Beatles unexpectedly walked in.

Starstruck, the teenager collected their autographs on his diary which he cherishes to this day.

Then there was touring with The Kinks. Jon said: "I never spoke to Ray Davies. He used to travel separately. He never seemed to be involved with the band. He used to arrive an hour before they were due to go on stage.

"But the other boys were fantastic. We had great fun with those. Particularly Pete Quaife, the bass player. The Tremeloes were tremendous too, down to earth guys."

Inevitably, there was natural competition between groups.

Jon, of Westhoughton, admits to being envious of fellow Manchester band The Hollies.

But he is deeply grateful that Sixties music is enduringly popular.

Bands from that era suffered a lean spell in the Seventies then enjoyed a revival.

He said: "We were very lucky in The Ivy League because we slowly evolved into a cabaret act in the early Seventies, simply to survive. A lot of Sixties groups didn't and found life difficult for ten to 15 years.

"But suddenly the Sixties had a resurgence and everyone showed an interest again. Maybe enough time had gone by."

More recently, he has enjoyed touring for up to 66 nights with other ageing rock and rollers.

Jon says Sixties acts developed a "natural camaraderie" because "no-one has anything to prove". The only annoying problems come when newcomers on his tours try to "stake their claim" to justify being there which he understands.

Retirement beckons after this tour ends. Jon said: "When this tour finishes The Ivy League finishes too.

"We always promised ourselves that if and when it came to the time to call it a day we didn't want to do what other people have done in showbusiness and leave it too late.

"Eventually, all you're doing is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring and book you. And it doesn't happen because your time has gone. You just drain away very slowly. We thought we'd announce it and finish on this tour - on something definite."

So, turning to music today, who does he admire now? Christine and the Queens as they're "original and talented".

The Sensational 60s Experience Tour, Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Monday, November 28 at 7.30pm. Tickets cost PS22.50 to PS26.50. Ring 01492 872000 or visit

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Oct 14, 2016
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