Vince Eager recalls..

One of my favourite recollections of Six-Five Special is of the musicians having a pre-show pint.

As I was a Coca Cola person, I perhaps remember more of the pre-show sessions than they did.

 Directly opposite the Riverside Studios main entrance was a pub.

Immediately following the final dress rehearsal, which finished at approx 5pm, musicians such as Tubby Hayes, Ronnie Scott, Johnny Hawksworth, Ronnie Verrel, to name but a few, would head to the pub for a loosener.

Above the bar was a TV, tuned in and ready for the show.

At the end of the news bulletin, and just as the weather report started, those musicians in the first number would stroll across to the studio, leaving unfinished pints on the bar.

As they reached the lobby entrance to the studio, to the strains of Don Lang singing, the titles would roll.

Following the intro from Pete Murray or Jo Douglas there would always be a band number.

As the camera picked up the shot of the band, there would be sitting the musicians who had two minutes earlier left the bar.

Number complete, a cut to Jo or Pete for the next artist intro, and walking through the pub bar door would come the boys, ready to finish their unfinished drinks. 

As they strolled up to the bar it was difficult to take in that three or four minutes earlier they had appeared live on TV.

Sure enough they would repeat this ritual every time they had a number to play, which was sometimes three times during the show.

They often received a phone call in the pub from the studio gallery reminding of some directional point.

What fantastic characters, as well as musicians, they were.

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