1970, Two Red Shoes, Memorabilia And More

October 18, 2008

I know you’ll probably think I’ve been neglecting this blog but it’s been a time issue. That and the ease with which I seem to have spent far too long trying to stage this memorabilia exhibition at the Ballerina’s sister venue in Elgin. The Two Red Shoes was Albert Bonici’s first venue and played host to The Beatles on the first night of their first tour in Scotland. I do wonder what would have happened if the weather had not caused the cancellation of the scheduled gig the night before at the Longmore Hall in Keith!

I imagine I would have put up a blog for the Longmore Hall but instead I chose to add the Two Red Shoes blog to this one. Maybe it’s a crazy idea but Albert’s Elgin venue seems so totally different from the Ballerina. After The Beatles played there, the Two Red Shoes had three years of attracting some of the best bands on the circuit and then it slumped. By late 1966, when the Ballerina was really starting to take off, the Elgin venue was failing. In 1967, only two big name bands played there. Okay, one was Pink Floyd but Nairn attracted 10 major acts that year. By 1968, things were even worse with Albert presenting “exotic dancers” instead of name acts. Exotic dancers, in case you wondered, were strippers. Albert, ever the svengali, failed to tell the dancers that they couldn’t strip until they actually got to the venue and, needless to say, never even considered telling the press who he was really having onstage.

Still, it’s a legendary venue. Whether it deserves that status is anyone’s guess. My many weeks trying to set up the memorabilia exhibition did at least mean I could research all the bands that played Elgin but it doesn’t really make up for the wasted time. I think I’ve consigned the exhibition to history and have started to list some of the stuff on my main site. As I get more stuff up, I’ll add it to a page here so anyone that’s interested can look without fear that I’m using the main part of the blog to sell stuff.

Talking of blogs, I’ve decided to add a few more. Having been a compulsive list maker for more years than I care to mention, I have dates for most of the appearances at London’s Marquee Club, The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, Fillmore East in New York and Glasgow Apollo. The only one with anything on it as yet, is marqueeclub.wordpress.com.

Back to this blog, just in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve added 1970 to the listings and have another three years that I just need to type in.

One last thing. Does anyone know where the bands that played the Ballerina stayed? Did Albert use an hotel or like Elgin, did he have a favourite boarding house? I was recently told that the Elgin landlady was shocked and totally disgusted at how dirty The Beatles were when they stayed with her but I didn’t manage to get her name, so couldn’t follow it up.

6 Responses to “1970, Two Red Shoes, Memorabilia And More”

  1. Allan Cathro Says:

    I lived in Cawdor Road in Nairn from 1968 to 1972. My family reamined there while I moved away to study in Edinburgh. The question in your last paragrapph in the section 1970, Two Red Shoes etc. about where bands stayed when they played the Ballerina in Nairn. I don’t know if this applies to all the bands but I do know that my father went to his ‘local’ one day which was the Waverley Hotel at the top of the High Street in Nairn and he spent the afternoon drinking with The Marmalade who were playing the Ballerina. He told me then that they were staying in The Waverley. I have just found your blog and have many memories of the Ballerina in Nairn around this time so I will have a look at the rest of it and see if I can contribute some more.

  2. Jean Morrison Says:

    I remember that when Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders played the Ballerina they stayed in The Victoria Hotel in Nairn and on the Friday afternoon my friend and myself headed to the Ballroom after school (as usual) and met Ricky heading up to Woolworths to buy a checked shirt with a button down collar.

  3. gordon Says:

    cant tell you where bands stayed in nairn, but when playing the boots in elgin the kinks stayed at the braelossie hotel and pink floyd at the stotfield hotel in lossie (where they caused a stushie by comming down for breakfast in bare feet)

  4. I played the 2 Red Shoes in 1965 ? And most of the bands stayed at Mrs. B’s Guest House in Elgin.


    My granny Mary Archibald of the Drill Hall in the Cooper Park in Elgin took in a lot of the bands/ singers . She took in Cliff , Cilla, Sandy Shaw and Adam Faith amongst others.We weren’t allowed to run around the drill hall when anyone was staying because she said they needed their sleep. Adam Faith stayed in touch with her for a long time.

  6. Duncan Brown Says:

    Geno Washington and his Ram Jam Band stayed at the Highland Hotel, Nairn, I was working there as a waiter.

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