Barry Lovegrove returns to County Museum to tell tales of the rocking ’60s

Barry Lovegrove was just a teen when he was sharing the stage with rock and roll legends in England.

Adam Prudhomme
Beaver Staff

Barry Lovegrove was just a teenager when his band, The Jet Blacks, played a gig in Liverpool, England as the opening act for Little Richard.

When Little Richard was unable to play that night, The Jet Blacks were bumped to the top billing and they called on some local band known as The Beatles to close out the show. The rest they say, is history.

That’s just one of the tidbits Lovegrove will share during next week’s Tuesday Night at the Museum, held Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at the L&A County Museum and Archives.

Titled “Life in the Sixties”, Lovegrove will share stories of his time performing professionally in the United Kingdom during the golden age of music, while mixing in songs with the accompaniment of his vintage Gibson J45 guitar.

“I was fortunate to be around in the early ’60s playing guitar with some local bands,” says Lovegrove. “At the age of 16 I had the opportunity to play in a professional band, The Nite Sounds Combo. I then went on to play with Jet Harris and his original band after he left Cliff Richard and the Shadows called The Jet Blacks. While playing with Jet & The Jet Blacks I had the opportunity to tour with some very well-known artists – some that are still going strong today.”

As a teen he found himself right in the middle of the brewing British Invasion which hadn’t quite reached North America.

“It was an interesting time back then in the British music scene,” said Lovegrove. “Things were really starting to happen. I played proficiently for two-and-a-half years and will be talking about some of my experiences, showing some old photos and memorabilia, and even singing a few songs with my old Gibson J45.”

As fun as those times were, Lovegrove says he might not be here today if he hadn’t stepped away in his early 20s and boarded a boat for Canada.

“It was an experience but it was hard because I was just 16 and 17,” he said. “I was in a grown up world at the time trying to fend for myself. My father had just passed away and it was tough in a lot of ways. It seemed like a glamorous job and I guess it is, but what you see on stage is not what goes on backstage with bands.”

As part of the talk he’ll be performing songs from his latest release.

“I just recently recorded my own CD on my computer at home here,” he said. “It’s songs that I would play back in the early 60s with my father in working clubs in England.”

He’ll also answer a frequently asked question as to how a rock star from England could wind up living in Lennox and Addington. While he recalls fondly some of his experiences of the rock scene, he has no regrets for the life he chose.

“One of my buddies I’m in touch with now on Facebook, he’s in Hawaii,” said Lovegrove. “His name is Vic Briggs and he played with The Animals and other bands with Jimi Hendrix. And then my other buddy Ritchie Blackmore is living in a castle in Ireland. Here I am living in Erinsville and I think I’m better off than anyone.”

This will mark the second time Lovegrove has held a talk at the museum. He has also performed several events throughout the region.

Admission to Tuesday’s talk is $3. Tuesday Night at the Museum is an ongoing program hosted by L&A County, featuring a different guest speaker every month. The museum is located at 97 Thomas Street E in Napanee.

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