MARCH 20, 1958...That'll Be The Day when Buddy Holly played Liverpool and Merseybeat really began, says Sixties icon Mike Pender of The Searchers ahead of his appearance at Sheffield City Hall.
He saw the American superstar's visit that day and says it changed the face of music with the start of the city sound which gave the world bands like The Beatles.
AUDIO: Listen to Mike Pender's chat with Graham Walker - CLCK HERE.
It also inspired the line up on The Sensational 60’s Experience tour, which plays Sheffield City Hall on Saturday, December 1 - including his band The Searchers, Chris Farlowe, Herman’s Hermits, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Dakotas and The Fourmost.
The show is full of hits including Needles and Pins, Out Of Time, I’m Into Something Good, Hippy Hippy Shake, Little Children, A Little Lovin, plus many more.
BUY TICKETS: Tickets are £31.60, including booking fee, for The Sensational 60’s Experience at Sheffield City Hall on December 1, 2018. Buy in person, call 0114 2789 789 or visit sheffieldcityhall.sivtickets.com.
Mike, still performing aged 77, says the world has Buddy Holly to thank.
The voice of chart-topping hits including Sweets For My Sweet, Needles and Pins and Don't Throw Your Love Away, recalls: "We formed The Searchers in 1957, named after the famous John Wayne western.
"But I remember I was on my own with my guitar, looking around for other people to play music with when I went along to see Buddy Holly and the Crickets at the Philharmonic in Liverpool. I remember the date - March 20th, 1958.
"And for me that was the beginning of Merseybeat because as soon as Buddy Holly appeared there, the following year 1959 into 1960, all the groups started coming together - The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, ourselves, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes - lots of Liverpool bands. And for me Buddy Holly, her started Merseybeat.
"We started out playing for beer money and to appeal to all the girls - that that was all we did it for really.":
Despite approaching the grand old age of 80 he has no plans to hang up his microphone anytime soon and still loves to perform the classic hits which music fans want to hear.
But he does find all the travelling hard work, especially on a tour like this with more than 50 dates around the country.
"I look after myself and my weight. I still enjoy performing. I was in New York recently doing a big 60s show and Petula Clarke was on it - she is 85 and was absolutely fantastic. So I've a few years left in me yet."