It all started in the most unlikely of places, Great Malvern in Worcestershire. It was 1971, psychedelic music and flares were in; Arsenal won the double, and I was sharing a house in South London, with amongst others, Richard Jones. Richard came from Malvern, and after much prompting, persuaded me to join forces with him and his old school friend Will Atkinson to promote rock concerts at the large, and somewhat under-utilised, Malvern Winter Gardens.
Somewhat nervously we awaited the day of our first promotion, the 3rd July 1971. Hawkwind + Skin Alley + Sidewinder disco, all for only 12 old shillings. What a bargain! We celebrated as over 600 people turned up, and we were able to share a small profit between the three of us. And so it went on, in fact for the next ten years, every three weeks or so I would drive to Malvern and help to promote a concert with my partners Will and Richard.
We decided to call our company Cherry Red Promotions. Where did the name Cherry Red come from? We pondered for weeks over what to call our new venture, and eventually it was Will who came up with the name – it was the title of a track from the Groundhogs ‘Split’ album – we liked the Groundhogs, we liked the name, so that was that. Tony Macphee, it’s all down to you!