THE DETONATORS Rock Group History Letter
From: Derek Corlett 1955-1960
As exclusively revealed at the COBA Annual Dinner in October, a local band from the 1960's featuring Doug Eaton was reformed for "one night only", and appeared at the famous Cavern Club in Liverpool on Sunday 15th December. Doug founded the original group in 1960 with his brother, Roger, and another old boy - John Morris - but for various reasons (as time has passed) John no longer plays. Doug was initially a guitarist and now plays keyboard and John was the original drummer.
Doug's mother ran a drapers shop, and they used to practice in the cellar. When they realised that they were attracting fans, who would stand outside and listen to the band rehearsing, Doug decided to open the venue as a private members club - The Trap Door Club! The Detonators first 'paying gig' was at West Derby Village Hall in April 1961, and they went on to play all the major Merseyside venues, including the Iron Door, Orrell Park Ballroom, the Aintree Institute, and New Brighton Tower et al.
Doug's love of music was reflected in his Saturday and holiday job whilst at the Collegiate, which was working behind the counter at Brian Epstein's NEMS record shop. [Doug recalls that he wrote the 'record review' column in the 'VI Form Times', which was published at school in the early 60's].The Detonators played The Cavern Club over 20 times, and Doug decided to reform the band for a 'final gig' to commemorate a 'significant birthday' and the 50th anniversary of their Cavern-playing days.
John, along with six other old boys - including Edward Murphy who played lead guitar for The Detonators - took up the offer of a free ticket to enjoy a super performance by the group. All the numbers were from the 1950's and 1960's including some from The Beatles. The packed audience knew the words and joined in the singing to add to the lively atmosphere. We can be truly proud of a virtuoso performance from Doug and his colleagues.
A noteworthy feature of the night was that five scholars who joined the school in 1955, and were present, represented the school football under 12's team. In no particular order they were: Doug Eaton, George Hutchins, Derek Corlett, John Morris and our own version of Gerry Byrne, Evan Jones. Naturally we were virtually unbeatable!
Whenever an article appears in the Echo about the Merseybeat sound, it is often accompanied by a pic of an 'unknown group' - it is in fact The Detonators from a gig at The Cavern on New Years Eve 1963!
Doug is now working on a book about the 'Great and the Good' - not those who played at The Cavern - but those who attended the club in the 60's - the scousers around, at the time, included Edwina Currie, Sir John Birt, Anne Robinson and Lynda la Plante!
On another matter. When I started school I used to call at the home of John Morris who lived in the next road, and we joined Steve Craig on our way to the bus stop in West Derby Village to travel to school. No caps when we started but they were worn when we alighted at Erskine Street! Roy Jennion lived alongside John and although I cannot recall Roy ever played, he did write reports on the first eleven fixtures which were posted on the notice board at the top of the middle stairway on the first floor. A skilled writer who sadly passed away several years ago.
Our thanks go to Doug for a really great occasion and for providing complimentary tickets for this foot tapping experience.
DEREK CORLETT 1955-1960
Hi Derek - Thank you very much for your input - As they say "ALL contributions will be kindly received" (and probably printed)
We do think that your "Box Brownie" might have made a slightly better effort of the "Snap" of the inside of the Cavern :) :)
I understand that there is not much chance of you appearing at Carnegie (spelling) Hall :)
However, we do live in hopes that some other (brave) COBs will come forward with similiar exercises, such as "WimWam throwing at Otterspool" (Lack of clothing optional, except for old school ties :) )
Seriously, (for a change) we would like to see more articles of this nature (The more Avant Garde, the better) showing that there is still life in the old COBs :) :) :)
© Liverpool Collegiate Old Boys' Association (2018)