Who was who at the Locarno

PUBLISHED: 17:02 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

Gary Howman with a picture of The Who when they appeared at the Locarno in 1966

Gary Howman with a picture of The Who when they appeared at the Locarno in 1966

GARY Howman was a toddler asleep in bed at his Stevenage home when some of the biggest pop acts of the Sixties appeared on stage at the Locarno Ballroom in the town. The place was a nationally important venue and it was abuzz with excitement when the like

GARY Howman was a toddler asleep in bed at his Stevenage home when some of the biggest pop acts of the Sixties appeared on stage at the Locarno Ballroom in the town.

The place was a nationally important venue and it was abuzz with excitement when the likes of Cream, Edwin Starr and The Move appeared there in 1967.

Over the other side of the town centre, The Who played Bowes Lyon House in June 1965.

And they liked Stevenage so much that they came back time after time.

Gary wants people who attended any of these or the many other gigs staged in the town in the Swinging Sixties to get in touch with him.

He is a mature student at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge working on a dissertation about life in Stevenage new town.

"I have always been interested in Sixties popular culture and am currently researching the thriving pop scene in Stevenage in the 1960s," said Gary.

"I was interested to learn that The Who were the first group to play at Bowes Lyon House and appeared six more times in Stevenage at the Locarno Ballroom in 1966 and 1967.

"Pete Townshend of The Who once said that Stevenage had the most devoted fans in Britain and the group actually namechecked Bowes Lyon House on the back of their Quadrophenia album.

"Ike and Tina Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Animals and Tom Jones were among dozens of acts who played the groovy Locarno club in the swinging days before it became a bingo hall.

"I would love to talk to anybody who attended any of these shows or helped organise them for an eye witness account of what it was really like."

If you can help Gary, write to him at 122 Wisden Road, Stevenage, Herts, SG1 5JB or email:garyihowman@yahoo.co.uk


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