When I was about 14 or 15, my Dad took me to see The Hollies at The Mayflower in Southampton. We can’t remember why no one else came with us, but it was just us two.
I had developed a love of The Hollies from playing around in my parents’ record collection, whilst hiding from the chart music of my teens. I would turn the speaker in to face each other and lie on the carpet with head between them for hours, and I listened to The Hollies Golden Greats for over and over this way. (This is one of my Ten Albums In Ten Days #10AlbumsIn10Days )
So Dad got tickets and we went. I still remember what I wore. At this point there were 3 of the original 6 members still in the band, and it was fabulous and you might expect. He Ain’t Heavy was spectacular, and it is a night that is tattooed on my brain, but the part of the evening that still gives me chills was their performance of a song called ‘Don’t Let Me Down’. It wasn’t on Golden Greats and I’d never heard it before. Instruments all down except for one acoustic guitar – the guitarist even said ‘there’s only 7 chords in this song and I can still never remember it’ before they started, and he had a little practice at the edge of the stage before they started. All 6 of them gathered round one mic with this one guitar and sang this song.
Night time has fallen, she’ll be comin’ home soon
Leave the door wide open, ah, so she won’t need a key
Lock it behind you baby, draw the blinds so no one can see
Don’t let, don’t let me down..”
The harmonies are spine tingling and this song haunted me, in a good way, for years afterwards. This was before iTunes and YouTube and it wasn’t possible to just google things. I went to my local record shop, who were used to my odd requests to track down bizarre music that’s wasn’t currently in circulation. Eventually, I found it on a beaten up old tape, which I listened to until it wouldn’t work any more, and then I had to wait until the digital world took over and I could get a copy of this song. It still moves me as much to this day. Amazing night.