TREVOR Payne well remembers turning heads in conservative Worthing in the 1960s when he walked down the street in his full 60s regalia after a trip to the London boutiques.
But then a little shop set up in town selling the caftans, the beads and the flowers.
“And so it all spread”, says Trevor who looks back on it still as the defining decade of his life.
There were fewer demands on people’s leisure in those days; pop music was the unifying force which brought everyone together - and Trevor for one was more than keen to tap into it.
“I was born in Worthing and educated in Worthing, and I worked originally at what was the Golden Key Club which was along the road from Montague Street.”
At one time it was called the Mexican Hat Club - and it was Worthing’s answer to Liverpool’s Cavern. All the great bands played there, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich; The Searchers; The Swinging Blue Jeans; Freddie & The Dreamers and so on.
“I used to go along. They closed it down and refurbished it and it went more upmarket. My band was the resident band there. We were called The Invaders and became The Profile. We were there six nights a week.
“We used to watch Top Of The Pops, the only music programme to watch on TV at the time. We would record it on reel-to-reel tape and take it down to where we were rehearsing and dissect it and then put the songs back together, and then the following night we would be performing the songs at the Golden Key Club. We were that quick - people would be hearing songs that they had heard on Top Of The Pops just a couple of days before. The most essential thing was just to have an ear for it.”
As for heroes, Trevor’s instant answer is The Beatles: “They were head and shoulders above everyone else in that period 1963-1967. There was just no other band. Everybody just waited with impatience and huge anticipation for the next Beatles single. We would be phoning each other about it and meeting people in the coffee bars and asking each other about it. It was the most extraordinary thing. They were so popular every other band was just trying to hang on to their coat tails.
“We would go and listen in the record booths in Chapel Road. They would put the record on and you would listen. We would spend our lunchtimes there listening to the tracks. We could never afford to buy them, so we would club together and buy maybe one a week. When the guy there got to know us, he would just put bits of tracks on otherwise he thought we were taking the mickey!”
But now these are all precisely the tracks Trevor honours in his hugely-successful, long-running stage show.
The hits of the 50s, 60s and 70s including all the Christmas favourites will feature in Worthing’s traditional end-of-year extravaganza, The That’ll Be The Day show in a brand-new Christmas format (Assembly Hall, Worthing, Tuesday, December 28 and Wednesday, December 29, 7.45pm). The show is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Tickets on 01903 206206.