For most fifty-something's who grew up in Britain, the decade of the Sixties is one of instant nostalgia, reaching almost mythical proportions. The stories surrounding those years become more apocryphal with each telling. Names and images resound around the subconscious, each with its own set of memories (real or unreal) - JFK, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Bobby Moore, Bobby Charlton, George Best, David Hockney, David Bailey, Terence Stamp, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Pete Townsend, Roger Daltrey, mini-skirts, mini-cars, LSD, flower power, San Francisco, Woodstock and so on and so on and so on, ad nauseam.

I am no different from so many of my contemporaries in that I still sit in the lounge bar of my local and I still discuss those years as if they were yesterday rather than over thirty years ago. The relative merits of the Beatles compared to the Who, the Small Faces, the Kinks etc, the abilities of George Best, Harold Wilson's Labour administration, comprehensive schools, sit ins at university can all still find a place in conversations and they can all still produce animated outbursts. It was just one of those conversations and one particular question that cropped up that led directly to this book - "Do you remember when we could go down the Lafayette and see virtually any of the top groups of the time and still come away thinking that our own Montanas or 'N Betweens were better?"

I decided to set out and try to answer that question.

Once I started my research it became obvious that many local people wanted to make some sort of contribution. So many people had a point of view about the period and remembered it with absolute joy and pleasure. This was particularly true for members of local groups from the sixties to whom that decade included many of their proudest moments. From one lead guitarist to a vocalist back to the rhythm or bass and on to the drummer hearing different slants on the same stories about those early days rehearsing in the front room, in the dives of Germany, at the various local venues or some of the personalities who loomed large during those days. Within a short time I found that the experiences of so many contributors reflected my own experiences and I was determined to give as full a coverage as possible to those days in Wolverhampton which I, and apparently so many others, regard as a high point in their own lives.

The oral testimonies all come from people who were there at the time and are not the product of reports. Each of the conversations was recorded by myself and each of the statements has been accepted as true representations by those people who were interviewed. I hope that anyone, especially any local teenager or twenty something from the 1960's, reading the following pages will find their memory stirred and hopefully pleased with what my informants and I have to say. We have done our best!

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