The Meteors began life in Maryport in 1961.
The original members were John Voce on rhythm guitar,
Alan Lyall on drums, Barry Nixon on lead guitar and Jerry Bell on vocals,
(but without an amplifier between them!)
One day John Voce (or La'al Ted as he was known
to the band) passed an electrical shop in Crosby St., Maryport and heard
the sound of John Forster practising on his electric guitar in the back
of the shop using an amplifier. John Voce
asked him if he would like to join his group. John Forster, while overjoyed,
always wondered whether it was his playing or the ownership of an amplifier
which swung it for him. Anyway the group were sufficiently impressed with
Johnís playing to appoint him lead guitarist, Barry switching to bass.
A non-playing asset to the band was Reg Nixon, Barryís dad who became
the bandís manager/agent and advisor. He also provided the final missing
component - transport (albeit a builderís pick-up truck). Reg also provided
somewhere to practise either in his home or in his workshop.
They played their first gig in the Bewery House
pub in Little Broughton with a total repertoire of ten numbers. Even so
they managed to play all night and were rewarded with five shillings (25p)
each. Another early venue was The Crown Inn in Maryport (which was commonly
referred to as "Minshaws" ) which had a "singing room" round the back.
In those days singalongs were popular, with regulars getting up to do
their favourite songs, usually accompanied by a piano. When Regís cousin
Jackie played the piano for the singers the band would join in. This proved
invaluable experience, having to play by the seat of the pants without
knowing which song was coming next.