Fundraising event to celebrate Geoff Docherty - the man who brought Bowie, The Who and T.Rex to Sunderland and South Tyneside venues

A chance to catch up on the North East’s retro music scene is on the way – in the company of the man who helped it so much.

Geoff Docherty, who packed out venues such as the Bay Hotel and the Locarno, is expected to be at a charity gig in his honour this weekend.

This is the second event for Geoff after he was the special guest at a reunion to herald his birthday earlier this year.

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A charity gig is on the way as a tribute to former music promoter Geoff Docherty.

Now David is organising another event, this time at the Black Horse in Boldon – owned by Pete Zulu formerly of the Toy Dolls - on Sunday, October 16, from 7.30pm.

Tickets are £10 from the pub and money raised will go to MND (Motor Neurone Disease).

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David said: “Geoff and I used to eat at the Black Horse and we used to go quite often. He is very comfortable with the place and there is a big music connection.”

Geoff, who still and has always lived in Sunderland, has health issues such as a heart condition.

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Geoff Docherty outside the Locarno in 2001.

But he will forever be remembered as the man who brought Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Tyrannosaurus Rex to Sunderland in the ’60s and ’70s.

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David previously told the Echo: “He put rock and roll on the map in the region and brought some of the biggest bands in the world here.”

Geoff carved a niche for himself as a music promoter in the 1960s after seeing six years service in the Fleet Air Arm.

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He became a club doorman before turning to music promotion, with the Bay Hotel, in South Bents.

David Waller at the tribute walk for former music promoter Geoff Docherty last Summer.
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Family were the first band Geoff booked to play at the Bay, on January 6, 1969, with tickets costing six shillings each. Then came Free a week later.

Tyrannosaurus Rex played at the Bay Hotel in June 1969 and at Sunderland’s Locarno ballroom in November of the same year.

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Radio One DJ John Peel, another great friend of Geoff’s once declared the Rod Stewart and the Faces 1973 gig at the Locarno as his all-time favourite.

Geoff also booked names such as David Bowie and Mott the Hoople.

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The birthday walk held in tribute to Geoff Docherty.

He was also the manager of a band from South Shields called Beckett who he first heard playing at Annabel’s in Sunderland.

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Arthur Ramm from Beckett will be part of the band which is booked to play at Sunday’s gig and David said Arthur has been back in the studio this week to make new recordings of their songs especially for the event.

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“The charity gig will feature Arthur and many more guests. Ticket sales are already going well,” said David who is also lining up another event for Geoff in November when a VIP lunch will take place.

In the meantime, anyone wanting to book tickets for this Sunday’s charity gig should contact the Black Horse on (0191) 5361814.