STARS OF THE ‘60S
Manfred Mann were wowing crowds around the world over half a century ago, and some of them are still at it today as The Manfreds
They are the band who knocked The Beatles off the top of the UK pop charts in the 1960s. Now more than five decades later, Manfred Mann are still entertaining audiences worldwide and original band member Tom McGuinness says that’s a good reason for celebration.
“Not many bands or original members from ’60s bands are still doing gigs, so I think we are doing pretty well,” McGuinness says.
“The thing is this is all I know how to do really well.
“It’s not hard to adjust to life on the road when you’re a teenager, you just do it.”
Between 1964 and 1969 Manfred Mann scored three British No.1 hits, plus one No.1 hit in America. Another seven releases went Top 5 and four more made the Top 20.
In the ’60s Manfred Mann popularised the songs of Bob Dylan with interpretations of Just like a Woman, If You Gotta Go, Go Now and Mighty Quinn.
A high note for McGuinness was when they knocked The Beatles off the No.1 spot on the pop charts.
Their first No.1 hit was Do Wah Diddy Diddy.
“We weren’t even going to record that song because when we sang it on stage we got nothing but boos from the audience,” McGuinness says.
“Then when we officially released it everyone started loving it.
“When it went to No.1, I felt wonderful. It was funny to see the headlines say ‘The Manfreds topple Beatles’ and ‘Band knocks Beatles off top spot’.
“You just didn’t expect to see those headlines.”
Like any band the group had their ups and downs.
“We were family, but like any family you fight and we were all so argumentative. We would spend hours arguing over something so little, but then we would get over it and move on,” McGuinness says.
After a couple of smash hits, the band signed on with EMI records, the same entertainment company that managed The Beatles.
“We were on cloud nine at the beginning,” McGuinness says.
“Once we did that our confidence went down a little because they told us that bands don’t usually write their own music, but we were. Since then we never wrote our own songs again. That was a little part of the band I think we lost forever and never regained.”
As the ’60s drew to a close some members decided to explore new musical directions and after scoring Top 10 hits with My Name Is Jack, Fox On The Run and Ragamuffin Man, Manfred Mann disbanded, evolving into The Manfreds in 1991.
The Manfreds, featuring original members of the ‘60s hit band Manfred Mann, are playing at Jupiters on Saturday.