Sav­age Club con­cert


Stan Mal­ton’s first sax was a Grafton. Made of plas­tic it nev­er­the­less cost him £72 back in 1951 when he de­cided to give up his ‘C’ melody clar­inet.

The ap­pren­tice car­pen­ter/ joiner who be­came a drain-layer be­fore work­ing at Steelfort En­gi­neer­ing for 22 years, used to prac­tice in his par­ents’ cow­shed.

He be­gan play­ing dance band sax for the Ken Hicks Or­ches­tra in Pahiatua, where a news­pa­per re­viewer likened him to a mu­si­cian called Harry James.

Even though he kept the cut­ting, Stan is still in­dig­nant.

‘‘Harry James was a trum­pet player!’’

10 years on, and Stan had met Nancy, sis­ter of a pi­ano player. It was ‘love at first night’, and Stan started look­ing for an ex­cuse to spend less time play­ing and more time with the woman who is still his wife.

‘‘There were dances to play at on ev­ery week­end.’’

This was get­ting in the way of his courtship.

‘‘I’d had enough of not be­ing able to give up play­ing.’’

So, one day as the cou­ple were driv­ing across the Ruama­hanga Bridge in Wairarapa, Stan stopped the car, took the sax out of its case and dropped it in the river.

‘‘If I didn’t have an in­stru­ment, I couldn’t play,’’ he chuck­led. He kept the case. It could be used as a tool-kit.

Af­ter he and Nancy mar­ried, Stan took up the in­stru­ment again, buy­ing the Selmer sax that he still plays, sec­ond-hand for £60.

A big fan of English sax­o­phon­ist Freddy Gard­ner, Stan has been a val­ued mem­ber of the ven­er­a­ble Sav­age Club for 42 years, and will play as part of the club’s or­ches­tra at the an­nual va­ri­ety con­cert on this Sun­day af­ter­noon in the Speirs Cen­tre. He’ll also do a cou­ple of items in the good old dance tune style.

The Sav­age Club was named for an ar­gu­men­ta­tive 18th cen­tury satirist, Richard Sav­age who died in a debtors prison, and was es­tab­lished in Bri­tain as a club for per­form­ers and writ­ers.

Com­pered by Peter El­liot, the tra­di­tional con­cert with its cast of il­lus­tri­ous and sea­soned per­form­ers com­mences at 2pm, with $15 tick­ets avail­able from Beggs Mu­sic World on Princess St, and door sales from 1pm.


When it comes to the horn fewer blow more mel­low notes than Stan Mal­ton. The vet­eran mu­si­cian joins the line-up for this Sun­day’s Manawatu Sav­age Club an­nual va­ri­ety con­cert in the Speirs Cen­tre.

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