Tributes to the man who dressed Dy­lan... oh, and the Beach Boys... and Bryan Ferry too...

LEG­ENDARY MAR­CUS PRICE RE­MEM­BERED

The Chronicle - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH GRA­HAM Re­porter han­nah.gra­ham@reach­plc.com

HE was a fash­ion pi­o­neer who dressed the stars and brought Levi’s and Brut to Ty­ne­side.

Now the man be­hind one of New­cas­tle’s most fondly-re­mem­bered cloth­ing stores has died at the age of 84.

Mar­cus Price brought huge suc­cess to his epony­mous menswear stores, which be­came the place to buy the lat­est fash­ions for Ty­ne­side’s teenagers in the 1960s and 70s.

Mar­cus, 84, died in Septem­ber, but his stores will be re­mem­bered by thou­sands as the only shop you could get soughtafter brands like Levi’s jeans, with de­sign­ers like Paul Smith, Ralph Lau­ren and Ar­mani stocked ex­clu­sively at Mar­cus Price.

Founded in Blyth in 1929 by Mar­cus Price Se­nior, the com­pany moved in 1967 to 99 Grey Street, New­cas­tle, where Mar­cus Ju­nior trans­formed it into one of the most re­spected out­fit­ters in the North.

His brand was muchloved by lo­cals, but it also at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the stars.

Bands and singers play­ing gigs on Ty­ne­side sim­ply had to stop in for the lat­est threads from Mar­cus him­self, and his cus­tomers in­cluded Bob Dy­lan, Bryan Ferry (pic­tured inset) and the Beach Boys. Re­mem­ber­ing Dy­lan’s visit of May 6, 1965, Mar­cus told the Chron­i­cle: “Good sell­ers were three-buttoned, straight-fit­ting jack­ets with nar­row lapels and muted stripes, ‘flower power’ shirts and ties to match.”

Dy­lan, ac­com­pa­nied at the Groat Mar­ket shop by his man­ager and mu­si­cian Alan Price, picked out a black jacket, pink shirt and multi-coloured tie – which keen ob­servers no­ticed he then wore that night on stage at the City Hall. Speaking to our sis­ter pa­per The Jour­nal in 2006, former shop as­sis­tant David Spears, who had been hand-picked by Mar­cus to join the team at 16, and went on to be­come a man­ager, re­mem­bered the ex­cite­ment that ac­com­pa­nied ev­ery de­liv­ery of new stock.

“At Mar­cus Price we were the first peo­ple in New­cas­tle to sell Brut. It’s not a fash­ion­able thing now, but then it was the most de­sir­able scent you could have. We had a tester in the shop and ev­ery Satur­day with­out fail it would get stolen,” he re­called. “Ev­ery­body was Mods in those days. The Club A Go-Go on Percy Street was on and peo­ple would come into Mar­cus Price to get their suits. There was not the se­lec­tion of clothes you have now and the best dressed peo­ple would own ev­ery pair of Levi’s Stay Press Jeans and ev­ery Ben Sher­man Shirt we had in.

“Mar­cus Price used to get de­liv­er­ies on Tues­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day and there were queues of 60 to 70 peo­ple on those days want­ing to buy the lat­est gear.”

With branches in Grey Street, Percy Street and the Groat Mar­ket, as well as oth­ers across the re­gion, the store found huge suc­cess, be­fore even­tu­ally clos­ing in 1998.

In an obit­u­ary pub­lished by The Guardian, friend Sheilagh Mathe­son said: “As well as be­ing a pi­o­neer­ing busi­ness­man, Mar­cus was a so­cial an­i­mal... He could talk to any­one about any­thing and voiced strong opin­ions about al­most ev­ery­thing, right up un­til his death, at the age of 84.”

Mar­cus, who lived in Cor­bridge, leaves be­hind wife Carolyn, chil­dren Han­nah, Mar­cus, Amelia and Do­rian and grand­chil­dren

Oliver and Abi­gail.

Tai­lor Mar­cus Price

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