Manchester Music: Defining Paul Wilde....

Paul and the great Pete Maclaine Manchester Musical Icon


Since writing the Manchester Pop Trail I've had enquiries about my
background and where does my interest and love for the music come from?

So to put the record straight I thought I would like to provide what defines me.

Born in Weaste, Salford in 1959 I recall from an early age
being part of a musical family.

My grandfather 'Ernest Wilde' was a pianist in the 1940's and 50's
playing the pubs of Manchester.

For the price of a beer he would entertain regulars playing to order
with the 'Peveril of the Peak' pub a regular haunt.

Living in Stretford I recall him playing his rag time tunes
and miss him greatly despite him passing away some forty years ago.

My father 'Geoff Wilde' remains a jazz musician who played briefly
in a skiffle group before a work colleague introduced him to jazz.

There were two paths of music to choose from in those days
- skiffle that led to the pop world or the jazz route which
Dad followed citing 'Louis Armstrong' as a hero and inspiration.

Needless to say he played trumpet and a mean blues
harmonica player while taking lead vocals when the song dictated.

From 'Flixton Youth Club' to the venues of the city such as 'The Bodega'
and 'Three Coins' he played in such bands as 'Pete Haslam's
Collegians' and 'The Sunset Seven Jazz Band'.

He performed at 'The Cavern' on the same bill as 'The Beatles'
recalling the buzz that seemed to surround them back then pre-fame..!

Proud advert Dads band and The Beatles on the same bill!

He would tell stories of nights on the road and brought the latest
releases home introducing me to the fab four along with 'The Hollies',
Stax and the Blues with 'Sonny Boy Williamson' and 'Sonny Terry'.

Dad would later hold residence at the 'Malt Shovels' in Altrincham
for many years with his jazz nights fondly remembered.

During the sixties my cousin Steven Wilde from Davyhulme
had joined a beat group called 'The New Rave'.

He was another inspiration and toured the Air Force bases in
Europe before returning to the UK in the seventies to play the
clubs with 'Lodge Avenue'.

He became a session musician and worked in 'Strawberry'
and 'Indigo Studios'.

He was recently a member of 'The Lancastrians' and still plays
today while his son Michael inspired 'Liverpool Express' to reform
based on a website he created to celebrate the seventies hit makers.

Here Steve is with his drumming hero Ringo Starr...lookalike!

As I grew up in the seventies I found music of my own such as Sad Café
and 10cc. The Beatles were on hold until 'Lennon' died but I
was proud of the music coming out of the city (still am!)

From the punk of 'The Buzzcocks' to the 'The Freshies' whose lead singer
I would get to know later in life with 'Chris Sievey' aka 'Frank Sidebottom' RIP

Frank/Chris big fan of XTC performed at the convention
Moss Trooper 1989 Here we are on stage together!

At this point I was living in Wythenshawe and met a lad who
shared the same taste in music called 'Billy Duffy'.

He later joined 'Morrissey' and performed in the punk band
'The Nosebleeds' before finding international greatness
with the rock outfit 'The Cult'.

My friend 'Andy Brennan' had a connection to 'Paul Young', the
lead singer with 'Sad Café' and the group signed their first 2 albums for me.

This one is an exhibit part of the 'Manchester Music Exhibition'
running at the 'Lowry Theatre' until Feb 2014 and its free!

My brothers 'John' and 'Mike' also had a circle of friends
that would become famous and I'ld get introduced too.

One such was' Johnny Marr' of 'The Smiths' who complimented
me on my record collection and played my guitar although
I never mastered it it is...!

'Marr' asked my brother 'John' to join his group but he preferred
to play double 'slap' bass - being keen on the rockabilly scene which was
having a resurgence at the time with 'The Polecats' and ' Stray Cats'.

In fact the 'Wilde' brothers in the eighties were renowned for
their rock'n'roll style of dress, American cars and dancing
both at 'Gorton Brook' and the 'Hacienda'.

In Sale at such pubs as 'The Vine' and 'Moss Trooper' they would
be part of group of mates that included 'John Squire' and
'Ian Brown' of 'The Stone Roses'.

When the group recorded the iconic video for their single 'One Love'
it was shot in Winsford and we were all present to witness the
making of - a forgotten location which I can still recall with the
flames from the oil refineries of Runcorn in the distance.

During the eighties my interest in music led me to the
now legendary Record Fairs of 'Piccadilly Plaza'.

Here I became mates with 'Les Hare' who eventually opened one
of Manchester's finest independent record stores 'Kingbee' which
is still going strong in Chorlton Cum Hardy.

I remain a big fan of the pop group XTC and single handed
betwenn 1989 to 1993 ran an annual convention
in Manchester bringing fans from USA and Japan to
celebrate their music at 'The Southern Hotel' in Chorlton...

Here I am at the 1990 XTC Convention!

With this I met the group who I interviewed while staying at their
houses which made me appreciate the music industry and was to
have touched base again with 'Andy Partridge' after 25 years.

In recent years I launched a website 'The Beatles in Manchester'
that allowed me to act as guide for the BBC and renew my interest
in the local music scene, it's venues and artists which formed the
basis for the 'Manchester Pop Trail'


This has introduced me to such great artists as 'Graham Nash',
'Graham Gouldman' along with lesser names 'Pete Maclaine' 
and'Johnny Peters' - now great friends and forgotten heroes who
were stars in their own right 50 years ago in Manchester.

Me and Graham Nash - CSN Concert O2 Mcr 2013

For me it's been a privilege to remember them and the
biggest compliment came from 'Johnny Peters' recently who
thanked me for all I've done and the fact its restored pride in their
achievements which are now being recognised through
my column and original illustrations.

Johnny Peters ' A great guy!' - Paul

There's more to my history, paining a Beatles wall mural in a terracted
house in Wigan, holding a fan night at the Phoenix Club and meeting
comedy heroes along the way...

Then there's my pop art and illustration...

So that's my potted musical history and who knows where next.
Ambition the Manchester Pop Trail Documentary and Book!

Stay tuned folks! 
Thanks you for your continued support by reading my column in the MEN
and to the 'Wilde' and 'Hodgin' family for their love and support.

Paul Wilde