Annabel’s reunion night part of birthday celebrations for Geoff Docherty, the Sunderland man who brought Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Tyrannosaurus Rex to Sunderland
A birthday tribute is on the way to the man who brought some of the world’s biggest bands to Wearside.
Geoff Docherty, who packed out venues such as the Bay Hotel and the Locarno, will be heralded on his birthday on June 30.
Close friend David Waller said: “He has never wanted to divulge his age but I will say he is in his 80s.”
David is organising a birthday walk titled Patrick Geoffrey Docherty’s Promoters Tale Birthday Walk.
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It will head from Sue’s Cafe at Roker to the original site of the Bay Hotel. It starts at 8.45am on June 30 and all are welcome.
There will be happy birthday wishes to Geoff and the walk will finish at Grannie Annie’s where a there will be a toast to Geoff and a cake will also be delivered, as well as a goody bag of his favourite health foods.
David said: “It will be to say thank you to Geoff on behalf of everyone from his family at the Locarno, Mecca and Bay Hotel.
"Geoff was always a fitness fanatic and used to train on the beach. I think it is fitting that it starts from there.”
David added: “There used to be bonfires on the beach and people would be baking potatoes and toasting marshmallows after the concerts.”
Geoff, who still and has always lived in Sunderland, has health issues such as a heart condition.
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.
He carved a niche for himself as a music promoter in the 1960s after seeing six years service in the Fleet Air Arm.
He became a club doorman before turning to music promotion, with the Bay Hotel, in South Bents.
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.
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.
He was also the manager of a band from South Shields called Beckett who he first heard playing at Annabel’s in Sunderland.
Fittingly, David Waller is also planning a second tribute to Geoff on his birthday.
An Annabel’s reunion night will be held at Green’s in Sunderland starting from 8.30pm/9pm on June 30, including an appearance by Rob Senior who was one of the Annabel’s DJs. David urged people to ‘get yourself along’.
David added: “This is the first time anything has been done to recognise Geoff. He is a Sunderland man who has never moved out of the city.
"He had a huge impact and boosted the North East economy.
"He put rock and roll on the map in the region and brought some of the biggest bands in the world here.”