Rocking birthday for Geoff Docherty, with Roker beach tribute and Annabel's reunion in honour of man who brought Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Tyrannosaurus Rex to Sunderland

A Wearside music legend has been celebrated on his birthday with a beach walk and a reunion of one of his favourite Sunderland nightclubs.

Friday, 1st July 2022, 11:00 am

Geoff Docherty, who packed out venues such as the Bay Hotel and the Locarno, was the man in the spotlight this week.

The sun belted down as 20 people joined in and they shared tales of their nights at music venues in Sunderland as they walked from Sue’s cafe to the site of the former Bay Hotel.

What a birthday tribute to music promoter Geoff Docherty.

The walk then headed to Grannie Annie’s where even more people were waiting and there was a toast to Geoff and a cake delivered.

Geoff’s close friend David Waller organised the event and said: “It all went really well. There were people reminiscing about the old times.

"One man remembered when he went to a gig at the Bay Hotel and had to sleep in the phone booth outside when he missed his bus home.”

The walk was followed by a night-time get together to remember the days of Annabels nightclub which was another of Geoff’s beloved venues.

Birthday wishes on the beach as lovers of the Locarno, Mecca and Annabels pay tribute to former music promoter Geoff Docherty.

The man himself, Geoff who is now in his 80s, was there and reminisced while he looked through his birthday card messages.

The response from the public was so huge that David is now planning to have annual Annabels reunions.

He is also hoping to organise an event called the Patrick Geoffrey Docherty Lunch Club where Geoff and fellow music lovers will meet up for lunch on a quarterly or half yearly basis.

Organiser David Waller with birthday cards for Geoff.

Geoff, who still and has always lived in Sunderland, has health issues such as a heart condition.

But he loved his day in the spotlight and David said: “Everyone who was there said that he was looking well, considering.”

Geoff 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.

Enjoying the birthday walk.

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.

Paying tribute to Geoff Docherty.

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