Led Zeppelin and The Who memorabilia from Sunderland nightclubs goes under the hammer

Music promoter Geoff Docherty  with some of  the memorabilia posters he is  auctioning.
Music promoter Geoff Docherty with some of the memorabilia posters he is auctioning.
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ROCK memorabilia collected by a former Sunderland club promoter is set to go under the hammer.

Music man Geoff Docherty has decided to hand over four decades of memories to Bonham’s auctioneers in London.

Docherty cut his showbiz teeth handling rock royalty such as Pink Floyd, The Who, Led Zeppelin and Tyrannosaurus Rex in the 1960s and 70s.

The promoter put Sunderland on the musical map with packed-out gigs at The Bay Hotel and the Locarno, which this week was demolished to make way for a Tesco superstore.

Now Geoff, who still lives in Sunderland city centre, has decided it’s time for a clear out of the vast collection of musical history he picked up while booking the biggest names in the business.

Among the treasured hoard are tickets for the premiere of Led Zeppelin’s film The Song Remains the Same, autographs from The Who when they played Sunderland in 1969 and personal mementos including an invitation to the wedding of Radio One legend John Peel.

The stash also includes contracts from his time as a promoter - including one when he paid £1,500 for the Small Faces to play the Locarno in 1973, a large amount of money at the time, but which earned the accolade of being John Peel’s favourite-ever gig.

But Geoff says he has never put a price on his collection.

“I honestly don’t know how much it will all be worth. I think the most valuable thing will be the Led Zeppelin tickets.

“Anybody who anybody from the rock businesses was there that night,” he said.

A music memorabilia specialist from Bonham’s is due to visit Geoff in the next few weeks.

•With demolition work well underway on the former Locarno, the Echo is hoping to hear from people who have special memories of the venue.

The popular night spot was renamed the Mayfair and then the Palace, before closing down for good in April 2003.

Contact jane.oneill@northeast-press.co.uk or phone 565 8557 and tell us your memories of the club.