AGENT to the stars Carl Leighton-Pope has spent his entire career working alongside the biggest names in the music business.
Now the 68-year-old is bringing a ‘60s sensation of a show — Carnaby Street: The Concert — to the Albert Halls, Bolton, on Sunday, featuring much-loved and iconic music from the era of The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Searchers.
Carl, who currently represents global stars including Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams, started his career working at the famous Marquee Club in London’s Carnaby Street.
In his first week alone, the club’s stage was graced by blues singer Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, The Who, The Moody Blues and The Yardbirds, which featured Eric Clapton.
Carl said: “In 1964, I got a job there.
“I worked in the club for a couple of years.
“Nobody was famous in those days. Nobody knew who Rod Stewart was. They were just in groups, playing in the club. Mick Jagger would come in, Paul McCartney would come and watch a band. No-one had mobile phones, nobody was taking pictures of anybody.
“When I’m out with Michael Bublé and Bryan Adams and you are walking down the street, the phones are out.”
One of the original mods, Carl’s life revolved around music and the club while Carnaby Street was a breeding ground for some of the most iconic music of the last century, as well as leading the world in fashion and culture.
He said: “I was a mod, I had a scooter, I fought on the beaches, I did all that stuff — all that mad stuff people did in the ‘60s.
“It was quite interesting that something happened after the war. My dad and my granddad looked like twins and I came along with my winklepicker shoes and drainpipe jeans — he thought I was a zombie from out of space. My dad thought jeans were working clothes.
“Now, my kids look like me. We wear sneakers and jeans and T-shirts.
“Something that changed, that revolution that took place in the ‘60s. That’s why I think the most important 10 years in the 20th century was the ‘60s because it changed dramatically.
“The music was the key, the music gave you clothes, gave you clubs, gave you the girl and your mates.
“Music was the key and the centre of your life. It was way more important than music is to my children now.”
Carnaby Street: The Concert recreates the Marquee Club and features a seven-piece band playing hits of the decade including You Really Got Me, I Only Wanna Be With You, Mustang Sally, Dedicated Follower of Fashion, My Generation and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.
Carl said: “It’s fabulous, so much fun.
“The great thing about this music, I think a lot of young people know the songs.
“They see them on TV ads and on films.
“It’s really feel-good music, you want to get on your feet and dance and sing.
“It was a great era. Paul McCartney is still singing, The Rolling Stones are still playing. It’s quite extraordinary.
“I think what we’re trying to say to the audience is come on back with us.
“I know it’s 2014, I know there’s a recession and we’ve got problems, there’s doom and gloom in the newspapers but just for a couple of hours, let’s go back to the ‘60s. Forget all our troubles and cares and go downtown and have a bit of fun.”
Carnaby Street: The Concert is at the Albert Halls, Bolton, on Sunday. Phone 01204 334400 for tickets.