Big Beat Scene: An Outspoken ExposÃ© of the Teenage World of Rock'n'roll (Paperback) by Ellis Royston
Fifty years ago at the dawn of the Swinging Sixties Royston Ellis was a spokesman for Britain's teenage generation. Aged 16 he hung around coffee bars and jazz clubs in Soho chronicling in poetry the life he saw around him. Gradually he also became closely associated with the emerging music scene. In 1959 he teamed up with Cliff Richard's group the Drifters and appeared with them on television and stage shows performing his unique brand of 'rocketry' (rock'n'roll poetry). In 1960 he was backed by the Beetles (as they then were) in Liverpool and by Jimmy Page at London's Mermaid Theatre. Before leaving the UK in 1961 to explore the world Ellis penned the first-ever books on Cliff (Driftin' with Cliff Richard) and the Shadows (The Shadows by Themselves) as well as The Big Beat Scene the first contemporary account of the teenage music scene in Britain. Written before the emergence of the Beatles and without the benefit of hindsight this fascinating document provides a unique first-hand insight into the popularity and relevance of jazz skiffle and rock'n'roll at a time when Cliff Richard & The Shadows were at the cutting edge of pop and the social attitudes of the time. A photographic portrait of the author was taken in 1960 by Ida Kar and is one of the portraits featuring in a major exhibition of Kar's work at the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition 'Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer' runs from 10 March - 19 June 2011.