Importance in terms of impact on the local Tamworth music scene may be measured in terms of the ability to attract top acts from 'out of town' to play in Tamworth. If this is so, then there is only one person in the history of the local music scene who can stake a claim to being the master of this art - Vince Baker. The man who brought, to name just a few, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Hollies and The Tremeloes to the town.
A complete biography of Vince Baker is unavailable, but here's a snippet from the memory of Jim Twigg, drummer with The Three Spirits at top Tamworth band from the early 60s with direct involvement with Vince Baker.
Vince Baker's job during the summer was as entertainment manager for a Butlins Holiday Camp, and in the winter I think he picked up whatever jobs he could.
In the autumn/winter of 1962 he decided he would like to become a promoter, looking after bands and putting gigs on, etc. Vince was an acquaintance of my parents and through them contacted me with a deal. Vince had enough capital to hire the Assembly Rooms for three gigs but not enough money to pay for bands. The deal was that we do three gigs for him, at the Assembly Rooms, for nothing. From this he would hopefully make enough money to start an agency. If it all worked out he would find us as much work as we wanted and never charge us any fees. As we were not making much at that time we agreed to do it, we had nothing to lose. The gigs were successful and Vince started his agency and true to his word never charged us any promoter fees.
If my memory serves me right he had an office above one of the shops in Market Street somewhere near the Town Hall.
Vince was also a heavyweight boxer and was a finalist in the British Amateur Boxing Association Heavyweight Contest, unfortunately he lost, but was still a fine achievement - I guess it was in 1960/61. Due to his boxing prowess Vince and his brothers were very useful to have around in case of trouble.
From the beginning of 1965 I think Vince's business started to tail off and eventually finished.
I lost touch with Vince a long time ago but I did hear that he had died, and I guess that was about ten years ago.
NB: Reg Calvert, promoter of acts at the Atherstone Memorial Hall moved on to work with Lord Sutch on the pirate radio station 'Radio Sutch' in June 1964. In September of that year, Vince Baker Entertainments could then be seen to be promoting events at the Memorial Hall.
Barry (tinny) Hilton.
Vince was living in Australia. His younger brother (Barney) Baker works for Percy Lanes, Lichfield Road, Tamworth. Bob Clive and I used to work on the doors at the Assems occasionally for Vince, they were golden days.
If anyone has any further memories of Vince Baker, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org