"We're all going on a summer holiday" – to Brighton!
Swinging Blue DRAWERS...
Mary Payne persuades a Superstar to strip in front of a live audience!

On Friday, February 25th 1966, my Knees Club Official, Lynn Belcher, went to see the Swinging Blue Jeans at Beaconsfield Youth Club in Bucks. They were currently charting with 'Don't Make Me Over,' and I imagine the only reason I didn't accompany her was that I had insufficient pocket money left for the train fare and entry fee. Lynn recruited the knees of Ray Ennis, Terry Sylvester, Norman Kuhlke, Les Braid and Ralph Ellis, who gave their contact address as the Beachcomber Club, Liverpool 2. Ray Ennis was so impressed with the Club that, at his own insistence, he became our Vice-President (the President's chair already being occupied, of course, by Big L's Tony Windsor). Ray also happened to be our 100th member, and received the award of a plastic kneecap to commemorate this double honour.

Thirty-four years later, the Founder Member of the Knees Club (i.e., me, Mary) had yet to meet our Vice-President to view his patellae, but the Brighton Summer Sixties 2000 festival finally gave me that opportunity. In a 'Q and A' session with Ray and the current line-up of the Swinging Blue Jeans in the Hewison Hall, on Saturday, August 19th, said objects were finalknee revealed to me - and a large crowd of other people.

Dressed in one of my flower power outfits, I waved my giant sunflower to attract Ray's attention.

Warning to those of a nervous disposition – the following conversation was recorded for posterity...

The Challenge!

Ray: Oh hello, flower!
Mary: Mr Ennis....
Ray: Excuse me, just call me GOD!
Mary: Mr Ennis, you ARE President of the Elbow Bending Club, you are ALSO the Vice-President of the Knees Club and on behalf of the Knees Club, I would like to know when we are going to see your knees appearing on stage?
Alan Lovell: The Knees Club?
Phil Thompson: Knees Club??
Ray: Yes. Er, I'm sorry lads. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I have not told the rest of the band about this. I got involved with this about... ...er ....how many years ago was it?
Mary: 1966!
Ray: 1966. Now, when you're young, you're not averse to showing off your knees, which I did and I signed a pledge to be President. Was it President?
Mary: Vice-President.
Ray: Vice-President, yeah.
Mary: Vice had to come into it, of course!
Ray: Of course. In those days - it WAS the Sixties - vice was everywhere! So I viced my way in...
Alan Lovell: I thought it was LICE in the Sixties?
Ray: It WAS lice, but not around yer knees. What a depraved life you've had, Lovell! (To Mary) Yes, it's totally true and I've never shown them since, so I'll show them now!
Audience: Stand on the chair!
Les Braid: Excuse me. He's the same size standing up as he is lying down! (To Mary) Before we go any further, can we see YOUR knees first?

The Knees Club Founder exposes her patellae for the assembled masses, including a bemused Bud Ballou, who already has his on display...

Audience: Cheers.
Exposed, after 34 years! All the knees and more!
The Knees Club Founder and Vice-President both take to chairs to compare knees.

Les Braid: Hey, I'm sorry, you've lost there, Ray! I tell you what, her knockers are better than your knees! How about a round of applause?
Ray to Mary: Well done to you as well!
Mary to Ray: I think they're MAGNIFICENT!
They exchange a kiss.
Ray: I hope the veins get better, by the way!
Audience: Oooh!
Ray: Any more crazy questions? Can I pull them up yet, or have I got to get 'em off again?

In view of his sheer dedication to the spirit of the Knees Club after all these years, the Founder has decided to elevate Member 100 to the honoured position of President, a post long-empty since the sad loss of TW. The KC's newest recruit, member 380, Bud Ballou aka Howie Castle, will fill the post of Vice-President. Howie has returned to California, where he is proud to have his knees on permanent display. (Well, they've got the weather for it, haven't they?) The nominkneetions kneegarding these important KC posts were made by Pauline Miller, long-time supporter of the club and owner of a splendid pair of patellae. In honour of Pauline's contribution to the furtherment of knees in society, the Founder is inducing her as KC Member 381 and new Club Official. This is Pauline's Acceptance Speech.

Dear Club Founder,

My knees are extremeknee honoured to be awarded the title of Knew Club Official and to become Knees Club Member 381. This positions me underneath our knew Vice-President, number 380, the post having been left vacant by the promotion of the previous Vice-President at a kneecent ceremoknee in Brighton. I understand this honour has been kneestowed due to the enthusiasm my knees have shown for watery wireless and also for allowing them to be displayed on Clacton pier kneecently.

As Club Official I hereby swear to uphold and protect the rights of knees throughout the United Kneedom and globalknee throughout the Rest of the World to kneehave just as they wish. How about a Club outing to the Outer Hebriknees for a bit of smooth sailing?

Club Official and Member 381

Of course, the more observant of our viewers will have noticed that Les Braid, Knees Club member 99, kept very quiet about his club membership and kept his knees firmly under wraps. We'll get you next time, Les! Meanwhile, we wonder if there's any truth in the rumour that Les is about to start his own organkneesation called The Knockers Club?

Pictures © Chris Payne & Pauline Miller 2000

Back to 'Reliving the Sixties'
Back to 'Brighton 2000'