Rare record from North East rock history to be sold

Memento of group which preceded The Animals to be auctioned by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson & Garland

A collection of maritime memorabilia that belonged to the late Walton Temple that is to be auctioned off at Anderson and Garland Westerhope
A collection of maritime memorabilia that belonged to the late Walton Temple that is to be auctioned off at Anderson and Garland Westerhope

Bidders will be battling it out for one of the rarest records in North East rock and pop history.

The recording was made in the early 1960s by the Kon Tors - the forerunners of The Animals, who went on to worldwide fame.

The disc was cut at the Mortonsound Studios in Newcastle.

The Kon Tors included Alan Price on keyboards, John Steele on drums and guitarist Chas Chandler.

The record was never released. Only six acetate copies were made with the band members each being given a copy.

Now one of the discs, in its original Mortonsound sleeve, will be sold on Tuesday by Newcastle auctioneers Anderson & Garland.

In recording studios an acetate copy would be made to check the music quality before the master disc was cut. Sometimes several copies would be made to send to band members for approval.

Alan Price, John Steele and vocalist Eric Burdon had earlier featured in a band called the Kansas City Five.

Eric left for London and Alan Price joined the Kon Tors, who became the Alan Price R n B Combo.

With the return to Newcastle of Eric Burdon and the recruitment of Hilton Valentine, The Animals were born.

The Kon Tors recording features six tracks - Rain Until September, How Cruel Love Can Be, Twist Locomotion, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Point Of No Return and Love Letters.

The Kon Tors played at venues like the Downbeat Club and Club A Go Go in Newcastle, and Weatherall’s nightclub in Sunderland.

The record is being sold by Tom O’Connor and his grandson Alexander Davison from Gateshead, who decided sell after hearing about another of the copies which was sold by Anderson & Garland in 2008.Alexander said: “My grandfather was given it by Chas Chandler in the 1960s or ’70s.”

Mortonsound Studios closed at around the same time.

Auctioneer John Anderson said: “Mortonsound was a quite important place for acts looking for a breakthrough. There must have been a number of interesting people pass through their doors.

“The recording which is to be auctioned is certainly a pop rarity.”

The only other copy to come on to the market was sold by Anderson & Garland for £600, to Tyne Wear Archives and Museums.

The disc which will be sold on Tuesday is priced at £100 to £200.

But Fred Wyrley-Birch from Anderson & Garland said: “If there is strong demand on the day, who knows what could happen.”

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