Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A couple more Hastings characters

The Professionals has been released on Blu-ray and some excellent and very funny reviews can be found here and here.  Interesting to read that Jon Finch was pencilled in for the role of Doyle, but lost the part as he said he 'couldn't possibly play a policeman'; he'd also turned down playing James Bond after Sean Connery bowed out of the lucrative series.  Finch nevertheless enjoyed an eclectic career, serving in the SAS, playing Macbeth in Polanski's famous 1971 film (also featuring a young Keith Chegwin) and bringing Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius to the screen in The Final Programme (1973) rereleased on Blu-ray in 2013.  Finch spent his final years in Hastings and it seems that he led a fairly typical Old Town life - he was found dead in his flat at the end of 2012 aged 70.

This reminded me to check where John Martyn lived during his years in Hastings in the early 1970s: it turns out to have been No.10 Coburg Place, a couple of hundred yards from our house.  Live at Leeds, the album Island didn't want to release, was sold by Martyn by mail order from his house - printing his address on the music press advert unsurprisingly resulted in many an unwanted visitor.  Apparently in the early 1990s he did an impromptu concert by the fisherman's huts, although he had moved away from the town many years before.  It's well known that his song Over the Hill, off his most critically acclaimed record Solid Air, is about Hastings West Hill.  The photo above by Brian Cooke shows Martyn at home in Hastings on 8 August 1971 and was taken from this site.

1 comment:

Paul Slidel said...

I lived in the High Street between '86 and '95 and often frequented the Nelson. I wish I'd been around when John Martyn had done the beach concert, that would have been very special.