PHOTO BY WWW.PAULTHOMPSONPHOTOGRAPHY.CO.UK


PLEASE BE AWARE THAT ALTHOUGH THEY HAVE RETIRED JOHN MCNALLY AND FRANK ALLEN WILL STILL RETAIN THE NAME AND ALL LEGAL RIGHTS TO THE OWNERSHIP OF THE SEARCHERS AS ENSHRINED IN LAW AND WHICH ARE FULLY REGISTERED WITH THE APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIES

ANY ABUSE OF THE NAME, ATTEMPTED ADOPTION OF SUCH AND ANY ATTEMPTS AT 'PASSING OFF' WILL RESULT IN LEGAL ACTION BEING TAKEN


Hello everyone,

As they said in the old Looney Tunes cartoons, Well That`s All Folks.

The time has finally come to say goodbye to everyone who has enjoyed our concerts and our music over an amazing five and a half decades. It has been an exhilarating ride for us with some ups and some downs, some laughs and some dramas but it has always been full of interest and discovery.

When we started out we never ever thought it would continue through the years and into a new millennium. In fact we could hardly believe we were allowed to become professional musicians in the first place. And not just that but an international attraction whose sounds and style influenced so many other altogether more famous contemporaries.


We`ve seen the world and enjoyed sights, sounds and tastes that so many of our friends could only dream of. To be a professional musician is to live out a childhood fantasy for anyone who ever picked up a guitar, tinkled on a keyboard or banged a drum in the mid sixties. To be there way up in the charts alongside The Beatles, Elvis and a host of legends of the pop world seemed unreal. For us the fantasy had become real life.


And now it is all over we can relax and see what the world has to offer with time to spare, something we have never really had. Are we going to miss those wonderful hours on stage? You bet your life we will. But personally I hope that I am mature enough to fill my time with things to do that might not completely replace it but which will hopefully give me interests in other directions.


John McNally and I (who along with Spencer James and Scott Ottaway comprise the latest incarnation of The Searchers here in 2019), would like to thank every one of you so much for the loyalty and support you have constantly given us throughout our career. The chance of a new future and new experiences for ourselves sadly means that so many of your are left with a void but I hope it is one you can fill with memories of our shows over the years, the pleasure of making new friends as you broadened your horizons while travelling to places you never thought you`d visit and with the record successes that gave us our career and which will be there forever on your sound systems.


Tony Hatch, the man who could arguably be called “Britain`s Burt Bacharach”, deserves so much praise for his essential role in the story of the band`s success. He produced every one of our hits and even wrote Sugar And Spice for us as the all important follow up to the debut record Sweets For My Sweet, albeit under the intriguing pseudonym of Fred Nightingale. He was nice man to be around and always made those sessions at the PYE Studios fun. We are truly indebted to him.


We also have to thank those people who have contributed so much of their spare time to bring you up to date with our day to day, week to week and year to year happenings. It has been a lot of hard work for them and every bit of it conducted out of the goodness of their hearts and their love of our kind of music. Wendy Burton and Gary Jackson who have magnificently taken charge of the website and Tim Viney who produced such an interesting and informative magazine through his Searchers Appreciation Society. We owe all of you so much.


We must not forget Alan Field who has handled the bookings for over forty years providing us with an amazingly packed datebook that I doubt has been surpassed by any other in our league.

And of course our thanks have to go to our incredible road crew. Phil Hayes and John Semark are as far as we are concerned the best crew in the business and their invaluable work has allowed us to carry out our relatively simple tasks without having to worry about whether the equipment will arrive or if the sound will be good.

They have removed worry from the equation for us. And over the years they have become firm friends with us all. As far as I`m concerned I am going to miss them a lot. And without being presumptuous I think everyone, fans included, feels the same. They are two of the nicest guys you could wish to meet and if you can`t get on with them you can`t get on with anyone. We wish them a successful and a happy future in whatever they choose to do.


Those who came in and out of the group over the years such as John Blunt, Billy Adamson and Eddie Rothe all played their part in The Searchers Story and despite the acrimony that ensued following his departure in 1985 Mike Pender has to be remembered as one of the all important four lads who first stormed the charts in June of 1963.


Special tributes must be made to Chris Curtis and Tony Jackson who have sadly passed on. They will surely be remembered always.


Will we ever tour again? I have no idea. We have no plans but I`ve learnt from other peoples` experiences that you should never say never again. Some way down the line we may all feel the urge to give it one more go, maybe a short tour, a Sixties Gold package or even a solo outing. Health might be an issue. We are of a certain age and not getting any younger. But I suppose it is a possibility although a faint one.


So, thank you one last time for everything you have given us. Without you it never would have happened.


Frank Allen.

(Written on behalf of himself, John McNally, Spencer James and Scott Ottaway)

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