Manchester Music: Defining Paul Wilde....

Paul and the great Pete Maclaine Manchester Musical Icon


Since writing the Manchester Pop Trail I've had enquiries about my
background and where does my interest and love for the music come from?

My grandfather 'Ernest Wilde' was a popular pianist in the 1940's and 50's.
For the price of a beer he would entertain regulars in some of the public houses
of Manchester with the 'Peveril of the Peak' a regular haunt.

Living in Stretford I have loving memories of him performing jazz and rag time tunes missing him greatly despite passing away some forty years ago.

My father 'Geoff Wilde' is one of Manchester's popular jazz musicians
performing in many bands since the 1950's.

However, like most teens in the fifties he he first performed in a skiffle
group until his head was turned with the introduction of trad jazz records
by a work colleague.

There were two paths of music to choose from in those days
- skiffle that led to the world of pop or the jazz route which
Dad followed citing 'Louis Armstrong' as a hero and inspiration.

Needless to say he played trumpet and a mean blues
harmonica while taking lead vocals when getting the opportunitiy.

From 'Flixton Youth Club' to city centre venues such as 'The Bodega'
and 'Three Coins' he performed in such bands as 'Pete Haslam's
Collegians' and 'The Sunset Seven Jazz Band'.

His claim to fame was at 'The Cavern' appearing on the same bill
as 'The Beatles'. He recalls the buzz that seemed to surround them
and felt they had something different as this was pre-fame - how right he was!


Dad would tell stories on the road and bring home the latest
releases introducing me to the fab four along with 'The Hollies',
and many of the blues artists such as 'Sonny Boy Williamson' and 'Sonny Terry'.

Dad would later hold residence at the 'Malt Shovels' in Altrincham
and for many years stage jazz nights fondly remembered today.

During the sixties my cousin Steven Wilde from Davyhulme
had joined a beat group called 'The New Rave'.

He was another inspiration and toured the Air Force bases in
Europe before returning to the UK in the seventies to tour the
clubs with 'Lodge Avenue'.

He became a session musician and worked at 'Strawberry Studios'
and 'Indigo Studios'.

He was recently a member of 'The Lancastrians' and still performs 
today while his son Michael inspired 'Liverpool Express' to reform
having created a fan's website to celebrate the seventies hit makers.

Here Steve is with his drumming hero Ringo Starr...lookalike!

As I grew up in the seventies I found my own music such as Sad Café
and 10cc. The Beatles were on hold until 'Lennon' died but I
remain proud of the music coming out of the city  which continues today

.From the punk of 'The Buzzcocks' to the 'The Freshies' whose lead singer
I would later get to know in the guise of 'Chris Sievey' aka 'Frank Sidebottom' RIP

Frank/Chris big fan of XTC performed at the convention
Moss Trooper 1989 Here we are on stage together!

At this point I was living in Wythenshawe and met a lad who
shared the same taste in music called 'Billy Duffy'.

He later joined 'Morrissey' and performed in local punk band
'The Nosebleeds' before finding international fame in  'The Cult'.

My good mate 'Andy Brennan' had a connection to 'Paul Young', the
lead singer with 'Sad Café' and the group signed their albums for us...

One of my signed 'Sad Cafe' LP's exhibited at the MDMA Exhibition FEB 2014.

Brothers 'John' and 'Mike' also had a circle of friends
who would become household names and find myself introduced along the way.

' Johnny Marr' of 'The Smiths' favoured my record collection
and played my guitar although
I never mastered it myself's the guitar in my bedroom 
in Wythenshawe...
note the posters on the wall...!  

'Marr' asked my brother 'John' to join his group but he preferred
to play double 'slap' bass - being keen on the rockabilly scene which was
having a resurgence at the time with 'The Polecats' and ' Stray Cats'.

In fact the 'Wilde' brothers in the eighties were renowned for
their rock'n'roll style of dress, American cars and dancing at 'Gorton Brook'.

Back in Sale in such pubs as 'The Vine' and 'Moss Trooper' brother
John was mates with 'Ian Brown' and'John Squire'  as scooter boys 

When the Stone Roses recorded the iconic video for 'One Love'
we were all present to witness the  making of in Wincham, Cheshire.
Staged to capture the flames from the oil refineries of Runcorn.

During the eighties my interest in music led me to the
now legendary Record Fairs of 'Piccadilly Plaza'.

Trading along with 'Les Hare' who eventually opened one of Manchester's finest independent record stores 'Kingbee' still going strong in Chorlton Cum Hardy.

XTC with Andy Partridge remain one of my favourite bands.
So much so staged four XTC Conventions in the late 80's early 90's
attracting fans 
from Ireland, Europe, USA and Japan!
Coming to Manchester to
XTC at 'The Southern Hotel' in Chorlton...

Here I am at the 1990 XTC Convention!

With this I interviewed the group while staying at their
houses which made me appreciate the music industry and recently
touched base again with 'Andy Partridge' after 25 years.

In recent years I launched a website 'The Beatles in Manchester'
which attracted attention of the BBC acting as tour guide for
local presenters on the 50th anniversary of 'Love Me Do'.

This renewed my interest  
in the local music scene, it's venues and artists which formed the basis for the 'Manchester Pop Trail'


Introducing me to great artists such as 'Graham Nash',
and 'Graham Gouldman' along with local heroes  'Pete Maclaine' 
and'Johnny Peters' bringing great memories documented in my columns.

Me and Graham Nash - CSN Concert O2 Mcr 2013

For me it's been a privilege to document their memories and the
biggest compliments have arrived from 'Johnny Peters' and 'Peter Hook'

Johnny for r
estoring pride in his musical achievements forgotten
until I put it into print while Peter regards me as a Ambassador for Manchester.

Johnny Peters ' A great guy!' - Paul

There's more to my history, paining a Beatles wall mural in a terracted
house in Wigan, holding a fan night at the Phoenix Club and meeting
comedy heroes along the way...

Then there's my pop art and illustration...

So that's my potted musical history and who knows where to next.
Ambition the Manchester Pop Trail Documentary, Bar and Book!

Stay tuned folks!