The Ridgalite

The Rigalite focuses on the People who lived in Marina Avenue in the Ridges Estate in North Shields. Eddie Saint owns the Roaring venture a trawler moored at the fish quay- his crew work hard and play hard - one of them is Ron Lee a young lad who has aspirations of becoming a rock star. He was in the Royal Navy on board the HMS Illustrious as a trained chef before joining the trawler boat. The lads all tell him that his songs are crap because they don't wan't to lose a good cook. The story also tells of two rival shop keepers- Ronnie Hancock and Billy Burston have been each others throats for years- read the comic antics of both men. "The Ridgalite is an insite of life in the early sixties on an an estate with high unemployment and little hope - where every day is a constant struggle. There are some though who prove that if you have hope then dreams can come true.


60. 60

“Have you got a pen?’

“When the band had all signed Brian called for a party to celebrate the release of his new album “Highway to hell” and he invited just everybody who was in the know.

There was a host of stars from film and television who turned up including, Steve McQueen, Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, and Jack Nicholson who attended many parties and was very popular having such a great sense of humour.

Actresses like Claudia Cardinale, Jane Fonda Shirley MacLaine, Katherine Ross, Natalie Wood turned up. Janice Joplin, Cher and Sonny Bono, and Jimi Hendrix came.

It felt great to be hob knobbing with all of these stars but it came natural to Ron Lee who took it all in his stride.


Over the course of the next two month Satan’s Claw were becoming more and more recognised after there performance in Central Park, They gave television interviews and spoke with reporters all clambering to get a story on the new rock sensations.’

They toured all over the states in the next six months. Ron was now driving a black Cadillac. They had more money than they knew how to spend. They were invited to all the big stars parties. Even Elizabeth Taylor invited them.

Inevitably the fame brought with it pressure and Ron was being asked to write songs for another album after “Night Flight to Hades” topped the album charts. They received many music awards over the next six months. By 1968 they were world famous.

There fourth album “Cloak and Dagger” went straight to number one. They were riding high on a never ending roller coaster when Stan Taylor was taken to hospital after over dosing on heroin. He never recovered and died later that night. Stan was only twenty four years old.

Many of the band members had dabbled in drugs of some sort. They snorted coke and smoked Marijuana at parties and took LSD after coming off stage. So they couldn’t really call Stan who took it to the extreme. Stan’s body was flown home and the band members all turned up to his funeral in leathers and dark glasses. Ron met up with his friends from the Roaring Venture and spent the whole day with them. Dougie Cook turned up after just returning from the Faroe Islands in his new boat “The Christian.’

“What are you going to do now that you’ve lost Stan said Eddie?’

“We have to find another drummer and soon said Ron we are touring the east coast of America in two months.’ You must be worth a bob or two now Ron said Vince.’

“Yes, but all the fame and money doesn’t bring you happiness mate. This means more to me than all of it Vince.’

“I don’t know though; I wish I had a few million in the bank.’

“It’s only money Vince it means nothing.’

“It’s better than going to sea though I bet.’

“Yes, but the friendship I have with you guys is worth more.’

Ron went to the bar and bought them all more drinks; he bought Margaret Harman a drink every time he approached the bar and she brought them over on a large tray for him. It was late into the night when Ron left. He ordered a taxi to take him to a house he’d bought in Briar Dene. It had been built on farm land and was totally secluded. The other band members had done the same. Paul Caffery chose to buy an apartment in London and Barry on the Costa del Sol in Spain.

They all returned to America the following month to record another single then start another tour. A drummer called Hal Blaine joined the group and they all seemed to get on well together. They did gigs in Boston, Manhattan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 

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