Norfolk writer produces book about Beatles collaborator

Retired Norfolk bank manager Alan Mann never forgot his musical schoolfriend from the 1950s in Norwich.

Now, more than 50 years on, he has written the biography of the city's Tony Sheridan - the guitarist who teamed up with the Beatles many years ago in Hamburg and made a record with them.

Alan Mann, 71, of Gibbs Close in Little Melton, has already written two tribute books of two of the greatest artists in music history: Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

The married father of three and grandfather of nine, who retired as a bank manager in 1993 after a 37-year career, explained what inspired him.

'I had spent a lifetime as a banker and realised when I retired that I wanted to be a writer,' he said. 'I found that I could channel my artistic desire through the music that I loved.'

Mr Mann was captivated by Buddy's music from the time he first heard it in 1957.

'There was always something in Buddy's voice that was special, a kind of timeless quality that has survived even 50 years after his death,' he explained.

Most Read

The first edition of his book 'Buddy Holly A to Z' was self published in 1994 and was subsequently picked up by Aurum Press and a fully updated edition published in 1996. A completely revised and updated edition has since been published.

When he completed the biography of Buddy, he then decided to write another book, linking the lives of Buddy and Elvis. 'Elvis and Buddy - Linked Lives' was published by Music Mentor books in 2002.

It was then in 2006, with the Holly and Elvis projects under his belt, Mr Mann decided he wanted to look at an artist closer to home for his next biography.

He remembered his old class friend Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity, from his school days at the City of Norwich School (CNS), which they attended together from 1951 to 1956.

'This guy just couldn't keep still. You would certainly say that he had the music in him.

'I can remember seeing him perform at the Blue Room in Prince of Wales Road in Norwich.'

Mr McGinnity was destined to become part of rock music history, later changing his name to Tony Sheridan. He became an early collaborator of The Beatles, being a seasoned professional guitarist as they struggled to make it in the nightclubs of Germany.

'Over the years we kept in touch and Tony came back for CNS reunions,' Mr Mann said.

'Four years ago he came back to one reunion and picked up a guitar and started to play. I realised that he has written a wealth of songs and there was a lot more to the guy than met the eye. There never has been a biography of Tony Sheridan and I was keen to put that omission right.

'I am delighted to say that Tony co-operated fully and the biography 'The Teacher' has been written with his blessing and is currently with the publishers and due for release November this year.'

'He has lived a fascinating life and there are so many stories to tell from his early days with the Beatles and their first recordings,' he added.

M Mann is hoping that the biography will attract interest from Beatles fans throughout the world and in particular those who remember Mr Sheridan in Norwich, Liverpool and maybe even Germany.

About Tony Sheridan:

- Tony Sheridan was born Anthony Esmond Sheridan McGinnity on 21st May, 1940, in Norwich Norfolk.

- He has received a gold record for 'My Bonnie'.

- He is colour blind

- He has never held a driving licence or driven a car

- He lives in Germany, in Seesterm�he, near Hamburg