Photo gallery: Brian May guitar is star lot in Live Aid charity gig and auction at North Walsham

Barry Holden, organiser of the North Walsham Live Aid charity event. Pictured with some of the aucti

Barry Holden, organiser of the North Walsham Live Aid charity event. Pictured with some of the auction lots.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Rock royalty is continuing to back a charity music event that has raised more than £40,000 for a group of good causes.

Brian May frm Queen, whose signed guitar is a star lot at the charity Live Aid event.

Brian May frm Queen, whose signed guitar is a star lot at the charity Live Aid event. - Credit: Archant

Celebrity auction lots amplify the cash raised at the event, which is marking its 10th show this year.

A photo signed by Roger Taylor from Queen.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

A photo signed by Roger Taylor from Queen.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Queen star Brian May has signed one of his specially-made guitars which is set to raise more than £800 alone in just over a week's time.

That was the figure generated by North Walsham Live Aid's previous star lot - a guitar signed by Eric Clapton while he was visiting the town on a pheasant shoot.

The man behind the concerts is local rock musician and retired jeweller Barry Holden, who has also managed to get support from the likes of Queen and Pink Floyd drummers Roger Taylor and Nick Mason, Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford, and Procal Harum vocalist Gary Brooker - who have also been on shooting trips to the area, which he heard about through a friend.


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'I knew Eric was in town and took a guitar along to their hotel just in case. I was standing in the bar when Mike Rutherford, who I knew from earlier visits, came out and said 'there is someone to meet you.'

'I turned around and it was Clapton. It was weird. Here was the man I had followed and copied over the years, and he was standing next to me.

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'He was quite quiet but signed the guitar. And when we sold it at auction that year it was bought by a bloke who turned up at the door with two guitar cases. He was determined to have it,' said Mr Holden.

He staged the first local Live Aid in the town's community centre in January 1985, a year after the big global event launched by Sir Bob Geldof. The 10-band North Walsham gig, combined with a summer outdoor event, raised £14,000 to send famine relief trucks to Eritrea.

'I thought that was it, then we revived it 20 years later after the Indian Ocean tsunami, and raised £6,000.

'I went on stage that night and asked if the crowd wanted to do it again. They did - and we have done it every year since, raising £3,000 to £4,000 a year - always for local children's charities.'

This year's event on Saturday April 6 is for the Nelson's Journey cause which supports bereaved youngsters

Six bands will perform a range of mostly modern and classic rock, all giving their time free.

Other signed star auction lots include a bass from Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler, a Led Zeppelin guitar strap, a guitar from Lynyrd Skynyrd, and a collage of the Everly Brothers.

Two of the guitars will be on show at the PMT music shop in Norwich this week. All the lots will be on display in the Kitale café at North Walsham's St Nicholas Court precinct on Saturday March 30 from 9am to 2pm.

The bands at the gig are Cruel Folk, Kamikaze Radio, The Floating Greyhounds, Raw Edge - who have played at every Live Aid event - No Mercy and Blindside.

Tickets are £8 from Jolly Roger Tattoos, Showcase Gallery, Music Hut, the Pawn Shop and Postles. More information about the gig and auction is on www.northwalshamliveaid.co.uk

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