Torbay Rocks with Legendary Music Promoter Lionel Digby
Legendary devon music promoter, Lionel Digby, reflects on the bands who came to the bay in the 60s and 70s. from the who and cream to the beatles; sit back and glimpse into our musical past. want to see more? Go see lionel’s music memorabilia at the torbay rocks archive at Torquay’s Torre Abbey.
Back in the days of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Torbay was a key location in the South West’s music scene thanks to local promoter, Lionel Digby. What started as helping to find a friend’s band a space to perform, led to the likes of David Bowie, The Who, Cream (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker & Jack Bruce) and so many more, performing across Torbay and Devon. Lionel built a circuit of venues and dance halls across the South West in the 60s and 70s, which saw him become a legendary promoter. His shows became vital to any bands success down here.
Torre Abbey’s latest exhibition - Torbay Rocks - is a glimpse into the lost history of pop culture for local residents in 60s and 70s. Hung across the four walls of Torre Abbey’s Ballroom are authentic posters, tickets, signed gifts and other pieces from Lionel’s personal collection of memorabilia. You’ll also come across never seen before footage from some of the performances, like David Bowie, and posters from performances that didn’t quite happen, like Jimi Hendrix and the Sex Pistols.
"It's hard to say what's a highlight when you've done all those many years; I went from the 1950s to 1982. I suppose really most of it was a highlight." - Lionel Digby.
You can now see Lionel Digby’s archive until the 24 March 2019 at Torre Abbey in the Ballroom. This small exhibition is suitable for all ages and will be open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm). For more information, visit the Torre Abbey website.
Get involved! Did you attend any of his events at the Town Hall? Torre Abbey is also asking residents and visitors to the Bay to share their best Lionel moments using the following hashtags on Twitter #MyFirstGig #GigAntics