Screen Shot 2018-03-12 at 08.00.57Farewell Ken Dodd – the last of the music hall greats. You were famous for your four-hour sets – like a gargantuan Grateful Dead set length of ancient jokes from another time, a time of smokey music halls, Blackpool piers and northern nights.

Farwell Ken Dodd and your exploding inevitable hair that seemed to reach like tendrils into the sky – plucking breakneck jokes out of thin air like another generation surrealist a kinda Mark E Smith from another time zone with a fervent imagination of city hobgoblins.

Farewell Ken Dodd – the mayor of Knotty Ash who still lived in the far-flung Liverpool suburb in the house where he was born and where he came down to meet me one afternoon when we were doing a panel in the local village hall. A village hall steeped in salty scouse history where Doddy had performed in the tumultuous sixties and where the Beatles had cut their teeth before they were screamed into the ether five years before Ken Dodd pipped them to number one with Tears – the best selling song of the psychedelic year of 1967.

Farwell Ken Dodd another installment from my far-flung childhood with your Dali-esque Sundaafternoonon show – prime time entertainment that was closer to that aforementioned surrealism by mistake than cozy teacake weekend TV. A show with the felt diddy men running amok across the cathode ray like Doddy’s bizarre imagination. Farewell, Ken Dodd, you were alive and kicking to the end – a live wire of effervescent madness missus in a world gone bland with your tickling stick and punishing machine gun of endless gags.

Farwell ken Dodd.


RIP if possible.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. It’s so difficult to explain to people how fundemental people like ken Dodd were in bridging class gaps across the uk with their humanity.
    Fundemental to their working class roots both he and les Dawson before him never needed highbrow cynical political humour to make comedy seem important, they knew that to ordinary people lifting them out of their everyday trials by reflecting on life with warmth and the joyously absurd, was the most important thing of all, bringing people together in away that most things can’t.

    Men who never forgot their roots, we won’t see their like again.

  2. Nice tribute to a true great, mute point but it was 1965 that Tears was best selling single, was lucky enough to see him 6 times, the last being Southport May 2017, health wasn’t great, but he was amongst friends and the warmth going in both directions was there for all to see, #oneoff


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