Band known as the Pacemakers formed in about 1959 by Gerard Marsden b. Sept 1942 and his older brother Fred, b Oct 1940, and John Leslie "Chad" Chadwick, b. May 1943. With Gerry on vocals and guitar, Fred on drums, and Chad on bass, they had a fourth member in Arthur Mack McMahon, who left the group in the very early 60s. Leslie Charles Maguire, b Dec 1941, a saxophonist and pianist who had played with the Undertakers, filled Mack's place.
The group did the Hamburg circuit, and played with Bill Haley and the Comets on one sojourn.
Coming second in popularity only to the Beatles, they were signed by Brian Epstein, along with the Beatles, Cilla Black, and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.
They were the first band to have their first three singles reach the number one spot in the UK. 1963 and 1964 were very busy years for the boys, as Gerry's infectious grin and the band's polished catchy tunes were broadcast all over British television. They came to the US in May of 1964, pleasing Ed Sullivan so much that he requested the band do an extra taping for a later broadcast.
Gerry and the Pacemakers starred in their own movie, "Ferry 'Cross The Mersey" in 1964, shown in the US in 1965. The movie has been harshly criticised but it's not a bad, and was filmed on location in Liverpool, showing timely shots of the Art College, Locarno Ballroom, Speke Airport, Speke Hall, the Cavern, and other places.
Unfortunately, as music and quickly changed both in the States and in the UK in 1965, the band still kept the sentimental pop and short, clean cut look. A few singles made the charts here and in England, but by late 1965 the band was pretty much old-hat. Although they were very good musicians, they did not adopt the long haired and psychedelic look, not appealing to a fickle record buying public. They also always seemed to be standing in the shadow of Lennon/McCartney. Gerry, at the time, was annoyed that Brian Epstein did not devote as much time to them as he did to the Beatles.
In the spring of 1967, Epstein formally announced the impending breakup of Gerry & The Pacemakers. Gerry Marsden went into cabaret, and played in 60s reunion type shows until heart surgery in 2003 forced his retirement. He currently lives near Liverpool with his wife, former fan club president Pauline. He has two daughters. His older brother Fred never picked up his drumsticks again, and lives in Liverpool with his wife in a house he bought during their heyday. He has a son and a daughter, and runs a driving school. Les Maguire joined the Royal Navy and lives in the Wallasey area where he is from, and Chad relocated to Sydney, Australia. He has a successful employment agency.