Paul Routledge: Gerry set the pace with songs that were fun, warm and true

Gerry Marsden will always be remembered by his song You’ll Never Walk Alone

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The death of Gerry ­Marsden closes a chapter in the story of my ­generation.

We grew up – or something like that – with his music as a soundtrack to our lives.

His songs, his style and his infectious warmth made the kids feel good. That cheesy grin, those laughing eyes. The French call it joie de vivre.

Gerry and the Pacemakers (sounds today like a lot of seniors with heart problems) were never as good as The Beatles. They were genius.

But he touched a nerve with lyrics like How Do You Do It? and I Like It. Simple lines such as: “I like the things you say and all the things you do/And I like the way you straighten my tie/And I like the way you’re winking your eye…” spoke straight to young people.

His songs told a story, communicating the fun of his generation. They were the Friday night after the week at work. And they were a marvel to dance to. Gerry was right when he said the groups down south had become too formal.

“On Merseyside,” he said, “it’s beat, beat, beat all the way. We go on and have a ball.”

This was a time when Liverpool was a creative powerhouse, changing the face of popular music, eventually on both sides of the Atlantic.

And it came from below, from the lads themselves. How different to the ­Government’s fake Northern Powerhouse, fronted by Tory MP Jake Berry – ironically a Liverpool solicitor.

Gerry is most remembered for You’ll Never Walk Alone, anthem of Liverpool FC. I prefer “I like it when you run your fingers through my hair/And I love the way you tickle my chin/And I like the way you let me come in when your momma ain’t there.”

In the end, we all do walk alone.

RIP, Gerry Marsden.

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