Clive Kelly has always had a love of travel. When he was teenager growing up in Denton he made built a canoe and went off down the Manchester Ship Canal.
So it might not be a surprise that he lived for decades on a trimaran called Survival.
Clive, who now lives in Catforth, near Preston, has travelled all over the world, with much of his time spent in Brazil.
Sitting in the front room of his home photos, tribal gear, feathers and ornaments he has made by hand adorn the walls.
He has a pencil through his ear and a tribal tattoo on his forehead.
The 73-year-old environmentalist is aiming to do his bit to change the world – but it may seem a far cry from the days he was a nightclub owner in some of the country’s premier nightspots.
As a young man he was well known on the Manchester nightclub scene and this grew when he opened six clubs across the North West, including the Catacombs club in Derby Street, Preston, in the 1960s, bringing the likes of Ringo Starr, Rory Storm and even a young Elton John to perform in the city.
But in his later years he has made headlines around the world fighting for South American tribal rights and campaigning to save the Amazon rainforest.
Now, Clive is back on dry land living with his Brazilian wife Jacyara.
He said: “I’ve always travelled, all my life. I have travelled more than anyone else I know. I have always been interested in learning.”
In the 70s Clive spent time in Miami before moving onto Brazil.
He said: “I went to Brazil in 1970 after first going to Miami to teach the Hells Angels. I had seen a documentary about the tribe and thought I want to get to know them. Once I got to know the Indians I got to know their problems.”
Clive believes he has always had an Indian spirit and said that as a child he “became an Indian on his own” having lived in fields and stole veg before making his canoe, sailing down the Manchester Shipping Canal, ending up in the North Sea and being picked up by a ship.
Clive opened a boutique in San Paulo and the money he was making enabled him to go into film making.
He said: “I got to know the real people, the people outside of this capitalist system.”
And in the process of his travels and his filming he became friends with Chief Raoni, head of one of the tribes. Clive was involved in a film about the chief, starring Hollywood legend Marlon Brando,, titled Raoni, which was nominated for an Oscar in 1978.
During his time in Brazil in the 70s Clive says he introduced rock star Sting to the tribe and worked with the singer on various environmental projects.
He also says he worked with director James Cameron in the mid-80s.
The eco-warrier says his journey helped him discover that the Indians were being “destroyed”.
When in Brazil Clive lived in a hut, but often he would load up his boat into what he describes as a “mobile history museum” and travelled to continue his campaign.
In recent years Clive’s fight has turned to campaigning for the building of the Belo Monte Dam being built.
The Dam would divert around 80 per cent of the Xingu river from its original course, causing droughts in some areas and flooding in others. It is estimated more than 20,000 indigenous people will be forced from their homes.
He said: “I am trying to stop the Belo Monte Dam, I need everyone to write to the Prime Minister.”
Clive has written a book about his amazing life called Kelly’s Eye.
To keep up with his campaigning progress visit: http://www.lankybeat.com/clivekelly.
Being baptised by Little Richard and other tales of the sixties
“Ringo Star and George Harrison, plus myself used to go to Bootle baths for a wash, then a swim, our homes did not have baths, so after a lunchtime session of sweaty shows that bath was welcome.”
“On the opening night of the Catacombs in Preston screaming Lord Sutch almost caused a terrible disaster as he opened his show singing Great Balls of Fire – unfortunately the bucket he used to create the fire was a plastic one, which he thought was the normal steel bucket. The gasoline soaked tags melted the bucket, creating a mass exodus to safety and oxygen.
“Little Richard arrived one night to play at the Cubi Club in Rochdale. I was his acting agent whilst he was in England, and I had booked him in to do two spots on this night, one at my Cubi Club, and the second half Nelson Palace, which meant I had to drive him all over the Pennine chains in my the eight Cadillac car. As the lane was so narrow and I was going so fast Little Richard got the horrors and ordered me immediately to stop, we came to a halt to a stream on the top of the hill, Little Richard immediately got out of the car, came round to the driving door opened it and pulled me out saying I have been chosen by God to be baptised by his messenger, he then pulled me down to the stream talking of his gold ring, he then took of his shoes and socks rolled up his pants, then waded out into the middle of the stream, after calling on his God, he told me to get my shoes off and join him, which I did, he then took hand fulls of water and placed them on my head and rubbed it in my hair, saying ‘Hallelujah, Hallelujah welcome into God’s kingdom, now you are my brother, let’s drive more slowly’,
We arrived to Nelson Palace a few minutes late, but the London booking agency’s representative Tony King, took over from me and lead Little Richard into the manager’s office. That was the last I saw him; I split with a chick.”
“Rod the Mod Stewart was one of the young stars that started their fame, at my Cubi Club rhythm and blues centres. Rod Stewart, loved his partner ‘Long’ John Baldry, the two of them used to sing with a band called the Steam Packet. In the Steam Packet was also a female singer called Marcia Hunt, later Mick Jagger became Marcia Hunt’s boyfriend and they had a child together. Rod Stewart used to sleep at my inner sanctum, the Steam Packet and we used to love to smoke pot, in fact all the rhythm and blues artists at the time in the early 60s used to like to smoke marijuana.
Rod Stewart got me in trouble for two reasons, [he] filled our hot snack machine in the Cubic Club, with belladonna plants and other herbs which he got from the park in Rochdale. That night most of the members got stoned on the smell of the plants which were really burning in the pie heating machine.
The second problem was Rod slept with my bar girl, she was only 17 years old and training to be a nurse; I had to pay her £150 as compensation.”