Obscure Bands Of The 50's & 60's

Message board #1

About The Prowlers
Alan Davies (singer) worked as a clerk then joined the British Army in the 1970s.
We heard that later he had become a journalist and was living in Denmark.
It is not known if he continued with his singing.
We would love to get in touch with him if anyone knows his present contact details.

The League of Gentlemen
Bruce Welsh from Canada is doing some work on a mid 60s British band The League of Gentlemen for his forthcoming encyclopaedya.
If you have info about The League of Gentlemen whose line-up included Jonathan Kent - vocals, Ron Cleave - guitar & vocals, Ron Thomas - rhythm guitar, Jeff Bartley - bass, Joel James - sax, Ray Steadman - drums.
This was a different band from the Bournemouth band, whose original line-up included Gordon Haskell and Robert Fripp. Those one were the backing group for various black US soul stars who toured the UK, released a couple of singles for Columbia and Planet in 1965/6, and played at Manchester Oasis in spring '66.
Please contact us at tomusicstorytellers@gmail.com

Blues by Five Resurected are playing at The Moraira Music Festival in Spain 12th June 2011.
Original members Len Ashley Vocals / Harp and Ron Faulkner Lead Guitar Vocals


Lauren said...
Hiya, i wondered if anyone could help me, i am looking to get in touch with a John Cobb aka Johnny Vance, If anyone has any details of his whereabouts i would be extremely grateful


If you can have information about Brian Howard & his Silhouettes
Please contact us with any further information at: tomusicstorytellers@gmail.com

If you are searching for something on bands of those faraway decades too,
you can also leave a message here or at the bottom of this page

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners

Based upon the hit song-writing duo of John Carter and Ken Lewis, this group, that only cut 7 singles between 1961 and 1964, enjoy something like minor cult status nowadays, as musicians like Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Big Jim Sullivan, Lome Green, Bobbie Graham, and Viv Prince (Pretty Things) passed through their ranks.

John "Carter" Shakespeare (born on October 20th 1942) and Kenneth "Lewis" Hawker (born on December 3rd 1942) were both from Birmingham. Shakespeare formed a skiffle group while still at school in South Heath, and taught himself acoustic guitar. By 1958, Hawker joined him in his local skiffle band and they both began songwriting, inspired by Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers.
In 1959 both came down to London with a burning self-belief in their talent and were signed initially to music publisher Noel Gay in London's Tin Pan Alley, then to peermusic as exclusive songwriters. They were offered a deal by manager Terry Kennedy (who had previously fronted his own band, The Rock’n’Rollers and had been guitarist for Terry Dene's Dene Aces). He re-christened them "Carter & Lewis". They began singing as a vocal duo, demo-ing songs for other writers, doing backing vocals and even duplicating the latest pop hits of the day for Embassy and Cannon labels.
They had developed a close harmony style similar to that adopted by the Everly Brothers. When Kennedy drafted over to Southern music at 5 Denmark Street in 1961, they went with him.
In summer 1961, they began recording in small studios, backed by the Outlaws and first cut two singles for Piccadily, engineered by Joe Meek: "So Much In Love"/"Back On The Scene" and "Here's Hoping"/"Poor Joe".
By 1962, they switched to Ember label, and released "Two Timing Baby"/ "Will It Happen To Me" and "Tell Me"/ "Broken Heart".
They were soon established as a popular radio team, appearing on BBC Light Programme shows Saturday Club from February 1962. They gradually began to augment their line-up with various musicians who backed them on these radio dates, including ex-Rock’n’Rollers, Ron Prentiss on Double Bass, and ex-Outlaws, Lome Green on guitar and Bobbie Graham on drums, at which point they evolved into Carter-Lewis & the "Southerners" after Southern music.
The group became a vehicle for publishing the songs that stemmed from the Carter-Lewis partnership: they wrote and demo-ed "Sweet And Tender Romance" which was recorded by John Leyton...
Their own version was issued on Oriole, coupled with Who Told You? which was covered by Freddie Starr and many more.
They had first tasted success with "Will I What", a summer 62 top 20 hit for Mike Sarne, which featured Billie Davis and was co-writed, in fact, together with another friend, Bill Bates.

That’s What I Want” became a top 30 hit for the Marauders, the next summer and featured the latest arrival in the Southerners: Jimmy Page on guitar, replacing Lome Green (1).

Incidentally Carter-Lewis & the Southerners notched up a Top 20 hit in late 1963 with a song called "Your Momma's Out Of Town" by another top writer of the time, Mitch Murray. With a new bass player, Rod Clark, and a new drummer Viv Prince, they performed for the BBC's "Easy Beat" and toured with Duane Eddy, Gene Vincent and The Shirelles.

In late 1963, Rupert Ross from the Flintstones took over from Rod Clark (who later replaced Clint Warwick in the Moody Blues). As Jimmy Page quit the road to bury himself in studio work, Ross drafted in ex-Downbeats Micky Keene.
Bobby Graham returned to the fold when Prince left to join the Pretty Things.
On 15 February 1964, Carter-Lewis & the Southerners had a guest spot on the Beatles' BBC radio show (Saturday Club #280). In March 1964, "Skinny Minnie"/"Easy To Cry".
Whilst they were touring Holland, Rupert Ross died of cancer on May 29, 1964, and was replaced with Dave Wintour.

The band split in summer 1964, when both Carter and Lewis decided to concentrate on writing and doing sessions. Several would become hits: “It is True” for Brenda Lee; “Big Bad Bass” for Jet Harris; “How Can I Tell Her” for the Fourmosts; “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeats”, which was basically written for Goldie & The Gingerbreads, and became a million selling Us #2 for Herman’s Hermits...
They eventually became a trio with the addition of Brian Pugh aka "Perry Ford", who’d been pianist for Vince Taylor & his Playboys, Colin Hicks & The Cabin Boys, and the Echoes, and recorded with George Martin, under the moniker "Lou Bryan" in the 50s.
They called themselves "The Ivy League", and romped on to great success with "Funny How Love Can Be", “That’s Why I’m Crying”, and "Tossing And Turning"...

Bobby Graham also concentrated on studio work, and was to become a prolific session man like Jimmy Page.
Micky Keene and Dave Wintour joined The Tony Colton’s Crawdaddies before moving to The Ivy League backing band, the Division Two.

In 1966, John Carter and Ken Lewis formed The Ministry Of Sound with the cream of Southern Music studios house team.
By the summer of 1967, they recorded a song they wrote to articulate the sentiments of the flower-power movement and entitled "Let's Go To San Francisco" under the artist name 'Flowerpot Men'...

Their songwriting partnership continued to bring success, with further hits by other artists, including "Semi-detached Suburban Mr James" for Manfred Mann, "Sunday For Tea" by Peter & Gordon, "Peekaboo" for The New Vaudeville Band, "Sleepy Joe", "My Sentimental Friend" and "Sunshine Girl" for The Herman's Hermits, and "Little Bit O' Soul" by the Music Explosion which became a US million-seller in 1967.

John Carter wrote the 1970 British Eurovision entry "Knock, Knock, who's There" for Mary Hopkin, which came second, and was another worldwide success. He produced the UK hit "Beach Baby" for First Class in 1974.
In the mid-eighties, he founded his own independent Sunny Records label.
From the nineties, he served on the Council of the British Academy of Composers and songwriters and the council as a writer-member of the Performing Right Society.

Meanwhile Ken Lewis moved over to working with peermusic in an A & R capacity, before retiring from the music business due to ill health and devoting his energies to charity work in Cambridge.

(1) Bruce Welsh, Canada: The Lorne Greene referenced in this band is NOT the same Lorne Green who released the single ‘Ringo’ in the U.S. That Lorne Green was a Canadian actor who rose to prominence playing the character Ben Cartwright on the long running TV Western ‘Bonanza’. He released the single while doing the T.V. Series and it went to #1 in the Billboard Charts in November ’64.


Singles by Carter-Lewis:
1. So Much In Love/Back On The Scene (Piccadilly 7N 35004) - 1961
2. Here's Hoping/Poor Joe (Piccadilly 7N 35084) - 1962
3. Two Timing Baby/Will It Happen To Me (Ember EMBS145) - 1962
4. Tell Me/Broken Heart (Ember EMBS165) - 1962
5. Sweet And Tender Romance/Who Told You? (Oriole CB1835) - July 1963
6. Your Momma's Out Of Town/Somebody Told My Girl (Oriole CB1868) - October 1963
7. Skinny Minnie/Easy To Cry (Oriole CB1919) - March 1964

Singles by The Ivy League
1. What More Do You Want/Wait A Minute (Piccadilly 7N 35200) - November 1964
2. Funny How Love Can Be/Lonely Room (Piccadilly 7N 35222) - January 1965 UK#8
3. That's Why I'm Crying/A Girl Like You (Piccadilly 7N 35228) - April 1965 UK#22
4. Tossing And Turning/Graduation Day (Piccadilly 7N 35251) - June 1965 UK#3
5. Our Love Is Slipping Away/I Could Make You Fall In Love (Piccadilly 7N 35267) - October 1965
6. Running Around In Circles/Rain, Rain Go Away (Piccadilly 7N 35294) - February 1966
7. Willow Tree/One Day (Piccadilly 7N 35326) - June 1966 UK#50
8. My World Fell Down/When You're Young (Piccadilly 7N 35348) - October 1966
9. Four And Twenty Hours/Arrivederci Baby (Piccadilly 7N 35365) - 1967
10. Suddenly Things/Tomorrow Is Another Day (Piccadilly 7N 35397) - 1967
11. Thank You For Loving Me/In The Not Too Distant Future (Piccadilly 7N 17386) - 1967

E.P.s by The Ivy League
1. Funny How Love Can Be - Funny How Love Can Be/Lonely Room/What More Do You Want?/Wait A Minute (Piccadilly NEP 34038) - March 1965
2. Tossing And TurningTossing And Turning/That's Why I'm Crying/A Girl Like You/Graduation Day (Piccadilly NEP 34042) - September 1965
3. The Holly And The Ivy League - The Holly And The Ivy/Once In Royal David's City/Good King Wenceslas/Silent Night (Piccadilly NEP 34046) - December 1965
4. Our Love Is Slipping Away - Our Love Is Slipping Away/Don't Think Twice/Don't Worry Baby/Make Love (Piccadilly NEP 34048) - April 1966

L.P.s by The Ivy League
This Is The Ivy League (Piccadilly NPL 38015, 1966)
Major League - The Collector's Ivy League (Sequel NEDCD 289,1998)

The Flowerpotmen: Let's Go To San Francisco Part 1/Part 2 (Deram DM 142) - August 1967

The New Vaudeville Band: "Winchester Cathedral" - 1966

First Class
Beach Baby/Both Sides Of The Story (UK UK 66)
Bobby Dazzler/Lavender Man (UK UKR 73)
Dreams Are Ten A Penny/Long Time Gone (UK UKR 82)

Carter & Lewis made vocal harmonies on
Sandy Shaw's "Always Something There To Remind Me" (10/1964)
The Who's "I Can't Explain" (01/1965) and "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" (05/1965)
Tom Jones "It's Not Unusual" (02/1965)
Chris Farlowe's "Out Of Time" (07/1966)

John Carter Compilations
Measure For Measure: The John Carter Anthology, 1961-1977 (RPM D268)
As You Like It: The Denmark Street Demos, 1963-1967 (Westside WESM 523)

Various Line-ups of Carter-Lewis’ Bands

Carter-Lewis & The Outlaws (Recording Sessions, Summer 1961 - Early 1962)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Geoff Goddard (Keyboards/Clavioline/Vocals)
  • James Tomkins (Lead Guitar) "Big Jim Sullivan"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Lorne Greene (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Ken Lundgren (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"
  • Don Groom (Drums)
  • Charles Blackwell (Musical Direction/Arrangement)

Carter-Lewis & The Southern Session Band (Summer 1961 - Early 1962)

  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Guitar) "John Carter"

  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"

  • Freddy Webb (Musical Direction)

  • Marion Montgomery (Backing Vocals)

  • Marion Ryan (Backing Vocals)

  • Roy Deltrice (Bass)

  • Kenny Clare (Drums)

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #1 (Early - Late 1962)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Lorne Greene (Lead Guitar)
  • Ron Prentiss (Double Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #2 (Early 1963)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • James Tomkins (Lead Guitar) "Big Jim Sullivan"
  • Jimmy Page (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Ron Prentiss (Double Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #3 (June - November 1963)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Jimmy Page (Lead Guitar)
  • Rod Clark (Bass)
  • Vivian Prince (Drums)

Carter-Lewis & The Southerners #4 (November 1963 - February 1964)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Tony Ross (Bass) "Rupert Ross"
  • Vivian Prince (Drums)

Carter-Lewis #1 (February - May 1964)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Tony Ross (Bass) "Rupert Ross"
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Carter-Lewis #2 (June 1964)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • Alan Skipper (Drums) "Skip Alan"

Session Band (Summer 1964 - Early 1965)
  • John Shakespeare (Backing Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Backing Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Brian Pugh (Backing Vocals/Keyboards) "Perry Ford"
  • James Tomkins (Fuzz Guitar) "Big Jim Sullivan"
  • Jimmy Page (Fuzz Guitar/Harmonica)
  • Alan Weigle (Bass)
  • Jon Lord (Keyboards)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

The Ivy League #1 & Division Two (February - October 1965)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals) "Ken Lewis"
  • Brian Pugh (Vocals) "Perry Ford"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • Mike O'Neill (Keyboards) "Nero"
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)
  • Roger Pinner (Drums) "Solly"

The Ivy League #4 (1967)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Tony Burrows (Vocals)
  • Patrick Cahill (Vocals) "Neil Landon"
  • Brian Pugh (Vocals) "Perry Ford"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)

The Ivy League #5 (Late 1967 - 1970s)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "Bob Carter"
  • Brian Pugh (Vocals) "Perry Ford"
  • "Schadel" (Vocals)
  • Bill Clarke (Bass)
  • Dave McDonald (Bass) "Dave Robin"
  • Roger Hall (Drums)

John Carter & The Ministry Of Sound/The "Flowerpot Men" (1966 - 1971)
  • John Shakespeare (Musical Direction/Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Russ Alquist (Vocals)
  • Tony Burrows (Vocals)
  • Patrick Cahill (Vocals) "Neil Landon"
  • Robin Scrimshaw (Vocals/Bass) "Robin Shaw"
  • Mickey Keene (Lead Guitar)
  • Dave Wintour (Bass)
  • John Ford (Bass)
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)
  • Richard Hudson (Drums)

First Class (1974 - 1976)
  • John Shakespeare (Vocals) "John Carter"
  • Ken Hawker (Vocals/Keyboards) "Ken Lewis"
  • Robin Scrimshaw (Vocals/Bass) "Robin Shaw"
  • "Chas" Mills (Vocals)
  • "Del" John (Vocals)
  • Spencer James (Lead Guitar/Vocals)
  • Clive Barrett (Keyboards)
  • Eddie Richards (Drums)

If you have any further information and want to contribute to this site, please email us at: tomusicstorytellers@gmail.com

Rikki Maiocchi & The Trip

A Trip to Milan

Enrico (Riki) Maiocchi (1940-2004) was one of the most talented singer in Italy in the Sixties; founder and leader of "I Camaleonti" a band formed in Milan in 1965. In the Summer of the following year Riki leaves the band and gone to London in search of musicians for his new own project. He meets Scouser drummer Ian Broad (1), previously member of various groups - Rory Storm & The Hurricanes, The Seniors and The Bigs, an English combo relocated in Italy during 1965-66.
Broad suggested Riki to hire a talented guitarist named Ritchie Blackmore, who at this moment plays with Neil Christian & The Crusaders; and he brings also his bass player in the Crusaders: Arvid "Wegg" Andersen. To complete the new group they needs a rhythm guitarist and their choice was Billy Gray, previously member of Scottish band The Anteeks and, for a short time, in the Buzz with David Bowie. When they came to Italy in September of 1966 someone referred to this experience like "A trip to Milan" so the new name for the band was found.
After only few weeks Maiocchi decided to goes solo and the band continued with Ian Broad as drummer and lead singer. In December Ritchie Blackmore quits to come back in London (rejoining Screaming Lord Sutch, of course later he founded the Deep Purple) and the remaining trio - Ian, Billy and Wegg - hired an Italian keyboardist named Joe Vescovi (from Savona) who became the leader of the Trip.

When Broad was sacked from the group in Autumn they found a new drummer in Pino Sinnone, from Turin and The Trip continued his history as a progressive band in the Seventies.

Luca Mathmos

A Trip in the Seventies
The Trip is going on, releasing their debut single, “Bolero Blues”, originally lined up to be included into the Piper club compilation in 1969, then their first homonymous album on RCA label, the following year. This album was considered as “impressionist music”: their music sounded like a mix of beat vibes and progressive sessions of singular instruments. Although it was recorded in Italy and destined to the Italian market, the lyrics were in English apart from the song “Una pietra colorata” (“A coloured stone”) previously entitled “Take Me” and penned by Pino Sinnone.
They then picked to compose “Fantasia/Travelin’ soul”, the soundtrack of an italian film “ Third channel-adventure in Montecarlo” directed by Giulio Paradisi.

Their second LP “Charon”, that came out in 1971, was thought to be a “concept album” dedicated to Charon, Dante’s Inferno mythologic ferryman. It included some progressive hard rock music such as “Two brothers” and a tribute ballad to Jimi Hendrix “L’ultima ora e ode a Jimi Hendrix”.But after its release, Billy Gray, who went on to publish a solo blues album, and Sinnone quit the band. As a result,the band kept on as a trio with new drummer, Furio Chirico from Turin, who'd earlier been with rock groups I Ragazzi del Sole and Martò e i Judas in the 60's.
Their 3dr album “Atlantis”, which was dedicated to Atlantis, the mythologic continent, is now regarded as their magnum opus. The map of Atlantis on the cover was drawn by the Up & Down Studios. The very first copies of this album it was comprised a band’s advertising interview.

By 1973, they switched to Trident. After their 4th and last album "Time of change", Furio Chirico left to form Arti & Mestieri, Andersen and Vescovi tried to revive the band with the help of Osage Tribe's drummer Nunzio Favia.
But in 1974, Andersen had a serious car accident that caused him a paralysis for a long timethe and the band split.
Joe Vescovi briefly joined Acqua Fragile at the end of 1974 and later both he and Favia joined Dik Dik.
Ritchie Blackmore, whom he had briefly met in 1972 through Arvid Andersen (2), invited him to sessions for the Rainbow album "On Stage 507" in LA and to replace keyboards player Tony Carey in November 1976.

More than 30 years after their demise, they are starting playing again together in 2010.

(1) Arvid Andersen:
"Ian Broad showed up in London after touring Spain & Italy in a band called The Biss. Ian contacted Ritchie saying there was a stack of work in Italy… I went over to the Blackmore’s flat in Holloway Road… Only problem was Jimmy Evans. We couldn’t go with 2 drummers… So we settled with Jimmy because we thought we would be back in 6 weeks… we were due for a month’s residency in a club on the Adriatic… "

(2) Arvid Andersen:
“Ritchie called me about the organist’s job he was trying to fill. He had heard Joe on one of our records… I told him he was shit hot and arranged for Joe to make a tape with some of demos we had written and played on together as the start of the new album we were preparing before my enforced repatriation from Italy …”

· Discography
1. Bolero Blues (RCA, 1969)
2. Una pietra colorata / Incubi (RCA, 1970)
3. Fantasia / Travellin' Soul (soundtrack of Terzo canale - RCA, 1970)
4. Believe in Yourself / Little Janie (RCA 1971)
5. Intervista (RCA 1972)
6. Corale/Formula nova (Trident 1973)

1.The Trip (RCA, PSL 10460 - 1970)
2.Charon/Caronte (RCA, PSL 10509 - 1971)
3.Atlantis/Atlantide (RCA, PSL 10540 - 1972)
4.Time of change (Trident Music, TRI 1002 - 1973)

· Lineups of The Trip

Ricky Maiocchi & The Trip (October 1966)

· Enrico Maiocchi (Lead Vocals) "Ricky Maiocchi"
· Ritchie Blackmore (Lead Guitar)
· Arvid Andersen (Bass) "Silas Wegg"
· Billy Gray (Keyboards)
· Ian Broad (Drums)

The Trip #1 (November - December 1966)

· Ritchie Blackmore (Lead Guitar)
· Arvid Andersen (Bass) "Silas Wegg"
· Billy Gray (Keyboards)
· Ian Broad (Drums)

The Trip #2 (December 1966 - 1968)

· Arvid Andersen (Bass) "Silas Wegg"
· Billy Gray (Keyboards)
· Ian Broad (Drums)

The Trip #3 ( April 1968 - April 1969)

· Roger Peacock (Lead Vocals)
· Arvid Andersen (Bass) "Silas Wegg"
· Billy Gray (Keyboards)
· Ian Broad (Drums)

The Trip #4 (Autumn 1969 - 1971)

· Billy Gray (Lead Guitar/Vocals)
· Arvid Andersen (Bass/Vocals) "Silas Wegg"
· Joe Vescovi (Keyboards/Vocals)
· Pino Sinnone (Drums)

The Trip #5 (1971 - 1973)

· Arvid Andersen (Bass/Vocals) "Silas Wegg"
· Joe Vescovi (Keyboards/Vocals)
· Furio Chirico (Drums)

The Trip #6 (1973 - 1974)

· Arvid Andersen (Bass/Vocals) "Silas Wegg"
· Joe Vescovi (Keyboards/Vocals)
· Nunzio Favia (Drums)

Special thanks to Luca Mathmos and Daniele Nuti

Mike Berry & The Outlaws

Mike Berry was born Michael Bourne in Northampton on September 24th 1942.
He left school at the age of fifteen and became a compositor’s apprentice.
By this time, he formed his own skiffle group ‘The Rebels’ with friends Peter Chilks and Ray on guitars, plus Terry Lyddington on tea chest Bass. He later fronted Rock'n'Roll band "Kenny Lord & The Statesmen" and made a demo with them in a recording studio in Wandsworth, South West London. He then met Peter Raymond, who sent copies of their demo to Jack Good (the producer of TV rock ‘n’ roll show “Oh Boy”) and Joe Meek (the first independent record producer in the UK), both of whom were interested in signing him up. Though Good had already arranged a recording session for the following week, telling him he would be the next Adam Faith, Mike Bourne preferred to sign a three year recording contract with Meek who immediately saw potential in him and wanted to make him the British Buddy Holly. This was much more to Bourne's liking. Meek thought of the name "Mike Berry" because it had closer "Buddy Holly" connotations than the name previously adopted by Bourne. He had ideas for an album featuring a picture of Bourne superimposed on a ‘ghostly’ picture of Holly. He however didn't like his backing band.

By late 1960, Peter Raymond had teamed Bourne up with The Stormers which consisted of Billy Kuy on lead guitar, Reg Hawkins (born Reginald Hawkins, in 1942) on rhythm guitar, Chas Hodges (born Charles Nicholas Hodges, 28 December 1943, at the North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton, England) (ex The Horseshoe Skiffle Group, The Horseshoes) on bass, and drummer Bobby Graham (born Robert Francis Neate, 11 March 1940, at the North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton, England, died 14 September 2009, in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England) (1).
The Stormers had originally backed Billy Gray (William Halsey) who left when he got married in September 1960, after a summer season at Butlins Holiday camp in Filey, Yorkshire (2). They were renamed The Outlaws by Joe Meek who thought it was a good idea to promote them with a 'Wild West' image, the group dressed accordingly (3).
The Outlaws first recorded with Meek as instrumentalists, doing a couple of test recordings and backing Danny Rivers (David Lee Baker) on a couple of demos. Rivers went on to have a small hit in early 1961 with ''Can't You Hear My Heart.''
The first release of Mike Berry & The Outlaws, produced by Joe Meek, was a cover version of the Shirelles’ "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", on Decca. The follow up, "A Tribute to Buddy Holly", this time on HMV, came out nine months after and reached the top 30. A month earlier The Outlaws had achieved a better score, backing another Meek's protégé, singer John Leyton on his number one hit ''Johnny Remember Me''.
By this time, The Outlaws had indeed became Meek’s in-house backing band at Holloway Road studio, recording with his stable of artists: Carter-Lewis, Gunilla Thorne, Michael Cox, Jess Conrad, Freddie Starr, Dave Kaye, Dave Adams (Burr Bailey,Silas Dooley Jr) and Houston Wells (Andy Smith) among others.

They were also recording on their own and released 3 singles on HMV during 1961: "Swingin' Low" b/w "Spring Is Near" in March; "Ambush" b/w "Indian Brave" in May 1961; and "Valley Of The Sioux" in September.
Meek wrote the majority of their singles (all cowboy oriented) under the name of Robert Duke. His unusual approach to songwriting (4) and recording (5) made an impression. He even had them riding around London in a stagecoach to publicise their records.

Mike Berry & The Outlaws were also touring the length and breadth of the UK performing in clubs and dance halls which were mostly ‘Corn Exchanges’ and town or village halls. The Outlaws only real competition in Britain at the time was Cliff Richards' The Shadows.

In August 1961, following the departure of Billy Kuy, Heinz Burt (Henry George Schwartz from Southampton) was lined up to join The Outlaws on bass and Chas Hodges was going to take over on lead guitar. As Hodges wanted to know what the new bass player was like as a musician Meek replied, "Well, he's tall, quite good looking and very smart!" A week later, Hodges finally decided to come back to the bass and Heinz was slotted into a new Meek project, as bassist with The Tornados, his new house band which eventually would record "Telstar" the following year.
Rodger Mingaye, from Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages, joined up as new lead guitarist while Big Jim Sullivan still played with them on records.

The B-side of the Outlaws third single, "Crazy Drums", was credited solely to Meek, although Bobby Graham had devised it as a drum showcase. A way out of the Outlaws came from Meek's arranger, Charles Blackwell, who told Graham that Joe Brown needed a drummer for his band, the Bruvvers. After passing the audition, Graham left for Brown in September 1961. Clem Cattini, who was the drummer in Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, auditioned for the Outlaws but Joe Meek chose him to be one of the Tornados instead (6). Graham's replacement was Don Groom from The Tuxedos. By 1962, Groom brought his brother-in-law in, Ken Lundgren who had been playing on the radio as Ken 'Steel Guitar' Lundgren (8) and fronting a rock band 'The Pacers' in British Colombia, Canada (7).

By October 1962, Don Groom left to tour with the Crickets in Britain, and Lorne Greene went on to join Carter-Lewis & The Southerners along with Big Jim Sullivan and Bobby Graham. So The Outlaws were seeking a replacement drummer and guitarist, and held auditions at the "Two I's" coffee Bar in Soho. At the time, they thought about changing the line-up to make it a piano-guitar thing… They thus auditioned Nicky Hopkins and Bernie Watson, who had just been elbowed from Cliff Bennett's Rebel Rousers. But the 2 former Savages didn't get the job because Chas fancied moving from bass to piano himself. Jimmy Page was also eliminated because he was so shy he didn't want to even be seen on stage but play his parts in the background.
Mick Underwood had just taken over Groom’s stool instead of Carlo Little (a choice of Rodger Mingaye to become an Outlaw) (9) and told Joe Meek about his mate from the Dominators, Richie Blackmore, who was 17 year-old too (11).
Blackmore showed just as much speed and vertuosity but (as another ex-Savage) was well used to dancin' and prancin' on stage (10).

Strangely, when Heinz embarked on a solo career in early 1963, The Outlaws became his first backing band with Blackmore on stage as well as on records ("Just like Eddie").

In the event, they subsequently worked with the Don Arden organization and were propelled onto a number of package tours including backing American rockers Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent (15) from May to September 1963 (13).

Ritchie Blackmore was a very strange character. Not only he was into spirituals, believing in the ghosts (12) but also, when not performing, he relieved his boredom by indulging in a variety of pranks (14-A). He started throwing things at people (14-B) and later, the flour bags thrown at everyone especially Heinz with whom they were touring, or from the back of their van ect. (14-C)
As a result, Chas Hodges did cover for him when the band was taken to court in Shrewsbury and Ken Lundgren lost his driving licence. Blackmore even got them fired from some tours...
This was one of the reasons Mike Berry decided to part company with them and preferred to work with Billy Kuy's new band... The [more] Innocents [than The Outlaws].

In April 1964, Ritchie Blackmore moved to Heinz' new backing band, The Wild Ones, and was replaced by ex-Crescents Harvey Hinsley (16).
In the Summer of 1964, Ken Lungren returned to his native Canada where he got into radio broadcasting and record producing.
The Outlaws then went on as a 3 piece for a while until Rodger Mingaye returned to the fold before emigrating to Australia. They then had a keyboardist for a short time. Another former Crescent, Ed Hamilton came in at the last short time in before they finally called it a day in mid-1965.
Hinsley can be heard on "Don't Cry", the A-side of The Outlaws final release on Smash records, for the US market and produced by Derek Lawrence (Ritchie Blackmore is on the B-side). Hinsley and Hamilton played on the unreleased cover version of Neil Sedaka's song "I go Ape".

Chas Hodges joined Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers in July 1965.
Ed Hamilton returned to The Macabre, an obscure outfit led by ex-Detours Peter Vernon-Kell. Mick Underwood went on to join the Herd and later found The Clockwork Oranges with Harvey Hinsley.
Joe Meek committed a suicide with Heinz' gun on 3 February 1967, at 304 Holloway Road.

Ken Lundgren went back to England in 1974 to help put the first commercial radio stations on the air and in the process, helped reform the Original Outlaws and began touring again with them to support Mike Berry's reissue of "Tribute to Buddy Holly' and 'Your're So Square', which were charted in Europe (20).

The original 'Outlaws' - Billy Kuy, Reg Hawkins, Chas Hodges and Bobby Graham - reunited once again in 1999 for the 40th anniversary.
Sadly Bobby Graham died on 14 September 2009.

(1) The Stormers had meet Berry through his manager Peter 'Yak' Yaquinandi, who also managed Rivers. Yak went round to Hodges' parents house to ask if The Stomers would like to back Berry. Yak played Hodges a demo tape of Berry and Hodges said that Berry really sounded like one of his heros Buddy Holly. He was all for it and so were the rest of the band.

(2) Bobby Graham
"Billy knocked on my door and said 'do you fancy going off to Butlins Holiday camp in Filey in Yorkshire for a summer season gig' remembers Graham. He declined -no, I'm a jazz musician". so the offer was made more attractive. there will be plenty of booze, plenty of girls' -'no, no' - 'it's 20 pounds a week'. Suddenly I became a rock 'n' roll musician".

(3) Bobby Graham(
"In September I960, after the Butlin's season, the Stormers split when Halsey got married. Joe Meek was interested in Mike Berry, but didn't like his backing band, so the Stormers were talked into reforming. Meek renamed them The Outlaws in late I960, "I thought (The Outlaws) was a bit camp. At the time we did what we were told"

(4) Chas Hodges
"He used to come to us with demos of him singing what he thought he heard in his head, but he would use strange backing tracks that were nothing to do with the song."

(5) Chas Hodges
“I could hear a girl singing but I didn’t know where she was. I remember thinking she must have been in the bathroom. I heard Joe saying, ‘Oh, the violins have arrived’, but I never saw them- they were on another floor in the flat”. Geoff Goddard laughs as he remembers, ‘the boy on the rhythm guitar’. “It took so many takes to get it right that he played until his fingers bled. There were cables all over the place and people squashed in corners. I remember some old boy trying to find enough space to drag the bow across his violin in the corner”.

(6) Ken Lundgren
"Clem Cattini was the drummer in Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. He auditioned for the Outlaws but Joe Meek chose him to be one of the Tornadoes (Telstar) instead."

(7) Ken Lundgren
"I met the Outlaws when I came to England with a high school friend, Ian Hancock, now a unniversity professor in Austin Texas. He introduced me to Roger Mingaye, a school chum of his, who was playing in the Outlaws who wre touring in support of a couple of hit records in Engand by John Leyton and Mike Berry (Tribute to Buddy Holly and Don't Your Think It's Time) I hit it off with Chas Hodges and he asked me if I would like to join the Outlaws as their rthymn guitarist. I had been playing on the radio as Ken 'Steel Guitar' Lundgren and fronting a rock band 'The pacers' in British Colombia, Canada and welcomed the chance. Joe Meek was glad to see the Outlaws with a member who knew a little about studio work (from radio) and played steel guitar and it went on from there."

(8) Ken Lundgren
"The steel guitar I used at Joe Meek's studio and, of course, on stage was a twin neck Fender "Stringmaster" ( a precursor to pedal instruments), the same instrument employed by Hank Williams band, the Drifting Cowboys in the 1950's. It was the same Fender guitar that all the Western Swing bands used in the same era."

(9) Ken Lundgren
"Crasher Carlo Little was almost joined the Outlaws when Don Groom left to tour with the Crickets (Buddy Holly's group) in Britain. He played with Sutch and was a choice of Roger Mingaye to become an Outlaw but this was not to be. We instead got Mick Underwood who was a friend of Ritchie's... When Roger imigrated to Australia, we ended up with Ritchie Blackmore and Mick Underwood - which, as it turned out, was the lineup that finally worked best for us."

(10) Ken Lundgren
"When guitarist Rodger Mingaye (formerly Screaming Lord Sutch's Savages) and Don Groom, drummer (my brother in law now) left for various reasons, Chas and I held auditions at the now legeandary "Two I's" coffee house in Soho. Page as well as Nicky Hopkins and Bernie Watkins showed up - the Outlaws were a name group at the time. Nicky and Bernie didn't get it because Chas fancied moving from bass to piano himself, a fact that is mentioned in his book, "My Rock n Roll Years of Chas before Dave". Page was eliminated because he was so so shy he didn't want to even be seen on stage but play his parts in the background. Ritchie, on the other hand, showed just as much speed and vertuosity but (as another ex Savage) was well used to dancin' and prancin' on stage. So Ritchie got the job. As a backing group for acts like Jerry Lee, John Leyton, Gene Vincent and Mike Berry, the Outlaws had to put on a show of their own and that was an important consideration in selecting our new guitarist. Also, he and Mick Underwood had played together in a semi pro band in Ealing (where they were both from) and that helped us to give them the nod."

(11) Ritchie Blackmore
"Joe Meek heard about this and said, ‘how about joining the Outlaws? So I said OK, it sounds good to me. The Outlaws were more well-known than the Savages. So I was quite pleased..."

(12) Ken Lundgren
"Borely Rectory was featured in a book in the '60's about the most haunted places in England and was rated the 'most' haunted out of the lot. It just so happened it was on our route home after a gig in Yarmouth or somewhere, so we stopped to have a look. Ritchie wouldn't get out of the van but Chas, Mick Underwood and I walked all around the place at midnight and felt nothing more than an extreme since of peace and wellbeing. I found out later that shortly before our visit, Borely rectory had been exorcised."

(13) Ken Lundgren
"As the backing group on John Leyton's two top ten hits, "Johnny, Remember Me" and "Wild Wind" and Mike Berry's "Tribute to Buddy Holly" , in the space of a few months, The Outlaws only real competition at the time was Cliff Richards' The Shadows, so we were propelled onto a number of package tours including backing American rockers Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent... The Outlaws were law abiding citizens who took our job as a backing group for the Stars from the Joe Meek stable and the subsequent work with the Don Arden organization (Jerry Lee Lewis and Gene Vincent) very seriously."

(14-A) Ken Lundgren
"The Outlaws lived up to their name. Although many of the pranks associated with the group were in fact record company or Joe Meek publicity stunts to gain attention from the media...
One of the best pranks was in Great Yarmouth when we convinced a stage hand at the Regal Theatre that Gene Vincent got his start by running on stage during an Elvis Presley show and singing an impromptu number. So the kid did Chuck Berry's "Johnny B Good" and we gave him all the musical support we were famous for and it got him fired, got us fired from the tour and made the New Musical Express and other publications...."

(14-B) Ken Lundgren
"As for the pranks, Ritchie started throwing things at people - a policeman in Guernsey doing point duty, a pedestrian on Oxford Street and later, the flour bags thrown at everyone especially Heinz with whom we were touring. Chas did cover for him when the band was taken to court in Shrewsbury and I lost my driving licence. Ritchie did have a mischievious bent and the rest of us, especially Chas, were called to account for it."

(14-C) Ken Lundgren
“he had a penchant for shit” and laid a series of turds around Brenda Lee's dressing room toilet.

(15) Ken Lundgren
"Gene wanted Ritchie to play more like the original record but Ritchie would tend to overdo it."

(16) Harvey Hinsley
I replaced Ritchie in Outlaws,-spring '64.
Mick Underwood got me into The Outlaws,& I had a great time,& first met Chas Hodges.
Prob; was -not enough money or gigs & I was the only driver after Ken Lundgren left.Also The Stones Beatles etc were popular, & we were more country.This lasted a year & finished when Chas joined The R Rousers in summer '65.... By the way Dave Wendels replaced Micky King,who got him the job.

(17) Harvey Hinsley
I remember recording A rock classic with the Outlaws.But I dont know if it was released or not,& cant remember song... The song we did in Outlaws was "I go Ape"--Maybe only a demo?
Chas joined Rebel Rousers in summer '65....

(18) Harvey Hinsley
we went on as a 3 piece for a while then had Rog Mingaye, then a keyboard guy for a short time. Ed came in at the last short time in '65, before it packed in!

(19) Ken Lundgren
"Chas later worked with Jerry Lee on the London Sessions album and I met Gene in Vancouver some years later when he wanted me to join him on dates in North America. Unfortunately, Gene died shortly thereafter."

(20) Ken Lundgren
"When Mike Berry and Original Outlaws began touring again in the 70's after a reissue of some Mike Berry 's material had become a hit in Europe and I had returned to persue my career in radio broadcasting and helped reform the band"



Mike Berry with the Outlaws (1961 - 1963)
1. Will You Love Me Tomorrow / My Baby Doll (Decca F11314) - January 1961
2. Tribute To Buddy Holly / What's The Matter (HMV POP 912) - September 1961 [#24]
3. It's Just A Matter Of Time / Little Boy Blue (HMV POP 979) - January 1962
4. Every Little Kiss / How May Times (HMV POP 1042) - June 1962
5. Don't You Think It's Time / Loneliness (HMV POP 1105) - December 1962 [#6]
6. My Little Baby / You'll Do It. You'll Fall In Love (HMV POP 1142) - March 1963 [#34]

Mike Berry with the Orchestra (1963)
7. It Really Doesn't Matter / Try A Little Bit Harder (HMV POP 1194) - August 1963

Mike Berry with the Innocents (1964)
8. This Little Girl / On My Mind (HMV POP 1257) - January 1964
9. Lovesick / Letter Of Love (HMV POP 1284) - April 1964
10. Who Will It Be / Talk (HMV POP 1314) - June 1964

The Outlaws (Instrumental releases)
1. Swingin' Low / Spring Is Near (HMV POP 844) - March 1961 [#46]
2. Ambush / Indian Brave (HMV POP 877) - May 1961 [#43]
3. Valley Of The Sioux / Crazy Drums (HMV POP 927) - September 1961
4. Ku-Pow! / Last Stage West (HMV POP 990) - February 1962
5. Sioux Serenade / Fort Knox (HMV POP 1074) - September 1962
6. The Return Of The Outlaws / Texan Spiritual (HMV POP 1124) - February 1963
7. That Set The Wild West Free / Hobo (HMV POP 1195) - August 1963
8. Law And Order / Do-Da-Day (HMV POP 1241) - January 1964
9. Keep-A-Knockin' / Shake With Me (HMV POP 1277) - April 1964

The Chaps
Poppin' Medley Part 1 / Poppin' Medley Part 2 (Parlophone R4979) - December 1962

The Rally Rounders
The Bike Beat 1 / The Bike Beat 2 (UK, Lyntone Flexi-single, LYN 574) - 1964

The Outlaws (For Us Market)
Don't Cry / Only For You (US, Smash S 2025) - February 1965

The Ritchie Blackmore Orchestra
Getaway / Little Brown Jug (Oriole CB 314) - April 1965

Album & Compilation:
The Outlaws, Dream of The West (HMV) - December 1961
Dream of the West/The Outlaws/Husky team/Rodeo/Smoke Signals/Ambush/Barbecue/Sping is Near/ Indian Brave/Homeward bound/Western Sunset/Tune for Short Cow Boys
[Now available on CD: BGO CD 118 with 2 bonus tracks: Don't Cry/Only for You]

The Outlaws the A and B's See For Miles (CD SEE 303)
Swingin' Low/Spring is near/Ambush/Indian Brave/Valley of the Sioux/Crazy Drums/Last Stage West/Ku Pow/Sioux Serenade/Fort Knox/The Return of the Outlaws/Texan Spiritual/That Set the Wild West Free/ Hobo/Law and Order/Do Da Day/Keep A Knockin'/Shake with Me/Don't Cry/Only for You.

Various Line-ups of The Outlaws

The Rebels (1958 - 1959)
  • Mick Bourne (Washboard/Vocals) "Kenny Lord"
  • Peter Chilks (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Ray ?? (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Terry Lyddington (Tea Chest Bass)

Kenny Lord & The Statesmen (1959 - 1960)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Kenny Lord"
  • Tony Franchi (Lead Guitar)
  • Siro Andreoli (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Pete Richardson (Bass)
  • Terry Prudente (Drums)

Billy Grey & The Stormers (Edmonton, May - October 1960), reunited in 1999
  • Billy Halsey (Lead Vocals) "Billy Gray"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #1 (December 1960 - August 1961)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #2 (August 1961)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Chas Hodges (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Heinz Burt (Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #3 (September 1961 - March 1962)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Roger Mingay (Lead Guitar) "Scrape & Scratch Bailey"
  • Ray Byhart (Rhythm Guitar) "Biffo"
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Don Groom (Drums)

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #4 (March - October 1962)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Lorne Greene (Lead Guitar)
  • Ken Lundgren (Rhythm Guitar/Steel Guitar/Keyboards)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Don Groom (Drums)

Mike Berry & The Innocents (February 1963 - August 1965)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Colin Giffin (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Dave Brown (Bass)
  • Don Groom (Drums)

The Outlaws #5 (Mid October 1962 - April 1964)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (Lead Guitar)
  • Ken Lundgren (Rhythm Guitar/Steel Guitar/Keyboards)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Mick Underwood (Drums)
  • Nicky Hopkins (Keyboards)

The Outlaws #6 (April 1964 - February 1965)
  • Harvey Hinsley (Lead Guitar)
  • Ken Lundgren (Rhythm Guitar/Steel Guitar/Keyboards)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Mick Underwood (Drums)

The Outlaws #7 (March - June 1965)
  • Harvey Hinsley (Lead Guitar)
  • Roger Mingay (Rhythm Guitar) "Scrape & Scratch Bailey"
  • Ed Hamilton (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals)
  • Paul Goddard (Keyboards/Clavioline) "Geoff Goddard"
  • Nicky Hopkins (Keyboards)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Mick Underwood (Drums)

The Sessions (Recording Sessions, Mid-1965)
  • Mikki Dallon (Lead Vocals)
  • Ritchie Blackmore (Lead Guitar)
  • Harvey Hinsley (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Nicky Hopkins (Keyboards)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Jim Evans (Drums) "Tornado"

Mike Berry & The Original Outlaws #5 (1974)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Robert Neate (Drums) "Bobby Graham"

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #6 (October 1989)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals/Lead Guitar) "Mike Berry"
  • Russ Ballard (Lead Guitar)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Chas Hodges (Bass)
  • Clem Cattini (Drums)
  • Nik Hodges (Drums)

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #7 (August 1993)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Gary Leport (Rhythm Guitar/Lead Guitar)
  • John Barber (Bass)
  • Bobby Graham (Drums)
  • Mick Underwood (Drums)

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #8 (February 1997)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Billy Kuy (Lead Guitar)
  • Alan Lovell (Lead Guitar/Vocals)
  • Reg Hawkins (Rhythm Guitar)
  • John Barber (Bass)
  • Bobby Graham (Drums)

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #9 (1997 - 2006)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Mark Lewis (Lead Guitar)
  • Jim Rodford (Bass)
  • Alan Jones (Bass)
  • Alan Jackman (Drums)

Mike Berry & The Outlaws #10 (2006 - 2010)
  • Mick Bourne (Lead Vocals) "Mike Berry"
  • Ron Beynon (Lead Guitar)
  • Brian Hodgson (Bass)
  • Pete Wigfield (Keyboards)
  • Gary Baldwin (Keyboards)

Special thanks to Rodger Mingaye, Ken Lundgren, Harvey Hinsley, Ed Hamilton, John A.Warburg and many others

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Mickey Finn & The Blue Men

This band, which was named after the lead guitarist, Micky Waller aka "Mickey Finn", evolved out of a Shadows-like instrumental band called The Strangers, put together in Bethnal Green, East London, in Summer 1961 with Bevis Belmour rhythm guitar, Mick Stannard on bass, and Richard Brand on drums. The following year, they became a much more R&B-oriented group and enlisted vocalist Harry Bates.
By 1963, Waller and Brand left to form a more 'mod' sound band while the remainder of the group carried on as The Mates with a new drummer called Albert Smith.
In fact, they were both bitten by the Jamaican Blue Beat bug whilst hanging out at the Crypt Club, Aldgate, and then decided to concentrate on this music.
They therefore formed a new band, recruiting John Cooke aka "Fluff" on Keyboards, John Burkitt on bass and Alan Marks on vocals. After having heard about a drummer of the same name, with Cyril Davis & His R&B All Stars, Waller changed his surname to Finn. They called themselve "Mickey Finn & The Blue Men" and their agent, Don White, secured them a recording contract with Blue Beat records which released their debut single including a rendition of Elias & The Zig-Zag Jive Flutes "Tom Hark" coupled with "Please Love Me", composed by Alan Hawkshaw of Emile Ford & the Checkmates, in January 1964.
They would have recorded on Casey Jones & The Engineers single "One Way Ticket" b/w "I'm Gonna Love"...
After a couple of months, they switched to Oriole, and began recording with Jimmy Page on harmonica, after meeting him at Hackney Club 59.
The follow up, covering Bo Diddley's "Pills" and Jimmy Reed's "Hush Hush" (not to confuse with Bo Diddley's "Hush Your Mouth" as credited on its sleeve), was released in March 1964, which was banned after the police had discovered some purple hearts stashed in Mickey Waller's amp during a raid on The Scene Club.
Mid 1964, ex-Stranger, Mick Stannard replaced Burkitt on bass, and they became known as simply "The Mickey Finn".
Their final 45 for Oriole was a Chuck Berry number Reelin' And Rockin', but failed to chart though it was tipped as a hit on "Juke Box Jury".

Through their new manager, Chris Radmall, they got a deal with Columbia, and began recording with producer Shel Talmy in 1965: "This Sporting Life" (a smash hit for Ian Whicomb in US) /"Night Comes Down".Their 5th single, "I Do Love You"/"If I Had You Baby" was produced by Cy Paine and released in July 1966 on Polydor
The Mickey Finn spent the summer of 1967 in Southern France, where they had a residency at the Voom Voom Club, St-Tropez.Their most well known song was probably "Garden Of My Mind", with its Jimi Hendrix-influenced growling bass and pounding guitar work.They decided to call it a day in 1971, with Micky Waller and John Cooke going on to The Heavy Metal Kids (penning "Hangin' on" and "Kind Woman", 1974).
Waller relocated in France and became a sought-after session musician, recording with Nino Ferrer (LPs: "Nino Ferrer & Leggs", 1973; "Blanat", 1979; "Treizième LP"; "Ex-Libris", 1983; "Nino Ferrer & Cie"; "La Désabusion", 1993) and Jacques Higelin (LPs: "Champagne pour les uns, Caviar pour les autres"; "Higelin à Mogador", 1979; "Higelin 82", 1982). He eventually returned to the UK and joined Steve Marriott’s All Stars in 1976, and then ex-Pretty Things, Phil May & the Fallen Angels in 1977 ("The Return of the Electric Banana", 1978).
By 1999, Mickey Waller reformed Mickey Finn & the Blue Men with new musicians: Chris Lynn from the USA, on vocals and harmonica; Alain "Merlin" Gouillard from France (ex-Hubert Félix Thiéfaine and Louis Bertignac) on drums; and Alejendro Malassi from Argentina, on bass. The quartet recorded "Black Hole" LP.
From 2000 to 2003, they were joined by french bass player, Laurent Saligault, and american show man, Leroy Jones (ex-Tubes). Their final release was "Go Clean" EP, in June 2004, for Ten Minutes Productions.
From 2004 to 2011, Mickey Waller teamed up with Joane Calice, forming a blues-rock duet...

Micky Waller sadly died on 1 February 2013 in Paris.

Discography of Mickey Finn
As Mickey Finn & The Blue Men
  • Tom Hark/Please Love Me (Blue Beat 203) - January 1964
  • Pills/Hush Your Mouth (Oriole CB 1927) - March 1964

As The Mickey Finn
  • Reelin' And Rockin'/I Still Want You (Oriole CB 1940) - June 1964
  • The Sporting Life/Night Comes Down (Columbia DB 7510) - March 1965
  • I Do Love You/If I Had You Baby (Polydor 56719) - July 1966
  • Garden Of My Mind/Time To Start Loving You (Direction 58-3086) December 1967
  • Ain't Necessarily So/God Bless The Child (Noiseburger ) - April 1995

EP & LP:
As Mickey Finn & The Blue Men
  • Black Hole LP (Ten Minutes Productions) - 1999
  • Go Clean EP (Ten Minutes Productions) - 2004

Mickey Finn & Jo

  • Lucky Like ThatLP(Ten Minutes Productions) - 2010

Various Line-ups and evolution of Mickey Finn & The Blue Men
The Strangers #1 (Summer 1961 - 1963)
  • Harry Bates (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Bevis Belmour (Rhythm Guitar)
  • Mick Stannard (Bass)
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn
& The Blue Men #1 (1963 - January 1964)
  • Alan Marks (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • John Burkitt (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn & The Blue Men #2 (January - March 1964)
  • Alan Marks (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Jimmy Page (Rhythm Guitar/Harp)
  • John Burkitt (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn (April 1964 - 1971)
  • Alan Marks (Lead Vocals)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Mick Stannard then Rod Clark (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Richard Brand (Drums)

Mickey Finn & The Blue Men #3 (1999 - 2004)
  • Micky Waller (Lead Guitar) "Mickey Finn"
  • Chris Lynn (Lead Vocals/Harp)
  • Leroy Jones (Lead Vocals...)
  • Joane Calice (Lead Vocals/Bass)
  • Alejendro Malassi (Bass)
  • Laurent Saligault (Bass)
  • John Cooke (Keyboards/Organ) "Fluff"
  • Alain Gouillard (Drums) "Merlin"

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