Memories of the '60s music scene
AN EXPLOSION of rock n' roll groups burst onto the music scene in North Devon during the 1960s.
And readers and former group members have been taking an exciting trip down musical memory lane following an appeal in the
from local writer and historian Pat Barrow.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Pat is putting together a new book about the beat groups of that era that made a name for themselves on the local and national stage.
And, it seems, he will have no shortage of material to choose from.
In the early 1960s, the main band in the Bideford area was called The Heartbeats.
Lead guitarist was Michael Cawsey, drummer was Brian Bush Rendle, rhythm guitarist was Bob Alison and the singer Micky Roberts.
They later changed their name to The Mystery Men.
Tanya Williams, of Torrington, sent in a treasured photo of the band when her dad Tony Keen was the drummer.
She said: "They were all local men from Bideford and the surrounding area. The singer was Brian Tilke, my godfather. The other remaining members were Dave Viner, Clifford Dark and Bob Alison.
"In their time the group backed many well known bands such as Millie (famous for the song My Boy Lollipop), the Swinging Blue Jeans, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, Screaming Lord Sutch and many more."
Brian Tilke, of Northam, who joined the band when it was originally The Heartbeats, recalled that Clifford Dark switched between lead and rhythm guitar with Bob Alison, depending on the song.
He said: "We had a manager. He said you have got to get professional, don't turn up in what you feel like. So we had suits made."
Peter Reveley, of Appledore, joined on rhythm guitar when the band was called The Mystery Men and Terry Tildesley was on lead guitar. Both were still at Bideford Grammar School at the time.
Around the same time Tony Piper was the bass player and Warren Golder, the drummer.
Peter left in early 1965 and the group changed its name again to The Good Ship Lollipop.
Tony Langmead, of Yelland, sang with The Heartbeats in their heyday when they supported big names such as Johnny Kidd and The Pirates.
He said it was "very exciting" as they won a competition in London.
Alan Stoneman of Barnstaple was bass guitarist in Rock Revival.
He said: "We were a support band for Marty Wilde when he and his group) played at The Tempo in Queen Street, Barnstaple. We also played in South Devon and a couple of open air concerts at Mullacott Cross.
"We had some great fun. We had our own followers."
Rock Revival went on to win the "Pub Entertainer of the Year" competition at Taunton.
Brenda Brown, of Barnstaple, brought in an old scrap book containing pictures and stories of Ilfracombe skiffle group, The Rockets.
A news cutting from an old
revealed that more than 850 enthusiasts crowded into the old Queen's Hall in Barnstaple to see the group win the first North Devon amateur skiffle group competition.
Judging was Don Lang from the BBC television show 6.5 Special.
The Rockets' leader was Roy Prideaux who was joined by his brothers Richard and Derek Prideaux, Stanley Isaac, John Jones and Tony Hatherley.
They beat six other local groups: The Satellites of Woolacombe, The Streamliners of Hartland Point RAF Station, The Treacle Miners of Fremington, Ted Barnes and The Go Boys of Barnstaple, The Bobcats of Barnstaple and The Matadors of Torrington.
Another group which supported the big bands of the day such as Herman's Hermits at the Queen's Hall was The Prophets.
The drummer, Vic Bailey of South Molton said: "We played a lot of gigs around the area and occasionally we would go further afield but this would mean sleeping in the van with all the gear.
"The money we got wasn't important. It wasn't about that. It was image and being up there.
"I remember the instruments of that time were limited and unaffordable which meant that without the benefit of hire purchase many of us would be standing alone on stage."
Barnstaple-based drummer Keith Jones sent in pictures of the bands he played with. Do you remember The Patchwork Quilt, Mosaic and Flying Fortress?
And John Sweet, former bass guitarist with The Summits, sent an e-mail from New Zealand with links to his website (http://instow.tripod.com), recording early memories of the band.
He said: "Our first paid appearance was at a local youth club called The Rock Club, a bit of a rough joint. The dance ended in a fight. Well, at least we got £1 each."
● We'd love to hear more memories of bands in the 60s. Write to our letters page — the address is on page 41.