Nicholas Parsons R.I.P.

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Eric Harmer… I remember him as the straight man with Arthur Haines

David Edwards… Who always called him Nicolarse Parsons

Kevin White… I met him once, years ago at a show he was comparing, he was a really friendly man and had a great senseof humour.RIP Nicholarse Parsons.

Matt Thomas… Live from Norwich, it’s the quiz of the week

Dave Weeks… Legend and was still going strong on just a minute.

Andy Qunta… RIP! Thanks for the memories!

Peter Thomson… Also (and apparently not widely known) a sixty year association through voice overs with Gerry Anderson productions.

Alan Esdaile… Seen him on hundred of shows over the years. Sad news.


Samantha’s Club – New Burlington Street. What clubs and venues do you remember in London? Tiffanys Club and Gullivers People chat.


All images supplied by Colin Bell

Colin Bell… I was looking for something in my archives (I must organise them one day!) and came across this. I was struck by the artwork and how creative it was then. Samantha’s was in a basement off Regent Street and I was introduced to it on a night out with Clem (from the Foundations) and Jimmy James, from memory  it was around late 1969 early 1970. A great place with soul bands appearing and the D.J. ‘booth’ was the body of an E Type Jag (very swinging sixties). Drinks 2/6d! You could get well pissed for a coupla quid! I was lucky enough at that time to have the use of a mate’s flat in Berwick Street Soho, ideally placed to go to all the great clubs. Many hours spent at the Marquee, Whisky-a-go-go, the Flamingo, Middle Earth and Hatchetts in Piccadilly, a great club over 3 floors with a chill out bar level, a restaurant with a glass wall overlooking the ‘disco’ floor. I’d be interested to hear any memories of this period from other Smart members? Great times and great memories…………..

Alan Esdaile… Happy days in Wardour Street at The Marquee. Also the Speakeasy. Also remember auditioning bands at Tiffanys nightclub in Shaftesbury Avenue and a club in Piccadilly with the disco on the top floor, mirrored lift and the club had records stuck to the wall. 100 club, Roxy, Ronnie Scotts etc.

Peter Fairless… Went to some dodgy, some good clubs in London. Some were very dodgy but very good! Can’t remember all the names but most of those listed above.

Steve Gage… My mate Ray was a bouncer at Samanthas where are you now mate??? 🙂

Mick O’Dowd… Went to The Q Club in Paddington after seeing James Brown at The Rainbow in the 70’s I think. JB turned up after we got there and jammed with the band. Awesome!

Read moreSamantha’s Club – New Burlington Street. What clubs and venues do you remember in London? Tiffanys Club and Gullivers People chat.

What’s your favourite James Bond Theme.

james bond

What’s your favourite James Bond theme and what do you think of the new Sam Smith one? Bits of it remind me of Earth Song Michael Jackson! Here’s a list of James Bond themes.

Jim Breeds… The new one is dire. Don’t really have a favourite – many of them are really good.

John Wide… Matt Monro From Russia with Love.

Alan Esdaile… Yes Matt Monro for me and also rather like Nancy Sinatra You Only Live Twice.

Mark Gilham… It’s got to be Goldfinger surely? The one and only Dame Bass. 🙂

Alan Pepper… Mine is Live and Let Die by Wings . Great music although the actual film didn’t live up to the soundtrack . That’s only my opinion…..

Tony Davis… I quite like Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon but agree Dame Shirley is a real belter.

John Wilde… Love Carlys Nobody does it better. Not a fan of Bassey.

Matt Thomas… Definitely Carly Simon ‘Nobody Does It Better’ the first bond song that didnt have a same title as the film

Pete Fisher… Goldfinger was the first Bond film I ever saw, in the cinema in Hastings (with my Mum as it was “A” certificate), and the instrumental theme was the first thing I ever tried to play on the guitar…it was actually a session guy called Vic Flick on the recording, with the John Barry

Mark Rodrigues… Live and Let Die. Followed by Tomorrow Never Dies. Then A View to a Kill. Then Goldfinger. Diamonds are Forever. ACTUALLY OHMSS top.

Jeff Belton… 1) Skyfall 2) The Man With The Golden Gun 3) The Living Daylights 4) Goldeneye 5) Live And Let Die Could say them all, it was hard to pick my top 5.

Clive Garrard… Maccas live and let die, nobody does it better and from russia with love

Eric Harmer… I liked MATT mungos of mungo and Jerry fame doing from Russia with love

Will Cornell… I’m going to get ripped for this but Herb Albert’s take of the Bacharach “Casino Royale”. Probably the only thing good about the movie.

Pete Brazier… Thunderball

Dave Valentine… Nobody Does It Better. Not just my favourite Bond theme, but one of my all time favourite songs.

Roland Clarke… You only live twice, from Russia with love, casino royal, all the time in the world, nobody does it better, Live and let die, Goldfinger, nor in any particular order. Worst? Skyfall, awful dirge.

Jan Warren… “View to a Kill” by Duran Duran!!

Eco Jane… never watched a bond movie but fav song has to be Skyfall

Peter Bonner Presents Jon Hiseman (27th January 1983) Hastings Shop, Rock Jazz Workshop Diplocks and The Fender Hot Squad. 1983



supplied by Roger Carey

Roger Carey… The Fender Hot Squad was held at Bonners Music Store Silverhill and I won a Fender TShirt for correctly answering a question about Jaco Pastorius.

Chris Meachen… I remember Jon Hiseman juggling drumsticks during his solo on the pier with ‘Tempest’. Found him very impressive…

Roy Penfold… As a teenager, spent far too long in Bonners drooling over the latest kit….

Janine Anne Scott… I knew Peter very well. I’m in contact with one of his sons still, Rick Bonner.

Ann Hohenkerk… It was an amazing shop, and Pete. Garry and Rick used to run a wide variety of workshops… Great times, great fun, and happy memories of working with them!

Mick Burt… I was there

Ernest Ballard… Great hand written poster. Before the printer and certainly before computers arrived

Geoff Peckham… Mick Parker’s still around and active – he tours a lot as Gilbert O’Sullivan’s MD. I play with him occasionally in The Hopdogs ceilidh band and The Lonnigans skiffle band. Great musician and lovely bloke.

Terry Pack… Rob Burns lives in New Zealand now. He is a University Professor, and has just finished writing a book about Progressive Rock (to which I made a small contribution).

Dave Weeks… Alan Murphy. Go West, mike and the mechanics? Died too young I believe.

Phil Little… SFX were a really good band. Used to see them at The Cricketers – Oval.

Paul Watson… I remember seeing Alan Murphy with the Hot Squad at a Bonners event in Diplocks, probably the same time. Great guitarist, left too soon.

Geoff Peckham… Mick Parker’s alive and well and living in West Sussex. I play with him occasionally. Lovely chap, great musician and is currently Gilbert O’Sullivan’s MD.

Modes-Mode plus St John’s Wood – Hastings Pier 2nd November 1968

Modes Mode


photo supplied by Amanda Hawkings, ad supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… November 2nd, 1968. No information regarding this group….anyone else?

Mick O’Dowd… New one on me perhaps St Johns Wood members might remember.

Ray Harper…  Saw Modes Mode at The Continental more than once and Eastbourne Town Hall. They played blues and soul music in particular Curtis Mayfield. I thought they were from Brighton but they are not listed on Brightonbeat .com site. Great band though.

Amanda Hawkings… The drummer in Modes Mode was my cousin Clifford Grensted. The manager was my uncle Brian Grensted.  They were based  in the London area. The photo was taken in Stanmore, I believe.

Mike Mitchell… That’s a fabulous suit on the right there.

Lil Fuller… Brian Grenstead ( “Mr.G”) was our neighbour in Stanmore ..we lost touch when we left for Australia in 1970. He lived around the corner but our back garden  in Tintagel Drive backed  onto his… think He was Manager of  Modes Mode then the late 60’s ??? He was always wonderful to our late Mum Sheila and Us Kids and we have  many Happy Memories. Fond Regards to His Family from Old Neighbours  The Fuller’s  … now in Adelaide …Down Under  xx

Mick Gilfrin… Yep went to the E/B Town Hall gig. Does anybody remember the free fest @ Cow Gap Beachy Head 1967 ish. Skin Alley were top of the bill

Alvin Stardust – Hastings Pier 19th April 1974



autographed poster from the gig supplied by Peter Houghton

ad supplied by Sarah Harvey. photo 1: Alvin Stardust in AVRO’s TopPop (Dutch television show) in 1974 source AVRO, photo 2: Jennie with Alvin on the pier supplied by Jennie Tocock  

Sarah Harvey…..I didn’t see Alvin Stardust on the Pier because I wasn’t into pop but was dragged to see him by my daughter when he appeared during one of our stays at Butlins in Bognor…. I have to say that he was excellent and he rocked! Just shows how pre-conceptions can be misguided.

Alan Esdaile…..Remember this gig, as I did the disco. It was really packed and he was late coming on. For the first 5mins all you could see was a spotlight on his massive ring covering his leather glove.

Peter Fairless… Coo, coo….

Yvonne Cleland… He only did about three numbers, didn’t he?

Cindy Goodhand-Knight… I saw him at the Rat Trap in Maidstone when he was Shane Fenton and the Fentones !

Barry Arnold… I think I was at that one.

Jennie Tocock…. Alvin on the Pier, 1974, being interviewed by a certain young news reporter!!

Do you remember Embassy Records at Woolworth asks Gerry Powell?

supplied by Gerry Powell

Julie Findlay-jones… We had quite a few of them.

David Edwards… They were the sound alikey records, today’s hit songs covered by other than the original artists and sold cheaper. I believe Elton John sang on some of them but don’t know who he covered

Chris Jolly… This sounds like the music they played whilst you ate at Pizzaland…

Gerry Powell… These were my introduction to vinyl when very young and bought by my dad when we first had a Ferguson record player. The 45’s cost 4/6 (that’s 4 shillings & 6 pence for those too young to know). That was half the price of the chart single.

John Scaife… Still got a few

Pete Brazier… Think I’ve still got one somewhere! Julie Andrew’s and Johnny Mathis singing songs from West Side Story! Before they became famous in their own right

Will Cornell… In honor of the centennial, I think more “Roaring 20s” records are in order, hot-cha-cha-cha-cha! Those tunes were the cats pajamas.

Barry French… I have one Embassy single featuring “The Typhoons”
Side 1 – Glad All Over Side 2- Money. Record dates from 1963.
Both tracks are pretty good covers of the Dave Clark Five & Beatles singles.

Neil Partrick.. They released a pretty wide range of stuff at cheap prices. My personal favourite (bought second hand in Eastbourne circa 1984, not at Woolies) is Supersession (Kooper/Bloomfield/Stills et al)…… a total corker.

David Edwards… out of the blue that one!

Chris Jolly… Great record!

Mick O’Dowd… Posted this before but this from the Daily Mail might help with some queries.

Pete Fisher… Embassy (1954-1965) seems to have been the forerunner of the Top Of The Pops and Hot Hits compilations…

Pete Fairless… I’ve been on YouTube and listened to quite a few of these and they’re pretty good.  However, while I get the idea of a covers compilation, a la TOTP, I struggle with the idea of cover singles – were singles expensive, were these a lot cheaper?  Can any of you old folks explain?

Pete Fisher… I got curious about Woolworth’s Embassy label, and found out they had a kind of house band from 1963 to 1965 (when the label folded) who went under the name The Typhoons, and covered a lot of the beat groups, predominantly The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Quite a few videos at youtube – here’s one…

Neil Partrick… Really interesting research. I hadn’t realised about The Typhoons as a kind of Embassy Records’ house band. Nor had I realised that Embassy Records was owned (?) by Woolworth’s (if I understand the above correctly).

Paul Huggett… Yep Woollies were the exclusive outlet ( not sure if they actually owned Embassy though). I had a few of their 45s bought from the Rye shop as a kid. Mainly instrumentals by the Bud Ashton group.

Neil Partrick… Amazing, I just walked into a charity shop in Hailsham and picked up a copy of an Embassy Records single: The Typhoons’ version of Come On on the A side, and sometime band member Mike Redway performing a song on the B side.