The band before Samisen was Farmers Lung which started out as myself, Graham Barrett and Steve Turner messing around in a room at the back of my parents’ shop at 28 Kings Road. I sang lead and played guitar, Graham sang harmony and played guitar, Steve played bass. We were joined by Richard Walsh playing guitar. After a while, Richard’s brother Roddy joined on guitar and Richard bought a drum kit, quickly becoming a very good drummer; which was just as well as he was a terrible guitarist. In time, Graham became lead singer due to his being rather good at it and I stopped singing because I was rubbish. There’s a lot more I could tell, but one of my favourite memories of Farmers Lung is going to the back of the hall upstairs at the Palace Bars and listening to the rest of the band play a song without me. They were bloody good.
Eileen’s Treasure Chest was at 8 Kings Road and had a basement that had been a night club. Farmers Lung and Samisen rehearsed there, so did several other bands I was in.
Graham left the band half way through a gig, Steve and I took over vocals, and the band went kaput having failed to find a decent singer. Graham then joined Samisen and they were very good. Steve joined Samisen and they were very good. By the time I joined Samisen, Graham had left.
The colour photos of Samisen that you have are from a gig at Herstmonceux but I can’t remember who took them. I may have one or two of those you don’t have. I may have a pic or two from Ore Centre. I’m happy to pass on to you anything I can unearth.
Nearly forgot to mention what a damn fine guitar Dave Shirley was (maybe he still is).
I have fond memories of Osborne House Samisen gigs, one of the residents told me I was s**t.
RIP Roddy Walsh and Graham Barrett. Steve Turner alive and well and living in Brighton. Richard Walsh teaching somewhere in Sussex.
I only found your web site today and it was a bit of a shock to find out that anyone remembers Samisen.
Since those days, I have been busy playing guitar and keyboards with various people. I have recorded stuff as a solo artist and had a tune called “White knuckle ride” played on Radio 1 a few times. I still get royalties but I’ve no idea why. I have been taking singing lessons and hope to be as good as Graham Barrett was in about ten years if I practice all day and all night.
Len Howard….hi there .I was a founder member of samisen , Len Howard bass. from 1973 to 1976. I have been out of touch for many years