Gunhill – Eleanor Rigby 1995

Mike Raxworthy… Just found an old clip from 1995 of the original Gunhill line up, with John Lawton, Ricky Robbins, Lloyd Coates, Neil Kavanaugh and of course myself. Was a privilege being in this band for almost 4 years with these guys, especially a vocalist like John – probably the most underrated British rock vocalist ever! Please excuse the sound and video quality. This track was our version of Eleanor Rigby.

Gunhill and Mick Box from Uriah Heep – Yelton Hotel 1996


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supplied by Karen Sweatman

Karen Sweatman….These were taken in 1996 at the Yelton. Gun Hill were joined by Mick Box from Uriah Heep. John Lawton (vocalist) used to sing with Uriah Heep, hence the Heep connection.

Alan Esdaile….very ‘eavy very ‘umble

Mick Mepham…..IN THE YELTON!!!!!!!!

Andy Qunta…..Wow! I’m a big fan of Uriah Heep, & also great memories of the Yelton, so this is fantastic! I don’t know Gun Hill but I probably should!

Mike Raxworthy……Hey Karen – had never seen these pics. Mick Box came down 3 or 4 times and gigged with us in Hastings and at the Six Bells in Chidingley. I think the Yelton got their moneys worth that night!

Rik Goodman…..Ah…. those were the days!


27th March 1964 – Radio Caroline 53 years today – Andre Martin remembers..




Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin….Dateline: 19.00hrs [BST] 27 March 1964 – read on………………….
Birth of Pirate Radio in Britain – April 1964
Fifty three years ago, the radio world was going to be changed forever for the listeners in the United Kingdom. In the February of 1964, Irish musician manager and businessman Ronan O’Rahilly obtained the 702-ton former Danish passenger ferry, Fredericia, which was converted into a radio ship at the Southern Irish port of Greenore.
The Fredericia was renamed MV Caroline [after the daughter of the late President Kennedy] On 26th March the MV Caroline set sail under the command of Captain Baeker. Her destination was given as Spain. A Royal Navy destroyer inspected the MV Caroline as she passed Plymouth. On Good Friday – Friday, 27 March 1964, at 18:00 hours the MV Caroline dropped anchor off the coast of Felixstowe, Suffolk, and started test transmissions. The following day – Saturday, 28 March, broadcasting regular programming started at 12 noon on 197 meters on the medium wave band (announced as 199 meters)
The official opening was undertaken by Simon Dee. And the first programme, which had been pre-recorded, was hosted by Chris Moore. The first record that was played on Radio Caroline was “Not Fade Away” by The Rolling Stones. Radio Caroline’s first musical theme was Jimmy McGriff’s “Round Midnight”, a jazz standard co-composed by Thelonious Monk. In March 1964, Birmingham band The Fortunes recorded the song “Caroline”, which later became the station’s theme song. The station’s slogan was “Your all-day music station”.
Broadcasting hours were between 6 am and 6 pm to avoid competition from Radio Luxembourg. After its 6 pm close-down, the station returned to the air at 8 pm and continued until after midnight. This was to avoid direct competition with popular television programmes
What was on offer to the young people in Britain when Radio Caroline launched? It must be remembered that, the Radio Networks were under state control, and the amount of time allowed each day for “recorded music”! ie record was about 5 hours spread across all the networks – Light Programme, Home Service and Radio Three. Because of this restriction much of the music provided was “live” performance or recorded programmes, ie bands, groups and singers. The main competition would have come from Radio Luxemburg broadcasting from the Grand Duchy of Luzemburg, and not being subject to British Laws – the English service was using a lot of pre-recorded programmes, all being sponsored by one of the major record labels, ie DECCA, EMI, PYE etc. It had been because of this “ closed shop” policy that Ronan O’Rahilly had started “ pirate radio” he wanted to promote a Georgie Fame single – but could not break the hold of the big companies and let the independent record labels have air time.
A typical weekends broadcasting would have looked something like this – let’s look first at Saturday – 8.00-10.00 Children’s Choice : 10.00 – 12.00 Saturday Club with Brian Matthews featuring some current pop records, studio recordings and live bands : 13.00-13.30 Jack Jackson and then from 13.30 onwards to about 18.00 –Sports afternoon. The evening would have been made up of musical, comedy and concerts.
Sundays – 9.00 – 10.00 Children’s Favourites: 10.30 – 11.30 Easy Beat with Brian Matthews, records, studio recordings and live bands: 11.31 – 12.00 Religious Service: 12.noon – 13.30 Two Way Family Favourites – BBC London and BFBS[British Forces Broadcasting Service] Cologne [Koln Germany] record requests and dedications – we still had service personnel stationed throughout the world: 13.30 – 14.00 Billy Cotton Band Show, Variety show: 14.00-14.30 Comedy – Navy Lark, Hancock etc.. also on a Sunday afternoon you would have “Top of the Pops” with Fluff – Alan Freeman, another regular show was “Movie Go Round” and of course “Sing Something Simple”
About the only other legal radio source of popular music would have been if you had been lucky enough to be able to tune into American Forces Network – the sources were Holland and France, but this was very much hit and miss as it was dependent on the atmospheric conditions and direction of the transmission – there were only a few US bases in Britain, and they would not have been allowed to broadcast in UK because of the GPO.

Jim Breeds… Worth noting that Caroline is still ‘on the air’ at and occasionally on 1368kHz if you’re in the north.

Alan Esdaile… I was listening to a great show from Clive Garrard last week.

Robert Searle… The very first day Radio Caroline aired,I heard Simon Dee show,it was the first time I actually heard a Bob Dylan record on the radio.

Eric Harmer… I think Simon Dee’s parents lived in Westfield Lane.

Graham How… It certainly is Simon Dee!

Coastal Ham Radio…  guess for its day it “dared to go where…..” well you know the rest.  Hard to imagine it just celebrated its 53rd birthday.

Felix – Ore Centre 1975


Supplied by Roger Carey

Will Thomson guitar, Den Wootton (hidden) drums, Mike Tanner lead vocals congas, Roger Carey guitar, Wesley Magoogan sax.

Phil Gill….Mike “Snakehips” Tanner. What a nice guy.

Joe Knight….what a great photo!!!

Yvonne Cleland…..He was a lovely guy wasn’t he, Phil. Do you know what happened to him?

Andy Qunta….What a great band!

Martyn Baker….Nice pair of Lionels Del!

SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Remixes & Rarities (2cd set) A Flock Of Seagulls


REMIXES & RARITIES (2CD SET) A Flock Of Seagulls

Ah the Eighties, 1982 the year of E.T. bad haircuts, bad clothes, yuppies, I could go on….anyway to the music! The age of New Wave, synthpop, drum machines (don’t get me started!). You’ve probably gathered not this reviewers favourite era! However there are a few bands I took too and FOS is one. Ever since I saw ‘that’ haircut sported on TOTP’s they got my attention.
1982 was the peak year for Liverpudlian brothers Mike and Ali Score notching up four consecutive hits with ‘I Ran (So Far Away), ‘Space Age Love Song’, ‘Wishing (I Had A Photograph Of You’ and ‘The More You Live, The More You Love’ impressive. MTV heavily rotated I Ran, which gained them an international fanbase and they were hugely successful in America, something I must admit I wasn’t really aware of at the time as to me their sound is so very European and the States so rock orientated. Indeed the band were so successful there they later relocated to Phildelphia. This new remastered 2CD package brings together as the title suggests all the remixes and rarities, some for the first time of their work spanning 1982-1986. Four versions of ‘I Ran’, Four versions of ‘Wishing’ 2 versions of ‘Space Age Love Song’ and a plethora of other 7inch, 12inch, U.S. mixes etc etc. It really is an album for completists and die hard fans of the band and I’m sure will be warmly received by the same. For those with a passing interest in FOS or indeed Eighties synthpop it may be overkill, but I must admit I’m glad personally to have the extended mix of ‘Wishing’ which is playing (loudly) as I write, of all their tracks there is something hypnotic and addictive about it. Good liner notes, a discography and excellent sound complete a good retrospective release.

colin-head-111x150-111x150-1For more information go to

Til next time and a 60/70’s soul legend…

Leigh Wieland-Boys… I saw them at Maryland University (was living in US at the time) in 1982, they were supporting The Jam! Brilliant evening!

Mick Burt… Good song and good band

Jon McCallion… Mentioned on radio 2 today

Lloyd Johnson… The 80s ‘Bad clothes’…’Bad’ as in ‘good’.

Alan Esdaile… too late for Fab, I think we might have described them as Cool or maybe Wicked in the 80’s?

Chuck Berry dies


Jan Warren… Oh Noooo, what a legend!! – R.I.P dear Chuck!! 

Pete Millington… The master of R&R lyrics – what a terrible loss but what a legacy RIP Chuck Berry

Will Cornell… Well, he was 90 so he had a great life but what confounds me is of all the original rockers, Jerry Lee and Little Richard are the ones left standing. I would have figured them to be among the first to depart this mortal coil!

Jan Warren… yes, absolutely Will, I was brought up with the “rockin’ rythms” of Jerry Lee, Little Richard, Elvis, Chuck Berry etc, all “greats” of that time!! 

Harry Randall… The father of rock and roll! Go,Go,Johnny be Good!

Wendy Weaver… Another great gone. RIP

Andy Qunta… There goes a true legend!

David Miller… He Rocked

Chris van Rock… Amazing influence on modern music

Paul Morfey… Roll over Beethoven, time for some ‘Rock and Roll’ music in heaven!! R.I.P.

Patrick Lewis… Along with Buddy Holly the greatest influence on modern popular music.

Alan Esdaile… R.I.P. Chuck Berry and thank you, we couldn’t have done it without you.

David Miller… Particularly for guitarists of a certain period, it was a rite of passage to learn how to play Johnny B Goode. Along with all the other classics, I have a great soft spot for “No particular place to go”. Love that opening – “Riding along in my automobile”. The brown-eyed handsome man knew what to do with words as well as music. A poet.

Gary Sykes… Sad day.