Heavy Metal Kids – Hastings Pier 29th Nov 1975 & Saturdays 6 nights a week

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cuttings supplied by Sarah Harvey

Dave Nattress… As a lifelong Free fan I read I’m sure that one of their early managers or associates suggested the name “The Heavy Metal Kids” but they rejected it and went for “Free”. However, the name did then then get used eventually!!  Also, am I right did Gary Holton turn up in Al Weidersein?

Alan Esdaile… Yes Dave spot on, he was in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

Peter Fairless…  They were a very different band (photo in 1977), mind! Yes, Gary Holton was as much an actor as a singer. He went on to play Wayne in Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Here is one of my all time favourite video clips, from The Tube, filmed in Newcastle in 1984. …and, yes, that’s Leslie Ash!

Jim Breeds… I remember the excitement of going to Saturday’s the first time. Probably that week of opening. We’d not seen anything like it outside of London. And at last we were not going to have to make any more trips to Sundowners in Eastbourne.  Gary Holton, later to be cast as Wayne in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. RIP.

Martin Richter… Keith Hardy – there`s a name I haven`t heard for years!

Clifford Rose… Excellent concert.

Dave Weeks… Frupp! Remember them too. Proper prog.

Climax Blues Band – can you help with new book?

photos supplied by Robert Forsyth

Robert Forsyth… I wonder if any of your readers might be able to help? It was while I was presenting the blues shows on Hastings Rock back in 2016, that I realised that my long-time favourite band, the Climax Blues Band, would be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of their debut album in 2019. For me that was a very good reason to look at the possibilities of writing a ‘biography’ of the band.

The band was formed in 1968 in Stafford as the Climax Chicago Blues Band and comprised Colin Cooper (vocals, sax, hamonica and clarinet), Pete Haycock (guitars), Richard Jones (bass), Derek Holt (rhythm guitar & organ), Arthur Wood (keyboards) and George Newsome (drums) Best known in the public eye for their 1976 hit ‘Couldn’t Get it Right’ and 1981’s ‘I Love You’, the band went through some subtle name changes as well as line-ups, but still play today.

Sadly, two of the band’s founding members, Colin Cooper and Pete Haycock, are no longer with us, but I am delighted to say that the book is now at an advanced stage and many members of the band have supported the project as well as family members, former management, road crew, sleeve designers and other associates. The reason for writing, however, concerns a gig Climax played at the Ballroom on Hastings Pier on 9 May 1998. (see https://ninebattles.com/tag/climax-blues-band/ ) Phil Little wrote a marvellous review of the performance in print, but I was writing in the hope that perhaps some of your readers have recollections of that gig (or any others!). At the time, the line-up comprised Colin Cooper, George Glover (keyboards), Lester Hunt (guitars), Roger Inniss (bass) and Roy Adams (drums).

Many Thanks. Robert Forsyth.

Alan Esdaile… As always, happy to pass on any messages.

Colin Fox… In 2009, Johnny Pugh, (now known as Johnny Sax), and lives about ten minutes from me in Spain, joined Climax Blues Band as vocalist, sax and harmonica player and brought a tremendous amount of quality to the band, leading very much from the front. This is him in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTzRooW7HX8

This is a photo of the band with Johnny Pugh on saxaphone. He lives close to me and plays local pubs and clubs, as well as going back to his home town in Essex to play sometimes. He now goes under the name Johnny Sax.

Robert Forsyth… Much obliged Colin. Yes, I plan to contact Johnny shortly, as I work through things chronologically. Many thanks again.

Robert Forsyth… Dear all, I am sending this as a (fourth) periodic bulletin/update to everyone who has kindly helped with the Climax Blues Band book project over the past three years. I am conscious that some of you may well have been wondering what’s been happening; well, the good news is that the draft is now finished and runs out to 309,000 words! On top of that is the enormous collection of illustrated material that has been so kindly contributed by many people, detailing various aspects of the band’s history. It really is incredible. As I worked on the closing chapters of the book, simultaneously I was very fortunate to make contact with a small number of people who have been kind enough to offer some amazing photos from their private collections: for example, these include rare and stunning sets of images, most of them previously unseen, showing Climax playing in Switzerland in 1970, in Belgium in 1975, recording in Montserrat in 1979 and at gigs in the US Midwest and West Coast in the mid to late 1970s. I can assure you, that thanks to the generosity and goodwill of certain individuals, it really will be worth the wait. So right now, I have the difficult task of deciding what will not go in the book! But I also have a cunning plan that may, longer term and depending on how the book is received, go some way to solving that problem. Suffice to say that the way things stand, it looks like the book is going to take the form of a large format (poss 303 x 226 mm), coffee table-style and probably quite heavy(!) hardback volume of ca 480-500 pages, with between 600-650 illustrations including black & white and colour photos, plus images of posters, badges, promotional material, stage passes, advertisements and other items of ephemera covering the history of the Climax Chicago Blues Band / Climax Chicago / Climax Blues Band from 1968-2019. I regret the delay, but if I had rushed it, I would have missed some historically important and fascinating interviews, as well as much of the above illustrated material. My hope is that design and layout will commence within the next 5-6 weeks; this can only take place once I have gone through my draft again and worked on the photos and captions.The book will be a limited edition collectors’ volume, with high quality production values and colour throughout and will only be available through the website which I will shortly be setting up for the book. I will also soon be setting up a Facebook page. I’ll let you know when these are up and running so you can stay up to date as we go into the production process and head towards print. Thanks for your patience. Hopefully not long now! For those of us in the northern hemisphere, enjoy the spring! OK – I’m back to it… With best wishes, Robert Forsyth

Uli Twelker…Hello Robert Forsyth! Fortunately, the first volume of your Climax book has come out in 2020. Unfortunately, it’s out of stock everywhere. Do you know when it will be available again? Thanks very much in advance! Uli Twelker, Bielefeld, Germany.

Better Days – John Barleycorn – The Crypt 8th March 1989

Paul Dengate…  Better Days, a folk-rock band from Hastings, East Sussex, UK, was formed in 1982 and split in 1992.
This track, John Barleycorn (a traditional song) is from a set recorded live at The Crypt in Hastings on Wednesday 8th March 1989 when Better Days won the Battle Of The Bands competition, and just a few months before they toured the UK as support to Steeleye Span. The line-up in 1989 was John Burgess (vocals), Garry Blakeley (fiddle), Steve Cooke (fiddle), Paul Dengate (guitar), Andrew Griffin (bass) and Paul Warren (drums).

John Storer… Gosh … Garry Blakely! There’s a name from the past. Was friendly with both him and his older brother, Teddy, as they lived just around the corner from me. Enjoyed this clip and found several others of Garry’s excellent fiddle playing, and a great video of him and his son playing together

Mary Lipscombe… I’m fairly sure they played the beach concert that year as well.

Andy Gunton… This takes me back. Better Days were one of the first local bands I can remember seeing after moving down to Hastings in 1988.
Not a bad introduction to the Hastings music scene I reckon.

Clifford Rose… I saw them support Steeleye Span at the White Rock back in April 89. Better Days played the better set.

Paul Dengate… We played the beach concert a number of times. I’ll see if I can find which years.

Simon… Saw them at the Battle Folk Festival at The Black Dog, Battle. I bought the CD and listening to it right now. Garry B is married to a sister of a great friend of mine but didn’t know he was in the band!

The Breathers – Windsor Castle London 1980’s by Clive Pierce

photo supplied by Clive Pierce

Jim Bell (Red Ferrari), John Wilde (Izzi Peptone),  Clive Pierce and Ric Hool

Clive Pierce… I would just like to clear a few inaccuracies up In relation to my short spell with The Breathers. I was contacted quite out of the blue by Simon Davies, who had been one of the A&R managers at a subsidiary label of EMI called Cobra Records. I was in a group called CRAZE who were signed to Cobra. Everything was going well until for reasons unbeknownst to me, Simon and his co A&R partner Tony Squires decided to jump ship leaving all the artists signed to Cobra floundering. We were passed on to EMI Harvest but we weren’t anyone’s baby anymore so consequently were neglected and through this Craze split. I was asked by Simon if I would like to try out for the vacant drummer position in The Breathers so off to Hastings I went to meet the guys in the group and to see if we could click. I found them all very amicable and was made to feel part of the group almost immediately after my audition. It is true that I did consider at this stage to becoming a session drummer and had started to earn quite good money but I absolutely hated every minute of it. I was 18 years old and was playing sessions on tracks that I had no affinity with whatsoever, so The Breathers were a breath of fresh air ‘pun intended’. Even though I gave The Breathers my best shot I was still in love with CRAZE so just slipped slowly away but with no hard feelings. Lovely guys and Izzi was an absolute character. Rick was very accommodating and friendly. I stayed at his place in Hastings while we rehearsed for a mini tour of the North and even stayed at his parents house up in Newcastle….I love the folk from the North East. One thing i must say that did not sit for me very well concerns the single they released. I have no idea why their original drummer Steve Demetri left but I have to take this chance to say that it was him and not I who played the drums on Living In An Age Age even though I am credited on the sleeve as doing so. It was done without my consultation and it was too late to have my name removed after they had gone into production. That was just not right and embarrassing for me.I would have been livid if it was the other way round. If I had my way Steve’s name would have been on the sleeve and not mine. Anyway….thank you guys for the fun. Clive.

Phil Gill… That poor man has no shirt. I’d have given him back one of those he gave me in 1976 if I’d known.

Alan King… I lost mine on the 3:35 at Lingfield perhaps he did too

Ric Hool… Clive Pierce was a crisp drummer, sharp to The Breather’s material and if I never said so before, thanks Clive. Yes, Steve Demetri was the drummer on Livin In The Age Age. Once heard, you couldn’t mistake Steve’s unique style. It’s gracious of Clive to put the record straight. That tour Clive mentions, I think, went into Scotland – Edinburgh, Bathgate, Glasgow… Every gig outside of Hastings was virtually always north and most often a long, long drive so putting a tour together, though we never made money, put enough petrol in the van to keep us going. Friends were made along the way who put us up overnight and, as Clive mentions, when possible, staying with family was a luxury. Motorway eating was far too expensive but as soup was the cheapest item on the menu we got through a lot of it. John (Izzi) and I, in desperate times of hunger, used to scan the tables to see what other customers were leaving and make a dive for the scraps as soon as those tables were deserted. Typical of most groups trying to make it: Lords on stage; Beggars off stage. Best Ric

John Wilde… Hi Boys. Great to see posts from Clive and Ric.Thank you Clive for your keen presence all those years ago. They were great times. So, thank you Ric for inviting me on board. We were a tight unit, I wish I had paid better attention and focussed more on the music instead of preening my feathers. I wish both Ric and Jim (Red Ferrari) all the best and Clive, thank you for your graciousness.

Janie Watson… Would you by any chance be the Johnny Wilde who used to dance amazingly onstage at The Cobweb, c1969/70? Usually to Grooving With Mr Bloe? Apologies if not!

John Wilde… yep that was me. Great times.

Stuart Moir… They were the good times when the gear was perched on beer crates

Tony Davis… Strange to see this now. During my recent local music show on Hastings Rock Radio I decided to dig out some legacy tracks and was extremely grateful to Julian Deeprose for letting me have a copy of Age Age. It was great to here again and if anyone has any other Breathers tracks I would love to play them. Great days

Dave Allan… Hi, I also covered some gigs in the drum seat for the lads when they were working up’t North. I’d previously worked with Jim & Ric in a band called Telephone with Brendan Healey and Chris McPherson (don’t mention that Renault 4 🙂 )and then ultimately with Brendan in a band called The East Side Torpedoes. Sadly Brendan’s no longer with us, but it would be great to hear what Ric and Jim are up to these days. Take care everyone. Dave

Dee Hellier… (in reply to Dave Allan) Hi Dave, well I can tell you that Jim is well and living in London now.  He has never hung up his guitar and is as excited about music now as he was then. He has his own studio located a short walk up the garden, where he writes, records and develops loads of new artists. He also teaches at BIMM London! He is still very much living in the age age!  Dee x

Cassmusic Grove Road Eastbourne 1974

Simon Frankau, Jeff Frost and Pat Chapman

Terry Pack… I bought two excellent bass guitars from Cass. An Ibanez ‘lawsuit’ Rickenbacker in 1974 and an actual Rickenbacker in 1975.

Mike Cramp… Spent many Saturday afternoons in their in the early 80’s

Kevin White… I bought my first custom Gretsch drum kit from Cassmusic in the late 70’s,always regretted selling that baby!!……

Mick O’Dowd… Remember going in there. They had a record dept if I remember.

Nigel Barker… Loved their shop near Seaside Road. Bought loads of stuff over the years. Really friendly people

Robert Searle… Haven’t seen Pat Chapman for years. We did a recording session at CBS studios in London with Pat, Pete Shaw, the late Chris Sears, and the late Rev Stockdale. Pat was always laughing.

Barry French… I bought a green Baldwin Burns double six guitar for £45 from Cassmusic during an old stock clearance sale (I think 1974) Bargain.

Rumours Club – 1982/1983

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gig posters supplied by Mick Mempham, Expandis postes © John Alexander Wilde

Pete Fairless…Doing the boxer beat? I remember JoBoxers being fantastic! Thoroughly brilliant, in a dripping wet, hot and sweaty, rather loud, Crypt, kinda way!

rumourssupplied by Mark Richards The Crypt Archives . https://www.facebook.com/thecryptarchive

John Wilde… Ha! The Expandis fantasy Ball. What a great New Years Eve.

Peter Millington… ABADABS Friday 26th November – 1982

 

The Sinners – early 60’s and poster 25th Nov 1961

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photo supplied by Len Smith – Eastbourne Bands From 1960 on and poster supplied by Colin Fox.

The Sinners – Laurie Brookman, Terry Richardson, Eddie Sargent and Mike Sullivan.

Alan Esdaile… Was Langton House the same place that became Battle Memorial Hall?

Yvonne Cleland… Must be. I remember it as Langton Hall back then, having said that.

Jacqueline Marsh… Brilliant days

Ken Copsey… Great picture.