Double Rave – Patrick Dane & The Quiet Five plus The Sabres – 1964

 

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10153788_10202685815164559_5973903564718621544_n all photos & cuttings…..Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… To many this weekend will be a Bank Holiday, for us back in the 1960s, this was just another weekend, even though it did include the beginning of May. The History of the Happy Ballroom on Hastings Pier continues. Here we are Saturday 2nd May 1964, and have a return visit from both of the bands playing tonight, this did seem to be a regular feature over the years, and when you think of the number of venues throughout the country, many of the groups appeared with regularity, just to meet the demands of a growing pop music industry.
Top of the Bill tonight are Patrick Dane and The Quiet Five – The Quiet Five formed in the early ’60s in London, first as the Trebletones before changing their name to the Vikings. As the Vikings, they did manage one side of a 45 single, the instrumental “Space Walk,” whose title was changed to “Gemini” when it was eventually issued by Columbia. The Vikings became the Quiet Five, however, in 1964 when they became the backing band for singer Patrick Dane, the Quiet Five split from Dane to go out on their own, signing with Parlophone, where they were produced by Ron Richards also responsible for production for the Hollies.
The supporting group, were well know and very popular from Brighton original members were Dick Plant from Eastbourne, James Hazeldene, Stuart Hinchcliffe and Geoff Cooper from Brighton, the group would later this year change their name to The Shelley, and embark on a impressive career working in Denmark and Scandinavia which would keep them working outside of the UK for the next 15 years.
That’s all for this week in The Happy Ballroom – somebody asked me the other week, when was this tag given to the Pier Ballroom, so far I have traced this back to publicity issued in 1956 and will keep searching.

 

 

 

Mike Berry & The Innocents – Hastings Pier Sat 20th June 1964 by Andre Martin

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all cuttings  Andre Palfrey-martin collection

The next episode of the History of the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, takes us almost midsummer in 1964 – its Saturday 20 June and Bob Knights and brought back one of the most popular acts that regularly appeared in Hastings – Mike Berry and the Innocents, backed with Chris Star and the Orbits.
Mike Berry started off as “Kenny Lord and The Statesmen” and then became “Mike Berry & The Outlaws” before “Mike Berry and The Innocents.”
“The Innocents” were originally a band called “‘Bobby Angelo & The Tuxedos” who had backed Mike once or twice. When ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time’ made it into the charts, Mike needed a band so offered them the job. The change in name came about when the guys were travelling in the group van one day to rehearsals. They were suddenly surrounded by police at traffic lights near their manager’s office thinking five young guys in a van looked suspicious. Whilst being questioned, their manager came along to explain who they were and that they were quite ‘innocent,’ and so the name was born!
The original Outlaws date back to 1961 when they, as members of the then recently disbanded ‘Billy Gray & The Stormers’, reformed without Billy, on the promise of better things to come in the shape of a recording contract from the legendary producer Joe Meek, initially to back his newly signed artist Mike Berry. As it transpired, when Joe realised what a talented bunch they were, he was very keen to get them to record in their own right, as well as back virtually every other solo artist under Joe’s control. Including Carter-Lewis, Gunilla Thorne, Michael Cox, Jess Conrad, Freddie Starr, Dave Kaye, Dave Adams (Burr Bailey,Silas Dooley Jr) and Houston Wells (Andy Smith) among others.
The Innocents became to the Joe Meek Organisation what Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brother were to Motown.
They had several singles early in their career – including a cover of the Goffin & King classic – Will You Still Love Me tomorrow http://youtu.be/7wea1hYNP6A
the one that really put them on the map as Mike Berry & The Outlaws – A tribute to Buddy Holly http://youtu.be/5IQhJ-VVGyo
A month earlier The Outlaws had achieved, backing another Meek’s protégé, singer John Leyton on his number one hit ”Johnny Remember Me”.
A further hit came from the same producer Joe Meek in 1964 with http://youtu.be/kgNbN9mPiW4
This again was an example of how The Happy Ballroom was bringing down to Hastings some of the most popular and entertaining acts available in the country for its young people.
Again – The Chris Star Orbits, have proved a complete mystery, I wonder sometimes with these support bands, if they are simply a bunch of musicians that have been put together for the show, using an existing name .. Does sound a little like something promoters and producers would do when pushed.
Several people were interested to know about the new feature on these weekly posts – who appeared on ITVs READY STEADY GO the Friday Night before – in this case it would be 19th JUNE– I can confirm, we would have seen the Animals – The House of the Rising Sun, being promoted as it was due for release the following Thursday, and we all know what happened with that single ! – The Crickets, who were touring the UK at the time and promoting (They call her) LA BAMBA and Troy Dante & The Infernos who were currently supporting the Crickets on their UK tour. Andre Martin

Catherine Ireland… I remember making a commercial with Mike Berry. For Cadburys drinking chocolate with Elaine Delmar not sure which year.

Opal Butterfly – Hastings Pier 17th August 1968

   

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey…..Opal Butterfly – August 8th, 1968. In addition of note is the appearance of the late Pat Roach in the wresting …more famous for his role in Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Not forgetting of course the late Gary Holten (Auf Wiedersehen Pet picture bottom right in wheelbarrow) who appeared on The Pier during the 70s fronting the Heavy Metal Kids.

Andre Martin….I can remember working with these in 1968, SATURDAY 20 JULY according to Hastings Observer – when John Schofield of Strand Entertainments was promoting on the Hastings Ballroom – I have found about a few facts about them – Opal Butterfly is a classic B-list pop-psych band best remembered for an impeccable taste in covers and the people who passed through its ranks on their way up. Lead guitarist Robbie Milne and 17-year-old drumming wiz Simon King formed the band in 1967; bassist Richard Bardey, guitarist Tommy Doherty, and vocalist Allan Love rounded out the lineup. A wealthy banker’s backing enabled the band to spend the first half of 1968 rehearsing. A deal followed with CBS, for whom the band recorded an unreleased demo of the Electric Prunes’ “I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night.” Opal Butterfly debuted in mid-1968 with “Beautiful Beige”/”Speak Up,” an agreeable enough slice of psychedelic pop that made no impact. This last sentence rather sums them up, they appeared on the datesheet, but do not have any memory of what they were like.

John Storer…..Remember well The Heavy Metal Kids at the Pier and Gary Holton climbing a huge stack of speakers and putting his head through the ceiling of the ballroom. Can remember reading that when Free came together their first management wanted them to call themselves the Heavy Metal Kids but then Alexis Korner came up with the name Free.

Alan Esdaile… Apparently Lemmy was in Opal Butterfly at one stage. Not sure it was when they played the pier though.

Sarah Harvey… Lemmy was in Opal Butterfly very briefly in 1969 so he didn’t appear on the Pier with them.

Tony Court-holmes…I think i missed that