A Brief History of Samisen by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey… A brief history of Samisen. Thank you Peter Thomson for providing this rare recording playing live during the 1970s. This is a video featuring local Hastings band Samisen who played in the area during the latter part of the 1970s. It tells of a brief history behind the band and includes a rare recording of them playing live. The venue of the recording is unknown as is the line-up of the recording but it is thought to be, Graham Barratt on vocals, Dave Shirley on lead guitar, Bernard Jeffery on drums and Steve Turner on bass.

Alan Esdaile… Well done Sarah, great information. The last comment made my smile, about some of us have changed over the years.

Pete Thomson…. Further to Sarah’s video accompanied by Hard Monkeys, I can confirm that the track was recorded by me on a tin-pot, little, one-track machine during a practice session at Ore Centre. I have also been in touch with Steve Turner who confirms he was the bassist at the time.

Dave Nattress… This is a wonderful little video history. Although I was vocalist in the last line-up of Samisen for a couple of years or so, I actually never knew the history of the band – thinking, when I saw Samisen a few times before I joined, they were Hastings home-grown – but not so! Even when I was in Damaris, Samisen,along with Stallion of course was a local band to look up to and after the demise of Damaris, I was delighted to audition for Samisen after Graham Barrett (RIP) left I was delighted  to get the gig. I remember all the guys well, although regretably I’ve lost touch but truly hope some of us can meet up soon. I remember all the gigs well – albeit 35 years ago!! Once we (almost) had a Summer tour – 4 gigs in about 10 days. Rehearsals at Ore Centre and at Dave Kent’s parents’ shop in Kings Road, St Leonards and support to Hat Trick at Ore Centre. Great days, re-lived again thanks to this piece of history. All power to this website, Alan Esdaile, Peter Thompson and my old friend, Sarah Harvey.

Sarah Harvey… Well I am trying (thus far in vain) to organise a reunion gig which would if nothing else be great fun. So if any of the many past Samisen members want to have a go….you know where I am! If I don’t hear from you then just remember I am a great nag-bag nowadays! 🙂

Wendy Weaver… Great video Sarah, ‘specially the last bit 😉 x

Bernard Jeffery & Charlie Tumahai from Be Bop Deluxe late 70’s

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supplied by Bernard Jeffery

Bernard Jeffery…..late seventies rehearsals with Charlie Tumahai From Be Bop Deluxe in The Box Hastings. The Hollywood Killers.

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© milesago

http://www.milesago.com/Features/tumahai.htm

Bernard Jeffery… Above, great piece about a great musician and a great bloke.Mentions the time I played with him in the Hollywood Killers back in the late seventies.

Tim Phillips… Interesting article. Be Bop Deluxe was one of my favourite bands in the mid 70s. I can remember riding my motorbike to Eastbourne to see one of their gigs with my then girlfriend (who went on to be lead singer of The Mobiles). I think the gig was at The Congress. The ride back to Hastings to take Anna home was one of the coldest motorbike rides I can remember smile emoticon

Bernard Jeffery…  I loved all of their albums and saw them live many times so it was a real buzz to play with Charlie and meet the rest of the band at Hollywood Killers gigs

Dave Nattress… Be Bop Deluxe were fabulous – I have all their stuff on Vinyl and CD and love Sunburst Finish and Modern Music.  Samisen – where’s Sarah H, do you remember we did “Ships in the Night”.  Indeed Tim, it was the Congress as I was there.  I do remember they were really, really loud.  RIP Charles, your contribution holding the bass down whilst Bill Nelson went off on his space-missions was vital.  I stumbled across a great Bio of Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe, published in 2008, written by Paul Sutton Reeves – “Music In Dreamland”  “Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe”.  A long read but worth it.

Tim Phillips… Yes, I agree that Be Bop Deluxe were really loud at The Congress. I had a motorbike with straight through exhaust pipes which sounded incredibly loud (probably made me quite unpopular in Bexhill). On the ride home I couldn’t hear my bike because my ears were still ringing from the concert lol.

 

Samisen – Hastings News write up 6th November 1975

supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….Amazing what you find clearing out your loft. A cutting from The Hastings News (A free delivered paper in the 70s) November 6th, 1975. One of the Samisen Line-ups… this time with two members of the band from Bromley. From left to right, Ralph Lee, Bernard Jeffery, Big Len (now Conan) Howard, Graham Barrett and Dave Shirley. Fresh from a gig supporting Felix at The Carlisle.

Bernard Jeffery….yeah I remember the gig as well

Pete Fisher… nice to see Pueblo get a mention!

Yvonne Cleland… Felix!

Pueblo – 1973/1974

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photo by Chris Meachen from Roger Carey Collection.

Pete Fisher Guitar & Vocals, Bernard Jeffery Drums and Roger Carey bass.

Sarah Harvey… Only last week I attended an AGM of a local support group I am involved in and it was held at Bexhill Youth and Community Centre. First time I have been in that building since the 1970s when I went went to see Pueblo play…. I seem to remember great performance by Pueblo but the audience of the Youth Club that night were rather difficult to please. I was talking to some people about that gig at the AGM and just reflecting that the hall looked very much the same.

Pete Fisher… thanks to Chris Meachen for taking these back then, and to Roger Carey for sharing them, especially as I only have the photo of Rog bottome right – maybe Chris could confirm, but I’m pretty sure the top (group) photo is Ore Centre, 1974. The bottom row of photos is (according to my little red book) Kev Blackman’s party at the Langham P.H., December 1973. And for Sarah Harvey, I only have one gig listed at Bexhill Youth Centre, on 21st December, 1972, which must have been Pueblo’s previous incarnation, Mae West, featuring Kev Wood.

Sarah Harvey… Could have been Mae West I saw Pete Fisher , I only remember seeing you Roger and Bernie…. I stand corrected. And yes, it does seem to be Ore centre… I recognise the curtains 🙂

Alan Esdaile… Sadly nothing as yet on Mae West. A couple of other bits Roger lent me on Pueblo but I think Pete Fisher has posted these before. This one says Langtham Hotel 1973 on the back. Butch were Dave Garland, Dennis Wootton & Cliff Wootton.

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supplied by Roger Carey

Andy Qunta… Don’t know what kind of bass that is, but in that guy’s hands it would have sounded good!

Colin Fox… It looks like a left handed Burns

Sarah Harvey… Rogers left-handed Burns is legendary….stayed with him through almost a decade.

Yvonne Cleland… Dave Garland turned up at Will’s 60th birthday do recently.

Steve Kinch… Fabulous pics!

Iain Cobby… Its a Burns Trisonic 4 string bass Andy, the tuners were too small to get a standard set of bass strings in as I remember! Probably worth a fortune now. I had a red one, it came from Smiths second hand emporium in the high street.

Phil Gill… Dodgy looking buggers. I wouldn’t buy a used car from any of ’em.

Hollywood Killers – Earlydaze 1978

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supplied by Jim Penfold

Jim Penfold… Earlydaze’ …..7 track album (inc Goodbye Suicide) by Jim Penfold & The Hollywood Killers . Early recordings from 1978. Available to download on ITunes/cdbaby/amazon etc on Friday Sept 25th. — with Bernard Jeffery, Neil Aplin and Jim Penfold.

Mike Mitchell… Is that Robin Heggy on bass?

Alan Esdaile… Not sure Mike, anyone confirm? Good photo of Min smiling and Bernard Jeffery, Neil Aplin and Jim Penfold.

Dave Nattress… Yes, definitely Robin Heggie on bass – he was in The Prisoners with myself, Mick Bridgeland on Drums and Andy Leaney on Guitar. He left when he was offered the Killers gig.

Dave Nattress… Meant to say about Robin, nice guy and a great solid bass player for one (back then) so young.

The Speedos – 1980

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supplied by Bernard Jeffery.

featuring Bernard Jeffery & Jim Penfold.  EMI publicity photo.

Bernard Jeffery….From left to right Lionel George, me ,Jim Penfold,Neil Aplin and I can’t remember the blokes name on the right he was a bass player and we nicknamed him Jodie because he looked like Billy Crista’ls character in the sitcom soap

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supplied by Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey….Not the Hollywood Killers, by an article about The Speedos. From The Hastings Observer September 20th, 1980.

Bernard Jeffery….this was an EMI promo photo, I was actually in another Band “The Vipers ” but was helping out as Jim needed a band.