The Manish Boys – with Davy Jones (David Bowie) – Witch Doctor 30th Jan 1965



manish boys david bowie

leaflet source:

supplied by Rod Smith Hastings and Area, Past and Present Facebook Page and Ad supplied by Andre Martin

Rod Smith… “Apparently, David Bowie never played in Hastings but did play four times in St Leonards, at The Witch Doctor, Marine Court. On 13th Nov. 1964 and 30th January 1965 as Davy Jones & The Manish Boys. On 17th July 1965 as Davy Jones and The Lower Third. The final time was when he had become David Bowie and appeared there as David Bowie and The Buzz on 3rd September 1966. This is the leaflet from their site for 30th Jan.1965”

Jim Breeds… Good stuff.

Mick O’Dowd… This should help clear the fact that he didn’t appear with The Konrads on Hastings Pier with Tony Rivers & The Castaways.

Peter Fairless… True story

Gerry Fortsch… I got to know John Watson the bass player in the Manish Boys, what a nice and talented guy, he lived in Maidstone at the time, does anyone know what he has been up to since?

Graham Matthews… Gerry, there was a John Watson playing bass in the original line up of 999 formed in London, don’t know if it’s the same one.

Gerry Fortsch… Graham, Hi mate, the last thing I heard about John was that he was training to be a concert pianist, I remember 999 I am sure that wasn’t him, cheers.

The Konrads and The Silhouettes – Hastings Pier 24th October 1964

supplied by Andre Martin

Did Bowie appear?

Peter Fairless… Err… no!

James Johnson… from a great pier to the plank

Lloyd Johnson… The Konrads had George Underwood and David Jones/ Later Bowie as members…

Peter Fairless… David left the Konrads in December 1963. In October 1964 he was playing as Davie Jones & The Manish Boys. Indeed, they played the Witchdoctor on 13th November ’64.

Alan Essex… Just read some stuff from the Guardian newspaper and The Konrads with Bowie did some recording at Joe Meeks studio but they weren’t one of his bands.

Mick O’Dowd… One member of The Konrads , Graham Samson, lives in Bexhill now and Alan Dodds( a retired priest) lives in Devon,, Other members were Neville Wills(deceased),Mick Milo, lives in Rye, Andrew Baldock, bass, and singer George Underwood.

Cindy Goodhand-Knight… Bowie

Gary Kinch… I notice Mr Knights as the manager, how long was he the manager?  He was certainly still there in the early 70’s

Peter Fairless… Andre will know!

Lloyd Johnson… George lives in Uckfield and is a mate…

Mick O’Dowd… Source of info…

Davy Jones and The Lower Third – Witch Doctor St Leonards – 17th July 1965

Trevor Webb… Interesting coincidence .just reading biography of David Bowie by Simon Goddard Ziggyology a brief History of Ziggy Stardust. I was never into David Bowie at School but a number of my friends were. Apparently David Bowie met the Lower Third a beat group from Margate in La Gioconda in Denmark Street, London. No mention of Hastings gigs.

Mick Ronson – any stories about the man from Hull?


Chris van Rock… The beautiful and much missed Mick Ronson from the Spiders of Mars. To me was the brilliant image of 70’s rock as the axeman for Bowie … any information or stories about the man from Hull … he always excited me in videos and interested in any info about him ?

Peter Fairless… David Bowie John I’m Only Dancing.

Chris Barrett… I heard the solo on once bitten twice shy again the other day. Fantastic.

Darren Johnson… There’s a good biography of him that’s well worth reading if you haven’t seen it.

The Konrads with David Bowie Swinging Sixties – Daily Mail write up


supplied by Mick O’Dowd. article source © Daily Mail

Mick O’Dowd… Anyone know these guys locally?

The Happy Ballroom and more 15th Jan 1966 and David Bowie update by Andre Martin

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David Bowie gig 31st Oct 1964. Andre Martin collection

Time continues apace and we have reached the weekend of 15th January 1966, the Pier Ballroom continues to remain in darkness and no Saturday Night entertainments are scheduled, other activities continue – Bingo. Horse Racing and Fishing and the Bar and Restaurant are open, when will we see the Ballroom in action again ?
As you have gathered from reading these weekly reports, we do tend to settle into a regular pattern with the activities and locations included, and this week is no different. Friday Night Television entertainment would have started with Ready Steady Go or perhaps from some it might actually be “ Crackerjack” who knows ? RSG this week had a good line up including – The Kinks “ To the End of the Day” & “ Where have all the good times Gone”: Fontella Bass “ Recovery” :Lee Dorsey “ Get Out of my life Woman”: Patti LeBelle & The BlueBelles “All or Nothing “ & Over The Rainbow” also on the show that night was a Welsh future super-star Tom Jones.
Then for many it would have been down to the town and The Pam Dorr or The Fiesta or any other coffee bars, and a few might have ventured into the local Public Houses, The Anchor, The Pump House, and the like.
The Witch Doctor on the Saturday Evening would have on offer – The Mark Four and The Poor Boys, 2 groups that had an excellent track record having appeared several times before at the club, 7.30pm – 11.45pm all for 6/- [30p]. The Sunday Afternoon Record Session, were popular 2.30pm – 5.00pm and all for 1/6 – no licensed bar so it would have been soft drinks and the burger bar !!!. Tuesday evening we have the “Candlelight Pop Show” 7.30pm – 11.00pm all for 1/- [girls] 2/- [boys] and Thursday a regular crowd puller – Steve Maxted with his very looney show, 7.30pm-11.00pm for only 2/-. That’s how it was at Marine Court that week.
Radio & Television offered a very wide range of entertainments. BBC Light Programme, Saturday hi-lites would have included 10.00 Saturday Club with Brian Matthew – on the show that morning – Spencer Davis, Cilla Black, Kenny Ball, Swinging Blue Jeans, The Truth, Friday Brown, and the Johnny Pearson Orchestra. 12noon and it was a new show “Does the Team Think” Panel game featuring Ted Ray, Tommy Trinder, Cyril Fletcher & Beryl Reid – with MacDonald Hobley and Jimmy Edwards. 12.30pm, Jack Jacksons Record Show. 3.45pm, Saturday Band Stand with the Scottish CWS Band. 6.30pm Jazz Beat featuring this week – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds, The Mark Leeman Five and George Melly. Later in the evening “Home & Away” from the Nuffield Centre broadcasting to UK & British Forces in West Germany on the show, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Julie Grand and The Ronnie Aldrich Quartet. Sunday offered amongst the regular show – Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce and 12noon 2 Way Family Favourites with London and Cologne being the hubs for requests from the UK and BAOR in West Germany.
Television on Saturday included 12.45pm Grandstand with David Coleman amongst the sport on offer – Rugby England v Wales. 5.15 Juke Box Jury –David Jacobs in the chair with Tito Burns, Libby Morris, Veronica Shaw and a Zombie ! The evening continued with some popular regulars including Dixon of Dock Green, The Western [film] Black and White Minstrels, Bewitched. Sunday featured Skiing from Switzerland, 14.50pm International Rugby League – England v France. 17.05pm The Lucy Show, 5.30pm David Copperfield followed by Pinky & Perky. BBC 2 had a real treat for Opera Lovers with Puccini’s – La Boheme.
Thank your Lucky Stars on ATV that Saturday night had on offer Jim Dale, Nashville Teens, Adam Faith, Rolf Harris & Paul and Barry Ryan.
That is how it was, 50 years ago in January 1966. To bring this weekly report up to 2016, this has been a bad time when you think of some of the names from the music industry who have recently joined that great concert platform in the Sky, but 3 in particular have links with Hastings. David Bowie – Played Hastings Pier with his group from Bromley – The King Bees, when they were booked to support Tony Rivers & The Castaways on 31st October 1964. Also in 1965 Davy Jones and The Lower Third headlined at the Witch Doctor on Saturday 17th July in that year. Also this week Tony Crombie the drummer with the Alan Haven & Tony Crombie Duo that released “Images”, they played the Witch Doctor on March 1965 with local group The Humperdinks in support. And the third was former manager of The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds – Georgio Gomelsky, who I meet a couple of times when he came down to Hastings with the Yardbirds in 1965 and 1966. Lets hope that we don’t get too many weeks like this.
Until next week you all take care out there, fingers crossed that the white stuff keeps away from the town and a little sunshine would be a bonus.
Andre Palfrey-Martin ©2016

Jim Breeds… Thanks Andre. Great stuff, including the Davy Jones bits of course.

The Happy Ballroom, The Manish Boys (David Bowie) Jimmy Powell and the 5 Dimensions and more – Sat 30th January 1965 by Andre Martin.


Andre Palfrey-martin collection

Andre Martin… Time moves and we are now Saturday 30th January 1965, it was a different Saturday for many, Television and Radio today carried extensive coverage of the Funeral Service of Sir Winston Churchill who had died last Sunday, and for many it would be a date that would stay in their memory for years. One thing that I remember, according to Richard Dimbleby who was the anchorman for that days BBC TV coverage “ it was a grey overcast day in London “ perhaps on reflection that was right for such a sombre occasion.
In the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier, it was the usual entertainment with The Gordon Rider Dance Orchestra providing the mix of music and movement that the patrons desired, with the Longest Bar in the Town in action, table service and spot prizes making the 5/- admission good value for money.
There were changes afoot at the Witch Doctor; Saturday night had the Mannish Boys and The Classics with records spun by regular DJ Trevor Ollive. The Sunday Club entertainments this week were Jimmy Powell and The Five Dimensions. The mid-week Jazz sessions had come to an end and Friday it was the return of The Denny Mitchell Soundsations. Other nights were filled with Record Spins.
The weekend started off as usual with a “visit” as to speak to Kingsway London with the TV show – Ready Steady Go… Keith and Cathy getting us in the right mood, this week the show included The Animals – “ Club-a-go-go” and “Don’t Let me be misunderstood” The Hollies “ Yes I will” from the US Goldie and the Gingerbreads “ Can’t you hear my heartbeat” also on the show were Elkie Brooks and Donovan. Making their first visit to RSG and miming to their 1st single – The Who “ I Can’t Explain”
The usual pop entertainments shows were broadcast on the Saturday, with some amendments to the schedule to allow for live coverage of Sir Winston’s Funeral Service. Saturday Club at 10.00am was introduced this week by Ray Orchard, featuring Acker Bilk, The Hollies, Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas, The Spencer David Group, Danny Williams and The John Barry Seven. In the afternoon at 2.00pm – Saturday Swings with The King Brothers, Lita Roza, The Searchers, The NCO with Bernard Herrmann – this week’s show introduced by Bruce Wyndham. Following on at 4.00pm was Top Gear The Animals, Cilla Black and Sounds Incorporated plus new releases played by Tony Hall.
Sunday Radio would include Easy Beat with Keith Fordyce and his guests this week – The Rockin Berries, Lulu and The Luvvers, Craig Douglas, The Travellers and The Johnny Howard Band. No Sunday would have been complete with Family Favourites linking services personnel and friends around the world, this week it was a Two Way link between London and Germany.
Television regulars would include – Juke Box Jury with David Jacobs on Saturday, had on the show the Panel – Paul Anka, Stubby Kaye, Julie Samuel and Ann Sidney [Miss World] later in the evening on BBC would be The Billy Cotton Band Show, and guests this week – The Four Most, Cilla Black and Roy Castle.
ABC from Birmingham it was “Thank Your Lucky Stars” with Brian Matthews, Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, The Rolling Stones and Craig Douglas and not forgetting Janice with her weekly Maths lesson.
Another interesting week in Hastings with lots to keep you busy, the cinemas were always full, with some really good films, the coffee bars, the youth clubs and sports clubs were keeping us active, life was always busy, and for many the thought that Spring and Summer would soon be here and all that would involve, summer holidays for example. Looking in my crystal ball I see that changes are on the horizon for the Happy Ballroom – Hastings Pier… this space.
Andre Palfrey-Martin © 2015

Stuart Huggett… Bowie!

Alan Esdaile… David Bowie and Hastings. Thanks to Mick O’Dowd for giving the SMART group a plug on the letters page in todays Hastings Observer.

Andre Martin…  I have to say that I think 31st January, would have been a much better night ! – now lets see the comments fly-in !!

Alan Esdaile… I see Jimmy Powell played harmonica on My Boy Lollipop and also had Rod Stewart in his group at one stage.

Peter Fairless… Nice find!

Mick O’Dowd… Jimmy Powell group was quite an amazing live band but never really broke through.