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




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.

Mick Mepham… Certainly was….

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

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

Heavy Metal Kids – backstage Hastings Pier 6th July 1974. photos by Chris Meachen





photos by Chris Meachen.  cuttings supplied by Sarah Harvey.

Geoff Peckham……This brings back memories of supporting the Heavy Metal Kids in Swansea with Factory. We shared a changing room with them. Supported them in Swansea.  Gary (Holton) was a a very funny man. Good band, too.

Andy Qunta……What Jaffa said! What a character!

Pete Fairless…..Gary Holton was a real talent and a sad loss. Here’s one of my favourite old clips, always worth watching again…


Glenn Piper…..Working with the HMK’s on a gig at the Marquee Club was a great time. The support act for said gig was Long John Baldry which led to some ‘interesting’ repartee with the HMK fans 🙂

Sarah Harvey….July 6th, 1974. Heavy Metal Kids with Leo Sayer the following week on the 13th.

Mark Syrett… Saw the Heavy Metal Kids one of my first concerts on the pier.