The Dharmas with John Wilde – 1993



photos from John Wilde Facebook page

Mary Lipscombe… We went in a minibus from the Nelson to see them at a university gig in Portsmouth!

Pete Prescott… I lost a money on this band. I bet someone that they would be big. They should have been. A truly wonderful band. My favourite gig I saw was the beach gig. I think it was 93/94

Anne Wells… is that Kevin Butcher at the back? Yes, great times, great band x

John Wilde… Yes thats Kevin. We were a fun outfit. I was only with them for a year. We crashed Glastonbury with a van full of equipment and played several times on different stages. They went on to do hundreds of gigs. Most excellent times!

Tony Court-holmes… they look like Gong, who remembers them.

Roy Penfold… Was it really that long ago that the Dharmas were climbing the heights….time flies.


The Happening Coffee Bar – Tony Blackburn St Leonards On Sea 17th July 1967

 Andre Palfrey-Martin Collection

and John Wilde had this to say –

moved to St Leonards in 1966 with my parents. They bought number 8 Kings Rd and turned it into a coffee bar club, we made the basement look like a cave. We called it The Happening, Tony Blackburn opened it with a disco night. It was a popular hang out for a soul crowd, we had a great jukebox, an espresso machine and pintables. We even had bands play downstairs. Does anyone remember this place? Apparently it has reopened recently as The Kave Klub. by John Wilde

Gerry Fortsch… I gigged here in 1967 several times. Far out man

Mick O’Dowd… DJ’d here many a time. Also was with Deep Purple (Hastings) when they appeared. John Wilde’s dad owned it.

Jeff Belton… Met Tony Blackburn at a gig he did in a London night club, got a request read out on the evening , and played on the radio, when he was on Radio London. It was my 21st birthday that day.

Tiffany Barton… Wonderful! What did he play for your birthday ? Thanks for the memories . 1967 supremes the happening ?

Pacman… Yes I loved “The Happening”. Went there all the time. John Wilde was a really nice guy. Very patient with some of the rowdier kids. My motorbike was very popular with the girls & was always being asked for a pillion ride. Remember the girls well. It all ended for me when I got a car & started going farther afield. Shame.

Michael Brugnoi… Brilliant place, was there every week.

Lloyd Johnson… It must have been a nice little scene what with Cyril Savages in the street as well…

Gerry Fortsch… We played a few coffee bars in the 60’s this was one of the better ones, looking back I can’t remember what I did for alcohol but I did smoke in those days man.

Helen Evans… I loved the Happening! Friends, music, laughter.

Jeanette Wilde… I’m extremely proud to have been part of it

The Breathers – Jim Bell’s photo collection 1

supplied by Jim Bell.

Ric Hool, Jim Bell, John Wilde, Steve Demetri

Diane Knight… I remember them rehearsing in our studio in Fairlight Avenue…one recording went on all night.. pretty sure it was the same verse

James Bell… they were long rehearsals sometimes. The same verse was probably me getting it wrong.!!!! Thanks for being understanding, you guys were always supportive. Have a great Xmas jimx

Ric Hool… Rehearsing wasn’t optional with The Breathers. Chanced acts of creativity – there are those who will call them ‘mistakes’ – were pounced upon and used to flavour an established number differently, or else be the seed of a new song. Rehearsals were never solely concerned with dotting an ‘i’ and crossing a ‘t’ – they were much, much more than that. The Fairlight Studio was haven and heaven for us. Thank you for indulging us Diane.

It’s a lot faster than it used to be…



Masons Music Record Shop Bag


Supplied by Mo Elms

The logo was designed by ‘John Wilde’. I wanted something that covered all the different musical tastes we catered for. At the time we were selling to lots of  Mods,  Psychobilly, Punks, Rock etc. I think he did an excellent job of getting the image right.


Malcolm McDonald… When we had some decent record shops in Hastings.

Andy Ives… Malcolm, Masons was my favourite back in the day

Tony Ham… I carried many of those bags, crammed to bursting point, from the shop to the railway station, the handles were stretched to their limits and cutting off the circulation to my fingers by the time I got home!

Andy Ives… Classic bag remember it well wish I still had one

David Wilkinson… Sadly none on ebay !!!

Allan Mitchell… Very impressive!

Will Cornell… Oooooh what I wouldn’t give for a Tshirt with this on it, Alan


Expandis – Hastings Carnival 1983


supplied by John Wilde    David Miller, John Alexander Wilde and Philip George Thornton.

Phil Gill……Photo taken a split second before the bus ploughed into the stage.

and from 1981 – Moment Of Passion

Yvonne Cleland… My mum could have made two pairs of trahsers out of those strides 🙂 🙂

John Wilde… Great memory, thanks Alan. Oh if only I had saved that gear. Loved those pants! Great times.

David Miller… Loved that day, that event and that performance.

Phil Thornton…  was going for the ‘space priest’ look which has fallen out of favour in recent years … cant get hats like that anymore ! Just noticed I’m playing an acoustic 12 string !! I must have been going through a phase !

Phil Gill… Eko Ranger 12? I used to have one of those…. I’ll say no more.

Andy Qunta… Those are surely award-winning trousers that John is flaunting!



Mr and Mrs Wilde 1971 Glastonbury

supplied by John Wilde

John Gale… Back when it all started. No glampers, no stupid flags, no rich kids leaving all their expensive camping gear behind, just folk having a great festival enjoying the music. Even over the last 15 years ,that festival has just slipped a million miles from its origins. Great photo though

Mike Waghorne… That would be my immpresion of John and his wife ” can’t remember her name” when we were friends back in the 70’s fond memories !

Gin Genie… Brilliant photo. I worked there from 1997 -2001 doing post festival welfare. I get what you are saying but it is still a special festival in here

Glenn Piper… So John, even you were young once

Tracy Birrell… Nice to see.

Pauline Hillier… Love this John.  Anne told me she watched you yesterday !! Handsome beast !! 😉xxx

Kate Hillier Jones… the girl makes me laugh

Andy Qunta… Love it!

Phil Gill… Fabulous.

John Gale… Watched that the other night. Very good, a few clips that I’ve never seen before.

Mike Waghorne… The faces I remember of john & his wife all those years ago !

Jeanette Wilde… where did all the time go. We’re not really old are we

Alan Esdaile… well maybe a bit older!


The Breathers at The Crawdaddy Club and other photos by Allan Morrow

Photos © Allan Morrow

Steve Demetri, John Wilde, Jim Bell, Ric Hool

Ric Hool… The Crawdaddy Club. This was the first public outing of ‘No Beginner’. I’m pretty sure the gig was recorded – wonderfully RAW! Getting back to ‘No Beginner’… This, Roger (Carey – and Hi!) is the song with the chorus
indelibly imprinted on your grey cells: my apology. Every song written for The Breathers was special so in one sense
‘No Beginner’ is no exception… but it is. But before I launch into that, I have to make known that as the group’s
lyricist and tunesmith, I brought some raw fudge that The Breathers cooked into what became fabulous songs. We never ‘played’ them; we were inside them punching them out in every performance: rehearsal and actual.
Jim, Steve and John were right there and right into it. Back to ‘No Beginner’…

The Chorus:
‘You’re a breather
A soul survivor
A racing driver
A man of action
A space ship captain
An outright winner
And no oh oh oh oh beginner’

Checked out each group member but as soon as John released it on stage there became a realisation of those words moving out to the audience in the very first word of the chorus: You’re That word; that song found complete connection. It said, you are all these things… and more. It shared a limitless inspiration. ‘No Beginner’ was the ever-developing live song, in the vocal of an ‘in the moment’ singer: Izzi Peptone. Fun; engagement; field holler; call and reply, absurdism primed for exploration.

‘You’re a breather
An ice-cream cornet
A nest of hornets
A ghostly spectre
A train inspector
A Surrealist painting
An actress fainting
A rhino charging
A misspent farthing’

To infinity… The Breathers should have taken it there… and beyond. Ric Hool

John Wilde… spot on Ric, those songs were a call to Action! I would love to hear them again.

Alan Esdaile… Action!

Grant Young… I’d love to hear these recordings

Jim Bell… Good news, I’m looking to restore all of the Breathers catalog over the summer holidays.