Dray and Johnny Francis Road Show – Hastings Pier 2nd August 1975


press ad supplied by Sarah Harvey and poster supplied by Andy Caine

Sarah Harvey….Aug 2nd, 1975 – Does anybody remember Dray – I seem to remember them being about in the 70s but cannot for the life of me remember ever seeing them.

Alan Esdaile…..Likewise I remember the name ‘Dray’ but can’t remember who they were. Remember Johnny Francis, always put on a good show. Sunday lunchtime at the Crypt if I remember rightly.

Ken Dengate…..How very spooky that you should mention Dray, Sarah. I was thinking of asking about them – and Duncan Dray himself – just a day or two ago. I recall that Duncan was the drummer (?), and at that time he lived in Harold road (or that area).

Terry Pack…..Duncan Dray was the drummer (hence the name). He had a LOT of tom toms, which gave rise to the ‘Incredible’ part of the name. I was accosted in Leisure Music in Silverhill in 1973 or 74 by a young Andy Cunningham, who told me that he he had a friend who played the drums, and was I interested in joining a band. I walked up to Ore in the hope of meeting ‘The Incredible Dray’, but never did, until a couple of years later, he replaced  Kevin Hoad in The Hollywood Killers. He was a very nice guy, and we played together till I left the band to join The Enid. He now lives in Peacehaven and works as an electrician. I think that Ashley Pepper might have been part of it, too. Johnny Flamingo, too?

Andy Caine… One of my very first gigs, Simon Fuller was the promoter!  1975 I think. With Duncan Dray, Ashley Pepper and Chris Richmond. Found this in the back of an old art pad!

Pete Fairless… Just to be clear, it wasn’t ’73, it was ’75 and Simon probably wasn’t promoting at age 14!

Andy Caine…. He put the gig on, I’m sure. When we were at the caves,he was involved with promoting bands.

Darren Holmes… My cousin Ashley Pepper was a member of Dray, they used the practice round my Auntie Shir’s house!!!

Dave Nattress… Wow, more memories – Dray – a name I remember now. Where did that pop up from!! This site goes from strength to strength!! And Sarah, where have all these cuttings come from – you just keep drip-feeding us with them. Great stuff. Ittour days in Samisen I don’t recall you collecting these as you must have been doing.

Mick O’Dowd… Used to work with Duncan Dray at G.H. Brooker in Norman Road in late 60’s. He was then in a band called The Springbeats.

Kevin White… I went to school with Duncan Dray, we played together as kids. I don’t recognize him in this pic though. He used a Premier kit as I remember, not sure what brand that kit is either. He actually got me my first paid job as a drummer too! It was when Dray first formed in the mid seventies, probably 73, 74 we would have been about 15 or 16.It was a residency playing tea dances and ballroom dancing with the Sandhurst Trio in the ballroom at the Bathing Pool holiday camp, Bulverhythe. The two other guys were, a pianist and a sax player, both very good musicians, they were both well over 70 years old, possibly older bless ’em. The entertainments manager offerred to get me work on the cruise ships but only if i agreed to get a haircut. I only played there half a dozen times or so, then joined my first prog rock band called Skysteed. I must dig out the photo of me in a white dinner jacket, purple velvet bow tie, cheesecloth shirt, 36″ denim flares and 4 or 5″block soled platform shoes.


Hollywood Killers, Before The Storm, Negative Earth Band – Falaise Hall 19th May 1978


19th may 1978 - hollywood killers

poster supplied by Jim Penfold

Martyn Baker… Simon Fuller

Peter Fairless… The start of something big…

Jim Penfold …. Simon Fuller’s first promotion 19th May 1978…the Hollywood Killers…..the man who invented Pop Idol/American Idol..manager of The Spice Girls/David Beckam/Andy Murray/ Annie Lennox etc etc etc…..if you have a magnifying glass his name is bottom right…..his Easybeat Promotions promoted us a couple more times that year……what went wrong!!!!(for him)

Tim Moose Bruce… I remember Before The Storm. They supported Die Laughing a few times and I think changed their name to Billy Whizz im my memory serves me. A memorable gig was at the caves.

Jim Penfold… Happy days! I’ve got the Hastings Observer’s review of that gig and will post it when I can find it! It says promoter Simon Fuller raised £100 for charity for this sold out gig!….it’s a pity Simon didn’t go on to bigger things……

Mike Mitchell… I remember seeing Simon strolling down the road stuffing fiver’s into his pockets… We got paid a fiver for being bottom of the bill. My first professional engagement as a drummer. Happy days indeed.

Gutsy pop from Missing Persons June 1979

Martin Richter… Chris Sambrook ?? I never knew this – Hi Chris 🙂

Richard Turner… My uncle Chris Turner 🙂

Ken Copsey… I remember that hat! I think that’s the one he was wearing in the picture I have of him in th Teenbeats van. Lovely bloke.

Chris Meachen… Somewhat prophetic article.. Who would have imagined he’d inflict the spice girls on us all..

Harry Randall… Chris Turner sadly missed I used to play with him as a kid in short trousers and then later he played Bass for a while in Footloose!

Mick O’Dowd… Didn’t they feature on the legendary Safari album “Uppers On The South Downs”?

Alan Esdaile… Yes Mick.

Ken Copsey… That’s right Mick. It goes for quite a few bob on eBay due to the legendary South Coast Ska Stars track on it.

Richard Turner… Just looked for that album on eBay not many about

John Breeds… I have happy memories of being in the same band as Chris Turner (pictured). He was on rhythm and I was on bass.

Alan Esdaile… from May 1979….

Jim Breeds… Were they ever found!?


Teenbeats with Simon Fuller – Air Canada check in desk and pre tour interview.


supplied by Teenbeats Facebook Page.

Alamo Leal… Young Huggie. Had some great times with him. Blackman’s brother on the far left?

Mark Gilham… Nice to see a photo of Dave

Peter Fairless… Just like it was yesterday!

Martyn Baker… Here’s a colour balanced image of the fab 6.

Steve Sampson… So young ! … those were the days

Missing Persons – Simon Fuller Easybeat Entertainments and spoof telegram 1979.

img216 Missing Persons Telegram-1

 card supplied by Roger Carey            telegram supplied by Andy Knight

Stuart Moir…”Now a very rich man !!”

Redstar Richter….”steve winterbottom?”

Andy Knight… Spoof telegram to Missing Persons when we were managed by Simon Fuller who practised on us I think and got it right with the Spice Girls!

Simon Fuller being interviewed Radio 2 – 1st January 2014

Simon Fuller is  being interviewed on Radio 2, 1st January 2014 19.00 and two further programmes coming up talking about his career. It will be interesting to hear if he says much about Hastings.

Martyn Baker…..Blimey. Yeah. I’ll be listening Alan, seeing as how he managed one of the bands I was in (Missing Persons), helped get me a record deal (Salvation Sunday), and I worked at Radio 2 for 6 or so years too! Who will be doing the interview?

Alan Esdaile….It looks like its Nicki Chapman who’s interviewing him but don’t expect her to delve too deep as she used to work for him. I think he’s doing 3 interviews and the first ones looks like its going to be his favourite records.

Pete Fairless…..Yes, that will be very interesting.

Mick O’Dowd….Hope he sends me the money due for my participation in his ill-fated gig on the Pier when he promoted glam-rock band Tonight.