Supplied by Jim Bell
Supplied by Jim Bell
Ric Hool, Steve Demetri, John Wilde, Jim Bell.
Alan Esdaile… Second photo is at the recording of ‘Living In The Age Age’. Not sure who the guy with glasses is but seem to recognise the guy in the red shirt? What had you done to your arm John?
James Bell.. They were exciting and creative times. I would like to say thanks Alan for putting this group together, it’s wonderful looking back. From this the remaining Breathers have all being in contact, and are going to try and get together sometime in 2022. One thing though, Can’t remember Kermit being in the band. Cheers Jim
Ric Hool… Hi Jim, you might recall, the frog had a failed auditioned: he had no ‘Kermitment’…
James Bell… Ric, That made me laugh out loud. X
Roger Carey… Good pictures! I remember attending one of The Breathers’ first gigs at the Carlisle upstairs- they had a contemporary modern approach at the time with shorter snappier songs and looked good doing it!
John Wilde… Ric was a good song writer.
Roger Carey… John, Still recall that chorus “you’re a breather, a man of action, a racing driver “etc!
Alan Esdaile… Roger, so do I!
Tony Qunta… Great band!
Phil Gill… The guy in the red shirt is Jim Tatham, he and Digger were roadies/sound men for Tich Turner’s Escalator, and presumably, The Breathers.
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.
supplied by Brian Wood, ad supplied by Andre Martin
Brian Wood… Singer – Michael Wheeler, Acoustic Guitarist (back left) – Paul Wiseman, Drummer – Steve Demetri, other Guitarist – Brian Wood. The group formed in 1965 and performed all over the country including Hastings Pier 1965. The photos were taken at Calvert Youth Club, Calvert Road, Hastings, where we practiced. Also practiced and gigged at The Ambassador Restaurant on the corner of West Street, Old Town, Hastings, which Steve’s dad owned. I now live in Hailsham and it would be good to catch up with everyone.
Linda Day… I used to see this group at Calvert I went out with Brian Wood and Paul Wiseman omg. I think im in the photo but not sure.
Mick O’Dowd… Deep Purple used to practise here as well and also at All Saints Church Hall.
Peter Millington… Love it – A PA the size of a handbag – those were the days! Don’t remember the pier gig, probably playing elsewhere with the Confederates.
Bertie Wiseman… showing my dad this now.
Alan Esdaile… I remember playing keyboards with one of Paul’s bands at Calvert Youth Club. One of the tracks I remember playing was Brenton Wood’s gimme a little sign.
Anton Hack… what’s the calvert?
Linda Day… Its a church hall in mount pleasant rd its still there
Jan Colley… Used to know them, & used to watch them with my friend Vanessa 😉
John Wilde… Wow
Johng Davis… Remember going there only lived 5 doors away
The Breathers: Livin In The Age Age
Ric Hool and Jim Bell (aka Red Ferrari) moved to Hastings from Newcastle, in late 1978, on the back of an abortive management deal with Brian Leahey, who was working at that time from East Grinstead: Brian managed musician friends in the group, ‘Goldie’.
A few weeks after arriving in All Saints Street, Old Town, Hastings Steve Demetri called round to check-out the Geordies, apparently steered that way by Tich Turner. Steve returned a few days later with John Wilde (aka Izzi Peptone) – they were musical celebrities of Hasting. There was an instant recognition of energy.
Daily rehearsals soon began above Steve’s parents’ café on the seafront, on the corner of St Mary’s Crescent: things got tight. It was a purple patch of creativity for each member and Ric was pushed forward as the song writer, exploring and synthesizing the musical capabilities of the group. It might be said that these pre-gig days were the best and most joyous.
Steve introduced a keyword to the group, ‘Action!’
He would say it, animating the word with an arc of his fist in the air, as if delivering a left hook. It became an uplifting statement and a vital gesture to The Breathers.
A name had to be found.
Izzi Peptone burst in one day and declared, “We are The Breathers.”
Nothing to argue about.
‘Livin In The Age Age’ was written on demand by Steve and Izzi who wanted an all-out 120mph post-punk thrash but without any compromises on good lyrics or instrumental and compositional integrity.
Ric had picked up on facts that medical science had increased the human life span and that 45% of the UK population were over the age of 45 years (1979). The social comment and sci fi overtures were right for the embryonic Thatcher years.
Simon Davies, ex EMI and United Artists A&R man signed The Breathers to Curly Management, working in tandem with the brother of Chris Squire (Yes) and operating out of the York Street, London W1 office of Ric Lee (Ten Years After).
Regrettably, Steve Demitri left The Breathers before the recording of ‘Livin In The Age Age’. The session drummer at Ambience Studios in 1980 was Clive Pierce.
‘Livin In The Age Age’ b/w ‘Count On Counting’ was produced by Dave Foister & The Breathers, engineered by Allan Morrow and released by Diversion Records.
The Breathers original line-up:
Izzi Peptone (John Wilde) vocal
Steve Demitri drums
Red Ferrari (Jim Bell) Guitar
Ric Hool bass
supplied by Ric Hool
Tony (Anthony) Davis… I can remember the guys in the Breathers hanging around the Golden Hind a lot, probably because Stevie D owned it. I was DJing there at the time and remember that I often played a demo tape – wish I had it now! Also remember going to the Windsor Castle pub in London to a great gig. Like everything Steve and John did – filled with energy!
John Wilde… Ha. Thanks for the memories. Bless the Soul of Steve. Best wishes to Ric and Jim. It was a blast. Sorry I was so fucking ego tripped. L O V E x
Yvonne Cleland… Blimey! I remember these guys. Derek Bolland and me met them when they’d just moved into that gorgeous house at the bottom of All Saint’s Street. They invited us back to talk about how they could get into the local music scene. All I can remember now is their lovely accents, how they were really into Buggles’ ‘Video killed the Radio Star’, and how amazing that house was. That was in the days when me, Tich and Derek used to hang around a fair bit…. Derek must have put them onto Tich, and now I know what happened afterwards. Cool.
Darren Holmes… remember Jim he used to teach my mate Michael Delpeache and myself the guitar in the 80s – I think he called himself Jim Dubelle at the time and his lead singer then was his girlfriend Dee
Dave Nattress… Really interesting story – nice one. Thanks for posting. Knew a bit about The Breathers and the connection with the wonderful John Wilde and Stevie D but this fleshed it out wonderfully.
Clive Pierce… Hi All, I am Clive Pierce who played the drums briefly with The Breathers. I very much enjoyed my short stint with them and agree they were lovely guys. If anyone is interested I have a photograph of The Breathers in action at The Windsor Castle gig mentioned above. Just let me know how and who to send it to and I will gladly do so. All the best Clive.
John Spence… I saw the band at the Golden Eagle pub in Blyth, Northumberland in late 1980, really enjoyed their set so I bought Livin in the age age off the band that night, I still play it now as I think it’s catchy and a cracking song.
Darren Holmes… I’ve actually played Jim’s Les Paul pictured above, what a fantastic guitar.
Tony Davis says… Was looking through SMART the other day and saw some photos of Steve D and it took my mind back to the days when I worked at the Golden Hind. Started me thinking if anyone has any photos of those days circa 1979-1983. If you’ve got any photos, stories or thoughts lets see if we can get a thread up and running on SMART.
Alan Esdaile… Any photos or memories, please feel free to post.
Graham Belchamber… Remember the pub and I’ll have a think through the old grey matter!
Peter Fairless… Yes, I remember it, very well!
Mike Mitchell… I met my wife in The Golden Hind. Sticky carpet and video juke box. That’s the pub not the wife.
Leigh Wieland-Boys… Went to the Golden Hind most weekends before going nightclubbing! Worked in Havelock Road & often popped in at lunchtimes too. Loved that place – lots of good memories!
Jane Dorsett… the good old days leigh……..x
Peter Fairless… Wow, those town centre pubs!
poster supplied by Paul Dove, photo by Paul Wiseman
Paul Dove, Jon McCallion, Alan Esdaile(manager), Steve Demetri. Paul Wiseman is taking the photo.
Alan Esdaile… Happy days of…..Hair! Business card must have been when Harry was manager.
Jan Warren.. Oh yes, my hubby (ex) Pete Watson was the regular Saturday night DJ at The Regent ……. must have been around about 1972 to 74?! – there were lots of bands, I remember “Rubber Band” (Bowie-type lead singer called Dave, haha) they released a single called “Moon Walker”!! and many other local bands played there, many of which have often been mentioned here in SMART group!! – good times!!
Paul Dove… Well done Alan good memories,, here we are 50 years on and still living the dream,, just wish a few of our old friends could see them but I expect they are still living that dream were ever they are, we are carrying on that dream, love music love life ,love SMART,xx
Harry Randall… I used to go to school with both Steve and Paul Wiseman
Jon McCallion… Good photo Paul
Tony Court-holmes… forgot about the Regent, how about Hartnells?
Tich Turner’s Escalator – Don’t Really Want You Back Again
Cheapskate Records — CHEAP 22 – UK 7″ – 1981
A – Don’t Really Want You Back Again (Producer – Ray Fenwick / Written -Tich Turner)
B – Ska’d For Life (Producer – Ray Fenwick / Written – Ray Fenwick, Tich Turner)
Mick Mepham….A mighty line-up
Phil Gill….Good song. I’d left the band by that time and it was was Vince (Steve Vincent) playing bass on that record. I loaned Tich my white jacket for that photo session and I’m wearing Ray Fenwick’s leather jacket – it had “Marlon” writ large across the shoulders at the back. Some of us were to refer to Ray as “Marlon” from that day forward….
Mick O’Dowd…..What a good band they were and Tich is still going!
The Golden Lion 16th September 1981…
Zero 6 Southend 24th August 1981