The Breathers – Living In The Age Age biography

The Breathers:  Livin In The Age Age

ACTION!

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.

Who remembers The Golden Hind Pub Havelock Road Hastings?

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!

Read moreWho remembers The Golden Hind Pub Havelock Road Hastings?

Hutch Hutchings – Feels Like Rain LP – 1977

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Jan Warren… sorting through my records I came across this album Tony Qunta played several instruments, can anyone enlighten me??

Ernest Ballard… That was Charlie Hutchinson. Guitarist songwriter. He was married to the sister of Tony Brooks wife Tony ran Dragon Studios in Hastings. Tragically Hutch was killed in a a car crash in Hastings shortly after the album was recorded. He was a lovely guy. Steve D and Min have sadly passed away too X

Jan Warren… I also remember “Min”, he was a musician who lived in Hastings Old Town in the early 70s, he was lovely, sweet hippy – our friend.

Ernest Ballard… He played sax. Yes a great character.

Phil Gill… Well, I’m on it. What sort of info would you like?

Tony May… This is a very emotive subject for me as ‘Feels Like Rain’ is probably the record I remember most from my days at Stylus Records in Castle St. We had quite a few copies in stock and I always remember Nelson De Souza ( the boss) telling me he had taken them on ‘sale or return’ but that the artist had subsequently died and he could not do anything about returning those we had not sold. Sadly, I have never heard the album. If any of you here can remember anything more about Hutch or the recording of this record I would love to hear it. Thanks Jan for posting this!

John Williams… Min played in our band PLC yes he was nice.

Pete Prescott… I had a copy of the album but lent it to someone years ago and never had it returned. Min was a lovely guy, his funeral was unforgettable. So many amazing stories. Hilarious in places. He took a photo of me staggering along the sea front on the half marathon. Then when he saw me out months later he ran home to get it. I still have it with his inscription on the back.
The album was worth some money abroad at one time I believe. There are some good local legends in it. Now ! Who did I lend it to?

Roland Clarke… Min was a great character, always stopped to have a chat if I saw him in the street. I knew Charlie back in the day. He used to hang around the studio from time to time. He wrote and did this album before he was 25. I remember him giving me a copy on lp, however, I unfortunately lost my copy in a flat move. Charlie was about 6 years older than me but was tragically killed as a passenger in a car accident returning from a pool match. He was sitting in the back but the car hit a tree driving down London road in St Leonard’s, he was only 25 I believe.

Read moreHutch Hutchings – Feels Like Rain LP – 1977

Muller at Cavern Studios London – 2nd April 1970

Outside the Cavern Studios London, recording the single ‘Fooling Around. Paul Wiseman, Jon McCallion, Steve Demetri, Paul Dove and Alan Esdaile.

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photo by Ray Medhurst

Paul Dove….Great times, it amazes me were these photos keep coming from,next question did that record ever survive,! look at Alan doing the 1000yd stare !!,,, It always made me laugh seeing the veins in Jon Mac,s neck sticking out when we done house of the rising sun, classic.

Jon McCallion....Good times. I still have a copy of Fooling around, will play it to you one day.

Paul Dove….Hi Jon that would be great,although cant remember how it went. ! i keep meaning to come along to one of alans meetings, but i will.Yes good times.

Alan Esdaile…We only planned to record the one song and then had just enough time for an unplanned ‘B’ side which had to be an original. Nothing arranged, so the band came up with an instrumental called ‘Freak Out’.

Paul Dove…Alan you are doing wonders for my memory , yes i remember doing the b side ,We got to do a big meet up with factory, Steve k , I know we lost Stevie D .But would be great to see all the guys from that magical 60s 70s era,!!!  what was i looking at ,, think alan had dropped a 1 00 note , was good fun recording Fooling Around, same studio as the Who recorded , hope to see Jon,  Alan & maybe Paul Wiseman at Beatles Day tomorrow.

Alan Esdaile… We all look tired and fed up Paul. Hanging around for ages for the studio guy to turn up.

Pete Fisher… seem to have missed something here…what did you play Alan?

Alan Esdaile… played the fool Pete! I was manager of the band or should I say humper of the gear, arranged the recording session and gigs and got paid lots of money. Well maybe not the last bit!

Kings Head The Bourne playlist 23rd August 1978 for Roger Carey and Friends

supplied by Roger Carey

The band was Steve Demetri, Tony Qunta, Roger Carey, Tich Turner and guest guitarist Andy Smith (From The Roaring 80’s). Put together for one night only by Roger Carey.

Geoff Peckham… I’ll bet that was a good night! x

Pete Fisher… What a great memento – I recognise Roger’s writing. Detailed setlist can be a great help, if you have time to look at it. Remember having around 30 songs/new arrangements at the beginning of a tour once, and sellotaping 3 sheets of A4 together to accomodate them…

Barry French… Last night my good friend Len Benton & myself went to see Tich performing with his band Hi Fi Sneakers, at Sidley Working Men’s Club (Great must see soul band ). Tich remembers the Kings Head Gig, & was amazed that Roger has held onto the set list all this time & that the gig is still being talked about (The Power Of SMART)

Tich Turner… Blimey! Was playing in Sidley last night with HiFi Sneakers and  Barry told me, the last time he saw me performing was at The Kings Head. I thought he was talking about a gig I did there with about 11 of us, we were doing a bunch of new songs I’d written and Ray Fenwick wanted to invite some guys down from London to see it. I think it was leading into The Roaring 8o’s. The Place was packed, [mainly by the band], but a great night. I don’t recall this gig at all. I’m wondering why we did it. Perhaps Roger can recall. And….hello to all of you.

John Wilde… Hi Tich. Best wishes and keep on keeping on!

Pete Davis… Used to see you down the York Bexhill with Steppin Out, I think you was called, with Del McCoogan…..

Pete Prescott… There was a gig at the kings head with Steppin Out that Ray invited some record company guys to. It was Nov/Dec 77. They didn’t show up.

Mike Waghorne… Must be 30+ years since I last saw you Tich hope you are well ?

Popular Beat Combo and Uome – Music Files Christmas Party The Crypt 22nd December 1997

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photos by John Kenward. Supplied by Phil Little. http://littledrum.co.uk

Martin Richter… wow – what a line-up! (the crypt).

Alan Esdaile… Popular Beat Combo – Rick Pentecost, Dave Blackman, Roger Carey and Steve Demetri on drums in both bands.

Ernest Ballard… What a lovely man Steve was. Bless him. Huge talent on the drums inspired by Steve Gadd

The Flirts – Calvert Youth Club and Hastings Pier 4th Dec 1965

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flirts card

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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

Stallion – introducing the band 1974 & Stallion poster 6th November 1973.

supplied by Mick Mepham

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supplied by Phil Thornton

Alan Esdaile… Great find Phil.  Stringer Jones, was a duo with Martin Stringer and Malcolm Jones.

Martyn Baker… Malcolm Jones was the other half of Stringer-Jones with Martin Stringer in Hastings (1975-6). I kind of re-met Malcolm again when we both worked for Capital Radio in the 80’s. Martin now lives in the west of Ireland. Both top geezers.

Harry Randall… RIP Vic/Tony and Steve gone to young! Sadly missed I’m sure by all who new them!

Leigh Wieland-Boys… My that takes me back. Fond memories of Steve D, rest in peace dear friend.

Martin Stringer… Crikey.