Mojo Tony Morgan - former Cov bassist with ska band EMF and now lead singer with the Hoochie Coochie Band in
Pembrokeshire sent an unplugged blues track from 2005 on Radio Pembrokeshire - a great cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's Help Me. Great harmonica and interplay with guitar.
Tony Mojo Morgan (Former Cov bassist and now lead vocalist with Mojo Morgan's Hoochie Coochie Band in Pembrokeshire joined up with former band mate - Cov's top slide / blues guitarist - John (Slide) Alderson formerly of Wandering John, Travelling Riverside Blues Band and many others along the way. Johnny recently toured with Ex Two Tone Selecter guitarist and band leader Noel Davis.
Mojo has just sent this track to share with you on the Hobo site - their live version of Little Red Rooster (Covered by the the Stones in 1964).
Mojo says "This is a live recording from about 4 or 5 years ago when John
Alderson came down to see me, and we did a song together in a
Cov musicians Jim Pryal and Kevin Harrison e mailed me this morning with new of the legendary Cov Punk singer /
front man - Gus Chambers, who passed away at the age of 52 on October 13, 2008. Sadly it was believed he took his own life.
The news has impacted on the Cov scene with Pete Chambers (who wrote a tribute in the Coventry Telegraph) saying that tributes and messages were pouring in from friends and Cov musicians and many others who had worked with him or have known him and his music.
Gus Chambers was singer with the Coventry punk band - SQUAD having stepped into the shoes of Terry Hall who left to join the Specials. By 1981 he was fronting 21 Guns who made a single for the Neville Staples record label - Shack Records. Their single was Ambition Rock (although I think there was another single too which I have in the loft somewhere - (not having a record player to play it on anymore!) - Will dig it out and see at some stage.).
"Gus later moved to America and formed Sons of Damnation, finally joining the no messing high-energy metal band Grip Inc. They were formed by former Slayer drum-king Dave Lombardo. They released three brooding albums in the mid to late 90s - Power of Inner Strength, Nemesis, and Solidify - and finally came back with a fourth entitled Incorporated in 2004, which was greeted as a true return to form by the critics." says Pete Chambers.
Pete also says of Gus "his punk-crazed stage antics were quite opposite to the real man - Gus was a thinker, and a great believer in fairness and racial equality, though to some, he was just a punk. Of late, Gus was part of the sonically-superb Mantra Sect. "I've been very lucky in my career," said Gus. "I have had the privilege of playing in front of thousands of people at festivals like Rock in Rio and the Dynamo Festival in Holland. Nothing though brings back fonder memories than playing in front of maybe 20 or 30 people in The Hand and Heart or the back room of The Swanswell."
In 2002 Gus contributed to punk site giving a good insight into the development of the punk scene in Coventry -
You can view it HERE
In the article he tells how he was advised by a mate in 1976 to go and see Roddy Radiation and the Wild Boys (Roddy obviously later went on to the Specials) and from then on was hooked. He says that punk in Coventry "started out very small and not many places to go, there was about 15 to 20 Punks all coming from different walks of life but getting together to be a part of the scene. The only pub that allowed punks in at the time was a gay pub and the student union bar at the Lanch Poly sometimes let us in, non students would get hassle etc."
The pub was the Rose and Crown - "the punk scene started to grow very quickly and was being accepted which lead to more pubs in Cov becoming punk friendly, some pubs let us put our own records on their juke boxes, a punk disco started at the weekend at the Rose and Crown, the Bear Inn become a big punk hang out, a mainly metal disco up stairs in The Golden Cross started to play punk rock and a couple of night clubs started to have punk rock nights. The first one was The Cottage, Wednesday was punk night sometimes letting local bands play. Monday nights at Mr Georges became a great venue for live bands, a lot of national acts played there plus many local bands had the chance to play ,this helped play a big part in building the local scene. Local bands started to hire out back rooms in pubs, places like The Heath, The Hand and Heart, and up stairs in the Domino played a big role in keeping music live also musicians who didn't have a record out, had no management and all that other record biz bull had the chance to book a gig and play( after all thats what punk rock was all about .) Early punk and new wave bands which contributed to the local scene in Cov. were The Flys, Roddy Radiation and the Wild Boys, The Squad, The Urge, The Automatics( later to become ska band The Specials ) The Vietnamese Babys, Gods Toys, The Pink Umbrellas ( fronted by 80ts pop Icon Paul King ) and a couple of years later came Riot Act, Oi band Criminal Class and various ska bands, The Selector. Swinging Cats."
A quick Google of his names shows there are quite a few tributes on the net to Gus Chambers - here are a couple -
Probably the best tribute to and way of remembering Gus Chambers is through his music, and, thanks to the Brave words site, I've found a quite a few videos of Gus singing with Grip Inc and one with Mantra Sect. Here are a few below but you can find of Grip Inc on You Tube.
GUS CHAMBERS dynamic vocals with GRIP INC......
"The clip features performance footage that was shot on May 8, 2008 at The Three Tuns in Coventry. MANTRA SECT bassist Wendy X said in an online posting, "What Gus did at the beginning while we were rehearsing was very typical of him! I thought he would ask me to change that bit but he loved the clip being on there. He made us laugh a lot."
TRANE / SUGARCANE
Here are some soundbites from this website about the Cov 60's band Trane and later developments, You can read the full story and hear a track on this site http://www.skylinesongs.com/music_journey.htm
In a few months I’d mastered a few chords and was starting to understand my way around the fretboard. There wasn’t a wide choice of tutorial books then. In fact there were none as I recall, except ‘Play In A Day’ by Bert Weedon, a popular guitar instrumentalist of the 1950s. Bert is 85 now and has a web site here where it seems 'Play In A Day' is still going strong, with over 2 million sold! It helped me a little, but I wanted to learn how to play the hits of the day not old standards like "Whispering". But I found after a while I could listen to records and gradually figure out the chords being used, and then I discovered how the same chord patterns were used in lots of different songs. I either sold or swapped that first guitar and bought a new acoustic which was still only of 'entry level' quality. Necessity being the mother of invention I was going to sing folk music, which at the time was undergoing a big revival with the likes of Bob Dylan and Donovan. Anyway, I didn’t need an amp for folk music.
So in the Summer of 1966 we form a band with myself on lead guitar; Nigel Maltby, a school pal on rhythm guitar; Ned Foyle on vocals; Laurie French on drums and Geoff Timms on (home made) bass. We call ourselves "The ‘Trane" after John Coltrane the jazz saxophonist, emulating the Yardbirds who took their name from the sobriquet of another jazz saxophonist, Charlie Parker.
We practice hard, and place some ads: "Good beat group available for all kinds of bookings. Versatile and above all musical", and print some cards: "The Beat Group for All Occasions" and start gigging in November. Our first gig is a dance at Stratford On Avon Rugby Club and our Dads ferry us and our meagre equipment to and from the venue. At our very first outing we manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. My amplifier expires after the first couple of songs – we grossly underestimate the volume required at a real gig – and I have to plug in to Geoff’s Vox AC30, the sound of bass and lead guitars through the same small amp not sounding good. The spring on Laurie’s snare drum breaks so the snare sound fails but he manages to do a running repair with string. But by the end of the evening with the audience liquored up and determined to enjoy themselves, we finish triumphantly on the Beatles’ sing-along "Yellow Submarine" which we’d never played before and hadn’t a clue how the chords went.
Spring 1967 and we play our largest gig so far at the Chesford Grange Hotel where we’re the support act on a double bill. Our fee: a princely £12.50 for two one-hour sets, £2.50 each. We come a poor second to the other band "From The Sun" and Ned and I lose our voices from not having a loud enough PA. It was as they say, a learning experience. The lead guitarist of the main band kindly points out to me after the gig that I need to use thinner strings in place of the ‘steel hawser’ tape wound variety I was using. I didn’t know that it was the judicious bending of light gauge strings that was enabling Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck et al to get those sweet bluesy sounds I liked. Not only was there a paucity of guitar tutorial books, there was no such thing as guitar magazines so we all lived in our own bubble of knowledge and didn’t know how others got their sounds.
I’ve finished school now and some non-band friends ask me to join them on a short camping holiday in Cornwall. On the spur of the moment I decide to go. The band had been thinking of approaching a girl we knew who we’d thought might make a good lead singer in the band and whilst I'm away Ned and Geoff decide to drive over to see her and discuss it. Together they set off towards Hampton In Arden on 10th August 1967 and just outside Balsall Common crash head-on into a lorry and both are killed outright. Ned was 18 and Geoff 19.
If I hadn’t decided to go to Cornwall on a whim I would have been with Ned and Geoff. There but for fortune. The condition of the van may have been a factor. A month earlier Ned and Geoff had holidayed together in Wales and Geoff had sent me a prescient postcard saying “..van’s OK (touch wood)..”
We reform the band in the autumn, bringing in Bill Fielding from Coventry on bass, but things aren’t the same and the line-up folds a year later in mid-1968. There's a highlight in the last months however, when we play support to the Jeff Beck Group in Rugby on 30th December 1967. Jeff Beck is my favourite guitarist and I can't believe our luck.
It's 1973, I'm 25 and a qualified Chartered Accountant. I own a nice Les Paul Deluxe gold top and it’s the best guitar I’ve ever had, although one day I drop it and it suffers catastrophic damage of the headstock. But I send it off to Rosetti, the Gibson importers, and thanks to an insurance claim I get it back faultlessly repaired and re-sprayed in a beautiful sunburst. I then wish I'd kept the gold top finish.
The band, at first called "Flat Stanley" after a character in a children's book, and then "Sugarcane" plays on and off for the next thirteen years during which time we endure at least five different drummers, until Laurie returns from his Halifax exile in 1977; five bass players and three different second guitarists.
Bob Sharp plays bass with us for about two years before getting married and going to America. His successor is John Rushton who stays for four years or so before moving away from the area. In 1974 we recruit Ian Boycott to take on lead vocals and he also invests in a percussion setup comprising congas, bongos and timbales. Ian stays for a about eight years and also becomes a close friend. Unfortunately Tony Lloyd leaves after nearly two years to join another local band "Vehicle" that has a more attractive line-up for him that includes brass and keyboards, and we then have an unsettled few months with different guitarists and drummers, none of whom are right for us.
In October 1975 the above lineup records 'Pickup Queen' at Bird Sound Studios in Snitterfield, Warwickshire. Written by Ian and myself, we had only an evening to set up and record it, including some rushed overdubs. Dave plays some great drums, which on reflection should have been higher in the mix, and John's bass guitar lines are magnificent; driving the whole thing along nicely. Ian performs the lead vocal, but being a heavy smoker and asthmatic he runs out of breath a couple of times in the song! I wanted the guitar harmonies to sound like Thin Lizzy's but there wasn't time to get the right tones organised. Click on the button to have a listen:
Bert Weedon is one celebrity with a Coventry connection who seems to be little mentioned in Coventry related sites or
I seem to recall my father, who was a Hoover Representative, telling us, in the mid sixites that he'd been to fix Bert Weedon's Vacuum cleaner at his home Allesley Village, Coventry. Although Bert was born in London, I think he was resident in Coventry in the 60's at some stage. However I've found no mention of this anywhere and so I googled it and the only thing I found was a You Tube of Bert and on the comments I found this -
"Don't blame me but I used to cut his hair when he lived in the Allesley village area of Coventry area, I always found him very friendly, good luck Burt where ever you are.. "
You can watch the You Tube here but to see the comment, you'll have to click through to You Tube itself.
CAN ANYBODY THROW ANY LIGHT ON THIS?
Bio (excert from the Independent)
Back in 1957, Bert Weedon was Britain's first rock guitar hero who turned into a cult figure virtually overnight by writing a book that would enable would-be rock kings to learn his strumming technique. The aim of the book, Play in a Day, was set out in its title; someone picking up the guitar for the first time would be able to play something recognisable within a few hours. The book became hugely successful, selling millions of copies worldwide, and helped to produce new generations of rock guitar idols.
When the 12-year-old from London's East End bought a battered guitar from a market stall on Petticoat Lane, he had no idea how big a part the instrument would play in his life. he found an elderly music teacher who showed him how to play some beautiful classical pieces. Weedon, the son of a London Tube driver, had suddenly stumbled on his vocation. He became adept at playing classical, dance, jazz and flamenco - a talent that took him into the leading bands and orchestras of the time. His growing reputation in the Fifties paved the way for him to work with legends such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and Judy Garland. With the arrival of rock 'n' roll, record producers turned to Weedon when they wanted a guitarist to back Britain's new stars - he can be heard playing on classic hits by the likes of Billy Fury, Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Tommy Steele, Johnny Kidd and Adam Faith. And when Weedon wasn't in the recording studio working with young rock idols - some of them nearly 20 years younger than himself - he was releasing his own records. Countless teenagers, with dreams of becoming pop stars, tentatively fingered their first guitar strings with Weedon's book, Play in a Day, open in front of them. Some, such as Eric Clapton, Brian May, Pete Townshend, Mike Oldfield and Sting, went on to achieve stardom. Hank Marvin: "In the Sixties, Bruce (Welch, Shadows colleague) and I wrote `Mr Guitar' about Bert Weedon.
Read the full Independant Bio HERE
Sounds of Venus adverstisd in Hobo small ads.
Silk Disco and promotions were central to the Coventry Music Scene from the early 70's to beyond the seventies in so many ways, through so many discos / venues and promotions. From the Plough club in the early 70's Jim Silk (Twynham) had a distinctive red car with Silk as part of the registration. more on Silk elsewhere on this site.
John Bow (Bo) Bargent was one of the original co founders
/ co editors of Hobo. In 1973 he ran Roguestar promotions and Disco promoting bands and so forth. See below for more on Roguestar. After leaving Hobo in 1973, John became raod manager for Khyaam on their European tour. In 1975 he returned and helped with the Hobo Workshop, promoting bands our way and doing the Disoc. By then Bow's disco was called Moonraker and he did Sunday night's at the Golden Cross and Monday nights there for Hobo Workshop. Sometime he used to let me loose on the turntables which was fun. John had reels of old films going while the music played, Charlie Chaplin / Keystone Kops, Abbot and Costello. Not sure what John Bow did after Hobo - maybe someone out there knows!
Mark Brown was one of the early Cov DJ's along with Pete Waterman starting in the late 60's. Mark was regular at the Red House on Stony Stanton Rd. (a pic of him can be found in the DJ collection on this site (borrowed from the Broadgate Gnome music directory site!). I worked with Mark when I was 16 at DF Gibbs on the Foleshill Rd. Mark was in the TV department along with Al Docker and I was nextdoor as an apprentice electrician. I don't know who Johnny Lomas was - might have been a brother of the legandary Roger Lomas (of the Sorrows and producer of early Selecter). I expect the Gnomes will be able to expound on that and give info on Mark Brown (Birtles).
Marvel disco had a full page ad in Hobo for their gig at the Dive Bar (Lady Godiva) in Jorden Well (opp.The Herbert Museum). I think Paul Hooper (formerly of Indian Summer and Dogers) was involved with it.
I was always being handed band cards or disco cards while doing Hobo Magazine (hence the collection) but I can't remember from whom this one came from - presumably from G. Mann. I have a feeling it was a development out of one of the other discos on here or an off shoot of Clouds or so forth. I can't recall anything specific about this disco.
Gentle were a Derby heavy rock band. I had put them on at the Umbrella Club in 1970 and after they played the Plough Club with Silk Disco and a few other Cov gigs of the time.
John Dowie was an innovative artist / alterative comedian of style and wit. I first saw him at Streetpress gigs in Birmingham and he was involved int he Birmingham Arts Lab where Streetpress was produced. He went down well on the student circuit.
Contact Disco advertised half page in Hobo and some of their ads are on this site in the disco collection. This is just one of their cards - others are in the colection already. I seem to recall them doing disco at the Butts Tech Student Union Discos if my memory is not playing tricks here.
Clouds Disco also advertised half page in Hobo and were popular in the mid seventies.
Silk Disco team were amazing creative, professional and entertaining. Here one of their ads resembles a famous match Box! (albeit yellowing with age!).
This was Fission's great chance to play alongside a name band of the time - Budgie. Fission was led by Johnny Adams (later in punk band Squad ( which earlier had included Terry Hall before he joined the Specials) and featured on the Sent From Coventry album in 1979. Fission were more of a Hawkwind type band with original material. Their other guitarist Rick Thawn later formed Trigon with Paul Samson - later of Reluctant Stereotypes and producer of the Primatives. It was a great gig and I got in free because i knew the band! (and they were hoping for a write up in Hobo!).
I probably saved this cutting because I'd always like Pete Brown as a poet and author of Some of Cream's lyrics like White Room / Sunshine of your Love. Also Bob Jackson (of Indian Summer) was playing with Pete Brown and Piblokto in the mid seventies. Bob used to tell me about his work with Pete Brown while I typed Hobo at the Sunshine Music Agency in Gulson Rd. in fact at one stage he suggested he might show some of my lyrics / poems to Pete. Nothing came of that but I enjoyed the thought of it at the time! Both Can And Grimms also played at the Lanch Poly Student Union in the early / mid 70's.
I seem to have a vague idea that New Pence were a middle of the road pop outfit popular in Coventry at the time but not a band that would greatly interest me at the time but none the less I would go and see a wide range of bands and musical styles with an open mind even if they weren't top of my personal tastes.
Back to Bo - or John Bargent (former co-editor of Hobo) with an Ad for Roguestar. Before we did Hobo John used to promote bands and even myself for a while, letting me practice through his PA, using his guitars and even a Bowie Style stylaphone which he fed through the PA while I was playing adding in reverb. John Alderson lived near in Lorenzo close and came round and jammed sometimes - totally outclssing me of course! Normally I would hitch to Birmingham to play at Streetpress gigs but when I teamed up with John we went in a taxi from Birmingham Station - that was luxury for one who walked everywhere when funds were low! He would sit at the back promoting and the band I hadn't even formed. Well that's what promoters do - think ahead! So it was a great suprise when someone came up and asked about my band - I had to think quick and realised John was promoting ahead! Alas our energy went into creating Hobo and then John got a job with Khyaam while I continued to develop the magazine and the workshop and continue to do floor spots in folk clubs or inbetween the sets of my mates bands.
Pugma-ho were from Derby also but settle in Coventry around 1974, promoted by Sunshine Music agency and changed their name to Smack! The band featured Ollie Oliver (Dr Mustard) later of Hot Snacks and Margo Bucannan Smith who later became a backing singer with Mud and a range of other artists and is a fine singer songwriter herself and now has a My Space with some great tracks on it.
Mid 70's the Bagington Oak began to hod gigs and discos. Wave was the original formation of Jazz Rock band Khyaam. There is material relating to Direct Enterprises and the Cosmic Music Club on this site.
That's it for now!
RA HO TEP (Early 70's)
This was Tim James's band. (Hopefully Tim will furnish us with more details.
I must have seen this three piece (bass, drums and sax / Keys) many times in the early 70's from October 1969
through to at least 1972. I think I also booked them for the Cov Arts
Umbrella in 1970. The Umbrella is where I first saw them, at the Transcendental Cauldron in October 1969 (An Underground Arts fest.). This band was an unusual but highly regarded Avant Garde / experimental jazz with band leader Tim James on Sax and keyboards. I saw them at Warwick University Arts
Fest / The Lanch Poly (now Cov Uni), the Village, Plough - in fact most of the venues of the time, including Coventry Cathedral Ruins (see the photograph).
I don't know the line up though so if Tim or anybody else remembers,
please comment this post with the details.
There is not much info on the following bands four so I've put them in one post.
OUR DOG WINSTON c 1970
Advertised as playing the Walsgrave 26th Dec 1970
They advertised in Hobo Magazine and we contacted them with a view to playing at the Hobo Workshop Coventry Precinct concert which was shut down on Saturday 14th September 1974. As it happened the first band Memories played and before Phoenix got a chance to play the police shut the concert down. The press cuttings and full story ar the memories post. Folkies Rod Felton and Dave Bennett were earmarked to perform too. A young Dave Pepper was in this band - Dave later went on to play with X Certs inthe late 70's.
PUG-MA-HO c 1974
This band were managed by Sunshine Music Agency based in Gulson Rd. Bob Young of A Band Called George and also a direcector of Sunshine Agency wrote songs for the band. The band came from Derby but settled in Cov and included Olly Oliver (Later Dr Mustard) and Margo Buccannan Smith. They later become SMACK! See SMACK! for further info.
PROFUSION C 1974 / 5
This band advertised in HOBO as a 'Rock Band' with a Leamington Spa phone No.
QUANNA PARKER c1974 /5
This was another of guitarist Chris Jones outfits. Although Chris gave me his band card outside of the Golden Cross, I
don't have full details of the band. I think it was a derivative of Khayyam after they split up. Certainly John Bargent (Bo) was their manager. John had started HOBO with me and left to road manage Khayyam on the European tour and when they returned the band eventually split. Khayyam had been playing at the Golden Cross where the Hobo Wokshop was latterly held. I think we had intened to put Quanna Parker on at the workshop as John rejoined Hobo when it was in it's 'live' workshop phase as DJ. However the workshop finished before it was finalised.
MIDNIGHT CIRCUS / THE FLYS 1974 - 81
This was Neil O'Connor's band. Originally called Midnight Circus in 1974 and after punk they were known as The Flys.
I came across Midnight Circus through singer songwriter Phil Knapper (Stu knapper's brother). Phil had hitched around Finland with Neil, Alex Murphy (whom Neil sings about on his solo site) and John Gravenor of Wandering John a few years earlier. As a result we gave Midnight Circus a gig (I think it was more than one) at the HOBO WORKSHOP at the Holyhead Youth Centre and they proved to be quite a popular band. By 1978 the band had shed their hippy image for a punk one and changed their name to the Flys. Neil''s sister is of course the celebrated Hazel O'Connor. They performed their single Molotov Cocktail on the Old Grey Whistle Test and appeared on John Peel show a few times.
I think Neils piece from the Flys My space describes them best -
In the beginning there were
three young lads from Cov in the UK.
David Freeman, Joe Hughes and Neil O’Connor.
Neil was slightly older than the other two
and had made their acquaintance
through David’s mum, Esther Freeman,
a lovely lady who was Neil’s Yoga teacher.
( yeah he was a bit of a late flowering hippy….)
Joe took up the bass, Dave and Neil,
the guitars and voices
and they started to try to do something.
They gave themselves the name "Midnight Circus"
and were probably bloody awful but, hey,
it was a good laugh.
In those days there was never a full time drummer
except for one guy,
Paul Angelopolis, an American guy from Florida,
in the same age group as them who wasn’t
half bad except for when he partook
more than he should’ve.
Sadly Paul abused too much and died of a barbituate
overdose at the age of 24.
And that was sort of the end of "Midnight Circus".
By now it was 1977 and there was a change in the air.
So they dropped the name
and reincarnated as "The Flys".
But still no drummer.
Around this time they happened upon a guy named
Chris King who started to take a managerial interest in the lads
as luck would have it, had a younger brother,
Pete King, who was a good drummer and so deserved an audition.
Here was the guy they’d been hoping for years to meet.
And so The Flys became Dave, Joe, Neil and Pete.
Chris had a huge amount of belief in the band
and proposed that he’d set up a small indie label and
sign up the band to release a limited edition 7 inch EP and so
they went off to Pathway studios, an 8 track
in Islington where all the great Stiff recordings had been made,
to spend a Saturday recording their repertoire of 14 songs, or so.
Then 5 of the recordings were chosen, mixed, mastered
and became the EP "Bunch of five" on Chris King’s
"Zama" label which included the titles….
"Love and a Molotov cocktail"
"Can I crash here"
Eventually EMI were to sign the band
after having heard the EP and seeing the band on stage
opening for The Buzzcocks tour in the Autumn of ’77.
A condition of the contract was that the
"Zama" indie release had to be limited to 2,500 copies
as EMI wanted to re-launch with the title
"Love and a Molotov cocktail".
In the late winter of ’78, with EMI money,
they went on a UK nationwide tour opening for
John Otway and Wild Willie Barrett and
as spring arrived moved to London
and started to record their first album for EMI,
"Waikiki beach refugees".
Maybe they’d been too long in each others company,
it’s hard to know exactly
why but rifts started to appear.
The first casualty was Chris.
The Flys were no exception to any other bands in
that they were full of insecurity and that insecurity
pushed Chris away.
Pete continued to play with the band who, by now,
were opening for "The Ruts" around the UK and
playing shows in their own right around Europe
but he was never totally happy without his brother around.
Probably he felt torn in his loyalties,
Which is no surprise and eventually he was offered
the chance to join "After the fire" who,
at the time, were about to tour with ELO.
For Pete this became a dream come true as
ELO’s drummer became to ill to play
and Pete ended up playing drums for ELO for most of the tour.
After Pete they recruited Graham Deakin,
a lay it down Keith Moon type who came to the band
from John Entwhistle’s "Ox".
And so with new drummer, Graham,
the guys went down to a 16 track in Somerset
to record their second album which was to be called "Own".
Although they continued to record more singles, EP’s,
tour and make many TV and Radio appearances
throughout the UK and Europe their time together started to
unravel and in the spring of 1980 they called it quits.
Neil went on to play guitar and record with his sister
Eventually, in the mid 80’s, he moved into the field
of recording and producing working mainly from
Martin Rushent’s "Genetic studios".
David went on to follow a solo career
securing a publishing/ development contract with Dave Stewart.
Eventually Joe joined him, they called themselves
"The lover speaks" and in the ‘90s they were rewarded
with a huge songwriting success when Annie Lennox
covered their song "No more I love you’s".
Sadly Pete succumbed to cancer before he could reach the age of 30.
Graham was never heard from again.
These days Neil lives in Montreal, Canada
producing and performing still.
Joe and his wife split their time between
the UK and the States with their band "Cicero Buck".
David’s a bit of a hermit as of writing.
"Die Toten Hosen" from Germany and
"Duanne Peters" have both covered
"Love and Molotov cocktail".
Hazel included it in one of her TV shows too.
Photo L to R ( taken by Pete Vernon 1978 )
Neil O’Connor - guitar, keys, vox
David Freeman - guitar, vox
Joe Hughes - bass, vox
Pete King - drums
Managers and road crew were………..
Chris King -manager 77 to 78
Mark Rye –manager 78 to 80
Vance Anderson -tour manager 77 to 80
Mick Anderson - backline 77 to 80
Zama-indie - 77 to 78
EMI - 78 to 80
See for miles - re-release in the 90s
Captain Oi - re-release in 2K.
By Neil O Connor.
Review from Alternative Sounds - 1979
THE FLYS - NAME DROPPING / FLY V FLY (EMI)
Get ready for the next Flys single - as the chorus line of the song says, it is amaaazing! Featuring David on vocals, there's some good lyrics for all you posers to sing-along to. There's some nice juicy guitar playing too, and with a catchy tune like this, all I can say is - make way for a hit.
The B Side is a novel little instrumental. The guitar work in it is most unusual - good if you're feeling like a jerky dance.
A single well worth adding to your collection.
7 inch singles
Bunch of fives ep, ZA 10 EP, ZAMA
Love and a molotov cocktail, EMI 2747, EMI
Fun city, EMI 2795, EMI
Waikiki beach refugees, EMI 2867, EMI
Oh Beverly, EMI 2907, EMI
Name dropping, EMI 2936, EMI
Living in the sticks, EMI 2979, EMI
Sixteen down, R 6030, PARLOPHONE
What will mother say, R 6036, PARLOPHONE
Long play vinyl
Four from the square ep, R 6063, PARLOPHONE
Waikiki beach refugees, EMC 3249, EMI
This Coventry, England-based group enjoyed a minor league role in the new wave, but owed more to power-pop and astute songwriting than punk. Singer and guitarist Neil O'Connor (brother of Hazel O'Connor) met school kids David Freeman (guitar, vocals) and Joe Hughes (bass, vocals) in the mid-70s, and formed Midnight Circus, eventually recruiting Pete King on drums. A name change to the Flys coincided with the discovery of punk's first tremors, but a demo in April 1977 brought an apathetic response from the usual channels. The band issued Bunch Of Five, an energetic EP, on their own Zama Records label in time for Christmas. Quick as a flash, EMI Records snapped them up, rushing out one of the EP tracks (and perhaps their finest ever moment), "Love And A Molotov Cocktail", as a single. After a tour with the Buzzcocks and John Otway And Wild Willy Barrett came "Fun City", recorded at Pathway Studios. Waikiki Beach Refugees (also the title of their next single) emerged in October 1978 to an enthusiastic response, while the band toured Europe. 1979 saw a flurry of singles - "Beverley" in February, "Name Dropping" in April and "We Are The Lucky Ones" - but internal quarrels led to the recruitment of a riotous new drummer Graham Deakin (ex-Frankie Miller and John Entwistle's Ox). Flys Own, rawer than their debut, coincided with a tour with the Ruts in autumn 1979. The EP Four From The Square was released in February as the band transferred to Parlophone Records. This was followed by "What Will Mother Say" in May 1980. Internal pressures began to erupt and the Flys broke up soon afterwards. O'Connor joined his sister for two years and two albums before becoming a musical arranger, and then a producer and engineer. Freeman issued a cover version of the Supremes' "Stop! In The Name Of Love", took a degree, published his poetry, sang on Alison Moyet's Raindancing and later formed The Lover Speaks with Hughes (after his spell with ex-Specials Roddy Radiation And His Tearjerkers). Pete King, meanwhile, joined After The Fire, but sadly died aged 26. In 1991 See For Miles Records compiled an excellent self-titled retrospective of the band.