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David St John presents:
CALL UP THE GROUPS 5
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me and intended to be shared on this non commercial outlet. If anybody
wishes to use any of the same, then please get in touch as well as possibly
giving credit where due as well as setting up reciprocal links if relevant
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accompanies any images herein. Thank you and enjoy!
Yet another page full of Sixties nostalgia
which follows on from my previous 4 webpages dedicated to the amazing musical
talent that came out of Southampton and the surrounding area way back in the
late Fifties and early Sixties. To think I only started out my humble
website with a basic home page to promote my professional comedy vocal act just
a few years ago - it has now grown into a 'monster' that has grown so quickly
thanks to the amazing progress and technology of the internet. Many an old
muso or his/her family will have discovered my website via surfing, searching or
word of mouth and I have been overwhelmed with the fantastic feedback from all
over the world as people have got in touch with their own memories.
They have sent me e-mails, often with own
background stories plus rare photographs of groups, musicians, venues and much
more thus enabling me to upload more webpages along the way as well as adding
more in-depth info as new contacts fill the gaps. I am eternally
gratefully to everybody who has been in touch, including old muso pals that I
haven't seen for decades plus new friends who were around the scene at the same
time when I was starting out in the music business but never crossed paths.
Many of us knew of each other and it has been an exciting time for me as a would
be archivist and writer, hoping to finish my first book all based on what is
contained across the pages within this site. Time is always the hurdle and
I will make a New Year's Resolution to get much of it into print and will let
everybody know as and when. In the meantime, please enjoy the following
page and keep coming back from time to time as many webpages will be amended
whenever new input is received.
Once again, you will note my referral back to
Southern Roots and this was an amazing mini encyclopaedia of the Hampshire Beat
Scene which was first painstakingly handwritten by two keen music fans in
Southampton back in 1980 - John Clare and Terry Hounsome. You will
read about this 'Rock Family Tree' type publication on other pages and I am
indebted to John who posted this amazing reference file from his home in
Australia as he and Terry were happy to see it being revived by me and maybe I
can make more time to even write another separate book based on the massive
amount of information contained within the many pages. I would even go so
far as to call it the 'Holy Grail' of Southern Sixties music and beyond as it
covers bands throughout the Seventies as well. OK Pop-Pickers - here we go
I recently received an e-mail from the lead
vocalist of one of Southampton's earliest groups from the early Sixties, and
featured a rare girl singer for those days although many big bands often had
female vocalists as back-up or taking lead vocals on the suitable numbers.
I am copying his superb piece of writing that offers another personal
recollection from the very source and this now kicks off 'Call Up the Groups 5'
as I now bring you:
NICK TROY AND THE TROJANS
featuring Esme Duval!
From Graham Gay (Nick Troy) Photos
Hi, David a friend told me of your recent article in
The Southampton Evening Echo about groups having played at The Royal Pier
Pavilion and Iíve been dusting off my scrap book!
Ah - the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd!
(Or is it the other way round?) The mention of Len Canham takes my mind
straight back to The Royal Pier Pavilion Southampton where I played many
times as Nick Troy and The Trojans. I remember Len introduced us to
theatrical make up. He insisted we used it when playing there. He told us
"If you donít - the stage lights being so powerful will make you all look
like ghosts!" So reluctantly we agreed. At one stage during the 1960s it
seemed we were playing there every other week though in reality it was
probably every other month. We also used to go there to practice. Other
times I remember playing at the Pier Pavilion as well as other local
Saturday night dances including Ford Sports and Social Club annual dance. A
charity Christmas Party for the Southampton Society for Mentally Handicapped
Children and recalling July 24th 1962 we played at an
International Youth Concert.The following year we again played at the
International Youth Concert when it was held at The Guildhall Southampton.
We played with all the great groups that were around
at that time and were good mates with Dave Dee and The Bostons before they
became Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich. We were called Nick Troy and
The Trojans with The Twistettes and then when one of the Twistettes left the
remaining one Esme White became Esme Duval our female vocalist. I guess you
would call us a ĎShow Groupí as we had quite a variety of songs and were
always keen to bring as much fun as possible into it. Nick Troy and The
Trojans started out with four of the five lads all going to the same school,
Hardley County Secondary School Fawley Southampton and initially were
messing about together on bicycles forming a dirt track team where we used
to ride against other teams. When that craze fizzled out, music was enjoyed
I remember we used to meet at Alanís place Ė he was
the drummer and founder of the group and inspired by his parents who had a
large cabinet record player that always used to be blasting out all the
latest American records. Alan would be banging out a beat on an old biscuit
tin I would be making a few vocal noises. (I think they only put up with my
singing because I used to make them laugh) and the other lads after
obtaining their guitars started learning to play the chords. This became our
new obsession and we practiced day and night. The original Group was founder
Alan House on drums, Ken Scadden lead guitar (who was the one who didnít go
to our school) Geoff South rhythm guitar, John Field bass guitar and myself
Graham Gay aka Nick Troy. When we thought we were good enough we played our
first gig at the local youth club calling ourselves The Blueteens and then
The Phantoms but when we found out there was already a group by that name I
came up with Nick Troy and The Trojans and they all said "WHAT!" but
eventually said "OK weíll go with that."
I think our first big booking away from the youth
club was at a Social Dance for the company I used to work for called E.
Mayes and Son in Southampton. I remember we took what limited equipment we
had across on the Hythe ferry to the gig. It went well. (See photo) We had
two singers then the other lad with me was Mike Mellor who I sadly learn has
now passed on. As we started to get more and more bookings, John Field the
bass player had other things he wanted to do he enjoyed the country life
fishing and shooting so he left. Godfrey Lightning came in on bass for a
while and then Rod Chainey. John was still with us though when we appeared
on local T.V. in a talent contest programme called Home Grown in 1962 and we
came second! We did numerous local charity events one of which was for the
Fawley Church Restoration Fund and The St. John Ambulance Brigade who held
three large events in 1962, 1963, and 1965 known as the Solent Barbecue on
Lepe Beach. I remember we were playing on the roof of an old wartime coastal
Another time we played at the Fawley Church summer
fete which was held in our old School at Hardley where the funds went
towards repairing the church bell. After acquiring our own Mini-bus we spent
all our teenage years going up and down the country to various dance halls.
We always used to say at least it kept us out of mischief we didnít get
involved with the Teddy Boys or the Mods. We had some great fun and hope we
gave enjoyment to others. In 1964 we turned professional and did our stint
in Germany and travelled to Frankfurt where we were offered a three-month
contract to play on the American Forces bases. As Geoff was halfway through
his apprenticeship he was unable to join us, so we brought in Tony Andrews
on rhythm and a new bass guitarist Eddie Niziolek and toured the American
Army bases quite an experience. On one of the bases we played with Cherry
Wainer the well known TV Organist and she said that was one of the best
nights she had enjoyed for a long time! On some of the bases the young
American soldiers (who all looked about 8ft. tall) would get dangerously
drunk and fights would break out with tables flying every where and it would
look like a scene from an old Wild West film! We just kept on playing until
the Military Police who carried guns and batons about 3ft. long got things
When we returned from Germany, Esme left to get
married and the rest of us went off to London where we rented the ground
floor of a large house in Chiswick where I met my wife incidentally who was
living in a flat at the top of the house. We all found Ďproperí jobs again
(yes we really did) and a London agent who found us plenty of University and
Pub gigs to play in the evenings which we did for a few years we also made
several demo discs and I remember an audition for E.M.I. but nothing came
from it. Eventually by 1968 we had all married and the group split up. Then
in 2004 when we were all in our 60s we were all reunited again when we met
up at our School Reunion dance and the original five lads played again. It
went so well we did it again the following year.We also did an outdoor gig
locally in July 2005 some of which you can see if you wish on
Sadly in 2007 John Field the original bass player passed on, but since the
reunion the Trojans have continued to do the occasional booking with Eddie
Niziolek on bass who was with us in Germany and London and Alanís daughter
Mandy coming in on vocals has added her bubbly personality to the line up.
Thinking back to the Royal Pier days again and by looking through my scrap
book I see that we played at the Grand closing Gala night when it closed in
1963 to have its first ever face lift. Well thatís it a few more memories to
add to your collection.
All the best Graham Gay aka Nick Troy.
Graham has kindly sent these great photos
that, once again capture the flavour and style of those fantastic early days
NICK TROY AND THE TROJANS
Just had an e-mail contact from original
Trojan- Esme Duval! She had not been in touch with her old pals for many
years, so another successful hook-up via my website- Musos Reunited! This
just a few weeks after the Trojans played at the Concorde 2010 'Back to the
Sixties' show and you can read all about it via the Site Map as usual
The final night at the Royal Pier before the
facelift that revamped Southampton's finest dance hall
courtesy Southern Evening Echo 1963
This is another rare photo taken at the
legendary Star Club Hamburg around August 1962 and shows a young Tex Roberg with
his band. Treading the same boards as those young tearaway Beatles and
these guys must have some great memories of those wild days which saw many
English groups going over to earn money and enjoy the racy nightlife of this
busy port. This memento kindly sent by Paul Roux along with some info below.
David Roux Johnny
Watson, Tex Roberg
Paul Roux and John Roux.
I played with the Graduates and Tex Roberg
Johnny Watson was our drummer. He left to join Tony Sheridan and the
Star band in The Star Club where we were the first band to play on
that stage with The Beatles. Johnny Watson did play with Vince
Taylor and Joe Brown at Butlins.Had the Beatles not chosen Ringo to
replace Pete Best just prior to our second season at the Star club
with the Beatles they would have taken Johnny Watson as their
drummer. This is something Johnny is always reminding me of.
The Graduates line up was Paul Roux, David Roux, John Roux and
Peter Brien later replaced by Johnny Watson. I Have many stories of
those early days at The Star Club. I will send a picture of us with Tex and Johnny with Roy Young
playing piano for us on the stage in The Star Club.
Paul Roux has also dug up these rare 1961
posters showing the Graduates and many more well known names from that era -
hoping to get more photos in time but these really bring it all back to so many
who were there!
Once again - another old pal has found this site and I haven't
been in touch with him for nearly 44 years! If you have already read
through my Biography page then you will have learnt about some of my bands from
64-72 although I was singing well before then as well as trying to get a band
together. Around 64/65 I left my first band in The Abdo-Men with
Beau to join one of the best groups in the area and formerly known as the
Planets before a name change to The Unforgiven (old John Wayne movie).
This Eastleigh based outfit consisted of Eddie Harnett (voc/gtr) Steve Newman
(bass) later replaced by Graham Medley and the first drummer- Dave Bunney, who
is now back amongst this fold of 60s musicians spread across my website! I
received this e-mail:
Hi I have just spoken to Roy Roberts (Meddy Evils)
re your web site. My name is Dave Bunney and I played drums in the Planets,
Unforgiven and Meddy Evils. I now live in Honiton Devon and would loved to
have gone to the Concorde for the Reunions I have old photos, paper
cuttings and posters of the groups I played in if you would like copies?
When the Meddy Evils broke up, I joined a band
called Snapshot with Graham Sherin (gtr) Roger Lewis (bass) and myself on
drums and vocals. I recall you with the Unforgiven.and also remember Tom
Frosbury who left to join the police force! Graham medley then joined the
band and not forgetting Tony Cook who was the manager.We won the Eastleigh
Carnival 'Battle of the Bands' competition and the Sleepwalkers came second.
I had started my drumming career with the Sleepwalkers in 1962 with
Ray Smith (gtr) Mick Fern (bass) myself on drums, I also have photos
of this band if you want to get in touch as I would love to have a chat.
I had a good chat with Dave who still
plays drums, as well as singing with guitar etc-he loves this website and looking forward to hooking up with old pals as
well as sending me some more great images and here they are:
3s.6d eh? Just over 17 new pence!
Dave Bunney - the girls loved him!!
Bishopstoke Memorial Hall Eastleigh alongside Jimmy Mack and the
Unfortunately, this was the last night for Rick the new lead
singer as he had only been with the group for two weeks but he wasn't really as
good as everybody wanted so he was politely asked to leave!
The Park Ballroom Southampton 'Shake & Twist' night!
Note half-price for girls..........
Later Sleepwalkers were Ray Smith
(gtr) Danny Churchill (bass) and was replaced by Mick Fern.
The Imperial Ballroom above Burtons Tailors Eastleigh - run by
One of our favourite
venues (apart from lugging gear up the stairs)
We had a residency at the Junction Hotel next to Eastleigh
Railway Station (now a car park!)
The Forbidden Fruit
Hedge End WMC
Roger Lewis Dave Bunney Graham Sherrin
(probably named after some of the young girls that hung around
the bands back then...........)
Business card - go on- ring the number!
Trusty old Bedford Dormobile as used by many of us
Dave with Roy and John Roberts - late 60s Meddy Evils
John Roberts (Meddy) wedding day 1972 with brother Roy and
Dave at the Potters Heron restaurant (popular band venue)
More old photos from Dave B:
Sleepwalkers- winners of East Winchester Talent Contest
One of the judges was Saints& England footballer Terry Paine
Outside former Prices (Bakery) Social Club This was previously an old school but then developed as
the new Concorde Club in the early Seventies.
I finally hooked up with Dave B again in March 2011, when he
came along to our special Eddie Harnett tribute day (see blog 20102011 pages) at
the Irish Club in Eastleigh- just a few yards across the main road from where
the old Junction Hotel once stood. This is where the Unforgiven were the
resident band but now its the main station carpark, so finally met up with Dave
again along with many other local musicians- here is photo of the original 1965
line-up as we remembered Eddie in music and chat. You can read more on my
Biography page- see Site Map
Dave SJ- Beau-Dave B- Steve Newman
Great stuff from Dave Bunney and here he is pictured playing
guitar and still singing!
Throgmorton Hall Dunkeswell. Nr. Honiton Devon
Once again, I am indebted to all contributors and look
forward to hearing more memories from new sources. Please come back soon as this new
webpage will certainly be updated with new nostalgia and maybe YOUR old group?
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