BACK TO HOME PAGE                                   BACK TO SITE MAP                                      CONTACT DAVID

David St John presents:

CALL UP THE GROUPS 5

*Loads of pics - let it load*

If returning to this page- you might need to 'Refresh' it (use F5 key)

COPYRIGHT

Please note that many images contained within this website may be subject to copyright, although many have been kindly sent to 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 to the actual content on any webpage. Please note that I am able to monitor any image-copying and if published on other websites. I would appreciate any contact to report broken/outdated links and any corrections to the text that accompanies any images herein.  Thank you and enjoy!

 

December 2008

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 again!

 

 

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 below!

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 by all.

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 defence building.

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 under control.

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 www.watersidearts.org.uk. 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

 

 

 

 

February 2010

 

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

 

February 2009

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.

   

L-R                        Roy Young                    David Roux          Johnny Watson,          Tex Roberg             Paul Roux and John Roux.
 

Paul writes

Dave

I played with the Graduates and Tex Roberg and  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

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!

 

 

                 

 

                

 

                                                                      

 

 

February 2009

 

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.

 Regards  Dave Bunney

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:

 

SLEEPWALKERS

                                                     Ray Smith                       Dave B                         Mick fern

                                                                Danny Churchill                                                Dave B                                                      Ray Smith

 

3s.6d eh? Just over 17 new pence!

 

Dave Bunney - the girls loved him!!

 

                                                                 Danny                      Dave                   Rick                                 Ray

Bishopstoke Memorial Hall Eastleigh alongside Jimmy Mack and the Beatfinders

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 John Ferris

One of our favourite venues (apart from lugging gear up the stairs)

 

Dave Bunney/Unforgiven

We had a residency at the Junction Hotel next to Eastleigh Railway Station (now a car park!)

 

The Forbidden Fruit

 Hedge End WMC 1979 

L-R           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 1961!                                    Dave                 Ray              Danny

                     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.      

 

         

 

SNAPSHOT 1980

 

      

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

Unforgiven 2011

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?

 

 

Back to top

 BACK TO HOME PAGE                                   BACK TO SITE MAP                                      CONTACT DAVID

© copyright David St John 2008