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David St John presents:


*Loads of pics - let it load*


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 I would appreciate any contact to report broken/outdated links and any corrections to the text that accompanies any images herein.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!



September 2009


I never dreamed that my little old website would grow to such a collection of nostalgic images and personal memories of those Swinging Sixties but here we go again!  With the advent of broadband and more 'silver surfers' finding this website by a search engine or by someone telling them all about it, I have been deluged with messages from all over the world!  It has been a labour of love and I get tremendous 'feelgood' when hearing from new and old acquaintances as well as receiving the photos and recollections that have been hiding away in many a loft or a memory for decades.  Not forgetting the way in which I have been able to put so many people in touch with old pals, bandmates and even family members after several years- my own 'Friends ReUnited' so to speak!



It also helped to kickstart the very successful 'Back to the Sixties' shows at Southampton's Concorde Club in 2008/2009 and you can read all about this via the Site Map and linked pages plus loads of music-related pages as well.  Having recently finished off with 'Call Up The Groups 8' I have now been in touch with more musicians and fans of the Southern 60s music scene so this is the latest offering and please enjoy!  I repeat myself, but I am always interested in hearing from anybody who has their own memories or rare photos that can be shared with the world through my webpages as well as putting people in touch or answering queries if possible.  As I often receive new unseen photos of those already mentioned across my website, I either insert them into the relevant section or just keep adding new bits and pieces as each new 'Call Up The Groups' page evolves.  The whole site has expanded so much and so quickly which means I sometimes have to double check and catalogue each page plus content!


January 2009


I am often contacted by 60s music fans from all over the world, including people who are involved in writing books, setting up their own websites and much more. This provides us all with a chance to swap info and the images, most of which have been sent by others of course, and the question of copyright is a grey area due to the age of most old photos etc.   Also, not forgetting that this is not a commercial site as such, so more of a file-sharing setup although it's only fair that people should share credits and maybe set up reciprocal links on each others websites.


I had a great mail from Rolf Hannet over in Hamburg Germany, who is involved with Bear Family Records as well as producing a CD ROM called 'Another Taste Of Forbidden Fruit'  This amazing CD is a virtual encyclopaedia of British plus Irish rock and pop music from the Sixties and focussed on general pop, psychedelia, R&B and Folk Rock.  Rolf sent me a copy but it got filed away but just recovered plus a CD containing these superb images below.



Rick Brown and the HiLites were one of the top British bands that went over to Germany in the early 60s, and made several records including this CBS L.P. below.  I guess that the Beatles' success pushed every record company into advertising every group as 'from Liverpool' - quite fashionable back then!




Rolf also included these rare press clippings:


Rob Chance and the Chances R (see other webpages)







Hampshire Heritage Daily Echo Southampton 8 July 2009


Once again, the local Daily Echo printed a superb article on the Royal Pier as part of its very popular 'Hampshire Heritage' section compiled by their own Keith Hamilton. I gave permission for some of my text and images to be used and the resulting article was published as above with a generous mention to my website as it is getting more coverage across the area and across the world!  The photos show the old Pavilion Ballroom entrance, prior to its makeover under the Mecca banner and where Johnny Dymond first made his own mark on the local dance circuits, rapidly becoming the top DJ for miles around  (see other piece down the page) To the left is a photo of the Strangers pop group with Tony Collier, Brian 'Fergy' Ferguson and Brian Oram.  Fergy was with Len Canham's Three Stars along with guitarist (turned drummer) Johnny Watson and these guys were my first backing group as I made my debut there in 1958 at the grand old age of ten.  This is all documented elsewhere on these pages so please enjoy a stroll down memory lane with my very own Hampshire Heritage! 


The lower photo shows the current Pier jetty which has been derelict for many years although the front entrance hall has been gloriously restored as Kutis Royal Pier Thai Restaurant and one of the finest eating establishments in the South.  There is talk of massive redevelopment around this waterside area and perhaps a new dance hall might rise phoenix-like out of the burnt out shell that still stands defiantly over the water below. Top right photo shows Nick Troy and the Trojans with John Field, Ken Scudden, Geoff South, Alan House and singer Graham Gay kneeling at the front.


Here is the text reproduced from this article by kind permission of the Daily Echo and offers another glimpse at a piece of modern history.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Reflections of Hampshire from days gone by.

Compiled by Keith Hamilton

Anyone wandering down to Southampton's Royal Pier 46 years ago hoping to spend a pleasant couple of hours dozing in a deckchair would have been in for a big disappointment. The pier was closed from May to September in 1963 for a major facelift to the old Mecca Ballroom - in those days was an incredibly popular entertainment venue. It was here that rock 'n' roll was first heard in Southampton as dancers tried out the steps for the new dance craze of jiving. The list of singers, musicians and pop groups who regularly appeared on the ballroom's stage is a Who's Who of Southampton stars of the 60s. Who can ever forget the Meddy Evils, Blackjacks, The Brooks Brothers, Ricky and the HiLites, the Dominoes, the Strangers and Five Rays?

The history and photographs of all these groups and many more beside have been brought together by former Southampton singer David St John, who fronted many groups during the 1960s and early 1970s before going on to a solo career. Now living near Birmingham, David, still a professional entertainer, has catalogued a huge amount of information about the groups who performed in Southampton during the 1960s. The final line-up for the last night, when admission cost six shillings (30p), before the pier closed featured Ricky and the Hi-Lites, Nick Troy and the Trojans together with vocalist Esme Duval.


The Daily Echo, reporting the pier's temporary closure, said: "The final event at the pavilion, one of the teenage shows which have been branded with the 'Its cool man' popularity in recent years, marks the closure of Southampton's only 'seaborne' dance hall. The general restructure will reshape the entire pavilion area and also allow for the provision of better catering facilities and improved amenities for the public." Over the months the ballroom was to undergo wide-ranging changes designed to enlarge the venue and improve the surroundings and facilities on the pier.

The main structural alteration was a 24ft extension on the Harbour Board side of the pier together with a brand new look frontage to the ballroom. Inside a new dance-floor was being laid, the stage lowered, a new ceiling installed, dressing rooms were upgraded together with the construction of a backstage office. The Daily Echo reminded readers: "Way back in Victorian times the pavilion was opened as a roller-skater's paradise. Came the First World War and then in the 1920s and 1930s, the Royal Pier pavilion was a popular spot for the dancing throngs. Just as the not-so-faraway South Western Hotel was the rendezvous for banquets and big functions. During the Second World War the pavilion became haven for men in khaki as well as refugees and also a target for German bombers. The pavilion remained closed for eight years from the outbreak of war. It was reopened with a dab of paint here and there in the summer of 1947 with a five shilling (25p) dance."

Sadly these days the Mecca ballroom is no more, a victim of a serious fire that destroyed the pavilion in 1987 and another blaze five years later.



Some who knew me from way back are familiar with my days at Itchen Grammar School, having passed the 11 Plus Exam in 1960 and securing a place at this great seat of learning.  I did fairly well in a range of subjects with English and French to the fore although was often in trouble for what was perceived as 'insolence' - I called it a natural right to freedom of speech when questioning some of the (old fashioned) teaching methods!   I often had a taste of the headmaster's cane for my troubles and gradual apathy soon had an effect on my studies plus my new found musical influences thanks to the Beatles, Stones and others who inspired many a teenage lad at that time.  My hair was also getting long and shaggy so that all helped to seal my fate and resulted in my being asked not to stay on for sixth form in 1964, so then made my way into the wide world of day jobs and singing with the first of my real pop groups and what lay beyond.  Great choice.


There was another Issonian (official title for Itchen Grammar pupils) by the name of Duncan Campbell who was a couple of years ahead of me and he was also a fledgling musician with the longest hair imaginable!  The Rolling Stones set the first wave of long hair in 1963, then followed by the Pretty Things fronted by Phil May who sported a massive 'barnet' down his back , which really upset many of the older generation at that time!  Duncan sang and played guitar/bass with his first band The Countdowns, so were able to play at the school hall which really boosted the 'pulling power' of any band member as far as the girls were concerned.  Being a younger sprog at the school, I never really had any contact with him and recalled his later success with the Mojos, fronted by lead singer Stu James from Liverpool who reformed his recording group who had a superb hit with 'Everything's Alright' in 1964 which reached no. 9 in the UK charts followed by a classic 'Seven Golden Daffodils' in the same year but then it all faded away.  Stu moved down to Southampton and launched the new Mojos who were one of the finest groups in the area, along with Duncan and my good pal Eddie Harnett who was with me in the Unforgiven - it's all documented on my other group pages

Late September 2009 and up pops this surprise e-mail sent from Duncan Campbell via a local friends' computer on the beautiful island of Tenerife and here it is although slightly edited in the realm of good taste!


Tenerife September 2009

My sister recently sent me some stuff that she had downloaded from the Internet - Call up the Groups! Very interesting, but where to start?

We went to the same school - Itchen Grammar and I remember Barrie Palmer who was a great mate of mine. I lost touch with Barrie years ago, though I did have some contact with him when he went to live in California and wrote some songs for a Ben E. King album.

Chris Shakespeare? I wasn't into soul music at that time, but still realized what a brilliant band the Globe Show were. I later even played with them, on a Ben E. King tour, when Bruce Roberts got married. The bass player (I can't remember his name) switched to guitar and I played bass. An anecdote there is when Ben E. sent a message to me through the bands manager, Dave Jay, to tell me that in one of the songs I was playing too many notes. But it wasn't Stand By Me, we all knew that one backwards, didn't we? And note for note!

What have I been doing these last thirty three years? It could fill a book, and probably one day will. The Mojos, who became Natural Birth, split up before a single produced by Simon Napier-Bell and Ray Singer was released. This was called ‘Life Is What You Make It To Be’ and, interestingly, a lot of people who've heard it over the years have remarked on how much the vocal harmonies - with several studio overdubs - sound very like Queen. Except this was a number of years before Queen were even formed. The split of the band can only be described as acrimonious. The greed of one of its members was to blame. And it was a shame, because at a gig with Emperor Rosko at Winchester Town Hall - to whom we gave a copy of the single - he played it on his Saturday morning radio show the following day. This was virtually unheard of in those days- the record wasn't on the BBC play list and this was six weeks before its release.

We were convinced that the record would have made it onto the BBC play list, which, as you will know, virtually guaranteed a top twenty hit. And then we thought, the sky would have been the limit. The producers thought we had what it took. There were, after all, four songwriters in the band -Stu James, Ernie Harnett, Dannie ("shame about the hair") Barbour and myself, all writing in different styles. But soon afterwards things turned sour, and bye bye ‘Natural Birth’ and I still believe to this day, stardom. Still, that, as they say, is the way the cookie (sometimes) crumbles... When the band split up, I was so disillusioned with the industry that I became a DJ.

I had been in the Mojos/Natural Birth something like five years, never earning any money, travelling all over the the UK and parts of Europe, sometimes sleeping in the van to save money on B&Bs. Not exactly a glamorous lifestyle, but you'll probably know all about that. Still, the groupies were some consolation...

A chain of circumstances, which I won't go into here, brought me to the godforsaken rock of Tenerife. In a three-piece acoustic group with Eddie Harnett and Glen Conway- the James Dean look-alike. While here at that time, I got to know the manager of the complex we were working in, and some six months after returning to the UK he rang me and offered me the DJ's job in the complex's discotheque.

I jumped at the opportunity. Sun, fun and free drinks and all that. I was pretty fed up with the UK as I had witnessed a society that was becoming every day more violent and selfish. The job as a DJ lasted for about a year, and then I had problems with my work permit, or lack of it, so I ended up becoming a tour operator's rep for British Airways Holidays. I looked lovely in my dress and high heels, waving my clipboard around in the airport, as I am sure you can imagine.

I continued to write and record songs on my little Tascam 4 track and basically for my own pleasure. But one of these ditties - "Love Machine", with Bruce Roberts kind of rapping - was included on a cassette which the Bruce Roberts Band used to sell at gigs. The group at that time featured Bruce on guitar, Roger Pope on drums, Ronnie Taylor on saxophone, and Fred Brown on bass.

I was particularly proud of this as also on the cassette were songs not only by the Bruce Roberts Band, but Neil Young (still one of my many heroes), Otis Redding, and John Lennon - once one of my heroes, but after an incident which I am about to describe, he ceased to belong to this club.

In the early sixties, the Beatles were playing at the Gaumont  Southampton.  A friend of mine and I bunked off school, and went to wait with autograph books in sweaty hands at the stage door of the theatre. The tour bus rolled up and the Beatles got off. I approached Lennon and politely asked him for his signature, he pushed me in the chest and told me to f**k off! Nice, eh? And it was this man who later wrote Imagine and All You Need Is Love??? Hypocritical ****!

Incidentally, on that same package show bill, was Roy Orbison. My friend and I were hanging around the Gaumont car park after the Beatles had arrived, and up rolled this huge American car. Roy was behind the wheel. Compared with John Lennon, he was a gentleman. He signed autographs and chatted happily for five minutes or more, before rushing off to practice his high notes. Civility, as they say, costing nothing.

Once, on a holiday back in the UK from Tenerife, I played congas with Bruce's band at a gig somewhere in Ocean Village. My fingers swelled up like bananas.

I first started my "part-time conga playing career" with Platform, remember them? Bruce, Pete Hunt - one of my all time favourite drummers - and Maggot (John Cartwright) one of my all time favourite bass players, guitar players, keyboard players, and songwriters, on bass. A brilliant little three piece! Well, four, when I was whacking out funky conga beats, too, and adding the odd harmony vocal. Their/our version of Sugar Sugar was something else! At the time I was still working as a DJ at the Adam and Eve, amongst other joints and also had my "mini, mono, mobile, mostly-soul discotheque, but whenever I had a night off I'd be there with Platform. I remember some gigs at the Sir Walter Tyrell, especially, which should have been recorded for posterity. They were that good.

Oh yes, and Bruce, Pete, and Maggot were The Wallabees, too. Well, my backing band actually, on that great (?) single on President records- "Do The Kangaroo"which sold about 80 copies nationwide, after being pilloried on his record review show by Noel Edmonds. Twat! I mean, how can you possibly respect the judgement of a man who invented Mr. f*****g Blobby??? I've always imagined that it was him who stopped it reaching the BBC play list, because it would have done well. How do I know this? I shall tell you.

At that stage of my ‘career’ I was working Saturday afternoons for the kids' session, and Saturday nights for the adults, at the ballroom on the end of the Royal Pier. One Saturday afternoon, the kids starting to get a bit out of control as they often did, and I told them I had invented a new dance called the Kangaroo, which consisted of, well, jumping up and down like a kangaroo. They loved it. They jumped up and down so much that I thought some of them were going to go through the ballroom floor and into the sea below

After the kids session, I went home before returning for the evening session. I sat down at my battered, old upright piano and wrote the song in about fifteen minutes. One evening during the week, Maggot and I did a demo of it in the little recording studio at the ramshackle cottage in the New Forest in which he lived in at the time. The following Saturday I played it to the kids, and they thought it was brilliant. It was subsequently recorded and released, only for Noel Edmonds to put his spanner in the works.

I'm leaping around all the place here, but to go back to Roger Pope - he and I actually played in our first group together- "The Countdowns" with Roger on drums, me on lead guitar (?), Chris Tappin on rhythm guitar, and John "Rubber Lips" Bickle on bass. We were really pretty awful, except for Roger.


St Marks Youth Club Woolston Southampton

One Saturday night, supporting Johnny Keeping and the Lonely Ones at a dance in the school hall at Itchen Grammar, I suspected that Roger was going to be poached by them, so good was he. And he was. The rest, as you know, is history. The Soul Agents etc. And as far as I'm concerned, one of the best pop/rock drummers ever. I mean, Elton and Daryl Hall and John Oates don't just use any old skin beater, do they? Of course they don't.

Here's another amusing anecdote concerning the Southampton FC song/record from 1973. It was first written - at Bob James of Avenue Artistes suggestion - as: "We're All Off To Munich (To Take Part In The Games)" the idea being that the Olympic athletes would sing it and it would be on Top Of he Pops and we'd all make loads of money. Ho! Ho! Ho! The A.A.A., which was very amateur in those days, wanted nothing to do with it. So we were stuck with a backing track that had cost a good deal of money. It was Bob who suggested re-writing the words for Soton FC. which I subsequently did.

The club agreed to make the record, and acetates (remember them?) with me singing the song, were sent to all the players so they could learn the ditty. On the big day I went up to London in a car with Bob James, a producer from Southern TV and ‘Saints’ legend Mick Channon - one of my footballing heroes. A lovely guy but let’s just say that his academic level didn’t quite match his skills on the pitch during his glory days………

At the studio, we discovered that none of the players knew the song. The only player who had a record player (?) was Terry Paine and he didn't bother to turn up. He was too busy practising his dribbling - you should have seen the state of his shirt afterwards.

So, there I was, hair halfway down my back, the scruffiest person for miles around, teaching the players the song by playing it on the huge grand piano in Phillips studio. The recording completed, Dave Dee walked into the studio and commented "Who wrote this f******g crap?" I had to own up. I mean, I knew it was f****g crap, but I didn't need him telling me, did I? I was just glad he didn't have his whip with him!


Anyway, I made a bit of dosh out of that "f*****g crap" and became fairly friendly with several of the players, Hugh Fisher in particular. Just to end a truly wonderful day, Bob James was staying the night in London, he hadn't told me this earlier, so, being broke, as always, I had to get him to lend me the train fare home. Back to reality as it were... Oh, and if it helps, The Wallabees single came out in 1972.


Anyway- to the present. I now teach English, and am writing a lot of stories, not songs. Stuff for older children mostly, but a bit cutting edge, and I'm crossing my fingers that a literary agent a friend of mine knows will be able to help me to get some of these stories published. I have in fact written five books. You have to, to learn how to write.


Well, that's enough for now, except to say that if you go on the Internet and punch in The Sh*t Song, you'll be able to hear the song and watch the video, which a friend of mine in the UK made initially without my knowledge. (The * in the title of the ditty on Internet is actually an "i"). This was another ditty recorded on my small, four-track Tascam. I hope some of these memories are of interest to you, there are of course many more


Duncan Campbell


I called Duncan at his Tenerife home and we had a terrific chat about so much music plus our Grammar School days and much more.  His great memories above will certainly be enjoyed by many of the musos, pals and fans who remember his great input with loads more stories to come at some stage.  He is not really into computers apart from his own writing but I'm hoping that he will be online at some stage in the future so will be able to keep up with what's going on back here in the UK and on this website.  He kindly sent these photos and will try and dig up some more from whichever part of the world he has stored them. I have also included Duncan's own amusing descriptions of each image. Oh by the way- yes he still has long hair (but greying nicely!)


"The Countdowns playing Itchen Grammar School in 1963. Me on the left (playing lead guitar (?) and singing, and with my recently acquired Paul McCartney hairstyle)  John Bickle on bass, with lips to rival Mick Jagger's Roger Pope on drums and  Chris "Watch out Bruce Welch, your days are numbered!" Chris Tappin on rhythm guitar and on the right at the back, an electric piano player whose name I don't recall...

Itchen College 2006 (former Grammar School)  DSJ collection





"The frilly shirted Mojos - me wearing an especially poovey scarf. I "borrowed" it from my mum. She almost killed me when she found out. She never had a rock'n'roll soul. Stu James on the left. Moi in the middle, and Eddie Harnett on the right. If I remember rightly, this was a gig at the village hall in Horsham."



"The third photo is of myself, Eddie Harnett  again, and Glen Conway, having just arrived in Tenerife airport in. I estimate, 1972. The guy between Glen and Eddie was a reporter."



November 28th 2009  E-mail from an early Countdown!

Hi David

A friend recently asked me if I knew anything about the Soul Agents knowing that I once played in a group with Roger Pope. I didn`t but decided to look on the web for any info and, lo and behold, I found your mine of nostalgia! I joined up with Roger and Duncan Campbell in about 1961,prior to that they had been in a group with Barry Palmer and Bob Thomas(?) and were called The VanDells, I think. This group broke up and I  joined Roger and Duncan and we became The Dunc Campbell Combo.  We used to practise occasionally in my parents kitchen on a Saturday evening (they went out!) and I remember making cups of tea during the fag breaks and Roger would eat all the chocolate biscuits ( how rock`n`roll is that!).

We played mostly youth clubs, school dances and village halls usually for very little or no cash. Duncan and I had guitars made for us by a good friend Terry Hall, not exactly Strats but very cheap.However, quite often I`d finish the evening with bleeding fingers. Roger had an old blanket stuffed into his bass drum to stop it sounding like something out of the Salvation Army. John Bickell joined after I met him when we both had Saturday jobs stacking shelves in a supermarket, we were both still at school (King Edwards not Itchen) but didn`t know each other. He told me he played bass guitar and was immediately recruited. The name of the group was changed to The Countdowns at about this time, the idea coming from the title of a Dave Brubeck Quartet LP who Roger and his dad Ron were into..

Still mainly an instrumental group we tried to introduce some vocals into the act. I couldn`t even whistle in tune so I left to the other three. Roger surprised us all when he said he wanted to sing  " If I had a hammer " the old Trini Lopez hit, but he did a good job and it made a break from all those drum breaks. However we realised we needed a vocalist and Ray Taylor ( aka Layne Rogers ) came to audition for the job. We ran through a few old rock numbers and some more up to date songs and it wasn`t too bad, so we told him we had a booking that weekend and we`d give him a try. As he was the only one who auditioned we had no choice but to give him the job!  He was a great Elvis fan and what he didn`t tell us was that he had a stage suit which was a copy of an outfit worn by Elvis in a film. On the night after a few numbers Duncan announced that we had a new singer and asked for a big hand for LAYNE ROGERS ! . On walks Ray wearing what could only be described  as a cowboy suit, we were dumbstruck. Later in the evening Duncan introduced him for another set but this time he introduced him as ROY ROGERS. Ray took it well,got the hint and ditched the suit. 

Mike Rowthorn joined shortly after Ray and then in quick succession Duncan and I left the group, Roger went on to bigger and better things and that`s where my memories of the Countdowns end.  It was great to read the Emails of John and Duncan and to see the photos, I can`t find my photos at the moment but will forward them as and when. Apart from meeting up with Duncan in Tenerife 10 years ago -photo attached - he`s the hairy one!) I`ve lost all contact with the other guys.I wasn`t able to get to the Concorde for the two previous shows but I`m hoping to make the one in January and hopefully meet up with some old friends. Thanks for all the work and effort you`ve put into producing so many happy memories.

Chris & Duncan Tenerife 1999

Chris Tappin

Chris now lives near Oxford and still plays some guitar but with 'stiff little fingers' (musical quote) 




I am in constant touch with many old pals including Steve Newman who played bass guitar with Eastleigh's Planets around 1964.  They later became The Unforgiven as I joined this top rated band along with Beau as we left the Abdo-Men in 1965, but Steve was replaced by Graham Medley along with Eddie Harnett (lead gtr/vocals) and Dave Bunney (drms) who was then replaced by Ronnie Allen.  Groups were often reforming and juggling for a variety of reasons and Steve went on  to play with many other bands and now lives in leafy Surrey working in I.T. but still gigging away with his own current band and odd sit-ins with others.


 He joins a long line of musicians who have raided their lofts to dig up old photos, cuttings, posters and much more memorabilia that has been added to my webpages.  Maybe not worth considering for a Sothebys auction but worth their weight in gold by so many 60s fans who can get a taste of what it was like back in those glorious carefree days.  Steve came across this yellowing press cutting from the Eastleigh Weekly News dated Thursday 20th August 1964 and a write-up for the very popular 'Big Beat' contest staged as part of the local Carnival Week.   Local bands competed in this competition and I have managed to scan the cutting and used OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to copy the original text from a hard copy printout of the .pdf  file as sent by Steve- this will answer any technical queries out there!  Here is the original image and followed by a text version that offers a poignant glimpse into how local press reporters conveyed the atmosphere albeit with slightly old-fashioned phrases coined by older journalists!



courtesy Steve Newman (+family photos!)         

Eastleigh Weekly News

Thursday 20th August 1964

‘BIG BEAT’   -        A ‘BIG HIT’

Teenagers crammed Hall for new contest

"I do not think any town of a comparable size could produce groups as talented as these," commented Mr. Bert Osborne, the band leader, who was one of the adjudicators at the "Borough of Eastleigh Big Beat Contest," which proved a popular Carnival attraction at the Town Hall on Monday. The contest, open to groups from within the borough, was won by "Tony Temple and the Deacons," with the "Planets" as runners-up and the "Wheels of Fortune" in third place.


This was the first year the championship had been held and it attracted an entry of six groups. The support from teenagers was so great that the hall was packed before the contest began, and a large number were unable to gain admittance. A feature, however, was the excellent behaviour of all the young people taking part.

In addition to the groups in the first three places, those also competing were "The Kurlews", "Barry and the Square Four" and "The Renegades". Mr. Osborne, who was assisted as adjudicator by Mr. Percy Hampton, former professional drummer with the Sidney Lipton and Jack Jackson bands, said all the entrants reached an exceptionally high standard.


The groups were judged on musical ability, entertainment, value, personality and appearance.

Announcing that the cup and first prize would go to "The Deacons", Mr. Osborne said they had given a beat as good as any he had heard on radio, television or anywhere else. "As this is a beat contest I feel we have no alternative but to give them the award," he added. "They had a cleverly arranged programme which was full of contrast."

Mr. Osborne said "The Planets" were very close behind in second place. He thought the members of this group were such natural personalities that they "registered" without playing a note, but they also performed excellently. There was very little between the first two groups.

In third place, only half a point separated the "Wheels of Fortune" from the other three groups taking part


There was special praise from the adjudicators for the drummers in the "Kurlews" and the "Square Four" groups. One of the things which impressed the adjudicators was the enthusiasm shown by all the competitors and their supporters. "If I could have had such keenness in all my bands as shown by these young people I would have got much further," Mr. Osborne said. "They showed a tremendous amount of interest. My only quarrel with them is that they use too much volume."


Thanks were expressed to Mr. Osborne and Mr.Hampton by the Mayor Coun. J. C. J. Glasspool J.P. who also spoke in appreciation of all who had helped with the contest and all the boys and girls who had come along to spend a good evening and help the carnival


"Tony Temple," the 17 year old leader of the "Deacons", is in private life Tony Scott of  Monks Way Eastleigh, a fitter in Portsmouth Dockyard. He is the group's vocalist

Roy Bollinger (18). of Underwood Road Bishopstoke, the lead guitar, is an estimator at Pirelli General Cable Works. Malcolm HolloWayVine (18) the bass guitarist, of Pasefield Avenue. Eastleigh, is a junior salesman in a large Southampton store. The drummer, Ian Ashton (17) of  George Street, Eastleigh, is a junior salesman in an outfitting store. Latest addition to the group is organist Tony Styles (19), an apprentice electrician who lives in Southampton.


Leader of "The Planets" is Eddie Harnett (17), who plays the guitar and lives at Falcon Square, Eastleigh, with another member of the group, John Drever (16) who supplies the rhythm. Also in the group are David Carr (15) drummer, of  Greenfinch Close. Eastleigh, and Steve Newman (16), of Hocombe Road, Chandler's Ford. The group is managed by Mr. Tony Cook, of Underwood Road, Bishopstoke. Mr. Jack Richardson was compere for the contest and he was assisted by a 19-year-old "disc jockey," "Jane".

You may recognise some of the names of musicians and groups above and they can be found on other webpages within this site.


JOHNNY DYMOND- 21st Century PR!

Johnny Dymond - the South's top 60s DJ is all over this website (like a rash!) and I am eternally grateful to him as he has supplied so much info and rare photos from the glory days when he ruled the roost at the Royal Pier Pavilion (Mecca) and Top Rank Suite amongst other legendary Southampton music venues.  We have become good mates over the last few years although he is now based in Spain and enjoying the usual sun, sea, sand and................


He recently popped back to the UK and was interviewed by reporter Duncan Eaton and was featured in the Echo Weekend Supplement of the 12th September 2009 so here are the images and write-up.  John was rather miffed at not being the main front page headliner instead of Michael Ball (great name- how singular!) and has instructed his solicitors to take the necessary action along with his publicist Max Clifford.  Images courtesy of the Echo


                                                 JD 'Singing legend'?                                                                          The published feature


Duncan Eaton speaks to Johnny Dymond, a legend from Southampton's thriving 60s club scene dubbed as 'Mr Romance'


His velvet tones over the twin-deck turntable probably led to thousands of couples tripping up the aisle.

For Johnny Dymond was Southampton's king matchmaker. In the 60s a night at the Mecca ballroom at the end of the Royal Pier was a must on most teenager's weekly social calendar. Afterwards it was a quick dash across the promenade to catch the late bus home.

It always seemed to be raining and the girls would have had to be rescued by the lads after getting their stiletto heels stuck between the decks. Johnny, who is now 66, was a DJ for more than 45 years. Although he retired a year ago, he still has a yearning to return to the turntables. It was as a teenager in his native Cleethorpes that he discovered that he had a talent for being a DJ and connecting with an audience.

Today he is still touching many lives as a highly successful spiritual healer - a role that has taken him many times across the Atlantic. But those disc jockey and bingo calling days at the Mecca are still close to his heart

Today he lives in Spain and was visiting friends in Fair Oak when I caught up with him to talk about those carefree days in the 60s when there was a never-ending production line of pop groups. 'It was an era you will never get back. We had the best days. Well you remember them. You were there," says Johnny as he jabs a friendly finger towards the interviewer who can also recall those groovy days at the Mecca! Showbiz entrepreneur Len Canham, who was Southampton's Mr Entertainment, dubbed Johnny "Mr Romance" for the way he created those smoochy nights at the pier. For Johnny would light the blue touchpaper that ignited many a romance. As he took another sip of his coffee Johnny recalled: "We wanted something for a Monday night to get people together. At 9.30pm there would be a quarter of an hour slow spot. I would say 'right everyone on the floor. You always got those shy blokes and I would just tell them to grab a girl.

"I would say 'get ready he is going to kiss you girls, never mind the acne,' Then I would say this is your big moment guys pucker up your lips and kiss her now.' "Then I would cut the music for 30 seconds and it was dead silent. And then I would say 'don't be shy lads ask her out." Johnny said: "In those days it was down at the ballroom where people met. Now it is on the Net," The old ballroom surrounded by palm trees and the thousands of mini stars bouncing off the large mirror bail became a popular courting ground. To this day he says that blokes in Southampton still cross the road to tell him: "You're Johnny Dymond, It is through you that I met my missus!"

Johnny, in his trademark silver lame suit, was the first resident disc jockey when the Mecca ballroom opened in 1963. He worked alongside many of the great pop singers and bands throughout the 60s and seventies. Johnny said: "The Beatles had just happened and it was a fantastic time for pop music"

The Pier would rock to chart busting numbers, like Dave Clark Five's 'Glad All Over' which was always accompanied by lots of stamping of feet. But with the 1200 people all doing the same things there was the danger of the ballroom sinking into the depths of the Solent below. Later it was found that the decking was rotting away at a fast rate of knots. Johnny said:" It was a number one and we played it at least twice on a Monday night." Then one night as 'Glad All Over was in full flow Johnny was ordered to take it off the turntable by an extremely worried ballroom boss who perhaps feared that it could lead to a Titanic- style disaster.

Johnny, who was also disc jockey at Southampton's Top Rank and did stints with Radio One, believes all the experiences on stage helped to prepare him in his role as a spiritual healer and it is a gift which has brought him a big following in America. But he was rather astounded that on one of his transatlantic trips he was being billed on a website as the man with the healing hands. He is quick to point out that he cannot come up with instant miracle cures. He says that he is a channel for a healing energy.

Home is now Spain, living in an idyllic setting and just yards away from palm trees, So it does not take long for memories of those palm tree days at the Mecca to come flooding back.


As you can imagine, I'm getting constant drip-feeds of e-mails with more info and photos, some of them being add-ons to existing webpages going back to the first 'Call Up The Groups' page.   As many of these pages are fairly packed with so much detail, I think it best to put new input on the newer pages although making references to previously published pages.  If you are a 'regular' reader then please take the time to read through the same Group pages as there may be little nuggets of information and/or new images that link to the subject.  Here are some more recent additions and I thank everybody who shares their wonderful memories with me and the world.


Back on Groups 2, I have written about one of Southampton's legendary guitarists Tommy Bannister, who I have had the pleasure of meeting when he came to the first two Concorde 'Back To The Sixties'   You can read all about these great reunion nights via the Site Map and Tom has sent more stuff and you can read more on the other early page.

THE INTRUDERS Cape Town South Africa1961

Photo by local newspaper reporter

L-R:  Harry     Bob   Tommy   Paul   Matt      Mike


Harry Pincent (gtr) Coxford

Bob Holcombe (drms) Harefield

Tommy Bannister (gtr) Coxford

Paul Walker (voc) Millbrook

Matt McDonald (manager) Hebrides

Mike Rossiter (bass) Harefield

The Intruders were one of the first ever bands to work the ocean going liners (Pendennis Castle etc) and travelling all over the world, including South Africa,Tahiti, New Zealand as they kept the passengers jiving away as well as exporting British rock n roll to foreign shores!  They were one of the first British bands to play Australia, well before the Beatles toured Down Under and caused mini-riots wherever they performed.  This photo above was taken when they played a storming gig at the Cape Town Palladium as an 'international act'

Mainly an instrumental based outfit playing Shadows, Ventures and other styles before lead singer Paul joined the group and lifting them to a higher degree. Just look at those beautiful Fenders and they played through classic Vox amplifiers which really was the business in those early years and Tommy often wonders where the lads are now?  Maybe reading this right now, so get in touch!


Around the same time of Tom's mail (May 2009) I had a few e-mails regarding long lost guitars- mostly early Fenders that cost a small fortune back in those days when money was tight.  Many a young lad saved up his pocket money plus help from supportive parents and often bought a cherised instrument on H.P. (hire purchase/credit) Sadly, after a short while the novelty wore off or bands just split as well as the teenagers growing into men and faced with the prospect of getting a 'proper' job.  This then usually followed by 'settling down' into married life and being forced to sell off  beloved guitars that might have helped a new career as a pop star with wealth, fame and adulation.  I have lost count of the number of times I have heard this story from a 60s musician who regrets losing sight of a classic vintage guitar that would now be worth thousands of pounds.  Some even relate it to like 'losing a limb' and one can only commiserate with them- however, a story often springs out of reading my website or seeing an old photo with the timeline clicking in to identify a much missed instrment.  You can read this on other pages but here is another flurry of e-mails that popped up a few months ago and another 'detective' story as we learn a bit more about the long lost guitars and where they ended up? I'm sure that many musicians will enjoy this 'GuitarSpeak'


Malc Dimmer (early Ricky and the Hilites) wrote on another webpage:

Following with interest as usual and reading your website again, I was interested to read that when Roy Roberts was with the Skylanes back in the 1960s, he purchased a white Fender Stratocaster. I have often wondered what happened to my old white Strat, and thinking back, seem to recall hearing the Strat I took to Germany with me in 1963, when I was with the Hi-Lites, was bought by a member of the Skylanes after I had sold it.

I sold it as part exchange for a Gibson to Beirnes music shop in Shirley Southampton in 1963/64 and I would be very interested to know if my Strat was the same one that Roy bought back then. If Roy did buy his Strat at Beirnes music shop in '63/64, then it is quite possible that it was my old guitar. So that I can keep the history of when I played with the Hi-Lites up to date, I would like to hear if Roy still owns it.

Kind regards,

Roy Roberts (Skylanes/MeddyEvils) replied:

Hi Malcolm

 Sounds like this is the same guitar!!....I still have the receipt in my loft hence the serial number mentioned on my Meddyevils website (I'm sure you have seen the pics of it also). I swapped it with the guitarist from the Soul Agents for his Telecaster which I used for the original Pye auditions....then it was swapped back again!. I continued using it for the early part of the Meddy era but traded it in for a Rickenbacker (at Beirnes)... also Pete Townshend played it on a gig in the dressing room!. When I finished with the Meddies I traded the Rick for a Gibson 330 at Minns in London Road (my favorite guitar still!). When I bought the Strat I was told it was ex it must be the one!!. About 15 years ago Fender did a '63 re-issue Strat....I went through at least 10 guitars one afternoon at Nevada's in Portsmouth until I found one that felt just like the white one...and this goes to jams occasionally.

 Another piece of history placed in time!..sorry I do not still have it....

Thanks for making contact

Roy Roberts

Followed by:

Hi Malc
By all means use any of the pics you need...I remembered that I was told the Strat had been thats confirmed it!!.
On the guitars front, after a Hofner Senator my first 'proper' guitar was a Vibra Artist.....we all seemed to have had one ....where did they all go!!....need to start a 'I had a Burns' club...

The white Strat, even refinished would be worth a fair bit now...I traded in my Ric...(I found it via Pete Townshend who had ordered a special batch [I think 20!!....because of the breakage rate] from Rose Morris but only took 18...I got one of the ones left over)...for the ES-330-TD...which at 1963 is still worth a bit...but the Ric would be pretty well up there....I found a similar one a few years back which hangs on my wall.

Along with some of the old ones I kept...and a lot more I collected when I had an office in number 34...sad eh!.Some are on my Meddyevils website... I still play with the 'Havant Jammers' most weeks and make a lot of noise at home...


Malcolm Dimmer wrote:

Hi Roy!

Thanks for taking the time and replying to my quest. Its good to know what happened to the guitar after it left me and to know after all these years it has so much history attached to it. Thinking back I regret selling the guitars I owned in the past, but in those days we could not afford to keep them for future investment.

My past guitars have included the Hofner Club 50, Dallas Tuxedo, Burns Vibra Artist, Levin "Goliath" acoustic, a Gibson ES-335-TD and of course the white Fender Stratocaster, which was originally a sunburst colour when I bought it at Beirnes music shop, but I had it customised by having it sprayed white.

The guitars I play now for my own pleasure are a Fender Stratocaster (Japanese, not so good) through a Fender Hot Rod DeLuxe amp, and a Yamaha APX 9c electric acoustic. Once again Roy thanks for all the info about the guitar, more I can add to the history book of my group days, and one more favour, can I have your permission to add a photograph of you and the Strat to my book?


Another surprise mail from Southampton based Dave Ward whose short career has now been revived on this page!  I joined a 'mod' band called the Earth Angels (see other pages) in 1966 and Dave had been replaced by bass player Ernie Fagg.  Here is Dave's first mail:


Hi David
My name is Dave Ward. You don't know me personally but I have just come across your webpages re Southampton Music Scene. ...I was knocked out to read all this stuff. God it has brought back so many memories. And I certainly look forward to your book being published. Is there by chance a I could be added to a list of people you can notify when it is published?
I came to live in Southampton from Portsmouth when my dad left the navy. We had The Bridge Tavern at Six Dials in St Mary's Street right next to The Shirt King. I remember buying a lot of my clothes in there as well as Sydney's and Henry's Record Shop was a favourite haunt of mine.
When I was at school, I met Ernie Fagg and he became my best mate. We hung around a lot together going to places like The Checkpoint, and The Kasbah in London Road, a venue for mods... always loads of scooters outside! Ernie and I each bought an acoustic guitar and started to teach ourselves to play with the idea we would form a group. It transpired that I was the vocalist and rhythm guitarist and Ernie took up bass. I remember Ernie bought a Hofner violin bass like Paul McCartney's ( really cool) while I bought a Rickenbacker. We had a drummer for a short spell but he never turned up to practice songs so that was short lived, however we did play a couple of gigs using the name The Locking Chains. Once at The Broadway Bingo Hall and a 21st birthday party at The Royal Hotel in Winchester.


The Locking Chains were quite short-lived as it was formed in 1964 while Ernie Fagg and I were learning to play guitars. I,  Dave Ward played rhythm guitar and vocals with Ernie Fagg as the bass player. We got a drummer in who didn't usually turn up for practices so we kicked him out. During our short  time together we played two gigs only. One at The Broadway Bingo Hall in Portswood in front of a 600 strong audience.... bloody nerve-racking experience, but we went down ok. Through that booking we did a 21st birthday party at The Royal Hotel in Winchester. It was after this we kicked the drummer out. We were finding it difficult to take in new band members so Ernie joined The Earth Angels in 1966 and I had to let my beloved Rickenbacker go as I couldn't keep up the payments so that was the end of my musical career.

After trying to get other musicians to join us Ernie decided we were not going anywhere and told me he wanted to find another band. At that time I was distraught. Ernie made it clear to me that it was only the band he was breaking up, not our friendship.... I was in a position then, that I had a Rickenbacker that was breaking me financially to keep up HP payments and no amp to plug into. (I always plugged into Ernie's) I realise now that I was not mature enough to realise that Ernie was a damn good musician and I was holding him back from getting on in the music scene, so through no fault of Ernie we split up...... This is something I have regretted for years.  When he joined the Earth Angels in 1966 I saw him with the band at The Railway Hotel in Woolston (now The Bridge) I was doing some 'roadie' work for some of my other school mates who had a blues band. I don't recall what they were called now but in the line up there was Tony Curtain on vocals, harmonica and sometimes lead guitar. Ivor Elliot on bass and Pete Flight on Drums, can't remember the lead guitarist. That was the last time I ever saw Ernie but I remembered how knocked out I was by his bass playing.... he was amazingly fast. He had certainly became a very talented guy. 
Several times over the years I have tried to locate Ernie with the view of meeting up again to catch up.... I have tried Telephone Directories, Friends Reunited and Facebook but up to now have been unsuccessful..... My hopes were certainly uplifted when I saw your webpage and the email Ernie sent you.
Now David I would like to ask you a very very big favour...... It would really mean a lot to me to meet up with Ernie again. Could you EITHER let me have Ernie's email address so I can contact him.  (I do realise and understand that you may not want to do this for reasons of confidentiality.) OR would you be so kind as to forward this email  to him with the hope that he would want to meet up with me again after all these years.I would be really grateful if you could do this for me.


Within days, these two musos hooked up!  Dave has just sent these terrific photos plus some more background on his short but enjoyable time in the 60s.  He would love to meet up with Tony Curtain, Ivor Elliot or anybody else who knew him back then so please get in touch with me to pass any messages on as always  on my website.



                                       Dave Ward striking a 60s pose!                      With Burns VistaSonic on Ernie's wall

                                       Note the Hank B. Marvin specs                     in Chapel Southampton.  Westlakes Sack Factory backdrop



                                               Dave at parents' house                                    Ernie Fagg and Burns bass




1964 Rickenbacker- even the cat is impressed! Photo taken '65(?)

Note the tremelo arm and 'f' sound hole as opposed to the more common slash hole

Where is this beauty now????   Dave wants it back! (Can remortgage his house)




Sad note.  Back in June 2009, I received an e-mail from guitarist Keith Goulding who was part of a late 60s band Nelsons Column, following a few years with other Southampton bands.  This is a photo of the group plus a recent one as the original guys had reformed the group, after some 40 years!




I had this mail through from Keith's brother Chris, following his sudden passing and it tells some of the story:

Keith Goulding passed away suddenly in Bournemouth Hospital on 1st October 2009 aged 64.  In his teens in the early 60's Keith formed a band The Companions, with some of his mates from Ashby Youth Club in Southampton.  That's him, bottom left in the photo.  He played lead guitar and featured on instrumentals and vocals.  Avenue Artists booked them into the usual venues in and around Southampton.

The Companions- Royal Pier


At some point the band changed its name to the Ides of March. Keith upgraded from his Futurama and Watkins amp to a Selmer Zodiac and a Gibson SG (we never did remember whether it had P90s or PAFs - I guess it wasn't important in those days).  He later bought a Marshall 50 watt head and built a 4x12 speaker cabinet- wow!  If only we'd had enough money to keep our old gear - it would be worth a small fortune now! When the drummer Dave Scott emigrated to Canada, Keith took over the Trixon drum kit and his brother, Chris joined as lead guitar. The band was renamed Hobsons Choice and continued to be booked out by Len and his boys.


In 1967 Keith joined Nelsons Column to play with his brother in gigs at Southampton University and other student venues around Hampshire.  The band supported many of the emerging big names (Cream, Yardbirds, Pink Floyd,  Georgie Fame, The Barron Knights etc) of the era before finishing in 1968.


Keith's proper job was in medical physics at the Royal South Hants hospital where, over the years he installed many radiotherapy machines and became Head of Dept after studying for a degree and then obtaining a CEng.  In 1969 he had married Christine (also from Ashby Youth Club), had 2 sons and a few years later moved to Bournemouth.

 In the late 90's Keith took up drums again and played with his brother in the Kickstarts (formed from members of a motorcycle club).

 At the end of 2006 Nelsons Column reformed and played for the first time in nearly 40 years in a small room upstairs in Keith's son's pub in Christchurch (Simon now owns the Percy Hobbs just outside Winchester).  It seemed as if we were still all in our youth - the old spark was still there; although we all remembered different parts of different songs! Nelsons Column went on to play at pubs in and around Winchester.

Keith's music was a big part of his life.  He enjoyed playing in bands in the 60's and returning to that scene later in his life.  He was a very talented musician who will be greatly missed by his family and his band mates.

Chris Goulding



OK pop-pickers- that's it for now and trust you have enjoyed this latest page of nostalgia.  Please come back again as it's a never ending stream of 60s  memories and you can read through the same pages and maybe find new additional background on this exciting era.


October 1st - I went to see Cliff Richard and the Shadows Reunion Tour in Birmingham and it was a stunning show as they went back to basics and knocked out the early hits and B-sides from the late Fifties to mid Sixties.  All in their late Sixties but looking and sounding as fresh as ever - the red Strats with Vox amps all pumped through a massive sound system plus the fancy footwork etc.  Just proving that us old 'uns can still show the kids a thing or two and I doubt if many will be going to see the Amy Winehouse tour in 2058??    Also I recently enjoyed seeing Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, the Manfreds, Status Quo and other 'survivors' plus off to enjoy ZZ Top on their short UK tour in October -isn't this a wonderful business?



8th November

I get e-mails from all over the place and often get requests for help.  I recently had this message pop up from a worried musician and am reprinting it here in case anybody can offer some advice.  Naturally, I have not included his details as a matter of privacy and maybe someone out there can help with the guy's problem?  Here it is:


I am a working musician and, as you would expect, travel a lot. I have been noticing strange things happening when I get home. Her mobile phone rings and she steps outside to answer it or she says "I'll call you back later." When I ask her who called she gets evasive. Sometimes she goes out with friends but comes home late, getting dropped off around the corner and walking the rest of the way. I once picked up the extension while she was on the phone and she got very angry.

A buddy of mine plays guitar in a band. He told me that my wife and some guy have been to his gigs. He wanted to borrow my guitar amp.That's when I got the idea to find out for myself what was really happening. I said "Sure, you can use my amp but I want to hide behind it at the gig and see if she comes into the venue and who she comes in with." He agreed.

Saturday night came and I slipped behind my vintage Marshall JMP MKII 100W half stack to get a good view.I could feel the heat coming off the back of the amp.It was at that moment, crouching down behind the amp, that I noticed that one of the tubes was not glowing as bright as the other three.

Is this something I can fix myself or do I need to take it to a technician?


'Call up the Groups 10' will no doubt be online in the near future so come on back y'all.........



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