I was born in Lancaster, The County Lancashire. As a young child I was a keen footballer and played for Skerton School, City and County teams, I also excelled in Athletics, Swimming and pulling the girls. A comment on my school report was “if he put as much effort in to his school work as he did into his football boots, he’d be a genius” I did at that time from about 8 years old started to write a few little songs that seemed to come naturally to me.

 

When I was 14 or 15 I brought a Spanish guitar from a friend for £10, I had some lessons from a local guitarist George Gardener, He told his brother who I met in Lancaster that I would never play the guitar because I didn’t practice, from that point on for the next few weeks I practised solidly and went back to see George for another lesson, he couldn’t believe how far I improved in that short time. From that moment on I was hooked and practiced every day I can ever since.

   

 

My father was the chief bus inspector on Lancaster Corporation buses; my mother was a Nurse but retired to look after my elder brother Mike, my younger sister Marilyn and myself.


During my early teens I played football for England National Association of Youth Clubs against Germany, and represented my County on several occasions, I was working for Standfast dyes and printers driving a lorry all over the North of England, I use to have an old guitar stuck down the back of the passenger seat and I liked to quickly finish my work so I could pull into a lay bye and practice.


I started a group called The Leaders and we played around the Lancaster and Morecambe area for about 3 years until I got the opportunity to work with The Fourmost, I was with them for about 9 month until Mike Milward returned. This gave me the springboard to work with some of the greats of music world including: Tom Jones, P.J.Proby, The Fourmost, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Johnny Harris, Screaming Lord Sutch, Kathy Kirby, and also the opportunity to play for Prince Charles the Prince of Wales for his investiture, and appear with Tom Jones on The Royal Variety Performance.

I was asked to play a session at the Abbey studios for The American writer and producer Phil Spector, This was for the Beatles last album “Across the Universe” I played on the title track and The Long and Winding Road, this was done in the Phil Spector method of recording Multi Track, He used a large Orchestra and I played the guitar in the Rhythm section together with Martin Kershaw.

After finishing with P.J.Proby I got married to my long term sweetheart Jenny Jones, we had 2 daughters Mari’Louise and Karen Lee, We have gone through some hard times together but also had many good times as well, Jen has stood by me throughout my career and still helps and supports me to this day.


In my 30’s I wanted to get really fit and so took up Judo, I excelled at this and became the Essex open champion, I had to give up after this as it was to much strain on my hands.


I have always drawn and painted all my life, but started to work professionally from the age of about 40, I then started to sell too many galleries in the South as well as commissions. I also had a great interest in history and in 1972 brought my first metal detector, I found this to be a very relaxing pastime and spent countless hours and days looking for ancient coins and artefacts, This culminated in me finding a massive hoard of Celtic gold and silver coins in 1977, for this I was rewarded with £100,000 tax free. I readily spent this on a house and a new car; the rest went on general living. I have found many other hoards and coins etc since.

I recently moved to the Midlands with my wonderful wife Jen but have not settled, I am currently trying to buy a house in the Cambridge area, we have for many years toured all over France in our camper van, we try to go there twice a year for several weeks each time, I am still active in the music industry, recording my own music and painting, I am very into the Django Reinhardt style of playing as well as Rock and many other styles,  When I eventually move I will be playing live music again.

 

Other Memories
   
Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry

I was touring Sweden with P J Proby co-starring with Chuck Berry.  On the first night I was asked to back Chuck Berry - we started and I was giving it some stick. Both Chuck Berry and I was plugged into the same large Fender amp, after a couple of songs he came over and pulled my plug out looking a bit miffed because I was giving it too much!! (I had been a Chuck Berry fan right from the start).  Maybe he was right by doing what he did because my style of playing was a little bit too enthusiastic.

   
Elton John

Elton John

Vernon and I was doing a demo of our songs on Denmark Street, London.  The piano player let us down and didn't turn up.  I knew Elton John quite well, as we were both signed as songwriters to Dick James the Beatles publisher, which was just round the corner.  So I went and asked him if he would play on a demo session for me for £5!!  He readily accepted and played on the demo.  What he played was great, the trouble was to be honest the songs weren't as good as his piano playing.  I still have the old acetate somewhere.

 

   
Shirley Bassey

Shirley Bassey

I did all the lead and rhythm guitar playing on Shirley Bassey's "Something" album.  All except for the title track "Something" which was "Head Hands and Feet".  We recorded the album in Milan, Italy and the M.D. was Johnny Harris.

 

   
RESUME
 
Artist/Group/Orchestra
Recording(s) Performance(s)
     
The Fourmost, Jan/Feb 1963
I joined them for six months because Mike Millward the regular guitarist had cancer. Employed by Brian Epstein.
Whilst I was with them they had a number 2 in the charts A little loving and Hello Little Girl British Tour with Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Ben E King etc. Top of the Pops, Rolf Harris Show, lots of TV promotional work and radio performances.

Tom Jones, (with the Squires) 1966 - 1969

“Live at the Talk of the Town” - album
Thirteen Smash Hits - album
Tupelo Mississippi Flash - B side of Delilah
London Palladium
Talk of the Town - London
Flamingo - Las Vegas
Ceasars Palace - Las Vegas
Copacabana - New York
The Deauville - Miami
Appeared on first few This is Tom Jones TV shows.
Performance at the Tivoli Gardens in Denmark
European Tour
Many TV performances when Tom guested on shows.
Two Royal Command PerformancesRadio performances - Saturday Club was live in those days.

Englebert Humperdink, 1967-1969

n/a Same management as Tom so played for Englebert occasionally
P J Proby, January 1965 - November 1965 n/a

Tour of Australia/New Zealand/Germany/Sweden/
Copenhagen
Tour of Great Britain
Top of the Pops
BBC2 Documentary on PJProby including performances in Wakefield Theatre Club.

Radio Performances including Saturday Club
The Beatles Played on:
Across the Universe
Long and Winding Road, Recorded at Abbey Road Studios with Phill Specter
n/a
Johnny Harris

Played on the much acclaimed “Movements” album.
Played on “Georgie” the George Best song

Music for the film “Fragments of Fear” Starring David Hemmings
n/a
Shirley Bassey Played on the “Something” album recorded in Milan with Johnny Harris as MD Played on several TV shows with Johnny Harris as MD
Petula Clark Several sessions with Johnny Harris as MD Played on several TV shows with Johnny Harris as MD including the first colour television broadcast from Royal Albert Hall which was live.
Sammy Davis Jnr. Played on album produced by Johnny Harris n/a
Vic Damone “Call the Wind Maria”, Johnny Harris MD n/a
Dudley Moore Quartet n/a Appearances on BBC2 shows occasionally to augment his usual trio.
Chuck Berry n/a Played with his band in Scandinavia whilst with P J Proby Band.
Lulu n/a Couple of TV shows + A week at Wakefield Theatre Club
Norman Wisdom n/a Luton Nightclub for 4 nights
Dusty Springfield n/a Played for Dusty in Morecambe in 1963 and the in the seventies on a two or three TV shows.
Tommy Steele n/a Las Vegas - Caesars Palace for three weeks approx 1971.
Bobby Vee Played on several numbers with Johnny Harris n/a
The Fortunes Played on:- “One Drop of Rain” n/a
Eddison Lighthouse Played on:- “My Melanie Makes Me Smile” n/a
Ronnie Ronald A famous bird impersonator!! I played on his album n/a
White Plains Played on Julie Julie - do you love me n/a
Freddie Starr n/a Played a a couple of summer seasons at Great Yarmouth and Bournemouth
Screaming Lord Sutch * see entry in Family Tree of Rock Many performances over the years including Olympia in Paris
Four Pennies Two sessions I cannot remember what the song were! n/a
John Earle Several Recordings Many performances over a couple of years - including West End Clubs
Hall of Fame n/a Many performances over a couple of years - playing for a rock n roll show
Danny Fisher Several recordings Several performances including The Royal Albert Hall

Rockin on Heavens Door 2005

n/a Dep. Theatres - a rock n roll show

Frankie Stevens, 1968

Several Recordings Performed mainly West End Clubs

Ted Heath Orchestra, 1968 - 1971

n/a With Ralph Dollimore as bandleader

Cyril Stapleton Orchestra, 1965 -68

n/a Many gigs mostly in the West End

Kathy Kirby, 1965

n/a Several gigs in clubs

Julie Rogers, 1965

n/a Several gigs in clubs

Linda Gail Lewis, 2004

n/a Rock n Roll festivals
Terry Rice-Milton n/a Duo called Natural High = played in clubs for a couple of years. Terry was lead singer with Cupids Inspiration.
Johny Earl n/a Venues all over the South of England
     
     

Ink

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