General (10)

Winter 1974 Moving to Antibes France

The Punk Rock movement was beginning to make headway on the London music scene.

Decadent Retro Night Clubs

The Sex Pistols were playing at the " Speak Easy" The Clash and others were the new boys in town.

I had been in groups & bands since the age of 14 and after 12 years of being " on the road "

it was time for a change of direction.


Looking for a “ Gig “ moving to London October 1969

I arrived at a friend's flat in Muswell Hill with my Fender Jazz base in my hand, a copy of the Bakerloo album a white sunbeam alpine sports car

and terminal " acne & ego "

I met a drummer Tony Newman, who asked me to form a heavy metal trio with a Canadian guitarist Jimmy Black we called the group May Blitz.

The owner of the flat that I was " crashing at " was an artist called Tony Benyon.

He later created a cartoon character based on yet another band name that I had dreamed-up.

The May Blitz grotesque cartoon character was featured for many years in the Melody Maker Magazine the rock n Roll Bible of the day.

This " head banging heavy metal" music trio was not for me. Having secured a record deal with vertigo records my replacement was a fellow Canadian friend of Jimmy's who shared the same musical ideology, whatever that was!!

Winter of 1969

May Blitz

A catastrophic tour of military bases in West Germany ( Wiesbaden etc) followed by a two week residency at a night club in Neuchatel Switzerland then onto Zurich.

The May Blitz Tour ended at a Swiss- German border town were we had to sell all our equipment and musical instruments to pay a fine to the German Boarder Police after the van was dismantled and we were all " strip searched "

I won't go into the infraction as I wouldn't like to " grass " Jimmy up!!

Rupert's People

Spring 1970

Rod Lynton ( guitar ) was the founder member of Rupert's People and John Tout ( keyboards )were all that were left of the band when I joined.

I recorded a couple of tracks with them for the album " The Magical World of Rupert's People"

Reflecting being one of them.

They had an excellent practice room in the basement of a large detached house in St John's Wood owned by a Mr Miles Axe Copeland Snr.

Miles Copeland junior was the manager of Rupert's People and his mom and dad let us run amuck in the basement studio.

Stuart Copeland played drums and we all set off to Paris for a summer tour of France.

The Revolution Club Paris was the first gig followed by a 12 hour drive down to St Tropez for

a two week residency at the local night club and then onto another club in Hyeres for a further fortnight.( South of France )

The gruelling drive back to Paris to another gig at the Revolution Club was as much as Rod could stand. So on returning to London, Rod quit his own group!

Auditioning a replacement for

Rod Lynton

An ad in the " musicians wanted " section of the Melody Maker brought a procession of talent to the Miles Copeland's front door.

Gordon Giltrap being the most outstanding player to audition for the job.

A super guitarist called Les Nicol from Hull was another guitar player looking for a " spot ".

Finally we gave up on the Rupert's People re branded, as neither John me nor Stuart had any idea of what Rupert's People without Rod Lynton were trying to create?

Jess Conrad

& Stud

Summer 1970

John Tout's mom had a spare room free in Lamble Street Gospel Oak so I became the lodger for a few weeks in September 1970.

Ed Bicknell a drummer and "student booking agent" asked us if we would form the backing trio for Jess.


John Tout keyboard

Terry Poole bass guitar / vocals

Ed Bicknell drums

Jess Conrad's

Northern Night Club Tour

It was a lot of fun being on stage with Jess.

He was a lovely guy who had Hollywood film star looks. The mainly middle aged ladies that flocked to see him at the Brighouse and Morecombe shows all threw their " big pants at him " to autograph.

In later years John Tout became the keyboard player with Renaissance and Ed found fame and fortune as the manager of Dire Straights.

Tony Scott & Ike Cole

A Trip to Naples

October 1970

An advertisement in the melody maker for a dance band bassist prepared to travel to Italy attracted my attention. I needed to get to France to drop a French girlfriend off along the way.

The band leader a sax player whose name I can't recall travelled ahead with his girlfriend the band's vocalist, in his maroon jaguar.

The 5 piece backing band of which I was one, travelled behind with our instruments in an old transit van.

The main gig was at the NATO base in Naples however we stopped off at a smaller military base in Pisa on the way down to perform a couple of warm up nights.

The head line acts at the NATO base were Tony Scott/ Clarinet and Ike Cole.( Nat King Cole's brother )

After 4 weeks of Tony's rendition on the clarinet of " When the Saint's Go Marching " and Ike's version of " When I fall in love " it was time to return to home.

This is why I can't recall the name of the band leader as he vanished in his Jag with the "gig money" and we the backing band had to busk our way back to London.

Little Free Rock

Part 11

November 1970

Answering another " musicians wanted " in the Melody Maker Ads late in 1970 Pete Illingworth

lead guitarist with the above not only took me on, but took me in!!

The house that Pete rented in Sydenham

was were all the band lived and the practice room was in the cellar below.

My first rehearsal with LFR had two or three West African percussionists jamming along!! Great !!

An extremely understanding landlord and neighbours? !!

I was very pleased to help Pete gain a recording/ agency deal with the William Morris Agency in Saville Row.

Pete has a terrific web site with lots of information about gigs at that period.

Any musician living in London and on the " circuit " should recall them all!!

Having read Pete's diary I realised why I moved on from LFR.

The rent on the house was left unpaid for a year. I guess we were all evicted.


John T Fisher Lonely World Summer 1974

Jim Toomey's shared house in Denehurst Gardens NW4 was a magnet for musicians in North London.

Alastair ( the owner ) rigged up a practice room and recording studio.

Richie Gold an American record producer and manager of John T Fisher a fellow American County & Western singer. They "hung out" with everyone at the house.

All the " Blunstone Band " played on John's first and only album recorded for a French production company at Morgan Studios London.

"An underrated record full of original songs"


The Colin Blunstone Band 1972-1974

Derek Griffiths


invited me to form a backing band for Colin who had just had another hit single " Say you don't mind "

Jim Toomeydrums

Pete Wingfield piano

Terry PooleBass Guitar/vocals

Colin was part way through recording his Ennismore album , and we all contributed to a couple of tracks on that.

I moved from Dalston Junction to Mapesbury RoadNW2 with my wife Joelle ( French girlfriend along the way to Naples )and our son Anthony (2)

We shared this large house with Les &Ez Nicol and their son Jesse (2)

I had kept in contact with Les Nicol from the Rupert's People Auditions.

Blunstone Band's



Colin lived close by in NW6 Inglewood Road

Jim lived in NW4 Denehurst Gardens.

Derek lived with his parents in East MoleseySurry

Pete lived in SW18 Standen Road.

Barry & Jackie Krost

Barry Kroste was Colin's manager, he also managed Cat Stevens and DustySpringfield.

Most of 1973 was spent touring Europe and America

Colin had been the lead singer in the Zombies a sixties group from St Albans who had two world wide hits " She's not there " and " Time of theSeason " both of these songs were written by RodArgent.

Colin was the face of the Zombies and so we were billed as " The New Zombies " when we toured the USAin March 1973

19th March -7th May


Gig List

The Cellar Door Washington (19/03/1973)

Paul's Mall Boston(26/03/1973)

Main Point Bryan MawrPennsylvania (29/03/1973)

Quiet Knight Chicago(04/04/1973)

Central State Uni Edmond Oklahoma(11/04/1973)

Armadillo Hall AustinTexas(12/04/1973)

Santa Rosa Theatre Houston Texas(15/04/1973)

Ebbets Field Denver Colorado(17/04/1973)

WinterlandSan Francisco(20/04/1973)

Troubador Los Angeles(24/04/1973)

Max's Kansas City New York (02/05/1973)

London 7th May 1973

return to the UK from Tour

Colin Blunstone

Journey Album

Recorded in August 1973 Abby Road Studios


Working with Colin Blunstone, Jim Toomey, Pete Winfield, Dereck Griffiths, Rod Argent, Duncan Brown, Mike Cotton, Nick Newell, John Beecham and the King Singers was a musical privilege.

Wonderful musicians produced a Wonderful album the title track.

Criticallyacclaimed but commercially unsuccessful, the disappointing Journey album sales forced Colin to disband the group in Spring 1974.


Vinegar Joe Album Promotion Winter 1971

Having now established myself on the " musicians circuit " the phone rang and Pete Gage asked if was available to tour the UK to promote the new Vinegar Joe album.

Their bass player Steve York had fallen out with the band and so I stepped in.

I must say Steve was a super player and those were indeed " big shoes " to fill.

No problem, this was not a " drugs band " but an " ego band " so I agreed.

Pete was married to Elkie Brooks who was very well known throughout the music industry.

Robert " snake hips " Palmer was lesser known at that time, but as rock history unfolded he was to become a super star in his own right.

We shared "digs" together on the tour and got on very well.

November 6th 1971 we played at Manchester Town Hall. There was a power failure and both Elkie and Roberts mike's packed up.

I stepped in and sang " raindrops keep falling on my head " as a spoof fill-in while the sound engineers sorted the technical problems.

My actions earned me the knick name " Sasha "

( Distell )

Steve York decided that he would like to re join the band and so they all " made up" and I became, not for the first time, unemployed.


Graham Bond with Magick 1971

One of the West African percussionist with LFR was a named Gasper Lawal.

As I recall Graham was in the Philips recording studios ( Vertigo label ) putting down some tracks.
Gasper invited me along as Graham didn't have a bass player at this time.

As Graham and I both needed the " facilities " at the same moment, this was when he invited me to join his new band Magick, make an album and tour the UK & France to promote it.

Graham Bond Organisation saw all the greats play in his group. Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton.

To step into those " hallowed " shoes was a great honour and I felt like I was playing in a band with " God ".Sadly this was not the case.

Magick was not a band that occasional took recreational drugs, this was a " Drugs Band " that occasionally played music.

I have used the quote that I heard Ozzy Osborn make in an interview a couple of years ago about Black Sabbath.

Amazingly the Graham's album was not too bad, all things considered, and we set off on the Magick Tour.

Graham Bond with Magick 2010

Twelve Gates to the City

The Olympia, Paris was to be the highlight of six months touring and promoting Magick.

A super American Band called " the Flock " were the headliners and we were second top.

All went well at the rehearsal in the afternoon, a little too well. Graham and the drummer Pugwash decided to have a "cognac drinking competition" to pass away the rest of the afternoon before our " spot " at 9pm.It must have been a dead heat as neither Graham nor Pugwash turned up at all!!


Ray Russell Running Man 1971 “Original acetate on CD”

Ray Russell guitar / vocals

Alan Rushton drums

Gary Windo tenor sax

Alan Claire vocals

Terry Poole bass guitar / vocals

I managed to find a very small flat on Kingsland High Street Dalston Junction Hackney North London for £5 per week. Believe me that was too much money even in those days!!

I can't remember exactly how or when I met Ray but he was living in Grandison Road SW11.

In those times there were very few yellow lines and so we were able to drive around London very quickly and easily with little threats of parking tickets.

Running Man made countless " demos " throughout the time we worked together.

Innumerable radio broadcasts for avant-garde channels including the "BBC World Service "

One unenlightened controller at the BBC banned us from playing live on radio 4.

Running Man

Banned from the BBC

"Truly a great honour."

One of our live gigs was at Winchester School of Art organised by Mike Von-Joel a student at this illustrious academy and a great fan of Ray's.

(Mike is "mentioned in dispatches" at the end of my biopsy.)

An altercation ( so Mike reminds me ) between Alan Rushton, a burly student, and Alan's beautiful girlfriend, ended in a lot of " pushing and shoving " and Alan escaping.

Running Man

by name and by nature!!!!

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